We were awake early this mornng ias the people adjacent to us in the motel were mostly working people and country folk seem to want to start the day early. It had been quite cool overnght and the car was covered with a thick frost.

We decided to miss breakfast. It was only served to the room and I hate eating in my room at the best of times. As a result, we drove on to Forbes 100 km up the road and had breakfast at Macca’s at 9.00 am.

Forbes is a really histioric town – the first place in NSW where gold was found. The buildings in town are quite grand and reflect the previous wealth of the town. The old hotels are quite large and have broad verandas with plenty of lace work The Town Hall is a very solid old building and complete with a little tower. Of course. the bank buildings are also very grand.

There is a little war memorial in the park by the couthouse with the names of local people who have seen active service. There were about 25 people who had served in Vietnam, 3 in the Gulf War, 3 in Somalia (1 killed) and 14 in East Timor. This area seems to have made quite a contribution to the country’s military service.

We drove on to Dubbo and reached the Open Plains Zoo for a late lunch. We spent most of the afternoon looking at the animals and taking a lot of photos. I bought my newish digital camera with a long zoom lens and I am looking forward to getting lots of good animal pictures when we go back again tomorrow.

We have arranged to have dinner with Adrian & Jenny Starr tomorrow night. I was in Vietnam with Adrian and hadn’t seen him for 35 years until our latest reuinion in Canberra last month.

We found the B&B where we are staying tonight by late afternoon and settled in and enjoyed a drink on the deck overlooking the valley in the late aternoon sun. However, as the sun went down, it became cooler and time to retreat indoors by the fire and look forward to a home cooked dinner.