WEDNESDAY MAY 6 CANBERRA
This morning, the antenna man finally turned up. He came into Bus, fiddled about a bit, and got a great picture. I suspected the usually tech-savvy other half may not have had the controls set for digital TV. But no-one said anything, and – on further inspection – the man did find something wrongly wired outside, on the antenna. He rectified this. When the new antenna was installed, in 2013, the work was done by John and a mate and that is when the wrong wiring must have happened. Mind you, it all worked perfectly well through our 2013 trip….Anyway, all fixed, we were told, at a cost of $110, which seemed quite reasonable.
Now we were free to play tourists, after an early lunch.
I had looked online for information about dog parks in the ACT and found that the place seemed quite well endowed with places dogs could play off leash, and also places where they could swim. Too cold for that, now, though.
We drove to one of the special dog parks, at Forde. This was not a very large area, but was securely fenced, with water bowls, agility equipment, and even some tennis balls lying around. Not very hygienic, that! We tried to get Couey working over the agility equipment, with varying success. She definitely liked going through pipes – and running along the top of same; ditto walls. But she could not be persuaded to jump the set jumps, even though they were all lower than she jumps at home in order to short cut through the garden. Anyway, we all had fun. She encountered a couple of other dogs there, too, with no dramas – always good to see.
After that we were in the mood for something panoramic. The obvious candidate, the Telstra Tower, is contained in the Black Mountain Nature Reserve, where dogs are not permitted at all. So we did not try to revisit that- had been up there in 1998.
Instead, drove to the top of Mt Ainslie to look at the view from there, across Lake Burley Griffin, to Parliament House.
In line: Australian War Memorial, Anzac Parade, Lake Burley Griffin, Parliament House
Across to the eastern end of the Lake, we could see the reclaimed area and the lakefront apartments where the family was living in 2013.
From Mt Ainslie: central Canberra, looking towards Scrivener Dam
We walked around the pathways that were up there and read the information boards.
Telstra Tower on Black Mountain
We set out, then, to drive around the Lake, towards the western end first. Back in 1998, we cycled around the Lake, which took us most of a very hot day. Formal bike paths did not go all the way round and we did some riding on roads. Today, the driving was easy, on multi-laned roads, though the Driver didn’t get to look around too much, in the traffic.
Visited the Scrivener Dam at the western end of the Lake. This dam wall across the Molonglo River created Lake Burley Griffin, and controls its levels. It was named for an early surveyor of the Canberra area. I was surprised to find that the dam wall was not completed until the 1960’s. Had assumed it was created at the same time as Canberra was commenced.
The Molonglo is not a big river – seems more like a creek to me. Like a number of the water courses in the area, it is lined with weeping willows, planted by well-intentioned early settlers. It makes for picturesque scenery but is not great, environmentally.
Molonglo River valley
Not far from the dam wall was the Government House Lookout, with its views uphill to Yarralumla, the official residence of the Governor General of Australia.
Again, I found new information: that Yarralumla was not purpose built, but was originally a private residence of major pastoral families of the district. The original pastoral property was a large one. Walter Burley Griffin, the designer of Canberra, had included in his plans a grand vice-regal residence, but – as with quite a bit of his original plans – a cheaper option prevailed.
From the Lookout, we could look towards the valley of the Molonglo and see the large former woolshed of the original farm.
Looking across to the grand old woolshed
By this time, the afternoon was getting on and we decided not to continue round the Lake, but to head back to Bus to avoid the late afternoon traffic build up. The GPS took us round the back of Black Mountain, on Caswell Drive, a way we hadn’t been before. Saw yet another traffic rear-ender accident.
John re-glued the wardrobe door back together. I had to help him get the strap clamp round the outside edges of the door.
Tea was steak, with green peppercorn sauce, and vegies.
A decision was made that our next destination would be Cowra – a place we hadn’t previously stayed at long enough to see its attractions.