The bar lady, left with out instructions from the boss charged me bottle shop price, not the more expensive bar price. She gave me my extra cash and went back to pulling pots of gold for the locals. (A pot is a Queensland term for a glass of about 10 ounces. So if you drink FourX Gold beer, it’s a pot of gold!)
I returned from ordering our food from the hatch at the back of the bar, called the food counter. The “Camp Manager” was laying a table, in a gallant effort to make the table look like the Savoy instead of a dodgy bar in outback Queensland. He had found a white table-cloth and set it with wine glasses he’d whistled up from somewhere, laid out pub knifes and forks and had opened the bottle wine to breathe.
We dined at our splendid table while the locals went and collected their meals at the hatch and eat off the bare topped tables. Treated like special guests we had a good evening, the locals were very friendly.[/su_panel]
It’s pack-up time again, time to start the journey back towards home. We drove the 540 odd kilometres to Charleville, only to find it shut for New Years day. The closed for new year sign is on the Flying Doctor base, and so are any exhibits displaying depicting this region. Nobody comes this way in the summer anyway. Between Longreach and Charleville there were more long straight roads with red dirt on either side, only broken by long straight roads with brown dirt on either side.
One of the results of the drought is the large amount of road kill that’s seen all the way from any town to any town. On stretches of the road between Longreach and Charleville flat kangaroos and wallabies adorn the road every few yards. They often attracted large clouds of black crows and hawks. These birds present a danger, as do the dead kangaroos lying on the ground. At times we were dodging around them and the road marker poles that seemed to appear in the middle of the road, at 110 kms an hour. Often as you approached a line of these dead bodies, birds would rise in all directions from the carcases, and settle again as soon as you had passed. This drought may not have been good for the kangaroos but the crows and other carrion birds were definitely thriving.
We arrived in Charleville around 1.30pm and drove around until we found suitable accommodation, we had decided to stay in a motel for the last night and eat out as a bit of a change. We selected the hotel called the Cattle Camp; they had budget rooms and were putting a meal on in the evening. We noticed as we pulled up in front of our room that the Emu was strolling around again, pretending that he had lived there all along.
I thought the name of the pub was due to it having been some sort of watering hole for cattle drovers in the early pioneering days, however after having met the manager I wondered. He was in his early 30’s and he was as camp as they come.
After we sorted out in our accommodation we decided to walk around the town and take in the local atmosphere. We were the only ones on the street, another ghost town. We decided to do a pub-crawl back to our own. There were only three pubs on our route so this was not difficult.
In the first pub we had a bit of a chat with an old guy, he was originally from around where we live now in the Redcliffe and Caboolture area. This guy was just a little on the drunken side as he toddled off towards the centre of town. We finished our drinks and headed in the same direction to the next pub. Well who do you think was there, the same old guy, must have done the same thing as us. I asked him if he would be at the next pub and he said he would be, so we left him. We didn’t see him again; he might well have known of a few pubs that we didn’t.