Writing this on Monday evening, I can say there’s nothing so depressing as an airfield in the rain when you’re a VFR pilot. Here we are at Broken Hill after two glorious days’ weather getting here but Monday dawned a bit rainy and our next destination, Tibooburra – with cloud down to the ground.
The six of us set out from Tyabb on Saturday morning in the Bush Hawk, a Brumby, a Foxbat and me in the Interstate Cadet. There was a slight northerly, i.e. a headwind, but otherwise the weather couldn’t have been better. Smooth as a mill pond (whatever that is) all the way to Swan Hill, our first fuel stop.
On the way, I was reminded to try the air at different heights – a 10 knot headwind at 2,500 feet turned into a 10 knot tail wind at 4,500 feet. So theCadet didn’t get left too far behind.
After a brief bite to eat at Swan Hill we pressed on to Mungo Lodge, a wonderful place to stay in the middle of nowhere. The evening was still and the silence almost deafening after the constant drone of the engine. We passed over some amazing country – photos will be posted on Flickr when I get back – and landed around 4 pm in the afternoon. The Mungo airstrips are dirt/gravel but very well maintained with no bumps or other problems.
The Lodge was fully occupied that night so we did well to book in advance. One visitor couple were cycling from Perth to Melbourne and had decided to detour via Mungo rather than go via Adelaide. Food was excellent – I had shepherd’s pie and salad. But the wifi was down and there is absolutely no mobile phone coverage there. So calling home was done on the Lodge reception phone.
After dinner we went out and looked up at that night sky which, everyone who’s been out back will tell you, is breathtaking. In town you can’t really see the milky way but here it was in all its splendour.
We stayed in the cabins round the perimeter, very clean and comfortable. Heating was effective – it was only 5 celsius overnight. Then up early for our next leg to Broken Hill, where, as of Monday night, we still are…