Lots of snaps for you this time, click the images at the bottom of the page to enlarge them.
After much searching and nearly giving up hope we’ve finally bought some wheels! We got a bargain on a 94 land cruiser with 450,000km on the clock. The engine is good, the aircon is chilly and it has a few unnecessary but fun mods like raised suspension. Adam was able to try it out on some pretty gnarly local hills under the guidance of two friends, Jon and Felix (pics below). We have plans to take it on a road trip to Cairns later in the month.
The main bars in Mount Isa are functional places to drink but are decorated like motorway service stations. There is one place though which is more more of our vibe called ‘the shack’. This is a very literal description of the venue. Its is a tin shack with a few plastic chairs and a wonky wooden stage outside. The bar serves drinks from an old style cooler which looks like a really long Aga oven where each door is filled with drinks and ice. It’s primarily a live music venue with a sort of open mic policy. The first guy who plays to us open with a long and only partly comprehensible preamble about how the Chinese are staging an insidious coup d’etat in Australia. He plays the guitar, harmonica and ankle bells. He wears feathers around his shoes and head. Each song is punctuated with another ramble. Song writing was overall slightly questionable but it was nice to hear folk music with political tone, even if it felt a little misdirected. After that a guy played some piano versions of pop tunes which went down well, and lastly the lady who runs the nice played sang and played some guitar covers. She had that sort of look of indeterminate age that people have when they are really enjoying what they are doing.
There have been a couple of really amazing storms in the last few days. Rain has been short-lived but the thunder+lightening is incredible. Apparently the metal ore in the rocks has some effect on the lightning. We’ve never seen anything like it. Video below.
We’ve also been on a trip out to East Leichhardt with Felix and Erica. There is body of water there created by a section of dammed river, originally created as an emergency supply of water for the nearby, now defunct, uranium mine. The old uranium mine itself is a planned trip for the future, particularly as there is a ‘ghost town’ nearby of the supporting small settlement where the mine workers and their families lived. When the mine was closed most of them moved (with their houses!), so there is just the roads and bits of other infrastructure without any people or houses.
The area around East Leichhardt is lovely, you can swim or take a canoe if you have one, there are rocks and rope swings to play with. There is an abundance of birdlife including lots of stuff we don’t see so much of in the UK like pelicans. Small freshwater turtles poke their noses up occasionally for air. It’s very peaceful, aside from one other group of revellers nearby who decided to bring a jet-ski (!)