Tuesday 14th May, (Longreach).

We had our meal out last night that was included in a riverboat cruise on the local river. The river is only a river as such when it is raining and then apparently the river can be several miles wide.

At the moment, not having rained, the river is actually the largest natural inland body of water in Queensland. It is about 50 metres wide and about 24 feet deep; I can’t remember how many kilometres long it is. The boat we travelled on was a flat bottom punt type; there is also a paddle steamer although a pretend one. All in all the evening was very enjoyable and quite worth doing. We journeyed a fair way up river and was given a running commentary while our meal orders were taken and cooking started. Then we turned around and returned back down river a short way when it was time to observe the sunset. Being on the river, below the land level by about 10 feet, the sunset is made a little more spectacular, especially when they moored the boat and we were free to disembark and watch the sunset above the ripple free river, even more spectacular.

As darkness set in we sat down to dine on our return trip and after the meal we were treated to a poetic recital by the crew. I get the impression the locals are heavily into poetry, recitals and writing, as a past time.

We booked into the caravan park for an extra couple of days as I have ordered more tobacco from Tassie and it generally takes a full week to turn up. This lot turned up today after only 3 working days, makes one wonder why they can’t manage it all the time, so we will now have to decide how long we will stay here. We are not likely to give up a paid for day but we did get one free after paying for a total of 6, so that one won’t matter. We are looking forward to getting back to the coast.

It is now looking as though, if we don’t stay too long at each visit on the way, we might meet up with Denis and Sue Bowden at Townsville. Denis and Sue are another couple from Tassie and Denis used to work with me. He received a package at the same time as I, and he was actually the one who had to stay back and see all the others off before he left.