25JUN20…Barkala Farm

Further north and west every day, towards Pilliga – bursts of yellow sunflowers beside the road, the hip-high grass a golden haze in the sun. Charlie is still looking very alarmed when we hit a bump. An emu bolts when he sees us coming. Then we turn off the road onto a red-soil track for 10km to find Barkala Farm, and how amazing it is. For the past thirty years the owners and then their son and wife have been creating pottery – pottery walls, pottery artifacts, samovars, small huts, garden borders, gnomes, even the Tree of Life (pictured). What isn’t made of pottery is home sawn and built from the local timber – how could you resist a stay in the Poet’s House (above). We camp in a bushy area and eat in the Bush Cafe – ‘There’s the German sausage meal, or the other German sausage meal, or you can combine them’ – all washed down with a glass of good red.

Now, next morning, it’s time for a hike.

“We can suggest either the 25km hike or the 15km hike.”

“Er, do you have anything for novice hikers?”

Look of kind disdain… “You could try the Echidna..”

“Would we see echidnas?”

“Possibly…” More looks of kind disdain

Away we go, with a couple of local dogs as well as Charlie and spend a couple of hours climbing super-steep hills (my description) and coming down gently. No there were no echidnas… A great stay! Thank you all at Barkala and Pillaga Pottery.

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