Travels Downunder – A Reminiscence -Part 6

Our last instalment gave us an overview of the the animals trying to kill the unwary. Luckily our intrepid travellers continue on!

After recovering from our exertions climbing the breadknife trail in the Warrumbungles the next day we carried on southwards, passing about 170 miles inland west of Sydney. We stayed in a campsite for a couple of nights in a town called Cowra where we met a peripatetic sheep shearer (he was peripatetic, not the sheep!). He showed us his shearing gear which included a sort of belt sling which he would hang from a beam above him in which he would lay almost horizontally which took a lot of strain off his back. A fascinating insight into a job which sounded to us like a lot of hard work

From Cowra we wound our way further southwest and ended up at Wagga Wagga.

It’s one of my favourite towns for many reasons, not the least of which is it has a really nice golf course. (Did I forget to mention that I’m a golf fanatic?) I was trying to get a game in most of the places we stayed at for any length of time and I’m pleased to say that over the years I’ve played in every state and territory in Australia at 53 different courses.

So, Wagga Wagga. It’s pronounced wOgga wOgga, or usually just Wogga. The town stands on the mighty Murrumbidgee river, is the largest inland town in NSW, and is the home of the Wiradjuri tribe of aborigines. Wagga Wagga means “the place of many black crows”, and we learned that in the language spoken by the aborigines they don’t use the letter “s” to make a word plural as we do, they simply repeat the word a second time, hence Wagga Wagga.

From Wagga we started to head back towards the coast via the Australian capital, Canberra, where we stopped for four nights. A lovely city with wide avenues and lovely buildings. We were surprised that, unlike London, a visit to their parliament was as easy as driving up to the building and straight into a huge underground car park under the parliament building itself. (This was 2005 and I guess it may not be like that now, probably lots of security checks now). Once inside we made our way to the public gallery to watch what was going on and it was just like our own Houses of Parliament, only worse. There were lots of insults being hurled around but there were also a lot of MPs who seemed to be paying no attention at all and were busy writing their Christmas cards……… be continued………..