Thursday, 3 March 2016

Lithgow pt 2 (ie the end of the trip)

As the drunken (I didn't do a Blood Alcohol test on them, but if they were sober - or not on various other substances - I'd hate to see them when they are inebriated) sots of the water ski lodge finally collapsed around 2am we ended getting a little sleep before getting up around 6:30.

We decided that the best thing to do was to visit Capertee Valley for birding (as planned) taking the camper with us.  That way, if we found somewhere nice to camp that night we could do so, or we could just carry on home.  From consulting Google Maps it appeared that returning the way we had come was around 100km shorter (and about an hour faster) than the alternate route via Katoomba and the Hume Highway.

We walked around Lake Lyell which was generally quite attractive (once out of earshot of the hooligans) and packed up.  Our first stop was in the rather picturesque village of Rydal.  They had an attractive War Memorial beside the railway station.
We then found our way along some back roads to Wallerawang which had a listing in the Register of War Memorials.  The Register showed it at the intersection of Commens and Lidsdale Sts, but that cupboard was bare of memorials.  A passing walker suggested that someone at the Bowling Club might know where the Memorial was so we went there to ask.

I found a nice lady bowler there.  Proof that she was nice was that she didn't run screaming at my first question "Do you know where the Bowling Club is?"  Obviously I was still not awake and perhaps she had met others who had camped at Lake Lyell.  My second question "Sorry, I meant where is the War Memorial?"got an accurate and detailed answer.

It was about 2km from the site cited, and on checking later has a lot of uncaptured detail for conflicts after 1918.
The detail is still uncaptured but hopefully the Register can follow that up.  On, on towards Capertee.

The landscape in this area is dominated by steam coming from the towers of power stations, using the  output of the coal mines that are much more evident in this area than I had expected.  This is the Pipers Flat station.
Here is Wallerawang.
We eventually got to Capertee (which for many years I have read as Capertree) village and found the Memorial Hall.

On descending into the Valley - claimed to be the widest or second biggest canyon in the world (it's a good bit shallower than the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, although 1km wider) we stopped at the first birding spot which was free of birds.  It did have this magnificent gum tree however.
Moving on we did find some good birds including Hooded Robin, Mistletoebird (beautiful male), Diamond Firetail , Restless Flycatcher and a bunch of other bush birds.  I thought this sculpture was worth a snap.
On getting to the junction of Glen Davis and Glen Alice Rds some other birders were peering into a tree.  This was their target, which I think was a female Turquoise Parrot.
The lady of the couple then dew my attention to a beautifully coloured male Plum-headed Finch.  Second sighting ever and a clear Bird of the Day, even though not photographed.  I got a surprisingly good image of a Monarch Butterfly.
The Valley is surrounded by beautiful rock formations.
This is called Pantonys Crown.
This gap appears, from a panorama sign back at a lookout beside the Castlereagh Highway, to be looking in to Glen Davis.
After a visit to Glen Davis - apparently a centre of Shale Oil mining and refining in the 1940s which is now a ghost town we headed for home.  A brief stop was made in Cullen Bullen to snap their memorial.
Frances commented that no mention is made of the purpose of the Kookaburra March.  We both suspected it was one of the recruitment marches, inciting the gullible to go and die in the mud of Flanders.  Not all the locations named can be found in Google but it seems to have been about 400km.  (Although romantic, according to an Australian War Memorial site only 1500 men were involved in all such events so they were probably not that important in the number of recruits raised.)
A major curse on the trip was continual road works.

I think we must have gone through at least 10 such events each day.  While it might keep some of the rustics out of the grasp of Centrelink it definitely slows up travel and carriage of material across the country.  (It probably also enables otherwise unemployable people to fund activities such as water skiing.)

As we headed back we did bag a further memorial at Lowther-Hampton.
This next photo was taken through a bug splatted windshield - by Frances, this is not a stretch of road in which to even think of photography while driving - and gives an idea of the state of the road and the extent of the drop into the Abercrombie River valley.
We emerged from the other side, traversed Taralga and refueled at Goulburn.  We then rumbled down the road and got home happily.  Then tried to stay awake until bedtime when we stacked some zeds for several hours!

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