Temora ~ January 2014

No matter how many people believe or don’t believe in you,
you must be the ultimate believer in yourself!
― Pablo.

Wednesday 1st January 2014 - New Year's Day

Well, here we are, another new year to explore. May this one be better than the last.

As Dawn and Phil were still with us we decided to celebrate Pete Mate’s birthday with a lovely cooked breakfast in the camp kitchen. Then we sat outside the caravan drinking coffee until lunchtime when Phil and Dawn set off on the next leg of their journey. We had a quiet and relaxed afternoon and by evening Pete Mate decided he didn’t really want to go out for dinner again. Too much food last night.

Thursday 2nd January 2014

The weather here is completely crazy; it can be hot, windy, cold and raining all in one day. Our awning and outside chairs are like yoyos - in and out. The wind was blowing the awning about so Pete Mate rolled it in, then it started raining so he put the chairs in the car. This was when he found Dawn and Phil’s camera. Oops. We were going into town to collect mail and do a few other things so we took the camera to post to them. Once again the ladies in the post office were extra helpful. They found me some packing and a box suitable to keep the camera safe.

Friday 3rd January 2014

We had more rain today but then by afternoon it had cleared up and the sun was back, so was the wind.

Saturday 4th January 2014

The wind today is really blowing so I thought I would take advantage of it and get three loads of washing dry. I love clothes that have been dried in the wind, they smell so fresh and are soft. Plus they need little ironing. Later we had a drive out to the Bowling Club for a drink and to book a table for Tuesday night.

Sunday 5th January 2014

The weather was pretty much the same as yesterday, much too windy to sit outside so I read my book indoors.

Monday 6th January 2014

We enjoyed a lovely day out exploring Yass and the surrounding area. Our first stop of the day was to have a look at Johnny Gilbert’s grave. Climbing up the steps was a challenge for my short legs as they were very deep and coming down was worse! Pete Mate has covered some of the details of this very bad man who is now classed as some sort of hero, we can’t understand why.

The town not far from the grave is Binalong and it is lovely little place. Banjo Patterson went to school here, he was brought up on a property not far from town. He even wrote a poem about how Gilbert died. To read it click here: How Gilbert Died

The old railway station and one of the old pubs are now private residences which we thought was great instead of leaving them to deteriorate.

From here we travelled to Bowning which was nice enough but not as pretty as Binalong. We arrived in Yass in time for lunch, so we found a pretty little park and ate it whilst watching the children play. We called in at the information centre and the lovely lady there gave us one or two ideas of where and what to do when we leave Temora. We then parked up Billy in town and had a bit of a walkabout. Yass centre has some lovely old building but the one that caught my eye the most was the courthouse.

Yass Courthouse
Yass Courthouse
We then enjoyed coffees and decided to call in at the caravan park before heading home. This park has some bad reviews which put us off going there. Anyway, it was a basic park and would serve as a base for our sightseeing. Once home, however, we found another caravan park in the brochures we had collected from the information centre and have decided to go there. If we can get a site, that is, as it is still school holidays.

Tuesday 7th January 2014

We spent a lovely time with friends, Michele and Alan. They were on their way home and took a small detour to see us. We had the afternoon to catch up on all the news before we all got ready to eat at our favourite Temora restaurant, the Bowls Club. Again the food was absolutely scrumptious and none of us were disappointed. We dropped them off at their motel, said our goodbyes, and headed for home.

Wednesday 8th January 2014

We collected the rest of our mail from the Post Office and did some shopping ready for our departure tomorrow. By the time we got home Pete Mate had a full blown man cold so we decided to delay our departure for a couple of days.

Thursday 9th January 2014

Pete Mate is feeling much better today so we packed most of the things away and he did some caravan washing. We decided we would leave here on Sunday.

Friday 10th January 2014

Not a lot happened here today apart from reading and playing computers. The weather is still bearable without the air con roaring away.

Saturday 11th January 2014

We finished packing away and preparing for our departure tomorrow. The weather is really heating up and had to have the monster on today. We shouldn't call it names as when it spews out that lovely cool air we are very grateful.

Sunday 12th January 2014

We enjoyed a good trip through to Yass. We booked in at the park reception and then went in search of our site. It was unusual to say the least and very tight to get into. We moved forwards and backwards a number of times before Pete Mate was satisfied. He then decided we were not level and this involved driving the car up a steep slope. I don’t do steep slopes so Pete Mate did the driving and I made the huge mistake of standing behind the wheel of the car. Next minute I was covered in muck.

Once Pete Mate was happy with the caravan I went inside to get a couple of cool drinks and dropped two glasses on the floor which smashed into tiny pieces. Later I spilt the liquid from sun dried tomatoes all down the front of me. All in all it was an eventful day but in the bigger scheme of things it was nothing at all.

Monday 13th January 2014

We had a good look around the caravan park today and are not overly impressed. The showers are dirty where people have traipsed across wet floors in dirty shoes and as there isn’t a mop and bucket no one cleans up after themselves. The garbage bin is overflowing and the whole place has a feel of neglect about it.

We went to the Information Centre in Yass and met a very nice and helpful man called Sean who gave us lots of information and advice.

Tuesday 14th January 2014

We left home around 9.30am – very early for us. We had a lot to see today. We first stopped at Gunning to visit John Hume’s grave. John Hume was the brother of the famous explorer, Hamilton Hume. Poor old John was shot by the Whitton Gang whilst defending some residents of the town. His wife was expecting their ninth child; here is a photo of her.

John Hume's Wife
Elizabeth Hume, left a widow expecting her ninth child when husband John was murdered aged 40.
There are no known photos of John but here is the house they lived in called Collingwood.

John Hume's house, Collingwood
John and Elizabeth's home, Collingwood, in Gunning.
We left Gunning and headed into Goulburn. Pete Mate dropped me off at Garroorigang Historic Home, the abode of the Hume family, whilst he went off to do the Railway Museum. Garroorigang is Aboriginal for ‘black swan’ (found on the nearby river).

Garroorigang - the Hume family home that I toured and waited outside for an hour. That man!
Donna was my guide – a Hume by marriage – and the house has been in the Hume family for many years. It started life as a pub and then became a school for young gentlemen for twelve years. The schoolmaster then got fed up because these young gentlemen from the land were not interested in Latin and Algebra but they did learn how to play cricket very well.

Garroorigang was then bought by the Hume family and they built a dairy in its grounds, which was a good business for many years until the government compulsory purchased some of the land for a major road. This made the dairy unviable so it was sold but the Hume family kept the house. The family still lives in the home and most of the old furniture is still used.

Inside Garroorigang
Two views of the interior rooms of Garroorigang. (Sorry about the flash reflection.)
I was allowed to touch things and sit on the chairs. Donna imparted so much information my head was reeling by the time the tour had finished. I looked out into the courtyard and saw no sign of Pete Mate so Donna sat and talked for a while. I decided to have a wander around outside and took many more photos.

I sat on a bench under a tree and waited. I wandered again and waited. I sat again and waited. I looked around for something else to photograph and this tree caught my eye. Then at last Pete Mate arrived and we set off to the next tourist attraction on the list – the Waterworks Museum, a blue outing if I ever saw one.

It was quite interesting but Pete Mate enjoyed it a lot more than I did. The guide, Cliff, was very chatty and friendly and Pete Mate mentioned he worked at the Power Station Museum in Tamworth for a year. Cliff had worked there for eight years and left during the year Pete Mate was there. He then told us his wife had worked for the Country Music Association so between the museum workers and the music we travelled down memory lane for the rest of the tour.

Time was marching on and we quickly realised we were not going to complete our tourist itinerary for today. We decide to climb to the war memorial and lookout on top of a nearby hill before we left; we could see the whole of Goulburn and beyond from there. It was very, very dry out there.

View from lookout
One view from the Memorial Lookout at Goulburn.
As we are not overly happy with the caravan park in Yass we decided to squeeze in an inspection of the two Goulburn parks. The first one was just basic but the second one was lovely with well maintained and clean amenities.

After chatting with the owners we booked in and will spend some time there as there are things we want to do in this area. It was getting towards happy hour so we told Billy to take us home. We encountered an accident on the highway and as I had my iPad with me I quickly found out what had happened. It was a two car accident with one man trapped in his car. He had to be cut out and there was a helicopter on the ground to take him to hospital.

By the time we got home the heat of the day had subsided so we sat outside and enjoyed our drinks. We felt sorry for the little birds as everywhere is so dry so Pete Mate turned the hose to a fine spray and we sat watching them for ages. A perfect end to a ‘perfick’ day.

Wednesday 15th January 2014

A day of doing the website and sorting photos out.

Thursday 16th January 2014

We visited the small village of Murrumbateman on the outskirts of Yass because the book said it was interesting. It was not, nothing to see at all. We then visited the Yass Cemetery to try and find Mr & Mrs Hamilton Hume’s graves. We searched and searched and then . . .

The Graves of Hamilton and Elizabeth Hume
The graves of Mr and Mrs Hamilton Hume. Elizabeth Hume's inscription describes her as
the relict of Hamilton Hume. The dictionary describes 'relict' as an archaic word meaning widow.
. . . I gave up and went back to the car - fooled you! I opened the driver’s door and there was a huge spider, we had seen him before and thought him gone. I tackled him with my walking stick and eventually he decided enough was enough and scuttled off towards some graves.

When Pete Mate got back to the car he had a triumphant look on his face; yes, he had found the graves (see picture). I found other interesting graves as I walked back to the car. One was the final resting place of three children from the same family; they died at twelve month intervals. How sad is that? Then there was the convict, Thomas Hill, who arrived in Australia on the “Sarah” in 1829. He married Mary O’Neil, also a convict, who arrived later on the “Southworth”. I cannot find out any more information except that O’Neil was not Mary’s true name. When she arrived in Australia she was given to a Mr. O’Neil to work and seems to have taken his name. I find this really interesting; I think it is time I got back to doing my family history again.

We did some shopping on the way home and then drove out on to the dry bed of Lake Burrinjuck to take photos of the rock formations before returning to our 'van.

Boating on Lake Burrinjuck
Boating enthusiasts had set up a base on the dry portion of the lake bed.

Friday 17th January 2014

Wee Jasper was our destination today; the town was very small with not many buildings. The main attraction was the Carey Caves. We arrived for the 1.30pm tour and after hanging about for ages our tour guide appeared with the first tour in tow. We very quickly discovered that Geoff, our guide, had no concept of time. He took us into the caves when he was ready and the tour ended when he felt like emerging into the scorching heat once more. In all it was a four hour jaunt, not the hour and half we thought it would be. I have also learnt that when you are told there are only 20 steps and the rest of the walking is on level ground, do not believe it. The caves were quite amazing; we did enjoy ourselves and learned a lot about limestone caves.

Saturday 18th January 2014

It was another scorching hot day so we decided that we would pack up and hitch the 'van up tomorrow when it is forecast to be cooler. We went into town to get fuel and vegetables then it was home again and into the cool. I went on Skype in the evening, the first time for weeks but it was not the best connection.

Sunday 19th January 2014

We were organised early and Pete Mate soon had the car and caravan hitched and we were at last leaving Yass. We liked Yass the town but not the caravan park. We arrived in Goulburn by lunchtime and soon set up camp. Karen and Peter gave us a warm welcome plus heaps of information on things to see and do. A big plus; the weather has started to cool down.

Monday 20th January 2014

We gave ourselves a day to settle in as we are going to be here a while. Pete Mate was working on the Bell Park website for most of the day and did some cleaning and washing. The weather was cool and cloudy so it was lovely to sit outside for a while.

Tuesday 21st January 2014

The day did not really go according to plan as Pete Mate got tied up online bidding for a camera. I used the time to sit outside and read.

Wednesday 22nd January 2014

We met up with our lovely friends, Bev and Greg, at a quaint little village called Berrima. We started off at the coffee shop (as you do) and then we walked down to the museum which was a good little museum, very informative. We didn’t realise that during the war Berrima had a German internment camp; there was a lot of information regarding this. The camp is now Berrima Low Security Prison.

We then wandered through various shops and galleries before finding ourselves at the pub where we enjoyed a very nice lunch with a nice drop of vino. After lunch we walked up to the courthouse and again that was really good and informative. The courtroom scene was very well done. We then found more shops and galleries to browse our way through. Then all too soon it was time to say goodbye and go our separate ways. Berrima has some lovely people and the shop keepers knew we were just browsing but were still charming.

Thursday 23rd January 2014

The rain has finally stopped and I managed to get a heap of washing done. We went into town to visit the library, post office, tourist information centre and to buy supplies.

The library gets a big black mark because they made joining very complicated and wanted to charge me $10 for the privilege. I said no thank you but did point out we have joined so many libraries all over Australia and this is the first time we have had this problem.

Now the post office was different again, I had phoned them on Monday to say we were expecting a package from the U.K. to be delivered at Yass but we had left Yass on Sunday. They located the package whilst I was on the phone and arranged for it to be sent to the Goulburn office from where I collected it. No fee involved, just friendly people with smiles.

The girl at the tourist information centre was very pretty and very helpful; she has given us leaflets for things to do here and also a couple of ideas where to go when we leave.

We decided we needed some lunch and we found a little patisserie in the mall opposite Woolworths. Once replenished we then tackled the shopping. We have a new system to get it done quicker as we both dislike shopping for food, etc. We both have a list and go off in different directions. It has worked well until today when I lost Pete Mate and it took me longer to find him than do the shopping. Once that was done and the beer and wine bought we headed over to Bunning’s. I need a new tip for my walking stick and good old Bunning’s had exactly what we wanted.

Then it was home again, put everything away and enjoy a cool drink. Happy Hour was soon upon us and we enjoyed a ‘drinkie poo’ whilst keeping one eye open for the fresh fish man. We had heard good things about his prawns. Luckily for me our neighbour saw him and came and told me because I missed his arrival. He should have a bell. The prawns were delicious and no doubt we will be having some more before we leave. We sat outside with our drinks and our West Australian neighbours came over for a chat; they were lovely people. It is the people we meet that make our way of life so wonderful.

Friday 24th January 2014

Lay day, the joints are in need of a rest.

Saturday 25th January 2014

As the sun was shining we decided to do one of the days out I had planned. We started with St Saviours Cathedral which was very grand indeed. The chap sitting in the entrance was lovely, friendly and helpful.

Taken from the leaflet: The Cathedral is not only a magnificent example of decorated gothic architecture it is also the reason that Goulburn became Australia’s first inland city. In 1863 Queen Victoria granted Royal Letters Patent which established the Goulburn Diocese. It became the official seat of the first Bishop Mesac Thomas and therefore the thriving town of Goulburn became a city. St Saviours is the mostly richly decorated Australian church with many beautiful stained glass windows and an ornate 3,000 pipe organ.

Plus, of course, we cannot forget the bells. Tourist leaflets tend to exaggerate and frequently we are disappointed but not his time. St. Saviour’s is magnificent and very spiritual. Before leaving I lit a candle and said healing prayers for a friend.

We spent quite a long time in the Cathedral and by the time we left I felt an urgent call of nature. Good old Alice found me a loo alongside a beautiful little park where we ate our picnic lunch. After lunch we visited the next church on the agenda. Now this was not as the leaflet described. It was a sad little place in need of lots of TLC. The chap that walked through as we were looking around, (I assumed he was the priest) said hello but that was it, very different from the last place.

Saints Peter & Paul’s is a catholic church and was completed in 1872. It also is gothic style and but this one is constructed of greenstone from the local Bungonia district. The undercroft beneath the sanctuary area contains the tombs of the previous bishops. We didn’t spend much time here but before I left I lit candle for our nephew who has had a rather unpleasant operation.

The Big Merino was next on my list. I looked through the gift shop whilst Pete Mate sussed out the photo taking opportunities. I found a delightful hat that I tried on but put it back as it was too expensive. I was then shepherded outside by Pete Mate for his ‘photo shoot’. First he wanted me to pose at the back end of the huge thing. I don’t think so! We walked around to the front and I stood where told whilst Pete Mate played chicken with the traffic to get a distance away to focus on this concrete monstrosity.

Once that was done we made our way to the Goulburn Brewery for the tour and beer tasting. Pete Mate has covered this pretty well. From my point of view I found it hard going as wherever we walked it was uneven and there were many steps. I even managed to fall down one of them. The wine helped though, as it does.

It was a short time on Skype tonight because I had planned a barbecue tea for us. It was very nice, more so because Pete Mate did the cooking.

Sunday 26th January 2014

Today is Australia Day and we celebrated twice, the first being a walk in the park, Victoria Park, to be precise. We wandered around looking at nothing in particular when we came across the official part of the day – all the very important people on the stage telling us how wonderful we all are.

A very kind gentleman gave me his seat and in a flash Pete Mate had taken off somewhere. I later discovered he was looking at ‘blue’ stuff. Typical! He arrived back just as the speeches finished and a young girl sang the national anthem. Once more it amazed me how many men keep their hats on; even I take my hat off as a sign of respect.

Pete Mate wanted me to look at some vintage cars so we climbed the hill, a little slope really, and I looked. His favourites were indeed magnificent and interesting to look at. We then wandered to where the crowds were and discovered markets. Oh boy ‘pink’ stuff! We made a few purchases and then decided a coffee break was needed.

We drove into town and called in to see Gloria Jean, it has been a while. I had spied a closing down sale in the shop next to GJ so whilst Pete Mate went back to the car I browsed and bought. I do love a bargain. After lunch I had a nanny nap ready for the second celebration of the day. Karen and Peter (the park managers) organised a sausage sizzle at the camp kitchen. Tourists and permanents mingled whilst Peter (not Pete Mate) did an excellent job as head chef. We all had a very pleasant time and of course the Ranson’s were last to leave as usual.

Monday 27th January 2014

Another lay day, we played computers, read and did crosswords.

Tuesday 28th January 2014

We drove into town to see the man at the garage about Billy’s service then we made my hair appointment and visited the information centre again. Pete Mate has offered his services to Karen and Peter to repair the neglected garden railway layout they have outside the office. I can see we will be here a while now.

Wednesday 29th January 2014

We did the scenic drive out to Sutton Forrest, Moss Vale, Bowral and Mittagong but first we went in search of the convict ruins and cemetery of the Towrang Stockade. We found a bridge the convicts had built; it was at the rear of a 'memorial rest stop'.

Towrang Convict Bridge
Towrang Bridge built by convicts in 1839 for the original road fom Sydney to Goulburn.
We are fascinated by these memorial rest stops - they are all the way along the Hume Highway and are in remembrance of the VC holders of Australia. Each place has a board explaining who they were and why they were awarded the Victoria Cross.

The Remembrance Driveway Committee was formed in 1954. The Charter of the committee is to arrange planting of avenues of trees and establish groves and memorial parks along the Hume and Federal Highways between Sydney and Canberra. In 1954, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip each planted a Plane Tree in Macquarie Place, Sydney and Her Majesty planted a Snow Gum at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. These trees marked the beginning and end of the Driveway. Taken from the official website.

We then drove to the other side of the highway and, according to the map, we had to park and walk through long grass in a paddock. As there were no sign posts or any sign of ruins, we made an executive decision not to walk through the paddock. Two reasons came to mind; we were both wearing sandals and it is the season for snakes.

Each of the towns we visited on the drive was nice enough. Having said that, there wasn’t much of particular interest unless you are a cricket fan, then there is the Don Bradman oval and museum. We did however find a lovely park in the middle of Moss Vale for our picnic lunch which was a surprise as we had heard that Moss Vale was not overly nice.

Thursday 30th January 2014

Whilst Pete Mate was out of the way working on the model railway I cleaned every place I could see and many more. I also washed everything in sight as the day was perfect for drying. Billy was in the repair shop for a service so we were grounded anyway.

Friday 31st January 2014

We took another drive into the NSW highlands, this time it was to visit model train shops. Pete Mate wanted some parts and information. It wasn’t a totally successful day but he did get some advice. We finished off our outing by visiting the supermarket which we did as fast as we could as time was drawing near to that magical moment of Happy Hour.

And that ends January.

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