Tuesday morning! Normal Business day – hooray! We got up and headed a few streets up to the Dunlop mechanics we had spied on Saturday hoping they would be able to fix the tyre today (and somewhat quickly). We were in luck. We dropped the truck and headed to the cafe for breakfast. Well what else were we supposed to do !!!!
With a little bit of shopping under our belt – an array of odds and ends that would make you laugh, we got the text to say the truck was ready.
So with Charlie looking a little more flash with his proper tyre back on and spare under the rear we headed back to the park to collect Leeroy and get back on our way.
We drove through to Narrabri and stopped at the always helpful and welcoming Visitor Centre to grab some information (and update some old ones). I had sort of forgotten/not realised that it was cotton harvest time, thinking it was later in April. So i was pretty stoked to see this display and hear that the cotton was out and ready to be harvested.
Not too far into our drive our first crop of cotton for the trip was spotted.
We hit the tourist info to grab some local maps and info about the national park before heading up into the Sawn Rocks area, where took a nice stroll out to the organ like pipes of Sawn Rocks.
After wandering in here for a while we headed down to the other section of the park and started to the climb (driving) to the Summit of Mt Kapatur, stopping at the vantage points along the way. With the temps climbing we didn’t venture onto the longer walks and opted for a few shorter walks at a few different points along the way before we made it to the top. The view is quite spectacular and it was a bit of shame that some of the smoke and haze from the fires further out west near Pillago had created a hazy horizon as on a clear day you can see up to (apparently) about 30% of NSW.
We lunched at a lovely little picnic spot – Dawsons Spring just down from the summit and then headed back down the mountain and out to the CSIRO Compact Array telescopes about 25km out of town. Coming back down the mountain and heading west saw the temperature climb to 40+ degrees with a lovely westerly hot breeze to boot. Unfortunately the visitor centre at the telescopes were closed but you still get a great view of the scopes and the information boards are very informative.
The scopes are part of a larger array including the Coonabarabran, Canberra, Parkes and Sydney. As like the Parkes scope some of the work they do helps to stay in contact with the astronauts on the ISS.
From the scopes we headed out to Yarrie Lake, which due to the water levels had been closed to boating activities and a few days prior had had an outbreak of blue green algae so swimming wasn’t recommended either. The whole camp area was virtually deserted.
Sunday night in town was pretty quiet with few places open for dinner so we had thai just down the road from the campground which was well lets say nothing to write home about at all!!
Well its time for us to hit the pavement and go another adventure. This time we are leaving poor Thomas at home. We are heading north to family for xmas so we decided to take a road trip to get there but for four nights out of about 11 we decided to leave Thomas at home and gulp stay in cabins along the way.
After way to much tetris/rubix cubing trying to get everything in the boot the way I liked it we were finally on our way with a quick detour via my folks to drop some things off.
We headed west out through Singleton and Muswellbrook making tracks to Quirindi where we stopped for a quick lookout stop at the “Who’d da thought it” lookout which has some nice views back over the town and back to the Great Dividing Range.We continued on through the wheat belt where the golden colours of harvested wheat fields lined the roads. I love the old style seed/grain mills.
We grabbed some fuel at Gunnedah, and kept on moving, passing through Boggabri and BaanBaa where i saw this really cool dam with 6 pelicans all lined up along one edge. I did the stop the car chuck a u-turn manoeuvre and just as we pull up (which I did do slowly) the little &^%$# flew off, so needless to say I have a picture of a dam !
We arrived in Narrabri later in the afternoon, checked into the cabin and took a cruise around town to see what was what – which didn’t take long. Im getting dinner ready and I look out the window and see a pretty decent sunset developing. Now for the past few weeks ive been a bit out of sorts with photography and haven’t really picked up the camera or edited anything very much at all, so the fact I actually wanted to take a pic was a good thing, so we jumped in the car and headed west until we found Narrabri lake – yep its an actual thing and does actually have water in it. Hopefully I managed to grab a few nice sunset shots before we headed back to camp hoping that the breeze would kick in soon as it really hadn’t dipped below 35 and it was half eight already.