Following our wallet drama (well, Rick’s drama!) we proceeded to our friend’s property between Marlborough and Nebo to spend a very happy time with them. It was a joy to drive around pretty cattle country and observe, fat, quiet, contented Brahmans from their northern stations, thriving on the sweet grass available. Even though it is dry, there was an abundance of grass, the first we have seen for our entire trip. The evenings were spent enjoying great company, delicious meals (beef!), stimulating conversation and lots of laughter.
On our third day, we embarked on a drive down the very steep, Great Divide to experience new country to the east. I’m very pleased we didn’t attempt this crossing in Priscilla. She wouldn’t have made it. Would you believe we ended up back at St Lawrence, the very same place the wallet disappeared!
We were drawn to an amazing splash of colour in the ‘main street’ and on closer inspection discovered a garden of some splendour. A mass of petunia, gerbera, sweet pea, snapdragon and alyssum of all colours was on display.
‘Am I dreaming?’ I asked Chris.
A wizened, hunched, very old man was watering. As we were congratulating him on his display, Wayne appeared, the proud owner of the garden. I was impressed with his flowing grey ponytail and beard to match. He welcomed us with a toothless grin.
‘I used to have a problem with the drink, but I gave it up 16 years ago and took up gardening,” he proudly explained.
‘Where do you get your water from?’ we asked.
‘Out of the tap,’ was his quick reply.
‘Can we get a coffee anywhere?’
‘Yeah, across the road,’ he indicated an old building, built in 1914,
which had obviously not had any maintenance since. Peeling paint and holes in the floorboards had us treading carefully.
‘Do you serve coffee?’ Rick asked the proprietor.
‘Flat white or cappuccino,’ she replied.
We excitedly ordered 4 flat whites. When they came, they were as flat as you can get. International Roast with milk for $5.50 each! We laughed as we sat and enjoyed it on the rickety veranda whilst admiring the beautiful flowers across the road, a piece of paradise surrounded by the dust bowl of drought.
We just love Outback Australia!!
Author Jenny Old
Author on Board #BackofBeyond #Western Queensland #Australian travels #gypsies #outback