The picture of the moon is from last night -- the sky was so clear this picture really does not do it justice.
Well this morning we wanted to find a coffee in Peak Hill and to my surprise not only did we find a coffee shop but they served scones and devonshire cream. I was in heaven -- and felt justified as I did a 5km walk in the morning on the back roads (Mandi I am keeping up my walks, how are you doing) -- the pictures below show some of the scenery as well as the sheep farming in the area.
After coffee we visited the local cemetery and found aboriginal graves as old as 1895. Then it was off to the Open Cut Mine in Peak Hill. This is where they mined for gold in the 1800's and for ore in the 1900's up until 1969 -- warnings to watch for snakes were posted so we did not venture into the trails around the open pit mine.
We then drove to Trundle as this is where Brian's grandfather drove ox teams. We ventured into the Trundle Hotel for a drink and lunch -- you guessed it they don't serve food on Wednesday's but we could go to the cafe across the street to get a hamburger and bring it back to the hotel bar and have a drink (now I know I am in the outback). The burger was with the works bun, patty, egg, pineapple, lettuce, tomato, bacon, mushrooms and beet root (it was delicious but I skipped the egg and pineapple - so much for all the weight I have lost but it is pretty hard to find salads around here). Did I mention that Trundle has either the second or third widest street in the world (75 meters JD, Hazel and Nils -- they would not have a problem installig bike lanes here). All the locals were so friendly and even let me take pictures of the bar -- I was very excited to see a Canadian flag above the bar. I talked to a man who worked for a tv station here in Australia and he had been to Vancouver Island to do a story on the logging industry (he was shocked at our clear cutting practices as he thought were better environmentalists).
I took a picture of the only shoe and handbag store in Trundle -- does Victoria have a shoe and handbag store???
Off to Parkes where we found they were hosting an Elvis festival. I found Elvis shoes, purses and even Elvis himself wandering the streets. This little town wanted to boost its economy so they decided to host this Elvis festival which has been going for 20 years and attracts people from all over the state. All the residents in the area get behind this 5 day event and it has helped boost the economy. After going to the local legion for dinner and Elvis entertainment we went to the Trotters in Parkes where we watched horse races and Elvis entertain between races quite a combination but a lot of fun. Wish I had packed my poodle skirt!
Something that is very noticeable is no matter how small the town -- they are all very quaint and clean - the residents have real pride in their communities. The towns have a number of parks, public areas and squares all of which are usually supported by the local Rotary Club!
After a full day it was lovely to look at the stars and then off to bed.
Today we packed up for the long drive back to Sydney but before leaving Parkes we visited the DISH located at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Observatory. This 64 metre dish operates twenty-four hours a day and is one of the most well known radio telescopes in the world. This facility made the first transmission to ApolloII when they landed on the moon in 1969. It is also the subject of the movie The Dish -- guess I will have to watch that now. Thank you Brian for over 1200km of driving in 3 days to show me the Australian countryside -- a memory I will treasure! Also thanks Brian for the portable washroom facilities for the outback -- I think I will stick to a chemical toilet!
Back to Sydney for a quick shower and change then took the train through Sydney, over the harbour bridge to the north side to spend a couple of days with Gaille (Marianne's sister). Tomorrow Manly!!!