BathurstJuly 18 in Australia
A long day today. A four hour drive took us from Coona to Bathurst via Mudgee (annoyingly pronounced like 'budgie'). The early morning roads were sadly littered with dead kangaroos once again, and we were told later that some of this was a consequence of the two-year drought meaning they come to the roadside to take advantage of any water. This aside, the drive was a pleasant jaunt through tiny townships and up and down the rolling vineyards.
We hadn't planned to stop in Mudgee but on passing through we saw a crowd and stopped to see what was going on. As it turned out, there was a film crew recording a scene from Doctor Doctor and we were able to watch them take a scene with horses bolting through the town.
On to Bathurst - after a brief concern that our petrol was running quite low - we checked into the hotel before popped into the Fossil and Mineral Museum for a glimpse at an amazing collection of minerals and Australia's only complete T-Rex skeleton. The amber collection was particularly impressive and included a tiny gecko fossilised within one piece.
After a trip back to the hotel, we planned to drive out to the Bathurst Harness Racing Club...however we got sidetracked en route by the opportunity to drive the Mount Panorama racing circuit (albeit at 60kmph). The views it affords over Bathurst are wonderful, and even at low speeds, the chicanes feel a little hairy!
At the Racing Club, we watched jockeys on tiny horse-drawn carts (harnesses?!) compete whilst we placed 50 cent bets...and won not a single penny! However, I did get to bet on 'Dinosaurus Rex' which was some recompense. A pleasant trackside dinner and five races later we headed into Bathurst for the Winter Festival and mainly to take in the illuminated buildings, and we saw a possum to boot. The winter night really was biting however so we stopped for a coffee on a heated balcony overlooking the festival before heading home to plan for tomorrow's drive to Wagga Wagga.Read more