Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wrapping it up

Well we are back home, and in the excitement of getting back into work, school, swimming, dancing, kinder and life in general, I haven't quite finished off this blog!

We had a fun morning at Peterborough checking out all things train related! They had a fabulous set up at Steamtown . Unfortunately it was pouring rain most of the morning and absolutely freezing, but we battled on regardless! We had a guided tour with a lady whose father was a linesman in that area for many years. Cooper in particular enjoyed seeing all the old trains and being able to climb in the carriages and the drivers seats too! The kids were very interested in where children slept in the train in those days - a tiny little cubbyhole above the parents bunks!

After the tour we grabbed some lunch from a cafe in town (who apparently had the best curry pies that Leon has ever eaten!) and jumped in the car to cross the border into New South Wales! Our destination was Broken Hill, where we stayed at the Broken Hill City Caravan Park for two nights (there were a choice of three caravan parks in the town).

The next day was a big touristy day! First up we headed to Silverton, about 15 minutes drive out of Broken Hill. It's a tiny little town, but one with a lot of history. We visited no less than three museums that day! First up was the Mad Max Museum. Having not actually seen the film Mad Max 2, which was filmed in Silverton, there was still lots to appreciate. The museum opened last year and has an incredible amount of memorabilia available to see. From film scripts to replica and original cars to costumes and promotional material, they had everything! Next up was the Silverton School Museum. The school building from 1889 still stands and has tonnes of historical items inside. The kids sat at an old desk and did some colouring while Leon and I got to look around. Lots of past students had donated their old readers, reports, uniforms and other school items so there was lots to see. Last was the Silverton Gaol Museum. There were thousands of items on display here, representing just about every facet of life in Silverton over the years. Football teams, war stories, fashions, equipment and appliances, hospital items etc etc, the list went on! Not much actual jail stuff, to Leon's disappointment but certainly lots to read and enjoy.

Back in Broken Hill, I had the bright idea of driving out to The Living Desert and Stone Sculpture Display . This was pretty cool, but I didn't anticipate the extremely steep 2.4 km return walk to check out the sculptures! Cooper claims he 'nearly died' on the walk and Imogen alternated between running ahead like a madwoman and collapsing in tears that she couldn't possibly go any further. However, once up the top it was certainly worth it, with an incredible view and some pretty cool sculptures.

We had a well deserved big dinner that night at the Barrier Social Democratic Club ('Demo Club' for short!) which is one of those rare places that still offers a big vege/salad bar to add whatever you like to your meals. Leon just about cleaned the place out of scalloped potatoes and pumpkin and I've never been so happy to see green beans in my life!

The next day, we crossed back over into our home state, Victoria. Much as we would have liked to power on home, ten hours would have been a bit much on the kids! So we stayed that night in Birchip (about 4 hours or so drive from Geelong) And the less said about that the better! However, if you're in that neck of the woods one day, make sure you go to Avoca. The pub has parmiganas for $7 if you order before 7pm and the small town boasts three bakeries, one of which has amazing pies and other yummy delicacies, such as custard tarts (not that I would know about that of course).

And then, not much later, we were home! A truly incredible trip. The Pathfinder tells us that in just over three weeks we traveled over 6,000 km and did about 104 hours of driving. We saw some amazing things, had some brilliant experiences and shared a lot of special stuff. The kids were brilliantly behaved and Leon was pretty good too. It is definitely something we will all remember for a long time and always look fondly back on. Now to planning the next Intrepid travels!

Til next time and thank you for reading!

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