PenUltimate Destinations

Mays Bend – Bourke

3-4 April, 2015

I think I had about 3 hours sleep. That combined feeling of tiredness and excitement that precedes a big trip kept me awake for most of the night. Knowing that we had a 3:30am alarm set didn’t help either.

Thanks Henry, we’re trying to get to know Australia

But FINALLY, we were on the road to the Darling River. This trip had effectively been in the pipeline for 4 years as our 2011 plans were modified due to some significant flooding. We were travelling again with Trent and Leanne, and their boys Sean and Ryan.

Photographer Trent at work capturing the moment

We made our way across the mountains, finally emerging from the thick fog into the pre-dawn chill of Lithgow for a quick toilet stop and coffee. Well, the toilet stop part was at least relatively quick – even if the Good Friday holiday “surprise” rush had caught the local McDonalds staff unprepared.

Main street of Bourke

The traffic thinned as we got further away from Sydney and we arrived at Nyngan for a lunch stop. Now, I don’t want to make disparaging remarks about country folk in the very first Darling River post, but I think the people of Nyngan may need to work on their grip of time, as their “16 minute” wait, ended up more like 45. I’d like to be able to tell you that Trent’s burger was worth waiting for…

Camp set for night 1 on the Darling

Out of Nyngan we set cruise control, and used a shoe lace to tie the steering wheel to the brake pedal and enjoyed the scenery changing to the famous Australian “red dirt” outback. We trundled through Bourke and onto our first “wikicamps” selected site of Mays Bend, on the Darling River. We arrived to find the prime spots already taken, so continued around the river until we found a perfect spot for us with great river views, and a clear open space.

That’s the spirit!

On Saturday we headed into Bourke and found out there was some “Back to Bourke” festival on, so enjoyed some street markets and also watched some wool bale rolling competitions down the main street. The cemetery was out the other side of town so we checked that out and saw the grave of Fred Hollows.

There are worse ways to wake up…

Back to the campsite to chill and get ready for moving on tomorrow. The plan was to head to Louth, and then onto Trilby Station. We were treated to a beautiful full moon rising just after sunset, followed by a severe thunderstorm warning and a decent storm! It would be interesting to see the state of the roads in the morning!

Our 2 nights here to mark the start of the “Darling River Run” takes our total to 182.

Here’s our track for most of day 1. 

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