In other words the outback,
Out past where the Darling River flows.
Where the roads are rough dirt and sand
The land is harsh and hot
That’s 45c hot on an early autumn day and the days in 38 – 45c range stretched on while I was there.
The recent floods meant that the inland rivers were flowing.
And in Wilcannia where the banks are 12 metres above the normal river height
But the high water line on the doors of the shower cubicals shows the flood got well over 12 metres.
The locals told me that in Bourke when the water was at its highest it was running over the old wooden lift bridge. A relic from the days when paddle steamers plied Australia’s inland rivers.
Water is life. Not just for humans, but for animals, especially birds.
The kites circling in the skies over the rivers.
The waterbirds in the river.
My favourite was the raucous Glossy Black Cockatoos that came down to the river to drink.
While there is always beauty there are also constant reminders of the harshness of the Outback.
The dry, dusty, sandy, and rutted roads
The dry red soil
The millions of fish that die when the relentless heat suck all the oxygen out of the water.
The dead Dingo hung in the tree. Supposedly to scare off other Dingos, but more likely a reassurance to the shooter that he has control of the environment. There is no controlling this wild country.
Not far on from.the Dingo Tree is Warnaaring -200kn out Back o’ Bourke. I stayed at the camp ground.
The owner just laughed when I said I was looking forward to a cool shower.
I turned what I thought was the cold tap. Scalding water came spurting out. I quickly turned the tap off. I turned on the other tap and heard the gas hot water heater burst into life as piping hot water came forth.- tap off. Back to my first choice of tap and let it run a bit.
Agh after a little while a nice hot shower from the cold water tap. I guess that’s how hot the sandy soil gets after long spells of 40c heat.
There is also something quirky outback and for me this time it was an amazing stick insect.
You have to look so closely to distinguish it from the tree twigs!
Each trip to the outback is a learning experience.