Watching Lizards Race

26 12 2006

eulo_world_lizard_racing.jpg

This is a land of ancient landscapes – grassy plains stretching to the horizon, rugged red ranges and the sweep of sand dunes.
The Eulo Lizard Race is testimony to the belief that Australians
would bet on two flies crawing up a wall.

“Passing through Tilbooroo, whereon was situation the township of Eulo, I reached the unsurveyed Lower Paroo. Eulo had been an important centre, situated the direct route of travel to the West; it accommodated the travellers passing to and fro and was at the same time a nucleus for the thirsty bushman to quench their thirst, by the ‘melting’ of their cheques and the increase of the territorial revenue, as well as the emoluments of the public-house. An adjacent store was in readiness to supply all the ordinary station requirements. The public house, the store and a blacksmith’s shop constituted the original township of Eulo, which came in to celebrity as the rendezvous of prodigal adventurers who professedly had settled upon the Paroo as graziers, but whose purpose was actually to squander their means in hilarious horse-play. In announcing at the Eulo Hotel the termination of their repast they would hurl tablecloths, dishes, plates and crockery on to the floor and indulge in the bravado of paying for the bill of damages. Exploits of this kind continuously bought their holdings into the hands of the land monopolist.

Below Tilbooroo run I found myself upon Calwarro run whereon the river runs into a succession of magnificent waterholes, of which the Calwarro waterhole is the principal. The Paroo River at this southern extremity is characterised by the disappearance of its distinctive channel; the waterholes are connected by low depressions and polygnum flats which a stranger may cross unaware that he has gone beyond the river he is in search of. In fact, such was the fate of an early surveyor, who in search of water crossed the Paroo and kept going onward in the back country, where he perished.”

source: Building the Commonwealth A Record of Forty Years in the Civil Service of Queensland

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4 responses

27 12 2006
imogen88

Intriguing reading. His comment about water searching at the time interesting too.

27 12 2006
lorigloyd

I love the photo! And the caption…..

27 12 2006
traveller2006

love your new avatar, Lori!

27 12 2006
lorigloyd

Thanks. That’s how I feel when I’m trying to navigate WordPress and the WordPress wizards whiz by. 🙂

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