Townsville to Charters Towers, Australia
Tuesday… Knowing that everything would be more expensive in the outback, we spent the morning stocking up on essentials: 30 litres of drinking water, gas for our stove, tins of sweetcorn and tomatoes, pasta and noodles etc. Our first stop was just 130 km west of Townsville – ‘Charters Towers’- a gold rush town in the 1900’s, now a ghost town. And by town, I mean two roads with shops along them and a handful of wide and quiet grid style streets with detached houses widely spaced out. You could fit ten London homes in the space beween each house. On the way, we speculated on when we’d see our first roadtrain. I suggested within the next two days, and Mike said ‘on a Tuesday’. He was just being daft. Within 15 minutes, our first roadtrain shuddered past us. Sixty-two tyres, high as my shoulders, as long as three long vehicles at home, in total fifty-three metres long. Driving towards us at 100km/h, on a single carriageway, shaking the ground and our car as it passed. The tankers were carrying Shell petrol. After that, each time they came by, I pulled over to the gravel verge and slowed. Those, and the odd caravan or trailer were the only things we saw. Altogether, six vehicles passed us today. Can’t believe – Mike was right for once, about seeing our first roadtrain on a Tuesday!