Next stop after Cowra was Young. Another well kept town with a number of historic buildings including an impressive looking railway station. It’s not hard to tell you are in a fruit growing area with roadside signs advertising produce. Young claims to be the Cherry Capital of Australia.
Further south was Cootamundra. Cootamundra was where Australian cricketing legend Sir Don Bradman was born. The actual cottage he was born in (midwife Granny Scholz’s home) is now the Bradman Birthplace Museum. One of my Bucket List items is the Bradman Museum at Bowral so of course I was looking forward to having a look at the one at Cootamundra as well. It was excellent with plenty of memorabilia and to actually stand in the room where “The Don” was born was well to quote Bruce McAvaney, Special.
Also in one of the town’s parks is The Captains Walk. Beside the pathway is a bronze bust of a head shot of every man who has captained the Australian Cricket Team. It has been said that being the Australian Cricket Captain is the 2nd most important position in Australia after the Prime Minister! Each pillar had the inscription of the player, their statistics as captain and summary of their playing career statistics.
I picked up a passenger along the way somewhere. A mouse. There was a bit of a plague out Wee Waa/Warren way so it’s possible that he or she had been with me for a while without me noticing. Mice can do some pretty serious damage to a vehicle’s wiring if left unfed. While I was happy for mouse to act as vacuum cleaner as it saves me doing housework, I didn’t want any issues with chewed out wires so I brought some peanut butter and set a trap. The first night I heard the trap go off but later in the night heard the rustle of the rubbish bag on the floor. Somehow he had survived but night two he met his match. I set the trap for the next couple of nights just in case he was not a lone crusader but happy to say none others have shown their little faces.
I had a night at a rest stop in the little village of Illabo just north of Junee. While the town consists of 190 people apparently only 4 are drinkers. Only 1 of the 4 showed up the night I was there so most of the night it was just the publican and I. He was an interesting fellow and good company.
Junee was a quiet sort of a town, again with plenty of historical buildings. The town has 5 hotels. It also has a Railway Museum but after Cowra a couple of days before I didn’t visit the Junee one. Junee is as close as you can get to halfway between Sydney and Melbourne on the railway line and is where the staff do their changeover of rosters. The XPT goes through twice a day and there are numerous goods trains every day. The Monte Crisco Historic House is said to be haunted but it wasn’t open for visitors at the time I called.
I spent a fair while wondering around the CBD of Wagga. I visited the Council Museum which was interesting and the Botanical Gardens are worth a wander through. I worked at the bank in Wagga so found the old branch which building is now a real estate agency. Wagga Wagga is famous for the plethora of sporting talent it has produced over the years in a variety of different sports.
I stopped a night at Yerong Creek at the sports ground. It is so dry around here. In fact I have noticed the landscape all the way south from Bathurst looking much drier the further south I go. After Yerong Creek I went through Culcairn before reaching the border town of Albury.
It was so hot in Albury. I was here over the Australia Day Long Weekend and the Monday night was close to unbearable trying to sleep. It was over 40 degrees and it was high up in the 30’s all night in the bus. I was staying in the car park of the Sailors, Soldiers and Airman’s Club and at around midnight there was a large group of guys running amok yelling etc so I decided I best close and lock my door which made it even hotter inside. I pretty much spent 2 days inside the club in the air conditioning. Luckily they had a sports bar for entertainment.