Travelling Australia - Journal 2013
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8 August 2013

Surat to Nindegully
Before leaving Surat we called into the general store for a cup of coffee before heading off on the road to St George. Immediately south of Surat is a cropping area we have previously seen covered in sorghum but this time it was a green wheat crop to the horizon. The cropping soon ended; then we were passing through grassland with scattered woodland where sheep and cattle grazed. The road was straight but went up and down over hills so that, for a while, it seemed to be going either up or down as any time, never level.

Weather was good for travelling, clear blue sky, bright sun, and no wind. But the day remained cool with air temperature of 18°C at 10 o'clock. Road kill remained prominent (mostly kangaroos and pigs plus a cow and some emus) although not nearly as extensive as we had seen around Longreach a few days before. This area was clearly not in drought and there had been recent rain. Emus were often seen, sometimes in large groups of ten to fifteen birds; there were also apostle birds and white winged coughs feeding along the roadside. Flocks of galahs were often seen in paddocks along the road.

In St George we stopped for lunch and fuel then continued south towards Nindegully. St George is well known for cotton growing but cotton is grown in a concentrated area south of the town extending from 5 to 20 kilometres along the road and irrigated from the dam near the town. At this time of the year paddocks had been cleared of last season's crop and ploughed but the next crop had not yet been planted. Indeed, the last crop had not yet been fully processed; we passed a gin with dozens of cotton bales outside waiting their turn; some were newer round bales while there were still many of the older design, large rectangular bales which must be very difficult to handle because of their size.

Once we had passed the cotton-growing parts the road was again passing open grassland and woodland with a few sheep grazing. This was a through road to Mungindi and on to Moree in New South Wales but traffic was very light. Just after the intersection with the road to Goondiwindi we turned into the Nindegully Pub for the night.

The camping area behind the pub was occupied by relatively few caravans and we had no difficulty finding a place for the night. The day was still sunny and the sky blue but a cold wind had sprung up which blew dust around the camping area making it unpleasant. We spent the afternoon inside the van.

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