Monthly Archives: October 2022

Day 154 – Tuesday, 25 October 2022

What a long day it turned out to be. We said our goodbyes to Shirley and thanked her for a great stay. We also said we would be back. We left the caravan park at 9:47am, and by the time we had emptied the cassette at Moora for the last time it was 9:55am as we drove onto Midland Road.

It was lucky that both of us work at emptying the cassette. I usually open it up and have the hose going by the time that Russ gets the cassette turned upside down. Today, the wheels fell off the cassette and almost disappeared into the dump point, and when Russ opened the plate for air flow and access for the hose, the lid almost disappeared never to be seen again. I managed to save both items before it was too late.

As we started out we commented on how much the countryside has changed in the two weeks we were at Moora. When we arrived the grain crops and canola were still mostly green. Now we are passing

golden paddocks, and in some cases, the contents of the paddocks have already been harvested.

We travelled east until we reached the Great Northern Highway (GNH) and turned south for a short time, then east once more on the way to Wongan Hills. Russ had planned out the route we would take so that we had limited time on the GNH with the trucks but iGO had other plans.

When we left Wongan Hills we turned south on the Northam-Pitharra Road to Goomalling, which was as it should have been. However, once we were out of Goomalling we found ourselves on the way to Meckering on the Goomalling-Meckering Road, not on the continuation of the Northam-Pitharra Road.

Never one to back down from an adventure Russ continued on. As the road was bitumen, and in pretty good condition, I went with the flow.

Once we arrived at Meckering the route we had to take was on the Quellington Road, which got progressively narrower, and narrower. By the last stretch we were on a very old bitumen surface, and it was a blessing that we did not meet any oncoming traffic as there were no edges to the single lane and the vegetation grew right up to the edges of the road surface.

If that wasn’t bad enough, once we turned onto Quellington Road we came to signage about The Earthquake – more about that later. However, when we were back in the car after a stop at the Earthquake Site and on the road again, the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) kept on blinking red and braking the caravan while it tried to acquire a green signal.

It wasn’t the most pleasant feeling to be out in the sticks on a very narrow road experiencing car problems.

We pulled over as best we could and put on the hazard flashers while Russ attempted to fix the problem. He ended up removing the connections between the car and caravan and spraying them with Windex (he had run out of WD40). Thankfully, our guardian angels were on the job, and this worked.

Onwards we continued. As we approached York and now back on the Northam-York Road, I opened Wikicamps and pulled up the Google Map directions to the Traveller’s Rest Caravan Park. Both the phone map and

iGO wanted us to take the Mackie Siding Road. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately as it was a narrow gravel road, it was closed off with a sign.

We continued on the Northam-York Road into town and followed the revised directions to the park where we were warmly welcomed by Darlene at 1:45pm.

This park is a stay 7 nights and pay for 6 nights so some of the money we have saved on site fees will pay for the use of the washing machine which is no longer free.

In total we travelled 230 kilometres, left Moora at 205 metres above sea level, rose to 316 metres above sea level at the highest point of the journey, and are now at 172 metres above sea level here at York.

We travelled through predominantly wheat paddocks with an occasional fallow paddock or one with canola just for some variety. The trees are mostly a lot taller although there were some patches of mallee scrub.

I have several favourite road names we passed along the way, The best ones were Kalguddering Road, Byberding Road, Konnongorrong and – best one – Gabby Quoi Quoi Road. It even had a bridge of the same name.

And let’s not forget the town of Goomalling we went through. The name means ‘the Place of Possums’ which can be found on the sign at the entrance.

The Earthquake – On 14 October 1968 at 10:59am Meckering was destroyed by an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter Scale. The quake lasted for 45 seconds and was felt over an area of 700 kilometres in radius and caused damage to many towns.

Twenty people were injured, but miraculously, no deaths occurred.

The quake focus was seven kilometres deep and the force of the quake was equivalent to ten Hiroshima atomic bombs. The greatest land displacement measured a westward heave of 2.44 metres. The southerly slip was 1.54 metres, and the vertical left was 1.98 metres.

The scarp of the fault extends for thirty-seven kilometres, bisecting the Great Eastern Highway 4.4 kilometres west of Meckering.

The fault may be hard to follow at times as it was bulldozed to allow farming to continue. As you look north (when there are no crops growing) the fault can be traced by coloured poles.

By observing the fence line along the side of the road you can see the land has actually moved 2.2 metres. Due to the foresight of the late Mr Merv Reynolds, this segment of the fault had been preserved.

There are additional exhibits at Meckering but as we knew nothing about the Earthquake when we passed through the small the town, we did not stop there.

In the photo I took Russ is standing at the bottom of the uplift. The info board can just be seen on the left-hand side of the photo.

Day 153 – Monday, 24 October 2022

The alarm went off at 8:30am this morning but the movement of the bins woke us up before that. We headed off to the dentist at 11:00am and Russ received a good bill of health fr4om Dr Faisal.

After pleasant goodbyes and wishes for safe travel from Rita (the receptionist) we headed into town and stopped to take some photos of the murals before going to fuel up the car and collecting some supplies from IGA.

Once back at the van Russ and I took down the awning, and while Russ re-packed the back of the car with the camping stove and table, I headed over to the laundry to wash sheets, doona cover and some clothes.

It bucketed down during the night and there was a stiff breeze blowing for most of the day. We had two light showers before lunch time and then the sun came out. I got all the washing dried and put away.

Russ cleaned the ensuite while I remade the bed, and once he had finished I washed the floor.

One of the guys who is staying here at the park very kindly put the sheets etc into the machine he had used and turned it on for me, which

was a very kind thing to do, and I thanked him very much. I was glad it was the sheets as I wash in cold water, and he had left it on hot/cold cycle which would never have done if it had been the clothes.

ON my way back to collect the clothes to put on the line I spent some time in conversation with Judy and her husband, Bob. They are heading north and had been advised to get any information about wildflowers off Shirley when they got to the caravan park. The only problem with that was that Shirley was off sick.

I explained to them where we had found wildflowers, especially how to get to the wreath flowers that Judy has never seen, and also warned them that the snakes were out and active. They both agreed it was a day they would wear socks and sneakers, not the thongs they had on at that time.

I spoke to Jeannie later in the afternoon, and also Brett. However, the line was so terrible to Brett that the conversation was almost incomprehensible so I told him I would ring him back later in the week. Mildura has had just over 60mm of rain in the last seven days, and they are expecting more during this week.

I have the Vic Emergency app on my phone, and it has been pinging almost nonstop with warnings about flood levels for various towns, and also the flooding incidents as they happen in Mildura.

Some of the flooding across the roads are in our neighbourhood, but not in our street as yet. However, Brett says the patio had a great deal of water on it and he will have to provide kitty litter for the cats as their toilet area is flooded.

The photo I took in Moora of one of the murals depicts the flood in Moora in 1999. In the early hours of 21 March 1999, Moora was devastated by floods, regarded as a ‘one in three-hundred-year flood’.

The swiftness of the raging, muddy waters caught the town and surrounding district by surprise. Extensive damage to homes and businesses resulted in the townsfolk being evacuated to Noalimba Hostel in Perth.

The mural portrays the extent of the water. It is also a testament to all those who helped, supported, gave donations, created goodwill, comradeship and community survival of all concerned.

Moora was unfortunately affected by two further floods on 28 May and 16 August of the same year. The mural on the wall of the Home Hardware business was painted by R Smith from a photograph taken by Greg Reilly.

The second mural I took photos of was at Federation Park. This one is dedicated to the farm horses and the cattle dogs who were such an essential part of the early life of the pioneers.

Federation Park is located on the site of the original Moora Dam, steeped in horse tradition. The Dam was the only watering point for horses and provided an essential service for residents who used Moora as their railhead and business centre during the horse and cart era.

There are also bronze statues of the farm horse and the cattle dog in the park near the mural.

Day 152 – Sunday, 23 October 2022

It was overcast this morning and rain has been forecast later in the day, so we headed down to Wannamal Road West to the Boonanaring National Park. We didn’t expect too much and so were agreeably surprised with some new wildflowers.

Last night we listened to the sounds of the Speedway until 11:00pm. The speedway is about two kilometres away from the caravan park, but the wind made it sound so much closer. It was the cars racing, not the bikes or go-karts, which probably added to the noise quota.

At 9:40am when we left Moora it was sitting on 24 degrees, and once the rain started after lunch it dropped to 16 degrees fairly quickly. We travelled a total of 180 kilometres, and the day was only marginally cut short by the rainfall.

We passed one squashed dead snake on the road on the way down south but were thankfully not troubled by any others for the period of the excursion. I was wearing my gaiters.

Russ did get a bit of a scare when he was walking past the desiccated, but smelly, remains of a kangaroo in the NP as a stumpy opened its mouth and stuck out its tongue as he was about to walk past it. He gave it a wide berth and it had moved on when he returned later.

We also had two kangaroos run across the road in front of us, but they were well ahead, and we had no need to take any evasive action.

Upon return to the caravan park, we found we had acquired new neighbours on both sides of us. We hunkered down for the rest of the day and spoke with mum before our tea. I also text Brett and we discussed the rain, and more rain.

This appears to be a good time to write a bit more about the Benedictine town after Bishop Salvado.

In 1978 the New Norcia (NN) Art Gallery and Museum was created in the area that had previously been St Joseph’s Orphanage for Girls. There are now daily tours conducted of the town, as well as tours relating to the Salvado era and the history of the Mission.

In 1986, through a daring robbery, the Benedictine community lost a valuable art collection which included some of the finest post-renaissance religious art in Australia.

Fortunately, the collection was recovered, with the exception of one painting, and there were three arrests. In due course, all the recovered paintings were restored and re-instated in the art gallery.

Beside the regular monastic day of prayer and work, which they are happy to share with visitors, the Benedictine community runs a number of business enterprises within the town that focus on hospitality and tourism.

There has been a revival of the traditional crafts of baking and olive oil production from the local olive groves. And Russ and I can happily attest to their delicious bread – multi-grain with fruit and nuts.

Also, measures have been taken to attract more people to the area. The Abbey Church territory has been reduced to the single parish of NN, while formal secondary education was discontinued in 1991 with the closure of the NN Catholic College.

A hostel for visitors, built in 1927, became the present hotel in 1955. Guest accommodation at the Monastery was greatly increased in 1981, and the former college buildings are now used for workshops, school camps and conventions.

People are also able to register for a stay at the Monastery and take part in meditation and downtime from busy lives in a spiritual retreat.

In 2012 the Institute for Benedictine Studies was established. Assisted by the Benedictine Sisters of the Good Samaritan (known as the “Good Sams”), its ongoing purpose has been to introduce the traditions of Benedictine Spirituality to the contemporary world and to offer the opportunity for study and research to the wider community.

The Good Sams is a Catholic congregation of religious women, commenced by Bede Polding, Australia’s first Catholic Bishop, in Sydney in 1857. They were the first religious congregation to be founded in Australia.

Bede Polding was born in England in 1794 and was orphaned at nine years old. His uncle, a Benedictine monk, took him into care and arranged his education with the Benedictine nuns in Liverpool.

He retired in Sydney in 1874 and died in 1877. His funeral was attended by over 100,000 people, and he was revered by both Protestants and Catholics. (Sorry, I got a bit off subject there.)

Over the history of the St Joseph’s Orphanage for Girls between 600 and 1,000 Aboriginal girls attended. While it was called an orphanage, the term was used loosely, and the great majority of girls had living parents.

For the first 80 years the number of girls in residence at anytime was around fifty, and the majority came from the NN area. A tradition developed among local families to put their girls into St Joeys to be trained and educated, and sometimes for short-term emergency care when the family was under pressure.

This tradition continued until the closure of the institution. The ages of the girls ranged from toddlers to women.

Girls who stayed at St Joeys until their mid to late teens usually left to take a position working in the home of a country family. The Sisters interviewed prospective employees before making placements. If a girl wasn’t happy she was able to return to St Joeys. Other girls went back to their families when they left.

St Joseph is the patron saint of workers. Throughout the history of the Mission, St Joseph’s Orphanage was responsible for the cooking, laundry work and sewing for several hundred people. The Sisters and girls also took responsibility for cleaning the Abbey Church and helping with a variety of seasonal jobs on the farms.

St Joseph’s was involved in this type of work for several reasons. They were training the girls for future employment, and it was essential to the running of the town.

While everyone worked it was the girls who had finished their educations who were the full-time workers.

Jobs were regularly rotated to give variety and to ensure that each girl developed a range of skills. The Sisters also rotated between the main work areas.

Although money was not spent for this purpose, the girls were inventive and resourceful in their play, and physical activity was encouraged. There were four or five picnics a year, usually associated with major feast days. On Christmas morning after Mass the Abbot visited and gave each person a present from under the tree which had been decorated by the Sisters.

Seasonal jobs for both girls and boys at the Monastery included jobs like olive and fruit picking, and these jobs were enjoyed. Others, like clearing paddocks of rocks before seeding and stacking hay after harvest, were not. The older girls and some Sisters also picked grapes to make into wine.

The boys of St Mary’s Orphanage gained work experience in the Mission flour mill and the Bakery.

From 1920 NN was the only educational institution in the southern half of WA catering to Aboriginal children, apart from the Moore River Settlement. (Aboriginal children were not allowed to attend ‘white’ schools.)

Until the early 1950s the academic level at the institutions in NN did not extend past grade 4. In 1953, with the extension of the school to grade 7, the boys from St Mary’s were integrated into classes and the school became a co-educational primary school/In 1956 new buildings were opened with the support of the State Lotteries Commission and the State Government.

In the 1960s St Joseph’s was classified as a State Government Native Residential School. In 1965 there were four teachers (all Sisters) and 109 pupils. By 1966 the number had risen to 125 pupils. During these years the older girls were encouraged to undertake secondary education at St Gertrude’s College in NN.

From 1940 to 1970 the kitchen at St Joseph’s provided meals for close to 250 people. They cooked lunch and tea for the St Joey girls, the boys at St Mary’s and, from 1952, the monks of the Monas

For most of its history St Joes used solid wood-fired combustion stoves which made the kitchen very hot in summer. It was not until 1964 that gas stoves were installed, along with a meat saw (previously cut by hand by the Sisters) and a large walk-in cool room for fresh vegetables which, by then, were brought up weekly from Perth.

Thursdays and especially Sundays were the traditional recreation days. Sunday afternoons were officially set aside for families to visit. During the football season the girls were allowed to go down to the oval to watch the game, and to view the ‘pants’.

Holidays became a part of the annual program in the 1950s. In 1944 the monks purchased a large, old property at Dongara as a holiday house. A couple of the younger Sisters took the girls there for a two week break during the Christmas holidays.

By the 1970s most girls went home for the holidays in May, August and December. The Sisters ensured that those girls who didn’t have anywhere to go would spend time with a family who volunteered to take one of the girls for a break.

In 1972 the Commonwealth Government announced changes to funding arrangements for Aboriginal children attending the school. In future, the funding would now go to parents who had their children at home with them.

In 1970 there were 75 girls, in 1972 there were 42, and by 1973 only 34 girls remained. In April of that year the decision was made to close St Josephs, and by 1975 all the Sisters had left Perth.

Most girls were collected by their parents or relations. Several girls who were attending St Gertrude’s College as day pupils became full-time borders there.

In October 2001 a Special Reunion Day for past pupils and staff of St Joseph’s and St Mary’s Orphanages was held at NN and was organised by the past pupils. It was attended by a large number of Aboriginal people and their families, many of whom had been past pupils.

Guests of Honour were Sr Teresa Gonzales, Sr Francis Pardo and Sr Pilar Catalan, all of whom came from Spain. Sr Veronica Willaway came from the USA. Sr Carmen Ruiz from NSW and Sr Visitacion Cidad from

Kalumburu in the Kimberley. All were past staff members and their travel expenses for most were met by Miss May Taylor, a past pupil.

One of the past pupils created a painting which is displayed at the Museum. I really liked it. It told the story of the girls’ lives in the orphanage. At the centre of the painting are the girls, a sitting symbol portraying them in different coloured uniforms.

Around them are the Sisters. The different coloured dots in the background represent the earth, grass and coloured flowers. The circles are the areas where the girls went for walks with the nuns. The large blue dots are the Rosary and the dark blue dots which run through the centre represent Moore River.

The painting was done by Sheila Humphries in 2009.

Day 151 – Saturday, 22 October 2022

We slept in this morning. Chiropractic adjustments always assist in a better sleep. When we opened our eyes we were amazed to see it was already 9:30am.

The temperature is 21 degrees and slightly humid as we had a shower of rain overnight and the clouds are still around. It is expected to reach 26 degrees before cooling down again. The swimming pool next door to the caravan park opened yesterday, and although I thought it too cold for swimming, it was amazing to hear the sounds of all the kids who disagreed.

We left Moora at 10:44 to return to Jingemia Cave and do the walk there. We passed one stumpy on the road and were very lucky to find a Golden Silk Orb-Weaver while walking the path at Jingemia.

The Golden Silk Orb-Weavers are noted for the impressive webs they weave. They are widespread in warmer regions throughout the world.

Spiderlings can be carried by the wind over long distances, and each year a small number of females are found in New Zealand where they are not a native species, having been blown across the Tasman Sea.

The spider is named for the yellow colour of the spider silk used in the construction of their webs. The threads shine like gold in the sunlight.

Experimental evidence suggests that the silk’s colour may serve a dual purpose: sunlit webs ensnare bees who are attracted to the bright yellow strands, and the yellow blends into background foliage and acts as camouflage.

Jingemia Cave is a distinctive natural feature in a band of low rocky hills that extend between Carnamah and Moora. The hills are outcroppings of chert and very old rock types that formed between 2.5 billion and 542 million years ago.

Known as Noondine Chert, this geological formation is significant in the region for having unique plants that only grow in association with chert.

The formation also influences an aquifer that supplies groundwater to local towns and is a source of mineral silica.

In 1912, West Australia Government geologist, Harry Woodward, explored the Noondine Hills as part of a state-wide geological survey. In his report he described ‘the striking spectacle’ of a sheer rock face 70 feet hugh, forming an amphitheatre pierced at its base by a large cavern called Jingemia, and Aboriginal name signifying ‘Devil’s Abode’.

Another cave about four and a half miles south, on land belonging to the Benedictines of New Norcia, had been called Devil’s Hole by Bishop Salvado.

Devil’s Hole, Jingemia Cave and the Noondine Hills are a ‘karst’ landform that contains an underground system of fractures and voids. These have formed where water has dissolved the softer rock.

Jingemia Cave was exposed when the roof of one of the voids collapsed.

Harry Woodward also found deposits of guano in Jingemia Cave which were subsequently mined for agricultural use.

The Jingemia Cave also has its own wattle, Acacia Aristulata.

On the way back to Moora, our shortest excursion in a long while at 102 kilometres, we passed by two farms on opposite sides of the road with diametrically opposed names: Happy Valley and Heartbreak Ridge.

Day 150 – Friday, 21 October 2022

This morning we took things slowly. I did some washing – towels and clothes -before we headed off to see the chiropractor. It has been about 10 weeks since out last adjustments, so we are both looking forward to enjoying more relaxed muscles.

Dr Janelle Anderson talked non-stop while she worked but did a good job on both of us. She has an interesting background before becoming a chiropractor, as she was an orthopaedic nurse for six years before starting her University Course for Chiropractic. She has now been in the business for fifteen years. She was born in Sale, Victoria.

After the visit, and $230 dollars later, we headed to the Bakery as we reckoned we had deserved a treat. Once back at the van I sat down and continued to compile all the information from the photos we had taken at New Norcia. It was all fascinating but will make for a very long read.

Whilst collecting my clothes from the laundry I met Laura and began a conversation with her about their caravan as it has a door on the left-hand side, which is not used, and the awning is on the right where there is another door which is used.

She explained that they had bought the caravan second-hand and originally it had been brought to Australia from the US by Jayco. She believes that they had to have a door put on the left-hand side to meet Australian regulations, but also said the door is kept locked and leads to the bunk area.

She and her husband sold everything and bought the van and are now on the road with their three children. Her husband has found some work here in Moora, so they have stayed longer than they normally do in the one area. They are originally from South Australia.

We have had quite a few arrivals during the day. The rodeo is on during the weekend as is the Speedway so a few more may arrive. Whilst compiling info I also made some more ice cubes, and all the washing is dry and has been put away.

Day 149 – Thursday, 20 October 2022

Russ is still doing really well and is not experiencing any problems with mouth, gum or teeth, so he is very happy.

Today, we went back to New Norcia, and yes, it did take a full day to see everything that was on offer. By the time I write up all the information that was captured in photographs I will have an extremely long entry for the day.

We started out of Moora at 9:50am and the temperature was sitting on 20 degrees. We went down the Bindoon Moora Road until we turned southeast at Gillingarra. We went past the turn off for New Norcia (NN) so that we could go to the Lookout first and get a good picture of the valley and how the buildings nestle among the trees.

When we got to NN we stopped first for a toilet break (drinking lots of water will do that to you) and then proceeded to the Museum and Art Gallery car park. Once we entered the building we paid $10 each as a concession price to get into the Museum proper. As per most places you have to transit the gift shop to get in and get out, and there were lots of goodies to look over. We did buy some of the Monastery’s bread on the way out, along with some soap and fruit cake.

There is just so much history surrounding NN and its community. I need to provide a brief background about Benedictines, although I am not sure that I can be brief about anything these days, lol.

The Benedictines are a religious order within the Catholic Church. They are the oldest of existing orders and today they number about 9,100 men and 8,900 women. They are active in most countries in the world.

Unlike Franciscans, Dominicans and Jesuits, whose structures are highly centralised, Benedictines live in communities that are autonomous and only loosely associate with one another.

In Australia there are three Benedictine, monasteries for men and three for women. NN is the only one in WA.

Benedictines seek to live a way of life established in Italy in the sixth century by St Benedict. As a young man he became disillusioned with the world and chose to live as a hermit in a cave in Subiaco, near Rome.

After this period of isolation, he set about developing a regular, disciplined and prayerful way of life for people seeking God in a community. In old age he wrote down his practical arrangements for the living of monastic life as a Rule or guidebook for his followers.

After his death, communities following his Rule sprang up all over Europe. The subsequent history of Benedictine monasticism is marked by many changes. However, the wise, gentle Rule of Benedict survived and is followed today at NN.

In January 1846, two Spanish Benedictine monks, Dom Rosendo Salvado and Dom Jose Benito Serra, arrived in Perth with a large party of Catholic missionaries under Perth’s first Bishop, Bishop John Brady.

The following month, guided by two Aboriginal trackers, the monks set out with their two companions into the bush where they lived a largely nomadic life until March 1847, when they established a permanent camp by the banks of the Moore River, 132 kilometres north of Perth.

At this place, which they named New Norcia after the birthplace of St Benedict, they laid the foundations of a Benedictine Monastery which was to become one of the largest Aborigine missions in Australia.

Dom Salvado aimed to establish his mission as a self-sufficient village community, based on agriculture. To this end, he encouraged the local Noongar people to live on their own country in Mission cottages. Their work involved clearing the land, shearing sheep, cooking, sowing and harvesting crops. Olive groves were established to supply oil for food, religious ceremonies, lighting and medicinal uses.

Salvado travelled to Europe several times recruiting people, as well as funds, artwork, books and new ideas which he brought back to the Mission. On the last of these trips the Bishop became ill and died in Rome on 29 December 1900. Three years later his body was brought back to NN where it was interred in the Abbey Church.

After his death both the function and focus of NN and the Mission shifted to education and the pastoral needs of the area, with the construction of two institutions – St Gertrude’s College (1908) for Girls taught by the Sister of St Joseph, and St Ildephonsus’ College (1913) for Boys alongside St Mary’s and St Joseph’s Orphanages for Aboriginal youth.

During this period Spanish woodcarver, Juan Casellas, was brought over to help Benedictine Father Lesmes Lopez in creating the fine woodwork which can be seen in the buildings to this day. By this time NN ecclesiastical territory had been extended to cover 78,000 square kilometres.

NN is the only monastic town in Australia. The township was designed reflecting the shape of a cross with the Monastery, Abbey Church. The

Statue of Salvado and the Cemetery along the central spine. Many of the buildings reflect Spanish architectural design.

Soon after arriving on the Victoria Palins in 1846, the first monks encountered the local Yued people. These people are the traditional inhabitants of land that stretches from Coorow in the north to Bindoon in the south, and from NN in the east to Yatheroo and Dandaragon in the west.

They are one of fourteen groups that make up the Noongar people. The monks and the Yued people got off to a good start. The Yued people helped the monks with their water needs and the monks shared their food and medical skills.

Salvado was intensely interested in the Yued people, their language, culture and demography, and he became their first recorder of these things.

He later wrote a book (in two parts) called Memorie Storiche dell’ Australia. In it he tells the story of the Mission’s first years of foundation and he describes the Yued people and their cultural practices, as well as the flora and fauna of the Victorian Plains district.

The book was published in Italian in 1851, and again in 1852, then in Spanish in 1853 and French in 1854. Engravings by a Roman artist, and based on the text ion the book, were first included in the Spanish edition.

The book’s popularity raised the profile of NN in Europe, especially among Catholics, and helped to attract financial, spiritual and emotional support for the Mission.

Rosendo Salvado believed that the best way to develop a mission was to found a community of monks. On his trips back to Europe he recruited vigorously and most successfully, especially in Spain. Times were turbulent and missionary work was considered a noble calling.

Unlike other Benedictine communities of the day, the monastic community at NN was overwhelmingly made up of lay brothers. In 1870 there were only five priests among seventy members.

This arrangement suited Salvado perfectly. For a new mission a large group of monk tradesmen provided a cheap, effective and highly motivated workforce. Also, because he valued work as a powerful civilising activity. A large body of monk tradesmen gave him the opportunity to establish a distinctive apprenticeship model of mission.

Under his leadership monastic life was demanding. Some men did not continue in the community, but the great majority stayed at NN for the remainder of their lives.

Wool production was the economic engine that underpinned the development of the NN Mission. Thanks to funds gathered in Europe, his own energy and shrewdness, and the hard work of his monks and the Aboriginal men of the mission, Salvado progressively built up a holding of pastoral leases which, at its height, totalled nearly one million acres and was running approximately 17,000 sheep.

This huge undertaking involved sinking wells, washing and shearing the sheep before baling the wool and transporting it to Perth where Salvado’s agent, George Shenton, sent it on to London for sale.

Salvado was proud to record the contribution of the Aboriginal men in the undertaking. Whereas European shearers could normally shear 25 sheep per day, Aboriginal shearers at NN, who were quicker and did not tie up their sheep to shear them, recorded scores of up to 80 and 100 sheep sheared per day.

In 1886 the statistics for the farm and garden at the home farm of freehold land, independent of pastural leases, were as follows: 150 cattle, 10 acres orchard, 15 acres vineyard producing 2,000 gallons of wine per year, 700 acres cleared, 400 acres cultivated and cropped for 200 acres wheat (10 bushels average), 72 acres barley (15 bushels average), 40 acres hay (1 ton average), and 3,000 bushels in store in the Flour Mill.

The stock also included 250 horses. Some were used on the monastery farm, but the majority were bred for sale to the British Army in India. Also, olive trees for oil were planted and bees for honey were introduced.

In an average year in the 1880s the produce from the farm was sufficient to keep a town community of 250 people. NN was known as the place of “plenty tucker”.

NN under Salvado grew into its most developed form, but below the surface there were considerable difficulties. With the town community of 250 people, he remained in a precarious financial position.

IN the 1880s he reduced the number of his pastoral leases, and in the 1890s he built 45 houses, many of them in Godrich Street in Perth, in an effort to make NN more secure.

ON a societal level, changes were occurring around him which altered the make-up of his mission. With the further dislocation of Aboriginal peoples and deaths among the Yued people, more families from other tribes moved into town.

Also, the number of children in the schools increased significantly. In 1885 there were 81 people living in the Mission cottages, and in 1900, of the 132 children in the schools, mostly had come from other places. At this time Salvado also agreed to accept juvenile defenders.

Over his 54 years at NN, Rosendo Salvado led an extraordinarily busy life. In addition to the day-to-day oversight of the Mission, he had to contend with a series of larger concerns.

In the earlier years of the Mission the population growth put pressure on him to recruit more monks, more fundraising, and to lease more land as well as increasing the income from wool production.

As the colony expanded Salvado became a leading advocate for the better treatment of Indigenous people. He also had to contend with the Midland Railway Company which acquired mush of his land and threatened the economic viability of the Mission.

Business and Church affairs meant he worked long hours and travelled often. As a major landholder of the local district, Salvado was a member of the Victoria Plains Road Board intermittently from its inception in 1871 through to 1899.

He travelled frequently to Perth on business with Government agencies, and he constantly offered hospitality to visitors of all degrees and denominations.

As a Bishop he was also involved in ecclesiastical affairs in both Perth and other parts of Australia. During his 54 years at NN he undertook five trips to Europe for reporting, recruiting and fundraising purposes.

Because of his range of interests and his affable personality he maintained a surprisingly extensive network of connections and friends. In terms of correspondence alone, the Salvado holdings in the NN Archives contain over 20,000 incoming letters.

He was 83 years old when he died in Rome. Typically, he was reporting to Church officials on the state of NN.

The Daily Timetable for the community of NN in 1883 is mind-boggling.

2:45am Wake up. The bell was rung 24 times.

3:00am Matins (vigils, a time for private prayer)

4:45am Meditation (Reflections)

5:00am Mass

After Mass the beds were made, and work started for the day. The boys helped in the field and the girls were busy with needle and appropriate activities before school.

7:00am Breakfast – a cup of tea and bread, no milk, no butter.

Prime (First hour of daylight) was after breakfast and said in Church


9:00am Terce – but for those far away, or whose work must not be suspended, they were exempt from attendance.

11:15am Sext, prefaced by a spiritual reading and concluded with an examination of conscience.

Noon – Lunch was provided after the Angelus. Throughout the mealtimes readings were given.

After Lunch it was off to Church where the five Psalms were recited. These are set down to honour the Holy Name of Mary.


2:00pm NONE – a fixed time of prayer which consists mainly of Psalms.

Work – until sunset

Vespers – evening prayers at sunset

Dinner consists of a cup of tea with bread. (I sure hope they had something filling to eat at lunchtime.)

Compline – Spiritual reading in the Church

8:00pm Bell rings to signify the end of the day and everyone goes to bed.

Salvado had a vision of an Aboriginal priesthood. When Dom Jose Serra went to Rome in 1848 he took with him a seven-year-old Aboriginal boy, Benedict Upumera, to complete his education in literature, science and art. The following year Aborigine boys, Conaci and Dirimera, asked to accompany Salvado to Rome.

The boys were presented to Pope Pius IX and the King and Queen of the two Sicilies, then went to La Cava dei Tirren for educational tuition. Both boys fell seriously ill in 1853. Conaci died in Rome, Dirimera returned to WA but died with his family present soon after arriving back at NN.

In September 2016 the Francis Xavier Conaci Scholarship for Indigenous Studies was launched at the Vatican Museums in Rome. The scholarship was an initiative of the Australian Catholic University (ACU) and supported by NN and the Australian Embassy to the Holy See, allowing for an annual recipient to complete a summer school at the ACU campus on the Janiculum (University campus) in Rome.

As with his approach to work practices SAlvado did not force Aboriginal people to become Catholic Christians. However, it was encouraged,

baptised married couples had the best chance of securing a cottage and employment at NN.

Typical of the era, the Catholicism that was practised had a strong devotional emphasis on Mary, the Mother of God.

Father Sandos Salvado was the second prior and Vicar General at NN. (I do not know if he was any relation to Rosando Salvado, but the chances are pretty high that he was.)

Several of the exhibitions in the Museum are pieces gifted to Sandos before he came to NN. The Longcase Clock was a gift to him from Queen Isabella II of Spain for NN. The clock was made by John Ellicott of London around 1760.

The Ornate Wall Mirror circa 19th century, was another item. On the paper in the back of the mirror is written – “the property of Sandos Salvado, chaplain to her Majesty Majesty the Queen of Spain, Isabella II, and he gives it to the Mission at NN.”

The Abbey Church building was located in the centre of the town, its physical position indicated the place religion occupied in the town’s life. During Salvado’s time, there was no separate chapel for the monks in the Monastery, and the church was used by the whole community.

NN has enjoyed a rich history of Aboriginal; musicians commencing with the Native Boys’ Choir in the early 1870s. This was followed later by a trained string orchestra of some 26 players, and finally a brass band of 25 performers. These three musical entities continued in full force until Bishop Salvado died in 1900, after which interest petered out.

At the beginning of March 1945, Abbot Catalan appointed Fr Eladio Ros, then the Director of the Aboriginal Boys’ Orphanage, to establish a Brass Band for the approaching centenary of the Mission in 1946.

Barely six months later the fledgling brass band gave a mini concert at the Orphanage. There was great surprise at the rapidity with which the boys had learnt the instruments.

At Christmas time of that year, the band, now consisting of 17 boys, put on a public performance at the Monastery gates for the people of the Mission. All listeners were lavish in their praise.

The centenary celebration took place in 1946 and the boys played on all three days, and along with the singing of the Boys’ Choir, were considered the outstanding features of the celebrations.

Subsequently, the Brass Band became famous outside the Mission and throughout the Victoria Plains, thereby giving great prestige to NN as a musical centre, and to the Aboriginal boys as wonderful players.

The Bras Band continued for a further six years until Fr Ros left the Orphanage, but finally ceased when the boys themselves left the Mission.

During the preparations for the celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Salvado, the New Norcia Aboriginal Corporation issued a very interesting statement.

They extended their congratulations to the Benedictine Community and then said, “The establishment of the Aborigine Mission at NN had a profound effect on the lives of the local Aboriginal people, the Yued people of the Noongar nation. This coincided with much upheaval for the Noongar people who bore the brunt of the early British colony in WA.

We consider that Bishop Salvado was a friend of the Yued people. Bishop Salvado gained the trust of the Yued people who helped him and his fellow missioneries survive in the bush, and to establish the mission at NN.

Bishop Salvado had a deep interest and respect for Aborigine people in which he recorded the local Noongar language, culture and customs. These records have provided important historical information about Noongar people, including being used to support the Noongar native title claim.

In the spirit of Reconciliation, we look forward to participating in events commemorating Bishop Salvado’s life and his legacy.”

The Old Police Station was built in 1860 as the station, quarters and lock-up for the Town until 1900. It then became a residence for farm employees, including the Thompson family who called it home for forty years, and the Kelly family for thirty years. (It was definitely built for people of small stature.)

The thick stone walls are built in mud mortar, finished inside with mud and straw plaster, and lime washed. The window frames are exposed on the outer face of the walls and surrounded by whitewashed box dressings. The steeply pitched roof was originally covered in timber shingles, which are still under the corrugated iron. The building is still in use as a residence.

The first Flour Mill was built in the 1850s and was operated by horsepower. During its period of operation, the Mill was surrounded by shearing sheds, stables, workshops and storehouses. It is one of the oldest surviving buildings in NN (and I forgot to take a photo of it after getting all that information).

I have lots more to write about the time at New Norcia, but I will stretch it out in coming instalments as otherwise everyone will be brain dead, if you are not already after all that.

It was just such a fascinating place to visit. Further information deals with the history (in brief!!!) after Bishop Salvado, and where the community stands today, along with an amazing insight into the works of Albert Namatjira and his sons and grandchildren. There is an exhibition on their works in the Museum.

I will also touch on the theft of priceless paintings that took place in the Museum in the late 1970s. and also write about the work done in the Girl’s Orphanage.

Whilst I love this sort of history (especially as it is not touched upon in Australian History as taught in schools – even Catholic ones). I will not be offended by anyone who chooses not to read about the visit. In my mind, it is your loss.

After the trip to the Museum, we went back to the carpark and had our lunch. We even sampled some of the fresh fruit and nut bread that we had bought in the gift shop.

As we were almost through looking at all the buildings Russ met a fellow GeoCacher while I was taking pictures. He and ShandyGnome (user ID) chatted about some of the caches they had found, and Russ introduced her to Travel Caches and explained how they operated.

The peculiar name for the day comes from Batty Bog Road. To be totally ridiculous, I wonder what made the bog batty.

Russ ventured onto a side road – as is his want – which turned out to be a waste of fifteen minutes as it dead-ended at a farm gate. There was no sign indicating it was a No Through Road.

It also turns out that we travelled the rest of the way on the highway in 4WD high mode because he forgot to put it back when we left the laneway.

While Russ was sleeping Janelle rang so I went outside to the picnic table and chairs area so we could have a lovely chat and a catchup.

We went out to tea at one of the hotels and the meal was lovely. It was a touch above normal pub fare, and the price was very reasonable.

Day 148 – Wednesday, 19 October 2022

Russ had a good night’s sleep and said he felt really good this morning and there was no pain unless he forgot and touched his face or tried to chew on the wrong side.

So, we left Moora at 9:40am with the temperature already sitting on 27 degrees. It got to 31 degrees at 11:30am and then hit a high of 37 degrees at 12:40pm before it started to cool down again.

We decided to do the Wildflower Drive around the area because it is so warm, and we were not expecting to see many flowers that we had not already photographed in this area.

The drive was pleasant and air conditioning is marvellous. Russ ran over a snake on the gravel road as he didn’t see it in time to swerve.

We stopped for lunch at Jingemia Cave but didn’t do the walk to the cave itself because it would have been too long in the heat. On the way to the toilet, I stopped when I spotted a flash of red in a flower, and as I moved closer for a better look I scared the daylights out of myself. I spotted a large Stumpy-tail lizard sitting underneath the bush proper.

And have you noticed how like a snakeskin is a dead Hakea seed pod lying on the ground? And yes, I was wearing my gaiters!

Hornet clocked over the 103,000-kilometre mark during the drive back to Moora. Russ took as many gravel roads as he could find so when we got back to Moora we had completed a loop of 212 kilometres.

We printed the diary last night and posted the letters this morning before we headed out.

And for those who are interested my photo will be digitally featured in London at the exhibition in December.

Day 147 – Tuesday, 18 October 2022

Russ had a restful night’s sleep and was surprised to feel quite well when he woke up this morning with little pain. He faithfully stuck with fluids only until after lunch and has used the saltwater mouthwash.

Not expecting him to be feeling very well at all, we had planned on a quiet day in the caravan, and I could catch up on things like cooking.

We stuck with the plan, and I did a load of washing. While that was going through the motions we emptied the cassette down at the dump point and then headed to Foodworks for a couple of items. I find it hard to believe but Foodworks is more expensive than IGA.

When we got back I hung the clothes on the line and began preparations for cooking. I decided that rissoles were fairly soft in the mouth but nutritious and satisfying, and also cooked a large pan of spaghetti casserole. These are both foods that Russ enjoys.

Yesterday Russ went into the Mitre-10 and bought a connection for the gas bottle to the camping stove. He removed the big gas bottle from the front of the van, and it is now beside the table where the stove is situated, so I did not have to cook in the van other than to turn on the oven for the spaghetti.

I also made more ice cubes in the machine because the next couple of days are expected to be low thirties and high twenties. They will work well in our cold water.

I have re-sized a hefty batch of photos and Russ will put them up onto the website later and I have spent time typing the entries into the computer for the diary.

If I get all that finished there are still some photos waiting to have their identification confirmed.

Day 146 – Monday, 17 October 2022

So, the idea today was to travel a loop out east to Wongan Hills before turning south and visiting New Norcia. However, a couple of days ago Russ lost a filling – the third one from the same tooth, which was due to be removed when we got back to Mildura.

The edges left behind when the filling fell out are sharp and are causing some laceration to his tongue. Russ decided that it would be a good idea to see if he could get an appointment to see the dentist while we are in Moora.

We had showers and got our lunch things together and headed out. We visited the chemist as planned, but John was on leave which was a bonus as far as I was concerned.

Natalie was the locum while John is away and soon had everything in ship-shape fashion. She needed to ask our Medicare number and address, two things that John did not ask for at all. She also explained that no Prescription Record Form was possible for that script as the item is not on the PBS. How simple was that? Rowena now has her script available to her when she next needs it, and Russ has his things up to date.

From the chemist we crossed the road back to the car and we saw what would be one of the prettiest flowers on a tree ever. There were a series of them on the middle nature strip so I took a shot with the phone and queried Plant ID to find that it is an ornamental tree from the Asian area which does very well in many other places. It is a Bauhinia Variegata and its common names are Mt Ebony or Orchid Tree. I have included the photo for you to see it.

From here we went to re-fuel only to discover that the price has risen by another 10 cents since the other day. We did re-fuel as it was probably not going to be any different in the direction we were taking.

We turned east towards Walebing on the Midlands Road before turning south for a short period on the Great Northern Highway. We then turned east once more on the Waddington-Wongan Hills Road until we came to O’Brien’s Lookout, a few kilometres before the township of Wongan Hills.

And as per usual, the King of all Tinpots (and long may it stay that way) pulled over on the road leading to the lookout as we saw some flashes of colour. I was expecting to find much the same flowers as we had already found in the area around Moora, but I was in for a wonderful surprise.

One of the flowers at the side of the road was a Dryandra Couch Honeypot. I had not expected to find one, so I was a very happy photographer. We also found a few other new flowers that are yet to have their identities confirmed.

While I was out hunting flowers Russ took the opportunity of the Telstra tower nearby and rang the dentist. He spoke with Rita at reception, and she fitted him in at 2:40pm in the afternoon. This meant that we could not spend as much time as we usually would have done.

The weather for the day could not make up its mind what it was supposed to do. One minute it was overcast with a very fine mizzle, and the next minute the sun came out to shine and it got warm. The breeze kept the temperature from being too hot. It hovered around the 20-degree mark.

The views when we got to the top of the Lookout were well worth the effort, but I would not have liked to try and make the trip without 4WD traction. Some parts of it were very steep with a lot of gravel.

We left the lookout and headed towards Wongan Hills. At the time of the 2016 Census there were 898 people in Wongan Hills, of which 53% were males and 47% females. The median age of people there was 39 years.

The history of Wongan Hills is laid out around the sides of the Mt O’Brien Lookout, and it is a snapshot of many Australian towns.

The range of hills known as the Wongan Hills includes Mt O’Brien, Mt Matilda and Mt Rupert. The O’Brien’s Lookout, constructed to mark the Centenary of Federation, is the second highest point in the Wongan Hills at 424 metres above sea level.

Mt O’Brien is named after the family of the same name who were the original leaseholders of the land, and who farmed in the gap between the hills. Large Salmon gums in the northwest of the lookout mark their old homestead.

Mt Matilda to the north is 434 metres and is the highest point in the Wongan Hills. Surveyor John Septimus Roe named Mt Matilda in 1836 after his wife (was she a mountain of a woman?).

At the top of Mt Matilda is a walking trail with scenic views leading to the Speaker’s Chair, named after the Hon T F Quinlan – Speaker of the House of Assembly – who stood on the spot in 1908 looking for an area for the proposed extension of the railway north of Goomalling.

Ninety-three years later to the day on 7 July 2001 the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Hon Fred Reibling, opened the Mt Matilda Walking Trail.

The far north of the hills is Mt Rupert at 419 metres, which was named after the son of the Hon Charles Sommers MLC – the first person to take up freehold land in the Hills.

The town of Wongan Hills takes it name from the Aborigines as Wongan Katta – the talking or whispering hills for the sound of the wind in the gaps.

The Shire of Wongan is an area of great rural production, especially with regard to cereal crops. The land through out the region is productive and in recent years has seen some diversification from wheat varieties to legumes. The four main crops include Canola, Barley, Lupins and wheat varieties.

For the statistically minded here are some points of interest:

150 loaves of bread from 66 kilograms of flour, 15 bags of flour to one tonne of wheat, 2,250 loaves of bread from one tonne of wheat, which means: 832.853 tonnes of wheat will produce one billion, 686 million, 527 thousand, 325 loaves of bread!

Co-operative Bulk Handling Ltd (CBH) who commenced receiving bulk grain in 1933 handles all of the grains in the Wongan Hills area. At harvest time CBH receives the grain into harvest receival bins until it can be moved to port and then shipped overseas to the export markets. There are two huge receival bins at Wongan Hills.

The Hancey’s were part of the great wave of settlers who came to the country around Wongan Hills between 1905 and 1912. They selected 1,500 acres along the western foot of the hills. The land was dominated by salmon gum and gimlet, knowing these trees grew on good red soil. By 1911 it was said that the only land not taken up was sandplain and scrub country.

1911 also brought about the arrival of the railway line from Perth, via Northam and Goomalling. Despite scanty rain – only seven inches – during the growing season the benefits brought by the railway outweighed the poor crop. However, in 1914 a drought brought only 4 inches of rain which caused ‘much distress’ among local farmers.

The township developed rapidly after the railway arrived and, in 1913 a school opened. A year later the State Hotel was built, and by 1920, after World War 1, the population of the district stood at 659 people.

During the 1920s and 30s the mechanisation of farming was introduced. Practices changed for the better with many adopting a three-year rotational plan – fallow, crop, pasture. This allowed the introduction of sheep, and wool and mutton augmented wheat as the major commodities. By the late 1920s the population had reached 2,000 people, but hard times were just around the corner.

The Great Depression 1929-32 brought considerable distress to both farmers and town folk. Many properties were abandoned. A shortage of water and a flood of dingoes, rabbits and emus caused further difficulties.

The economic tide had turned somewhat by the mid-1930s, and celebrations were held to mark the centenary of the discovery of Wongan Hills by John Septimus Roe.

The end of the decade brought a return to gloom with poor rains and the beginnings of World War 2. The war stretched across the first five years of the period between 1940 and 1960. Petrol rationing made farming so difficult, and it ended in October of 1946.

Around that time war surplus machinery started to filter out into the agricultural regions, and purpose-built machines began to benefit from war-driven engineering advances.

Throughout the 1940s and 1950s water shortages were an ongoing issue. In 1943 the Wongan Hills town dam was ‘dangerously low’, while in 1946 many were carting water into the district.

In 1951 rationing of water became necessary, and household washing was taken out to the farms to be done. Finally, a large dam was constructed, and the town supply was reticulated to all houses.

Around this time stock saleyards were constructed on the edge of town, which reflected a growing pattern of integrating sheep into a primarily grain producing district. Wool prices boomed Australia-wide in the 1950s and many farmers ‘rode on the sheep’s back’ to a new level of prosperity.

By the end of the 1950s the junior high school was extended, and a new hospital and nurse’s quarters had been secured.

The advent of machinery was the lead story in the 1960 to 1980 period of Wongan Hills’ history. It contributed to rapid change in farming as new herbicides were released and spraying became widespread. New crops, such as lupins and canola, offered alternatives to wheat.

Farmers changed from using bags to bulk handling of everything. Wool prices continued to do well in the 1960s. Agriculture was in good shape when the 1970s arrived, but more change was ahead.

The election of the Federal Government in 1972 (Gough Whitlam) saw a range of agricultural support mechanisms removed, and the wool market

declined steadily. A ‘big-dry’ was widespread and disease decimated the emerging canola industry.

Modern facilities had come to town in the late 1960s. A new railway station, Shire Chambers, Civic Centre, Bowling Club and swimming pool were constructed, and an ABC transmitter was built on Mt O’Brien.

In the 1980s huge self-propelled machines prowled ever larger paddocks like giant alien praying mantises. The array of chemicals available to farmers increased at a bewildering pace and the buzzwords were ‘precision farming’.

Wongan Hills was a major retail centre for farming equipment with three large dealerships in operation. It is thought that more equipment was sold in Wongan Hills than in any other single town in WA. Servicing all the new and massive machinery generated huge and highly skilled businesses.

Salinity became a spiralling problem and tree planting, and re-vegetation programs, began in earnest. Then, in the 1990s the hay and straw business suddenly expanded, offering another option for land users focussed on cropping.

Dramatic changes in the farming world flowed on into the broader community. Not all consequences were positive ones. Farms doubled in size from amalgamations and economies of scale and, as a result, the population fell as farm workers were not required.

However, in the late 1990s tourism began to bring visitors back to the district which sparked something of a revival. By the year 2000 the population decline has stopped, and the future was viewed with renewed confidence.

From Wongan Hills we turned south until we came to Catabody Road and turned onto the Bindi Bindi-Toodyay Road heading west towards New Norcia. (I won’t even begin to try and tell you how to pronounce Toodyay but let me tell you it sounds nothing like it is spelt!)

We crossed a road named Behanging Road. I would dearly love to know the history behind that one.

Finally, we turned back onto the Great Northern Highway a short distance before New Norcia, which would have to be a very hurried stay if we were to return to Moora in time to see the dentist.

When we arrived there Russ commented that he hadn’t remembered how really big the place was from last time we had a short stop here on the bus trip. He immediately said it would take a full day to do the place justice, to which I could heartily agree.

We had lunch in the car park at New Norcia before heading north to Moora.

The dentist, Dr Faisal, was the nicest and gentlest man I have met for a long time. The biggest compliment I could give him was to say he was in the same category as Dr Wong who removed my wisdom teeth. He was a gem of a man.

Dr Faisal explained everything that would happen for the procedure as he went along. He explained to me, well out of Russell’s hearing due to his anxiety, that he expected some swelling and possible bruising over the next few days, but it was not something he should be unduly worried about as long as there was no infection.

To that problem he supplied a script for a slow-release pain medication, and some antibiotics. Russ has had to have stitches in his gum as Dr Faisal had to cut deep to get the whole root out, and it had to be done in pieces.

Thank heavens we have dental health insurance. It still cost us $342 in out-of-pocket expense, but that was a whole lot better than the grand total of $806 without health insurance.

Back to the chemist we went, and Russ stayed in the car with his numb mouth, and I took his scripts to Natalie for dispensing. Russ is only allowed cold liquid type foods tonight, so I see him having yoghurt and ice-cream before washing his mouth out with cold salty water.

Day 145 – Sunday, 16 October 2022

We had a good night’s sleep, especially as the weather has not been as cold in the early hours of the morning like the last few days.

We had a lazy morning but did a few chores. A load of washing (the machine is still working) and Russ cleaned out the interior of the car before cleaning the ensuite. We also emptied the cassette.

I concentrated on putting into the computer the recent entries in the diary, and I didn’t realise it would take me as long as it actually ended up doing.

Most of the caravan site occupiers left during the morning but it didn’t take too long before the sites filled up again.

The day has been a lovely sunny one with the temperature in the low twenties, but the wind chill factor has come into play. At times the wind is gusting which makes it a bit uncomfortable