Stranded grey nomads are left laughing in the rain

Published: July 16, 2016
Grey nomads stranded at Middleton

There’s nothing like a bit of adversity to bring grey nomads together and that’s exactly what happened in the remote western Queensland town of Middleton this week.

When 39 millimetres of rain unexpectedly fell on the drought-declared region, dusty roads were turned into wheel-spinning skating rinks … and a total of 16 people and eight dogs found themselves ‘trapped’ together for three days.

And they had the time of their lives!

Brian Marne from Townsville told the ABC that the various groups kept themselves entertained by laughing at each other waddling through the sticky mud and sometimes falling in, and they had plenty of chats by the campfire.

“They’re a good crew, when they started off they didn’t know each other hardly at all,” said Mr Marne, who had been on his way to the Boulia camel races when the heavens opened. “Now they all know each other and they’re all having a good time.”

Middleton, 170 kilometres west of Winton, usually has a population of three, the publican Lester Cain, and his wife and their daughter.

Mr Cain, who has run the pub for 11 years and said the campers had been a welcome sight after a quiet summer.

After three days, Mr Cain eventually dusted off his truck to start towing people out.

“They’re not really stuck down much,” he told the ABC. “They just need a bit of a hand to get back onto the bitumen.”

As for Mr Marne and the friends he was travelling with. It was a case of returning to Winton rather than getting to the camel races in Boulia as planned. And he reckons if he tries again next year, he might be on his own.

“When I say I’m going on another safari, my friends will all duck for cover,” he laughed.

  • Have circumstances ever thrown together with a group of strangers while on the road? How did it pan out? Comment below.
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