Express TourismPosted: August 2, 2012
Lake Mungo has been on my hit list for a while. Arriving at 3 In the afternoon, I was short of time to explore, so decided to drive the 100 km off road to the info centre at the heart of it to plot my approach for the next day. Upon discovery a 70 km loop that took in all the sights I thought I would drive to the first one which was only a few km out. I was…kinda disappointed. Expectation is a crafty temptress. wandering about I found myself thinking about where the best place would be for sunset shots and drove madly off to the next attraction. The dunes at sunset beckoned. Arriving at the dunes as the sun disappeared, I ran the 1km from the carpark to the highest part of the dunes, past families and couples descending having finished enjoying the sunset and determined to reach the car before pitch blackness. It was me and a Spanish couple, well settled in with a cheeky Rioja housed in cardboard, left on the peak, picnic rug and socks on their hands for warmth. Engaging my infrared vision I picked my way back to the car and as I was over half way on the Mungo loop decided to finish the challenge and then worry about where I was going to catch a few z’s after the 100km dirt road back to Mildura. Burra won.
Broken Hill presented me with some choices. Once again, arriving at sunset I drove madly to the sculptures on the hill for the last few minutes of golden light before choosing between the ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ location hotel and another, allegedly frequented by K Rudd and other luminaries. All I can wonder is whether the previous inhabitants felt compelled, as I did, by a surfeit of grime, to wrap everything in paper towels. When dawn came I was desperate for a real coffee, having sampled the offering at the fantastic info centre overlooking the town the day before, but had to content myself with doing main-ies (watch Angry Boys) until the first cafe opened. It was all too much for my phone. Free falling from the rubbery grip I had trapped it in, it connected spectacularly with the road, smashing its face to bits.
Bourkes main street was eerily deserted. A vision of roller-doored shop fronts, and abandonment. Paying an eye-watering amount of money to stay in the last room in town, I received my keys along with a cloud of air be-fumed with sherry and the grudging offer to dry my laundry in the managers own dryer once I had washed it in their coin operated machine. Exiting town with still wet washing, the offer forgotten, I fell upon a vast and modern complex; the Back-o-Bourke info centre, and wondered who had decided the centre of Bourke was now 5km out of town. Warm fig, almond, and chocolate cake with cream called me.