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Tuesday, February 03, 2004
A trip to Queensland

One of my bigger trips away from civilization this year involved a visit to Southern Queensland. On the way, I passed through Lightning Ridge (NSW), an opal town that also has the ‘attraction’ of being very hot. While I was there, the temperature was well above 40 Celsius (that’s 104 Fahrenheit). I stepped out from an air-conditioned establishment to be met by a hot (yes, hot) wind. It was as hot in the shade as in the sun.

Later in the day, as things cooled down, I found myself on totally deserted roads for about fifty minutes. The only creatures I came across were cattle wandering aimlessly about the highway (and this on one of Australia’s major roads) and about 100 kangaroos drinking from puddles where the road went through a shady wood.

There were intermittent stormy showers – I watched the lightning all around. I did wonder if the lack of other vehicles betokened an unwillingness to venture out. Recently, several people had been struck by lightning in Queensland, one while playing cricket. However, as we all know, one of the safest places during an electrical storm is in a car. But oh the rain: I’ve never known anything like it. In one house, water came in round the window frames. Fortunately, I’ve only had one or two days of that sort of thing.

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