Trip Start Sep 16, 2013
Trip End Nov 26, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , Australian Capital Territory,
Friday, November 8, 2013

Canberra, ACT, 8-16 November 2013:  My train journey from Sydney was comfortable and uneventful. En route I again saw the damage done by recent bush fires. I arrived at Canberra's newly refurbished station in pouring rain [3 welcome inches fell over the weekend] and Steve's son Michael was waiting for me. In the 5 weeks I had been away The Farm had bloomed and gained a couple of newcomers.  One was a beautiful male foal [which I didn't photograph due to the mare's nervous condition] and a 96kgs bull mastiff guard dog named "Tozer".  Although he looks formidable, eats a great deal, sleeps a lot he is absolutely useless as a guard dog as he doesn't bark.  The test of course is how he would react to an intruder?  It all depends whether he is awake and paying attention. But I reckon his days are numbered and he must return to the dog school.  I again did lots of cycling in particular around the beautiful Lake Burley Griffin the  focal point of Canberra.  Dams were built, completed and finally locked in September 1963 trapping several small rivers.  But because of the drought the water didn't reach its planned level until May 1964.  Today, following years of careful management the lake is a beautiful setting for a lovely city being just less than 7 miles long and on average 3/4 of a mile wide. There are no private or commercial buildings on its edge. On one such ride I  continued onto the Australian National War memorial for a lengthy visit.  Returning via Capital Hill and the new Parliament building I reckoned I had done my bit for tourism;  It was hot and dusty and I had cycled about10-12 miles. My only other excursion was to visit the small village of Collector, NSW and the property on which my wife's family lived including the school and local pub. Finally, we had a BBQ with a farmer who had been to school with Kathie, Judy and Steve and still lives on the same large property raising cattle and sheep. He and a neighbour, also at the BBQ, visited us in London around 25 years ago.  They are still talking about the visit as it was the first and last time either had been on an aircraft and out of Australia. But time was slipping by and on my final afternoon I was the guest of Greek builder and developer who arrived in Canberra in 1955 with the clothes he stood up in and not knowing a word of English. He first worked washing up at Canberra Hospital, then at a Canberra Hotel while taking English at night school.  As time went by he became a building labourer on sites around the city.  He proudly showed me his farm with 18,000 olive trees and 2,000 fruit trees. He owns private and commercial properties all over Australia and Greece. Lucky Australia, if you work hard then you will succeed. It's time to go, next stop Los Angeles!  Love, Gordon
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ken rogers on

Hi Gordon,
So its goodbye to Oz !!!!!. Seems to me you have had a ball there & so pleased you had a long stay to see so many wonderful things.
Longing to hear all about it upon your return from your world trip.
All the best love from Ken & Jean Thanks for your cards.

mike Naylor on

I shall miss the history of Oz lessons, and the tales of family roots. I particularly took to Tozer, who bears a passing resemblance to the Polytechnic 7th team centre half last saturday. Look forward to more traveller's' tales from the 2nd world.Mike

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