Saturday, September 10, 2016


Sunday Steam

I just love steam engines, so when I heard that the Canberra Railway Museum was running trains to Bungendore over the Fathers' Day weekend I organized the Oldies into doing one of the trips. Originally the engine was going to be a big 60 class Bayer-Garrett, the last operating one of its type in Australia. Bayer-Garretts were the largest engines in the southern hemisphere. I always wanted to see one of these huge articulated engines up close, but it was not to be. The Garrett had mechanical troubles and was replaced by a smaller 30 class. Still, it was live steam and the crew were happy to let this small bear see everything, even in the driver's area. At Bungendore the engine was uncoupled and switched to the other end of the train; it ran backwards on the way back to Canberra. The track from Canberra has a steep section through Molonglo Gorge. We have had lots of rain and the views down the gorge were impressive, with lots of rapids and fast flowing river and creeks. Actually, because the demand was so great and there were so many carriages, there was a diesel engine attached to give extra power for the trip through the gorge. Maybe next time I will get to see the Garrett.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2016


Lone Pine Koala Cruise

During our last visit to Brisbane we did a special river cruise. Fifty years ago, when Mum was a little girl, her parents took her to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and she cuddled a koala for the first time. Readers of my blog know that she has cuddled lots of them since then (search koala). Anyhow, it seemed like an anniversary that we should celebrate, so Dad and I shouted her the trip. It is a beautiful cruise up the Brisbane river to the sanctuary, lots to see, interesting commentary about the history of the river, and a great crew. The steep path from the jetty to the sanctuary entrance really tested the Oldies fitness, but they managed it. So here's Mum, 50 years on, cuddling an absolutely huge koala (not the one from 50 years ago). As most of the koalas are much bigger than me, I just talked to them whenever I could find one that was actually awake. Koalas sleep for over half the day and eat for most of the rest of it. Lone Pine was founded in 1927 and is the world's first koala sanctuary. Do visit it if you are looking for something to do when you are in Brisbane.

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