Boot Scootin’ in Barcaldine

Line Dancing seems appropriate when you are attending The Guiness Book of Records Challenge for the Longest Line of RV’s and our group of Solos love 💖 their line dancing.

The Longest Line of RV’s Challenge, Barcaldine Qld

There are five pubs in Barcaldine so today they started their line dancing at a pub crawl around 10am and continued down the street until they had danced at them all!

…. With an occasional drink at the bar! Well, it’s not a pub crawl without a drink now, is it? 🍺

The Longest Line of RV’s Challenge, Barcaldine Qld

Not content with dancing their way down the main street of Barcaldine they turned up tonight to dance under Barcy’s Tree of Knowledge*, lit in the Lions colours of blue and yellow as a thank you for bringing this event to town.

Tree of Knowledge, Barcaldine Queensland The Longest Line of RV’s Challenge, Barcaldine Qld

The Longest Line of RV’s Challenge, Barcaldine QldThe Longest Line of RV’s Challenge, Barcaldine Qld

Barcaldine may never recover from the crazy antics of us all here for The Longest Line – and let’s face it, we have to be crazy to think that lining up with 936 other RV’s is going to be fun. It’s not called a Challenge for nothing!

*more about the Tree of Knowledge in another post.

Lining Up For Lions

I’m participating in The Longest Line of RV’s Guiness Book of Records Challenge, organised by the Australian Motorhoming Lions Club.

Brochure for AMLC Longest Line Challenge

It’s a massive organisational challenge also. Over 900 RV’s have arrived in the small Western Queensland town of Barcaldine (bar-call-din) and been parked at the Showgrounds awaiting the formation of The Longest Line on Sunday.

Mind you, it was almost like a rehearsal for the main event as we lined up to enter the Showgrounds today.

Lining up for entry to The Longest Line Challenge

This line you can see is 3 vehicles wide. The photo above is looking ahead of my little van, Brutus the Beast, and below is looking behind

Lining up for entry to The Longest Line Challenge

I am camped on the football field and couldn’t be happier with my location – lovely green grass underfoot makes a change from dry, dusty earth.

Camping for The Longest Line Challenge

And here we all are enjoying Happy Hour with a couple of friends 😂

Happy Hour at The Longest Line Challenge

What a spectacular way to end the day!

I’m In Hot Water!

I’m not in trouble though, the hot water bubbles up from the Great Artesian Basin and is the water supply for Blackall and surrounding areas.

Our here where Artesian water flows there is no need to turn on the hot water tap – water comes out of the cold tap at 36 degrees Celsius or 97 degrees Fahrenheit. As a matter of fact you can turn off your hot water supply and use the storage tank as a cooling tank to supply cold water! Yep, things work in reverse out here 😮

Want to know more about the Artesian Basin? This short video will fill in the gaps.

The Week That Was

For the last seven days I have attended a rally/muster of solo travellers in Blackall, Western Queensland. Here’s a snapshot of some of the fun 😊

Sunday May 12

CMCA Solos Rally, Blackall Queensland

Over 300 RV’s were parked up at the Blackall Showgrounds.

CMCA Solos Rally, Blackall Queensland

Monday May 13

Our welcome dinner had a crazy hat theme.

Crazy hats at CMCA Solos Rally, Blackall Queensland Crazy hats at CMCA Solos Rally, Blackall Queensland Crazy hats at CMCA Solos Rally, Blackall Queensland

Tuesday May 14

Sights around the grounds:

CMCA Solos Rally, Blackall Queensland CMCA Solos Rally, Blackall Queensland

Wednesday May 15

Barefoot Bowls at the local Bowling Club

CMCA Solos Rally, Blackall Queensland

Thursday May 16

Op Shop Fashion Parade- clothing from the local charity store.

Op shop fashion at CMCA Solos Rally, Blackall Queensland Op shop fashion at CMCA Solos Rally, Blackall Queensland Op shop fashion at CMCA Solos Rally, Blackall Queensland

Friday May 17

Our dinner and dance theme was Country Style

Line dancing at CMCA Solos Rally, Blackall Queensland

Saturday May 18

Our last night together and it is traditionally a skit night – fun acts that have us all laughing and demonstrations of skills learned during the week such as ukulele rock n roll and line dancing.

CMCA Solos Rally, Blackall Queensland

CMCA Solos Rally, Blackall Queensland CMCA Solos Rally, Blackall Queensland

The action wasn’t all at night! During the day there were tours to local attractions, dance classes, ukulele lessons, craft sessions ( fondly known as ‘stitch and bitch’), seminars on everything from health to house sitting, and the artesian spa pool was right next door to our venue.

It’s been a fabulous week! Now for a couple of rest days before the next event.

I’m off to participate in a Guinness Book of Records Challenge to form the Longest Line of RV’s. Italy 🇮🇹 currently holds the record. Australia 🇦🇺 plans to smash it next Saturday night. Wish us luck!

A Relic From A Bygone Era

The Blackall Wool Scour is now one of a kind in Australia and has fortunately been preserved with a Heritage Listing to ensure it is maintained as a valuable, and interesting, link to the past. It no longer scours wool though, it is used purely as a tourist attraction.

Blackall is fortunate in that it draws water from the Artesian Basin deep in the earth below. It comes to the surface steaming hot at 58 degrees Celsius.

The Blackall Wool Scour

Although the scour stopped operations in 1978 the magnificent steam driven machinery, dating from 1907, has been restored and maintained by enthusiastic volunteers with the help of Government grants.

The Blackall Wool ScourThe Blackall Wool Scour

Massive boilers generate the steam, driving the machinery that runs smoothly and quietly despite it being over 100 years old.

The wool goes through a washing process in several tanks.

The Blackall Wool Scour

Paddles push it through the tanks … they look like pitchforks attached to a conveyor belt!

The Blackall Wool Scour

After washing to remove dirt, oils and plant matter the wool goes through a massive dryer containing several levels.

The Blackall Wool ScourThe Blackall Wool Scour

Once dry it is ‘pressed ‘ into bales by a wool press.

And then shipped around the world.

Well, that is my very simplistic description of the process. I found this diagram that explains it in more detail – and have a look at what a ton of wool contains! No wonder they have to wash it!

The Blackall Wool Scour

I found this tour to the Blackall Wool Scour very interesting. The grounds are also very well maintained and have old machinery and tractors dotted around.

The Blackall Wool Scour

And to finish off? A bit of good old Aussie bush tucker – damper with a drizzle of Cockies Joy (Golden Syrup)!

The Blackall Wool Scour

The Aussie Salute

We’re all doing the Aussie Salute, waving away the sticky little bush flies! They just don’t leave you alone here in Blackall.

Nets for Bush flies in Blackall

We’ve bought every fly net available in town and they’ve had to bring in more supplies. People that swore they’d never be seen dead wearing a fly net are sporting them like the latest fashion statement.

I absolutely swear by my ‘fly ointment ‘ that I bought in Alice Springs in 2015. A little dab around the ears and the flies literally buzz off!

Natures Botanical Fly ointment

And the gifts for the volunteers at our rally here was this very handy little fly switch.

Fly switch souvenir from Blackall

Everyone is doing the Aussie Salute!

Now I find out from Wikipedia that it is also called the Barcoo salute! Where are we? At Blackall on the Barcoo River! We’re in the thick of bush fly country!

Wikipedia excerpt about the Aussie Bush Salute

Here’s my poetic comment about flies …..

Flies! The Aussie bush wave is no surprise

As they get up your nose and into your eyes

And be careful you don’t open your mouth too wide

Because those little bush flies will fly inside.

It’s hard to be ladylike hawking and spitting

When you’re sitting at the craft table chatting and knitting.

You open your mouth and in an instant it’s done –

The fly’s in like a shot – a hole in one!

So we live with our fly nets and ointments and sprays

To fight off the flies that ruin our days,

And if we survive ’til the sun goes down

Those little bush flies must go off to town

For they disappear as soon as it’s night

Much to everyone’s delight!

When we leave Blackall there will be many goodbyes,

Fond ones to to the locals – not so fond to the flies.

Cartoon of Bush flies.