Monday, 30 June 2014

Bourke - 1 July 2014

It was -1 degree this morning. A chilly night. It took me a little while to get going this morning. It ended up being a warmer day than we have had the last few days, and most importantly, the winds had dropped right off.

We went to the Outback Show at the Exhibition Centre this morning. It was a show using camels, horses, dogs and bullocks. It was a great show and the animals were great - very clever. The fellow putting them through their paces was a bit of a comedian and it made for a very entertaining show.
He mentioned during the course of the show that an IPad was being given away and that you needed to pay attention during the Show. Anyway at the end of the Show, he asked what his daughter's name was. I piped up with the answer. I wondered what I was going to get, expecting a picture of an IPad. He went over to a box and came over to me and handed me a packaged sterile eye pad! We all burst out laughing. Very clever. I knew it would not be a real IPad!

We drove into town and had some lunch before going for a walk looking at some of the old buildings. The Lands Department building is lovely.
From town, we drove out to the old Lock and Weir, a few k's out of town. It was built in 1897 and is the only one of its kind built on the Darling River. They were going to build about 40 of them, but the rest never eventuated.

Bourke - 30 June 2014

We boarded the PV Jandra at 9 this morning to do an hour long cruise on the Darling River. It was a great trip, with lots of information passed on about the river. Where we were tied up at the bank before leaving, there is a telegraph pole. At the top is a marker which is where the flood of 2011 came to. Just below is there was another marker for the flood of 2012. Quite amazing.

The paddleboat only needs half a metre of water under it. The Darling River in this area has a good amount of water in it. It starts near Brewarrina, which is not far from Bourke. The river is lined with Red River Gums, just magnificent shaped trees.
With all the twists and turns in the Darling River, it actually travels 3 times the distance you would travel in a straight line. In the late 1800's, Bourke was the largest inland port in the world for exporting wool, shipping over 40,000 bales down the Darling each year. Hard to imagine now. There were over 2 million sheep then, now there are only about 200,000. The peak price for wool was in 1952 when the farmers got 1 Pound (money) for 1 pound (weight) of wool.

The trip on the Darling was certainly worth doing. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

After lunch we went to the Back o' Bourke Exhibition Centre, which is attached to the Information Centre. There is also a Artesian Bore in the grounds. Through a series of interactive displays, spread over a couple of buildings, you are taken on a journey to learn about the people and history of the area. It was excellent. The ticket entitles you to 2 days entry.
A number of people featured in the display. Henry Lawson was sent out to Bourke by his editor when at The Bulletin, with 5 Pounds and a train ticket, to get him away from the Pubs in the Rocks area of Sydney and also to provide him with some new inspiration. At the time Bourke had 28 pubs! It now only has 1.

C.E.W. Bean, the war historian, was featured as he spent quite a bit of time round Bourke. Breaker Morant was a drover round Bourke, and a friend of Henry Lawson. Sydney Kidman's drovers used to rest their stock between his stations and the markets at the site where we are staying. Fred Hollows was also featured and spent quite a bit of time in Bourke. He loved it and is buried here in Bourke.

From the Centre, we headed to the Cemetery to have a look. I love wandering round old cemeteries. Fred Hollows figures very prominently here.
We headed into the town after this. Bourke apparently has the worst crime rate per capita in Australia. With the way the shops are boarded, that says there is some truth in that. We had a walk around. It is not really a pleasant place to walk around. There are roller doors over the shops and some of them only have an opening up for the door, which is then pulled down when it closes for the night. This is the newsagency.
The winds continued today. It was cooler earlier tonight and we had the heater on in the van by 5 o'clock. It is only supposed to be 1 degrees in the morning. See how it goes.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Bourke - 29 June 2014

Didn't hear any trucks during the night. It was very quiet. Unfortunately, even though it wasn't too windy when we got up, although a bit chilly, the wind got up again during the day. Very unpleasant.

We had a very relaxing morning. I did some washing and we just sat by the van. I even did some patchwork, the first time since we left. Kidman's Camp is by the Darling River, although I did think it was right on the river. The river is 500 metres past the Park, so we walked down to have a look before lunch. The PV Jandra Paddleboat is moored there and we will board it for a ride on the river one of the days we are here. While we were out there we spotted a goose wandering hanging around near the garbage bins. He didn't attack us thank heavens.

Bruce worked out our mileage while we were relaxing at the van. So far our fuel consumption has averaged out at 12.5L/100km, which is excellent. The bigger vans would use 20 Litres or more/100kms. On a few of those days we have been driving into the wind too which would have eaten the fuel.

After lunch, we headed towards town to pick up some information. We passed a lime farm. Bruce has brought limes from our tree at home which he has been using. After that, we had to cross the Darling River. The old wooden bridge is still there although not in use. Next to it is the new bridge, called The Gateway Bridge. No comparison to the Gateway Bridge in Brisbane! It's because Bourke is the Gateway to the NSW Outback.
The girl at the Information Centre, which is at the Back O' Bourke Exhibition Centre, was very helpful. We ended up booking a package of 4 different events/tours, which we will do while we are here. It was cheaper to book the package by $10 each. The Centre looks very impressive and we will have a look through the rest of it another day. That is included in our package ticket.

We had a drive through town and being Sunday, it was very quiet and most things were well and truly boarded up. We will be interested to have a look through town during the week to see how different it is. There was a big gathering of Aboriginals at one of the halls, at some sort of function. With everything being boarded up, it was hard to see what sort of shops there are. We didn't even see a take away food shop, not that we were interested for ourselves.

Leaving town behind, we drove out the other side to have a look at where the explorer, Thomas Mitchell set up Fort Bourke Stockade about 35km down river from Bourke in 1835. It was built to hold 6 men while the rest of his exploration party continued to explore down river. It was the only Fort ever built by Australian explorers. Imagine being stuck in something that size with 5 other people for however long they were.
The road into the Stockade/Fort was a very narrow dirt road with many holes. It was quite interesting to read the information about Mitchell. He accomplished so much. He was a workaholic, but certainly opened up the area. He was Surveyor General of NSW for 27 years, taking over from John Oxley.

We had booked to go to Poetry on a Plate tonight, held at Kidman's Camp. There was a meal (slow cooked beef casserole and a veg and lentil dish) provided, along with dessert. While that was happening Andrew Hull recited poetry. This was held under the stars with campfires spread round the area. There was one big campfire in the centre and smaller ones round the outside. Luckily the wind died a bit tonight although we did get a few sprinkles. It was a great night. One of the people next to us described Andrew as a thinking man's poet. He was very good, reciting his poems of the area and the history. It was a great night.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Yowah to Bourke - 28 June 2014

Yowah is certainly an interesting place. A very mini Lightning Ridge in a way, and maybe the opal mining towns all have this same fascination. The characters that live and stay there are no doubt what gives the places this fascination. It would have been good to have a couple more days there but there will be another time.

We managed to get away a bit earlier than we have been doing as we had a longer drive today to Bourke today. Our journey would take us back through Eulo and Cunnamulla before heading across the NSW border and on to Bourke.

Our elderly next door neighbour, Don, had always wanted to see a red kangaroo in the wild, and he and Audrey did quite a bit of travelling and fossicking a few years ago. Bruce and I were hoping to get a good photo of a red kangaroo to send to him, but the only ones we have seen are road kill. There is still time.

As we came in to Eulo we saw a sign advising that Eulo is Lizard Country and that the population is 50 people and 1,500 lizards. Eulo is a nice little place.

We stopped at Cunnamulla for morning tea, fuel and supplies. We paid another visit to the café in the centre of town, which was doing a good business. For anyone travelling through Cunnamulla, it is just across from the fountain memorial to the fallen Diggers. A great little café.

Heading south , we went through some rain about 40 km north of the border. But the worst thing was the wind. As the day went on, the wind was getting stronger and stronger. There was even tumbleweed blowing across the road. We were glad we didn't get hit by this one.
At the border is a little settlement called Barringun. It consists of a roadhouse and a pub. We had heard about the lady who runs the pub, a lady 90+. We wanted to stop and have a chat to her. When we went in she was sitting on a chair with a blanket over her. We were her only customers - Bruce bought a couple of stubbies for tonight. Her name was Mary and she was an interesting character and would no doubt have many stories to tell. She was lovely to chat to and had a lovely smile.

As you can see, it is quite an old pub. Mary follows Queensland in the State of Origin. She reckons NSW are bad sports.

We pulled in to Kidman's Camp, a Caravan Park about 8 km north of Bourke. Quite a few people advised us not to stay in Bourke itself. Apparently there can be a bit of trouble in town. Kidman's doesn't take pets either, which suited us, whereas the Caravan Park in town does. It is on the highway with quite a few trucks driving past, but hopefully they will die down during the night. Kidman's is $32 a night for a powered site. It was still blowing a gale when we arrived but during the night it died down a bit.

Thargomindah to Yowah Opal Fields - 27 June 2014

Leaving Thargomindah this morning we saw the sign to the Thargomindah Golf Course so of course we had to have a look to see what it was like.
The road we took from Thargomindah to Yowah was sealed most of the way but had 35-40 kms of red dirt for part of it. Even so, it was pretty good. We stopped off on the side of the road for morning tea. One thing we have noticed this far out west is that if you are stopped at the side of the road and someone goes past, they slow down until you wave that you are okay, and then they drive on.

You turn off the main road to Yowah, which is about 21 kms in and the road narrows to one lane. Just after we turned off, we saw a tree with 4 carcasses hanging from it. We stopped to have a look to see what they were. They looked like dingoes. Bruce thought they were hung on the tree for people to know there were dingoes around. He said when they lived on the farm, that's what they used to do with snakes. They'd hang them on the fence.
We checked into the Artesian Waters C/Park at Yowah for the night. There wasn't much to choose from between the free camp down the road and the C/Park but last night had been really cold so we thought it would be good to have power so we could use the heater. It was $20 for the night. We had heard (I think it was on Trip Advisor) that if you didn't stay at the C/Park you couldn't get petrol as the bowsers are at the Park. We didn't need fuel anyway so it didn't make any difference.

There is a bore just inside the C/Park. Next to the bore are 4 different coloured doors. Inside are bath tubs and you can have a bath in the hot water from the Artesian water coming from the bore. We didn't try it out. The thought of using a bath that other people had used just didn't appeal.

After we set up we went for a drive out to the Fossicking area, a very extensive area about 1/2 km from town. We drove around it and there are claims everywhere. Georgina at the C/Park said you could fossick anywhere, but I can't imagine people would take too kindly to us fossicking on their claim. It was hard to see where one claim finished and another started. We were happy to just look this time.
We parked the car back in town and walked to an Opal Gallery to have a look. Yowah is known for its Nut Opal and Matrix Opal with a bit of Boulder Opal. You are allowed 2 claims per person of 2 hectares each claim, provided you are over 18. The lady in the Gallery said they had a few claims but wouldn't say how many. Maybe their kids?

We ordered fish and chips at the C/Park and took them up to The Bluff a few kms out of town to eat while watching the sunset. It was lovely but would have looked better if there had been some clouds. We spoke to another couple who were up there. They have been travelling for quite some time and spent 3 months over Christmas working on a sheep property in WA during the shearing. They said it was extremely hot.

Back at the C/Park, we were invited to the next van for a chat around their brazier. Colin and Gaylene have done a very big trip from Cairns down through Canberra, Victoria, Flinders Ranges, Oodnadatta and Strezlecki Tracks, to Yowah. They will be back in Cairns in about 4 days. They organised the trip for about 10 vans in the Kedron Users Club and I think they had time constraints for people working

So far on our trip, we have had mobile reception at all the towns we have stayed at. Not long after driving out of town, signal is lost till the next town. We did get a surprise yesterday when we were on our way to Thargomindah. Out in the middle of nowhere the phone rang. It was Katrina to let us know the Waeco Esky I had won at the Caravan Show in June had arrived.

To Eulo and Thargomindah - 26 June

It was a very cold start to the day. At 7am it was 2.6 degrees inside the van and 1.2 on the grass. A little chilly.

Eulo is not far from Cunnamulla. It is only 67 kms. The road was pretty good. Sections of it have been redone fairly recently. At the same time they put in rubble drains (with rocks rather than stones) along the side of the road, no doubt for times of flood.

The vegetation out this far west has surprised us. I expected hardly any vegetation, but there are quite a few trees, although nowhere near as tall as further east. There is also a lot of grass cover, even though it is not green.

Bruce had been looking forward to trying the Date Wine at Eulo. Before we left Brisbane, we had heard from a couple of people that it was very nice. Unfortunately that part of the business has closed and they have gone solely into mud spring baths. It doesn't appeal to me to have a mud bath but the lady we did the tour with in Cunnamulla said they were great.

Eulo is only a very small town. There is a pub, The Eulo Queen Hotel, a General Store which is also a café, a hall, a gift shop/gallery/opals, police station ..... and a patchwork shop/leather shop! It is the first patchwork shop we have seen on our trip so far so of course we went in to have a look. There wasn't much to choose from but I bought a little piece to leave a bit of money in the town. We also went to have morning tea at the General Store. We did our little bit to help the town.

Glad we didn't need petrol as it was $1.88.9.

In 2011 a large fossilised Diprotodon was discovered at Eulo, among other fossils. It lived between 2.3 million and 30,000 years ago and weighed as much as 2.8 tonnes. They called the one they found Kenny. Modern day relatives are the koala and wombat.
We had a look through the gift shop/gallery. They had some beautiful paintings by a Melanie Hava. Her father is Austrian and her mother Aboriginal from North Queensland. They were just lovely.
Leaving Eulo, we crossed the Paroo River.

It was about 135-140 kms to Thargomindah and we were there early afternoon. As you come into town, you cross the Bulloo River but the river comprises about 6-8 channels so you go across 5-6 bridges. We pulled into the Toyota dealership to fill up with fuel. There were 2 bowsers. One was $1.80.9 but had a padlock on it. The other was $1.84.9 which is the one we had to use. We figured the locked one was for locals and the dearer one was for tourists. Not much you can do about it.

We booked into the Explorers Caravan Park, which is a Council park and run by an Irish lady. She was lovely and friendly. It was $25/night and the facilities were very good. Plenty of showers and toilets and a great camp kitchen and on the edge of town.

We parked the van and decided to walk to all the things we wanted to see. Our first stop was the brand new Information Centre. You could still smell the paint. We found out that the last stretch of gravel road to Burke and Wills Dig Tree, which is about 300 kms from Thargomindah, is going to be sealed on Monday. It would be great to see but not this time. Maybe when we do the trip to Birdsville. I have to rein myself in. I just want to go to the next place just to see what's there!

From the Information Centre, we walked on to the Old Hospital, built in 1888. The bricks were made from the black soil on the banks of the Bulloo River and laid out to dry. Some of the animals roaming about left their mark on the bricks. It was an 8 bed hospital until the 1920's when they built a women's ward.

There is an old Hydro Power Plant in Thargomindah. Thargomindah was the 3rd place in the world to have street lighting powered by hydro power. That was in 1898. London was 2 years before, then Paris was the day before. Sydney and Brisbane weren't interested so Thargomindah thought they had the wherewithal to do it, and did. They used the bore water from the Great Artesian Basin. Every afternoon at 4.30, the Pelton Wheel is started up by opening the bore, which runs the water through the wheel and lights up the light globes in the room. When the Hydro Plant was operating it provided the street lights for the town from 5.30-11.30 at night and also the water for the town. Unfortunately it couldn't do both at the same time. So from 5.30pm there was no water to the houses. Luckily the water comes out of the bore very hot (84 deg C) and the baths used to be filled during the afternoon and by the time they were needed the water had cooled down sufficiently for everyone to have their baths.

From the Hydro Plant we headed back towards town and the Caravan Park. There is an old house, Leahy House, which was built around 1885, for John and Patrick Leahy of mud bricks like the Old Hospital. The house was sold to Sir Sydney Kidman in 1912. By the time we got there it was about 5.30 so figured it would be closed. As we walked past it, we saw a sign on the door to say it is open 24 hours and just close the door and turn the lights off after you leave! There is an honesty box inside for a donation to help maintain the building. A lovely building and well looked after.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Cunnamulla - 25 June

It is amazing to see the Park empty of a morning. It is not a very big Park - maybe 25-30 powered sites and lots of unpowered sites - but they turn people away at the end of the day wanting powered sites as it fills up by about 3 o'clock. But in the morning, the vans head for new destinations and there aren't many left till it fills up again that afternoon.

We had a reasonably relaxing day today. Did some washing before heading into town. I read about a shop in town that is an outlet for local craftspeople to sell their goods and wanted to have a look. We walked along the street it was supposed to be in but no luck. It must have closed down which would be sad for the locals. We also had a look through the opal shop in town, but the guy was a bit of a grouch and not very talkative so we left.
We filled up with diesel ($1.66.9) before crossing the Warrego River to the other side where there is a River Walk. It wasn't too bad but it would have been a lot nicer if it was just all along the river bank. Instead it went in a bit of a loop with information boards along the path talking about various birds and animals, e.g. kangaroos, etc. There was even a lookout which was a built up to give a bit of height. It may just need a bit of TLC. However, it was nice to stretch our legs so it served the purpose.
We went along to the campfire again tonight. It is so good talking to all the different people you meet. A couple next to me had been on the road for 21 months. They were from Perth. They will fly home for a visit in about a month before continuing their travels. It is just fantastic listening to their stories.

We talked to John from the Park. He was telling us about all the goats in the area. Apparently they round up 250,000 goats each year from the area, bless them (or whatever they need to do) and send them to the Muslim countries. Goat is the most eaten meat in the world, which surprised me.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Cunnamulla - 24 June 2014

We visited the Cunnamulla Fella Centre (Information Centre) this morning where we spent over an hour. It is a great Information Centre, with a Museum inside as well as a Gallery. They also show a film on the Artesian Basin and have a display called The Artesian Time Tunnel, which shows how the Artesian Basin shaped the landscape. We also booked on the Town Tour for this afternoon.

The Gallery in the Information Centre had an exhibition of felting by a lady called Helen Stumkat. The pieces on display were very good. The Museum had displays of old sewing machines, a wool press, phone exchange, record players, etc. There was even a couple of uniforms from the Sydney Olympics - someone from the Water Polo team and a javelin thrower.

When they first sank the bores into the Artesian Basin they just let the water run. Enough water ran out of the bore each day to fill 2 1/2 Olympic size swimming pools. This went on for 62 years. They have started capping them all around the State but there are still some to be done including the first bore ever drilled which is here at Cunnamulla. A few of them in the town have been capped but apparently the State Government has run out of money for it.

Out the front of the Information Centre is a statue of the Cunnamulla Fella. The Cunnamulla Fella is a song written by Stan Coster and sung by Slim Dusty and every year in August they hold the Cunnamulla Fella Festival, which has bush poetry, music and bull riding.
We found a lovely café for morning tea before having a walk round town. Bruce had torn his shirt yesterday afternoon and I wanted to see if I could get some iron on mending webbing to repair it. We asked in one of the shops and we were pointed in the direction of a shop down the road - the hardware shop! As we got closer we saw it also had haberdashery, doonas, kitchenware. The lady in the shop was lovely. She said if I needed or wanted to sew the patch on by machine as well, feel free to come back as she had a machine set up in the back of the shop. She was telling us about a rep that had called in one day. He bent over and his trousers all split. She told him to take them off and she would mend them for him. She got him a towel to use while she fixed his pants. The next rep that came in, mentioned he had heard about the previous rep and asked her if she could mend his trousers as well.

We visited the Robber's Tree. A fellow called Joseph Wells had held up the National Bank in 1880. His gun went off and he thought he had killed the Manager. He took off and hid up this tree where he was found by a sniffer dog. He was the last man to be hung for such a crime in Queensland.

We were picked up at the Caravan Park for the Tour. There were 2 other people on the mini bus. They were from Dubbo. The Tour was $35 per person and lasted for 3 hours. It was very good. Pieta has lived most of her life in Cunnamulla, except for about 15 years spent in Brisbane. Her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents have also lived here and she has a wealth of knowledge of the area. She took us around the town and also into the surrounding countryside where we visited a table grape farm and the Hortonvale Organically Certified Irrigation Farm, where they grow organic lamb. They have also had cotton and other crops over the years. They diversified after the wool crash in 1990. We stopped midway through the tour and had afternoon tea at the boutique hotel she bought a few years ago and renovated. It was a really good afternoon.

It was a very cool day today. We had heard there are blizzards down south. I had a few layers on, as well as a pair of leggings under my long pants. I think it will be a cool night and the heater will no doubt come out tonight.

To Cunnamulla - 23 June 2014

It was 4.9 degrees about 7.30 this morning. Pretty cool!

St George is not far from Nindigully Pub so we stopped to fill up with fuel. The Unique Egg was next door to the servo we went to. We had a look at The Unique Egg a couple of years ago when we were in St George then. Absolutely amazing. It is quite funny, as you enter the gallery through a sports/gun shop, and the gallery is out the back. The guy who carves the emu eggs is of Greek descent. The eggs are just beautiful. They had them on display at the Olympics in Athens in 2004 I think it was. He does eggs on commission as well. They are certainly worth seeing. We will go and have another look at them at some stage but left it this time as it is only a couple of years ago that we saw them.

As we left St George we started seeing signs advising that we will be seeing road trains 53 metres long, or the prime mover and 2 trailers in length. We had also been advised by a couple of people round the campfire that there are lots of wild goats along the roads out near Cunnamulla and beyond.

We stopped at Bollon for morning tea at Deb's Café. There wasn't much to choose from to eat but we decided on a piece of slice that looked reasonably healthy. Unfortunately, it had been cooked a bit too long, and even though it tasted nice, we hoped we didn't break a tooth!

Across from the Café was Wallam Creek. There were only a couple of puddles of water in it but with the depth of the creek, you can picture the amount of water flowing through it in times of flood.
We arrived at Cunnamulla mid afternoon. We had booked in to the Warrego Riverside Tourist Park, which is about 3 kms out of Cunnamulla. We had had a few people recommend it to us and had also said it was wise to book. We rang yesterday and Judy, one of the owners, said they rebook sites if you are not there by 3pm and they haven't heard from you. I rang from Bollon to confirm.

It is a nice little park, with only about 25 powered sites, although there are lots of unpowered sites. The powered sites have grass and in between the sites, Judy has grown herbs and encourages you to pick and use them. There is a pretty big camp kitchen and a nice clean amenities block with lovely showers.

On the banks of the river they light a campfire and have Happy Hour every afternoon from 5pm. We watched a lovely sunset with an enormous log burning in the special fire pit. We spoke to a few people staying here and everyone is very friendly. As we came back to our van, the couple in the van next to us said hi, and told us they had done a tour of the town and surrounds that afternoon and highly recommended it. We thought we would do it tomorrow.

Brisbane to Yelarbon to Nindigully Pub - 21-22 June 2014

To Yelarbon
Well, my last day of work was yesterday. I am now retired and many great adventures await. I am really excited so I feel the decision to retire was the right one.

We had 7 weeks ahead of us and most of the country we would be travelling through is new territory which is always good.

We left Brisbane and headed west. Our first overnight stop was going to be Yelarbon, about 30 kms west of Inglewood. We had an unexpected stop in Warwick though as Bruce wasn't sure if he had brought with him the spare caravan keys. I rang a locksmith in Warwick to check what time they closed, to find it was 12 midday. It would be a close thing as that was the time we expected to be there. He was a lovely guy and said to ring him when we got there and he would open up for us. That's certainly country service. We did that and got our keys cut. He was telling us about a trip he had done to Thargomindah for a job. He got hit by 2 kangaroos at the same time. Hopefully that doesn't happen to us.

The sky kept getting darker and darker and just as we pulled in to the Yelarbon Recreation Reserve, where we were spending the night, the skies opened. We had to just sit in the car and wait for it to pass as we couldn't see a thing. It was a lovely little camp area. It was $15 a night for a powered site ($10 for unpowered) and there were 4 of us there for the night. The buildings were from when there was a railway station at Yelarbon I'm assuming from the style of them. There were showers and toilets in the buildings and a separate laundry for use for $2.
We didn't get any more rain after the downpour and it was quite a mild night. Didn't even need the heater.

We chatted to the couple in the van next to us. They were from the Central Coast of NSW. They had a wedding to go to at Tamborine Mountain and had made a trip out of it, doing a loop out as far as Bourke and then up to Queensland and back across to Tamborine Mountain.

To Nindigully Pub
Our first main town was Goondiwindi. We filled up with fuel ($1.56.9 for diesel) but didn't have a look around. It looks like a nice town. The Royal Hotel looks beautiful and so well maintained. We will come back and spend a few days in the area at another time. It is not far from home. A couple of the larger buildings were the Community Centre and a large PCYC. There was also the Botanical Gardens. Nice wide streets with trees lining them.

We called in to Talwood. One of the ladies I worked with, Louise, her husband was the policeman there and they lived there for 7 years. Bruce took a photo of me outside the police residence (next to the Station), so I can send it to her. The current copper came out to have a chat to us. He seemed a nice, young guy. He likes it there.

We had also had recommended to us, by the couple at Yelarbon the previous night, a free camp next to the pub at Talwood. They said the facilities are excellent.

We had seen a lot of road kill today. Kangaroos, wallabies, even a wild pig. I imagine it will only get worse as we head west.

We pulled in to the Nindigully Pub mid afternoon. The Pub is the oldest pub in Queensland. It is also where they made the movie with Hugh Jackman, Paperback Hero. I liked that movie. The Pub is on the banks of the Moonie River and there is a huge area out the front of the Pub and down to the river where you can camp. There is no power but there is a toilet block and you can have a shower at the Pub for a donation. The area where you camp is all red dirt and there was a fair bit of water laying around so they must have had that storm we had at Yelarbon. We parked up near the toilet block where there were 3 other vans parked.

We had a walk through the Pub. It has a lot of character. with old hats nailed around the top of the walls. They look like they have now started nailing money on the ceiling. There is even the skin of a crocodile on the wall, which they have labelled as a Nindigully Gecko!

We also walked down to the river where there is a pathway along part of the river.
While we were looking through the Pub we said hello to a guy, Brian, and he invited us to join him and his wife at their table for dinner. It turns out he is camped next to us. When we went back to the van, we joined the campfire between the vans and he was there. He and his wife, Bonnie, come from Slacks Creek, which is not far from us. They are on their way home. There were 8 of us around the fire and we had a great chat of places visited and to be visited.

We had a great chat over dinner with Brian and Bonnie. They have had vans/motorhomes for quite a few years and have done a lot of travel around Australia. Brian has been retired for quite a few years so they have had the opportunity to travel too. We got some good information on some of the places we are interested in going to. Bruce and I had a nice meal as did Bonnie, but poor Brian had to send his pork chops back and then had to wait another hour before it came out again. And there weren't all that many people eating there last night.

As we were leaving the hotel, we heard that someone had ordered the Road Train Burger. This is a huge burger, which feeds 1-6 people and costs $60. We went out to have a look. It was a few families and their kids, totalling about 9 people, so that doesn't work out to too bad a price per head. The burger is huge.