SUNDAY 14 JULY COBAR TO BOURKE 172kms.
We were away at 9am.
Couey was back to being reluctant to get into Bus at moving time. She actually snapped at John when he lifted her in.
We had to get fuel before leaving Cobar. Had intended to do so on the way in the other day, but our way into Cobar brought us to the caravan park first. Today, we joined the rush of travellers fuelling up before leaving town, and had to queue. Hint to travellers – refuel when you arrive in town, not departure morning, when everyone else has the same idea!
Diesel was $1.569 cpl.
We’d driven the Kidman Way a number of times before. The way north from Cobar was the usual flat, not very interesting country. There were more trucks using this route than we had seen before. Not as many as on the Newell Highway, but still too many. The lack of truck traffic used to be one of the great attractions of going this way.
John needed to make five stops along the way. I estimated one stop for every thirty kms of travel! We could sort of joke about it – what else can one do?
This time, fuelled up as we arrived in Bourke, at the BP servo, where we paid $1.639 cpl. This morning, back in Cobar, also at a BP outlet, and not that far away, it had been 7 cents a litre cheaper – quite a price differential over a short distance.
In the past, we’d always stayed at Kidmans Camp at North Bourke. But they did not take dogs, so this time we went into the Mitchell Caravan Park, in the town. Our en-suite site cost $35. The gravelled site was small, with no real space to put out our awning, had we wished to, and not much space between us and the next van. Our little bathroom was clean and well fitted out.
Although the park accepted dogs, it could not be described as dog-friendly! The manageress was insistent that dogs be taken out of the park to do their business. Try explaining that, after the long night, to a dog with a full bladder…… But I got the impression that they’d had too many guests who didn’t abide by the normal common rules, as – unfortunately for the rest of us – is too often the case.
I thought that next time we came this way we should take an ordinary powered site – those were nicely grassed and would give us more room and a better spot for dog.
After basic set up, drove Terios to the Back O’Bourke Exhibition Centre, a very impressive new building on the northern edge of town, with really helpful staff in their information section.
Having just done a part day’s travel, we were not in the mood to do the full exhibition experience on offer, featuring aspects like history, aboriginal culture, outback lifestyle, so just had a short browse around there. Another item for the next-time list.
Drove back to town, to the Old Wharf area, where there was an interesting display of old machinery and a viewing platform on what was actually a replica of the original wharf, back in the days when Bourke was an important inland port. As the Darling River level fluctuated greatly between seasons, platforms at different levels allowed for the loading and unloading of the paddle steamers, regardless of river height.
Took Couey for a walk from there, on a path along the river levee, on the lead. This short walk tired John out, not so the dog.
Drove around the streets, looking at some of the substantial old buildings of the town – some interesting architectural styles that seemed unique to the town. I would like to spend time wandering slowly about the place, photographing some of these relics from the glory days. But not today….I would need to be driving myself, and alone!
The town did not seem to be as rowdy or threatening as it had on previous visits.
There wasn’t much of the day left by the time we got back to Bus.
Tea was ham steaks, potato and pineapple.
Spent the evening as usual: watching some TV, reading. John played his World of Warcraft computer game. I had an early night.