Aug 01 2016

Wilcannia, emus, goats, but no kangaroos

Flat landscape SAGoats.

There are millions of goats roaming outback Australia. And I saw a lot of them today.

As you do when you’re outback, I was keeping an eye out for animals. I really wanted to see kangaroos and emus (without running into them with the car), but what I saw were goats. Everywhere, there were goats. Beside the road, in paddocks, through the trees. Everywhere I looked I saw goats. At one stage there were so many goats in one area together I thought it was a paddock of sheep.

Can some enterprising council please get all the property owners to work together, find some funding, and have a “goat eradication week”?

Once I got into South Australia I saw a lot of emus. But I haven’t seen a single kangaroo all trip. Not one still alive anyway. There were a few dead beside the road, but even that was not as many as I would usually expect to see.

Barrier Highway wildflowersPerhaps it’s because it’s so green everywhere they don’t need to come near the road to find grass.

There has been a lot of rain out here recently, and it’s made everything come to life.  It is iridescent green in some places. And wildflowers are out. Along the Barrier Highway it was carpeted with small white flowers. It was beautiful, and I hope they are wildflowers and not weeds.

I stopped off in Wilcania today. I know it has a terrible reputation, but I really like the town. It is very pretty, with lots of old sandstone buildings, and it’s right on my favourite river – the Darling. I got an invitation to call in to Wilcannia from somebody I converse with on twitter. I love social media! We met and had a chat, I saw the school, and learned a little about the town. Including that before the migration (who knew black cockies migrated), they had 100 of them in their backyard. And that when it was warmer there were emus walking around town and in the park by the river. You have to love outback towns!

Coffee at the Courthouse CafeSadly for me there were no black cockies in the park today. I guess they’ve already migrated.

I’ve now driven 1,386k and am still on tar. It’s almost been one road all the way out here, at least once you get outside the Sydney region. Look up the GPS at Cobar to get to Yunta, and it says keep going for the next 650k and then stop. Long distances, and mostly flat, straight road.

I could keep going this way but tomorrow I’m heading up into the east Flinders and Lake Frome – dirt all the way. I might finally feel like I’m outback, though sitting here typing this with gloves on because it’s so cold is giving me some idea that I’m not at home anymore!

My first night in the swagAnd now I am having my first night in the swag, in a roadside rest area at Yunta. I cheated a little. I had to get the bloke in the caravan next to me to hammer in the peg –  the ground is rock hard. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Then I had to call Doc to find out how to work the ropes to tie it out, because when I set it up it had a big slump in the middle.

But it’s all up now and ready for me to go to bed. I’ve even got the water on for a hot water bottle.

It must be bed time because it’s dark. All the caravaners (that’s everybody else here) have retired to their vans for the night.It’s just me and the stars still out.

Come to think of it … I might just pour another glass of wine and enjoy the night sky.

Cheers everybody.

 

 

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