Saturday, 10 October 2015

Home Again

Well I'm home again. Actually, I've been home for a little over a week, but busy doing re-writes, fighting jet lag, and now a cold, because Canada...

Now that the manuscript for the next Charlie Smithers has been sent into the publisher to be formatted, I thought that you might like to accompany me on a short pictorial journey through Australia.

 This sign was at Kimba, marking the halfway spot across Australia, and we were only getting started! The next two photos are of the Nullarbor Plain where a good deal of the story takes place. Of course Nullarbor means 'no trees' and, as you can see, that was pretty much the case.

Getting close to The Great Australian Bight

And here is the Bight, one of the main reasons I had for coming to Australia in the first place. It's quite an impressive sight, as the height of the cliffs vary between 100 to 400 feet high. It was also the reason for a sizable rewrite because, once having seen it, I knew that it had to be mentioned.
This is the chariot and home for three weeks, dubbed "The Jolly Roger." It's big and spacious, but could easily get overcrowded if things weren't stowed away. Not that it had much chance of getting out of hand, as everything needed to be stowed before hitting the road anyway.
Australia is chock-full of grand old buildings dating back to its colonial past. Virtually every little town had at least one of these hotels, virtually all of them of the same design. If I'm not mistaken, we stopped in here for lunch.
 After seeing the Nullarbor and The Bight, we had to decide on the route back to Sydney. As it was early Spring, the weather had usually been quite cool, so in the end we decided to go north in search of warmer climes.
Our first stop in Queensland, via Broken Hill in NSW. After Cunnamulla, it was over to Goondiwindi, and then back down to NSW, through The Great Dividing Range, to the delightful town of Casino (cattle capitol of Australia.) Then it was back through the mountains again, down to Tamworth, via Grafton and Glen Innes, before heading on to Sydney.

Perhaps you can tell that one of my favourite parts of the trip was the wildlife, especially the parrots. So loved to see these parrots flying about free as...well...birds. The only ones I'd seen previously were in cages.

 This is the governor's mansion in Sydney where a scene plays out in the epilogue. Needless to say it, and the grounds were given a thorough going over, and a wealth of information gleaned from the knowledgeable staff.
This was a treat. Our hero, Charlie Smithers, needed a horse in his latest adventure, and I couldn't think of a better candidate than a breed that is all Australian, the Waler. Known for their strength and endurance, I had written about them to some extent, but had never seen one before in the flesh until the day we went out to a stud farm. The elderly couple that owned it were very gracious and eager to talk about their beloved horses, enough to keep me scribbling notes the entire time I was there.
Sorry, not the best of photos, but I thought I'd include it anyway. After all, with the famous opera house to the left, and the harbour bridge on the right, urban Australia doesn't get much more iconic than this.


  1. Looks like you had a marvelous time! And the memories!!!

    1. I did indeed, Viv, and that's without making mention of the wine and the beer. Also the food was virtually universally delicious!

  2. G'day Chuck. I enjoyed reading this. I especially liked the pics of the Nullarbor Plain, where I lived for a while as a school principal. I have wonderful memories of sitting on the cliff at the Head of the Bight to watch whales, dolphins and emus, and crawling through limestone caves about a metre high. I'm glad you enjoyed the trip and look forward to reading the new book one day.

    1. Thank you, Stephen, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I stopped at the Head of Bight, too, and saw a whale. I've since been told that I was short-changed, but I don't see it that way. There aren't many whales where I come from, so seeing even one was a bonus. Sadly, n
      o dolphins, though, that will have to wait for another time.