Day 6, Friday 19/7/2019 Lightning Ridge – Nindigully, 6 – 18
Our fingers are cold but it is a glorious morning. Small red ant hills are dotted through the Mulga scrub. The road is quiet, a few wandering sheep and a lot of roadkill, all kangaroos. The crows are busy feasting on the carcasses.
We cross into Queensland at Hebel and notice that the iconic pub now allows RV camping, good on ‘em. Around Dirranbandi there are Roos feeding on the roadside grass and a lot of roadkill.
We pull up out front of the Nindigully Pub beside the Moonie River and once again we can’t get the fridge started on gas. There is a stiff breeze blowing so we drive about the busy camping area trying to find a better spot and looking like a pair of nincompoops. Eventually we settle beside the dunnies, a site that others avoid owing to the smell. Alas, the fridge isn’t going to start and figuring that it will be a rather cold night we choose to just minimise our use or should I say keep the bloody door closed. Funny though that our mates had the same problem here in 2016. There’s another problem too, the bathroom mat is soaked. I wrongly assume that the fridge has leaked but it is as dry as a chip. Later I lift the toilet lid only to discover water, full to the brim. It’s quite a while before I remember that there was a strange swishing noise during breakfast when the laundry basket was sitting on the loo lid and obviously resting on the button too.
We wander over to the beer garden and feel quite at home. This is the perfect Aussie beer garden, sunny with a few palms, yes we’re in Queensland now, an assortment of sheds and shelters dotted around, some complete with chandeliers. There’s plenty of lawn and a big fire pit welded from plough discs. In the trees there are currawongs, miners, butcher birds and a few others going nuts. Patrons are tucking into burgers and chips and the French barmaid tells us that at happy hour the wine comes in “leetle boxes”. That gives us a laugh when we realise that she means wine casks.The sun is warm on our backs and frankly all we could wish for now is a well behaved fridge. Out front of the pub the Moonie River is covered in pink weed. A bunch of pelicans are snoozing in the sun on a soft carpet of pink.
We pop back to the pub for happy hour and dinner. The fire is alight in the beer garden, the chandeliers glowing and and a couple of wallabies are grazing just to complete the idyllic scene. Grey Nomads are wandering back and forth from the shower block clutching towels. One can only hope that they’re putting their gold coins in the box for the Royal Flying Doctor Service as I doubt we’ll see these guys in the bar for a beer. In the bar the ceiling is lined with jackaroo’s hats and from high on the walls stuffed pigs grin down at us. The place is in full swing. We grab a table in the white timber lined dining room and marvel at the paraphernalia. Carved emu eggs and photos of laden drays, stories of Cobb & Co. This place is priceless and you could spend hours in here. It was built in 1864 and was a Cobb & Co staging post in the days when it cost 12 shillings just to ride the horse drawn coach to Thallon, the next town, at that price I reckon most people would have walked. Our Barra and chips arrive and isn’t as good as we remember, perhaps we should have ordered a burger ‘cos they look great. We walk to the van under a million stars, holy hell, we can’t put the heater on quick enough, it’s freezing!
Summary 232kms, toilet, dump Point, Accom $0, no bloody fridge!