Wednesday, 30 September 2009

In and Around Bolgart

Leaving Jurian Bay and the Pinnacles, there was a temptation to simply rush down to Perth. It was obviously the next big highlight on our trip, but there wasn't a rush and Western Australia is far too good to skimp.

Banksias are a real feature of this region of Australia. There are many many types and varieties of the plant, we would later discover the size of the diversity when we visited Perth's botanical gardens. However, here is just a sample:
 We did make an abortive attempt to visit New Norcia, an historic area. However a major fire prevented us from getting through on this occasion.

This wheat country and the various ways that the hay and grain are harvested provide photo opportunities.

 Town murals - a regular and welcome feature.

Monsters of the highway! The pulling end of a Road Train.

An interesting building design.

One of Australias largest wind farms, Emu Downs Wind Farm is a $180 million joint venture project between Griffin Energy and Queensland’s Stanwell Corporation. Emu Downs Wind Farm has been in operation since 2006 to deliver clean, green energy to Western Australia. It is one of Western Australia’s largest green energy initiatives.

Located 30 kilometres east of Cervantes, approximately 200 kilometres north of Perth, Emu Downs Wind Farm makes use of innovative wind powered turbine technology with the capacity to produce 80 Megawatts of power at peak; and the capacity to supply 50,000 homes per year. Emu Downs Wind Farm’s coastal location is a prime site for utilising wind to produce electricity.

Not rolls this time ...rectangles!

...and now the actual grain.

The magnificent Bolgart Hotel, a central feature of the town.

And now, Bolgart's little joke on the famous Perth Bell Tower that overlooks the Swan River.

Two shots, examples of the wildflowers that are so prolific and so beautiful in these parts.

New Norcia, the only monastic town in Australia.

The town of New Norcia has buildings in a Spanish style of architecture, along with some other historical sites.

On 1 March 1846, a Benedictine mission to the local aborigines was started about 8 km to the north, led by the two Spanish Benedictines, Rosendo Salvado and Joseph Serra. Within a year the mission was moved to where the town is today, and on 1 March 1847 the foundation stone of the monastery was laid. The place was named New Norcia, after Norcia in Italy, the birthplace of St Benedict. However unlike the Italian Norcia, which is pronounced "nor-chee-a", New Norcia is pronounced "new nor-sia".

Among these are the two old boarding schools, St Ildephonsus' and St Gertrude's (both now used for accommodation and various social functions), the Abbey Church (containing the tomb of Rosendo Salvado), an old mill, a wine press, a hotel, and the monastery itself. Tours of the town are operated daily by the Friends of New Norcia, who also organise the accommodation in the various buildings including the monastery retreat.[2] The Benedictine monks continue to occupy the monastery and are involved with most of the enterprises in the town.

There were also two aboriginal orphanages that housed members of the Stolen Generation; St Mary's (for boys) and St Joseph's (for girls), which closed in the early 1970s. The two buildings still exist. St Mary's is next to St Ildephonsus', and St Joseph's is next to St Gertrude's.

The last Spanish Benedictine monk of New Norcia died on 18 January 2010, aged 99. He continued to prepare the bread for the monks and olive oil almost upon his death.

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