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Showing posts from January, 2021

Shoalhaven and the Illawarra

After four days at work I decided I'd had enough and joined most of the team in an extended Australia/Invasion Day long weekend. Alex was too restless to stay at home, so we went on a drive down south to the village of Berry. It was already bustling when we arrived, but not so much as on our last visit and the wait for hot doughnuts wasn't too long. We wandered the homewares shops and again I wished they'd make beautiful things I actually want to buy. The others suggested returning via Kiama for lunch, but I was worried that it would be impossible to find parking, so I made the decision to turn off to Gerringong. And then just continue off down the road to Shoalhaven Heads. We've never been there, so why not look? The tunnel of trees through the National Park was very attractive. Shoalhaven Heads itself was a sleepy riverside village at the mouth of the Shoalhaven River. They decided they didn't want lunch at the bistro, the only place open, so we turned back, but n

Home tests

I woke up in the middle of the night feeling sick, then slept in until nine. I still felt bad. Uh oh. I ruled myself out of doing anything today except going home. Straight home. Fortunately, Alex agreed with me, so after a breakfast in the apartment we set off back to Sydney.  I closed my eyes and listened through headphones most of the way, with B doing the driving. We know this route intimately.  The only things of note along the way is that Lake George has water. Not full by any means, but not as empty as on the last few trips.  Then, after Menangle, on my favourite section where the railway runs through the grassy hills, I spotted the daily Xplorer rail car set on its way to Canberra. After reaching home and unpacking the car I drove off to the Sutherland covid-19 testing clinic. It is almost certainly not covid, but it is also important to be sure, especially after visiting so many locations. It is also scary that, despite all the precautions, I managed to catch something that is

Of Moon rocks and rockets

The rules changed a few days ago and many residents of Sydney, including us, can now visit the Australian Capital Territory. It's barely an interstate trip, but there was small desire to visit. Unfortunately Alex is suffering nausea as we drive along the Lachlan Valley Highway and we have to make a few stops for him to empty his stomach. We pull over at Boorowa to use the facilities and end up taking a walk around the historically quaint main street. There are gift shops, cafes and a bakery, along with a nice park where Alex rests. It seems to do the trick and he is much better for the rest of the ride.  I plan to continue the astronomical trail with a visit to the Tidbinbilla Space Tracking Station. There is a brief stint along the Hume Highway, the first four lane highway since leaving the Blue Mountains. Then we turn off into the Barton Highway, eventually into Canberra.  Many think the ACT is Canberra, but there is more to it than that. Tidbinbilla sits to the south of the city

War, trains and fishes

The most compelling reasons to visit Cowra stem from those who were compelled by force to stay here. In 1941, during World War Two, the Cowra Prisoners of War camp was established, eventually holding prisoners from Italy, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia and Japan. The circular camp was divided into four quadrants, each holding a different group. In one, around a thousand Japanese. Another held Indonesians at the bequest of the Dutch, not prisoners of war, but agitators for freedom. Italians, captured in North Africa, were often skilled in trades and given much freedom. The Korean and Formosan "allies" of Japan took up the final section. On August 5, 1944, Japanese prisoners staged a breakout from the camp. 231 Japanese died and 4 Australians as a result of the breakout. The Japanese considered surrender and capture by the enemy as dishonourable and it is believed that the escape attempt was an attempt to regain honour and die in the action of performing it or by their own hand after