Sunday, 31 March 2013

Towns of the Lachlan: Day 3

Actually this starts late afternoon on Day 2 when we arrived at the campground in Parkes, rented a site and got the tent out just as it started to rain.  So that is one tradition in hand.  The second tradition is that every peg seemed to hit a rock and bend as I tried putting them in.  Much bad language was used I am afraid.

We ate our evening meal sitting in the car munching on prawns, with me being very negative about the town of Parkes and its poxy weather.  We climbed into our sleeping stuff about 8:30 and found the rain stopped just about then.  We had a reasonable nights sleep until about 6am when we got up and made some coffee.    Apart from the crappy weather, days are now getting short so the sun didn't really rise until after 7 which made serious packing a bit difficult   However we had everything stowed away by 8am and headed for Memorial Hill.
Here is the view from the hill.  Rather flat isn't it!  That is why the Region is called the Western Slopes and Plains.
The Parkes area has two claims to media fame, both captured in this banner. Suggesting that the King is dead would get you in a lot of trouble around Parkes, especially in January.
Secondly click on the image to check his microphone.  It is The Dish: we have visited that in the past so didn't feel like adding another 25km each way to our trip.

In true tradition the Court House in Parkes is a very impressive building.
This church was impressive in a number of ways.  To begin with it is impressively maintained even to the presentation of Parkes Methodist Church on the RH doorway.  The sign at street level has a more up to date reference to the Uniting Church!
It being Good Friday a number of worshippers were gathering for a service but were very happy to let me in to photograph the Honour Roll. (an addition to the Register).
..  and the altar with excellent stained glass.
I do hope their expected guest - apparently one 'Trevor' - turned up.

Before leaving Parkes we visited one of their birding spots.  The sewage ponds.  This required a bit of initiative as the leaflet was a tad off in its directions but we added several species to the trip list here.
Having started off down Eugowra Rd we continued to that town.   The first place we spotted was the Anglican Church.  This was unusual in:
  • having a sign saying "This door is not locked"; and
  • the Altar being at the Western end so that the dawn light hit this great glass window.
The A-frame design was used very well with a wooden roof.
The honour roll for two unfortunate soldiers who died in the Boer War is an addition to the Register.  It seems that enteric fever (now referred to as cholera) was a major cause of death in that conflict.
Moving further down the Main Rd we found a very smart mural welcoming us to the town.
Note the bushranging in the background.  The next mural was more obvious with the depiction of historical, and thus romantic,banditry!

This mural tells the story of the Escort Robbery.  Not surprisingly gold mining seems to attract bushrangers the way a dead sheep attracts flies.
This is the schoolkids take on the bushranging story.  I think there is a great research project - too useful for a sociological PhD topic - into the use of dunnies as a site for community art!  (In the past rude verse was written inside them, now officially approved painting is applied to the exterior.  Purely in the interest of art I checked the inside of this one and it was devoid of reading matter - not even Kilroy had been here.)

Out this way no old metal is allowed to go to waste.  I don't think this bloke is doing as well as the kids on a trail-bike found yesterday.  I was tempted to say it was inspired by Frederick McCubbins painting "Down on his luck" but it may just be the way folks lok around gold mining areas.
Another mural!
A bronze plaque, announcing I cannot remember what, was covered in red insects.  I am pretty sure they are a nymph stage of Leptocoris sp. possibly L. mitellata as other members of the genus seem to exist only on vegetable matter..
Even the trash cans in Eugowra are covered in bushranger art!
The main War memorial in Eugowra.
The penultimate town on this trip was Canowindra (pronounced for some reason as Canoundra).  They had a well crafted War Memorial next door to their fish fossil museum.
The historic centre of the town was both central and old, but we were starting to get weary on it so just took a photo and moved out of town.
Just before we got to the 100kph zone a stall selling cucurbits needed some attention.  We passed on the hard looking specimens as I couldn't face the task of peeling one (although Frances reckoned they were softer - and prettier - than Queensland Blues) but some trombones and a water melon were acquired.
Finally we get to Cowra.  The town is most known for being the scene of "The Breakout" when several hundred Japanese PoWs broke out of their camp on 5 August 1944.  A large number of the Japanese were either killed in the ensuing trouble or committed suicide rather than be recaptured.  Their remains have been buried in a War Cemetery a few kilometres from the site of the former camp.
4 Australians were also killed in the Breakout and have also been buried here, together with other Australians who died on duty at the camp.  Two of the 4 were awarded the GC due to bravery.
The camp also held a number of prisoners of other nationalities including many Italians.  This memorial, adjacent to the site of the former PoW camp, has been erected by the Italian community but honours all nationalities.
From this area a clear view is obtained of this noticeable gap in a range of hills.  These days there is not a river flowing through the gap which makes me wonder if it is a trace of glaciation.
There were a few interesting older buildings in the main street, but we were more interested in the contents of the bakery.
Having acquired some buns, we took them off to a small park and were welcomed to Cowra as we left.
On home!

I should put in a summary of the trip.
  • The effort by the meteorologists was barely ordinary.  The weather was a lot more extreme than they suggested and had we known what was actually coming down the 'pike we would probably have stayed home.
  • El Camion Real was a great pleasure - fortunately.  It handled all the roads well, has plenty of power when the wellie needs to be applied, and gave us close to 10l/100km overall.
  • I added 5 new memorials to the NSW Register of War Memorials, and have suggested a new potential source of a bulk update to cover the Light Horse plaques that are sprouting like Amanitae after a storm.
  • We saw or heard 74 species of birds on the trip.  About 10 species were added to my year list and the Pied Honeyeater was a lifer!
  • Overall a good trip.
Here are links to other pages for this trip.
Day 1
Day 2

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