16.08.2009 - 23.08.2009
G'day Long Suffering Readers
Today finds us still in Longreach for our last day. It has been a busy week.
Last Sunday we welcomed a flood of people off the train and the aircraft. Jenny and a team of volunteers ferried many of them to their motels and on to the RSL Club for the 'Meet and Greet'. There was a good supply of liquid refreshments and hot 'finger food'. Whilst the room was quite cramped by the time all had registered it was great to see so many happy and excited men and women.
We spent most of Monday printing off 'mug shots' of each of the participants. We had an almost constant stream of 'visitors' dropping in for a chat. Didn't go anywhere or do anything much.
Tuesday we assembled for the commemorative service at the cenotaph which was well attended by other veterans who were in the area. The local newspaper photographer was there, as were a good number of locals. After the service we sat down for a three-course lunch which was both excellently prepared and presented. Staff were efficient, friendly and very obliging. To my mind definitely the highlight of the event.
Wednesday was spent recovering and working out how the finances were holding up. In the evening the ladies dinned in the Longreach Club while we held a meeting in a separate room. After considerable discussion it was decided that the next Reunion - 2011 will be either in the Perth area or Broken Hill.
Thursday we saw off a few of the revellers and finalised the Income & Expenses report. We also took our mate Bert to lunch at the Eagle's Nest Grill. I demolished one of the biggest burgers I've seen. In addition to the usual salad and healthy stuff there was a beef pattie, a chunk of rib fillet steak, rashers of bacon and two fried eggs. It required a 10 inch skewer to hold it together. The whole creation sat on a bed of hot beer battered potato chips. This was polished off and then topped off with a slab of cake, fruit salad, whipped cream and ice-cream. No need for any dinner !!
Friday we saw Darby off on the Greyhound Coach and Bert, Geoff and Barry at the airport. Returned Bert's wheelchair, did some grocery shopping and sweltered in the caravan annex as temperature climbed to 35+.
Saturday we ferried the Mulhollands and the Barsenbecks out to the airport and said farewell to a number departing from the caravan park. To the best of our knowledge we're the only members of the reunion group remaining in Longreach. Filled up with fuel and some last-minute purchases and retired to the caravan. Temperature in the annex is now over 37 degrees. Most of the town packs up at noon on Saturday and re-opens on Monday morning. Drove out to the Thompson River just out of town. There are over 50 rigs there at the free-camp.
Did my usual walk this morning and packed up some of the gear while it remained a little cooler. They are predicting a top of 40 degrees today so we won't be doing much of a physical nature. Tonight I'll pack up the rest of our camp and be ready for an early departure in the morning. We head North West from here and then North up to Karumba on the Gulf.
We will try to keep in touch but we're uncertain about the Network coverage until we get back to the more populated areas.
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 9 weeks isn't to your taste, just let me know and I'll drop you from "the list".