Friday, 4 April 2014

Bathurst 500 Lap 2

This follows - not surprisingly - lap 1!  For reasons unknown to me I had a poor night’s sleep.  Possibly passing trains and nearby vocalising pooches/cattle/chooks had something to do with this.

The key point to bear in mind for this trip was that Frances reading about the importance of Hill End in Australian art, and not having been there is really what started our “Ëvery Town in NSW” project.  The business about War Memorials is an evolution from the beginning.

After getting up at daybreak- 7am ....
.... we took some caffeine and then took the small dog for a short walk.  We found a lane to walk up a tad noting a good array of birds.  Unfortunately none of them were contenders for Bird of the Day, being either pre-ticked or reserved for safety when desperate- which I didn’t think I was yet!

After further caffeine we fired up El Camion and headed for Sofala and Hill End, pausing in Bathurst for more diesel.  While the fog had cleared from Perthville it was still well evident in Bathurst and even more so on the road North towards Sofala.

Before getting to Sofala we passed through Wattle Glen which had a shop and a camp-ground, but no War Memorial and thus wasn't a Town.  The road to Sofala was pretty good although the amount of traffic suggested it was a bit too good.  On getting to Sofala we parked in the main street and set off to walk around it.  The first sight was a community memorial. 
The nextsight was a Memorial Hall which seemed to be hosting some sort of event but I bowled in to see if they had an Honour Roll or equivalent.  Indeed they did, so this all been recorded for submission to the Register, which didn't have an entry for Sofala.  
Sofala seemed a bit disappointing with the only open place seeming to be the store, which we didn't need.   There were a few nice old houses .... 
... some of which had got artistic.
Referring to a book we were able to work out where Russell Drysdale did his painting and attempted to reproduce it.
On towards Hill End.  This was a fairly modest road but a dirt section did have some flowering Olearia beside the road.  There was also a good view of exposed rock across the Turon River : I couldn't work out if the caves were natural but suspected they indicated where gold miners had been working.
A little further on we came to a large flock (perhaps 40 in total) of feral goats
On arrival at Hill End, which is a declared Historic Site and thus everywhere is preserved,  A nice lady at the NPS Visitors Centre (VC) explained where the War Memorial was – convenient.  lt was close to most other places we wanted to see, so off we went.
Walking around we came to a place with two signs with images of Drydale paintings.  A portrait of Donald Friend was clearly in front of the church Drysdale had used as a backdrop.
However we couldn't work out where The Cricketers – one of Drysdales most famous works -  was set. I asked one guy but he turned out to be inspecting sewer systems, not art history.  After checking out a few other places (including the old court house, now the Police residence)
... and acquiring a pie at the Royal Hotel  ...
...  we went to Merlins Lookout   Not only did Beaufoy take this famous panorama but many other images which were used on NPS signs around the town.

An important point here was hearing a Fan-tailed Cuckoo calling below us.  A bit late for the bulk of this species so it is Bird-of-the-day.

Coming back into the centre we spotted the nice lady from the VC and she told us that the Cricketers was painted against the royal Hotel, but Drysdale put in the Bank building in place of the store!  
Not to worry Geoffrey Smart used the store in his painting.  It is interesting that the powerlines shown by Smart have vanished: presumably they offend the historicity of the town!
Artists and sculptors still live in the town.  This work appealed greatly!
We came home a slightly different route largely through farming country, which was 10km shorter but probably no faster.  Having a little time on our hands we went to do a traditional lap of Mount Panorama.  

I stuck to the speed limit and thus took 6'52” for the 6+kms.- considerably slower than the racing cars (the fastest lap ever recorded, a 2:06.8012, was set during practice in 2010 by Holden driver Craig Lowndes), but very much faster than my previous lap, on foot.

A very pleasant evening back at Barcoo, looking at the Clydesdales 
and bantams
The bantams and Kali -the dog - did a good job on some food scraps.
This was to Lap 3!

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