6/ Girding Australia

Leg 24 – Whales in the New South

As mentioned in the last entry Lennox Head was not particularly dog-friendly…

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There was one beach to the north where Canine Indi was allowed to be free of human regulations… but was also exhaustively used by 4wd vehicles.

The local crab population was tyred of the whole affair.

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And so, Dr Leanda decided that this was not the best place for a rest – despite seeing many whales frolicking off the coast – and instead decided they should venture slowly southward and find somewhere far more free of human expenses.

Leg 25 – Getting tyred

Dr Leanda thought that heading inland might be less expensive… But many camping places were closed inland due to recent fires or danger of more fires.

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Unfortunately, Dr Leanda managed to blow one of Bowser’s tyres while exploring for a campsite that was not closed.

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Even more unfortunately, this happened late on a Friday. Rather than risking another tyre over the weekend, Dr Leanda bunkered Bowser down next to Australia’s oldest pine plantation just outside Armidale.

And made a small friend in the outback dunny…

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They made tracks from Armidale on Monday.

Leg 25 – Heading further inland

And after getting some new wheels, they took a peak at Moonbi Lookout.

And enjoyed exploring the bushland.

That only had a few human-related disappointments.

Taking the inland route afforded much more freedom, with many of the showgrounds allowing donations to stay overnight (Freedom Camping Areas). Dr Leanda often spent money on pub meals and tourist souvenirs too. No doubt the in-cent-ive to accommodate nomads. There were some great tourist centres with hard-to-pronouce names, that hadn’t the foggiest idea of how to announce events…

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Ancient social communications technology aside, they featured some lovely bones of ancient beings.

And slightly less ancient technologies.

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The local golf club provided cheap grub, with a bingo game in full swing in the next room only added to the ambience.

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Which allowed Dr Leanda to reflect on how short, but great life has been so far. And to remember to enjoy it while it lasts.

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Leg 26 – A scenic retreat and recover

After pulling up at Ponto Falls Reserve, Canine Indi soon pulled out the nail of her dew claw. Dr Leanda tried to help, but it was still too firmly attached. Canine Indi gave her the silent treatment, and was not a happy camper…

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Luckily, a small town called Wellington had a local vet that had a more helpful form of treatment. As Canine Indi was still a bit sore and sad, Dr Leanda decided that they should head back and stay at the very scenic campsite a few more days.

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There were certainly worse places to be recovering from injury…

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Canine Indi was very brave and recovered quickly, and enjoyed just piss-farting around for the next two days.

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Dr Leanda enjoyed taking many photos of the local bird life.

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More angry looking cattle… (who knows what their beef with Canine Indi was)

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And some evening photos.

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Before watching the stars by a campfire.

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Leg 27 – Across country

With no more claws for concern, Dr Leanda and Canine Indi ventured onwards. Looking for promised platypuses in Wellington, but finding only seven dumped shopping trolleys in the creek.

Had a brief breather in Boree.

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Saw some lovely artwork under a bridge in Cowra.

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And pulled up at another scenic spot at Tout Park Scenic View Campground.

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It dawned on Dr Leanda the next day how beautiful mornings can be.

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They left early for Wagga Wagga.

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Leg 28 – Wagga Wagga

Dr Leanda stayed with her friend, Postdoc Cameron and his family in Wagga Wagga. It was a lovely stopover that allowed for some much needed washing. Canine Indi enjoyed the sunshine…

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… and their freshly mown grass.

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Some walks through the botanical gardens too.

 

It was a lovely visit, and Dr Leanda was extremely grateful for their hospitality. They suggested Jugiong as a nice stopover before Canberra for the long weekend. And so, that is precisely where Dr Leanda and Canine Indi headed.

Canine Indi  shared Dr Leanda’s enormous steak for dinner at the Sir George.

 

Then on to the Australian Capital Territory.

Leg 29 – ACTing out

The capital has always been capital to Dr Leanda. She has fond memories of winning a pun-competition there once. This time, it has been capital to Canine Indi too. Starting with a dog walk around Lake Ginninderra.

Then to stay with an old friend, Politics Peter.

Canine Indi was such a tart. She redeemed herself by being very well behaved while out for dinner at Capital Brewery. Dr Leanda was a little blurry after celebrating news that her dear friend Phil and new friend Anj were to be engaged – she could not be happier for them both!

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Dr Leanda, Politics Peter, and Canine Indi also explored Hall markets…

… and then continued more celebrations with Phil and Anj at a delicious home cooked dinner party. Dr Leanda had the best lasagna she has ever had, delighted in a dangerously easy dessert recipe, sipped award-winning gin, played some tough Jenga and Mario Cart opponents, and marveled at such brilliant hosts. She mentioned more than once that she might just have to move to Canberra soon. Perhaps after her great adventure with Canine Indi, she will return. But for now, their journey continues as they coast back towards the coast.

 

 

 

 

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