Thursday - in and out of Gaol

Gaol photograph

Mac at Old Dubbo Gaol

Drop Cap free morning in Dubbo! What to do, what to do? Actually, there is quite a lot to do if one had a car, but having walked (15 minutes) to the station to check our bags we didn't feel like too much walking. Our train was due at 2.10 pm, so we walked off to view Old Dubbo Gaol.

Prisoner graphic

Drop Cap his is a tourist attraction, complete with animated figures telling their stories and a fully authentic gallows with full set of ropes and hangman's hoods etc. Rather gruesome. The Gaol closed in 1966 but had been used for a very long time. One of the last hangings was that of one of the Governor brothers, the Aboriginal murderers Tom Kenneally wrote about in "The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith".
The Gaol had quite a lot to offer on the whole, but seemed very small, a bijou dungeonette.

Drop Cap fter this we strolled up the main drag to a modern shopping mall which had all the shops which most malls have, and we had a full meal for lunch, remembering the food on the XPT. Mac had roast lamb and vegs and I had chicken and mushroom crepe, both very nice.

Gaol photograph

Old Dubbo Gaol

Drop Cap e strolled back towards the station but still had three quarters of an hour so found a bench in the park opposite to wait for the train. While we were there we heard an announcement from the station that the XPT had been terminated in Wellington, 50 k down the track. Nobody seemed to know why. They had arranged for coaches to take the waiting passengers (and the service seems quite well used) to Wellington to pick it up. Not very comfortable!

Gallows photograph

Gallows at ODG

Drop Cap e boarded the XPT in Wellington and found conditions had, if anything, deteriorated in First Class. As Mac remarked, if Economy class is worse than this, Countrylink should give the game away. The train hostess looked as if she had been pickled in lemon juice, offhand to say the least, the train announcer sounded as if he had his mouth full most of the time and the meal service left a lot to be desired. I was a bit concerned that we would miss our connecting train at Katoomba because it was difficult to know if we were on time or not. However, when we reached Lithgow there was a train in the station there which was obviously held back to let us go first. So we reached Katoomba with five minutes to spare instead of half an hour, but that was all to the good on the whole.

Drop Cap o we reached home again about 8.45. It was a very interesting and pleasant break for three days. Something different. I would not mind doing it again and Geoff would love the opportunity to take his cameras so close to the animals. My little point and click is not really suitable for closeups. But we would not travel by Countrylink again, not into the Central West at anyrate. Maybe the Canberra or North Coast or Melbourne routes have more prestige and better equipment. Maybe not too. But the Zoofari was, we felt, very good value, and we enjoyed it immensely.

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