We had lunch at a kids park, near Shepparton, after a slow leave from Penny and Stu's place. Then a quick stop at a farm coming into Young to pick up a couple of kilos of cherries. They were delicious and a great price and we had the box emptied in a few days!! As we headed off the beaten track to get the cherries I spotted a lovely retirement village for farm machinery in a field by the road, and had to stop for some pictures. We had visited one farm and were heading to another. I had hoped to catch up with Alicia, a friend of both my sister and my friends, who lives on a farm near Grenfell, but she must have been a bit swamped and didn't return my call. So we passed through that area without more than a toilet stop!! I was a little sad our route did not take us through Holbrook once again, but we were headed directly into Wagga Wagga. We found a great little freecamp, essentially in the centre of town with flushing loos and free potable water, where we filled our tanks again.
The next day we drove on to Parkes where we decided to rest up rather than press on to Narromine, all the way from Wagga, in one day. We stayed at the showground which was basic but fine, particularly as we were the only ones camping there overnight. The evening we arrived, we got some schoolwork and washing done. There was no laundry at the showground so I took all the washing downtown to a laundromat. There was no one else in the small laundromat, and I was wearing dirty shorts, so I decided to take the smart option like the guy in the Levi 501s ad. With a short wash cycle time of only 24 minutes, what could go wrong? I read the kindle happily in my boxers for about 15 minutes , until a car pulled up outside and I realised that a young couple had quite a deal of washing to get through...I very cooly got the washing bag and lay it on my lap, and continued reading and with a stroke of great good luck, they left after only a few minutes, leaving their washing to finish unobserved! I walked out 10 minutes later with a great big bag full of clean clothes.
Aunty Judy organised for us to visit another distant relative, Uncle John Radford, to see his magnificent bird collection. We had planned to see him while out west but it turned out to be best for him that afternoon, so we all went home to the farm in the firetruck, and headed back out again, in our car, to do just that. There was a truly amazing variety of spectacular birds of all sizes to see. The ugly baby macaws were a standout for me! Uncle John and his wife and daughter also showed us some elaborately decorated ostrich, or was it emu eggs. By this stage the kids were literally all lying on the grass, wiped out by a big day, with an early start. We took them home and bundled them into bed, not far behind them ourselves! We said our farewells before bed as Uncle Gordon had to leave early the next day, and we headed for Dubbo the next morning. Big thanks to everyone who put themselves out for us on our Big Day Out West!! We had a smashing time!