On Friday we had another opportunity to get out and about.
We heard that there was the inaugral Central West Caravan Camping and Outdoor Expo being held at the Orange Field Days site. The weather was a bit iffy, but it looked like the rain would hold off, so we headed on up.
There were more caravans than anything else, and we came away very happy with the van we already have. Lucky that! Our van is an Atlantic and it was good to see that they were represented. The only van we really liked was also an Atlantic. No, we won't be upgrading, thank you very much.
On the whole, the show was a bit disappointing. However, we were there on the Friday and the weather wasn't the best we have had. I'm sure it would have been a lot busier on the weekend. It was also the first one they have run, which is always a bit of a gamble. I hope it goes on to grow to bigger and better things.
We started to head home a bit after lunch and were going to come from Orange via the Ophir Road. That didn't happen, because we turned off at the roundabout before we should have (not concentrating) and headed towards the Ophir Reserve. This was a rather happy accident.
We haven't been along this road for years and years. The countryside is looking lovely and green, following the recent rains, and there was water in all the streams.
We came to this pretty crossing and went to pull over to take a photo, rather than this one through the windscreen.
We were surprised to find there was a small picnic area right there. Let's have a little look.
It turned out there is a walking track "Water Race Track" doing a loop along the river and then up through the scrub. We didn't do that, but had a nice stroll along the river for a little way.
Our timing couldn't have been better, as there were a few little rapids, all running well. There is a fair chance this creek would have been dry only a few weeks ago.
There were some nice little native rock ferns surrounded by moss. I used to have these growing in pots when I was a kid.
It was a beautiful, peaceful spot. There was nothing to say that you can't camp here and there was also a sign about bag limits of fish. We noticed a couple of holes that would be good for fishing in. Maybe, one day, we could bring the van down........We'll see.
We continued on our way to the Ophir Reserve. There was a bit of dirt road along the way, and a few spots were fairly steep and windy.
Ophir is where the first gold was found in Australia by Edward Hargraves. It is an interesting story. He had worked in the Bathurst area and then went to California for the gold rush over there. He reckoned the geology around here was similar and went searching. He found gold, accompanied by two locals, but he claimed the find. This was disputed and eventually the others were credited with being the first to find gold. You can read about it here. Some say that a few knew there was gold, but kept quiet, not wanting a gold rush to happen here. Of course it did anyway.
You can still go prospecting and find bits and pieces.......if you are very lucky.
We had a nice little wander around.
Mick had fun working out the hand water pump.
We didn't go on any walks, but you could have a very pleasant few days down here, as it was also a nice peaceful place. However, it is popular for camping, so may be a bit different on the weekend.
Mick felt he could easily bring the van down, despite the steep road. Maybe will will camp one day. Once again......we'll see.
As we were heading off again we noticed an echidna beside the road, very busy having a feast of ants. We stopped for a look and he/she tried to flatten himself/herself out and hide. It wasn't working. We enjoyed watching for a little while before heading on our way.
We continued to follow very minor roads through Gowan and Freemantle before finally arriving home two and a half hours after leaving Orange. A trip that normally takes about forty minutes.
We haven't gone on a totally random drive like that for some time and thoroughly enjoyed it. The perfect weather (after the iffy start to the morning) made it all the more pleasant.