Day 3 – Broken Hill and surrounds

“Congratulations!” the friendly lady behind the Service NSW counter said as she wished me congratulations on passing my Drivers Knowledge Test.

I had hoped to sit the multiple choice test last week, but the spots were booked out everywhere in Sydney with that short notice. So since we had decided to stay in Broken Hill for two nights, I booked in at the service center in Broken Hill instead.

Passing the knowledge test means that I am now allowed to drive with Brent beside me; or more accurately: Brent is allowed to teach me to drive.

Judging from my first go an hour or so later, out in the middle of nowhere with only a couple of kangaroos and donkeys watching, I might be a natural driver!

I guess time, and the amount of traffic, will tell…

In my eagerness I asked to learn to parallel park – I got it right the 3rd time or so – keep in mind, I used a fence as a car prop and there were no one behind me either… However, as Brent said: “it’s probably the first time someone learns to parallel park the first time they try driving a car…” No need to say I felt a bit proud of myself!

Not my best side but testimony nevertheless, to my first time driving

We had lunch at Silverton Hotel (20 km outside Broken Hill), the pub above all other outback pubs, in the middle of what used to be a bustling mining town with a peak population of 3,000 people in the 1890s, to what is now most commonly referred to as a ghost town, or the filming location of the Mad Max movies (and several other movies), and with a current population of about 50 people. Nevertheless, the pub is now a major tourist attraction, along with quite a few art galleries, and a couple of museums.

As taken out of a western movie, but this facade is the real deal and not a prop

What’s left of the original main street streetscape

After an afternoon nap at the motel we drove out to the Living Desert and Sculpture Park, about 6 km outside of Broken Hill. We arrived just in time for a shortish walk up to the sculptures from where we could watch the sunset.

The texture of the rocks and this landscape… how anything can grow here amazes me

A lonesome wallaby along the trail to the top

The 12 sandstone sculptures are located 395 m above sea level (not that there’s any sea nearby!) on a hilltop, allowing you to not only take in the amazing sculptures in the light of the sunset, but also the breathtaking views as the setting sun casts long shadows over the open terrain below.

My man and I

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