Let’s Be Pen Pals

Hello friends! A hearty greeting to you all.

Thanks for joining me today. I am so looking forward to sharing more of my journey out West with you.

I am slowly getting through my photos, and feel such a thrill each time I sit to edit them. Such special memories. I have noticed that I seem to have a thing for rusty tin sheds! Ha ha. Actually, I always have. I remember years ago at university in Armidale (my all time favourite country town), dragging a very willing precious friend out to some random old broken down house to take photos of her, back in the film days. They turned out pretty good, probably because she is so pretty and very photogenic. Looking back now, I realise my love for all things rustic, old and worn has been with me most of my life.  Fortunately for me, the outback is full of all of those things.

Cobar is the gateway to the West. Many years ago, as a child, my family spent lots of school holidays staying with my Aunt and Uncle, who were the Principal and infants teacher at the local primary school there. They lived in the school residence, right next door to the beautiful old school.

I have so many happy memories playing with my cousins, feeling very privileged indeed to be able to jump all over the gym mats in the school hall, roller skate around the pathways and hang out in the library reading Asterix comics. Unlimited access to an empty school was pretty much the ultimate adventure for us kids back then. 

The school residence was a gorgeous hundred year old heritage listed cottage, with rambling hallways and loads of cool places to explore. The first thing I did when arriving in Cobar was to seek out the house and school which held so many happy memories for me. I wish I took photos with my camera, but there are people living in the home now, which is no longer a school residence, so I had to do a covert walk by with my phone secretly clicking stolen snaps. For the record, the house is still as stunning as ever. 

I left Cobar for Broken Hill around 7:30am, eager to get on the road early and enjoy the morning light. I wasn’t quite prepared for just how beautiful the drive would be. Five and a half hours felt like ten minutes, as my eyes were peeled to the ever changing landscape, which literally took my breath away. I stopped quite a few times, just to listen to the silence and gaze upon the beauty of such a vast, dramatic horizon. I loved listening for cars, which came past about once every fifteen minutes, and you could hear them from miles away before they eventually zoomed past! Classic.

During one stop I was surprised to see cute little daisies growing in the dirt. I think I actually squealed with delight, jumped a fence and ran around with my arms flailing in the air, secateurs in hand, feeling like God had grown them especially just for me. Everything held fascination to my eager eyes.

Truth be told, I was a little apprehensive about stopping in Wilcannia. It doesn’t have the greatest reputation, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. As the only place to stop between Cobar and Broken Hill (besides a couple of dodgy looking truck stops), I knew I would need fuel, plus I wasn’t about to let any cool photo ops pass me by. I’m so glad I did. The old buildings were beautiful, even in their neglected and decrepit state. I was fascinated by the size of some of the gorgeous old sandstone buildings, all now abandoned and sadly left to ruin. Wilcannia must have had a prosperous past of some kind. I tried hard to see life in the empty shell of what was once so much more.

Can you see another cute cupcake shop in this building? Oh how I wish I could pick it up and bring it home with me!

I didn’t venture far in town, preferring to stay with the other travellers huddled near the only place open selling coffee. I saw this cute blue door, quickly scanned for any potential disturbers of my peace and set up the cake to take a few photos. 

Getting petrol, I was amused to see the bowsers padlocked, so quickly high tailed it onto my next stop, Broken Hill.

I arrived around lunch time and once again, became enthralled by the gorgeous old run down buildings everywhere. I was especially struck by this old fashioned corner store that was still operational. So much character, history, texture and gosh, just good old fashioned Aussie corner store nostalgia.

I was staying on a sheep station half an hour out of Broken Hill, and the drive was spectacular. I knew that very first day that I could easily make Broken Hill my home. I just loved everything about it. Once I arrived at my home for a week and saw my cute little cottage, I fell in love. It was everything I had hoped for.

(Mt Gipps Station Stay)

My first morning at Mt Gipps Station, I went for an early morning walk, marvelling at the vastness and beauty of the property. 

Isn’t it just incredible?! I hope I have done the property justice. As I settled in, I began to imagine life in remote western NSW. What a fascinating existence it would be.

Just quietly, I was also very proud of myself for driving 1,463km by myself right across our beautiful state. Finally, I’d made it. Putting the jug on for a well deserved pot of tea, I reflected on my magnificent journey westward with much gratitude. 

Join me next week as I explore Broken Hill and take some amazing cake photos in the most unexpected places.

Lots of love,

Anna xx



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