|Underground Hospital at Mt Isa|
It was on the Stuart Highway outside Barrow Creek that my brother was born on 13 December 1961. It was a hot and uncomfortable summer event for my mother and the midwife assisting and led to my brother’s name, Kendall Stuart; Kendall after the midwife and Stuart after the highway near which he was born. Unfortunately, my brother died in 1976 and never got to revisit his birthplace. Every time I drive past Barrow Creek, I think of my mother and Kendall as I did on this occasion.
We hadn’t intended to travel as far as Tennant Creek, but wanted to free camp overnight at the Devil’s Marbles. But, times change and now while camping is allowed, caravan parking overnight isn’t allowed. On we drove to a nicely presented road-side stop at Bonney Well where we stayed overnight before heading to Tennant Creek to the north and then branching east towards Mount Isa on day two.
The trip across the Barkly Highway is long and tedious, but we cruised along at 90 km/hr seeing dozens of other caravaners heading in both directions. At this time of year, many people from southern states head north to warmer climates.
Near Camooweal, about 180 km from Mount Isa, we stopped at the edge of the Georgina River where there were large numbers of birds including brolgas, living in proximity to a few pools of water left over from the last rain. The next morning, we drove the final leg to the Silver City, Mount Isa. As we had lived at Mount Isa for four years from July, 1984, it’s a little like coming home when we visit.
We stayed for two nights giving us time to visit some friends, have dinner at the local Irish Club, and check out some of the changes eg, the underground hospital, is now open to the public (see photos).
|Towards the entrance door|
We departed on the second morning and headed east to Richmond.