09.08.2009 - 16.08.2009
G'day One and All
Today marks the official start of the reunion and the reason we're in Longreach. Temperatures have certainly headed up, over 35 degrees yesterday and even hotter today by the feel of it.
Last Monday 10 Aug was spent on 'make and mend' or housekeeping. Fuel, food and some more clothes for the warmer weather. Spent Tuesday in Sapphire and Rubyvale. We decided to search for gem stones the 'easy' way by buying a 'bag of gravel' for $25. We then spent over 2 hours washing and scratching through the gravel. The guy who runs the place showed us the basic techniques and then left us to it. Initially we didn't have a clue but progressively got better at identifying the 'gems'. Jenny found one good stone which is being polished and may one day be set in a ring. There were 3 or 4 'interesting' stones and about 2 thimbles-full of chips - sapphires and zircons.
Wednesday 12 Aug we left Emerald and headed for Longreach. A very long day heading West into a stiff breeze. Short breaks in Jericho and Barcaldine broke up the 400+ Km journey. Lots of caravans and a few road-trains. The bow-wave of the road-trains invariably caused my extension mirror to shift out of place. Will need to do something about that, but don't know what.
Checked into the caravan park at about 1345. Huge park over 300 sites plus cabins and camping areas. No shade and 'unusually hot weather' made any activity a bit of a challenge.
Thursday 13 Aug started with a telephone interview with the presenter of the local Radio Breakfast Show. I don't know how many people were up at 0710 but we chatted for about 10 minutes. After breakfast we explored the town and tried to track down a wheel-chair for hire. Long story there, but we eventually tracked one down at the local hospital. Also called in to the Radio Station and was given a CD of the interview, I promise not to bore you all by attaching it to an email.
Friday a number of the reunion attendees arrived at the caravan park and the 55 AESS/EWPS Family continued to grow. Blokes who hadn't seen each other since 1970 took all of 15 minutes and a beer or two to make up for lost time and start to relive their youthful days. Collected the wheel-chair from the hospital and a parcel from the Post Office. I'd ordered some electrical connectors on Ebay from Emerald, they were in Longreach in just 4 days. Not bad service. Spent most of the afternoon retro-fitting the new style connectors to the Nissan and the caravan.
Saturday 15 Aug the flow of arrivals becomes a flood and there are now 15 caravans of reunion attendees in the park. Fortunately there's room for some 'normal' travellers too. Dave & Chris McCormack arrived today, it was great to catch up with them again. Dave's not travelling too well but is determined to be here. Another inspirational couple is the Colemans and Liz celebrates her 72nd Birthday tomorrow. Not bad for a lady who has had to fight off cancer three times.
Sunday 16 Aug - today promises to be a busy one. There are people to pick up from the airport, registrations to be completed and new people to meet. I'll get this off early or else it will not get done at all.
We hope this finds you as it leaves us, in good health and remember, if the thought of reading this boring stuff for the next 10 weeks isn't to your taste, just let me know and I'll drop you from "the list".