Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 11 - Homeward Bound - Forbes - Grenfell - Macarthur

Monday 27th September 2010
OK, so the argument this morning is whether the Manly Sea Eagles mascot is modeled on the bird currently known as a white bellied sea eagle, or whether it was modeled on a Brahminy Kite which used to be known as a sea eagle.  We end up agreeing that the brahminy kite is the winner..
We’ve been down to Gum swamp and there’s a few good things around, babblers, pink eared ducks, a huge troupe of white winged choughs among others.  Numbers are down as more breeding areas are on the go this year with all the water we’ve had.
We have rationed ourselves to only about an hour and are have enjoyed a very nice cooked brekky – only about $7 or something, so continued excellent good value -  and on the road by about 8:20-25.  We’re heading for Grenfell. 
Last time we drove from Forbes to Grenfell we went down Henry Lawson Way.  This time we decide to try the New Grenfell Road.  We suspect it may have been the “new” Grenfell Rd for quite some time, but it’s a lovely route and very quiet.
In one section Patterson’s curse lines the roadway in vibrant purple with the yellow cassia behind. It makes for a very pleasant drive.

A long neck tortoise crosses the road. We’re worried about him, but he doesn’t need our patronage, he’s across in now time, just a brief pulling in of the head when the one car we see along here drives over him.
All of a sudden the countryside seems to have made a transition from cassia bushes to wattle.  In this area the wattle is still in full display.  We pull over to admire its light fragrance and glorious fluffy blossoms.

Continuing on the landscape makes another change and we hit dense callitris forest around Warraderry. State Forest.  It is extremely easy to get lost in callitris forest.  Warraderry State Forest is also one of a few cooperative banding sites, or was last I heard.  It’s illegal to band birds unless you have an approved study unless you do the banding at one of these cooperative sites, where presumably it has been determined that long term data will be useful, and I guess these sites provide a place where banders can get the required training to get their licence. I have heard much about Warraderry and adventures there, but not been through here before so this is particularly interesting for me.
Finally in Grenfell I stop at the servo for some ice and we head directly for our favourite butcher.  We regret not having brought our camera in from the car today.  The butcher has several sheep carcasses hanging up.  We order some scotch fillet $23 ish per kg, then a couple of racks worth of lamb cutlets $25 per kg and finally a leg of lamb which is between $8 and $9 per kilo. The scotch is sliced to our specifications as we watch, lamb racks trimmed up and prepared.  Meanwhile we chat with the butcher and other customers as they come into the store.  This is how meat buying should be. Wonderful.
Nothing to delay our departure and we enjoy a lovely scenic drive through undulating hills, through crops and pasture and the occasional spring blossom tree.  We stop at a spot along the way that we strongly suspect we have stopped before. I don’t think we are alone as they have built a layby at the crest of this hill.  We open the windows and the fragrance off the field of flowering canola is strong and beautiful. It is most picturesque.

Another stop at a roadside stall, this time for some free range eggs for $4 per dozen.

Bells Line of Road home. All very uneventful.  Having had such a wonderful adventure, we’re now pretty intent on arriving, but not so much that daughter resists an urge to wander up to Mt Wilson for our picnic of Forbes bread and vegemite. Mmm. Daffodils are making a lovely show. Mt Wilson is lovely but we’ve not got time to go in to any of the open gardens today. We're home by 4pm. It's been a wonderful wonderful adventure.

The Washup.
Well, what more can one say. We’ve been home a day our two and so far have enjoyed a feast of lamb cutlets and last night we ate that leg of lamb. I had forgotten leg of lamb could be that good. So incredibly tender. Full shank in place. I don’t know what the city butchers do to their shanks these days but they don’t crisp up properly like they should and the meat from the city butchers is not even half as good. Daughter 1 – who being pregnant gets all the treats these days – devours that shank with great relish. Oh, we are definitely going to have to head out to Grenfell more often!  Tonight we’ll have a Barbie with Grenfell steak.  Mmmm.. our holiday delights will continue for a while yet. :o)

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