What a Mammoth Achievement!

The mammoth achievement I’m talking about is not what Burke & Wills did in exploring Australia, but me finishing this book!

I’m an avid reader but this book nearly got the better of me. If I hadn’t been given it in such unusual circumstances I think I would have put it down after a few pages and swapped it out at the first opportunity.

Let me tell you how I came to have it …

I camped in the grounds of the Barringun Pop-up pub – and that’s a story in itself – and enjoyed the company around the campfire that night.

A couple of fellows staying at the roadhouse nearby were also at the campfire. One of them, Phil, was interested in this part of the country because he was reading about Burke & Wills exploration up this way and we chatted about the landmarks to do with their expedition. Phil left with a promise to finish the book that night and drop it into me the following morning when he and his friend took off on their Harleys to continue north to Longreach. Yeah, right!

True to his word though, the throaty sound of a Harley Davidson rocked up at my camp the next day and the book was delivered, with my promise to return it to Phil at his Harley Davidson sales business in Albury when I ventured south later in the year.

I’m sorry Peter Fitzsimmons, I struggled, procrastinated, fought and eventually gave in to finish your book and return it to Phil today! Yaaay! I mean, the book was nearly as big as my van! What a relief to move it out of my very limited space!

The story was fascinating- but the telling of it didn’t flow for me or make me want to keep reading all through the night (as I’m known to do if a book ‘captures’ me). In fact, I found excuses NOT to read it. Pity really, as it was very well researched but not presented in a way that grabbed my imagination.

So, I finished it off on the banks of the Murray River near Yarrawonga, Victoria and hot footed it across the border into New South Wales to return it to Phil in Albury on my way north to Queensland.

So, that’s the story of how I came to have this book …

… and Here’s the story of the Barringun pub as it was

And then What happened to it

Therefore, when I passed through it was a ‘pop up pub’ operating out of a donga – but with a great campfire for meeting great people who ride Harley Davidsons and lend you huge books to read. Thanks Phil. 😎🚐