Day 96 Monday 30/8/21 Morven to Charleville, hot 31
The smell of the bush out here in the early morning makes you never want to go home. Thankfully our convoy of Christian neighbours leave early and peace returns.
It’s a long straight and good road west painted with a palette of grasses in shades of cream, red dirt, gums and mulga scrub. The mulga has a serene beauty, the puffs of pale leaves against a tangle of dark spindly branches.
How can I explain our arrival at Evening Star farm stay? It’s nothing short of a comedy that John Cleese would be proud of. Entering the office we pass the Whinge Box and are greeted by Craig who says he’ll get the boss. In walks Mum Shirl who says she’s catching a flight to Brisbane, so she’s not the boss but daughter Sarah is the acting manager. No one can find Sarah so Shirl says that she’ll check us in even though she’s catching a flight. It seems that Sarah has missed her first customer check in because she’s cleaning the toilets. Sarah appears, everyone cries “Here’s the boss!” but she says “I’m only a volunteer!” Shirl says “I’ve gotta go, I’m catching a flight.” Everyone is cracking jokes at nineteen to the dozen and Sarah almost throws me into a golf cart for a rapid park tour, 30seconds later we’re back at the office and the operation is repeated with Elle on board. There’s no need for pretty printed maps here. Sarah points out our large sites just behind the office and we get ourselves set up. I walk over to the amenities block to check the laundry situation and an excited Shirl runs up to use the loo. “I’m trying to mop the floor” says Sarah. “I don’t care, I’m catching a flight” says Mum Shirl.
Evening Star farm stay / caravan park is situated in a tiny corner of a 30,000 acre farm about 9kms or so out of Charleville. The gardens here are an excellent example of dry climate natives and have come on tremendously since our last visit back in 2014. The park itself has been greatly improved and bird life is attracted to the gardens.
To our surprise our neighbours will soon be the Prado’s near neighbours when they shift house in a few months’ time. They’re waiting here on doctor’s orders for Pfizer shots before heading south.
We drive into town for a walk around. So famous is Charleville that I can’t even type the name without hearing Slim Dusty singing in my head “In Charleville, in Charleville….”. Today it’s not very busy but it feels hot. We grab a cold drink in the bar at Hotel Corones and pick up a few groceries.
Happy hour supposedly starts at 5pm but seems to start at 3pm when Craig lights the large mulga wood fire. Which, he tells us he hasn’t lit since last Easter as enough heat remains each day that it regenerates with each addition of wood. Drinks from the bar are cheap and someone bakes damper in an old oven and passes around warm chunks dripping with jam and cream. An entertainer warbles in the shed.
It’s such a warm night that we cook a steak with air fryer potatoes and pumpkin and eat outside. It feels good to be back at Evening Star.
Accom: 35.00 (power, water, toilets, showers, laundry, camp kitchen, licensed bar, phone and wifi only at camp kitchen / bar)
Towing Kms: 90kms