Hello dear friends,
Well I’m back after a night off from blogging. Tiredness caught up with me after a week on the road. However, I found time yesterday to sit outside the van and catch up on my Travel Journal. Therefore, today I will share with you Day Seven and Eight of our Outback Adventure with the help of Caffeine. Enjoy!
Wed 30th July 2014
We set off for Charleville far later than we planned today. The trouble was we were enjoying ourselves far too much to leave Mitchell sooner!
With memories of the 38 degree spa pool fresh in our minds from the day before, we packed up and headed for town across the new ‘you-beaut’ bridge built after the 2012 floods. Our aim was to walk the town then have a ‘you-beaut’ coffee as per the rickety-rusty sign on the way to Mitchell but it wasn’t quite that simple after all.
There were two reasons for this. One, I had not counted on the town being so interesting and two, I had not counted on Geoff being so darn friendly to the locals! After telling the couple to enter the Big Rig in Roma, his confidence knew no bounds and so he greeted passers-by or serving staff in shops, old ladies in charity shops and anyone else he bumped into including dogs!
And he chatted … and chatted …
I thought I was Mrs Hav-a-Chat, but Geoff left me for dead today. Perhaps I wasn’t feeling as magnanimous as he was, but I was left way behind! An old fellow walking along said “good morning!” so Geoff hit him with “So, what’s happening in Mitchell today?”
Poor fellow, he wasn’t expecting this question. Turns out he’s lived in the town for 85 years. Loves the place. Then he spies a mate having breakfast outside the Bakery Café and sits down to catch up with him. When we return an hour later, he is still there chatting away. This seems to be a regular occurrence. How lovely to live in a town with a population of under 1000 and catch up with friends in the main street every day.
Meanwhile, Geoff and I looked around. He asked one women in a shop that sold everything from R.M. Williams to plastic shoes to Scanpans, how long she had lived in Mitchell. Only three years: a newcomer it seems.
“Oh, don’t look at my ceiling!” she said “it’s filthy!” Immediately we both looked up at the circa 1880 ornate plastered ceiling and commented on how lovely it was … we never saw anything but beauty!
Next, we crossed the road to the Library/Art Gallery which was once the Picture Theatre. The Librarian directed us upstairs to the projection room, left intact for visitors to see. What a marvel! It took us back to the fifties and memories of the theatres of our day.
Then Carmel, at the Old Wares Shop, was not safe from Geoff either and felt so comfortable with him she soon asked him if he knew the meaning of a word in an article she was reading! We chatted awhile and looked around at the old memorabilia including a 22 capacity egg poacher with lid on display. It was rather fascinating and I came away with a beanie and a tea cosy knitted for charity.
Oh dear, it is sad when you buy a beanie to wear at night in the van to keep your head warm … there is no such thing as making a fashion statement when you are on the road!
Finally, our hopes high for good coffee, we arrived at The Bakery. Young Adam at the Caravan Park has advised us to have an apple turnover here so we obliged. It looked so good when the lady arrived with two large black and white spotted mugs as we sat outside.
However, as we realised that the coffee was almost like hot milk, we overhead the couple next to us ask for some instant coffee to put in their flat whites. How funny as I had just finished telling Geoff that we needed to add instant coffee to our milk!
Another not-so-good coffee experience. However, I have to give ten out of ten for that brilliant apple turnover complete with fresh cream. Yummy!
Time to leave Mitchell and head to Charleville. What a great stopover. Even Adam at the park waved us off, mobile in hand as he was looking up ‘Life with Tess’ after telling him I had mentioned him on my blog. Quite chuffed he was too!
Thursday 31st July 2014
Sitting outside our van in the sunshine. The Cobb & Co Caravan Park in here Charleville is quite rustic and I can hear birds chirping in the many trees around us. The washing machine is going full-bore as I wait for the load to finish. Finally, after five days at different towns, it is nice to stay two nights here and get some chores done.
We have a booking tonight at the Cosmos Centre to see the night skies through powerful telescopes. We’ve been here before nine years ago but Geoff is keen to go again and I can’t deny him that. I went again in 2009 when I came here for work.
As I sit here, I can smell my rolled brisket cooking in the slow cooker with vegetables and spices for tonight’s dinner. Beef bought at an amazing Butchery in Mitchell yesterday was too hard to resist. You can still eat well whilst on the road dear friends.