We passed through Bourke in the north-west of New South Wales fairly late in the afternoon and took the road less traveled to Shindy’s Inn at Louth. Population 35.
Like quite a few country pubs free camping brings in the grey nomads and sustains a business that could not survive on the local population alone. Indeed, at a pinch the entire population of Louth could fit in the dining room of Shindy’s Inn.
The small camping area overlooks the Darling River. Should there not be room at the inn there is plenty of free camping on the opposite bank of the river but no toilets or shower and a longer walk to the pub.
The pub is up for sale. Be quick.
All roads out of Louth are impassable after heavy rain. It was a warm evening with cloud building up. The prospect of a longer stay loomed.
The morning brought brought strong winds and a dust storm. We packed quickly and headed for Cobar under a threatening sky.
A flock of Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos was a welcome sight.
Rain came eventually but we’d made it to the bitumen by the time it caught up with us. Our destination was the Old School Caravan Park at Merriwagga. The hospitality here is almost embarrassingly good. Kel Fry is the man. He gets around the site on his quadri-cycle and makes sure everyone is happy.
It was cold, wet and very windy, the hotel was warm, dry and inviting. We succumbed. The wind died as the sun went down and the rain stopped soon after.
What a day … from the back of Bourke to beyond the Black Stump.
We pitched the tent after dark and it was dry in the morning.
And then we drove home.