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Temora ~ April 2014



It is your road and yours alone.
Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you. – Rumi.





Tuesday 1st April 2014

The sun was shining and as more rain is forecast for later in the week we decided to have a day out. We set off for Gundagai, a place we had never visited though we have heard the song, ‘Along the road to Gundagai’ many times. We decided to go via Cootamundra where we would have a coffee break but Alice, our GPS, had other ideas. She took us down a completely different route that took in little towns with strange names such as Wantabadgery. It was a very pleasant drive with rolling green hills and an abundance of trees. At times we had to slow down as lots and lots of cows were grazing in the 'long paddock' - an Aussie term meaning the road verge.

Eventually we arrived at Gundagai and parked up in the town centre. We had a bit of a walk around and found a café that looked okay. Once inside we felt like we had stepped back in time. The décor was very much of the 1950s milk bar era; we just hoped the food was good. The ambience of the place was sadly missing as was the friendly service but the food was okay. I think we were expected to be impressed that John Curtin and Gough Whitlam had eaten there – I don’t think we were. We were also a little put off by a memorial corner which we assumed was dedicated to the dead owner. Creepy.

When we left there we had a walk around the town and the local park. I took a photo of the court house that is supposed to look as good as it did when it was built. Hmmm . . .

Gundagai Courthouse
Gundagai Court House. Clock's wrong - Pete Mate would still be in bed!
We saw the old gaol where bushranger Captain Moonlite was held before being taken to Sydney. His real name was Andrew George Scott and he came from a wealthy family. He didn’t need the money so I guess he was just a really rotten fellow. He and his gang held up Wantabadgery Station and during the siege a policeman and two gang members were killed. Scott was tried and hanged in Sydney where he was buried in an unmarked grave. In 1995 two Gundagai women arranged for his remains to be brought back here and buried alongside his two gang members. This was his dying wish; one wonders what the poor policeman’s dying wish was.

Once back at the car we had a drive to the historic railway station. Along the way we saw two historic bridges, one rail one road, both now disused. The railway station was locked up tight even though it was supposed to be open and clear the caretaker was on site. We then visited the information centre and noticed a sculpture in a park. Pete Mate wandered over to take photos of the radio characters Dad, Dave and Mabel. As we were not in Australia during this radio era it did not mean a lot to us.

Next on our list was the Marble Masterpiece of Frank Rusconi. This was housed inside the information centre. It was a miniature cathedral. It was a truly amazing piece of art but it was a shame the way they had it displayed. We then visited a lookout which gave us views of the town and beyond.

View From Lookout
We visited a lookout above the town. I liked the colours in this view.
As we left town we called by to see the Dog on a Tuckerbox sculpture. It was interesting, the stories behind it conflict with each other so we were left wondering what it is all about. We felt Gundagai had a lot more to offer if only the people would promote their tourist side a bit more. Plus they really need to take some friendly pills.

We asked Alice to take us home and then wondered where on earth she was taking us, certainly not back to the caravan. After some thought Pete Mate realised he still had Governor’s Hill in Goulburn set as 'Home'. I think those trains have a certain hold over the Chief Engineer.

Wednesday 2nd April 2014

I did as much washing as I could because the forecast for the next few days is rain. Pete Mate did some more painting. By afternoon it was very hot so we retreated in the ‘van and put the air conditioner on. Later we visited one of our favourite restaurants, 'Diners Choice'. The food was as excellent as always. So yummy it was clean plates all round.

Thursday 3rd April 2014

We had a few things to do in town and as there will probably be some planes flying tomorrow we decided to get it out of the way today. Plus the caravan park is filling up for the weekend and we have to share our site with someone else so getting the car in and out would be more difficult. Once home the weather changed; it was very cool and then we had rain with some very loud bouts of thunder. The rain continued throughout the night.

Friday 4th April 2014

It was a grey wet day so not a lot happened in the air today. We are still hoping for sunshine tomorrow.

Saturday 5th April 2014

It is still cloudy but at least the rain seems to have halted for a while. We walked over to the airfield in plenty of time to find seats and get settled for the long awaited flying day. I decided to go and get coffees before the display started. I think I stood in the queue for half an hour but it did give me the opportunity to chat to a couple of lovely ladies. I arrived back with the drinks just as the first flight of the day took off, excellent timing.

The Hudson flew first and was quite impressive. Then the Wirraway got ready for take off but cancelled due to the rain. We didn’t know but over at the caravan park and the far end of the runway the rain was torrential, whereas where we were there was hardly anything. Then the Spitfire took off which I love. The display was limited because of the low cloud cover but it was still magnificent. Then the rest of the day was cancelled due to the weather. There is nothing more boring than to listen to a commentator and a pilot drone on about why the plane would not fly today.

I had had enough so I went shopping in the souvenir shop; Pete Mate went for a look in the maintenance hangar then found me in the shop. We bought ice creams and sat on a bench eating them before walking home in sunshine. Yes sunshine. If the museum had not been so hasty in putting everything away they could now be flying.

Sunday 6th April 2014

We awoke to glorious sunshine and clear blue skies. What a shame the flying day wasn’t today. We turned the clocks back an hour and for a few months I will wake up in daylight instead of pitch black. Pete Mate, he always wakes up in daylight. I did as much washing as I could find and then some cleaning. Pete Mate did some more painting and then we sat outside with a couple of wines and decided life was pretty damn good.

Monday 7th April 2014

It was another perfect day of sunshine and blue skies. Just right for sitting outside the ‘van with a book.

Tuesday 8th April 2014

We had a quick trip into town to collect the mail and pick up a couple of things from the hardware store. I like Temora’s hardware store as it has lots of ‘pink’ things.

Wednesday 9th April 2014

The day is cloudy and dry but rain is expected later. I got the washing out early and then planned the rest of my day. I was going to do a few chores, write a letter and then read. That all got turned upside down when were told we had half an hour to move the caravan so the mower man from hell could mow the long grass.

We packed everything away, hitched up and moved. He did his mowing and then we moved back. It was all time-consuming and tiring. Pete Mate did not feel the best and then to top it all I fell out of the caravan. I didn’t realise the step wasn’t there; apart from a sore shoulder, hip and knee I survived. I wasn’t happy but at least no bones were broken. Once we were all set up again we had lunch and then Pete Mate had a long sleep and began to feel a bit better. I did a few crosswords, wrote my letter and read.

Thursday 10th April 2014

Our weekly trip to the supermarket was made a little more attractive because we decided to have lunch out. This little café we have discovered is all organic and the food is lovely plus the people are nice. In fact, whenever we go into town we have a nice experience because all the people are lovely and friendly.

Whilst walking down the street a chap baled Pete Mate up because he was convinced he went to school with him in Temora. Last week someone staying in the caravan park was sure they had seen Pete Mate in Woolworth’s doing the shopping so we think maybe his double lives here in Temora. The rain that started in the night is still with us so we quickly unloaded the car. Once everything was away it was time to put the feet up and do a crossword.

Friday 11th April 2014

The rain continued all day and into the night. We remained inside for the day and then just before Happy Hour there was a knock at the door. One of our neighbours was inviting people to a H.H. in the barbecue area. It was very pleasant but also very wet and cold. Once home we closed up everything and put the heater on.

Saturday 12th April 2014

The day dawned with a glorious sun rise followed by a day of sunshine and blue skies. It was an invitation to get the washing done and then sit outside reading and doing crosswords. I did not refuse the invite and enjoyed a very pleasant warm day. Pete Mate did some minor maintenance work on the caravan and then also sat outside for a while. Our neighbours Robyn and Ashley had some friends arrive for a few days so we met them and then later we were treated to some pikelets with jam and cream, very yummy. I chatted on Skype for a little while and then Pete Mate and I sat outside with a wine watching the beautiful sunset.

Sunday 13th April 2014

The sun is shining again plus the long range forecast is sunshine all week. We had just finished breakfast when there was a knock at the door and we were invited to our neighbours for morning tea. We declined the eating part but took our coffees over. A pleasant hour or two passed before I excused myself to go and do some cooking. Later I sat outside to read and do some crosswords. Pete Mate is still doing some minor painting.

Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th April 2014

We did a few chores and then enjoyed the beautiful sunshine. The temperature is perfect during the day and cool at night for sleeping. Who could ask for anything more?

Wednesday 16th April 2014

Once the sun warmed up it was another glorious day here in Temora. I sat outside reading for most of the day; yes it is a good book. Jeffrey Archer writes a good yarn.

The caravan park is filling up and we now have to share our site with another ‘van. The chap was backing the ‘van on to the site when we heard a terrible noise and the ‘van and car had separated but he kept on trying. Why do people do that? Excuse me there is a loud noise that shouldn’t be happening! Pete Mate lent him our jack to raise the caravan and start again. Later Pete Mate and I went to the pub for dinner. The Terminus had been recommended to us so we thought we would give it a go. It was reasonably priced and the service very quick but the food was fairly ordinary. As for the ambience ... well there wasn’t any. We will, in future, stick with our favourite restaurant, Diners Choice.

Thursday 17th April 2014

We went into town to do a few things and have lunch at the little café we have discovered and like. We finished off by doing a supermarket shop which was crazy. Woolworths was packed with people and of course the obligatory crying child. Anyone would think the shop was closing for a year not a day.

Once home and everything put away, I once again returned to my book.

Friday 18th April 2014

Good Friday. After a breakfast of hot cross buns and fruit we wandered over to the airfield to attend our very first NatFly. We wandered from one small aircraft to another, some were for sale and some looked quite interesting. There were small marquees with people promoting something to do with planes or flying. We saw some strange looking ultra lights that I would not fly in for love nor money. The lines of planes stretched into the distance and Pete Mate wanted to walk to the end; I however decided to sit that one out and watch the world go by.

Later Pete Mate joined me on the bench as it was close to the time when the aerobatic display was going to take place. We had been told the Spitfire would fly so we waited and waited and then gave up and decided to go in search of coffee. Whilst walking we heard hangar doors being opened and the Spitfire emerged, it was all going to happen after all. We decided to walk on and get our coffees and then I saw the ideal place for us to watch the display in relative comfort. So whilst I ordered the coffees I sent Pete Mate off to commandeer two plastic chairs and to then guard them. It turned out to be an ideal spot for watching the display. The Pitts Specials were remarkable but of course the Spitfire is our favourite. Once the displays were over we wandered a little more and then went home for lunch. I then, yes you have guessed, went back to my book.

Saturday 19th April 2014

The NatFly continued but apart from watching some aerobatics I let it get on without me. Enough is enough. I did some cooking for the freezer ready for when we are on the road. Then it was back to my book.

Sunday 20th April 2014

We enjoyed morning coffees with our neighbours and then, apart from preparing our Easter Sunday feast, I did very little other than read. I found it too cold for sitting outside, in fact I closed the caravan up and put the heater on. Yes, I was so cold I even closed windows.

Monday 21st April 2014

I checked the weather when I awoke this morning and found the temperature was 3ºC. We started to clean and pack away some things ready for our move on Wednesday. Later I thought it a bit too chilly for sitting outside so I took my knitting indoors and that is where I remained. Queensland here we come.

Tuesday 22nd April 2014

The weather is very similar to the last few days, the overnight low being very low. Brrrrr. We had a quick trip into town to get some fuel, a new jack and some milk. Once home Pete Mate continued to pack away and get things ready for the trip. I started packing away things inside and then picked up the knitting needles again.

Wednesday 23rd April 2014

We left Temora around 9.45am, which I guess is pretty good for us. The roads were awful and we were jogged about something terrible, so much so I felt really sick. Pete Mate somehow has hurt his back so our journey was not the best we have had. On the positive side the scenery was beautiful with lots of lush green paddocks and colourful trees. The temperature was perfect for travelling so we didn’t have to have the air conditioner on which was a plus for Billy as he had to drag us and the caravan over a very steep mountain range.

On arrival in Mudgee we were tired and were kept waiting by the caravan park receptionist and some woman talking about her dog, the games they played and so on and so on. Eventually we booked in and found our site. I was backing in between a tree and lamppost (which was slap back in the middle of the site entrance). I saw I was holding up a car that wanted to pass. It gave me a sense of great pleasure to realise it was the woman who prattled on in reception.

Once on our site we did a minimum set up then turned our attention to the television and a glass of wine. One of the TV’s decided not to work but a least we have the one in the bedroom working perfectly. We are not sure if the bumpy roads have done some damage; if so it will be added to the to do list for Emu Park.

Thursday 24th April 2014

We had a quick trip into town to do a few things, and then it was home again to relax. Pete Mate not only has a bad back he now has the bug I had a few days ago. He spent the rest of the day lying down whilst I sat outside it the sunshine and read. Later Pete Mate had an idea about the defunct TV and now we are back to two once more.

Friday 25th April 2014

ANZAC Day. We arrived in town in time (as we thought) for the parade but they started early and, what is more to the point, they started and finished without us! We found a place to stand in the park for the service but I couldn’t see a thing and Pete Mate could see little. It was good to see so many people attend the service. We were pleased to see so many young children there but of course they don’t know when to be quiet and it is so hard to stand still for so long. We all understand this and no one minds so parents should relax a bit more. It was a different service to others we have attended; it started with God Save The Queen followed by the New Zealand national anthem and then the Australian one. We were then treated to an excellent performance of the haka by a visiting Kiwi rugby team.

After the main part of the service we had to move to the cenotaph area for the laying of the wreaths. Then we had the raising of the flag and the Last Post before we were all dismissed. Pete Mate and I went in search of a coffee and a chair. After we were refreshed we decided to drive out to Gulgong where we drove up to a look-out on Flirtation Hill.

View From Flirtation Hill
The vast metropolis of Gulgong stretches out below Flirtation Hill.
Silos From Flirtation Hill
We've never seen anything like this before. Many low silos beneath a circular roof with what appears to be a grain
lift and conveyor on the far side. However, no access railway or road and no sign of wheat-production in the area.
We hadn’t been there long when I realised that Pete Mate would have preferred to be at home, lying down, so we returned home.

Saturday 26th April 2014

Pete Mate was at last beginning to feel better so we went ahead with our planned day out. The first town we came to was Lue (rhymes with 'cooee') which didn’t really have much in it but it did have an old disused railway station. This place fascinated Pete Mate and we stopped to take photos. Billy and I were not impressed when we left and drove over the railway lines and across a paddock but Pete Mate was in an adventurous mood.

We then passed through Rylstone which is a lovely little town but because we had been there before we didn’t stop. Kandos was our main destination as the information centre and café is an old railway station. The couple that ran it had heaps of information about the tracks, the trains and tourist spots to visit. Before leaving Kandos we visited the motor cycle museum which was interesting to a point for me. I liked to look at the bikes but once Pete Mate and the chap got into the nitty gritty of how a bike works I went in search of more interesting things to look at in the adjoining shop.

We left Kandos in search of the ‘widest canyon in the world’ which was not on our initial itinery but the chap at Kandos information seemed to think we shouldn’t miss it. It took us an hour to get there and, to be truthful, it was just like driving through the bush anywhere; not really worth the drive. He had also mentioned a lookout and again it was good but a long way out of our way.

We decided to drive back and continue with our original plan. By now time was marching on and fuel was getting low. We arrived in Sofala to discover we had been before, taken photos and had a drink in the pub so we continued on to Hill End where we were supposed to explore this historic town but it was late and the overcast sky brought an early dusk. Pete Mate was getting concerned about the reducing fuel situation; we'd left Mudgee with enough for our original itinerary but many more kilometres had been added along the way. We couldn’t buy any at the general store in Hill End so drove on to Hargraves where the general store sold fuel. By this time PM had recalculated and decided we could make it back to Mudgee with a little to spare. We did and filled up ready for tomorrow. One day I would like to revisit Hill End and explore it properly. The countryside we drove through during the day was magnificent with beautiful trees, lush green paddocks and majestic mountains and hills. All in all it was a good day out but much too long; the tour director will have to work on her distances and times.

Sunday 27th April 2014

The day has finally arrived, the reason we are here, the Mudgee Wings, Wheels and Wine Show. We arrived just in time to get a really good position before the masses arrived. Mind you that didn’t stop some of them pushing around our chairs to stand in front of us.

The show was good with plenty of aerobatics, mainly by the Pitts Specials; I really enjoy watching them ...

Pitts Specials
Two Pitts Specials flying inverted only metres apart.
The RAAF Roulettes were as good as ever - so precise and in exact formation. Good to watch but I prefer the Pitts these days. I found the cars racing up and down the runways to see who was the fastest quite boring and the crossword came out. There was one exception to that ...

Jet Diahatsu
This little Diahatsu car was powered by a very loud jet engine. It really went fast!
I had a couple of wanders about but saved the wine tasting until last. I well and truly missed the boat because as soon as the last air display hit the ground they all started packing up so I missed out. However, by the time we drove away the crowd has dispersed and we didn’t have to queue to leave which is always a plus.

Monday 28th April 2014

'Get ready' day. First we had to nip into town and stock up on dairy products as we will not see a shop now for a week. We arranged to meet our friends Bernie and June’s daughter, Renee, for coffee at a café in the main street. We actually arrived before she did which is unusual for us. Renee had her daughter Hayley and Labrador Charlie with her. We enjoyed a chat over drinks and it was very pleasant indeed. We then did a quick shop before returning home to start packing away and hooking up.

Since our big day out on Saturday I have had something nagging at the back of my mind. So I read our website and discovered we had actually been to Kandos before in search of fuel when we had run low whilst visiting a museum. On that occasion PM had thought the auxilliary tank was full. Wrong! It was empty. We had also bought toasted sandwiches at the same shop in Kandos that we did on Saturday but this time the lady making the sandwiches remembered to put the ham in the cheese and ham sandwich.

Tuesday 29th April 2014

We enjoyed a dream run through to Narrabri, no hitches and perfect weather for travelling. It was a long day and we were very tired but as we are only here for one night we had very little setting up to do. The caravan park was a bit noisy but was clean and well maintained. I think we would stay there again.

Sunset over Narrabri
Sunset over Narrabri.

Wednesday 30th April 2014

We discovered last night that our lovely friend, Tarranne, is in Goondiwindi and that is where we are heading today. Tarranne is heading back to Tamworth today so we arranged to meet for a quick chat and a hug or two.

As we waited for her in the car park of the Narrabri Information Centre, we watched with fascination all these young mums arriving in cars, getting their strollers out of the boot and then baby out of the car. Every stroller was different and whereas I was watching how they unfolded them, I suspect Pete Mate was looking at the young women. Where were they all going? All headed off in the same direction except one; was she lost?

Tarranne arrived and we spent a brief time catching up before we continued our journeys in opposite directions. We arrived in Goondawindi around 3.00pm and did the minimum set up before having a late lunch. Then that was us for the day the rain came down and we stayed inside snug and warm.

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