Our departure from Mitchell coincided with the falling of soft welcome rain and a comfortable temperature of around 25°C. This is in marked contrast to the past few weeks when Mitchell was consistently hot and dry -- with the temperature up to 40°C and bush fires burning fiercely.
Groups of emus grazed the verge between Mitchell and St George, strutting away from our oncoming vehicle; necks outstretched, feathery skirts flapping.
As the kilometres slip by, my mind adjusts to the fact of our leaving Mitchell -- heading south to Phillip Island. It's a complete lifestyle change and a difficult transition in many ways; however, I believe change sweeps the cobwebs from my mind, gives me new focus.
Over the Queensland / New South Wales border and into northern New South Wales: after five hours on the road we've arrived in Lightning Ridge, the opal capital of the world.