Tilpa to Tinnenburra, QLD

or: don't panic

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NNimg0009.jpg (107671 bytes) In the morning I was joined by a couple of kangaroos who must have realized that I was waking up and so they hopped away before I could really enjoy their presence. I decided to be a bit nicer to the car and crossed the river to a paved road; or at least so the map said. Instead I was confronted with another (better) dirt road and a "100" speed limit sign. I am sure it was not meant for me; I cruised along at maybe 40 making frequent stops for pictures. On this trip - planned was Tilpa to Bourke, 200km - I got to see many more Emus and Kangaroos, and again the occasional dingo. I also happened to see whole two cars.

img0018.jpg (60019 bytes)Just when I was maybe 30km away from Bourke, the road was flooded. I had to cross through a flooded road already half an hour before, after I made sure the water was not too deep for this car. However, this second flood was definitely too deep and there was no way around it. All I could do was to turn around and backtrack. A brief look at the map told me that I was in troubles - with all the detours imposed on me yesterday and today, I was low on gas, and this most recent detour would add some 200 unexpected km onto the counter - kilometers I potentially didn't have the gas for. So I switched to even softer style and headed straight - well, as straight as the roads would allow - for Bourke. If I had to get stranded, then better still during the day with hopefully some car driving by. Traffic signs showing one and the same destination into completely different directions were not very helpful either.

img0072.jpg (52013 bytes)img0024.jpg (111791 bytes) I made it to Bourke on an empty gas tank and without sighting a single car. I filled up the car, the windshield washer, my water tank and bought some eggs as I felt like having some for dinner. After this I headed north towards Queensland, some 100km away. I pulled into the first branching road and found a great campsite. However, I didn't have any eggs for dinner - my stove gave up its ghost, permanently as it seems, after three years of service. As a matter of fact, since all food I had with me was to be cooked, I had some raw spaghetti for dinner - things must get pretty desperate, huh. Looks like I will have to change my diet and also my food reserves. Another major nuisance are the flies here - makes me wonder whether things will always stay as bad (or even get worse): I put on long pants and a sweatshirt, even put a towel over my head, in a quite futile attempt to keep the beasts off.

NNimg0011.jpg (114738 bytes)img0026.jpg (61565 bytes)Seems like I picked the right order of things, though: first head to the desert, admittedly a bit too much, and then north - in the meantime, Cyclone Justin has devastated half the Queensland coast, or so it sounds on the radio. Now I am ready to leave the beginnings of the Outback and to head back to greener pastures.

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