Day 1. Left sunny Canberra at 10.30am, at last, after so much planning and preparation for this big trip. Stopped for picnic lunch in the park at Gundagai, then onto my old childhood town of Narrandera for a short break. Decided to push onto Hay across the Hay Plain for an overnight free camp at Sandy Point Reserve. Noticed hundreds of huge cotton bales. Arrived after dark, raining lightly and the road into the reserve a bit slippery and very muddy. Drove 550km today, van towing well.