Day 2 Monday 15/7/2019, Tocumwal to Mirrool, sunny 8 – 15
We slept really well last night, the van was cosy and warm, the morning is barely cold and there are rosellas outside. In town we have a coffee by the fire in Chrissie’s Book Cafe. Tocumwal is looking prosperous and the sun is warming. Yes, we did make the right decision to get away.
Up the Newell Highway at Jerilderie, where bush ranger Ned Kelly once held the whole town to ransom, things aren’t looking as rosy. The street is neat and tidy but there are only a few businesses operating, one being the bakery, of course bakeries tend to outlast pubs. It’s another 100kms to Narrandera, the plains are as flat as flat to the horizon. There are some cattle and green crops growing and at least there is water laying about from the recent rains. We even spot a fox nosing about in the tussocky roadside grass. We swap drivers at Narrandera, the land has changed again, a few hills, more trees and elegant Murray pines.
By 1:00 we roll into Mirrool, the very same spot where we camped last year. We hook up to power and water for $10 and can’t wait for the pub to open as we can almost taste their mouth watering crumbed lamb cutlets. In the meantime we polish off the last of the soup, thank God, and graduate to chicken sandwiches using the BBQ chook. There’s a chilly wind blowing. As the only taps are beside the amenities block Woody decides to put a couple of bucketfuls into our tanks. Oh bugger. There’s a hole in the bucket (Dear Liza, dear Liza?). Oh, and the new 12 volt pump won’t work either. Just a little more fuel for our paranoia. There’s no need to worry about water as there are showers here and the pub does meals 7 days a week. Our table which fell out of the wall near Rockhampton 3 years ago is looking a bit dodgy so Woody tightens that up.
At 4:00 we pop over to the pub to say g’day, have a beer and book for dinner, we’re still dreaming of that roaring fire and those crumbed cutlets. But wait, something is amiss, the blinds are drawn and the door locked. A local lady drives up and tells us that the pub closed last week, the bank gave the family 6 days to move out and that’s that. The little town of 19 and area of 100 now have no pub and a dozen grey nomads out front are wondering what the hell to cook for dinner. A steady procession of trucks and cars slow down, look around, then drive off. Our hearts go out to a delightful hardworking family who made a difference yet still hit the wall. Life’s a bitch sometimes.
Summary Day 2, 253kms, power, water, toilet, showers, no pub, Accom $10