MY 70TH BIRTHDAY BASH

Day 1 - A Disappointing Start


The long-awaited camping holiday finally began on Monday, 6th October, (3 days ago), which was a public holiday here in N.S.W., as well as being the last day of the spring school holidays, so there was a fair amount of traffic on the Hume Highway right from Yass.

The old Nissan Pulsar was serviced and raring to go - as was I. 
I couldn't have fit much more in the boot, even if I'd tried. There was a fair bit of gear inside the car, too.

It was a terrific day for travelling, though, as it was sunny and warm but not too hot. My first stop was Boorowa, which is just 100 kms from and an even smaller town than Grenfell. It's quite colourful at the moment, too, with some of the largest stretches of yellow canola blooms that I've seen. Here's a couple of the interesting buildings in the town:


This is Boorowa's ANZAC memorial. The 'cute' thing about it is that the letters A-N-Z-A-C are used instead of numbers on the clock face. A nice touch!


Here's the beautifully restored Boorowa Court House, which looks far better than on my first visit to the town in 1976, when it was a lunch-stop during a 2-day bicycle race, the Canberra 2-day Tour. There are several other lovely, old buildings in Boorowa, including the Catholic church.

However, I drove on, with the intention of having lunch at Goulburn but the kilometres were being eaten up so well that I pushed on to Tallong, a very small village that is just off the beaten track. My first hamburger in donkeys' years was ordered from the local general store and it was delicious, if a little 'drippy'.

There are several things of interest in and around the village, the major thing being the view over the Shoalhaven River gorge, which is just to the east of Tallong. It's difficult to capture the size of it when the sun is high overhead but here's my attempt:


This is the view from Badgery's Lookout, looking to the east. The cliff in the distance, almost directly under the small cloud, would have to be at least 3 or 4 kilometres away - on second thought, it may be much farther away - and, of course, that's the Shoalhaven River 'way down there! Here's a panoramic shot, looking towards the south or south-west:



This looks better in the larger size; just click on this thumbnail to see it.

Here are some of the other interesting things I found in Tallong:


Pretty exciting, isn't it? Well, I thought so, anyway. I noticed the large satellite dish on the right, as I ate the hamburger in the shade near my car in the background. After a little thought, I came to the conclusion that calls made from the public phone go via satellite! Now, that's something you probably won't see in the city!




Another interesting thing was this kid's playground at Tallong. It's probably difficult to see, even in the larger size image, but the chains on the swings are nickel-plated! Amazing!


Tallong Memorial Hall, 95 years old, but it doesn't look a day over 50. The last Tallong item is this door-stop at the general store:


In case you were wondering, it's meant to be a wombat.

From Tallong, I drove through Wingello and Penrose on the way to my intended overnight stop at Bundanoon, which is the largest town in this part of the highlands.

As I approached Bundanoon, this sign caught my eye:

No more explanation is needed.

 Nearing the centre of town, this unusual old building caught my attention:


This is known locally as The Pill Factory, because that's what it was, initially. It was built for W. A. Nicholas, who manufactured analgesics there for a number of years, making his fortune. After that, it became a guest house and was called Bundanoon House for many years. It is mentioned in a brief history of Bundanoon, here.



Looking up the street from The Pill Factory, the pink blossoms make for a pleasant scene.....

....and up at the corner, where that blue car was, we see this:

Ye Olde Bicycle Shoppe has been a fixture in Bundanoon for many years. In the late 70s, I lived just a few kms away in Exeter for a while and got to know Jack Hepher, who set up the business. The man on the Penny Farthing in the mural is probably modelled on Jack, because he had one, which he used to ride in parades.

If you checked out the larger image, you may have noticed that mention is made of Jordan's Crossing in the mural. That was the original name for Bundanoon.

Just around the corner from the bike shop is the lovely Holy Trinity Anglican church:

Difficult to get a satisfactory photo, when looking towards the afternoon sun......

Along the same road, just down Constitution Hill, is Gambell's Rest in Morton National Park, where I had a campsite booked for the night. However - and this is where the 'disappointing start' comes in - there wasn't a blade of grass in sight and I couldn't see myself laying out my sleeping bag straight onto gravel, etc., so I drove over to the NPWS office at Fitzroy Falls to ask about a refund but the lady behind the desk said "we don't do refunds".

Having already arranged to go to the National Parks head office in Sydney on my way to Westmead Hospital for a medical appointment, I decided to ask my contact there about a refund....... more later.

I ended up driving through to Sydney and spent an extra night at my sister-in-law's place.

The rest of my planned '70th Birthday Bash' didn't eventuate, because of a medical procedure that may have been happened "in 3 weeks' time", as my specialist said. It didn't, of course. C'est la vie!

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