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Follow the sun

Posted by on 15 December, 2011

I have no problem sleeping in a strange bed, waking up in a different room and feeling ‘at home’, while travelling…the only thing that I struggle with is the sun.

We are travelling south-west in the middle of summer in Australia….so from the time we wake up, at about 6am, the sun is high in the sky. Yesterday, we crossed the border from Queensland into New South Wales…into the daylight savings time zone. While our watches and clocks adjusted quite quickly, my internal body clock has struggled a bit. When we pulled up at Balranald for dinner tonight at about 8pm, the sun was still high enough in the sky that I needed sunglasses on, it felt like about 3 or 4 in the afternoon….now don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining, just stating the difference….it takes some getting used too.

 Our day today required us to travel a bit over 700km to put us in a good place to make it to Adelaide tomorrow…again, no set destination, just a general idea of how close we want to be. We decided to head more south than west, which allowed us to travel down the Newell Highway from Dubbo to the towns of Parkes.

Parkes is a small town which may not have had any real attraction for us, if it were not for the enormous Radio Telescope located a few kilometres north. “The Dish” as it is affectionately known, is a working radio telescope that is capable of picking up sounds from far out in the universe and interpreting it into data that astronomers use to help us understand more about ‘what is out there’….though they haven’t announced that they have intercepted any unidentified conversations happening out there yet….my mind wanders to the question “are we alone in the universe?”.

We moved on to Forbes for lunch…pies (which were okay) and a quick look around a second hand store where Dave found about a dozen cd’s for a dollar each, including some well known, modern artists that we hear on the radio (and enjoy) but had never actually gone to the effort to buy their cd’s (sorry to them for that). Powderfinger,  Eskimo Joe, Nine Inch Nails and Snow Patrol for example…more than enough to keep us going for the rest of this journey and a nice addition to our collection at home. This also gave us the opportunity to play a new game…’what song is this?’ and ‘who sings it?’….Dave and I played mostly, though the girls chimed in every now and again…of course this worked best on the various artist albums….I declared that unfamiliar songs were unfamiliar for a reason….not every song that makes it onto an album is enjoyable and I am very grateful to the inventors of the cd and their foresight to also invent the skip button….

Before we left home, we created our Spotto list (a list of things to look out for on our trip)…this includes 1. a sign that says Adelaide; 2. a llama or alpaca; 3. a radio telescope; 4.  a wind farm; 5. a clock tower; 6. Jim’s mowing; 7. a flower meadow; 8. a lake with ducks.  We did start off wanting to get a photo of each items, so that we can add them here, however that is difficult when you are travelling at 110kmph down the highway. Today though, we did see 1, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8…..truely we did….we have a few photos, but missed the Jim’s mowing one, though he was in Parkes…the ducks on the lake are a bit blurry….there have been lots of flowery meadows, though I saw a really beautiful one today, shame I was driving while Dave was napping and I couldn’t stop. We have photos of some others though and I will add them here soon (technology is challenging at the moment)

The afternoon saw as travelling across the Hay Plains, which oddly enough are not plains of hay, but wide expanses of land covered in saltbush and tumble weeds. At times, not a tree in sight….we were fortunate enough to spot a number of emus (thankfully not on the road) and though we did stop a few times to try and get a good photo of them, they must be quite timid birds, as they took off quickly and ran for cover. Hopefully some of the shots will turn out okay, we also tried to video them, though as they ran and we zoomed in, the shake may be a bit much (where is the tripod when you need it…)

We have ended our day on the road at a tiny town called Tooleybuc inVictoria, where the kind folk of the Country Road Motor Inn rearranged the room to fit in an extra bed. With enough space for us all, it is clean and quite and I am sure that I won’t have any trouble falling asleep tonight.

nb I will add some photos to this post shortly

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