Rolling into the Gold Coast we were happy to see the ocean for the first time in weeks. Surfers Paradise was the Holy Grail of Beach towns. Beautiful beaches, beautiful people lots and lots of people. We enjoyed it for a day but after that we were craving the quietness of WInton the only people in town feeling of Westonia. We started looking at our maps looking at our Wiki Camps account there must be that same feeling within a couple hours drive of the Gold Coast!
*** We found it! Glen Innes! A smallish town in the mountains, we drove five hours out of the Gold Coast into the mountains of Washpool National Park. Switch backs and great views our motorhome chugged along down shifting again and again as we drove up, up into the mountains to arrive in the Table lands. Pulling into our campground for the next two nights we were too we had arrived during Glen Innes town Show (Fair).The o
***. This towns Main Street is a throw back to 1900 for sure. Buildings here were built during some heyday of Glen Innes but now was struggling to keep itself alive. Empty store fronts and over grown homes dotted the area. A tidy town as there were workers out very early picking up anything left over from the day before. Slowly the town in the morning would come alive with pick up trucks darting out of town to work on some wind turbine farm out of town.
****. Welcome to the Glen Innes Show! As we were welcomed by a guy who wore a Show Official shirt and heard our "accents". We watched horse races, horse show jumping, two nuts jumping a bus on motorcycles and finally a guy with a bull whip that was set on fire and swung it over his head above the crowd. Finally the storm cloud that follows us around Australia caught up and we hurried home and watched the fireworks from our motorhome in a driving rain storm.
*** Sunday morning we woke early to head on off to Inverness our next small town experience. Three hours of country driving we took in the sights of the Table Lands heading downwards to the Outskirts of the Outback were we loved Australia again. Another early 1900's town we stopped at a small campground. After a small walkabout we headed to our motorhome just in time as the black cloud that has followed us throughout Australia caught up with us again. The Gods were angry this time knocking down trees and dumping loads of water on us, but the final insult was knocking out the power. Luckily Icy our motorhome holds her own without power. Joy and I really camped cooking up tacos and watching TV as the heavens poured down on us. We even had water to do the dishes and finally bedtime which was not as fun as always as our a/c does not work without power but after another hour our microwave beep back to life letting me know that power was restored!
****. After last nights cold rains we needed some warming up and Moree's hot springs were our next destination. Only three hours west and even closer to the Outback we headed for a hot pool of "Bore" water full of minerals and healing powers. Well that be said we arrived to a gloomy afternoon but the sweet warm pools of Moree. Relaxing in 95 degree water might not always be the ideal spot but with air temperature low we enjoyed some local and German company who steered us to our next destination. See we have no plans at this point so any ideals were welcome. Lighting Ridge was great and even better hot spa's.
***. So morning had us aiming even farther west, pulling into Lighting Ridge the sign announced that we were entering the edge of the Outback. Great we loved it once and again we pulled into a small quiet town with broken down trucks,cars and mining machines. We hooked up to our camp power and unhooked the bikes and headed 200 meters to Lighting Ridge's 99 degree spa. AH! Sweet mineral water makes your skin baby soft. You can open your eyes under water and not burn them. Only 15 minutes is recommended but you could stay a lifetime.
***. Lighting Ridge even had Big Rd Kangaroos, boy are they big six foot or better. Both Joy and I toured the town on "Push Bikes" checking out the Horse Race Track, Opal mines and a local Artist that was really good as we bought more art then we could carry so into the Post Office it went we'll see it again when we get home. Racking up our bikes we made the sad turn towards Sydney (SOUTH). Only days to go our Australian holiday is coming to a close. So with three camps to go we are starting to shed extra things that will not come home. Saturday we have plans but after that we are blank. One more blog, five more days and we'll be back in the USA.