11 September 2006 by Sam
“The Rally has finished and was a wild success, especially the re-enactments of the Leichhardt Expedition. During one the actors pretending to be the Leichhardt Expedition were confronted by Aborigines with spears – they didn’t warn us about that and most of us nearly had heart attacks as the Aborigines rushed over the hill towards the horses ridden by the other actors. They then changed back into their dungarees and hats and joined us for Smoko (tea).
There were also lots of talks, some by me, lots of great big slabs of very nice beef, lots of outback poets and singers, lots of travelling along the expedition route by 4 wheel drive and visiting the original expedition campsites and in some cases seeing the same birds they saw 160 years ago!
Yesterday we were following the Dunny Truck (mobile loos) over a ford in the Burdekin River when it go stuck and had to be winched out. We thought it was really funny until we came back through the ford at the end of the day and lost the radiator fan and half the radiator. So I have time to report back while it gets fixed.”
Clem might be able to send some pictures when she reaches the next big town, Mount Isa. In the meantime I’ve used a reconstructive image of John Gilbert, the noted naturalist who was killed on the original Leichhardt expedition in 1845. Chris Clayton of National Museums Liverpool’s design department created this image for the monument at Gilbert’s Lookout, Taroom, which Clem unveiled during her last visit to Australia.
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