25 September 2007

On the road again…..

Wow it gets daylight so early in Cowra! We had the sun peeping through the curtains at 5.30am! Wayne was up and off before 6am with camera at the ready to take photos of the station and the view across the valley. With the sun on the frosty fields the pictures are stunning.

An hour later he was back and we were all waiting for breakfast before we hit the road. The boys could hardly wait to get to Bathurst – Mt. Panorama here we come! The Mt. Panorama circuit is much more interesting in person. Television really doesn't do the hills and curves any justice.

As we drove around the track we had a running commentary from Wayne. “We camped up there in 1987”, “this is the bend that Dick Johnson missed. He went straight over the edge”, “these concrete barriers haven't always been here, loads of cars would drive off the road” and so on all the way around.

I feel sorry for the residents. For most of the year they have peace and incredible views but I'm not sure that they are worth the three weeks of mayhem, madness and incredible noise that is Bathurst.

Next stop Lithgow with all its history. More photos of bridges and a visit to the rail museum. The highlight of our visit to Lithgow was finding some old diesel locos hidden away in a paddock on the Bells Line of Road. Allan and Wayne were in heaven!

We had lunch at Clarence at the Zig Zag Railway (of course!), picnicking in the sun. No steam trains running today, the train was being pulled by a rail motor. Pity, I love steam trains. We were talking a few days ago about how in the not to distant future young people and children won't know what a full size steam train is. They'll be able to see scaled down models (there are plenty around, Diamond Valley Railway, Wagga Wagga Society of Model Engineers etc) and ride on the back of them, but they won't see the majesty and feel the power of those huge steam locomotives.

From Clarence we went back across to Mt. Victoria and on to Katoomba. Echo Point is the place to see the Three Sisters. It was chockers with tourists and we were more than happy to blend in with the camera carrying crowds, lining up to take pictures of everyone with the main attraction in the background. Parking there is the killer - $3.50 an hour! We made sure we only stayed the hour, doing the short walk and avoiding the information centre and gift shop all together. Looking out off the point it was easy to see why the mountains were given their name. They really did look blue through the haze. I'm just not sure if it was from the eucalypts or if it was pollution! I'm hoping it was the eucaplypts.

Wayne gave the kids another history lesson as we made our way down the mountain. Wentworth Falls, Lawson, Blaxland and Springwood, the first settlement in the mountains. I'm not sure if it's because we're living in Victoria or not, but they didn't really know much about the history of the mountains and their exploration at all. Thomas is a bit of a history buff and he lapped it up, loving that Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson defied the thinking of the day and followed the ridges rather than the valleys and succeeded where others had failed.

It was a very easy day travelling wise, with lots of stops and plenty of sightseeing but I was very happy to reach Sydney and be able to sit down in a comfy chair with a cuppa. Tomorrow will be here soon enough.

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