Posts Tagged ‘Manildra’


The scenery has changed. One side of Parkes it was still rolling hills, and the other, the scenery became flat, and although it had a rain-induced covering of purple, it felt harsher. I am approaching the outback.

Flat and purple tinged

Flat and purple tinged

Parkes is famous for its radio telescope that played a part in the 1969 lunar landing and starred in the 2000 film ‘The Dish’. I didn’t go there – it was an hour’s cycle off my route. Parkes is also famous for its Elvis Presley festival. I passed something that was probably part of that – Elvis and a rusty car in the purple field.

Elvis and the car

Elvis and the car

Elvis and the car

Elvis and the car

I am staying at a pretty much abandoned town – Bogan Gate. At the end of the Bogan Way, this old railway town had a pub and cafe that have both closed due to COVID. I called before I left Parkes and they left a door to the hotel open. ‘Leave the money on the table before you go.’ The streets of this town are eerily empty.

Bogan Way

Bogan Way

Bogan Gate

Bogan Gate

Bogan Gate

Bogan Gate

Bogan Gate

Bogan Gate

I cooked some spaghetti sitting out on the verandah out the back. The dog and the cat watched on hungrily.

Hotel cooking

Hotel cooking

Hotel cooking

Hotel cooking


Today I left my planned route to head for the big smoke of Orange. It was a day of unexpected encounters, ending the day eating roast chicken with Graham and Rita.

Graham and Rita

Graham and Rita


I often forget things. I leave things behind, only to discover it when it is too late. Last night I discovered that I had left my bike lock in Tarana, and so today I needed to go to Orange, leaving my Aussievelo cycle route.

The route stayed hilly. The rolling hills are usually covered in brown and yellow dead grass. Now, after the months of rain, it is all covered in a lush, thick cover of green. At times it reminded me of Tuscany in Italy.

The road to Orange

The road to Orange

The road to Orange

The road to Orange


In Orange I made a beeline to the bike shop to buy a lock. That’s where I ran in to Kate – a cyclist who has cycle toured all over the world. We ended up having a picnic lunch on the park lawns as she told me of her trips in Ethiopia and Tibet. She was there in the times it was possible to cycle to Mount Kailash unaccompanied.

In Manildra I was about to set up my tent in the caravan park when Rita came past and invited me to dinner. I joined them in front of their caravan after my glorious shower and clothes wash. We got talking about Rita’s rheumatoid arthritis, and I realised that she wasn’t being treated for it, but just taking an expensive homeopathic medicine. I had written all about rheumatoid arthritis as part of my work at NPS MedicineWise and convinced her to see her doctor.

The road to Orange

The road to Orange

Tomorrow on to Parkes and beyond. I’m told it will get a bit flatter.