Eppur si muove

Things I Think About, by Peter Bowditch

A fun day out

Today’s plan was to go to Milthorpe for lunch. Google Maps through Firefox suggested three routes to get there from Oberon –

O’Connell, Kelso. Bathurst, Milthorpe
O’Connell, Lagoon, Bathurst, Milthorpe.
O’Connell, Lagoon, Bathurst, Blayney, Milthorpe.

Google’s map app on my tablet (presumably using the same geographical information) suggested:

O’Connell, Kelso. Bathurst, Milthorpe
O’Connell, Lagoon, Bathurst, Milthorpe.
O’Connell, Lagoon, Perthville, Wimbledon, Blayney, Milthorpe.

The last one of these looked the most interesting, so off we went. Then I found that the GPS had a different idea, because when I drove through O’Connell it was telling me that the next thing was to turn left in 20-odd km at Kelso. Unfortunately there are two roads off to the left from O’Connell (both with signposts pointing to Lagoon). Almost as soon as I took the WRONG ONE, the GPS lady said “Route recalculation” and told me to carry on. When she told me to turn right into Sewells Creek Road to Rockley I knew that this was not where I wanted or needed to be. As doing anything else meant driving all the way back to O’Connell I decided to keep going.

From the air the 21km of Sewells Creek Road looks like the world’s most perfect dirt road for fun and spirited driving. It has both tight and fast corners, long uphill and downhill straights, tricky bits and bits where you run out of revs in top gear. In reality, I estimate that there might be as much as 200 metres of the road that isn’t fiercely corrugated, with that spread out evenly over the 21Km. This meant that by about one kilometre in I had no effective rear shock absorbers. For those who haven’t experienced shock fade, it means that when you touch the brakes on the corrugations the car goes to wherever it wants to go and you had better be ready to keep up. It was a slow trip (sometimes using what is known as “low range 2WD”) and required more concentration than a Vegemite production line. I received a very baleful look from a couple of Herefords, but they got a good barking at by Cody TRHD and didn’t attack.

In the middle of Rockley there is a sign pointing to Trunkey, 24km away, but Ms GPS said no, and took me north to Perthville and south again so that I covered about 50km before I came to an intersection with a sign that said “Rockley 28km”. At least it took me to Blayney from there without any problem.

Because of the going the wrong way and the excruciatingly slow drive to Rockley (where I didn’t want to go to anyway), it was now well past lunch time. People with T2 diabetes don’t often hypo, but if we go without food for too long body chemistry can get itself confused and cause the liver to dump glucose. The feeling is nasty, but survivable, and is best avoided. “It’s OK” I said, “I will get something to eat in Blayney, there is a good fish’n’chip shop there”. Except that the only place open selling food in Blayney was the Chinese restaurant. This is an excellent Chinese place and people drive from Cowra and Bathurst to dine there, but it’s not the sort of thing you eat in the car and I couldn’t dine in because of the “ten minute maximum dog in the car even with all the windows open” rule.

(I suppose I could have bought a pie at the service station, but Mrs Mac’s are still clearing out the warehouse left over from the 1998 overproduction disaster and the name “Four & Twenty” refers to the fact that those pies are only baked on the fourth and twentieth of each month and kept warm for all the other days.)

So, on to Milthorpe. I must be thinking of another small town out that way because Milthorpe was nothing like the pleasant small country village I remembered. If you know the Blue Mountains all I have to say is “Leura”. The tourist gouge of a traditional country town as imagined by someone who lives at King St Wharf and shops online for organic kale and free-range asparagus tips.

Which is how I ended up eating KFC in a park in Bathurst.


Speaking of eating KFC in Bathurst, I remember the day I bought KFC in Bathurst, put the box on top of the car and drove off, spreading chicken and chips all over the road outside. Shortly afterwards I bought a coffee at the Bathurst Information Centre, put it on the roof and drove off, spreading flat white all over my car windows.

I bought KFC again today. I was expecting to get two boxes (because I had ordered two meals) but it all came in one large box, so I put everything on the bonnet of the car while I checked. The box had what I had ordered, so I drove to the Information Centre to eat in the little park opposite.

Then I noticed I didn’t have my wallet.

I am not bothering to buy a Lotto ticket today because I’ve used up all my good luck for the day.

You can follow me on Twitter here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *