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Peter & Joan's Adventures
17th Apr 2018 - 22nd Apr 2018 - Adventure before Dementia Tour
Young, Cowra and Canowindra

We started this week in Young. We were marking time till Thursday when we were due in Canowindra, our first foray into event volunteering. Canowindra (pronounced Kan-nown-dra) is host to an international ballon challenge each April. We did not know what to expect but we had volunteered to help out at the 10 day event for the experience, to try something different and obviuosly a great  opportunity for some colourful balloon photos.  Also thought we might be lucky enough to go flying. 

Monday, in Young, was a quiet day. Booked the car in for some new tyres in the morning and potted around the van in the afternoon. Tuesday we were a bit more energetic and tackled the Young Heritage Walk around Lambing Flat, now known as Young. It was an educational and interesting two hour stroll. There is a lot more to Young than our first impressions. In addition to viewing some elegant buildings and their associated history, the story of the gold rush, the civil unrest towards the Chinese by the miners, the reading of ‘The Riot Act’ and the ensuing encounter between miners and police in 1861. Later that afternoon we went for a drive out of town and come across the little village of Wombat. Nothing special nor memorable at Wombat except for a small bronze wombat statue. 

Wednesday morning we returned to the historic district and spent a couple of hours viewing and digesting all the artefacts at the Lambing Flat Folk Museum, located in the 1883 School building. A lot of pioneering Australianna but the main display was dedicated to the 1861 riots, including the original ‘Roll Up’ flag carried by the rioting miners.

Thursday we broke camp and made our way to Canowindra, calling into Cowra along the way for lunch and to spend time at the Japanese Gardens and visit the Cowra Peace Precinct, location of the WWII Interment and P.O.W. camp and site of the August 1944 ‘breakout’, resulting in over 230 Japanese being killed, suiciding or dying from wounds received. Four Australian soldiers also lost their lives during the escape and the ensuing round up of escaped prisoners. Mid afternoon we arrived at the Canowindra showgrounds and secured our site in the volunteer’s section. We were excited, late Thursday afternoon, when a balloon was inflated just behind our van and disappeared into the late afternoon sun. Friday we learnt that the competition didn’t start till Monday but the next three days would be practice days and we would have the opportunity to see a number of balloons being inflated, flying and practising allotted tasks. We took this time to meet and get to know our fellow volunteers. The organisers called upon us to assist with odd jobs and Joan received systems training in the office. Late Sunday afternoon a volunteers meeting (there was now a group of about 50 off) was held and the various jobs on offer were explained. We ended up with a variety of jobs. Joan selected certain shifts in the office and we were both allotted to target teams and balloon crews.

Looking forward to the week ahead. Sure we will be a lot wiser and balloon smart by the end of the week.

Next: Canowindra International Balloon Challenge
Previous: A week of history and a country show

Diary Photos

Court House, Young, now assembly hall for local high school

The Riot Act, Young

The infomous Wombat Statue.

‘Roll Up, No Chinese’ flag, Young

Zen Garden, Japanese Gardens, Cowra

Waterfall, Japanese Gardens, Cowra from Tea House

Japanese Gardens, Cowra from the lookout

Guard Tower, Cowra P.O.W Camp, Cowra

Cowra Breakout monument

Peace Park, Cowra

Balloon setting off from the Showgrounds, Canowindra. Our van in foreground

Historic Main Street, Canowindra

Frog Balloon, Canowindra

Balloons ready to fly, Canowindra

Balloons taking off, Canowindra

Inflating a balloon.

Balloon in flight

5:30am Pilot briefing and task allocation

Balloons preparing for flight

Balloon event under way.

Balloons in the air over Canowindra

Challenge officials measuring distance from target

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