Around 8am the next morning, we headed off for Jundah. It is almost 100km from Windorah and the road runs through some fantastically barren land with the occasional grid, sheep or cow showing up. The day was hot too, and by the time we reached Jundah early afternoon, we were knackered. Not like the horse that was being trotted down one of the main streets of the town next to a car (as you do).
Jundah Caravan Park is council operated like Windorah. The facilities were new and clean. The shade and grass options were almost zero. Luckily there were only a couple of caravans there when we arrived and we managed to jag one of two pieces of shade in the whole place. There was no grass to be had however, so we set up the tent with just the inner on the gravel.
Once again, the visitor information centre had free wifi and a very friendly staff member. We have been really impressed with the helpfulness and facilities available at visitor information centres in these small towns. Not once has our cycle touring sweatiness or smelliness been mentioned, but we have had many interesting conversations about rural issues, farming and local life!
Jundah Pub was shut until 4pm that day so after a stroll around town and an iceblock from the store, we headed there for a beer and chat with one of the family members who own the pub. It was a very interesting afternoon, and after a great steak, chips and salad (same price or cheaper than in Townsville!) we weren’t long out of bed.
Jundah Store was another delight. It is a small general store with goods on shelves behind the counter and had just about everything you could want. Prices were significantly cheaper than Windorah, although still the sort you would expect to pay in the middle of nowhere.
We enjoyed Jundah, but with only 70kms to go the next day to Stonehenge, we got rolling just before 9am the next day after a quick visit to the store for the essentials…iced coffee, one spud and a bag of red frogs.
The day was perfect, with only a light breeze and warm but not too hot conditions. We cruised along enjoying the scenery that was changing yet again.
About 40kms out of Jundah is the ‘Jump-Up’, a scenic lookout that provided spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.
It was here that we encountered the first ‘lord of the campground’ on our trip, you know the sort, they know everything and must tell you everything regardless of whether you know it or not, which they wouldn’t know because they launch into this bossy spiel of information before they have even found out anything about you.
We had said an initial hello to the ‘lord’ and his wife and gotten a brief spurt of information upon arrival at the lookout. It is a great place to camp overnight, with campsites situated right on the edge to provide amazing views all night. While we were sitting at a table having some lunch, the fellow strode over and asked to sit with us.
“Where have you ridden from?” He asked. We briefly described our route and you could see him mulling over the direction. “And you’re heading to Longreach,” he then said. We nodded and explained it would take a us a few days to get there.
“The road is narrow to Longreach, with trucks…and it’s very long.” There was an excited tremor in his voice as he explained the perils of travelling the road to Longreach.
A pause ensued then, while we sat in bemused silence pondering the hundreds of kilometres we had had to ride just to get out here, a fairly remote sort of location. Roads with single lane bitumen, roadtrains, gravel and caravans.
Unfortunately the man didn’t get the grateful response he was probably looking for. How did he think we had gotten here? We explained we had ridden a long way on those sorts of roads so far without any problem and weren’t at all worried. That casual response stumped him and he left in a hurry while we alternated between wanting to laugh hysterically and feeling irritated.
The 8% descent from the lookout finished all too quickly…
…and the road continued with undulations and plenty of barren plains.
Stonehenge is a very small town. It boasts a pub, a council run caravan park (similar standard to Windorah and Jundah) and a visitor information centre. We didn’t worry about visiting there but headed straight for the pub where we had a great chat with the Swedish backpacker working there as well as the owner, also a farmer.
We set up our tent on the one patch of grass next to the shelter area, and spent some time chatting with two caravanners who have been travelling around and working in various places for nine years.
Cooking at a real table and chairs seemed very luxurious, until we realised there were lots of little black bugs, grasshoppers and mosquitoes all attracted by the light, which had come on automatically as it got dark. The bugs kept falling from the light into our stew and we had to resort to the usual style of cooking on the ground and in the semi-darkness.
That same light also shined brightly onto our tent when we went to bed and so, with the noise of the pub across the road, mosquitoes buzzing around outside our tent, and a bright light shining in our faces, we drifted off to a restless sleep. The next couple of days would take us to Longreach with a roadside camp along the way.