We headed off from the Forbes Caravan Park at 6 am and got out of town at about 10 past by the time the stragglers were ready. Tim had already tested the stain resistance of his new Simpson logo shirt by spraying coffee from a plunger all over it. As we headed past Parkes, glimpses of the satellite dish were caught in the twilight. We had a long day in the car with some great commentary from Narelle on the history of towns as we passed through. Cam’s car was on empty as Narelle reported her bladder was on full so we stopped to get sorted, as it turned out only 1 km from town- much to Brett’s disgust in search of a decent coffee.
We arrived at Bourke around lunch time well known as the classic outback town – Back of Bourke for which Gerry posed for a photo on the city limits and also well known as Fred Hollows country. We were greeted in Bourke to find that the Bourke shire dirt roads were all closed due to rain. This prevented us from traveling as planned to Tibooburra. To complicate matters further, the road north to Cunnamulla was also blocked near Barringun with a truck roll over with rumors of a chemical spill. After a leisurely lunch we decided to head north in the hope that the road would open. We stopped at the pub at Engonia and Barringun where the girls were in for a beer and heard from the Publican that the road was open through a bypass. We headed up to the accident site and quickly moved through and were on our way. There was a bit of excitement at the sight of 4 camels in a box trailer that we all passed. We refueled at Cunnamulla where we hoped to stay but the caravan park was crowded and didn’t excite us. We moved on to Eulo, a one horse town with a nice pub where we had a great counter meal and celebrated Matthew’s 21st with caramel mud cake and beer at the bar.
Bourke for morning tea, which was where we got the bad news about the Bourke Shire's dirt roads all being closed.. And the only road north (to Cunnamulla) currently blocked with a truck rollover
We checked out the Information Centre and had a ponder on our options to get out of Bourke
Ebony and Kaitlyn find some sun flowers
Ivan and Tim had been down to the police station to talk about options - Tim gives the group a heads up.
What would become a familiar sight - Cam refueling
We stopped at a couple of pubs along the way - Mel and Lea quickly got themselves into a shout which continued for the trip
Hangon girls - wrong side of the bar!!
Our first sight of camels!! - excitement! ;-)
The truck - apparently a chemical spill - blocked the road for some hours - we were lucky to be among the first through
The queue to get through the bypass
Cam making the most of every opportunity
Tonight was Mathew's 21st - cake and beers all round
Girls were quick to show that they would have trouble getting on
Hayden found the juke box and Adam and Lea got moving
Meanwhile, the kids hit the pool table - something they loved doing at the pubs wherever we went
The crew around the bar
And lined up for a photo
Time for the Story So Far - Darren getting poll position with his video camera
Tim was the man for tonight