Our car battery broke in Longreach. It wasn’t a slow deterioration, but rather a sudden failure. It got super hot, boiled over, and completely flattened itself. I suspect an internal short caused by our old friend from Savannah Way – corrugations. Luckily my auxiliary battery can start the car. I disconnected the main battery and ran completely off the auxiliary We had planned to camp on the side of the road halfway between Longreach and Brisbane, but with only one battery it wasn’t possible as the fridges would deplete the battery overnight and leave us unable to start in the morning. We phoned ahead to stay in a caravan park in a town called Roma – $35 a night. Felt pretty ripped off, seeing as we were arriving late and leaving early, staying only for the sake of keeping the battery charged. Luckily was noticed a $15 per night powered camping sign at Muckadilla – a very small town on the side of the highway. It’s basically just a pub and nothing else. The pub is great. Character timber structure, well maintained, friendly owner, interesting bits of history and furniture. The $20 we saved by not going to Roma was budget to spend at the pub. We ended up going over budget, having a late night chatting with some folks and the owner in the pub.
On the way to Muckadilla we passed through Barcaldine – home of the tree of knowledge memorial. It’s also home to a heap of pubs, half a dozen of them almost side by side. All older style pubs well presented and quite appealing for a drink. Actually we’ve found a bit of a pattern in outback Queensland – the historic pubs are clean and in excellent condition.
Another town we passed through was Blackall , where the black stump is located. You can be either beyond the black stump or this side of the black stump, signifying the transition between civilization and the remote outback.