From Yowah we hit the road again and for another one and a half hours of red dirt and mulga, though at one point we are arrested, as we crest a ridge, by a fabulous view of hundreds of kilometres of …wait for it… red dirt and mulga. (sorry no photo, I was driving)
Around lunchtime we pull into Toompine Hotel known as “The pub without a town”. A corrugated classic with an old tennis court out front and a row of accommodation dongas happily labelled Toompine Terraces. Built in 1893 The Toompine was once a Cobb & Co coach stop. There is a cheery young Italian girl behind the bar. She’s here on a visiting work visa and doesn’t seem at all phased by the red dirt and mulga. Caravans and motorhomes are dotted about out front.
We walk about a kilometre down a red dusty track behind the pub to the ‘cemery’. The small graveyard has a sign carved with the word ‘cemery’ from a piece of mulga by a young girl mourning the loss of her brother who is buried there.
At dinner time a young bull walks past our van door, so we follow him to the pub, as you do. The tiny pub is full, warm and cheery. We share dinner with D and J of Newcastle who arrive in a large Winnebago and were camped near us at Cunnamulla. They’re on the road full time and doing each state thoroughly one at a time. We chat on and somewhere during the night we realise that we were both at the same rugby match at the World Cup in Melbourne when the All Blacks (Go Blacks!) were playing Italy. As we leave the pub we wish that we’d brought a torch. It’s beyond dark and as the saying goes, it’s as black as a dog’s guts. At least we manage to avoid the cow pats.
We wake to a glorious morning, the sun is rising over the mulga in the east and the moon setting over a windmill in the west. Over at the pub the publican is cleaning up the joint and getting ready for another day.
How nice it is to open the blinds to this.