Day 7 – Flinders Ranges to Broken Hill

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“You’re going straight for the next 250km and then right at the roundabout. “

We were half way through to Broken Hill from Flinders Ranges. This time we took the main road/highway, which instead of the dirt track, took us through the old towns Ororroo and Petersborough and in general there were more settlements/homesteads along the main road.

We had only just left Flinders Ranges this morning before we passed a car that had stopped by the side of the road. Behind it was a dead kangaroo. The blood on the front of the car made it easy to figure out what had just happened.

The passengers had gone out to check if the kangaroo was dead and if there were any joeys in the pouch.

If you hit a kangaroo you have to call the local police and/or the animal rescue service. The police will help you take the kangaroo out of its misery if it’s still alive and the animal rescue service will try to at least save the joey.

The massive solar farm just outside Broken Hill

We got in to Broken Hill relatively early so before we checked in to the Palace Hotel we did a little bit of sightseeing, amongst other things a milk bar as they looked in the 1950’s.

Our previous stay in Broken Hill was at a motel, this time, we had booked in to the Palace Hotel, which is also known from the movie Priscilla Queen of the Dessert, with the storyline of a group of drag queens from Sydney traveling to the outback to do a drag show at this particular hotel.

The hotel interior is now a tribute to the movie, and having chosen to book the Priscilla Suite, we got the full experience!

After having settled in to the room we ordered a couple of drinks at the bar and went to enjoy the last sunrays from the very large balcony wrapping around the first floor of the hotel.

When it got too chilly we went back down to the bar where they had a local musician playing.

We had almost finished dinner at the adjoining restaurant which was full of Mother’s Day diners, only waiting for the cheese board that Brent had been longing for for a week or so, when this group of 4 went and sat at the table next to us.

They were a cheerful, some would say loud, bunch, and definitely not there to celebrate Mother’s Day.

The guy closest to us turned around and introduced himself as Cain and if we heard him swearing we should just hit him in the back of his head. He continued to tell us that they were all “blowins” and had only just met at the hotel bar.

We ended up joining their table.

Cain, who quickly got the nickname Ginko from some mine he used to work in, was from New Zealand, living in Melbourne but working on windmills around Australia, then there was Craig who lives in Gisborne and owns a cleaning company, he was in Broken Hill for the weekend to participate in a clay pigeon shooting competition, and lastly a couple, Kaylene and Scott who owns a farm somewhere near Wentworth (with their nearest neighbours 80 km away), approximately 2 hrs drive away from Broken Hill, who had come to town to do their grocery shopping, and for a night out, and then there was the two of us, the city people.

After their dinner, Brent’s cheeseboard and a fair bit of wine, and stories like how Kaylene and Scott uses their motorbikes to round up the wild goats that dare to cross their property for a bit of Saturday fun (and apparently there’s good money in goats these days); the restaurant had emptied and we were the only ones left, so we moved into the front bar of the hotel where a couple of Queenslanders joined us for a game of pool.

First up was Brent and I, against Kaylene and Scott. Turns out Brent’s got a bit of a talent on the pool table! And when my final, more or less planned, strike, sunk the black ball in to the corner pocket, we won the game!

By that time it was past 10pm/22.00 and not quite impressed with how late his Sunday shift had turned, the bartender clearly wanted to get home. So Brent and I said our farewells and retreated to our Priscilla Suite.

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