BOURKE TO CHARLEVILLE Day 3 455K
Before leaving Bourke we had the Hotel breakfast room to ourselves, lovely Tupperware containers of cereal, no juice no fruit, very thin white bread and instant coffee and Bushells tea. We had asked the German waitress Marlena the previous evening what time breakfast started in the morning and she said '' you can go now if u want all ready, ' bit early' said AA is only 10pm !!!!.
Ten 10 minutes later we on our way to the paddle cruiser for a trip up the Darling River, $16 PP. I asked if morning tea were included, a firm 'NO' was the response, you can buy Tea and coffee for $1, 'not sure we can manager another dollar' I said. " Well, I will only charge you $30 so you can have the $2 for your Tea, "Lovely, thank you sir do you have a biscuit to go with it, NO response. We headed for the upper deck.
The commentary was quite amateurish. No poetry. Met a couple of retired blokes from Sydney, complaining bitterly about the cost of power and how the electricity company had come on to his property and installed a 'smart box', I had just read about smart boxes so we had a good chat, 'You have to lock the gate Fred, that's what I'll be doing if they start this in the ACT.' Horse has bolted said Fred sadly.
The birds on the river were interesting. I had never seen a snake bird, they have long swivel necks. The brolga's on the bank make an amazing sound, I had forgotten this sound, brought back great memories for me.
On the road again, heading for Cunnamulla. Found a great pub and AA be- friended a couple of grey nomads from Geelong, Robbo and Rosemary. On their advice we ordered the steak sandwiches that were superb, caramelized onions and great chips, lovely light beer, happy as clams!! I was asking about the girls from Cunnamulla I had been to Boarding School with. The young bar maid said there was a FaceBook site about Cunnamulla residents etc. Thanked God again for my I PAD, but could not find any.
Arrived in Charleville, drove around looking for accommodation and went in to check out one place, $190 just for the room. Told him that I was in Sydney few weeks ago at the Sheraton and it didn't cost that much. 'Competition Mrs' he said!!!!! Hooting on the way back to the Troopy told AA, howls of laughter from her. Kept looking and there in the main street was an enormous old Queensland pub called Carones. A very famous Charleville landmark. The younger Carone boys I had met on a school holiday to Charleville with my friend from b/school whose family lived there.
Booked in, had a couple of beers at the bar, met the local ABC radio weatherman, about 30 lovely looking, great smile. Crook handshake! The first I had experienced on the trip, caused me to grimace, he said 'Whats wrong?' I said "The handshake" He was quite surprised, we had a little hand-shaking lesson (My father used to line my 3 sisters and me up on our verandah in Longreach for hand-shaking lessons). Mr ABC said he was very grateful as no one had ever said anything. AA left the bar too much for her!!! .
Decided to eat at the pub, wrong choice. Whilst waiting I had a great chat with Glen who is a train buff and had been in Charleville for a few weeks. He gave me some great tips on good train rides so looking at that next. Met Dave from Bowen who was a cattle broker, travels all around Queensland, lovely bloke. I told him I had a cousin in Bowen John McEniery whom he knew!! Small world.
At dinner we met another couple from Geelong, and after dinner they were leaving to walk their dog Maxie. The meal was less than average but we were very hungry and the choice limited. We invited ourselves along on the dog walk. They told us Maxie had been rescued from the pound in Geelong. Beautiful Kelpie cross who was very happy to meet a couple of dog lovers. With that goodnight to Maxie and his Mum and Dad and we were off to bed in the historic Carone's pub in Charleville.