“Did I see you having lunch today at The Tin Shed at Lithgow?”, came the surpising instant message via Facebook. It’s been a while since my former colleague and I have seen each other, and so when I walked past, she said she wasn’t sure if it was me or not. A few seconds later, and we were seated on the back verandah, and so the moment had passed.
It was a lovely co-incidence for the first day of our two week holiday in Western NSW. “Do you think we’ll run into anyone we know on this trip?”. I asked Sue. “Quite possibly”, she replied, mentioning a family friend who was also on a trip around Western NSW. I mentioned that I’d also seen on Facebook that a distant family member was also on tour. Since there are still significant travel restrictions within Australia, and since overseas travel is off the agenda, domestic travel is pretty popular right now.
Before moving to Sydney, I lived for almost a decade “west of the divide”, including at Bourke, Renmark and Wagga. Many of the places we’re visiting I’ve been to before, though its been ten or twenty years in the case of some. For Sue, many of these locations are totally new to her. Hopefully, we’ve been able to put together an itinerary which combines elements of a much-needed break with some great cultural experiences.
After leaving Lithgow, we made our way to Bathurst, where Sue was keen to take at look at the campus for Charles Sturt University. And of course, you can’t visit Bathurst without a visit to Mount Panorma.
As children, we both remembered watching the “Bathurst 500” as an all-day event on the television. Back in the days of Peter Brock, Allan Moffatt and so on, it was one of those things you did back then. Although the motor race won’t be going ahead this year, there were still quite a few tourists taking in the views, and no doubt, enjoying the experience of driving the track, albeit at much slower speeds.
Our destination for the day was Orange, where we plan to do a bit of sight-seeing, including a bit of food and wine tourism. There are lots of wineries in the area, and there’s a highly recommended bakery.
I’m also a fan of taking photographs, and while Sue visited a friends’ parents, I visited the Pinnacle Lookout.
When I arrived at the top there was an older man (maybe in his late 60s), and separately a group of half a dozen older women (maybe in their late 60s). The reason I point out their ages is that it was quite a steep walk to the top. There were moments heading up when I became a little puffed. “It’s much easier going down than it was coming up”, one of the women commented.