The Rocky Horizon Trip – Day 18

Gee whiz she was tired! My wife slept for 11 hours. I packed up everything around her, until it was finally time to pack up her sleeping mat. In the end I had to wake her so we could get our day underway. She wasn’t very impressed, but there wasn’t really the chance to sleep the day away. The car was packed, we ate breakfast on the road and were headed to Roma.

The local St Paul’s Church, boasted beautiful stained glass windows which date back to the early 1870s. We headed into the church for a couple of quick photos, but instead we unexpectedly caught in the tour which was just about to start. It was quite interesting, although the one hour of discussion focussed around lead light and religious history was a bit much and not really part of our plan for the day. The latest window was donated back in 2006. A young fella wanted to have a window in memory of his mother who was a nurse in the local area. There are still 7 windows yet to be filled and maybe we can come back in 20 years and see if there is a new one or maybe two.

Stained glass windows
The stained glass windows at St Paul’s Church

The Roma tourist info also mentions visiting the Big Windmill. It’s the largest commercially operated windmill in Australia. The Big Windmill was more of a Big disappointment. It wasn’t really that big and actually looked about the same size as the one at the Stockman’s Hall of Fame in Longreach. Speaking of the Hall of Fame, I just found out that the guy who was performing the ‘Outback Show’, is actually my cousin! Wish I had known that before we went because I would have introduced myself and said hi.

The next destination was the Roma sale yards, which is Australia’s largest cattle selling complex. Upon arrival the auctions were in full swing, and although we missed the morning tour, we managed to take a bit of time and work it out. I would have much preferred going on this tour rather than the religious history tour with a touch of stain glass windows. Anyway, we found out who was doing the auction, what they were selling and for how much. Did you know there are about 920 different breeds of cattle in the world? Neither did I, before today!

Roma Saleyards
Livestock for sale at the Roma Saleyards

A focus of the trip has been to support the local community, so we stopped in at the community cottage at Wallumbilla. The had a selection of handicrafts and baked goods. We picked up a clinkers slice, never having tried it before. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best tasting slice, but we were happy to support the country women.

We took a little detour in Yulleba to try and find the native wells, but to no avail. We were a little disappointed, as the pictures looked great and this was to be out lunch stop for today. We pushed on and had some delicious enchiladas cooked in the frypan (camp style) at the Rotary Park in Chinchilla. We couldn’t stay long as we needed to be at Crows Nest by 4pm and we still had a fair drive ahead of us. We turned on the Tomtom to find the fastest route and then hot footed it. The estimated time of arrival was 4:06pm and we were hoping the backstreets were going to actually work out the fastest. We had all our trust in a little electronic device.

With absolutely no traffic on the roads and a perfect run, we arrived just in time. Crows Nest Coridals has been in operation since 1903 and is the only small town manufacturer of soft drink in Australia. They are now known as Crows Nest Soft-drinks, but their original name is the one that will always be strong in my mind. I remember when I used to orienteer as a young little tacker out in the area, and there would be a small truck that would come out and sell soft drinks. Blue Lemonade was always my first choice. There’s something super exciting about having a bright blue drink.

The many flavours available
The many flavours available at Crows Nest Soft-drinks

Just recently two local guys bought and consequently saved the business. We chatted for a while about the rich history of the business and the continual stories that are told about people’s love of a particular flavour. With over 30 flavours, there is definitely one to suit you. Not only do they sell soft drink, but they sell syrup which can be used in anything. You can pour it over ice-cream, add it to soda water, coffee, cocktails, milkshakes or plain water, you can use it as flavouring in cooking or whatever you can possibly think of. It was very hard to choose what flavours we wanted to buy, but thankfully there were little sample bottles available. We bought a few to try and can always order more after we arrive home.

Unusual flavours
Such unusual flavours

As soon as we were back in the car, we cracked into a bottle of soft drink. Portobello was our flavour of choice. Something neither of us had tasted, seen or even heard of before. It was scrumptious and had quite a unique flavour. The new owners described it as a cherry, grape with a touch of creaming soda. I described it as delicious. Pity we didn’t buy any of the syrup, I think this flavour will be going on the order list.

We had a beautiful drive through the mountains, headed down to Esk and then along the Brisbane Valley Highway to my folks place. I grabbed a quick photo, out the window, as we drove over Wivenhoe Dam. The sunset was yet again a beautiful sight to see. We arrive at my folks place and my father was standing out on the front porch waiting for us to pull in. Such a lovely welcome. As soon as I opened the door he promptly asked us if we could move some heavy buckets of rock out of his trailer. Not ‘Hi how was the drive?’, not ‘Do you want a hand settling in?’ or ‘Glad to see you safely arrived’. Never mind old man. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and headed off to bed early, after a really long day of driving.

Sunset
Sunset over the dam
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