Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Welcomed by donkeys at Toompine, in outback QLD

Saying, "Goodbye," to all our wonderful new friends at Yowah meant we didn't leave until late morning, but that didn't matter. Never before have I ever stayed anywhere with such honest, interesting and salt-of -the earth people. Their welcome was as open and spacious as the land itself: red dirt country rich in unique opal deposits.

En route between Yowah and Quilpie, a sign stating, "Pet animals for the next 5 km" explained the tiny community of Toompine to perfection. This tiny outback town is a pub with accommodation -- open eight days per week. As soon as I stepped out of our ute, two donkeys were in my arms, nuzzling me with their lips and meeting my eyes, their eyelashes long and their eyes dark and kind.

When we farmed on King Island in the 1980s, we had two pet donkeys as part of our family. It's been 25 years since I've cuddled donkeys and it was such a thrill!

In addition to the donkeys, Toompine has a herd of goats, alpacas, geese (a large waterhole is located beside the pub), dogs, cats, ponies and, it seems, any animal or traveller is welcome at Toompine Pub in Outback Queensland.

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