Sunday morning we set out from Mungo Lodge for Broken Hill, only about 90 minutes away. If anything, the air was even smoother than on Saturday but with a little more headwind, even at 5,000 feet. Again, some fantastic sights, including the incredibly geometric shapes of the huge paddocks at Tandou Lake where they farm cotton and other crops. The view from 5,000 feet was spectacular, although a couple of the aircraft flew over at a much lower level too for a closer look.
We arrived at Broken Hill about 11 o’clock, to be greeted by Bruce Church, of the Aero Club of Broken Hill, who suggested we might like to head for lunch to Stephens Creek airfield (about 20 kilometres north), where some other pilots were gathering for a sausage sizzle.
So after refuelling, we did the short hop to Stephens Creek and enjoyed the hospitality of the Silver City Recreational Aircraft Club. Mike Rudd (our chef-de-route) made ham and cheese wraps and Ido Segev conjured up chicken soup and we all sat and talked aeroplanes and weather.
Later on we departed and flew a short loop round Silverton – famous for the Mad Max movie (alas not the very latest one) and returned to Broken Hill, flying over a huge solar energy farm being constructed just outside the town.
Bruce then very generously sorted out a couple of cars and took us for a tour of the town, ending up at the pub in Silverton, where some of us were man enough to take ‘The Test’ for charity. A bit of (damp) fun and a free beer…
By this time the rain was starting and it continued most of the night, clearing in Broken Hill early in the morning. However, our plans for departure to Tibooburra, or even White Cliffs, were thwarted by low cloud at our destination(s). So regretfully at about 2 o’clock we decided to pull the plug and abandon flying for the day.
We stayed on Monday night at the Palace Hotel, famous for some of the settings in the film ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’. This is one amazing place to stay – the rooms are all very retro and the ‘Priscilla Suite’ has to be seen to be believed. We ate in the Hotel restaurant on Monday evening and topped off a delightful meal with liqueur afogatos…and retired to bed at 9 pm with a view to (hopefully) an early start and better weather in the morning. But the signs are not brilliant for a good weather day.