Mornin :-) yes I am smiling today even though for the first time since we left I relented and let Damien set the alarm so we could get an earlier start. I think he would start twitching uncontrollably in one of his eyes if it was an 11am start again!! However, I can't give him everything, it is me after all, and although he set the alarm for 6.30am (seriously delirious) it is now 8.20 am and we are packed and ready to get on our way!
We had a great meal in the Broken Hill Social Democrats Club last night. It is something that the east does really well - you get great meals that are really cheap (so are the drinks). I remember when I used to live in Sydney the RSL clubs were great value for money and we used to go to them a lot. It is a shame that WA doesn't offer the same opportunities. Anyhoo, while we were eating I googled what "The Demo" (well I am a local for the night!) was all about and yep you guessed it - here comes one of my fun facts :-)
Fun fact: the Broken Hill Social Democrats Party was formed in 1903 and was formed to achieve social democracy (refer to the name of the party!) and education for the working class in a social atmosphere that promoted the exchange of opinions and discussion on difficulties being expressed at the time by the working class.
The women folk were also involved (go the sheilah's) and the group were involved in lots of stuff like conscription during the war, 7 hour days, 44 hour working weeks and compensation were also fought for and won.
Obviously after reading all that during my meal, as we were leaving I envisioned an Australian flag waving proudly behind me, the sound of drums beating to the sound of my footsteps and I set my shoulders back and raised my head and announced that I think I should go into politics. To which I received "you really are a tube Tash, get in the car". And so ended my career in the Broken Hill Social Democrats Party. Secretly though I am still harbouring thoughts of a life in politics - "please explain" he he he.....
Ok so today was going to be all about the road and picking up some time that we had lost. Which would have been a GREAT plan if we hadn't changed our mind half way through the day and changed our route!!
Our original plan was to head towards Bourke, which would cut a lot of time of getting to Brisbane (like this was my option coz that meant the end of my holiday duh) but meant bye bye nice soft bitumen road and hello bouncy gravelly sort of road. However, due to my early start or lack of sensibilities, the idea of off the beaten track appealed to me and I gave Damien a big "I'm in" :-)
Traveling along nicely we started to decide where we stop for our midday libations and my requirement to pee With Wilcannia being the next bold font town (this is what you start focussing on now!!) we thought that would be a good place.
In actual fact when we got to Wilcannia we sped up and high tailed it out of there. I have never seen so many natives in one place at one time! They were everywhere, and while I am sure they are lovely people, I WAS NOT GETTING OUT OF THE CAR TO FIND OUT!!
Added to this it is at exactly this point we lose the nice road and start on the bouncy, bouncy really bouncy road. Remember I mentioned my requirement to ah hum go to the ladies room. Well, Damien and I have gone camping a lot so this is not the first time I have faced the au natural solution to the ladies room, but I was more afraid of what was going to creep up behind my back on the side of that road than any critter in the middle of the night in the middle of the bush!! Very quickly we got on our way again and DID NOT STOP until we got to the Tilpa hotel. Tilpa is one hotel surrounded by farms - so you think no one would be there right. Wrong. There were more people there than I have seen in any of the country pubs. I think it is because Tilpa sits in the fork of the road - one to Bourke and one to Cobar. We had a great time sitting outside chatting to other people and finding out about their journeys over icy cold beer.
Remember I mentioned that we were supposed to be making up time today. Well umm we were until we decided to change our minds and change our route. Damien had done nothing to sell Bourke to me for the night by mentioning that is was a boong Mecca. Right. Hmm. I go and get the map poste haste and agree readily that perhaps we go through Cobar after all (this was the original plan, but we changed our minds when we decided to make time up). What this meant though was we had actually gone the longest possible route to get to Cobar and had actually LOST time and gone over gravel roads for no reason ha ha ha ha ha ha ha I was watching Damien's eye, but bless him it didn't start twitching ;-). We did see Tilpa though this way and I really did enjoy my short stay there.
Decision made we head to Cobar. NSW outback is really picturesque and I enjoy the journey. After a quick stop in Cobar (banking and a beer) we are back on the road.
Now, you all know Damien and that he doesn't talk about his past often. In fact I didn't find out that he about 100 relatives scattered throughout the east coast until the day after we were married. You know, none of his came up in the 7 or so years BEFORE the wedding, so I was a little taken aback when out of the blue he starts taking me on a journey back through his life. Now, Damien has had a fascinating life and I love listening to his stories. But I am still a little confused about the trigger when he informs me that he had an aunt (well his dad's aunt in actual fact) that owned a farm in the area that we were driving through and that he would show me where his uncle lived. This is Hermidale. A really quiet very small town, and his uncles house is a tiny little cottage across from the school. We stop at the hotel for a beer and Damien finds a man who actually knew his uncle Red Simpson.
We had decided to camp the night as I wanted my 'sky full of stars' moment away from any town lights and well next to a dam in Damien's kin area seemed like the perfect opportunity. Damien got directions for a little site off the road from the locals and off we head to set up for the night.
Tent set up and pork chop cooked and small fire blazing we settle in for the night. This trip has provided some extraordinary experiences creating memories that will last a lifetime. Standing in the middle of nowhere, with a glass of wine and with my husbands arm wrapped around me gazing up to the cloudless sky twinkling with 1000's upon 1000's of glittering stars I had never felt so at peace and so in awe of this wonderful planet we live on. Truly a wonderful moment.
Ok, I would love to tell you which way we are headed tomorrow, but after today, who knows....
Lights out...... Goodnight x