Packing up from Trilby had us heading further north towards Bourke. But first a quick stop in for a coffee and some breakfast.
It wasn’t far to Louth so we thought we would stop and enjoy a tasty egg & bacon roll, and a hot coffee. We stopped at Shindy’s Inn, one of the character filled pubs scattered around the outback. It comes with a camp ground next door if you want to stop and have a beer, and we hear that the Louth Races are well worth a visit.
Louth has an interesting history as a river port on the Darling, it is no longer a river port due to the unpredictability of the Darling River levels. The town is most noted for its glowing Celtic Cross, which is a memorial to Mary Matthews it was erected by her husband Thomas Matthews the town founder. The memorial left Victoria in 1883 on the steamer Jane Eliza, which became marooned at Tilpa for two years in a drought. Mathews eventually had the cross delivered to Louth cemetery by cart, where it was positioned with help from Finn and a riverboat captain so that at sunset each day it reflects a halo-like image, visible from various angles on the Louth common. On August 19, the anniversary of Mary’s death, the sun reflects from the cross to the front door of the spot where her house, The Retreat, once stood.
Then onto Bourke. It was going to be a bigger than usual drive and the weather was hot, hot, hot. We cruised along with Molly ticking along, with the air con on and some tunes playing away. When we got to Bourke we stopped in at the Tourist Info, this is what we typically do at each stop. The local communities usually have not only brochures on hand to give us some ideas, but chatting to the locals, who are usually quite passionate about their areas, it always a good way to get some pointers. Unfortunately today though, we were just hot and tired. The Tourist Info was actually located at the Back ‘O Bourke Centre, which if we had have been staying for more than one night would have been on the agenda. It brings to life the story of Outback new South Wales. This is poets country, and our caravan park hosted a bush poets night a few times a week. It just wasn’t our night. We took this as a sign that we would have to return at another time, and proceeded to setup camp and head off to follow the heritage drive map we picked up the Tourist Info centre. We returned to camp and spent some time lazing around the pool in a lovely little tropical oasis setting, and catching up on some of our admin tasks. Early night as we were heading off again in the morning to Lightening Ridge.