As you can see we are safely home and toasting our toes in front of the fire. The weather is a bit chilly to what we have been used to but it is lovely to be home.
We last left you at Roma from which we thought we would have an easy drive to Lightning Ridge and the chance to look for some opals to add to my stash. Not to be. I don't know why things happen when I am driving but they seem to. We were still travelling the Great Inland Way, in other words the back roads of Queensland, which at times where a bit challenging, when I hit a cattle grid a bit hard. Another loomed up in the distance so I slowed right down thinking this one may be a bid rugged as well, and I was right, only this time even with me being careful there was a bang and smoke started pouring off the right hand trailer tyre. I thought the tyre had blown out but nothing so easy - the centre bolt on the spring had sheered, the axle had moved back and the tyre was rubbing on the guard. To cut a long story short after great improvisation Rex had realigned spring, found a bolt on the camper which would work as a centre bolt, reassembled and we were ready to continue our journey. I was impressed by the number of travellers that stopped and offered assistance. Rex now driving we arrived in Lightning Ridge in time to follow the Red Car Door Trail. Old car doors are painted different colours which lead you around the different sights of the town. The Red Car doors wound us through the opal fields, past Amigo's Castle, Astronomers Folly and then onto a collection of curiosities in a type of museum. Again there was hot springs in the area which we visited but we didn't join the locals and tourists who were soaking but went looking for something to eat after a challenging day. Moving south the next day to Dubbo there was a noticeable chill in the air. We were thinking of visiting the Western Plains Zoo but decided against it as by the time we arrived it was middle afternoon and the cost was $60.00. We had visited before when we were friends of the zoo and it hadn't cost us anything (spoilt) Overnight the frost came down resulting in an outside temperature of 1 degree which decided us to travel the last 8oo km home.
A great trip with many wonderful memories of places and people along the way. Our last photo is from Lightnng Ridge and is the Astronomers Folly. A town that exhibited its sense of humour.
Rex and Rob