Following a fantastic trip, the last stop before home, three and half weeks away and you couldn’t ask for a better free camp than the golf course at the back of the Royal Hotel at Mount Hope, on the Kidman Way New South Wales. North of Finley and west of Lake Cargelligo. Once a profitable copper mining area with 2000 residents in the town. Now only hopefuls are mining for gold. The population less than 10 and 2 homes and the pub. How times change.
We pull up out the front of the pub, Woolly makes his way into the hotel that was built in 1881 and he meets Wazza, with a dog eared leather hat, a grin that reminds him of Chips Rafferty and a sense of humour to match.
“Park anywhere on the golf course out the back mate, it is fairly level in the middle. You won’t get hit!!! No one plays”
We find a spot that suits us and our van and before long other vanners are pulling in as well. Jeff from Melbourne, is the same age as us and comes over to introduce himself and he is wearing a Melbourne bulldogs shirt and proudly shows us the bulldogs tattoo that he is sporting after they won their momentous grand final.
Going for a walk before dinner, up into the hills around the pub. there is no evidence of a once prosperous town, no abandoned shacks, or burnt out ruins, apparently the area was cleaned up when the mine closed down, there are however, evidence of extreme damage that feral pigs can do.
It is on our walk that I meet Moi the blue heeler, he is very friendly and wants to walk with me. However, we are on the main road, so to protect him, I turn around to walk home. I can hear a pig squealing as only a pig can and we are walking past a home with two young girls out playing. The pig is locked up, in the chooks yard and he desparately wants to play with the kids. The children ignore him. So he makes even more noise.
At dinner time we make our way over to the pub and Jeff and Pam, his wife, join us for a wonderful evening. Moi decides to rest on Woolly’s feet while we are eating, totally relaxed and quite at home. Tilly, Wazza’s partner, has cooked a delicious, homely meal and later came out to talk to us.
After dinner, Wazza starts blowing up a balloon for Moi’s show. So out on the road we go and Wazza throws the balloon into the air and the dog is jumping a good metre into the air and twisting and flipping the balloon up in the air as the wind blows the balloon down the road. Wazza tries to call him back but Moi will not give up until finally the balloon bursts.