FRIDAY AUGUST 21 LIGHTNING RIDGE TO FORBES 543kms
Departure day could not be delayed any longer, much as we were thoroughly enjoying our time here. There were medical appointments to keep, at home, in four days’ time.
Left the caravan park at 9am. Fuelled up in town. $1.389 cpl. Headed roughly south again.
The day was warm. The were wearing the t-shirts and shorts that had been weather appropriate for the past few weeks, but wondering if we’d need to rug up before the day was out.
Between the Ridge and Walgett, we were passed by a smallish, European made, lightweight van, heading north. It was swaying from side to side really badly, on the uneven road. I would not have liked to be towing it!
Near Walgett, we picked up truckies’ talk on the CB radio, about a caravan jack-knifed by “the bridge”. We didn’t see anything amiss as we went through town. Thought it might have been out on the Brewarrina road, where there is a series of bridges.
On the uneven road between Walgett and Coonamble, the fridge door suddenly swung open. We had to stop so I could close it. That had never happened before. On our very first trip in Bus, the spring on the freezebox door broke away; since then, the little door was held shut by the main fridge door, and stayed shut when I was delving into the fridge – didn’t really need the spring. However, it seemed that now on the rough surface, the couple of blocks of frozen meat that were still in there had shifted and forced both doors open, even though the fridge door was latched. On the way again, we discussed whether we’d need to install some sort of extra closing device before our next trip.
Took a coffee break (using the trusty thermos of hot water) in Coonamble, at the very pleasant rest area there, where there was plenty of parking.
Taking a break at Coonamble
We had seen seas of yellow canola flowers along the road verges and in some of the paddocks.
Near Gilgandra, the distant Warrumbungles were hazy in the heat.
Had lunch in Gilgandra. I had originally thought this would be tonight’s destination, given that John often tires easily. But he was feeling fine and wanted to go on, so we stopped in one of the parking areas beside the Windmill Walk.
Windmill Walk Gilgandra
Dog and I had a pleasant short walk along part of this. As we ate our sandwiches, admired the big old trees beside the Castlereagh River.
Castlereagh River Gilgandra
South of Gilgandra we started to see more and more roadside wattles in bloom, which added cheer to the day.
We were stopped – naturally – for roadworks. After all, we were on the Newell Highway! As we waited for the lady with the Stop/Go sign to let us move, I noticed something new to me. On the edge of the bitumen, near where she had taken up her station, was a white painted stick figure. No room for misunderstanding about her position, then!
At Dubbo, John was all for continuing on to Parkes, so I phoned a caravan park there and booked us onto a site for tonight. In preparation for today, I had not done any research into parks further south than Gilgandra, so had no idea about the quality of the park I phoned, but it did have en-suite sites.
Refuelled at Peak Hill. $1.365cpl.
The Dish near Parkes
When we went to book in, John came in too. He heard the man on Reception tell the lady in front of me that they were in a TV black spot, so he hoped TV wasn’t important to her. John announced we were not staying here – and walked out. I apologized to the man. Not much else I could do. Hell – it was only for one night, but you can’t separate an addict from his screen.
Back onto the highway and on to the next town Forbes. It was 4.30pm when we reached the Big 4 Holiday Park there. Yes, they told John, they did have TV in the park, but no available en-suite site. The addict was happy, me less so. They gave us a site right by the amenities block, where we could keep the car hitched onto Bus. Very helpful staff. Our powered site cost $30.60 after discount.
There was a small grassed area at the back of the park where John was able to give Couey a run.
It had been a long day’s travel. Not recommended for the health of my leg. I was surprised at how well John had held up.
We had happy hour drinks with a couple parked nearby, who were going north to Qld. Very pleasant people and it was after dark when we went back to our respective rigs.
Tea was simple: pasta with a stir through sauce from a jar.
John watched cricket. Obviously of importance to him, even though Australia had already lost the series.