Rob 'n BOB on the BNT

15 December 2003

Robert's BNT Journal  --  as told to and prepared by Gwen on Wednesday, November 26, 2003:

Ravenswood to Collinsville, Queensland  --  November 20 - 25, 2003

Sunset at Burdekin DamAfter a few days pleasant R&R in Ravenswood, it was again time to head out on the track.  It was an easy enough ride south to Connelly station but wild camping beside  "weedy river water" was just so-so!  The next day, though, despite quite an elevation gain, it was smooth biking on the paved road to Burdekin Falls Dam and Rob averaged 17km an hour!  Not bad, with a fully loaded BOB being pulled along behind him!  He must be growing "strong, lean, and 'mean'", by now!

At 5pm, Rob's time, when he phoned me, the temperature was still 35C in the shade, so, he was grateful for the quiet campground and little swimming pool there!  There has been a store but it was closed and appeared to have been closed perhaps for some years.  But, thank goodness the payphone was working!  And, there was a clean "ablution block" and even a laundry!  That's always been my "little measuring stick" of a satisfactory campground!   Amazingly, there was a considerable amount of water in the Reservoir behind the dam so THAT's good for the people it supplies!

For this portion of his trip, Rob has bought a BOX of "fine wine" to offer himself some quiet evening activity.  He mentioned something about "doing a taste test" and that it DEFINITELY was an improvement over Rob's own homemade Shiraz (that so many of our friends had the "pleasure" of experiencing at it's "release" a year or so ago!)  BUT, this box wine PROBABLY didn't "quite" measure up to anything in the "Oldfield Reserve Library" that Tinhorn Creek Vineyard winemaker, Sandra Oldfield, has so carefully developed!!  Rob will have to bike a VERY LONG WAY, INDEED, to find many wines better than THAT collection!  

Bowen River HotelBurdekin Dam to the Bowen Pub (in Strathbowen?) was another 102km day as no interesting wild camping locations showed up along the way.  The last 35km were downhill but tiresome, indeed, with a rough, corrugated, gravel surface!  Since the few customers in the pub cleared out early in the evening, Rob and the Publican sat out on the back porch till 10pm, visiting, sipping, and enjoying the songs of the night birds.  Pleasant pastime!

Bowen River barFrom the Bowen pub he biked just 35km to Boralee station, alongside the WONDERFUL Bowen River, which had LOTS of water.  When he woke next morning, the temperature had taken a dip down to 12C!  Too COLD to make an early start!  But, not to worry, as it was only another 35km into Collinsville!  "Flat and boring country roads these two days", he said.

THEN, it was "down to business"!!  Enough of this "playing about"!  HOURS of reading and responding to email on the "public computer" at the Shire Office;  purchasing of "treats" for "energy food"  --  Christmas fruitcake and apricot/peach "sugar cubes" (THAT ought to do it!); Powerade crystals to mix with water (to disguise the flavour of the water, and, to give him "energy"); also, MILO, as well as flavoured coffee!  At home he wouldn't be caught dead consuming such stuff  --  but  --  this ain't home, baby!

Pioneer Walkway
        in CollinsvilleAfter stretches of heavy biking over many kilometres, Rob thinks that it's dehydration that plugs up his ears and even makes him hoarse to talk!  Just shows you some more of the consequences of one's "water table" growing low!  And, this happens, he says, despite drinking, drinking, drinking!  All this is a discovery in progress!

He had to "wait in line" before 7:30am beside the one and only Automatic Banking Machine in Collinsville, for the "money truck" to come along to "fill 'er up"! so he could get some cash!  Credit cards are good and handy  --  but  --  they don't answer all a consumer's needs!

His computer time in Collinsville cost him $20.00+  --  and  --  then, he "lost" the Trip Journal he composed "to those cyberspace gremlins" that "grab our stuff", from time-to-time!  Hence, the need for ME to prepare these last 4 segments!  The next internet stop, Rob will have to prepare his composition in a different format and thereby prevent any further accidents befalling his labour intensive writing!

His next stop is to be the Bowen River Weir, where the station folks say there's "no worry" over crocodiles being in that water!  The "town folks" regaled Rob with many warnings about the "crocs" there, though.  So, he'll just have to exercise reasonable vigilance!  That Weir is at least 150km inland from the sea, but, crocs are reported at least 200km inland on some of those rivers!  Makes one humble and respectful of Nature!

                to Index                                                                     Next