Tuesday 31st August 2021
Well another month has gone by and we are still in Queensland. Who would have thought we would be away this long.
I forgot to tell you how friendly the aboriginals were at Adels Grove and Boodjamulla National Park. They were always smiling, happy, laughing and dancing. They were always happy to have a chat.
Today we did a bit of touring in Mt Isa. Firstly, we went to the Hospital Museum, the Underground Hospital and a Tent House ($16 each).
The Hospital Museum is setup as a maternity wing with beds, cots and instruments.
Then we went down to the Underground Hospital which was built by Mine workers in war time after the bombing of Darwin Hospital. The miners had already done their 8 hour shift in the mine, then they came and worked for another three or four hours voluntarily to build the underground hospital. It was fully fitted out with equipment and beds etc, except for patients, but they were brought there in their weekly air raid drills. At this time all staff were on deck to transport the patients to the underground hospital. There were three wings – Male, Female and Maternity, plus a space for surgery. After the war when the underground hospital was no longer needed the nurses used it for sleeping during the day as it was a lot cooler down there.
The Tent houses developed over the years from canvas tents, to tents with tine roofs over the top and the with tin walls as well. They were basic two or three rooms, which were later extended to include a kitchen and bathroom. Initially the kitchen and bathroom were outside. These had many things inside that both David and I remember seeing as young children.
After lunch we headed on our Hard Times Mine Tour ($85 each) which was a three hour tour underground in a purpose built touring mine. It has never been worked in, it is just a simulation of a mine. David said it is quite realistic. They have been running tours there since about 2004. It was very interesting but unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos. It was quite good value.
At about 4.30pm we headed on our way to Cloncurry about 120km east. On the way we stopped at the Mary Kathleen Uranium Open Cut Mine and the site of the Mary Kathleen Township. This took a lot longer than anticipated to drive the 7km detour because the road although bitumen was heavily pot-holed.
We finally arrived at Cloncurry at 7.05pm, we are getting into bad habits again today. We have to change that as it is so much easier when we get settled by 5pm. I am not sure where we are headed tomorrow, only time will tell.