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Published: November 25th 2019
It was sad leaving OReillys and our friends Ross and Jan as there was so much more to do and we knew these last few days, full of driving, were the end of our trip.
We packed up, said our thankyous and goodbyes and headed off down the mountain. Due to the horrendous fires in NSW, Parks had closed nearly all national parks, and in addition there were several road closures. So we were headed for Yelarbon State Forest which we knew was a terrific little spot as it is open bush with a dam and it is a mecca for wildlife- we just had our fingers crossed there would be water there (hopeful but not expectant!). Anyway due to the weather being hot and windy and road diversions, we had a long and hard drive. We arrived into our spot really late in the day and sadly, everything (like so much of qld and nsw we have traversed) was bone dry. It was now still and quiet so was a great place for the night. We set up, had tea and then went in search of some nocturnal friends. We came across a number of geckoes, all species
we had seen before but lovely to see again anyway.
Next morning we packed up early and decided to have another big day of driving so that the following days wouldn't be as bad. We were headed for another state forest we have camped at before and this time, were going in fully expecting it to be dry. Again it was quite hot and windy and we started to learn that the evening and then next day was going to be a shocker from a weather/fire risk perspective. The day was long and as it was late, and given the predictions, we decided to forego the forest camp, and instead camp at a reserve on the creek. This was not the best (as it was near a road and we weren't on our own). We were all feeling a bit deflated that our last few nights were less than ideal but it brought back memories from our last trip- the last fews days we had there were cold blasts, pelting rain and very long drives.
Anyway after an unsettled night, we got up early and excited for the day. It was going to be a much
shorter and easier drive but with some good things along the way. Our first stop was at the CSIRO Radio Telescope (The Dish). We had never stopped in here before and I am always up for a fix of space science. It was so fascinating!! We learnt that these telescopes work on radio waves and usually, due to size limitations, can detect sooo much more in the universe than the traditional telescope which use glass (or at this scale, mirrors). In todays world, because of light pollution telescopes are generally being constructed in areas with minimal obstructions and these in occur in places like Chile and Hawaii. It was amazing to realise that this telescope enabled us to see pictures of the moon landing all those years ago, and that today it is still being used for more than 300 scientists around the world and 40% of which are overseas. It is huge!!!! Being a 64m diameter parabolic dish and weighing over 1000 tonne, it certainly dwarfs most other dishes. It was commisioned on 31st oct 1961 and today is 10,000 times more sensitive than when it began. It was interesting to examine the concept of size and what is
bigger than big? We know that the sun is huge compared to earth and all the planets in our solar system but itself is actually dwarfed by many other stars such as Cainis Majoris, a hypergiant red star in our galaxy!! So much to learn in such a short time!!
After finishing up, we were then on our way, driving towards Narrandera. From what we could tell both in Victoria and NSW today was going to be a shocking weather day- hot gusty winds, temperatures from 39-42 and the constant smoke haze as a result of the already parched conditions and the NSW fires. We decided to spend the afternoon at the Narrandera pool. It was wonderful!! We had lots of fun playing in the pool and on their three new racer slides- wow!! It was shady and cool and a great way to spend an otherwise terrible weather day. After relaxing here for a few hours we decided to head off to our camp spot located in an open woodland on the Yanko creek- it was amazing!! A beautiful, peaceful spot, where the water was fairly high and with just a hint of a breeze coming off
the water- quite lovely for one of our last nights on the road. We had tea then went in search of some reptiles. It was much cooler so not holding a lot of hope, so the boys came back empty handed (although there were thousands of spiders!!). As we were exhausted from long hot days driving, we then hit the sack. Next morning we had a relaxing time walking, riding ( well Merlin could ride!!) and some bird watching before we packed up and headed off.
Our next destination before Killawarra was Strathfieldsaye- we had planned to visit Chris' mum and dad on the way home- it was great to see them and spend a few days with them after so long. It also gave Merlin a chance to compete in the Trex Triathlon and the Goldfields Trail run- he loved, and blitzed, both!! Lots of fun had by all and such great events. We reluctantly, but with some excitement as well, packed up and headed for Wang. Arriving at our place was surreal. It was amazing to see how much the landscape had changed in a relatively short time, yet what also seemed like ages. We were
so happy to see our beautiful little Boggi, dead tree in the front and birds coming to greet us- turquoise parrots on the drive, diamond firetails on the grass, budgies flying from one patch of bush to the other- oh so exciting. We love the campo so much we of course decided to camp out again, at home- it was brilliant- a clear night sky with thousands (in reality millions) of stars.
We are sooo very grateful to all our house sitters and thankful to be able to have had this experience together. Thanks to everyone who sent messages, texts, emails etc to keep in touch- it was really appreciated. See you all soon.....til the next adventure xx😉
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