Day 13

Had a well-deserved lie-in this morning after a good night out in Griffith with Mel and Mike. Thanks to them for their hospitality and well done Mikey, Nigella’s second best to you – in the cooking stakes. We left the house at about 11am for a look at the hermit cave on Scenic Hill overlooking Griffith. This was a cave where an Italian, Valeri Ricetti, made his home for some 20-odd years from the 1920s until 1952. He made stone walls, steps and even had a chapel and kept a garden next to his home on the hillside. An amazing site and sight.

We left soon after on a day that was perfect. Not a cloud in the sky and temperatures pushing 35C as we headed for Dubbo in NSW. It may have been perfect for us but spare a thought for the people of Griffith who are currently in an eight-year drought!!!

Griffith was a bigger place than we expected but there is not much to do and I think alcohol may play a  big part in people’s lives!!! Dubbo was a good four-hour drive and Joy did the first bit as I caught up on some missed sleep on the morning after the night before. We arrived in Barellan for lunch and had fish and chips for $5.50 each a bargain. Barellan was the home of former Wimbledon champion Evonne Goolagong and guess what, to celebrate her success, they have recently built – wait for it – a big tennis racquet. It is giant version of the Dunlop wooden racquet she used when she was at the peak of her career. It is mounted next to a giant tennis ball and on a piece of astroturf court with a net. It is truly a work of art.

The temperature was rising as we headed north through beautiful country towns such as Forbes and Parkes. We arrived, as Kate said we would, at about 5.30pm and it was still 35c. We set up camp and then had a dip in the camp pool – bliss. I think another swim will be in order tomorrow before we head off for Tamworth, home of, guess what – the big guitar!!! Intrigued? Find out more tomorrow. By the way there are now more pictures in the media section if you want to check them out.

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