Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Hot Way Round" - Day 2 the road to Lightning Ridge

After a sleepless night at Nindigully Pub, for some of us at least, we awoke early to so we can make a deadline for our "chambers of the black hand opal mine"... but first a big breakfast for the trip, cooked by our master chef from the support team, Mike Tilley
Mike cooking up a breakfast at Nindigully
So, after topping up fuel from containers the night before, we packed the bikes and headed out for a shorter day to lightning ridge some 260 km away. It was enjoyable to ride in the relative cool of the early morning
 but at the same time we needed to be careful of feeding Kangaroo's on the side of the morning....we certainly had seen enough roadkill on the side of the road to make us wary. We soon came upon some amazing irrigated cotton plantations, amazing to see fields of green emerge out of what appears to be hot,flat desolate landscape...and along the way some fantastic roads...funded by mining and cotton ,which were continually being improved.
Dave getting to know the lollipop man in the cotton fields
With time difference between QLD & NSW we managed to get to our motel with plenty of time to spare , bedded our bikes down undercover and went to our rooms to be greeted by our favourite appliance.....an airconditioner!!

After a short rest we met the bus to go to the amazing  "Chambers of the Black Hand" opal mine. It had been mined out but one of the miners found he had an amazing skill for whittling away at the soft clay.... so some 10 years later we have this amazing mine.
Peter was kind enough to take us for a tour of lightning ridge full of eccentric creation, all partly finished, dotting the landscape...yes this is a place you can disappear to.
After a great feed at the Lightning Ridge Bowls club over the road from our motel.... we had to do the only thing you could do on a roadtrip.... a "Wild Hogs" moment....a dip in a artesian pool of course, so off we went on an evening where the temp was in high 30's to jump into a pool registering over 40deg C...madness?? Did bump into a policeman but did have a good chat to a bloke from Burleigh. What a way to finish a truly amazing day 2.