We have arrived in Bouila. It was a great drive up the Kennedy Development Road. Not the one laned snake we were led to believe, plenty of double laned sections and wide verges. Country was looking good with green grasses and cattle enjoying the sun. They were unaware of their ultimate destination.
Along the way we stopped for lunch at the Middleton Hotel, steak sandwiches and chips. This is the last standing staging stop on the Cobb & Co route between Winton and Bouila. A movie has recently been made here, Goldstone, with Jacqui Weaver among the cast. Lots of sets were set up here , including a brothel next to the pub. All have now gone. Not sure about the movie.
Further along we stopped briefly at the Hamilton Hotel ruins site. A thought had been given to staying overnight here. We didn’t, it was a bit too far out there. Concerns were also had for the Min Min lights. One could sense their presence in the place. Although, later at the Min Min Centre in Bouila we learnt that we couldn’t sense them…………. they could sense us. So we could have stayed there after all!
In Bouila, we have gone to the two attractions the town has to offer. Firstly, the Stonehouse Museum which holds the usual collection of historical memorabilia that country towns have. Its major collection though is fossils from the ancient inland sea. Quite a good display. Secondly, the Min Min Centre. Now this was seriously good. A bit tongue in cheek. Tells the story of the Min Min lights, or Jack O’lanterns. Mysterious orbs that appear as if out of nowhere and follow you around, disappearing as quickly as they appear. We haven’t seen any yet. We keep being told that there is no point looking for them, because they find you!
Bouila is situated on the banks of the Burke River, named by Burke (of Bourke & Wills fame) when he travelled through these parts. Tradition suggests he filled his water bags in the river not far from our camp ground. It is a small town of about 300 people. There seems to be plenty of community energy around with some good facilities, only one pub though……….. the appropriately named Australian Hotel. No banks.
Tomorrow, we leave Bouila and head down the Donohue Highway to the Northern Territory border. There it becomes the Plenty Highway. Near the border we plan to stop for the night at Tobermoray, a cattle station with camping facilities. A further 200 km on is Jervois Station for our next night and then a camp ground at Gem Tree, not far from the Stuart Highway. All gravel it seems.
There is no internet for the next few days. So there will be big update to come.