MONDAY MAY 25 LIGHTNING RIDGE TO GILGANDRA 311kms
Packing up and moving on was becoming rather routine now, in Bus, the way it used to be with the van. We were away at 9.25am, even after giving dog a decent ball throw and run before we left.
The day was sunny, with some light cloud patches. A very pleasant one for travelling.
The road to Walgett hadn’t improved any. Going the other way was even worse for uneven surface.
Had a morning tea stop in the Rotary rest area at Walgett.
It was a morning for seeing wild life. There were flocks of apostle birds and white winged choughs. We straddled an echidna waddling across the road – at least, the bus did and I hoped the less-wide wheels of the Terios did too. There was a mob of emus browsing in a fairly bare paddock. Then a second echidna – they were on the move today. I wondered if it was the season for echidnas going looking for mates?
Around Coonamble, every paddock gate seemed to have an anti coal-seam gas sign on it. Clearly a significant issue in these parts.
Refuelled at the same place as before, as we came into Coonamble. Still the same price: $1.359cpl.
Decided to try to get lunch in the town. The highway bends, and we realized a little late that the shops were in an intersecting street. Parked Bus and decided to walk ahead, thinking there might be more shops – and because the GPS indicated there were toilets nearby. Walked a couple of hundred metres, past a couple of houses where there were several dogs, barking behind their fences and acting like they wanted to eat us all. Then we came to a park area beside the river, where there was a good length of parking areas off the road, with picnic tables and toilets. I didn’t want to take Couey – or me – past the dog gauntlet, so John said he would walk back and bring Bus up, then I could make lunch.
Dog and I sat and looked at the scenery by the river, exchanged greetings with other travellers lunching too. John seemed to take ages, but eventually Bus appeared, upsetting Couey, who gets all insecure when it is moving without her on board.
John had in fact gone back to the shops. He produced a ham and cheese crosissant, to share, a sausage roll for himself, and a spinach and fetta roll for me. Very nice it all was. A town with a bakery that produces these goodies had my definite tick of approval.
This was a great place to pull in – and a good town to buy lunch. There was also a Shell servo across the road from the parking area – another possible refuel place.
South of Coonamble, there were sunflowers in bloom beside the road. Maybe they had been cropped around here at some time and these were escapees?
Going southwards, there were good views to the distant Warrumbungles. Much better than seen on the way up – the angle was better.
We passed a rest area, with a small bus pulled in there. A man was sitting outside in a chair, eating lunch. Sitting up in the other chair, for all the world like another person, was a large German Shepherd. Clearly another dog that thinks it is a people…
We went back into the Gilgandra Caravan Park for the night. $29.70 after discount. We were put onto the site next to our previous one.
Back at Gilgandra – on grass again
After basic set up, took dog walking on the lead for a couple of circuits of the large park, then all just relaxed for the rest of the day.
It was a chilly night.