. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: May 17, 2000

Wednesday, May 17, 2000
Mt. Isa to Charters Towers, QLD, Australia
Australia's FlagQueensland's Flag

Charters Towers, QLD, Australia:
Latitude: 20° 4' 30" South
Longitude: 146° 15' 27" East
Altitude: 1042 feet
From Seattle: 8107 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Rix

Today's Travel:
Country: Australia
Region: Queensland
Route: Car: Barkly Highway (A66), Flinders Highway (A78)
Path:Mt. Isa - Charters Towers, QLD, Australia
Road Miles:529 miles
Linear:438 miles
Weather: Mostly Sunny / Partial Sun

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 1133
Miles Driven:184101
Linear Dist: 217202
Countries Visited: 68
Regions Visited: 259
More stats...
Hotels: 377
Friends / Family: 293
Camping: 126
Hostels: 253
Transit: 70
Other Lodging: 13
Beers: 3982

Journal Entry:
Alarm went off at seven thirty and after a quick shower and packing I checked out. Decided to change my front left tire - it's very bald and I've been meaning to change it for a week, but it's always been too hot or too wet. There's a piece missing from the jack (I know I'm an idiot for not trying to use it earlier - it looked Ok...), and it took me a while to improvise. Finally got the tire changed and the car put back together. My eight o'clock departure is now a nine o'clock departure. I stopped at the internet cafe to quickly post my journal entries (yesterday I didn't bring the disk) - at it's now a ten o'clock departure. Filled up with gas, got some food - my eight o'clock ended up being nearly eleven by the time I left Mt. Isa.

Another long drive with only a string up towns spaced an hour or two apart. The towns are virtually identical - two gas stations (one of which will be a BP), a butcher, a Woolworth's, and two saddle / tack shops. Just before dusk I drove through White Mountain's national Park, but I couldn't tell the difference from the previous 500 kilometers of bush. My late start meant that I ended up driving after dark. There were tons of kangaroos - both alive and road kill, and it made the drive very stressful.

Finally got to Charters Towers a couple hours after dark. I couldn't find two of the three places listed in the Lonely Planet (found the addresses, but the lodges are no longer there) and didn't feel like camping so I drove around until I found a motel. Had dinner at a nearby pub. The city is a combination of turn of the century Victorian gingerbread facade's and modern ugly. The gold rush influence is obvious and it feels a little like some of the northern Californian towns. The highlight of the day was getting waved over by the police for an "R.B.T." - when I was told this I had to ask, it's a random Breath Test. I've been hearing about these tests since I got to Australia so it was kind of fun to finally get to see one.

Related Sites:
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Australia
CIA World Fact Book: Australia

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