As arranged, I arrived at the pub to meet Barnaby Joyce at 7:30pm. The place was heaving with foreign fruit pickers, local farmers, travelers, musicians, blackfellas, whitefellas, old and young.
I got talking to a singer named Wendy whose band, Backtrack, has a local cult following. Barnaby turned up and introduced me to some locals, then left, and I hung around until closing with Wendy and a few of her mates.
The following morning I had a wicked hang over as I sat on the side of the road waiting for a lift. I was there for four hours, in drizzling rain and gusty wind. But it was useless. The roads were flooded and very few cars were on them. Nobody stopped for me.
That evening, tired and frustrated, I headed to another pub and caught the final few songs of a band that was passing through town. Wendy was there, and she got up to sing with them as I begged for lifts.