Friday, November 28, 2008

Sunday 5 October - Boroowa - Running of the Sheep

Daylight savings started overnight. It was a rough night. A car left at midnight noisily. Then at about 1am some people started yelling and carrying on. Then at 2:30 the car returned. BAD night’s sleep. I arose fairly early – about 6am or so and showered and dressed and went for a walk around the block which was cool and pleasant. Snapped some photos. Nice to be out and about early and able to admire the streetscape without lots of people or cars, though you wouldn't exactly call Grenfell crowded in any case.

I walk up the main street and pay a visit to the war memorial. It is quite extensive with the eternal flame, a separate pillar memorial and also a white marble memorial to those who served in the Boer war.

Grenfell has three very nice old hotels (ie pubs) ......the Railway Hotel,

.....and the Albion Hotel.

One of the windows is decorated in Manly colours I snap a photo to show hubby when we get back - footy grand final tonight and Manly's in it. That's where hubby is. No chance of him coming away with Manly in the grand final!!

Not much other than the newsagent open. We took our time about readying ourselves for the day and decided to have brekkie en route. IGA closed of course so no milk. We headed down to Young through more lovely countryside and make a stop at the JD Jam Factory. Daughter indulged in Devonshire tea which was quite nice but used fake aerated cream…she also tried the banana smoothie and enjoyed that.. I went for the cherry pie. It didn’t look real great so I really should have known better, but I did expect them to warm it up at least. But no, it arrived cold and clammy and just not nice. I also ordered the cherry smoothie, which was nice, but Daughter thought it was too sweet. Son ordered a hot dog with chips and a vanilla thick shake which he enjoyed a lot.. Mum had a toasted chicken and avocado sandwich that looked very good and she said was absolutely delicious. On her own insistence she won the ordering competition. We bought a few souvenirs and jam and stuff. Nothing was cheap. On the whole I thought the place was a bit of a tourist trap really and so far the jam hasn't been that great.
Straight through from Young to Boorowa in quite a line of traffic which cramped my sightseeing style as I drove. The scenery looked nice though. Boorowa was crowded with people. A huge turnout for the Irish Woolfest this weekend with detours and special parking arrangements in place. Luckily we happen upon a small paddock close to the main street where disabled parking has been set up. We park under an elm in full flower, display our permit and wander into the main street area past a huge jumping castle. The barriers have been set up ready for the running of the sheep at midday. We arrived at about 11:15 am. We browse the stalls. I buy sample some jars of local bottled poached prunes (delicious!) and a pack of prunes – 500 grams but very dry so quite good value and they include a recipe for poaching; also a jar of D’agen plum conserve. $8 a jar for two or more jars of poached prunes, 8 for the prunes and 5.50 for the conserve.
There are pipe and other bands entertaining the crowds. The pipe bands regularly playing waltzing matilda, they also played On the Road to Gundagai which is one of my favourites. I used to sing it to my elder daughter as a lullaby LOL!! A singer fellow sang Click Go the Shears. It was all very Aussie and Irish traditional. Later in the proceedings the irish folk music and dancing came on. At midday they announce that they are almost ready for the running of the sheep.
The police come through in the parade first and we wait as the sheep proceed down the street. They are stud merinos from Merryvale stud (which we later pass on the way back to Grenfell). Nice looking sheep that’s for sure. They are being herded by several gorgeous kelpies and from our vantage point at the end pens we see the sheep heading straight for us with them occasionally jumping over eachother. Seriously cool! We watch as they select the sheep to decide the winner of the sweep then load the sheep back on the truck to go home. Daughter’s heart is a flutter at the manly farmers and their quad bikes and work vehicles.

Meanwhile the rest of the parade starts off. This included a procession of vintage tractors, finishing with a big old (temperamental) steam one. Very COOL! They also had a big semi-trailer with a rough corrugated iron roofed shearing stand with the electric hand sets accompanied by a guy shearing with the old fashioned blades. Very COOL. And SO many people. A really festive atmosphere. We head in to the art show and are very taken with quite a few of the works on display. Charcoal sketches of gum tree bark and also a nice landscape which I end up buying. It’s all great. $2 entry for a worthy local cause. I’m in need of a new apron so we pick up a Boorowa one. $20. Daughter and I are quite interested in some wool and woollen products in stalls nearby. We both end up paying an arm and a leg for some home spun Alpaca yarn for scarf knitting. The packs have photos of the actual beast who’s fleece it is on them. No dyes the batch number is the name of the animal. We each happen to choose wool from a couple of alpacas who are guard animals for a flock of sheep.

The facilities are humming and in need of a rest stop the long queues at the public toilet block make me grateful to the Kenny’s of the world as I utilise the portable facilities nearby. Man, have portable toilets come a long way!

We replenish cash supplies and continue browsing up the street. There’s a cool wooden products stall which has some tempting stuff. Best to wait until the house is finished. Returning on the far side of the street we get a $10 wood fired pizza to share for lunch. Daughter grabs a sausage sandwich. We all get drinks.

Finally having had a full and enjoyable day in Boroowa it’s off home to Grenfell with a stop in Young to buy fuel. It’s cheaper in Young than other towns around the traps – this week anyway. We stopped at a hopeless little gallery at Mirr? Between Boorowa and Young and we take a spin down the main street of Young. Reminded us of Narrabri. Rather big, but they haven’t ruined the architecture of the street along the way over the years.

The scenery as you drive from Boorowa to Young is really beautiful. Especially at the moment with the pastures and crops looking pretty after all the rain. Not much in the way of blossom in Young anywhere we could see, which was a bit disappointing, but then they don't really make a big deal of it on their tourist website so we can't really complain. Cherry Festival would be the time to go I should think.

Before lobbing up to our Motel we take a spin out to Holy Camp picnic ground at Weddin Mtns National Park just to check it out. Ben Hall picnic area is a lot nicer we thought. On the way back out we spot about 5 crimson chats by the road. Then it’s home for a rest before dinner at the local chinese restaurant which is full of people and really cheap. Good food too especially for the price.

1 comment:

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