461. Sunday 11th October 2015. A long drive followed by a funeral…

Monday 5th October

Today was a public holiday in Queensland, sensibly we stayed off the roads as traffic will be crazy with holidaymakers and school holiday traffic return to whence they came.

Tuesday 6th October

On waking we checked emails and found my Aunt Maude had died overnight. I phoned my cousin Bob who was at the Funeral Home when I called. The funeral will be at Coonabarabran western NSW at 2pm on Thursday.

Well Ok then. First cancel physiotherapist appointments this week. Phone my brother and sisters with details and ask if any can come to the funeral.

Went to see the doctor but just as I arrived she had an emergency so I have rescheduled my appointment for next week. If anybody is curious, yes I am still in pain – nerve pain – so this pain will require a Nerve Pain Clinic.

We will pack tonight and leave for Coona in the morning and stay overnight at Moree. The entire trip is at least a 9 hour, possibly longer, drive.

Wednesday 7th October

We left home by 9.30 am and drove north to the outskirts of Brisbane before turning west and then turning south. This may seem strange but it is a quicker route than heading south and then west. We drove through the outskirts of Ipswich and then through Warwick, to Goondiwindi and then south to cross the border to Moree. We are staying at the Artesian Spa Motel so we can use the artesian pools here. Tomorrow we will push on through Narrabri, the spooky Pillaga Forest and on to Coonabarabran. The Pilliga is a forest with the Newel Highway running through it. There are lots of stories about Yowies. The following link contains a good story about Yowies, Bunyips and the tragic Pilliga Princess.   https://oldbroadintheoutback.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/yowies-bunyips-and-mysterious-tales-from-the-pilliga-forest/  Truck drivers especially had a fear of driving through the forest at night.

Oops, we discovered on arrival that NSW is on Daylight Savings Time. What we thought was 4.30 was really 5.30.

Sigh!

Thursday 8th October.

We were on our way by 8.30 for the drive to Narrabri, through the Pilliga Forest and on to Coonabarabran.

Back in October 2012 – Post 278 – https://frankeeg.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/278-sunday-21st-october-2012-dubbo-through-to-the-warrumbungles-to-coonabarabran-and-hugely-changing-countryside/   – I visited some Aboriginal Heritage Caves in the Pilliga Forest. At the time I felt a spiritual presence of many people as I walked around the caves. I was the only person at the caves and although I felt alone, exposed and an unknown, non-threatening spiritual presence of many people, I still managed to walk the caves and take photographs.

I did not see a Yowie.

Arrived at Coona in time for lunch.

Coonabarabran is an old town populated by old homes. This is one example.

Coonabarabran is an old town populated by old homes. This is one example.

This wonderful Art Deco movie theatre stands out as a once busy but now sadly no longer used as such.

This wonderful Art Deco movie theatre stands out as a once busy but now sadly no longer used as such.

The Royal Hotel has now ceased trading. Interestingly the lights still burn twenty four hours a day.

The Royal Hotel has now ceased trading. Interestingly the lights still burn twenty four hours a day.

Allan and Rae arrived and we joined then for a burger. Aunt Maudes funeral was short, emotional and simple. From the church we followed the hearse to the cemetery. Interestingly the man from the funeral parlour walked ahead of the hearse and the procession followed.

Directions in Coona begin and end at the Clock Tower. The tower sits in the middle of the town on the Newell Highway. Locals will give directions such as “coming from Tamworth or Narrabri, turn left at the Clock Tower, take the next turn on the right and follow until you see the church”.  From the Golf Club the directions are, “follow this road to the Clock Tower, turn left and then turn right at the Shell Garage then follow the road to Nana’s house. Even printed attraction brochures use the Clock Tower as a reference guide.

The iconic middle of town Clock Tower with the sandstone court house and Police station in the background.

The iconic middle of town Clock Tower with the sandstone court house and Police station in the background.

On the third corner of the Clock Tower Intersection is the courthouse built from locally quarried sandstone.

On the third corner of the Clock Tower Intersection is the courthouse built from locally quarried sandstone.

The busy Newel Highway passes through town where all traffic, including trucks. The Clock Tower intersection includes the Coonabarabran Hotel on one corner

The busy Newel Highway passes through town where all traffic, including trucks. The Clock Tower intersection includes the Coonabarabran Hotel on one corner

The Imperial Hotel is on another corner at the Clock Tower intersection.

The Imperial Hotel is on another corner at the Clock Tower intersection.

This Military Sun Clock is on the Courthouse corner.

This Military Sun Clock is on the Courthouse corner.

The sun clock gives an accurate time but is not adjustable for Daylight Savings in NSW.

The sun clock gives an accurate time but is not adjustable for Daylight Savings in NSW.

A gathering took place at the Golf Club where we got to meet several family members we have not seen for many years and all the children and grandchildren we have not met. Later at Maudes house we joined a family only gathering and had drinks and finger food until dinner time.  Donnis and I both enjoyed the interaction of all the various family members especially the grandchildren who easily spoke & mixed with the adults.

Friday 9th October

Donnis decided to drive all the way home today. At Goondiwindi just inside the Qld border we bought some salads at Coles and went to a park for lunch. In town near the MacIntyre River bank is a statue of a champion, Australian Legend Racehorse, Gunsynd, which was owned and trained by a local. Gunsynd  is probably the greatest racehorse never to have not won the Melbourne Cup. It seemed rather strange therefore to find a giant lifelike statue of a Murray Cod in the park where we lunched. The statue was only installed and dedicated a month ago.

Hmmm! A tribute to the Murray Cod at a place nowhere near the Murray River. It seems the MacIntyre River was stocked with Murray Cod some years ago and they have multiplied. An annual fishing competition is held at Goondiwindi.

Hmmm! A tribute to the Murray Cod at a place nowhere near the Murray River. It seems the MacIntyre River was stocked with Murray Cod some years ago and they have multiplied. An annual fishing competition is held at Goondiwindi.

Hmmm! The Murray River is a long long way from here and as far as I can determine does not flow into the Murray. I cannot find any information on Google but suspect the MacIntyre was stocked with Murray Cod.

Saturday 10th October.

Time to just chill out at home.

Sunday 11th October

Grrr! Everything that could go wrong went wrong. First of all the laptop would not turn on. We kept getting a message that the start system could not be found.

Next our iPad would not run either Google Chrome or Apple Compass without closing the programme suddenly.

Our other laptop a basically useless thing which takes forever to run anything we decided to stop using it.

Finally found a way to get the laptop working so decided to do a backup…just in case.

The backup finally stopped after 9 hours stating the external hard drive had insufficient memory.

Hmmm! The hard drive has plenty of memory but to be certain I formatted the drive.

In desperation we bought a new HP Pavillion All In One Desktop Computer. Once we got it home and unpacked we discovered the screen is smashed.

WOT THE!!!

Hmmm! Tomorrow we will have to go back to where we bought it and get a replacement.

The laptop and external hard drive are ready to start a backup before going to bed.

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