Castle rock and shooting stars.
It was just as cold as all the other nights but it was still just fine. Still learning the ins and outs of the Camperina and have big plans for it! Headed out to the sandstone caves that were in the area and they are pretty amazing. You can walk a fair way in them. Its a protected site as it has significance to the local indigenous population but has been set up well for people to see and experience it and learn a little at the same time. For me it was all about the pictures! One thing I did find that was cool was etched marks of emu and kangaroo prints in the soft sand stone. I'm not sure if they would have trouble dating it or not because its in such a soft medium (sandstone) but lets just agree to say that they were old etchings. Along side those were groove marks in the stone from sharpening tools, axes and such.
Notches in the Rocks
Next destination was back to the sliding spring observatory. There I had another wonderful flat white and went through the exhibit they had set up. I got some useful information of things to look up online and watched part of an excellent documentary. Then I ventured outside, which was quite blustery and cold, and into the observatory proper. After climbing 4 flights of stairs I was rewarded with a view of the Telescope. They even have a little area set up just for photographing the thing. Also watched a bit of a documentary on how they polish the glass but as the building was not heated, for obvious reasons, I soon left as I was slowly freezing to death.
It was into town for a refuel and back on the road to Mudgee. I had always wanted to return to a place called 'castle rock' in Munghorn gap outside of Mudgee to photograph the formations at night. I hit the info centre on the way to see if I could camp there like Dom and I had done in the past but unfortunately that was something I had to organize prior with Parks NSW rather than the info centre and they had closed by then. I decided to risk it and just go and if I got too tired just stay and leave early. I am not setting up a tent or anything, just parked really. So off I went with pizza in hand, had dinner while waiting for the sun to set then parked up and headed off in the dark on the 4km walk to the rocks. I had forgotten this small detail from the last time I was there, 4km in 4km out in the dark, good times.
Anyway once there I had the opportunity to shoot the stars before the moon came out. I was there for the moon so I was just waiting really, need it to light the foreground. I took lots of the Emu in the sky and possible caught some interesting meteors and other lights, but I will have to look closer. Once the moon was up I was rewarded with the most amazing moon rise I have ever seen. I wish for moments like this I had a really good telephoto lens to capture it, but unfortunately I had the wide angle on as that was the plan for the evenings shoot. Once up in full I proceeded to shoot what I hoped would be good shots. They didn't quite work out as planned as there was a lot of light pollution around which I was surprised by, but those are the breaks, hopefully something nice came of one or two.
Upon the top of Castle rock.
Back at the car I decided that I wasn't tired and wanted to knock out a few km's towards Melbourne. I found a highly rated rest site in the town of Ilford, which was only 90km away, and thought that would be a good destination for the night. Headed off going slow, watching for roo's, singing all the way. I was quite pumped that hopefully one of the pictures I took might have something come of it.
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