FRIDAY 7 AUGUST
Packed up camp at Surprise Creek and headed south down the track to Opalton. As it is starting to get a bit hot during the day we have taken to breaking camp prior to having breakfast. This way we get packed up before the heat arrives.
It was only about 100 kilometres to Opalton along a very dusty but quiet good gravel road. We have at last left the caravans behind. As we will now be on gravel roads for a considerable time I have reduced tyre pressures by 3 psi. Passed through areas of mitchell grass plains and ironstone ridges.
Despite the “Welcome to Opalton” there really is not much left of the time when over 600 miners searched for opals here. Now there are only about 30 miners left all however hoping to strike it rich.
We called into the “Outpost” a store for emergency rations and a bit of a community centre. They already knew that two camper trailers where headed there way. The “outback telegraph” works really well out here. The chap at the store showed us different kinds of opals and explained how they are found.
We have set up camp in the bush camping area which is great. Toilet and cold showers for $2 a night. Also lots of flies but that is just part of the outback. The camping area is surrounded by mullock heaps in fact the whole area seems to consist of mullock heaps.
We are using gidgee wood for our camp fires. This is terrific wood to cook on. Burns very slowly but produces great coals for the camp oven. In the morning stir the coals throw on a log and the fire comes to life. The coals eventually burn away to a fine white ash. Gidgee is perhaps the best of all woods to cook on.