At 5 minutes past midnight I heard rain on the roof of the van – it was only light but persistent. As we had left some windows and the door open for ventilation, I got up and closed up the van. If I had been more awake I would have taken the opportunity to bring our waterproof jackets in from the Ute. It rained all night and I didn’t sleep very well at all. I had a recurring nightmare that the soil under our van would turn into mud and that we would ski into the dam on the orange plastic blocks we put under the caravan legs. Fortunately that didn’t happen.
After showers and watching a bit of TV we were still a bit undecided as to whether we should stay and see out the rain or continue travelling north. When we heard that they were possibly expecting 30 ml of rain today our minds were made up so we packed up the van in the light rain and headed back to the highway.
First stop was not very far away at Clermont. This seems to be a nice old town with plenty of interesting heritage buildings. We did some shopping at IGA and stopped for a very good coffee at Bella Baristas café. We were contemplating staying overnight at the Clermont Caravan Park as recommended by Frosty, but it turns out that there is a large equestrian event on over the weekend and the park seemed very busy.
So we headed back to the Gregory Development Road northwards. As we left town we could not ignore the huge piles of earth around the Clermont Coal Mine, and what looked like an incredibly long undercover conveyor belt, presumably to move coal from the mine to the railway.
We had lunch at a roadside stop near the entrance to Frankfield Station. We were a bit intrigued by the sign for the Dead Horse Yards!
Another 100 kms or so and we reached our destination – Belyando Crossing Roadhouse. This is a small roadhouse with very expensive diesel, a licensed bar and quite a good shop with meals etc. There is some reasonably priced motel style accommodation and powered and unpowered caravan sites. The layout of the powered sites is interesting in that there are three rows of sites with vans parked behind each other. We hope that the people behind us don’t want to leave at the crack of dawn! We have power but no water, and no TV, internet or mobile access.
Tonight’s accommodation is not on the same page as last night, it is just an overnight stop mid-way between Clermont and Charters Towers with nothing to see or do. However the weather is better and we are now closer to our eventual destination of Townsville.
The adventure continues…..