Saturday, 30 March 2013

Towns of the Lachlan: Day 2

The tempest died down about 11pm and the day that dawned was merely warm rather than broiling.  We had a relaxed breakfast and a good chat with Dennis a resident of the caravan park who knew a fair bit about the birds of the area.  We decided that a relaxed day going along the river to Condoblin and camping at Parkes was the go.

Our first stop was back at the hide overlooking the old poo-pits was the go.  Theer was a reasonable amount of action there with the old dead trees being an attractive perch for Darter, White-breasted Woodswallow and Red-rumped Parrot.
We then moved out further around the Lake to another hide where we could see astonishing numbers of Darters on the stumps in the water.
As with the venue, closer to town this was built by the local Men's Shed.  They have a logo, and deserve a pat on the back!!
A strange sight was visible in the distance.  The tops of the towers didn't look like floodlights for a sporting arena (and what sport could afford facilities like that at the Lake?).  Eventually we drove past and it turned out to be an experimental solar energy plant.  Well done those engineers!
Out on the Plains the dust was blowing as the horny handed sons of toil get the cultivation started,  Actually, driving a big John Deere in an air conditioned cab isn't going to cause keratin to build up on your palms, but I'm feeling traditional.
We pulled in to the river at one point to find it full of caravans,but also the best flowering shrubs - Acacia sp - of the trip.

After a few kilometres we visited Eubalong, which seemed to be the only possibility of a town between the Lake and Condoblin.  It had no War Memorial so earnt an award of NART: "Not A Real Town".  We were intrigued by this structure which seemed to look very like a memorial apart from not having any plaque or other commemorative material!  Some nearby graves dated from 1870 so there was clearly enough history for there to have been veterans from here.
This non-memorial was very close to a small church.  Someone must do something with the church as it had a new - and large - padlock on the door.  However there was not even an indication of the denomination whow worship (or used to worship) there.

This is the mighty Lachlan, just out of Eubalong.
A bit further down the road we met the end of civilisation (or at least the local water supply)!

For the first time I was able to get up close some growing cotton and take a snap of the bolls and the growing material.
There seemed to be a hall and an overgrown footy oval at Kiacatoo but little else.  Perhaps one has to time one's visit carefully?
An interesting daisy (OK it should be an Aster, following the work of the taxonomist-beasts).
The tussocks were in a straight row and rather restricted which caused Frances to wonder if they had been planted.  No answer available, but here is a close up.
Eventually we arrived in Condoblin where a Rugby League match was happening at noon on a Thursday.  Que?  Perhaps it was a school contest?

There was a nice memorial park along the River, where we ate our lunch.  This first memorial was forthe Boer war ....
.. and included this relief of a Lee-Enfield rifle.
The main memorial was very impressive.
This plaque is the first I have noted specifically referring to Women's service.  Indeed few memorials seem to list women at all, although I know many joined the services in WW2 in particular.
While we were admiring the memorial a cacophony was evident.  This resolved itself to a huge flock (at least 500 birds) of Little Corellas.  They seemed to land in some trees along the River, presumably as a change from trashing crops out on the Plains.

As with many of the towns on this trip there was a fairly high indigenous population evident.  The Aboriginal Health Service in Condobolin has certainly got their building looking well!
Focusing on the pillars beside the doors I reckon it is quite reasonable for a medical service to use the X-Ray style of art.
This impressive edifice is St. Josephs Catholic Church.  It is about 75 years old and seats 500 "at a pinch".

The interior is equally impressive.
I had a very pleasant chat with the priest who was getting ready for Easter Services but still found time to chat with a tourist!  He opined that the churches at Tullamore and Trundle were more modern but equally dramatic, especially in quite small towns.  They shall be visited.  I asked why there were few memorials in Catholic Churches, compared to Anglican churches, and he commented that it possibly reflected the formal links between the Anglican Church and the State.  A second reason was the Irish emphasis in Australian Catholicism - the views of Cardinal Mannix might be relevant.

Somewhere east of Condobolin we found the mailbox of the trip.  Other than the bike frame the main ingredients are gas cylinders!
The next town was the unforgettable Bogan Gate.  Perhaps this is where the Lock the Gate movement should be based?
The first War Memorial I noticed here was a small plaque for the Australian Light Horse.  They seem to have  had very strong support throughout this general area.
Here is the main memorial.
I am not sure whether this is a War Memorial or not.  The Breaker is certainly famous now, with many allegations that he was unjustly executed.
Another sign!
Somewhere along the way from Bogan Gate to Parkes we passed a paddock which boasted a sign about Mallee Carbon Planting.  Presumably someone has worked out how to get some tradeable carbon credits by planting mallee.  I haven't been able to locate anything about this on the web.

Links to other parts of this trip
Day 1
Day 3

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