Gulf Country - Cairns to Kurumba

Wednesday, Sep 16, 1998 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

This morning I wrote 6 postcards and sent the 2 letters I had written at Dorunda. Later in the day I did a load of washing, swam in the pool and read my book by Rodney Liddell - when will I ever finish it so I can spend more time writing my book??

It was time for me to pay back David for dying my hair at Dorunda so using the surgical scissors from our first aid kit and my teasing comb I gave David a short back and sides (about a number 2 all over). Looking good we dressed up and went off to the pub to photograph the beautiful Karumba sunset from the Sunset Tavern and to play a few more games of pool. We met up again with Ken and Irene who were leaving the next day for Lawn Hill. We realised that although we were going to Escott Lodge in Burketown first we would overlap our stay in Lawn Hill with them.

We've learned that the only place to get any information about absolutely anything worthwhile is to talk to the bar staff at any pub along the way. At the Sunset Tavern, the barmaid told us all about the strange black pipes we'd seen from the sky the previous day. Pasmino Mining Company has recently bought the Century Mine from Rio Tinto and have developed a unique transportation method for getting the zinc to sea. From the mine site near Lawn Hill PIHA are contracted to lay polyurethane pipes to flush the zinc in a slurry solution all the way across the gulf country up to Karumba. At Karumba they have employed nearly 250 people already to dry the zinc before it is shipped to Holland. The zinc from this mine is said to be the purest grade in the world. Most of the staff employed at Karumba are from Townsville and have been accommodated in the most upmarket demountable units built specifically for the workers. Each cabin is fully airconditioned and has satellite TV. Apparently, the selection process is long and arduous and once on-the-job includes random urine and blood tests for drugs and alcohol.Pasminco are estimating at least 20 years of employment from this mining venture.

Currently, house blocks in Karumba are only $15K - I'm predicting that with the new mining venture and the new pub, the town will grow to become the next Noosa. Travellers can already access Karuma from Mt Isa on bitumen roads so it won't be long before they get a population boom.

We had a fish n' chips dinner with Ken and Irene at Ash's Place - reputed to serve the freshest fish in the Gulf (and that was told to us from Alan our fishing guide).
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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