I left you last with Mum hoovering a lamb roast, watching the AFL. But I left out some other details, which complete the hilarious picture of the last 48 hours. The first is that we were sitting at the bar of the Wellshot hotel in Ilfracombe, surrounded on both sides by dirty men in Akubras and RMs. The second, was that a third of them were on to their 6th and 7th tinnie, and it was just 2.30 in the afternoon. This last one is either funny or sad, depending on your perspective.
The funniest of all was how stoked mum was to be in this old pub. In between screeching at the television overhead (I think it was the last quarter of Richmond vs Fremantle), she was chatting to the completely munted bloke next to her about all things outback. To be honest, I couldn’t understand half of what he said. I did hear him swear that Toohey’s New on your cornflakes in the morning kept them crunchier for longer.
The road from Carnarvon to Ilfracombe should feature in a film called ‘Road train roo killer.’ I have never, and neither had Mum, seen so much roadkill in my life.
I’m talking a dead roo every 5-10 metres… for the length of this entire highway, of which we’ve traversed about 800kms.
It paints pretty stark picture of how hard the drought has hit out here – Roos, sheep and sometimes emus are coming right to the road’s edge, where all the green stuff is, just for a feed. And then they get splattered all over the road by trucks heading to the abattoir with skinny, sickly stock that no one can feed or water either.
Mum vetoed my motion to camp outside town at the truckstop with all the other budget campers. She wanted a shower, and let’s face it, the closest I’d been to a wash in 4 days was a wallow in the Carnarvon River.
The Wellshot hotel is named after the cattle station of the same name, which was the largest station in the world, sometime after 1850. It’s now a shadow of its former self and so the hotel owners want to keep the name alive by running a ripper pub.
So I’ve been de-feralled, forced to shower and sleep in a bed. I even washed my hair.
Mum’s still in 7th heaven, because she’s just purchased a bunch of condiments at the monthly Ilfracombe market.
I get the feeling that markets, pickles and roast lamb will be scarce from here on in.
This gallery features Mum, just generally loving life at the Wellshot.