Here we are, settled in to our little Hidey-Hole at Penrose Park, Silverton for a few extra days, while Leo gets a new pinion seal installed in Broken Hill.
We planned our arrival to Broken Hill (30 km east from here) to coincide with our property settlement, which all went very smoothly. Yippee! We now only own one home, the wonderful Wombat!
By the time we head off on Wed, this will have been the longest we have spent at any campsite, 8 days.
Here is what has transpired since I last wrote:
We made it out of May’s Crossing camping area with our rig (and our dignity) intact. It was much more fun for me than Rod, as my job was to film the event. It was a great excuse NOT to have me in the car during those tense offroad manoeuvres. (We even had an audience.)
After a few days at Bourke, we headed off to Louth (pronounced like mouth, not like tooth), which was only a short drive away and still on the Darling River. We camped on the town commons, just across the river from the back of the pub. It was a beautiful evening, we rode our bikes around town and stopped in at the pub for a couple of drinks and ended up having dinner there.
If you are ever around Louth, make sure you go and visit Shindy’s Inn. It’s a very pleasant place to pass some time.
In the morning, we had showers in town before heading off to the Paroo-Darling NP, near Tilpa. We took our time, as it was only another short drive to the campground in the Paroo-Darling National Park. We timed our trip to be at the Tilpa Pub at lunchtime, and we had a great time there, talking to the bartender, touring bikers and even the slightly obnoxious couple in the giant caravan. We added our names to the wall of the pub, for a donation of $2 to the Flying Doctor service. I found a special place, which will be easy to find on our next visit.
What a stunning drive to the Paroo-Darling NP! Rust coloured road, impossibly blue sky and the whole green spectrum, like driving through a parkland.
There was wattle and lots of other spring flowers in bloom, it was like being in a gigantic garden, complete with a row of painted trees!
We thought we had the road to ourselves, but just as Rod was marvelling aloud over the lack of fellow travellers, two dozen of the buggers (mostly camper trailers) came out of nowhere, thankfully going the other direction! They were part of a tagalong tour of some sort. We had to pull off the road and wait for the dust to settle.
The Coach and Horses, or Wilga, campground was very peaceful and lovely, camp spots right on the river, with lots of shady trees. We had the place completely to ourselves, so we got the primo spot by the Darling River and stayed for 3 nights.
We even took the kayak out for a spin on the Darling River!
Next stop Menindee. It was a long weekend, so it was pretty full of people enjoying the area’s hundreds of free camping spots along the river and lake system. We felt pretty fortunate to get a nice shady spot in Kinchega National Park, with mobile reception, satellite TV reception for the Rugby League final (go the Rabbits!) and close to town if we needed supplies. We took advantage of the area’s facilities and attractions and went for a drive to the Kinchega Woolshed to take photos and have showers.
Once all the smelly tourists left, we shifted to a spot on Lake Pamamaroo, partly to enjoy the scenery and photographic prospects, but mostly because there were predictions of wild weather and rain, which would have trapped us in the National Park. We found a great protected spot on the edge of the lake and battened down the hatches. It was a spectacular storm of wind, brooding clouds and fifty-three drops of rain. We watched from the front of our “house” which was almost completely unaffected by the elements. Quite surreal with the all the bluster, eerie light and the twisted dead trees going on forever into the distance.
After Menindee, we headed off to spend some time in Broken Hill and Silverton. As it happened, we spent more time there than we had planned.
We ended up having a wonderful time hanging out in that neck of the woods, with regular trips to “The Hill” for sight-seeing, supplies and a bit of outback retail therapy. We got to try out the generator, air-conditioning and our capacity for being confined for hours in a small metal box to escape the worst of the day’s heat and flies. We survived, that’s the important thing to remember, people.
Silverton is a very interesting location, only 25 k’s from Broken Hill, it’s pretty much at the end of the line, except for a couple of tourist attractions just out of town. About 10 k’s west of Silverton is The Border Track, a bush track for the very adventurous. along the border of New South Wales and South Australia.
The pub and surrounds is so iconic, it has been featured in a great number of movies, with a different name for the pub in each one.
And finally, the truck was repaired, and we were on the move again, with plans for stopping off for another little visit to Menindee before heading off to follow the Mighty Murray river, with a side trip to Lake Mungo until the heat and attending flies drive us back to water.
We promise to have our website up and running soon, with a story and links to lots more photos. I will get the whip out.
Lots of Love,
Diane and Roddy
aka Ebb and Flo