And by the weekend, I mean the weekend spent in Parkes from Friday March 16 to Sunday March 18. So here goes.
And so after a hilarious time in Mudgee, I think one of the first times me and Dorothy both lost it laughing during a performance (it seemed that everytime Dorothy clapped her hands, this poor little boy had his head in between them...yet he kept coming back for more), we drove onto Dubbo and then onto Parkes. The appearance in Parkes on the Friday (so techincally WTD 14) was won by a radio competition and had the largest turn out to date by far. There were over 100 people including the local radio station and they were so excited by our impending visit that the pre-school had arranged many things for us to do - but outdoors. Now when it is 38 degrees plus in the shade and you are doing a lot of singing, dancing and hi-N-R-G stuff (with one of you in a suit), the outdoors proves to be a problem. So to be told that this was impossible wasn't met too well by some staff. This on top of the fact that the photographer was in a rush and the CD player deciding to cark it in the middle of the performance did little to ease the minds of the powers that be. And we were crammed into a tiny room that barely accomodated the public, let alone a huge dinosaur. So improptu it was with me doing lots of hand clapping and Dorothy inventing some new moves until the CD player was switched and the show could go on.
As a lovely area had been organised outside for photographs, we couldn't really deny them this, so out we went. And out we stayed. Trying to get staff and parents to put down their cameras in order to help me control 100 kids was as likely as hell freezing over under such weather conditions - until I put blank made a very direct comment along the lines of "I am going to have to get physical if I don't get some help now." The photographer the whole time being in a rush, whispered to us that he used to dress up as a koala and only knew our feelings too well.
After wrapping it up, Megs and I headed to our hotel room to spend a weekend in....Parkes. Where? Exactly. Although, it was only an hour past Dubbo, home of the Western Plains Zoo. That and a huge radio telescope dish made famous in the movie "The Dish", 15 km north of Parkes.
We felt our beers that night were well deserved. Until the local bar tender recognised us from earlier that day and everyone in the pub suddenly became aware of us. Enter 2 brothers from QLD, on a family holiday making their way down to Melbourne for the Avalon Airshow. Brother #1 was only a week into being 18 and at that age where the world was against him, including his parents for dragging him on such a "ridiculously, boring" holiday. Brother #2 was all for the airshow but turned out to be just as big a twit when he decided to hide Meg's cigarettes and start lecturing on the dangers of smoking. He was not impressed when Bro #1 let slip he was married with baby #1 on the way, so we let fly with our lecture on married men trying to pick up on the sly. While craning our necks in search of better conversation, Megs accidentally caught the eye of an Over 50 who thought she wanted a piece of him (which lead to brother #1 yeling out "What's she trying it on him for? He's old") until a man by the name of Pete stepped in and not only saved Meg from the clutches of old men, but provided the conversation we were after.
Saturday we set out to the zoo. Bitterly disappointing. After meany roadtrips that have seen me simply pass through Dubbo and left me wanting for a visit to the zoo, here was my chance and to be blunt, it sucked. The woman at the entry gate had her facts wrong and informed us we only had 90 minutes at most to drive our car through the premises and the setting was not natural at all. The only entertaining part was seeing the Galapagos Turtles trying to mate. It began with the 2 males of the enclosure rubbing necks in an assertion of dominance. This then had the more dominant male "chasing" a female around in a circle (this chase took around 20 minutes, over a distance of about 10 metres) which ended in her signalling her disinterest by burying herself in the mud. He then moved on to another female with similar results. Hilarious.
Back in Parkes for the evening, we found ourselves with no much to do and decided to head out to the pub again. I was driving so this was limiting my drink intake but didn't stop the laughs. Pub number 1 saw us walk into the middle of a bucks party up from the neighbouring town of Forbes. This lead to such comments as "Youse girls are the prettiest chicks we've seen in 10 pubs and look I can prove it" whilst pulling out a list of pubs with the "chick ratings" and "How much do you want to come on the bus back to Forbes with us? Promise I will pay for a taxi back here in the morning." After one drunk buck spilled an entire beer on me (and purposely too I believe as he never stopped staring at my boobs), they quickly left which left me and Meg to tackle the dance floor. it was 9pm by the stage, the dance floor was empty but the tacky music (Steps, Peter Andre and Grease no less) saw us take to the stage.
We then decided to head to pub number 2. With a live band going, and again no-one dancing, Megs and I set the precedent and got up there doing our line dancing and the odd Heal and Toe. When the band performed Robbie Williams' Angels, we were really in our element, which prompted some people to ask how much we had to drink. They were surprised to learn next to nothing. One drunk gentleman decided we were perfect for his young buddies and did everything to try and entice us over to his table, including groping and then forcefull marching. After making our escape we spied Pete from the night before and decided to sit with his mates, one who was nicknamed The Terrorist simply because was muslim (small town minds hey?). After a drink, we decided to hit the hay with a promise to meet the guys in the morning to see the infamous Dish.
Up early, we drove out to the Dish, which was simply fascinating for 5 minutes. Pete ended up meeting us for a coffee there which stretched our intended 5 minute visit to an hour. 55 minutes too long. It also ended in me realising Pete was somehow interested in me with an earnest request to take me out to dinner if we ever met in Melbourne. I think my reply was "Well give me a ring and then Meg and I will check our schedules." Not what he wanted to hear.
Then onto Griffith, which PEte informed us was the Inland Maffia Capital. I think we would have figured it out eventually when we got there since we were the only non-Italians at our motel. The drive to Griffith was lovely - again we got to push on through cattle and some of the flattest land I have every driven through via West Wyalong. NSW certainly delivered on its shiteous roads, particularly because these areas are all subject to flooding. Lovely as it was, it wasn't without incident when at one point, near a turn off to a town called Leeton we approached a blind corner with me driving to discover a car was coming in the opposite direction - on our side of the road, trying to overtake a massive road train. All I had time to utter was a huge OH F^&K, before somehow pulling us off the road without hitting a single thing. Needless to say I couldn't drive after that and possibly needed a change of underwear. The truck would have seen the whole thing unfolding and he drove on after that little white hatchback like there was no tomorrow. I am making light of it now, but it was a miracle it didn't end badly and even more of a miracle we didn't hit a single thing.
Got to Griffith, had a well earned beer (the motelier said "Upon arrival we offer complimentary beer or soft drink, what will it be?) and had a swim which seemed to draw all the Italian men outdoors and had one constantly pacing back and forth remarking on how much better we must feel now that we were in the water. Okay mate.
Stay turned Canberra & Australia's Crappest Territory.
Labels: Travels, Walking The Dinosaur