Parkes to Tocumwal

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October 9th 2019
Published: December 30th 2019
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Setting moon and rising sun, blue sky above. It was to be an early start to what would be another big day of driving through the Riverina to NSW/Vic border at Tocumwal. Driving south along the Newell Highway the dramatic effects of the prevalent drought is really biting into the landscape. Months of low rainfall has seen the precious top soil of the dry dusty paddocks being blown on the hot westerly winds. The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, meaning new methods of dry farming need to be implemented. Crop and stock selections more resistant to drought impact need to be considered. Emu and Kangaroos have withstood drought for millennia in this dry brown land, they could be farmed with the appropriate infrastructure. Native grasses such as Kangaroo grass can be harvested for its flour, other crops such as yams, witchetty grubs, caterpillars, all this can be grown without broad acre farming techniques, to feed an ever increasing populace. Intensive monocrop farming is largely responsible for the loss of hundreds of tons of top soil. We have much to learn from the indigenous first people who can teach us so much about bush tucker and survival in a world of hostile climate change. How can we justify bailing out dole bludging farmers with annual perpetual drought relief. We couldn't sustain our car industry without massive handouts, and it fell by the wayside as does broad acre farming is doomed to do as well. Hey but that's my rebellious green mist rage.

Further down the road we enter Forbes, a heritage town named after Sir Francis Forbes, Australia's first Chief Justice. Little Flowers family are direct descendants of Sir Francis, so it was really interesting to check out the museum and all of the early colonial history of Forbes. The visitor info centre houses an amazing motor museum, with an incredible display of all types of cars from 1905 to late nineties, all shiny, showy and very well worth the entry fee. With the day getting on we had to skedaddle off down the Newell highway to West Wyalong and onto Nerandera. We were hoping to coffee at one of our favourite restaurants on this route, The "Red Door". Yes it actually does have a red door, but being Sunday, sadly for us it was closed, so we settled for a burger and coffee at some other joint. We sat outside the café and "man it is getting hot". It would have to be high thirties today, Lunch done we hit the hot tarmac hell bent on getting to my brother Ronnie's at Tocumwal. Still big miles ahead of us. Just going to have to take the express route through Jerilderie. "Hi Ned", no time to stop and check out the town where Ned Kelly wrote the 56 page letter calling for justice for him and his family. Ah, Finley at last, now we are getting close, only another 30 k to Tocumwal. Finally through Finley we arrived at Ron and Rox's late afternoon. After all that driving and it seems there is no one home. But Nephew Jack emerged with some cold drinks and beer. It was good to see him again, he settled us in to our camp spot behind the shed, out of that hot northerly wind and made us a tasty seafood extender pasta dinner. Another big day of driving and now we can enjoy some holiday time with family. before we head off for Melbourne.

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