Halloween morning, Sunday 31st October, leaving Bourke

We’re on the road early this morning, having stayed at the Riverside Motel in Bourke last night due to rain forecast. A good move as it turned out, with a heavy storm in the night.

Driving through unending flat plains this morning, with knee high grasses beneath stands of varying trees. Just crossed a bridge over a creek swollen with the night’s rain. We can see these flat plains stretching across the horizon for 360degrees, beneath the high blue Australian skies, this morning laced with ribbons of white cloud.

Scattered groups of dark red cattle lie beneath the trees’ shade, lazing in the morning’s warmth.

We’ve passed nearly 100 wild emus already this morning, sometimes solo, sometimes in groups of maybe 20 of the huge flightless birds; the most we’ve seen together so far. Enjoying the spring grass along with the Hereford and Black Angus cattle.

Several farmsteads – “stations” out here – appear along the road, the homesteads dwarfed by the huge machinery sheds.

Two young lads staying at our motel last night were harvesters, their dark red combine parked outside the Motel when we arrived. Aged late teens or early twenties, they tell us they’ve driven up from Victoria and are due east of Walgett to begin combining in Queensland on Monday. The youngest drives the white Ute (pick-up truck), still displaying his red P plates.

It’s quite a task to pass the driving test out here. To get a learner licence entitling you to learn to drive with a qualified driver in the passenger seat, means attending the test station with 100 points of ID along with taking a computer test. Ed passed his before we left Melbourne so can drive the Land Cruiser – but learners aren’t permitted to tow so he can’t pull the camper trailer. We’ll have him driving whenever we park up the trailer and go exploring from base. Once 120 hours of accompanied driving have been logged, Ed can take his test at age 18. He’ll then have to wear red “P” plates for 12 months and green “Ps” for 3 years. So the young harvester is probably 19.

The truck bowls along under the blue sky, “Outback Radio” playing the Eagles and country rock. “Don’t forget me when I’m gone” implores the husky baritone; hope this helps u to think of us.

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2 Responses
  1. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

  2. angela says:

    Thanks for this!
    Best,
    Angela

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