Wednesday, January 25, 2017

White Cliffs

There just isn't much in White Cliffs and this time of year, we learned there is even less. There is opal mining here and lots of places that look like they were tossed together in haste and then ignored.

The pavement ends at the entrance to town. Via email we had a reservation at the one hotel in town. It is an underground place built into a former opal mine.

I told them that we'd arrive about 4:00. At 3:00 we arrived and saw a sign in the window that said the clerk would return at 4:30. Cool. So we drove to the opal mine with the store out front. Closed. We drove to the one thing in town that was open, the general store. We bought gas, water and bag of crisps and topped up the diesel.

So, knowing us, we went to the only spot that is always open, the cemetery. This was an interesting place. Only a few markers left for the hundreds of people who died here. Most in the early years were children and essentially no markers remain.

The sparsely population cemetery and the empty landscape give the place a surreal feeling.

Like many other cemeteries in Australia, there is no grass. Here you only find kangaroo poop among the stones and sand.

After spending some time here with the flies buzzing around our heads, we decided to head back to the hotel.

When we arrived at about 4:15, I went to the door and found a new sign that simply said, "Closed Today, Sorry"! What do you do when you are three hours drive from the nearest town of any consequence and the only hotel declares that is closed? Well, you drive back to Broken Hill, that what we did.

We did stop briefly in Wilcannia, an hour back toward Broken Hill, where there is another motel, but it looked really dodgy and we kept going.

We've now seen White Cliffs and know what is (isn't) there. Clearly, summer is not the time to visit this place.