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Days 266-267 Friday-Saturday January 11-12, 2008 – Mildura to Canberra, Australia
I hate to sound like a broken record, but the weather on Friday made the Australian Outback feel like hell. Before leaving Mildura for browner pastures, we stopped on the edge of town at Orange World, an orchard that provides tours along with housing the proverbial gift shop. While we didn’t stay for a tour, a fresh bag of oranges was just what the doctor ordered for us. We also managed to take a couple of silly photos outside. It was just too hot a day to spend more than a couple of minutes outside, so we left before very long.
Unfortunately, Orange World was probably the highlgiht of our day on Friday as we didn’t do much else. Since to drive from Mildura to Canberra was too long a distance to cover in one day, we decided to stop for the night in the small town of Hay. Hay has a population of a couple of thousand who for the most part live adjacent to the main street. Honestly, we thought the drive from Mildura would take a bit longer and found ourselves in Hay much earlier than we expected.
Hay looked like a ghost town when we arrived at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. The holiday park was happy to have us check in because there wasn’t anyone else around. After hopping inside the cabin and turning on the A/C so it would cool off the room, we headed to town for a walk. In lieu of walking the four blocks to town center, we opted to drive and quickly found parking on the main street. Once outside, it was evident that everyone else was doing the smart thing and staying inside in the 42 degree weather.
It was getting a little late by this time and we were hungry, so we chose to eat some fish ‘n chips at a local takeaway before walking around for twenty minutes and heading back to the car. The prospect of sitting around the cabin still wasn’t appealing, but being outside in the heat was even less so. Before driving back to the cabin we did make a sidetrack to a local reserve, but it didn’t contain us for long.
By the time Saturday morning came, we were excited. You see, we were finally going to drive out of the desert. During our three days in the outback we didn’t see any kangaroos (except for the odd dead one on the side of the road). In fact, we didn’t see much of anything else either. Of course the heat filled days kept all of the animals hiding away and I guess for now we are going to have to rely on seeing kangaroos and other Aussie animals in zoos and animal parks.
We arrived in Canberra in the early afternoon. After much discussion, we decided to book a somewhat nice hotel for the first two nights in Australia’s capital so that we would have satellite television. I wanted to catch the Green Bay Packers playing the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL playoffs and the only channel broadcasting the game was Fox Sports. While I did manage to see the game, it was almost a disaster. More on that next time!
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