THURSDAY MAY 14 COWRA TO GILGANDRA 290kms
John did not get out of bed until 9am, yet we were still away at 10am, despite a visit from a neighbour who wanted to chat to John about the rig. I do like to talk to other travellers in parks, but not those who watch from a distance for a day or two, then decide they must come and talk at hitch up time!
I loaded Couey into the car, before John started up the Bus. He drove it out of the site and I then lined Terios up behind the Bus, so we could hitch it up. The dog did her usual howl and bark in my ear, in the car, but it does not worry me like it does John. It certainly protected the neighbours from the canine protest act. Once we were all hitched up and ready to go, I took her out of the car and she was all keen and eager to get on board Bus before it left without her. Think I have finally hit on the best routine.
It seems an anomaly that my actual hearing is much better than John’s. yet he is super-sensitive to the dog’s noise in a way that I am not. Can’t figure it out.
John set the GPS for Dubbo. It directed us first to Canowindra, though slightly hilly country that made for an attractive drive. From there, I hadn’t been sure of the best route to take, but the GPS took us along minor roads through Cudal and Molong, to Wellington. The route was fine with not much other traffic, although the surface was a bit rough in parts and around Molong the road edges were bad.
It was midday when we reached Molong. Some old buildings that appeared interesting. I noted a caravan park – for future wanderings. The word “molong” apparently means “place of many rocks” and there were certainly lots of large granite rock outcroppings to add variety to the scenery. An area definitely worthy of a wander around in the future.
Decided we’d take a break in Wellington, to give dog a walk and also get some lunch. Found that the town was very strung out along the main road, which turned and twisted. A strange layout. We passed a number of closed shops through the very elongated business centre. My map showed the Information Centre and we assumed there would be parking nearby. Wrong. The parking area out front was occupied by cars parked – as is usual in these parts – reversed in at a 45 degree angle. No much use for us…There were no spaces for longer rigs. We continued on around a corner and parked down a side street, by some netball courts. A long way down the street, as tree plantings in the road were just a bit too close together for us to fit between. From there, it was quite a hike back to the Info Centre. We were a bit concerned about the security of the rig, where we’d left it.
There was a cafe on a diagonally opposite corner as we walked, but no indication that it was open. I asked the lady in the Info Centre where we would find a bakery or cafe. She replied that there was a bakery further back, near a newsagents.
John waited, with dog, in the park area opposite the shops, whilst I went and bought lunch, then we ate same at a table in the very pleasant park. My salad sandwich was alright, my coffee excellent, but John’s pepper pie was gristly. He had wanted a pastie, but this shop did not have any. The dog scored some of the pie, which meant that it really was bad.
When I’d gone into the Info Centre, there was a gathering of a number of indigenous people, presumably local, on the footpath nearby, but they had gone when we walked back. The gathering had looked purposeful, but I couldn’t find any indication what that might have been.
Near where the gathering had been, there was a 4WD with caravan, that had managed to somehow kind-of jack knife itself into a space between two cars. It was a fairly standard brand of caravan, but onto the back had been added an on-demand hot water service, a large diameter poly pipe container, and a big 4WD vehicle spare wheel, roped to the two existing van spare wheels on the back of the van. I wondered about the effects of all this extra weight, hanging off the van at the back, and the resulting handling characteristics on the road. Then, as we passed, I noticed on the A frame at the front, there was a very large metal box and some other stuff. Maybe that corrected the balance? But, had they come to grief somewhere, I wouldn’t have fancied their chances of making a successful insurance claim.
I didn’t quite know what to think about Wellington. The parklands around the Info Centre were lovely, but the lack of parking for rigs like ours was a major deficiency – to me, indicating that they were not interested in truly catering for the traveller. Before our lunching experience, I’d had it bookmarked as a town we would go to for a few days in the near future, exploring. Now I was not quite so sure. We glimpsed some lovely old buildings that it would have been interesting to wander around. All this region is old, dating from the squatting heyday of the 1830’s and 40’s. Much history, here.
Bus was as we’d left it, at least.
The countryside continued to be pleasant. Cypress pines, whoch we’d seen a few of just before Wellington, became more prevalent. A sign of drier country, I think.
The GPS took us on an OD route around Dubbo – excellent. After our last experience in that town centre with its tight roundabouts, going around the outskirts was preferable.
From there, on up the Newell Highway towards Gilgandra. Were some glimpses of the Warrumbungles, a purple hazy smudge on the horizon. The usual truck traffic on the highway, likewise the usual roadworks and stops for same.
Reached Gilgandra at 3.15pm. Went into the Gilgandra Caravan Park. After FPA discount, 29.70 for our powered site. The helpful owner guided John onto our site, where we could keep car hitched on the back. That section of the park was just grass – no annexe slab. It was a number of years since we’d last been here and the park had been significantly improved since then. It was very pleasant, with a nice camp kitchen and a new-looking amenity block as well as the old one nearer to us. Overall, spacious, neat, green ,clean. It was good to hook up to town water again, after Cowra. Much more convenient.
After our minimal set up, John took Couey through a nearby gate to a narrow, mown area along the fence line. The gates in the park fence allowed access to the Castlereagh River, behind the park. John and dog did not venture through the long grass and scrubby stuff to the river itself, but he threw her ball along the narrow mown section; the surrounding long grass caused some interesting ball hunts for her.
Later, we walked around the park, for some exercise. Last time we were here (with previous dog and so in the 1990’s) there has been an older couple set up semi-permanently in a far corner, with a large and productive vegetable garden growing. There was no sign of that camp or garden now.
Tea was spag bol.
December 20, 2022 at 11:05 pm
We stayed in the Wellington area a few years back. We were disappointed to see that the town was struggling, there were many empty shops. The only excitement was the construction of a huge solar array on the outskirts that had brought a lot of workers to the town.