On the Road in Southern NSW

Our first night on the road to Southern NSW was spent beside the stunning Lake Eucumbene in the Snowy Mountains. We found ourselves wishing for a ski boat behind the 4x4 as well as the caravan, as we gazed out over the glassy water of the lake early on Tuesday morning. But there was no time to dally and we hit the Snowy Mountains Highway bound for Tumut. The mobile phone came into service just as we were walking out to a mountain side lookout. It startled us all as a reporter from a Wagga Wagga newspaper set the phone a-ringing. Thank goodness it wasn't a Skype call as me red-faced from hiking isn't a good look.

After the interview, we continued the drive in the direction of Forbes. A wade through remnant flood waters had us finally reaching the town at around 5pm. Of course, Forbes was still reeling with the shock of the floods. Not so the crickets. I can now say with authority I have NEVER seen so many crickets in one place at one time. And I had thought our part of Gippsland with it's irrigation, had the monopoly on them. Not so. The children swung from absolute delight to complete horror and back again, as they dodged the wee little hopping critters in an effort to have a shower. Me? Well I evicted them all, herding them out of the cubicle with a stern warning. Come back in here again mates and you're fair game.

The children, deprived bush kids that they are, finally got to bounce on a BIG 4 Caravan Park jumping pillow. The yells of delight had us trying to shush them with the reminder, 'you're not in our paddocks now!'

This morning we headed to Parkes, and there, while the family went out to the famous 'Dish', I attended a luncheon at the library organised by the very lovely Shelly Buckle. I had an absolutely delightful time talking with a crowd of people who'd come to hear all about the inspirations behind BELLA'S RUN. A great time was had by all, and I even met a fellow Gippslander!

Tonight was spent at BooksPlus in Bathurst, with another lovely group of people, keen to hear about Gippsland and the story behind the book. Kathryn and Jenny welcomed me with open arms and the conversations that were going on across the room hummed with love for the written word. It was simply delightful.

Tomorrow we have interviews with two radio stations from Wagga Wagga and Orange. And then it's onto the Orange City Library at 6pm to meet with Collins Booksellers Orange owners, Margaret and Phil along with others. So looking forward to it.

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