As we strolled down the seemingly deserted streets of Broken Hill this evening looking for a place to have some dinner, we stopped to ask a young man at an ATM for advice. Gerry mentioned there didn’t seem to be many places to choose from and our advisor says, “You’re in the Outback now, Mate!”
We certainly are. At the early worship service at the Anglican Church in Dubbo this morning, more than one person told us, when hearing we were driving to Broken Hill today, “You’ll see some different country out that way.” Different, yes, and not at all what we expected.
This year has been very rainy in Australia; whenever we engaged the locals in conversation, we heard about the 10-year drought coming to an end this spring with an entire year’s worth of rain falling in just two months. So instead of acres and acres of bleak landscape, we saw green fields, green grass, and even standing water (some where it probably shouldn’t have been, unfortunately).
We also expected high temps, but drove all day today in partly cloudy and very pleasant conditions. No complaints here, that’s for sure.
Since the journey today extended over 400 miles, Gerry was looking for a break after about five hours of steady driving. Soooo, I got behind the wheel for the first time this trip; I couldn’t have had a better opportunity as the road was long and straight, the speed limit was around 65 mph, and there was very little traffic. We both survived …. : ) . Speaking of survival, we were saddened to see a rather large number of kangaroo carcasses on the road today; we’ve been told they seldom come near the road during the day, but do wander out during the evenings or early mornings. They don’t do so well when coming into contact with high-speed vehicles.
While traveling from Bathurst to Dubbo yesterday, we stopped at “The Age of Fishes Museum” in Canowindra. A HUGE number of prehistoric fish fossils have been discovered near this little town, most of which are housed in the museum.
We spent quite some time there and were treated royally – it seems we were the first (and only?) guests the volunteers saw all day and they lavished every attention on us. This was definitely a good thing and we enjoyed their enthusiasm.
Our stay here in Broken Hill will be filled with sights and sounds of the town’s mining history after which we’ll head south to Adelaide and a visit to Kangaroo Island. Stay tuned ….