11.10.2009 - 18.10.2009
This report is from the back yard of Melissa's place in Scone. We'll be here until Monday and then off to Newcastle.
Sunday 11 Oct - bleak, wet and windy in Stanthorpe. Visited the local fortnightly markets which are sensibly held in the Town Hall. Very impressive range of produce and hand-crafts. Drove North to visit a local cheese factory where we tasted and bought some of their delicious cheeses. At $50 per Kg the price was a bit rich but it is about what you have to expect. Stopped off at two or three other local attractions and headed back to prepare for tomorrow's drive to Armidale.
Monday 12 Oct - drove South across the border and set our clocks forward an hour. The weather wasn't too foul and we were set up in Armidale by lunch time. The caravan park is located on the Eastern edge of the city and very relaxed and quiet. The afternoon degenerated into a significant storm with a good shower of rain.
Tuesday 13 Oct - made our way into the Information Centre and joined the free heritage tour. The bus is provided by the local council and the driver and guide are volunteers. The took us around the significant features and gave a great general history and overview of Armidale. Stand-out features are education and dramatic buildings. The Catholic and Anglican Cathedrals are both magnificent.
Wednesday 14 Oct - wandered through the streets of Armidale and photographed the historic buildings described in the Heritage Walk brochure. The weather turned ordinary again with strong winds and dust and just enough moisture to form mud all over the Patrol.
Thursday 15 Oct - drove the 86 Km 'scenic drive' to Dangar's Falls in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. A very impressive gorge but not enough water to create a waterfall. The countryside showed a hint of green and is certainly very picturesque, a particularly pretty spot was the small chapel at the entrance to Gostwyck Station on the way to Uralla. Back on the highway, Uralla was also quite impressive and once again we felt that it was a place that deserved more time to appreciate it fully. The, by now customary, winds blew up again during the afternoon and we decided to leave early tomorrow to try and beat the head winds.
Friday 16 Oct - Jenny's birthday but she didn't get breakfast in bed !! We were hooked up and on the road by 0615. Arrived in Scone around 1000 and spent most of the afternoon catching up on family news. Les and Melissa drove us to Muswellbrook for a very elegant dinner to celebrate Jen's birthday. Jenny was most pleased that the threatened birthday cake and associated embarrassment did not eventuate. We had her worried though.
Saturday 17 Oct - greeted by the most pleasant morning we've experienced for some time. Sun shining, no clouds, no dust, no wind, birds chirping and the temperature a pleasant 20 degrees. Sat around, did next to nothing and buried my nose in a book. Great !!
Sunday 18 Oct - another one of those exceptional mornings. Seems a shame to be doing anything to disrupt it. Today will be our last day in Scone so will take the opportunity to wash the Patrol and get ready for the final week. One 'feature' of this outing has been the lack of water, not only in the inland where it is expected but also along the coast where population growth has rapidly outstripped the water storage capacity. It certainly looks grim for the summer.
Next week's update will be from home so may be a little late arriving. Stay well, travel safely and we hope to catch up with some of you as we traverse this dry and dusty land.