Monday, 16 August 2010

Sojourn in Camooweal

When we stayed at the WW2 site we talked to some other campers and were told of the free camp site at Camooweal beside the lagoon so we decided to make that our next stop on our crawl towards Alice Springs.
What a find! We are situated about five minutes from the thriving metropolis of Camooweal. We called in to the post office as there was a sign displaying “real coffee” and we were both hanging out for a cup of coffee and real coffee has become something we crave and critique as we travel. The staff in the post office were so lovely and the coffee fantastic, complete with a complimentary mini muffin! We were also able to vote there so that’s out of the way. Each of these remote Queensland Government Agencies has voting papers for every seat in Australia. What a nightmare for them but dead easy for us!
We drove on to the lagoon which greeted us with an abundance of bird life to enjoy watching. Just across the lagoon there are two at least eagle nests which are very busy feeding young and maintaining nests by constantly adding twigs. We also have a number of ducks doing their bum up fishing and brolgas walking along the edges fishing with their long beaks in the shallows. The brolgas have long legs which are jointed at the ‘knees’ so that they appear to be walking back to front. It sounds ungainly but they make very efficient fisherbirds. There are many other birds which we don’t know and we will have to pack our bird book next time as it has become quite a pastime for us now and very enjoyable. We’ve watched the sunrise from the van each morning although we did get out on the first morning and watch it from the bank. It was spectacular and we again realise just how lucky we are.
The town itself has a special charm and contains the drovers’ camp which is a microcosm of the stockman’s hall of fame at Longreach and the Longreach site has had some input from the people here. You would never know that the tin shed you drive past as you come into the town contains so much of the history of droving. As we sat back at the campsite on Saturday a car drove up and a man spoke to Ian assuring him first he wasn’t a ranger but that there would be free country singing at the drovers’ camp on Sunday afternoon if we wanted to come along. So off we went not really having any idea of what to expect. Behind the time doors was quite an amazing display of droving memorabilia and beyond the obvious old and some new trappings of droving is a room containing magnificent portraits of drovers which are added to each year by the same artist. Each year there is a drovers reunion here, next weekend actually but we’ll be in Alice Springs by then so they are starting to get organised and very excited about it all. We were treated to two hours of music which we really enjoyed and then a tour of the camp which was amazing. The portraits and murals were fantastic and the warmth of the greeting we received just made our stay. We know have a much greater appreciation of the life of the drovers and it seems just amazing to learn of the lives they lead and how they for the most part enjoyed the privations they endured throughout their times on the road.
We thought a drink at the pub was in order and even dinner, but alas no dinner on Sunday night! All is not lost however as we decided to stay another night because it just doesn’t get much better than this. So another couple of coffees, a relax by the lagoon and dinner at the pub on Monday night and off on Tuesday to …….. somewhere.

No comments: