Saturday 5 May 2012: Research in Canberra.
Today Dave wanted to spend some time at the National War Museum checking up some research files for his dear old Dad, who served in the Navy in the New Guinea region in World War 2. There were people in the research section who were helpful to him, while I had a look through the Nurses display, finding out how incredibly brave and enduring the nurses who went to war were. They saw the poor wounded and dying soldiers at their worst and most frightened….and many of the nurses won medals for bravery on several war fronts. I was close to tears again, seeing what life was like.
We then spent our afternoon at the National Film and Sound Archives…another interesting place. Dave also tried to track down some Movietone footage of his Dad in his War years.
Sunday 6 May 2012: Market Day and Telstra Tower Black Mountain views.
We had heard from locals that the Canberra Markets on Sundays are pretty good and we were not disappointed. Within minutes of walking into the old warehouse where the markets are held Dave spotted a lovely piece of chrysophrase rock (green quartz, looks like jade) for a good price….so I bargained the price down and we bought it of course! It will make gorgeous translucent jewellery when we cut and polish it in our lapidary classes next year. More rock to send home….sorry Adrian and Helen for having to collect this from the post office!
The food hall section was a heavenly pleasure to browse….divine aromas and every stall had free tasties of what they were selling, so we got fatter just browsing! We ended up buying food for our evening meal and beyond. I was tempted at all the "girlie stalls"…..`those with scarves and hats made from alpaca wool and all sorts of other tempting things for women.
Dave managed to drag me away eventually for a ride up to Black Mountain with a Telstra Tower at the top, which gave us magnificent 360 degree views of Canberra, and a zero degree temperature at the top! Our ears were aching with cold! Our motorbike gear kept the rest of our bodies warm though.
We got back to our tent site to find that the powered tent sites were chock a block full of caravans and other tents…gee…no more Canberra paddock to ourselves! Dave got a bit grumpy at one family in a caravan as they proceeded to set up their caravan hose to our water tap….he informed them that we also needed to use water…"Do you?" was the incredulous reply. After a bit of thinking, they came up with extra hosing so they could connect to another tap. Gee..This has happened before…caravaners turn up with everything including the kitchen sink and think they own caravan sites? Never mind…we all ended up happy and chatting on a first name basis at the end.
It's so cold here in Canberra that we are glad we have good thermal gear to wear under our clothes, and even Dave has been toddling about wearing gloves and a beanie and a big thick jacket.
Monday 7 May 2012: A ride to Goulburn NSW.
Today we decided to go for a good fang on our motorbikes, as we have only been going 2-up on short rides into Canberra to see museums, and I was getting withdrawal symptoms from not riding my own bike! It was 5 degrees for a large part of the ride into Goulburn, a nice big town of 24,000 people, but warm riding gear made this very pleasant. We enjoyed strolling around the town and a brochure from the Goulburn Information Centre explained some of the more interesting older buildings. We honed in on a Catholic Church…why? Because it was the only cathedral in the world to be made from "greenstone"….a local green diorite with pretty green early-formation peridot in it…of course we took photos as we drooled. Inside this church was impressive too….the best white Italian marble…..Christians seem to always have the best buildings on the best sites in towns….I wonder what Jesus Christ would have thought of all the wealth of this?
We rode home along some lovely highland scenery, and I felt much happier at giving my Grace Guzzi a good run. Tomorrow morning we are packing up our tent so we can move to a cabin, to be ready for our evening in Parliament House for Budget speech night. I'm looking forward to getting a gander of the Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan and other politicians I have only seen in the news before. Good free theatre! Then Wednesday we ride off to spend a night in a cabin in Kangaroo Valley, NSW. Sydney, we Intrepids are gradually coming your way!