Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bourke Trip - Day 1

After many discussions, I finally was able to go on a flying holiday with Peter and Billy. Peter is a pilot in training. I drove up on Friday afternoon for a Saturday morning departure. The traffic on the F3 was not as bad as I had been lead to believe it may be.

Prior to departure, Peter had to do his flight planning, which involved a curious mixture of internet connections, computers, printouts and slide rules.


We headed off to Warnervale Airport. While Peter checked the aircraft for flight worthiness and stow away bunyips, we watched a parade of about 5 aircraft doing their Saturday morning training. It was very busy and at one stage three aircraft tried to land at once. Though two aborted.

Warnervale Airport

Warnervale AirportWarnervale AirportWarnervale AirportWarnervale AirportWarnervale AirportWarnervale Airport

Peter is only allowed to fly when he can see the ground. Immediately over the airport was some low cloud. So we had to fly under this for a few km, before we cleared the cloud and had blue skies. We then had a fine and smooth run to our only fuel stop at Dubbo. On the way we flew over the hunter valley and just north of Mudgee.

Flying over New South Wales

Flying over New South WalesFlying over New South WalesFlying over New South Wales @ 6000'Flying over New South WalesFlying over New South WalesFlying over New South Wales

When we arrived at Dubbo there was no air traffic. We flew over the airport to learn the wind direction, from the wind sock, a delightfully old piece of technology in the high tech world of aircraft, and had to wait as a commercial flight departed the airport.



On our way again we headed out along the very straight roads leading north west from Dubbo to Bourke. As is typical with my visits to the outback, there had been quite a lot of rain in the weeks before I arrived and the outback was at its usual green and muddy self. Luckily, Billy had the foresight to bring some in-flight munchies and drinks.

Flight - Dubbo to Bourke @ 6000'

BourkeFlight - Dubbo to Bourke @ 6000'Flight - Dubbo to Bourke @ 6000'Flight - Dubbo to Bourke @ 6000'Flight - Dubbo to Bourke @ 6000'Flight - Dubbo to Bourke @ 6000'

Arriving at Bourke airport, we again purchased some fuel and Peter and Billy tied the aircraft down for the evening. The unattended airport terminal was quite a pleasant place, to wait.



At the airport we were met by the town entrepreneur, a man who could have walked straight out of Crocodile Dundee. He brought us the hire car. After a quick trip to the tourist information centre, to complete the paper work we were free in the town with our car. We had just about missed lunch time (2PM) and made a mad dash to the pub to order our meal with only minutes to spare as the cafe we wanted to use had already closed.


We then did the tourist sights of Bourke. Starting with the cemetery, then the shuttered streets, and finally the bridge over the darling river.



Our motel had a strange purple glow...


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