Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July 17th

Under a clear sky , we left Cobbold Gorge Resort after a restful few days. There was very little internet connection so blog updates have been uncertain. Before Leaving we heard John Olsten  being interviewed on ‘Australia All Over’ It was interesting to hear his progress. He had become very wet through the rain event which had also made the track so muddy that it was impossible for him to push his trailer. Eventually he called into a station homestead for some assistance. He took a few days to dry out then he was on his way again with ‘bitumen roads’ on his mind.
We headed south to Agate Creek and Gilberton. We drove in to the Agate Creek Safari Camp which offered free camping with lots of space. One old guy had been there since March collecting gemstones from time to time. It is a remote camp with the closest availability of food stores at nearby Forsayth.
Water crossing south of Cobbold restort
We came upon a sign which said Rungalla National Park which is not marked on any of our maps. It seemed to be within the Ortona Station property. Within this property we also found two historical memorials. One was a brief history of the Ortona Copper Mine and the second was a similar memorial to the Teamsters who drove the Clydesdale horses which transported the copper out of the hills.
The road and trees were really pretty after the rain. We survived two really boggy creek crossings but otherwise the gravel road was very good. Many areas were predominantly Narrow Leaved Iron Bark trees..eucalyptus cebra, John picked a few for me as I believe that the leaves of the Iron bark trees can give good colour when used for dyeing fabric..we will see! We also picked some large silver leaves which were quite infested with grub damage. This has now been identified as an Iron Bark tree..the Silver Leaved Iron Bark or eucalyptus shirleyi.
Another interesting tree growing by the roadside was 4-5 metres in height and in full bloom. I think it was a hakea of some type but I have not identified it positively. It had exceptionally long phylodes about 30cm in length. The massed blooms were cream in colour. I was unable to find a hakea nut on the tree or under it and this would have positively identified the tree as a hakea. The trunk was gnarled with thick bark similar to hakea trees we have found across the Australian Deserts.
It took us ages to find a suitable campsite for this evening. Eventually we have camped near a wonderful stand of large cypress type trees. From the map we think the property is Oak Park. We sat by a great campfire and under a relatively clear sky. We are very aware of the sky because further rain is forcast.

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