After a very wet and windy night, we were a little surprised to wake to a calm morning. The torrent of water through the caravan park had dried up, although the ground was still very soggy. We had a better chance to have a good look around this park and although it’s a bit old and tired, it appears that the young owners are working hard to renovate and upgrade facilities, and they are doing a great job so far.
After leaving the caravan park we made our way to the Newell Highway, and were amazed to see how busy it was. We had only just got onto the Newell when we came across an illuminated “water across the road” sign. Perhaps not a good omen but it appeared that the Newell was still the best bet for our planned destination today, so we continued on.
Things weren’t too bad as we progressed through the small village of Tomingley, and passed the mine.
Not surprisingly, there was still a lot of water around with creeks overflowing and rivers flowing strongly, and sheep and other livestock having to cope with wet feet.
We stopped for a coffee at Peak Hill. After a walk around town we settled in next to a lovely wood fire at the antique/lolly shop/café and enjoyed a coffee, snack and chat with the owners. We then investigated the interesting “Lindner Corner” building which houses the Tourist Information Centre, plus antiques and is the local centre for arts and crafts. They have recently received a government grant and are developing a very interesting tourist stop. The lady there was also ready for a chat to tell us all about it.
From Peak Hill we continued down the Newell Highway to Parkes. Usually we would have stopped at the café at the “The Dish” but today we felt like something different so we continued into town.
It was then that we got some bad news – the Newell Highway was closed between Parkes and Forbes. This definitely didn’t suit our plan. There was a detour to Eugowra. From there we could go through Canowindra to Cowra, our intended overnight destination. Accordingly we headed down the Eugowra-Parkes Road and eventually Military Road. Unfortunately, at the end of Military Road, we met a council works team and another detour sign and were redirected down Escort Way into Forbes. This detour added an extra 65 kilometres to our journey from Parkes to Forbes. And we didn’t get to visit Eugowra after-all. Not happy Jan!
We stopped in Forbes outside the Forbes Shire Council Water Filtration Plant for a late lunch and to determine our next best course of action. From Forbes we could either head down the Lachlan Valley Way to Cowra, or down the Henry Lawson Way to Grenfell, and from there to Cowra. After due consideration we decided that the Lachlan Valley Way had too much of a risk of flooding from the Lachlan River, so we headed down the Henry Lawson Way to Grenfell.
This was an interesting drive on a relatively good road with only a couple of incidents with water across the road!
Eventually we reached Grenfell, which is a delightful town renowned as the birthplace of Henry Lawson. We were hoping to find an open coffee shop but had no luck so we had thermos coffee in Bertha instead. We now had another choice to make. From Grenfell we could go to either Cowra or Young, both being about the same distance away. As much as we like visiting Cowra, we decided to head towards Young as it would shorten tomorrow’s drive considerably.
A quick search in Wiki Camps found a suitable caravan park in Young so off we went. There was some interesting scenery along the way.
Arriving in Young we set up Bertha at the Young Tourist Park and had a great chat to the couple next door in a new Sunliner Pinto motorhome. Ann then took a short walk to Aldi to pick up some supplies and we are now hunkering down for the night.
Today has been another tiring day as the rain yesterday has left a big mess in many places. Fortunately it didn’t actually rain today but it has been very cold and it is very soggy underfoot everywhere. Having a long detour of course made the day much longer. Still, we are safe and sound and making good progress on or way home.
Still enjoying the dream!