Wednesday, 26 April 2006

Trailer for sale or rent...

Edited to add: link to the twin of this post at Ampersand Duck....crikey it's like Rashomon or something....also to insert nsf vegetarians food photography alert)

On Saturday we drove to Sydney for a few days visiting relatives. It's a looong way, especially if you a) go via Canberra and stop there to visit another set of family, and b) stop at every awful tourist attraction all eight hundred and seventy-odd kilometres of the Hume Highway have to offer.

But what's a road trip without awful tourist attractions?

Massive Ned Kelly at Glenrowan. Glenrowan has got to be the worst town in Australia. Everything there is Ned Kelly! It's mink-blowing! There are buses disgorging tour groups, men with huge beards selling souvenirs, animatronic recreations of Ned Kelly's Last Stand, signs forbidding photography, tea-shops, pubs, historical sites, you name it, Glenrowan has it. The next day in Sydney we were shown the house at Bronte Beach which Heath Ledger only managed to occupy for ten days before the papparazzi's attentions drove him back to New York; I think he ought to have just moved direct to Glenrowan.

Bit of Road: I was bored, you have to be bored too.

All Teh Rivers Run OMG!!!!!!1! it's a Paddlesteamer on the Mighty Murray! Would you believe that while this boat did laps of a little patch of river, a camera crew videoed a man in a motorcycle jacket standing on the bank playing an acoustic guitar, while three nuns had a picnic next to the canoe club? Well, I can't force you. The ducks at Albury have no objection to eating banana. Hmmm.

HMAS Otway at Holbrook: Holbrook is somewhere after Albury? World famous as "the town with the big submarine and absolutely no ocean or sea or other significant body of water." Also a popular rest stop among the Australian Muslim community. Indeed we encountered representatives of many different religious sects in the course of our pilgrimage journey.

More road...Are we there yet?

No we are not there it's time to eat the Happy Face I bought several hours previously in the Euroa Bakery. Euroa is the place to go if you want to buy special Shearers Jeans with sheep-proof reinforced crotch, or to have your wild up-country locks tamed by the team at "Arcane Hair".

Ettamogah Pub. Sorry, Glenrowan, I see I judged you too harshly.


More road.

I suspected I wasn't going to be allowed to go to the one Awful Tourist Attraction I really cared about seeing, the Big Merino at Goulburn, so as a small consolation I took care to be doing a driving shift when Gundagai approached - I was going to see that Dog Sitting On The Tuckerbox, or throw a big tantrum trying.

Disappointing or's tiny. Smaller than lifesize, I should think. Still, the good folk of Gundagai do a good job of making the very best of it. A lovely interpretative plaque near the statue reproduces one of the many, many poems - every one of them much treasured by Australians - which commemorates this early narrative of pioneer hardship, ignominy and toilet humour.

As I was coming down Conroy's Gap,
I heard a maiden cry;
'There goes Bill the Bullocky,
He's bound for Gundagai.
A better poor old beggar
Never earnt an honest crust,
A better poor old beggar
Never drug a whip through dust.'
His team got bogged at the nine mile creek,
Bill lashed and swore and cried;
'If Nobby don't get me out of this,
I'll tattoo his bloody hide.'
But Nobby strained and broke the yoke,
And poked out the leader's eye;
Then the dog s(h)at on the Tucker Box
Nine miles from Gundagai.

They don't call Australia the Lucky Country for nothing! And I liked very much that this monument to dog poo in the dinner was unveiled in the 1930s by a Prime Minister of yesteryear.

The loitering religious types at this location were representatives of the Plymouth Brethren community.

After tiring ourselves out looking at the statue we found it absolutely necessary to purchase a pair of Tuckerburgers from the nearby Dog Sat On The Tuckerbox Cafe.

From the bottom up: bun, lettuce, tomato, beetroot, hamburger, cheese, fried egg, pineapple, bacon, tomato sauce, bun. And yes, I ate it all.

After that it got dark, so there are no more photographs.

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Ampersand Duck said...

I swear we crossed paths on the way home. I stopped at the submarine and at the Dog on the Tuckerbox. But you went right off the highway! A truly dedicated blogger...

Craig said...

Thanks for the laugh! I could sure go a tuckerburger right about now.

Ben.H said...

Wasn't the HMAS Otway the sub the Navy had to break into a few years ago in a desperate raid for spare parts, while waiting for the Collins class submarines to finally get built?

Also, I notice you made the effort to drive off the highway to get a clear shot of one of the two Ettamogah Pubs in the country. That's... brave or something.


Tim said...

"signs forbidding photography"

That must be outside the Glenrowan naturist club. It's nothing but helmets in there.

I must have been to the other Ettamogah Pub. The one in your photo doesn't have a wacky roof, which is about all that I remember about the place.

Hil said...

I'm curious if the s(h)at version was mentioned in any of the tourist stuff?

Over the side road from the dog there's a roadhouse in some old rail carriages that my daughter long ago christened 'the stuck train'. We have done the Canberra/Adelaide trip more times than I care to count.

And did you see the painted cows? I forget where they are now, but I have pictures. Somewhere between Violet Town and Glenrowan, maybe, on a river.

Lucy Tartan said...

Indeed the tourist stuff did mention the s(h)at version, Hil - photographic evidence!

I missed the painted cows, how annoying.

paoyi said...

The dog on the tuckerbox always irritated me. I always found it to be (in my more uncharitable moments) quite uninspiring and uninteresting. Now, if it happened to be a REAL dog, who refused to get off a real tuckerbox full of food, and sat there day and night, unpeturbed by the passing tourists taking photos and eating massive, massive burgers? then that would have been something worth stopping the car for.

Laura, I just did the quick drive up and back from Canberra to Sydney last night for the Dylan Moran show at the Enmore theatre. Did you manage to catch any of his shows? My face still hurts from all the hysterics.

David said...

Holbrook was known as Germantown until WWI. Unlike less obvious Germanesque names (Heidelberg, Altona) it was unable to resist a change and went for a WWI submarine, er, commander or something.I recommend the Cheryl Ann Motel (if it's still there).

Mel said...

I have eaten those Tuckerburgers and they really hit the spot.

Also, I am pleased to see that "mink-blowing" has caught on as a general expression.

My word verification is "ecoqo" which sounds like an ostentatiously minimalist Mediterranean restaurant.

Ron said...

The picture of the Tuckerburger is enough to make a vegan (me!) violently ill!

Where is the other Ettamogah Pub? I saw one recently with the lopsided roof etc and I just can't remember where I was.

Anonymous said...

That is not a simple hambugga. That is a Symbol of 'Stralia (tm). You don't eat it, you absorb it right down to your DNA. You don't feel full, you feel replete, at peace, a genuine citizen of godzone. You don't chuck up either, because then you wouldn't be a patriot.

- barista

Kate said...

Isn't there an Ettamogah pub in Darling Harbour? Wait, let me ask google. There's one on the Sunshine coast and one at Rouse Hill in Sydney and then there's the Ettamogah bar at Darling harbour.

For some reason, this makes me very very depressed.

Lucy Tartan said...

Mel, I think "mink-blowing" very often, and even occasionally say it in conversation.

I updated the post to include a link back to its original source.

genevieve said...

Thanks for the shot of the sub, I couldn't believe it when my daughter told me about it. My family used to drive through Holbrook in the dark, on the way to Batlow and Tumbarumba. I don't even think TEH SUB was there then.

Ron said...

Thanks, Kate. The one on the Sunshine Coast must be the one I saw recently.