Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blogcard from Bathurst, NSW, Australia

On my Dubbo Blogcard I mentioned that we revelled in a “grazing plate” on arrival at our farmhouse guest house, which was really a beautiful independent apartment where the owners arrived, delivered food, and set the table for us. Five star service for just a remarkable few dollars.


A grazing plate is an extended ploughman’s lunch. In addition to a range of hams, smoked fish, local cheeses and pickles there are olives, local fruits, home made breads, pates, salad greens and local wine. This should be a standard arrival welcome at all bed and breakfast guest houses, and this is certainly true in the USA but yet to be experienced by us in ireland and UK.


Not only was the grazing plate a sensation but so was the following morning breakfast with fresh layed eggs and local fish, meat and produce again along with the home made pastries.


We left Dubbo very relaxed and fulfilled but with a rush drive to Bathurst, a 3 to 4 hour drive to make it in time for a live radio performance at 1:00 pm. It was a risky drive of breaking speed limits, and I say risky as New South Wales is extremely well covered with police patrols and cameras. This time we were ok but I do not want to make a habit of this. After a quick tune up Claire performed Galway Bay which is proving to be popular with seniors in this land.


After the radio show in Bathurst it was across the road to a home made ice cream shop that also sold good coffee where we sat outside and watch the local life in action.


These rural towns in New South Wales are a delight. They sustain the ornate wild west architecture and have incredibly wide roads. There must be strict building planning laws as new buildings beautifully slide into the architecture of the old. Also in evidence is local pride for their towns. It seems all Australians are a volunteer for something, usually something that sustains the look, heritage and community service and spirit of the town.  In rural USA, and in some ways rural Ireland too, there is a “this is the way we do things” attitude but here in Australia it seems like a “lets all muck in” kind of attitude so new arrivals are seen as people who add new ideas and skills. People only become outsiders here if they avoid giving part of themselves to the community.


After ice cream we went to Miss Traill’s House, the venue for tonight’s concert, with a hope of delivering the harps to settle, but nobody was there. Plan B was to go to our bed and breakfast guest house of this coming night. Again this proved to be a delight. This time was have a wonderful cabin surrounded by trees, herbs, sculptors and grape vine archway. Owned by a local painter who enjoys the extra income of guests. The cabin has large living room, kitchen and bedroom plus, surprise, surprise, laundry facilities.


After arrival and settling in, it was time for lunch, largely the left overs from our enormous “grazing tray” from the day before. No grazing tray here at this b&b, but her rental rates are so, so low anyway. We already have terrific value just being here.


Its a beautiful sunny day, and not too hot, so tonight’s concert at Miss Traill’s House looks as if it will be outdoors. We will be leaving for there shortly and I will probably report on that in my next Blogcard, hopefully from Maitland before we head out of New South Wales into Queensland and Brisbane.


 


 

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