bush diaries – off to town!
Saturday 9th June
Off to town!
I used to consider myself a country person, and as I grew up in a rural village where you were unable to do much with hopping in the car, that was a fair statement. However, being a country person in England is quite different from being a country person here!
Aside from the obvious about flora and fauna, the sheer distance involved is something I knew about but didn’t really understand. After a day in “town”, I am truly exhausted. The almost two hour trek into the town of Clermont is a bumpy one to say the least. Most of the trip is a single lane dirt road that crosses creeks, rivers and numerous cattle grids. Some of the former are deep puddles, fjords or bridges and most cattle grids are raised due to heavy rains washing the surrounding road away. Then of course there are grooves and dips made my heavy cattle trucks and four-wheel drives. All this makes for a very tiring drive indeed.
The town itself is nothing to write home about, which makes my blog a little bit ironic. There is a smattering of shops with overpriced goods and so little people around, even on a Saturday; it felt like a ghost town.
My first stop was the pharmacy, figuring I would find most of toiletry needs there, but to my dismay they stock plenty of things that nobody wanted. They have a good collection of hair dye and toothpaste, but no face cream and about 2 deodorants to choose from.
After that: the Newsagent’s. This was the most well stocked newsagent I have been to since arriving in Australia. The vast number of magazines was astounding and I learnt that the people of Clermont REALLY like quilting. They have 17 different magazines, and on querying this later; I discovered they have a quilting club which is taken very seriously.
One of the two clothes shops shocked me. The ridiculous prices they were asking for their poor quality clothing was, well, shocking. I don’t know WHO buys these clothes as most of the “residents” of Clermont live a long way out of it, on cattle stations with nowhere to wear such “finery” or they are miners, who live here on short term posts whilst working in the mines.
The supermarket was the next stop. There are two of these, both IGA stores, which my Australian readers will note isn’t the cheapest supermarket in the world. They only have fresh deliveries, or even deliveries, twice a week which meant that the shelves were fairly barren. This was also thanks to the Queen’s Birthday on Monday being a holiday, so people IN HORROR of the supermarket being closed on Monday were shopping for an eternity.
I must remember to take some photos of the busy high street, bustling supermarket and bubbling energy that buzzes around the town of Clermont. I am of course being ironic, as those adjectives are not what I would use to describe Clermont. Not what I would use at all. And, funnily enough, I am told that Clermont is NOT a remote town. It is fairly well connected in comparison to other outback areas.