Day 97 Tuesday 31/8/21 Charleville, hot 31
It was a perfectly warm night with all the windows and hatches open. We’re up early to meet Craig at 8:30 for the farm tour. Craig is by trade a horticulturalist which explains the quality of the gardens here. We take a short walk behind the park as Craig describes life and the land out here using a lot of drawings in the dirt. We learn of the landscape, the Murray Darling Basin of which this is the top end (the Murray River is a thousand kms to the south of here), carbon credits, feral pests and the vegetation and all with a lot of descriptive references to dried out rissoles. He describes the Mulga scrub as ‘living haystacks’ as these trees provide food for cattle where there is no grass. Craig explains complex topics in a way that anyone can understand.
On Craig’s advice we drive out to the site where Sir Ross and Keith Smith landed on their way to Sydney after completing their record-breaking flight from London to Darwin in 1919*. If we had turned our heads we would have seen the historic Cobb & Co bridges and if we had been on the right road we would have seen the local swimming hole. I reckon we’re losing our touch, we’ve been in the sun too long.
At happy hour the Prado’s meet friends from home (not relatives for a change) and as we all sit gazing at the fire and chatting the musician stops mid song grumbling something about people complaining about noise. The woman beside me laughs and says “Looks like the musician has cracked the shits”. Afterwards we sit under the awning chatting about how much we’ll miss this life when we get home, as we always do.
We cook fish cakes in the air fryer and eat outside in the warm, then go for a late night walk to look at the stars. God they’re good out here.
Towing Kms: 0
*The Smith brothers completed their flight in a Vickers Vimy biplane in under 28 days. In another 50 years man was walking on the moon. Sir Ross Smith died tragically in an aviation accident in England in 1922.