THURSDAY JULY 23 COBAR TO BOURKE 177kms
The rain continued, off and on, through the night.
Before John got going, I was able to walk Couey around the park and across the grass area at the back, without getting my feet too wet.
Left the park just before 10am and immediately went to refuel at the servo on the opposite corner. It was a major truck stop and refuelling area – we had heard truck noises from here, throughout last night. Diesel cost $1.439 cpl.
It was a grey, misty, damp day.
There had been a big exodus from the park this morning. I think it is much more an overnight destination than a longer stay place.
We had first travelled the Kidman Way some fifteen years ago, not long after it was made into a sealed route. Then, there were not many trucks on it. Now there are heaps.
Trucks on the Kidman Way
At one point, we had occasional glimpses of patches of blue sky, but mostly it was just ominous looking grey clouds.
A cheerful note was seeing a small group of greeny coloured parrots having a bath in a big roadside puddle. Rain is great for wildlife in these usually dry parts.
Ephemeral bird bath
We passed a broken down rig. A 4WD was parked behind a van, with hazard lights going. There appeared to be a problem with the van – there was something strange under its front – maybe holding it up? No one was visible, or waving us down, so we kept going. They were parked on a rare area of hard shoulder at the road’s edge – lucky they were able to find a firm area as these would be rather rare today.
We had a brief stop at a large rest area and gave Couey a walk and a drink.
Rest area with hard surface
This was obviously a normally popular free camp area, with lots of tracks and parking spots off in the mulga. But there was no one here now – too muddy and wet. There were little piles of hay on the sealed surface of the rest area – must have been a stock transport stopped there recently.
Free camping areas in dry weather
Arrived at Bourke at 12,30. Drove out the highway to the north for a short way and topped up the fuel. $1.459 cpl. Then drove to the IGA supermarket, where John parked Bus in the street, and I went in to get milk and bread. The place was very busy, so I suspected it was pension day. There was a security person on duty. This is a supermarket where, in the alcohol section, all the stock is on shelves that are behind heavy wire mesh walls. You can see what they have but can’t touch. Customers have to ask for what they want at a small window in the wire.
Went to the Mitchell Caravan Park. Our en-suite site cost $35 for the night. The bathroom was a good one and very clean.
There seemed to be new, young owners/managers, from when we were last here a couple of years ago. They were very pleasant people who seemed much more dog empathetic than the previous ones. They said we could walk Couey, on her lead, along the back area of the park – a notable change from last time, where the only place we were welcome to walk was out of the establishment.
Very little set up was needed. In a break in the weather, we walked dog around the park. There was a very nice central grass and garden area, with a row of bottle trees across its end. One of these had a tap in it!
Don’t know if it works…
I was pleased I’d made an advance booking. This park was effectively full also, apart from a couple of sites that were partly under water.
Place for happy hour in better weather
We chatted travel for a while with a man from a Trakmaster van, fairly similar to the one we’d had, but newer.
Tea was steak, potato fries and egg.
Watched MasterChef – now down to three finalists. Then had an early night.