Western Queensland May 2018
It’s only 70kms from Toompine into Quilpie and what a tidy town it is. Trees and flowerbeds and rusted steel cut outs of cattle down the centre of the Main Street. That may sound nice, but to us well, we’re on edge as we’ve just spent a week with our eyes peeled and on alert for wandering cattle as they don’t have fences out here, so every steel cut out cow has us jumpy.
We top up our water tanks at the Info Centre (God, we’re going to have to resolve this leakage problem) and the lass is insistent that we use the tap on the brick wall not the one in the garden. It’s not until later that I realise why. The one in the garden is bore water and the Quilpie bore is particularly pungent and reminiscent of Rotorua in New Zealand.
We scoff down a mushy pea pie for morning tea, one must try the local delicacies, then visit St Finbarr’s church to see the opal encrusted altar. The altar is beautiful but I was far more impressed by the metal slide attached to the second floor of the school building next door, now that is ingenious and all schools should have one so kids can escape difficult teachers.
We check into the Channel Country Tourist Park and Spas and do the washing which I might add is starting to get on top of us. The water seems to be getting harder as we travel west, if we go much further our towels will turn into sandpaper. Woody walks to the paper shop to pick up a newspaper which is due in at 10:30 only to find that the papers missed the plane. Bugger.
There are three nice little spas here, perfect for co
uples so we grab one and relax in the warm bubbles. However, when Woody decides to run back and get a beer and the iPad to take a photo of us enjoying the spa under an iconic rusty windmill a somewhat boring couple invite themselves to join us. I politely suggest that there is an empty spa over there and that they are all the same temperature, but no, they insist on talking loudly at us and we… are lucky enough to hear their life story, the attributes of their caravan which it seems can go anywhere and their daughter whom they hope will marry their local butcher. As most butchers cheekily display awards for the ‘Best Sausage’ on their windows, I am tempted to ask if future son in law had also received a Best Sausage award. We are thankful to escape with our ears intact. Did we get a photo? No!
But there is a stunning sunset lighting the sky as we cook our chops.