We arrived in Winton late morning after travelling 230km from Hughenden. The road was not as good as the roads further north and the road trains encountered are monstrous. On single track roads they take up the entire width and must stay on the bitumen (imagine getting bogged with 3 trailers and 68 wheels!) but the drivers are all very good natured. They always thank us on the radio for getting off and ask what we are doing, causing a discussion on fingers and various other medical procedures.
On arrival in Winton we did as usual, that is head for the information centre and all meet up there. The Waltzing Matilda Centre is also the information centre in Winton and is the only attraction in the world dedicated to a song.
The boys went off to the Truck Museum and checked out the impressive display of trucks on show, while I scouted around the town looking for reasonable accommodation.
The tyres on the Landcruiser had been showing a bit of wear and Lang visited Darryn of Tuff Tyres who generously fitted for free two tyres with 50% wear for which we were very grateful.
While Lang was occupied with tyres Carl and I went to visit the community centre and learnt about the men’s shed they had opened only a week before with 35 members, exceeding all their expectations. These operations visibly add to, normally older, men’s mental health and give them a social outlet while actually doing something
On our way back to meet Lang we were stopped by a police car with flashing lights. We thought it was a joke but the local cop went through the entire procedure of breath testing Carl and checking his licence. None the less he was more than happy that I was photographing the unexpected event.
From there we visited the musical fence and then went out to the Airport to revisit the plaque that was erected to commemorate Lang’s re enactment of Bert Hinkler’s flight in the Avro Avian in 1998. Numerous local workers and characters were talked to during the day and all are receiving the message very well and actually joining in a discussion rather than just passively listening to us.
We had dinner at The Tattersalls Hotel which is obviously the popular haunt for a wonderful cross section of local people and travellers. The publican is a namesake of Carl also bearing the name Neilsen and he gave us a great welcome and helped pass our message to the crowd at the bar and at the dining tables.
Tomorrow we head down the Matilda Highway to Longreach.