We pulled into Hebel. It is such a tiny town. The 2006 census recorded the town having only 149 residents. Adrian was keen to spend the night in the local caravan park. Why? He had read that Dan Kelly and Steve Hart of the infamous Kelly Gang used to drink in the pub under assumed names of course. So we just had to go and have a look and a drink. The pub even has an authentic horse rail out the front from long time past, or so the locals say. Hebel was original known as Kelly’s point but changed its name to Hebel a year after the town was established.
The pub does have character. Like a lot of old outback pubs it had mementos of other times and other people stretched across the walls. We had our drinks and listened to the conversation of the locals. They were discussing something about a drongo, I didn’t really understand who the drongo was and what he did to get that name but he was a bloody drongo that’s for sure.
We stepped outside at the right time. The sky was lit up in an amazing sunset. It has been awhile since we have seen such a colourful sunset. Did I say amazing? Yes ok then it was spectacular. It didn’t last long and if we had left the pub 5 minutes later we would have missed the best part of it.
We had decided to grab dinner at the general store, which was also the caravan park. The store was once a Cobb and Co stopover established in 1897. You have to watch you step when you step into the old building. Time has stood still for the store as the floorboards are the originals ones and it shows. The menu was basic so we went for takeaway fish and chips. We only ordered one serve as I was going to make a salad as well. It was a good thing I didn’t order two as the serve was quite large and I didn’t end up making a salad. Good feed.
The next morning I went for a walk back to the pub to take some photos without the cars from the night before. I love the fun art the pub has.
I am sure the signs for the toilets would have made more than one person think, specially after a pint or two.
It was a pity we didn’t stay longer in the town. I had read there is an interesting cemetery in the town with graves dating back to when the town first began. Also not far from the pub is the Bokhara River. The locals tell tales of great fishing and yabby being caught there. I love yabbies or ‘joogies’ as we say in WA where I grew up.
It wasn’t long after we left the town we crossed the border. Another one under our belt.
Just past the border the teddies started to appear. I did think for the first one maybe there had been an accident and the teddy was a memorial to it. Then other teddies emerged. Some pinned to trees others sitting in front of them. They all looked weathered and somewhat sad.
I stopped the car and took a photo. Adrian shook his head at me. (It is ok I am used to it.) Not much further there was some more and I stopped for some more photos. When I jumped back into the car I was told. “We are not stopping every few miles for you to take a photo. We will never get anywhere.” I laughed, “I know, no more I promise.” I did almost regret making the promise, as they were some nice looking bears further on that I am sure would have make great photos. Next time. The teddies did make it an interesting stretch of road.