Day 17- Barkly Homestead Roadhouse
Today was a dirt road kinda day. We determinedly slept in until 8:30 when the heat and sound of flies became too much for us. Last night we tested out our tent fan - it was an overwhelming success but the charge doesn't last all night so the early mornings will continue. Thank goodness for our tarp/makeshift tent - it protected us from all four drops of rain last night!
After having a look around Whistleduck Creek we packed in and hit the road - headed for Old Police Station Waterhole. The tracks into the campsites were fairly rough and our left scrub bar has fallen victim to the corrugations and tough terrain, we'll have to try and find a welder who can stick her back together.
We stopped for lunch at PoliceMan's waterhole - there's a fair bit of water there but judging by the old watermarks it must be quite low at the moment. The water wasn't inviting enough for us to jump in but we did dangle our feet in, which was both refreshing and functional (bush bath). Then it was back on the road.
We hit Epenarra station only to see a sign saying 'Road to Barkly Roadhouse closed' upon further investigation of our maps we realised this section was private road (b*****!). After much deliberation about whether to turn around and head back to Wauchope or to run the risk of taking a private road we decided to knock on the station homestead door to double check if the road was closed and try our luck at getting access. After meeting a lovely lady by the name of Lynn she confirmed that the road was indeed private and closed to the public, however with her conditional permission (condition being that we buy a cool drink from their small shop) we were able to continue on. We left the Homestead with a job to do: There had been quite a few grass fires burning, started by lightning storms, and Lynn was keen to know the extent of the damage on their property, so we surveyed the burnt out landscape (10km stretch!!) as we drove and reported the damage back to Lynn once we reached Barkly Homestead. She wasn't too concerned which says something about the scale of these stations.
We stopped for fuel at the Barkly Station Roadhouse, diesel was $1.79 (cheap!) so we filled right up. It was a nice spot so we decided to camp for the night, an unpowered campsite set us back $24 ($12 pp, per night). We made the most of their amenities, had a swim in the pool, a drink in the pub and shower before bed. We also used their BBQ area which was a massive shed that we had all to ourselves, we even got to do our dishes in a sink! Now we want to get a good nights sleep before heading for the QLD border and Lawn Hill National park tomorrow. Night night.