Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunsets and Big Sky country

1: Sunset at rest area sth of Nerandera - the best things in life are free..
2,3: Rainbow sth of Ardlethan
4: Frodo's Hobbit van
5: Big Sky country sth of West Wyalong (sth west NSW)
6: Next to the laundromat at Cowra

Thur 11 – Mon 15 dec

Blue mnts – West to Bathurst – Cowra – South to Nerandera (Newell hway)

Friday 12 dec
Blue mnts.
It’s raining pretty constantly. I decide to walk anyway, from Govett’s leap carpark towards Pope’s Glen. I pass rock “Pagoda” formations, tree ferns, beautiful flowers, pools with tiny sand beaches along the creek.
I test out my nylon “softshell” with an umbrella. Works fairly well, you sweat a lot less than with Gore-Tex.
I’m at about 1000m altitude. Good for sports training… like Flagstaff in Arizona, Or Boulder, Colorado, or the Vercors In France. One of the towns up here is twin city with Flagstaff, Ariz.

Then decide I better get moving to avoid falling on my relatives and family friends in the middle of Christmas. Down a short steep road, onto the gently rolling hills West of the citadel of the Blue mnts.

City versus Country - thoughts

I arrive At Bathurst, Home of Holden V8 grand prix races on Mt Panorama.
Buy a new digital camera – Canon AS590 IS , for 140 $ (gd price). Pretty amazing features for such a price: manual exposure possible, 4x zoom, optical viewer (like old-stlye SLRs) . All in all, great to have a hi-qual camera with which I can capture and share the displays nature puts on for us (see sunsets above).

I get a pair of polyester long johns and some freeze dried food at the BCF store
The girl behind the counter has that sweet country look, like the mechanic-girl on the sci-fi movie “Serenity”. People in general are relaxed and down-to earth here – the country feel. Makes a nice change from the ghost-like Goths and other costumed city-fauna at Katoomba, which feels like a suburb of Sydney (I’m told there is a knifing per week on weekends in Katoomba – oh for Rudy Gulliani to apply zero-tolerance to Aus cities and reduce assault and homicide by more than 50% as in NY City ).

“Ragged” is the word that comes to mind when I think of people in Katoomba. Ragged youth who don’t take care of themselves, who have little to look up to except the local drug dealer in his flash car. Ragged mature people who’ve drunk too much or seen to much violence. Definitely not Scandinavian athletic types. Where are the bronzed Anzacs who work hard and play hard and are brave and enthusiastic? They’re out there, but not in inner cities.
I feel like getting a group of them and taking them on a wilderness walk, gradually increasing the difficulty. Or yachting. Get them to know the joy of using their bodies in the clean sunny air, the joy of work, the joy of swimming in ice-cold creeks, the free-ness and sacredness of nature’s beauty, including their own. Plus we could work on a farmer’s property, with horses etc.

The country life is definitely healthier, physically and mentally. There’s too much disconnection from reality, your body, nature, others and posing in most cities. City kids could spend 6 month in the country as part of their curriculum – so they can at least get at taste of reality, seeing where their meat comes from, giving birth to foals, working in the mud, getting old cars going… come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind working on a farm for a few months.

Sure, I can understand the attraction of the city lights. And I’m sure country kids need a bit of city from time to time. But the what with wireless internet, mobile phones, downloadable movies etc, the country is much less isolated than it used to be.
I’m reminded of Harrison Ford, who lives on a ranch near Jackson Hole, Idaho. Next to the amazing Grand Tetons mountains. I agree with him that LA life corrupts – especially kids, who fall right into the drugs and all the rest culture of LA.
Get to small rural town called Balney. Dogs in pickups, dusty streets, Big container rail terminal . I like it. Fuel’s going abnormally fast, some power surges. Van due for a service. Plus I’m out of fuel… and all the fuel places are closed at 6pm. So I stay the nite.

Sat 13 - Cowra, Ardlethan

Next day, get fuel, but no service possible. So go on to Cowra – bigger country town.
Nice historic towns before Cowra.
Not pos to get service there either. Shop at Coles, Move on towards town of Nerandera. Now in flat country – easy to drive, except for strong wind that buffets the van. After West Wyalong – it’s “Big Sky” country like Montana. (see photo above).
Golden Fields, almost Billard table flat. Stop at rest area after Ardlethan.
Go for a run up road, then dirt track. It’s good to feel my body after hours driving.
On return to the van, I am greeted by amazing double rainbow and the other end going into the ground (where the treasure is). (see photos above).

Sunday 14 - Nerandera

I arrive at Nerandera 140 km on a fill… half of what I ususually get. Decide to wait for Monday so I can get a service.
See a real Tiger Moth biplane at small museum . This area used to be the training are for pilots in WW2. 1000 pilots from here alone were killed in that conflict. One who survived was Australia’s only Aboriginal pilot, who flew a fighter. It seems to me Aboriginals had more opportunities back then than they do now… what with the victim industry constantly encouraging them to feel like perpetual victims. At least Aboriginal leaders like Noel Pearson don’t agree with this pandering.

In the library, I talk to the librarian about the WW2 training airbases. I mention my grandfather was in the RAAF in WW1, and killed in the R101 airship crash (1930), just north of Paris (in a strange coincidence, I ended up growing up just 200 km or so south of the crash site…) . She has just seen a doco on airships, including the R101.

WW2, Islamic terrorism, The will to win

Regarding WW2, I often wonder if the modern public would have the stomach for defeating Hitler, Mussolini, the Japanese empire if they were transported into the past. 400 000 American servicemen dead…. 50 000 dead in the German Ardennes counter- offensive alone… the 4000 or so dead in Irak recently seems like a mere blip.

The islamo-fascists count on western resolve crumbling, with time and wear. I hope for the sake of the future of kids today that they are wrong.
Personally, I would rather die fighting than endure the living-death of life in the shadow of a global Islamic dictatorship, Teheran-style.
“vivre libre ou mourir” – “live free or die” was the motto of a Captain of the resistance in a small high plateau near Chambery, France. He held out, until the end of the war when the Germans sent up forces on skis.

At one stage, he tried to recruit French people in towns around, but met with little enthusiasm. In fact, a documentary made in the 50s showed that most French were resigned to, even collaborating with Nazi occupation. This doco was banned for decades by De Gaulle, who wanted to perpetuate the resistance mythology… true there was resistance, but it was a small minority.
It seems that little has changed, and the French and other Europeans would rather submit and raise the white flag of surrender than fight Islamic terrorism in it’s bases abroad (Afghanistan); when it tries to take over a state or scuttle democracy (Irak). And verbally on their own soil, despite books like “Londistan”, denial and appeasement is still strong in the elites.
“The price of freedom is perpetual vigilance” (and blood) I forget who said that.
Out of Nerandera, I get bogged doing a U-turn. 2 farmers turn up with their machinery, and gladly pull me out with their ute. Country hospitality.

Monday 15

Sun at last ! but chilly wind.
I find a mechanic to do the service, go to the library to update my blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love those rainbow photos Jules!
And I've just read your blog - very interesting!

x Cecilia