July 2018, Finch Hatton, Qld
It’s a deliriously warm afternoon and from our showgrounds campsite we walk a few metres to the pub on the main street for lunch. By the photos on the walls The Criterion Hotel was once a handsome two storey Queenslander that survived being almost washed away in 1958 by an angry and somewhat swollen Cattle Creek. Nowadays the old girl has succumbed to sheets of cladding and corrugated iron and a slathering of quite possibly the wrong shade of blue paint but the signature ‘Cri’ pies are good. Little crimped bundles of beef filled pastry with chips and good old Queensland gravy of course are lip smackingly good. We sit outside on the veranda, soaking up the warmth like old cats. Beside us there’s a palm fringed lawn, beyond which is a public toilet, a playground and the busily shunting cane train. All town essentials around these parts.