Sunday, October 20, 2013

Thank you Quilpie, I’m grateful

 As part of being part of the Channel Country Ladies Day (blog to come) I spent 24  hours in the town of Quilpie, experiencing the best the locals had to offer. My gratefuls for my time there include:

Stunning Quilpie sunset at Eagle Gallery
COUNTRY HOSPITALITY: It’s true, there is nothing like it. The slower pace of life (newsagency opens at 9am instead of the usual 6am start in the city for example) lends itself to more time for talking to people; strangers in the street, the locum in the pharmacy, patrons in the pub and so on. I also had a yarn to two fellas outside the local bakery who’d been advised at their previous stop to try one of the local pies. It was 9am and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, but they swore it was worth the stop.

Dancing in the dust was my fave painting of Lyn's
EAGLE GALLERY: My visit for sunset drinks and yarns at the Eagle Gallery was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as our hostess, gallery owner and artist Lyn Barnes welcomed us with wine and cheese under the gumtrees, a few cowboys to pose with, horses to stroke, a Shetland pony to coo over and local women to share stories with. All with the glow of an orange-pinkish setting sun as a backdrop. An extraordinary Thursday evening by any measure.

Cheery Courtney makes the best cuppa!
27 GALLERY ST CAFÉ: I’m grateful to Courtney at 27Gallery Street Café who makes the best coffee in town, delivered with the warmest smile. The space usually has walls adorned with artwork, boasts a small but satisfying menu each day, and a local clientele as friendly as you’ll get.

Bet these sheep are glad they're not outside the butcher!

STREET ART: Stone and metal installation artwork down the middle of Brolga Street reminded me a little of Wagga Wagga in terms of the innovative public art they have on display in Quilpie. Congrats to the artist and the local council and those who sponsored the work, it adds much to the character of the town.


QUILPIE HERITAGE INN: I’m on the road a lot, and I need my creature comforts to sleep well and get on with my work the next day. A big shout out of thanks to Rob McConachy (above) who runs the Quilpie Heritage Inn. For a city-slicker like me relying heavily on access to the internet to work while traveling, I’m grateful for Rob’s extra efforts to set me up early morning with wifi so I could get some work done before we hit Noccundra and there was no access at all.

Best shandy ever at the Imperial Hotel, Quilpie

IMPERIAL HOTEL/MOTEL: I’m not a beer drinker by any means but I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed an ice cold shandy at the local pub in Quilpie, sharing the space with their own version of Red Dog (only less red in colour) and friendly locals. Thanks to the barmaid who introduced me to Great Northern Beer for the first time, and to the restaurant staff who prepared one of the best steaks I have ever eaten. Kudos to you all.

Probably the least hospitable thing in town...


Debbish said...

Hi Anita

I just wanted to let you know I've shared this post on FB so my mum could see it as she's an ex Quilpie girl - though left about 50 years ago (to marry dad and live happily ever after!!! #orsomething). She's also asked me to send it on to some other relatives.

I'm sure a lot has changed since we were last there (last visit was in 90s for my remaining grandparent's funeral) so mum found it really interesting!

Thanks for sharing - as always.

Dr Anita Heiss said...

Hi Deb -
Thanks for sharing with your mum. As you say much will have changed, but I think the country hospitality probably remains. And the locals yarning in the pub. I appreciated my time there, and I hope your mum and her friends find something in my words that carries them home to Channel Country. Much peace, Anita

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