Jul 22, 2014

BOURKE > BURREN and heading home

Todays journey was a tedious and boring one - and one that hit us that we were actually nearly home. Trips seem to do this when you hit the tar. We only had 60km to do before we hit Bourke. Over the years I have seen this town go down hill a bit. Shops closing, a bit harder to get fuel and just the demise of the town. Its a shame too- so much history here and l would really say its the door to the outback because you can head west and north west from here and the tar soon ends and the dirt begins. Since the Darling has dried, pumping has begun and storage lakes have blocked the flow-there are no more paddle steamers using the river, would of been great to see them chugging away when the river was up. 

Stocking and fuelling up here we can generally get all the way home on this fuel- a bloody great advantage of a diesel 4wd with big tanks. Traffic has def increased since we have left Bourke, more trucks, tourists and farmers are on the road doing their own thing. This mornings push would be to Walgett for lunch after passing through Brewarrina, all tar of about 200km. I hate this section- just long stretches of tar that seems to go forever and when the sun is right you can see the road following the contours of the land- its like the tar has been laid down without any grading of the dirt. And the faster you go out here it seems the more bugs you seem to collect. We have been away for a while but its only now that the bugs seem to be active- oh well. Passing through Brewannia you soon realise this area has big floods as when you enter and leave town the flood mitigation walls must be 15 foot high !!!!!….thats freaking serious !.

Our lunch stops at Brewannia are on the eastern side of the town down beside the river. Nice spot, always pretty clean, bins are provided and there are plenty of shade trees. heading towards Walgett- 3 words- tar, boring, monotonous. Small chatter between us was to head another 100km to a small town of Burren Junction. Nice town with a pub, general store and limited fuel- BUT if you keep going another 3km there is free camping on the right hand side at the local hot spring pool. Plenty of room for a few vans, but you need to bring your own fire wood as it gets bloody freezing here as we found out a few years ago. It's not a bad place to stop, always clean, there are really nice showers, but you do get that sulphur smell on you because it is bore water. But hey still free camping. The bore pumps hot water into a circular pool like a big donut and its great- except for the slime on the bottom of the concrete, this gets a bit freaky as the water is dark. Its great having a soak last thing at night or at daylight because you can see the steam coming off the hot water into the cool air. A lot of Canola gets grown out here and its either the birds or wind that blows the seed that soon grows up in the surrounding drains and roadside- just nice to see a bit of colour finally from where we have been- its noice !!

The camp here is right beside the towns water supply of a nice size dam and generally at night you get a few birds calling out from the water and we even a fox just off in the shadows creeping around. Funny here too- the grey nomads love their free camping and if you look around you can tell the seasoned travellers who have settled in with their wrought iron fire wind protectors, others have setup their satellite dish and others have big clothes lines out…. but when you walk around we all say hi and share what ever info we have. Because of the open clear skies here at the moment last night was bloody cold- socks and a beanie to the rescue !!!…. i think next trip i might chuck the hot water bottle in.

Just thinking too, maybe one more night on the road and we could be home- back at the coast. This just means a week at at home then some local tripping around exploring before we come back in 10 weeks !!!!

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