We detoured inland from the Queensland coast to visit Sharni’s ultimate destination – a town called Banana. On the way we passed through Charters Towers, a town founded on a gold rush that saw it’s population boom to 30,000 and the opening of it’s own stock exchange. Today the population is around 8,000. The town has a nice feeling about it with it’s shop lined streets and old buildings, somewhat like Kalgoorlie in WA. An old school mining town with some culture and heritage. There was some art festival on when we passed through so we had a look at that. At night we went to the Charters Towers drive-in cinemas and watched Monsters University and some really bad movie with Johnny Depp that was so poor we didn’t finish watching it.
Our starter battery failed at the drive-in. It had been a bit dodgy for a while actually. We couldn’t start off the auxiliary battery either since that was already weak. Our system can tolerate one bad battery and still start the car ok but when both batteries are bad we cannot go. Had to get a jump start from the chap next to us at the cinemas. That night we camped up at a rest stop, parking our car facing east into clear sky with our solar panels deployed so that the starter battery would get a charge first thing in the morning and we’d be ok to start the engine, fingers crossed.