Thurs 22 Jul to Fri 23 Jul
We had a very quiet night on the road but woke up early in the morning to the noise of the ore trucks thundering by.On the road again such as it was, only one lane of bitumen all the way to Boulia, so if a car came along, both had to get off, and if a truck came towards us we got right off to let him have the whole road, you don't argue with those road trains.There are a few cowboys on the road though some of them just don't slow down at all and they spit stones up as they pass, we were lucky not to get stone chips in our windscreen.About ½ way between Mt Isa and Boulia is a place called Dajarra, it had one pub and a museum and a few houses.The caravan park was right on the highway, it had power, but you would only want to pull in there if you were too tired to drive any further, it really did not have much going for it. Dajarra is famous for once being the World's biggest railway cattle trucking centre, the old railway station and the cattle yards are all that remains of its claim to fame. We pulled into Boulia at about 1.30, it is about 290 ks from Mt Isa.It's a nice clean little town with a great Info Centre come souvenir shop with a really nice café attached to the Min Min Encounter.The Min Min Encounter is a tribute to the long honoured art of the bush yarn, all based around the famed Min Min Light phenomenon.The show goes for 45 min and introduces you to the story of the Min Min light by various characters who claim to have seen the mysterious light. We spent two nights at Boulia, the first day we didn't do too much except for the normal routine of washing and trying to catch up with the blog.
The next morning we had a lovely coffee at the cafe before going in to see the Min Min Encounter. It was very well done and well worth seeing.Next we went around to the Stonehouse which was built in 1888 by the store keeper James E Jones.The Jones family lived in the house until 1970 when Boulia Shire Council purchased it and turned it into a Museum, it is now one of Boulia biggest tourist attractions.In the same grounds is a Marine Fossil Exhibit where you can see that Boulia over 100 million years ago was part of an Inland Sea.This amazing display includes Vertebrate and Invertebrate fossils dating back 500 million years, an Ichthyosaur skull, the skull of a baby Ichthyosaur (dolphin like marine reptile), the pectoral fin of a large fish, & several giant nautilus shells.New displays are being added regularly.d*** Suter who we met at the Museum is working on a specimen in the shed at the back, so when you go there to look at the Marine Fossil Display, go around and meet Dinosaur Dick, he is the man behind this amazing display and also the caretaker of the Stonehouse Historical Museum. He will be there chipping and dusting away at a rock to reveal the enormous skeleton of an extinct marine creature.He and his mate discovered the fossilized remains of several species of sea creatures on a property not far from Boulia some 13 years ago.They work tirelessly without any funding or recognition from any organization.Their display would have to be one of the most comprehensive and truly amazing fossil displays I have ever seen. I just cannot understand that something as important as this can be overlooked and not recognized as part of Australia's Heritage.It has to be just as important a find as what Riversleigh was and be recognized as such.
While we were at the info centre we realized that we had just missed out on the famous Camel races by only 4 days.Boulia was the first town to run such and event and it has been going for several years now.It is held on the 3rd weekend in July and attracts people form all over the world.Now other towns in the outback are jumping on the bandwagon and Winton was the next to hold their Camel races so we decided to make a dash for Winton the next morning. We have never seen the Camel Races (I have ridden one though) it should be a lot of fun. & if you keep on reading our blog you will find out ……keep well & happy LOL to all xxxxxx Carol