Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Whirlwind April Part 3 - Dubbo Zoo

On to Dubbo !

From Wellington caves it was a short hop to Dubbo. The hotel was easy to find and we happily settled in. Aside from the bullying tactics to make us stay a second night, the pub has a wonderful bistro and the bar staff are quite nice. One lady wouldn't let Fabian sit in the bar more an 8 m from the bar but that is one person. 

The bed was comfy  but as I was bunking with Sandra, we had two single beds and I kept falling out of mine. LOL. I was excited to get to the zoo. Trouble is, this pub didn't serve breakfast so we had to hunt the town for something open. Sandra, Fabian and I had done a walking reconnaissance mission the night before so that was covered. We woke up to a small fete in the street which had Fabian and Sandra shopping. :) Sandra discovered Emu oil and is a new convert. Fabian has a thing for statues so he nabbed one. 

The zoo was busy but we were lucky to get a park close to the ticket office. All the experiences were sold out but that was fine. We were going to walk so were happy to not have any time restrictions. 

Who doesn't like Meerkats? :) Mama leopard would not leave the gate but at least she faced me. The rest of the big cats were sleeping and ALL of them facing the fence :( Ah well. Never work with animals.

23561 steps! :) 17.6km by the time we got to bed. Dinner was disappointing as EVERYTHING in Dubbo was closed but bloody chinese. Sigh. We hoping for a pub meal but we found the pub had closed at 8pm. Damn. :( The late afternoon was spend being mellow and the boy and Sandra had headed off leaving me and Heath in peace. We had some beers at the pub, Sandra had gone to see the Gaol and Fabian wanted the book store. He had found that the store had advertised closing at 1600hrs but when he returned just after 1530hrs it had shut for the day. BOOOOOOO.
We headed off very early the next day to beat the peak traffic home Eastern Monday. As it was, there was congestion at Mt Victoria due to the roadworks there but other than that, its was a good run. Mudgee was where we had stopped for brekkie.
Thus ended Heath's week off and Fabian's time with us. We were unable to schedule sky diving which left the boys disappointed but we just didn't have any days left!

Whirlwind April part 2 - Wellington Cave System

Off to Dubbo. :) I have wanted to do the zoo again for years. It was a toss up for me between Dubbo Zoo and walking Mt kosciuszko. I wanted to do both, but with Heath returning to work on the Tuesday, both was impossible. BOO. Fabian wanted to go to the zoo so that won. The only place that had rooms for under $200 per night was a pub that actually made us stay for 2 nights, as, they stated, they were booked out and if I only stayed for one night they would cancel my booking and give it to the waiting list. (There was an empty pub/hotel Sunday night so this was revealed to be a blatant lie) Grab for cash right? BOO Still to stay elsewhere on principle would have cost us $500 more so they had me cornered.
Driving up, we were caught in some traffic through Katoomba and Mt Victoria but after that, it was ok. Actually had a Maccas stop and I did regret this later. :( Ugh.
Everyone was quite chipper :)  As you can see.

Wellington Caves is 40 mins from Dubbo, but 4 hours from Sydney so we were trying to get on the Cathedral Cave tour only to miss it by 2 minutes. :(
Our options left were the phosphorous mine and the Gaden Cave. We chose to do both.
It was interesting but to see Jenolan first a few days before and then Wellington, it was hard to not compare the two cave systems. I was interested in the mine and its bones but Gaden cave was disappointing which is unfair to this area. Gaden cave has seen too much damage from prior travellers and it is hard to look past that. I did see a broad tailed gecko living the cave. We also spotted an Echidna along with the usual Eastern grey roos.

Gaden Cave (And resident)

Sculpture at the Wellington caves entrance

Next Dubbo Zoo!

Whirlwind April

Unknown artist. Image from google

Still undecided where I want to go with this blog. It has been in mothballs for a while and whilst there are times I REALLY REALLY miss blogging, my life is so hectic, I rarely have time. Hell, I am struggling to find time to knock over my last few assignments to get my Diploma in Rail management. (Only 3 to go and two assignments. Should just sit down and get on with it)

April saw me and Heath have family from the UK visiting. I had taken time off work to spend time with her and my son but things never quite work out as designed. SOOOO we made other arrangements. Heath had a surprise week off and hence wanted to be with his kids (To be expected :) )
Sunday All of his kids came up for a dinner to see their grandmother for a lunch which is a change. (A good one) Still very awkward but least the other half had a good time with them .
The next day, we took Sandra down to Wollongong so she could spend time with the girls whilst heath and I went rock climbing with Callum. Then icecream!! Winning.

Tuesday was spent with two of Heath's kids walking the whole mermaid pools walk. Even the dog came. I had to keep him on the lead as there were a few other walkers around, but once we headed down into the canyon, past the Mermaid pools, we were alone and able to let the dog go free.
 He gets lost easily now and latches on to other walkers to rescue him. Doofus. 

Wednesday was physio. My shoulder was getting progressively worse over the past few months so, when a new physio opened in Picton, I started with is and he has reduced my pain a lot. I got a lecture for rock climbing (As I has slipped, wrenching my shoulder) but he was happy otherwise that I have the strength for pulling myself up. :)
It was raining so I did a quick urban walk in CBT whilst Heath and Sandra headed to the coast. Was nice to have an arvo to myself.
Thursday we headed to Jenolan Caves as the kids were busy for the next week. We were lucky to get rooms as this was a public holiday weekend.

Forever drip
Lovely caves
Brain like structures
Favourite guide. He engaged the children stopping them from being bored.
Baal looks down into his temple
We had to leave early from the cave area due to it being Good Friday and the road out closes from 1145hrs to 1300hrs. From memory to permit buses to negotiate the bends. This weekend was so refreshing. I felt revived just being away from Sydney. 

Home on the friday to wash everything and get ready to drive to Dubbo via the Wellington caves. Going via Fabian's place added an hour to the drive. We stopped at Warragamba dam for a break. The weather was stunning!

The Easter weekend was in Dubbo. Travelling from or into Sydney from any direction on the holidays is a nightmare. For such a large city there are only 4 roads out. 1 to the North, 1 South and 2 to the west but its really one as they join up at Mt Victoria.  Heading along the South Coast there is one road so getting anywhere by car is a total nightmare. 

OK part 2 next post :)