Travels with the Winnie: Day 53

Longreach to Barcaldine

The Australian Heritage Workers Centre is the main attraction for us here. In the Working Voices Choir we sing ‘The Ballad of 1891″ about the shearers’ strike, where the shearers stood up to the ‘squatters’ and some went to goal.

We left Longreach at about 10.00 and arrived in Barcaldine about 1.5 hours later. We have taken advice from Wikicamps and Geowiki to head straight to the showgrounds for camping. We have power and water for $26 per night, even cheaper than last night in Longreach where we had the pensioner discount at our caravan park (and a site to match, stuck up against a wall in everyone’s way as they tried to leave with their enormous caravans). Here, there are caravans ranged around the oval. We have toilets and showers with hot water that are cleaned daily.

There were some children doing sports practice earlier, but now they have left and the lights are switched off it is fairly peaceful.

Winnie at Barcaldine (1 of 1)
Winnie at the Showgrounds


After lunch we had a rest and waited for the coolness of the late afternoon before walking down the main street to get our bearings. I had been reading about the friendliness of the folk here, and people did actually speak with us, including Roy who came originally from Geraldton. I asked if he knew of anyone who could help with our leaking grey water hose and he said he will come to our camp site tomorrow at 10.00 to help us work out what is best, and perhaps even put a new clamp in. We will see if he follows through, but we would really appreciate it if he can help.

There are two bakeries in town, plus historical features such as a windmill that used to be used for a bore out of town and now adorns the main street, and an old tree that has been incorporated into a sort of monument.

the Windmill (1 of 1)
The Windmill
The Tree of Knowledge (1 of 1)
The Tree of Knowledge
The Union Hotel (1 of 1)
The Union Hotel

There appear to be about five hotels in this street alone. I didn’t actually count them.

The Shakespear Hotel (1 of 1)
The Shakespeare Hotel

I liked these two in particular because of the names.

We hope to better understand the names, etc. after spending time at the Workers Heritage Centre tomorrow. We are quite close to the centre of this town, about 1 km, which means we won’t have to pack up and drive tomorrow when we want to look around. We have been feeling that we don’t do enough walking as we are travelling around, so this is our opportunity.

Stephen still has a nearly constant headache, plus symptoms of a cold. I have developed a sore throat, and have a bit of a headache as well. I can relate mine to stress and pain across my shoulders. Walking will certainly help – and I realise that I should fit in a morning and evening walk each day. Driving can be quite strenuous as the roads can be very rough and the Winnie has rather poor suspension, so we feel it through the stearing wheel.