Day 4 saw us wake to a beautiful sunrise in Kynuna and the news we were sitting in fifth spot. Day 4 was our longest driving day – 600+kms.
After breakfast and the briefing we helped the Old Bulls diagnose a mechanical issue.
Then Soni jumped in with the Wagon Wheels to navigate for them and we all set off for the Walkabout Creek Hotel. It seemed like a travesty to be there before 10am, but we consoled ourselves with a coffee and a look around.
We visited the Julia Creek State School for lunch. Then continued on, stopping to admire some old mine workings at Three Rivers.
The last stage of the day saw us pass through beautiful private properties, including a stunning dry river crossing. We overnighted at the Burke and Wills Roadhouse. Kenny’s rear right wheel had accumulated dust between the brake disc and the wheel, so we asked the Army if they’d be willing to give him a little TLC. Not only did they pick him up from where we’d parked him; they took the whole wheel off, gave the disc a really good blow out then dropped it back to camp (all while we were dining, drinking and carrying on). If only we could get that kind of service at home!
At the end of Day 4 we were in fourth place with 66 penalty point for the four days, but all that was about the change!
Susan, Sonia and I had arranged to skip the rally stages, drive straight to Karumba and go fishing. Now I won’t name any names, but one of our crew was quite skilled at wagging school in her day.
Soni says Apparently, the secret to good wagging is flying under the radar, but all chances of that were thwarted when we took off out of the Burke and Wills Roadhouse, Soni put her foot down and Kenny screamed!
We limped back to the Roadhouse, wrung our hats in our hands and asked the Army if they’d consider looking at Kenny for the second time in twelve hours. Not long after three camouflaged butts were hanging under our bonnet, diagnosing a loose fan belt. We were back on the road without too much fuss, and we made a beeline for Karumba. (Stopping for essential supplies – beer and fried chicken – in Normanton.)
Once aboard Kerry D charters, it didn’t take long for the Angels to hook up. The first salmon I landed in the boat was 56cm (which just so happens to be our car number). We took this as a good omen, and it wasn’t long before the first became many!
Back on dry land, we made our way to the accommodation that Soni had so cleverly booked ahead, for a shower and a change, before heading to the pub for some sundowners.
I’d heard lots about the Karumba sunset, but I’m pleased to report it is just as lovely as everyone says. Goodness we had a great night!
Wagging to go fishing cost us though: we tallied 45 penalty points for skipping the rally stages and plunged from fourth to nineteenth place but we had no regrets – we couldn’t have done it once we were home!
Day six saw us head from Karumba to Einasleigh. We spotted brolgas and jabirus on our way out of Karumba, the country then became dry and the termite mounds reappeared. After lunch in Croydon (Stan Kelly’s hometown), Amanda jumped in with the Old Bulls for a stage and she learned just how important navigating is when you’re doing it at pace! There’s a bit more time between instructions when you’re in Kenny. 😉
We got up to a bit of mischief just outside of Georgetown.
We waited to see if our prank would be successful, but no one came. So we set off to Forsayth where we pulled up for a beer, only to have Jimmy, Avril and Heather arrive moments later. It was fabulous to have them back and the party continued into the night at the Einasleigh Hotel!
We can’t thank the Einasleigh crew enough for their hospitality. Our camp oven dinner was delicious – they’d even recruited a baker to help make beautiful rolls to go with our stew.
Through the evening, we started to hear a few anecdotes from people who’d encountered a snake at a gate on the stage before Forsayth. We laughed ’til our faces hurt that night!