Monday, July 09, 2007

Travelling North Day 4

I thought it was five hours drive from Mildura to Broken Hill. I thought that was what I read on the net. I thought that was what I wrote down. As we left Mildura we saw a sign that said 297km to Broken Hill. I knew there were a couple of towns, but how could it take five hours to drive 300km at 110kph? It didn't and when R queried my information, I said I read it on the net, to which he rolled his eyes.

So it was a three hour trip and it seemed to go quickly. We went through Wentworth and then pretty well nothing until the outskirts of Broken Hill. We stopped once for a leg stretch and this photo shows what is along the whole length of the road. It is disgrace and some Australians ought to be very ashamed of themselves. The picture also gives you and idea of what the terrain is like in the south west of NSW. We stopped a second time at Coombah, the only place in between Wentworth and BH where there is fuel, food and drinks available. We sat on the front verandah drinking instant coffee and chatted to the owner's daughter. Dogs wandered around our feet and the morning sun was shining, and just for once there wasn't any wind. They had toilets available but they were locked to people who did not buy anything in the shop. Fair enough. I saw people who tried them and just drove off. We were also told that people let their dogs out of their cars, who then make a mess and then don't clean it up.

The approach to Broken Hill was through a suburb with very ordinary houses. Later we learnt this was South Broken Hill. There was a large mullock heap ahead and it separated the two parts of Broken Hill. We kind of went around and over it and the main railway lineand entered Broken Hill proper. It was a week day and there were plenty of people and traffic around. As I was now an alien with my Victorian number plates, I was on my best driving behaviour.

We found our motel right on the edge of the shopping area and checked in. It was a disappointing room, especially after Mildura. I would say the motel was built in the seventies and this room had not been touched since. There was lots of dark wood and it was gloomy. The beds were ok, but the bathroom, tiny, cold with one of my favourite shower heads to hate. Water still managed to splash everywhere. Awful. We thought about asking for an upgrade, but decided as it was for only four nights we would make do. The position wasn't too bad. We chose the medium priced room, so I would hate to see the cheapest. It was only ten dollars less than the nice place in Mildura.

It also had an adjoining door to the room next door. Why do they do this? Yes, it is for families, but we cop rooms like this all the time. Fortunately it was only occupied for the first night from 9pm until 8am the next day. I woke when Doug's (the bloke in it) alarm went off. I heard him farting, coughing, showering, shaving and his breakfast being delivered and then him eating it. Way more about him than I needed to know.

We went to the shops and had drink in the Democratic Club. It was under renovation and it did not appeal to me much. We ended up eating at Musician's Club. The food was ok, but it was just like one of Melbourne's outer suburban hotels. I had heard so much about these NSW clubs and I was disappointed. While having a drink before dinner, some bloke started talking to us. He was Sydney drug refugee who was working in Broken Hill. He was still clearly affected by his previous drug use. I was about to move off when his rather hot son arrived on crutches. He was in Broken Hill to work with his father but the day he arrived, he broke his leg and was returning to Sydney the next day. He was nice to chat to.

Later R and I agreed that all he needed was the offer and a bottle of bourbon or Bundy and a promise to get him to the train in the morning and we could have had some fun with him. Fifteen years ago we may have, but really cannot be bothered with the hard work nowadays.

Pokie balance since leaving Melbourne, moi down $5. R up $5. The non smoking rules are, or were very different in NSW. People could smoke while playing the machines but pretty well no where else apart from one small area. The pub/bar/club non smoking rules started on the 2nd of July in NSW, a day after they started in Victoria.

We returned to our luxurious room and there was a cold wind blowing.


  1. It's so nice for me to have found this blog of yours, it's so interesting. I sure hope and wish that you take courage enough to pay me a visit in my PALAVROSSAVRVS REX!, and plus get some surprise. My blog is also so cool! Don't think for a minute that my invitation is spam and I'm a spammer. I'm only searching for a public that may like or love what I write.

    Feel free off course to comment as you wish and remember: don't take it wrong, don't think that this visitation I make is a matter of more audiences for my own blogg. No. It's a matter of making universal, realy universal, all this question of bloggs, all the essential causes that bring us all together by visiting and loving one another.

    You must not feel obliged to come and visit me. An invitation is not an intimation. Also know that if you click on one of my ads I'm promised to earn 8 cents for that: I would feel happy if you did click it, but once again you're totaly free to do what ever you want. That's the whole beauty of it all.

    I think it's to UNITE MANKIND that we became bloggers! Don't see language as an obstacle but as a challenge (though you can use the translater BabelFish at the bottom of my page!) and think for a minute if I and the rest of the world are not expecting something like a broad cumplicity. Remenber that pictures talk also. Open your heart and come along!!!!!

  2. Perhaps an inappropriate comment above, but from a quick look, the blog does seem legit. But in Portuguese, so maybe just blog self promotion.

  3. The comment above was very dubious, indeed.

    I am enjoying these short posts about your trip - it is a part of Australia I haven't seen much of, but I do love driving through the country to find random, wonderful bakeries.

    It's a hobby of mine.

    Or it would be, if I did it more than once every two years.

  4. I hope Lonely Planet is paying attention to your travels and travails. An opportunity may await you! Entertaining travel writing, HR.

  5. I should be doing wut ur doing....seeing Australia..instead Im living a 9-5 boring routine life :(


  6. Thanks Rosanna and Lad. Plenty of time for you yet Keshi.

  7. I love the commentary thus far Andrew. Funny how the display of alien number plates makes you feel weird. I get that when I have been across to SA visiting an aunt in Mt Gambier too.