Monday 16th January
Not so many photographs this week as it has been more of a settling in process while the CO-PILOT takes the car to work I laze around camp or take a walk into Culcairn.
Mornings are delightful but by midday the heat is up around 36° with humidity at 34% and the wind picks up. The CO-PILOT spent her first day at work while I wandered around looking at the town, particularly the older houses and churches. Although the town is now in decline, with most shops empty and looking worn out, from the size, number and construction quality, it is obvious this was once a wealthy area.
The locals tell me the hotel was once the biggest anywhere along the train line between Melbourne and Sydney.
It certainly would have been impressive in its day but most of the rooms are closed off, layered in dust, overgrown with spider-webs and broken windows boarded up.
We went to the local swimming pool in the afternoon.
Tuesday 17th January
Another day of mooching around, tidying the campsite, washing, erecting more shade and mostly trying to stay out of the sun. The CO-PILOT was at work and enjoying her new surroundings and workmates. The hospital is only a few years old, having 15 beds, 12 of them high care. The remainder are set aside for emergencies.
Wednesday 18th January
Another day mooching around and taking some photos. Across the creek from our campsite is a rest area and park and behind that is the Culcairn Bowling Club. It is quite a large club with two outdoor bowling lawns and a tidy clubhouse with Chinese restaurant. We had dinner there using the opportunity to dress up for the occasion. Typically it seems we were the only people to bother. Shorts and thongs appear to be the dress code.
Thursday 19th January
Mooch Day for me. Afternoon shift workday for the CO-PILOT.
I went to a BINGO evening at the club. Nothing dramatic to report. It was an interesting evening watching and interacting with the locals.
Friday 20th January
Another mooch day.
I did a bit of digging around for information on Henty.
It seems the town was originally called Doodle Cooma or the alternate spelling for those on the other side of the tracks, presumably, is Dudal Comer. The town council felt there was too much confusion with another town in the vicinity called Cooma and decided on Henty instead.
Saturday 21st January
Ahhh! What can I say? A mooch day for both of us!
I did manage to catch up on some of my reading. Reading helps to take my mind off the fact the laptop repairer in Wagga still has our Toshiba and now tells me it has not been put on the test bench yet…after 8 days! I was promised it will be looked at on Monday.
Yeah right! I have heard that before.
Sunday 22nd January.
In the morning we went to the local Anglican Church.
We helped make up the numbers of 6 parishioners. The service was conducted by one of the parishioners. He is 90 while a lady who seemed to be the grande dame at the service is 95 and still drives her car.
We then drove out to Walla Walla to see the bushranger Mad Dog Morgan (seems he did not like the “Dog” part of his name, preferring to be called Mad Dan Morgan. I suppose if he is holding a gun at your head you would be more likely to call him Sir!) lookout and hideout.
The hideout is a group of huge white granite rocks in the middle of what is an otherwise flat plain.
A pair of ladders enabled me to climb to the top of one of the rocks and survey the scene.
Although the ladders were stable, the track to them was ill defined, covered in grass and even in the dry felt slippery, especially the little granite pebbles which slid underfoot. Note to self. Do not wear sandals when trekking and exploring. The rocks were a natural place to hide and stable a horse.
The view from the rocks was ideal to see if the troopers were in the area.
The ladder gave access to the largest and tallest of the rocks and apart from an information board there was a NSW numbered Survey marker.
If you are at all nervous about heights, (I am ) it requires a bit of mental coaxing to get to the top. Mad Dog Morgan must have been a very strong minded man to live here, alone and to climb to the top of the rocks to survey his bushranging territory.
I wonder if he ever climbed the rocks while it was raining.
Afterwards we drove into Walla Walla, (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walla_Walla,_New_South_Wales
had a beer at the only pub and a look at a covered wagon which brought German Immigrants, members of the Lutheran Church to the area for settlement. Today most streets are named after the early German pioneers.
Walla Walla. The first time I saw that name I was reminded of the 50’s hit song, My Friend the Witchdoctor, it had a catchy chorus and went something like this… Oo Ee Oo Aa Ah, Walla Walla Bing Bang, Oo Ee Oo Aa Ah and so on. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_Doctor_%28song%29
After lunch at WWWGO we drove to Holbrook about 26 klms east of our campsite. It is on the Hume Highway and is one of the few towns the highway passes through. Not for long though as the by-pass works are in full swing. We visited HMAS Otway
a submarine which has been gutted and the shell sits in a park in Holbrook. Some internal parts are on display in a museum nearby. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Otway_%28S_59%29
It was another very hot day so we visited the Solar Heated full Olympic sized pool at Holbrook before heading towards home and visiting the village of Morven between Culcairn and Holbrook. (There is another town called Morven in Qld and both are about the same size but the Qld town is better serviced by shops and other facilities.)
Morven is home to the pub in the bush, the Round Hill Pub.
Seems a strange name, particularly as Round Hill Station is some 7 klms westwards and the pub is in Morven. We also stopped to see a Trig Point and John Mcleans Grave, both of which are near Round Hill Station.