Mt Isa – Cloncurry
Yesterday I arranged for us to have a late check out so that we could go somewhere this morning before hitching the caravan up. Easier to find a parking spot without it.
And because we weren’t in a hurry this morning Brett took Elisha and Cayley (Jos didn’t want to, and I still wasn’t sure about my foot) to climb the hill behind the caravan park. This is the view of the park from there.
I think the kids were quite pleased with themselves for climbing to the top, and enjoyed the view they were rewarded with.
After Darwin was bombed in the Second World War there were ideas that perhaps Isa would be next and precautions were taken. The miners were called in to help dig the mines – and thirteen weeks later an underground hospital was ready.
When the air raid sirens would go off everyone would be transferred from the main hospital building down into the tunnels. Each tunnel was like a ward, and from memory these were divided by gender and age rather than illness; men, women, children.
After the war, it was kept open for storage for a couple of years, and sometimes used as a cooler resting place for the nurses before air-conditioning, but eventually closed up and forgotten about by most. When it was remembered it was in terrible disrepair – one tunnel has been left that way to show the extent of the damage.
The regular hospital building – the above ground – is a museum of hospital equipment. Some painful looking stuff in there!
After visiting the hospital we went packed up the caravan and continued our journey. On the way to our next destination I read to the kids the final history of Burke and Wills, and how it was discovered what happened to them when Gray? was eventually found. Then we stopped for lunch in a rest area where once Burke and Wills had crossed.
Now it just so happens that we landed in Cloncurry on the weekend of the Curry Merry Muster Festival. And that meant street parade and mini rodeo Friday night. And today just happens to be Friday. So late in the afternoon we headed out to find a spot to watch the parade from. Brett and I loved this sign.
I know, I know, we’re so high brow!
Eventually, of course, the parade started. The theme of the parade this year was “Cowboys and Indians, How You See It”, and there were some great floats. My pictures from here on in are not fantastic, because the light was low, the action was fast, and I didn’t want to use my flash and waste the battery… that said however, I took a tonne of photos. Almost literally.
The parade was fun to watch. But for the kids it was extremely exciting, because, everyone was throwing lollies at them. Lollies!
There were other things to see in the parade too:
Some interesting animals
Straight from the parade we headed over to the rodeo. I was pretty excited. Never been to one before. The kids were too, though I’m not sure they knew what to expect. I don’t have very many clear photos from this part of the night. I needed to conserve my battery, so I didn’t want to use the flash, that meant a slow shutter speed, which meant blurry photos. But here’s a few.
I should also point out that this was not the main rodeo – which is tomorrow – but is a showcase of what goes on the main day. But it’s free. We like free.
First there was warm up.
The next event was a bucking horse ride – had to try and stay on for eight seconds.
If the rider made the eight seconds, then they would somehow get from the horse they were riding to a calmer option. Don’t ask me how.
… and then…
the bull ride!
Oh my. The power, speed and agility of these animals is scary. And I haven’t decided who I think is braver (or is that crazier); the riders or the bull fighters (protection athletes).
Here’s some cowboys.
Who gets your vote?
Just one more anecdote and photo, then I’m done.
This afternoon before we headed out to the parade we let the kids watch a bit of something on the iPad. Today’s selection was Superman.
Jos is quite enamoured.