Day 3, Tuesday 16/7/2019 Mirrool to Eumungerie, overcast 9 – 17
Another good sleep and Woody was under the shower before sun up. There are green sheep paddocks, red soil and, a sure sign that we’re getting north, crazy Apostle birds (so called because they frolic in flocks of roughly 12). There are patches of Mallee type scrub on the roadsides and small clumps of cotton, left behind by passing cotton trucks.
As the terrain becomes drier we tune into John Laws on Sydney based radio, another sign that its winter and we’re on the road but certainly not one that I’m not excited about. The style of Sydney talk back radio leaves me wondering if there’ll be a world to wake up to tomorrow.
We fuel up at Forbes, it’s a pretty town and we’d like a walk but it’s busy and we can’t find van parking. Thus, we continue on the short 30kms to Parkes to have our walk, but blimey it’s cold.
The radio stations are all abuzz with the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the moon landing so we zip off the highway to have a look at ‘The Dish’ as the Parkes radio telescope is affectionately known. Damn, we’re early. In 4 days time it will be open for public inspection in celebration. We’ll just have to be content with browsing the info centre. It’s interesting to learn though that it was built in 1959 and is regularly improved. It is now 10,000 times stronger than in 1969. For those who are too young to remember or are unfamiliar with this snippet of history, when the astronauts chose to land on the moon earlier than originally planned the first 8 minutes of the moon landing telecast was communicated to the world by the Honeysuckle Creek tracking station near Canberra which then handed over the remaining transmission to Parkes radio telescope once the moon had cleared the horizon there.
Back on the road and saturated with moon landing history we’re starting to tire of the Newell Highway, today the traffic is heavier with caravans and trucks heading south and of course we must wave to every caravan that pases, though Woody sometimes forgets motorhomes. We keep our eyes peeled for the turn off to Eumungerie 30kms north of Dubbo. The Prado’s have recommended this place. We pull in at 2:00pm. The camp is a red dirt Recreation Reserve just beyond the pub. There are caretakers in residence, always a positive, and $10 buys us power, water, toilets and cold showers, firewood and a fire pit. Kangaroos laze in the long grass of the paddock behind us and Apostle birds squabble in the red dirt. I say squabble because they wrestle and roll like two year olds. Eumungerie is a perfect grey nomad stopover, the only things that it lacks are a hot shower and a dump point but I’m sure those luxuries will come in time as the town will profit from the vans that they have in tonight.
We have a lovely sunset and cook a curry outside but not having lit a fire it’s still not warm enough to eat outside.
Summary 341kms, power, water, cold showers, toilets, fire pit.