Day 327 - Orange
I’m not sure what possessed me to set the alarm clock for 6am, especially when we knew we weren’t setting off on the walk until 8am. But anyway, at least it meant we were first in the queue for the shower block! Ha Ha! Oh and don’t act all surprised that we’ve got walks organised already, remember who we’re with! We didn’t want to disturb Tony & Jane too early so Darryl kept an eye out for any lights going on in the house. Turned out that Jane didn’t want to disturb us by putting the lights on so there was a bit of a stale mate for a while but eventually we were all enjoying breakfast in the dining room.
We did a series of walks this morning, the first of which took us from their house in Lilac Avenue to nearby Lake Canobolas. It’s a good walk and part of the route Jane & Tony used when they were in training for the City to Surf race some years ago. Jane sets a quick pace this morning and soon the boys are left trailing behind. It’s an interesting scenario considering my reputation of
‘cracking it’ when I get left behind so I don’t blame Darryl at all for the quick wit and sarcastic comments he comes out with when we finally stop and wait for them. In fairness they had managed to see a crocodile in a dam which we completely missed so their ‘tardiness’ was totally forgiven!
There’s a fairly steep hill towards the tail end of the walk, nothing too dramatic but it’s enough to get us all panting before we reach the top. It’s worth it, the views are good and the walk from here to the lake is all downhill!
From the lake we drive out to Mt Canobolas which is the scene of another of Jane & Tony’s epic past walks. They spent a few hours searching out walks to do with us while we are here but decided this particular one was a bit over the top so we don’t get to do it today. It took in views from the summit of Old Man Canobolas and several other lookouts dotted here and there around the mountain. It was 4 hours and 19000 steps by the time they’d finish!
We’re driven to the top
of the mountain today which is quite luxurious in comparison then Tony takes us to the start of the route up to the Pinnacle. There are 235 steps going up here and the view from the top is fabulous and beautifully clear, much better than we could see from the mountain even.
It was an easy way to pass the morning and back at home we had a bit of lunch and enjoyed some ‘down time’ in the afternoon. We’re still trying to work out a route for the next section of our trip so the map gets an airing on the table and I’m soon scratching my head trying to find a way across to Broken Hill - the other side of the New South Wales state! We have an enviable choice in that we can either fire ourselves across to Broken Hill at break neck speed to then enjoy 5 or 6 days in the outback surroundings it has to offer, or we can travel up to the Warrumbungle National Park (4 hours north of Orange), do some star gazing then travel across to the coast and come back down it or travel to the coast from
Orange and take in the mountains through the Victorian high country as we head back to Melbourne. It’s a difficult choice and one which will be ruled by our ever depleting budget!
Talking of budgets, we were just about to nip out to the local Op Shop to replace my threadbare Tesco shorts when Jane stepped up to help. An excellent seamstress, both her girls and granddaughter Chia have enjoyed hundreds of outfits over the years made by her fair hands. She finds a couple of pairs of shorts which she’s kept in the cupboard and wonders if they’ll fit me. I just about manage to squeeze into them and she then sets about taking them up and putting in a button hole. Perfect and I shall model at least one pair on our walk tomorrow!
The remainder of the afternoon is guzzled up by a tremendous trip to visit some very close friends of Tony & Jane. Pat & Doug live out in Spring Glen in the most beautiful surroundings. They introduce us to their sheep, chooks, shared dog Millie and gorgeous pony Dorothy. We enjoy a fabulous tour on foot over the undulating hills and down
to the waterholes where the grandchildren love to swim in the summer months. Millie has a wild time chasing a large Roo across the fields and we found shrivelled up snake skins under the rocks then watched Millie cooling off with a swim in the dam! She just loves to play with stones but she couldn’t understand that they would sink when they were thrown in the dam and she’d carry on looking for them for ages!
We all bundled into the Ute for the next tour (Millie included!), the ‘Weeeeee’ tour around Spring Glen. We pass several other properties nestled in this beautiful part of the world, they seem about a kilometre apart so there’s no chance of upsetting the neighbours even when one of them has built his own motocross course!
We hardly noticed at first but Doug’s got his foot on the accelerator of the Ute and we’re soon flying through the rougher part of the track bouncing around in the back, its great fun and I can’t help but shout with glee or should that be ‘Weeeeee’! Then it was time to say our prayers, not so that Doug would stop racing around but
to remember the three animals buried at the next property! The little crosses are there in the back paddock and the grandchildren never miss the spot. Sometimes Doug & Pat end up doing the tour three times a day with them! Well bless you both, we loved it and had a great time.
Pat’s played host to the ‘Worlds largest tea party’ events in recent years to raise money for local charities, it’s the perfect venue with such great views and so much space. I reckon if they did their ‘Weeeeee’ tour as part of the day they’d raise even more money, its great fun!
Over cheese & biscuits we hear about Pat & Doug’s lovely family and how their son Rob is competing in an Iron Man competition being held at Port MacQuarie next weekend. There’s a chance we might be there too, depending on the route we eventually decide to take so we make a mental note of it and promise to get in touch if we do make our way out there.
All too soon it’s time to leave and we’re on our way to collect Jane’s Dad Ron who is coming over for
dinner tonight. He’s a lovely chap who in his twilight years still gets about the town and enjoys a round of golf most weeks. We popped into Duntry League golf course earlier today where he, Jane and Tony are all members. It’s a beautiful course with well kept gardens and today was filled with ladies playing in the seniors tournament. It all looked rather swish!
Dinner was again delivered with thanks to Tony & Jane, a beautiful Chicken Chasseur which was very tasty and went down very well with everyone but the chef! It seemed that Tony managed to serve himself the only rare piece of chicken in the pot!
We chatted with Ron for a while but said goodnight to everyone when Jane & Tony took him home. We’re up and about for an early walk tomorrow before Jane heads off to work and we head off for a bit of racing action!
Dar and Sar
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