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Camp spot on the Cooper

Camp spot on the Cooper

From Westprint Westprint Friday Five – Friday August 2nd 2019
Reader’s Stories

What do you look for when you travel?

Scenery. Even when it looks like all the same, it’s always changing. While driving there’s not even time to check the map in case you miss something – different grasses, shrubs, trees, hills, ranges, a fenceline, a dead ?, wedgies, ‘roos, emus, camels, horses, of course different breeds and condition of cattle and sheep, when was the last time that creek flowed... all can lead to sensory overload. Discussion on seasonal conditions, different brands of windmills, different types of fences, yards.... how can people say any of it is boring? None of it, ever.

History. We love wandering around old mining towns. Also cemeteries often have lots of information. So much to ponder. Imagining what it was like to live there 100 years ago – water, housing, travel, climatic conditions. Realising how soft we all are these days.

The old buildings. Especially in the WA inland and abandoned mining towns. How they built sometimes lovely structures, all to be left crumbling now.

Meeting people. We try and camp somewhere on our own, but if we can’t, someone will always wander by and end up with a cup of tea and conversation. We often learn their stories, of where they live, where they’re going, what they’ve seen...............

We always shop in the tiny towns for food, fuel, op shops, visit the info centres, maybe tea at the pub, where we might meet a local for a chat.

‘Stop a cocky’. One year in the Rockhampton area we passed paddocks with rows of shrubs. Had no idea, so after a while of guessing, Graham said ‘I’ll stop a cocky’. We finally found one at a paddock gate, stopped and found it was leucaena, which led to questions, and more research when we came home.

Looking for a camp spot. Not often have we had a crook one, or driven further along the road the next morning and found a better one. We live very basically, no frills, no you-beaut gear, and take pride in that. It makes you realise that you don’t need ‘stuff’, both on the road and living at home. And, of course, ‘nature’s TV’ at night. I have a ‘relax indicator’. It could take a few days, but when Graham comments about ‘what’s for tea’ I know we’ve reached it. He couldn’t care less at home.

The job of finding books and information both before we leave, while we’re away, and then when we get back. We keep a journal, which always has more questions to find answers to when we get home, than what we had before we left on the trip.

Someone told us years ago that it’s harder to go away than to stay home. So many things to organise for leaving – bills to be paid, stock sorted and someone to feed and check them, water tanks and pumps sorted, notes for all our neighbours who help.....

And when we drive out the gate we pledge to leave it all behind – except for the phone call from an hour up the road for someone to check that I’ve turned off the gas and locked the back door!

Last year we had a short trip up the dirt roads from Broken Hill, zig-zagging as far as Thargomindah (lots to see and do there), and back. We found an abandoned town, had a wander, a ponder, and found out later the last person left only 15 years ago! The drought was truly awful. We couldn’t help, but now we’ve promised ourselves to go back again to see the country after rain.

So, I guess we’re a mixture of all you Westprint mob, and what you look for when travelling. Graeme and Leanne.

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Photo taken on 10 June 2016 (© spelio / Flickr)

Related tags :
 travel, qld, 2016, june, bench, good, river, stretch, muddy, picnic, spot, lunch, rest, area, fave, 160views31-05-18asfamily, benchbridge, bench&bridges

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