Day 17 Wednesday 3415km
I got up early and headed off south 30km to an orchard run by friends of Gail's. Peter and Paul have a peach and persimmon orchard and were going to be harvesting today and I didn’t want to miss it. I drove the winding 30km through the bush and into a clearing where their packing shed sat in the warm morning sun. They told me where to go and I drove up and immediately started shooting some video of the long shadows being cast from the persimmon trees. I painted a small oil panel and then took a break for some ‘pan con tomato’ and then did another small oil. After that some ink sketches, and as I was doing the last one from the top of jumpin’ joan I saw the sun setting behind me and knew I should be on my way before dusk settled in. I jumped into joan and was blazing my way back to Araluen in third gear when, before I could react, a wallaby jumped down from a three-metre precipice and donked my front bumper. I stalled the engine and let out a groan, but before I could blink, the little guy pushed his way out from under the front end and bounded off. All of the lovely persimmons Paul had given me were on the floor and my paintings had flown around the cabin a bit, but everything was otherwise all right. I continued my way back in second gear and kept a ready lookout.