It was another long driving day – some 620 from Broken Hill is the historic town of Bourke, where I planned to spend at least one night. As it turned out I stayed for 2 nights – glad to have a longer rest.
I have stayed at the Bourke Riverside Motel previously – and love the history of the place. As I booked in, I learned about the Festival of 1000 Stories, which had two events that night. As tired as I was, I set out to attend.
The first event was a Life Story Writing workshop – there were only four people in attendance, including me, and the presenter. It was interesting. The second event, at the Port O’Bourke Hotel, which was just a short distance from the motel, was Women’s Stories. This was most interesting. The first two speakers read about women from the early history of Bourke, one was a midwife who started a hospital in town, where local women could give birth to their babies. Now, the mothers have to go to Sydney, Dubbo or some other place as Bourke does not have the facility for births.
Three other ladies spoke. Two were art teachers – one had come all the way from Holland a number of years ago studying aboriginal art, married a local and stayed. One was from Louth, not far away south of Bourke, and worked as an art teacher in Bourke once upon a time, but later with a number of friends worked in a shop teaching arts and crafts. The third lady was a local indigenous woman who studied Law – and while still a registered lawyer, works in another field in Bourke. Very interesting stories.
The following day I set off to travel on the paddle vessel Jandra, which does an hour’s cruise along the Darling River for about an hour. It departs from the Kidman Camp – which is a busy caravan park with cabins on the Kidman Highway. The cabins look good – maybe I will look at staying there next visit?
There were about 20 folk on the cruise, with the captain doing a commentary along the way. It was very interesting.