Thursday, June 26, 2008


Which reminds me of Thargomindah.
What does?
Diverting from a planned route “to just have a look at something”.

A few years ago we had planned to drive to Cairns and ended up in Thargomindah.
Bad navigating?
No. We were barely under way (in the centre of Brisbane actually i.e. 20 kilometres from home) when Jill said, “Let's go via Thargomindah”.
Well, it is somewhat out of the way but hey! why not? We eventually arrived in this town some 1250 kilometres from Cairns as the crow flies, and believe me, there is a lot of crows out west. I wonder do they ever fly from Thargomindah to Cairns? But no stunning Baroque churches. Remember Banjo Patterson's outback poem The Bush Christening?
“On the outer Barcoo where churches are few
and men of religion are scanty,...”
Thargomindah is actually on the Bulloo River. But that's a minor detail. It's just as far out and the description fits.

We arrived in the lateish afternoon and, like in biblical times, there was no room at the inn. Nor at the motel. Nor at the caravan park! The helpful receptionist at the motel suggested a B&B 'out of town' (photo). She would telephone to see if they had a vacancy. “No sense driving there for nothing”. She did.
They did.
Then she gave us instructions to get there. “Well, a little way out of town”, she conceded, “but lovely people.” The place was some 80 kilometres down along the Bulloo River! Yes, eighty, or as the locals told us: “about four stubbies out”. Turn off the road when you see a boat on the right hand side, follow the track and you can't miss it.

We arrived to the hearty welcome of the worried hosts. Worried? There were storms in the area (we had noticed) and had one crossed the black-soil road we were slowly travelling along, we would have been stuck.
They didn't luckily.
And we weren't. Thank God for that.
It was these hosts who convinced us to stay around Thargomindah rather than drive all that long way (and out there you can't drive as the crow flies) to Cairns.

So for the next few weeks we experienced the desert splendour as well as the friendliness and hospitality of Thargomindah (it is a beautiful-sounding name) and Queensland's Far South West.
We still haven't been to Cairns together.

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