Thursday, 18 February 2016

NB Constance

I was reminded whilst visiting family in Australia that I did not have any recent photos of 'Constance' on my blog. Having made a quick visit to check that everything was OK, I took some photos. So here they are...
Narrow-boat Constance

The galley

The cosy loo

The cosy shower

The dining area

The galley

The lounge & log-burner


Stern under winter coverings
It was quite fortuitous that I put Constance into Fenny Compton Marina for the winter. It meant that I did not have to worry about moving her whilst we were away in Australia. It is nice having electricity on board during the very coldest part of winter. The batteries can be kept charged and a frost-stat governed radiator give added peace of mind.

Northabouts (Part 2)

After staying with Adrian and Sasha for a few days, looking round Sydney and going out on the boat on the Hawkesbury River it was time for us to move on. We headed west from Sydney into the Blue Mountains at Katoomba.
The Leura Cascades in the rain

Me playing with the camera to get a special effect on the water

More cascades

Leura Falls

Leura Falls

The Three Sisters, now you see them...

Now you don't

Then you see them again for a fleeting glance

Having obliged someone else with a photo, he returned the compliment

The next morning it was too foggy to see anything so we moved on, northwards to Mudgee
Passing through wide open spaces

Lake Windamere (no, not a spelling mistake)

Kelly's Irish Pub, Mudgee

The old department store, Mudgee
The Catholic Church, Mudgee

The old Bank buildings, Mudgee
 From Mudgee we went on a day trip to Hill End. Hill End was a gold mining village. It had a short life, starting in about 1870, peaking in 1872 and pretty much abandoned by 1874. In its heyday there were a good couple of thousand inhabitants. One of them was a keen photographer. He photographed just about every building and person in the town. This archive was discovered in a cellar in Sydney in the early 1950s. This has enabled historians to work out where every property was, what it looked like and who lived there. Pretty much every name of all of the inhabitants has now been worked out and recorded.
The Hill End shop and café of today

The Royal Hotel, open for service.

One of the restored houses

This one is now a shop

This side of the road was a line of shops. Each has a marker board with a photo of what used to be there

Kangaroos in the old industrial mining areas.


One of the chuches

The cemetery, about a mile out of town
 From Hill End we drove back to Mudgee for the night. The next day we drove on up to Gulgong. Gulgong is about the same age as Hill End and the town has kept and restored a lot of its old buildings.
As its name suggests... Frequented by the Prince of Wales when he went to...

The opera house - Dame Nellie Melba sang here

Much as it was in the 1870s

Australia moved from £ to AUS $ in 1966. The town of Gulgong featured on the original $10 note
 After Gulgong we went towards Ulan, with two stops on the way. Stop number one was for a place called 'The Drip' We followed a river valley...
The walk down the river valley to 'The Drip'

Judy at 'The Drip'
 There is a fault line in the overhanging rock which allows a line of water drips to fall into the river below. It was nice and cool here. The cicadas in the trees were absolutely deafening. They seemed to perform a 'Mexican Wave' of sound from one end of the river bank to the other.
A couple of miles north of 'The Drip' is 'Hands on the Rock'. Here are some Aboriginal rock paintings. At first they are difficult to see, once you have seen some, you can see them all over the wall. In some places there are pictures of animals.

Hands on the Rock
Our journey took us on to Ulan, then to Cassilis and Singleton. From Singleton we took 'The Putty Road' back towards Sydney. What a lovely drive that was too!
Beautiful scenery

We stopped beside the Hawkesbury River at Windsor for lunch

These electric barbecue sites can be found all over Australia, what a great idea!
We arrive back in Sydney, caught up with Adrian and Sasha before flying back to London. It was certainly an adventure!

On the Hawkesbury River

During our stay in Sydney, Adrian and Sasha organised the hire of a boat so we could all enjoy the delights of the Hawkesbury River. It was a 10-berth boat named Scaramouche
Welcome aboard

Me at the wheel, Judy navigating (well, pointing to where I should be going)

Sasha slaving over the stove

Our little dinghy following closely behind

Into a lovely sunny cove




Judy went rowing the dinghy whilst we...

... caught fish

But none big enough to eat, so it was bacon on the barbecue

Sad to leave

Under the railway bridge

And all too soon it was over.