Biographical Non-Fiction posted August 13, 2015 Chapters:  ...43 44 -45- 46 

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A New Adventure.

A chapter in the book Our Trip Book.

Cooma & Snowy Mountains Part 1

by Tootsie55

This journey of our travels through our land of Australia is almost done. We recommend reading at least the first couple of chapters to get to know us better. Only one more chapter to go after this.
13th March -- Thursday -- Geoff was up early around 4.30 a.m. I got up at 5 a.m. keen to get going, cleaned up the place, had some breakfast and packed the car up.

We left home at 8.45 a.m., I took the first drive to Exeter and we had morning tea at McDonald's and bumped into one of Deanne's (Geoff's Sister's) ex-boyfriends, Graham, who was also there. He was a truck driver delivering stuff for Bunnings, one of our large hardware chains' stores. He was coming back from Canberra to Sydney. We only chatted for a few minutes, staying at McDonald's for half an hour.

Geoff took over driving to Queanbeyan, we stopped at the "Riverside Plaza" shops to get some lunch. We saw the Uptown Cafe and we both had Ham and Tomato toasted sandwiches and cappuccino. We had a look at the other shops and headed back to the car and Geoff forgot his cushion he sits on, so he went back to get it. We stayed in Queanbeyan for about an hour. From home to Queanbeyan was 274km, 2 hours and 46 minutes, drive on Hume Highway M31

Geoff drove out of Queanbeyan, all the way to Cooma. The road had changed to what we could remember, it has been upgraded and, now, a more pleasant drive. A fair way to Cooma from Queanbeyan, nice scenery though. From Queanbeyan to Cooma was 109 km, 1 hour and 13 minutes, drive on the Monaro Highway, B23.

We arrived at the Marlborough Motor Inn at 3 p.m. on the Monaro Highway, just before you drive into the town. At the front of the reception office there was a lot of steep stairs, a bit dangerous for Geoff. The receptionist said we were able to go around the back of the reception which is more level. The entrance driveway was also steep. The Motor Inn accommodation book said it was Best Western chain, but when we got there, found out it was not anymore.The hosts were of Indian nationality.

The motel room was ok for wheelchairs but they had a pokey little bathroom, couldn't get the wheelchair in it. Supposed to be disabled with assistance, no good for severely disabled people.We found out when we went to the motel restaurant, they only had Indian Food (of course re comments above), which I don't like. The menu was awful, to us anyway. They tried to cook some Australian meals for us.

The drive from home to Cooma altogether was 384km, 3 hours and 58 minutes, drive on Hume Highway M31. With the break at Queanbeyan we took longer to get there. We got to bed after 9 p.m.

14th March -- Friday -- Our 27th Wedding Anniversary - Slept ok the night before, the bed was pretty good. We were up early and got out of the motel around 8.30 a.m. Went down town to have a look around, Cooma was a hilly place. We looked at the train station to see where it was, off Bradley Street, and stopped at the St Patrick Catholic Church, in Murray Street. This is where my Great Great Grandfather on my mother's side had his funeral service.

I stayed in the car while Geoff took some photos and had a look inside the church. He went around the back of church, to see the priest at the manse to ask some questions but he wasn't very helpful.

Next we went to have a look to see where the Cooma Gaol & Museum was in Vale Street, they are next door to each other. My Great Great Grandfather spent a short time in this gaol, for forgery before being transferred to Parramatta goal, he was in goal for 3 years.

After that, we parked around the back of the Information Centre, and went in to have a look around. Bought some souvenirs, and I asked the receptionist about the Cooma Cemetery and the lady brought out some district cemetery books for me to have a look at, but I couldn't find what I wanted. I happened to mention to the lady that we came down for the Cooma Monaro train trip.

 She said, "All the trips have been cancelled due to railway track maintenance."  We were really disappointed when we heard that. We had intended to go the next day, Saturday, on the 1 p.m. ride to Bunyan. They provide a ramp for wheelchairs to get on and off the train, they also have people there to assist you onto the train, by advance arrangement.

We walked across the road to a small Coles Plaza and they had 1 coffee shop, so we had morning tea there, also bought some sandwiches for lunch, to have later on. Headed back to our car and drove around to see where the RSL Club was in Vale Street, there was parking at the back of the Club.
Next, we drove up to the Snowy Mountain Hydro Scheme Discovery Centre on Monaro Highway, had a look there. It was a big place, they have an exhibition, a 15 minute video in a theatre, and a cafe.

We decided to have lunch back at the motel, and rest for the remainder of the afternoon. Geoff ordered room service for tea that night, Chicken Schitznel. We were a bit too tired to go out for tea that night and Geoff was also having small dizzy spells.

15th March -- Saturday -- Slept pretty good the night before. Left motel around 9 a.m., Geoff called into the Kinross Motel to see if they had disabled unit, maybe for a possible stay on another occasion. No, they didn't.

We visited the Cooma Gaol Museum, not a big place, it was very interesting about the old days, crimes, tools, weapons, prison setup rooms etc. Some of the prisoners work in the museum, they make things to sell - souvenirs like woodwork, materials, bags and other things. Cooma Gaol only had minimum security prisoners. We were there for about 1 hour.

Geoff drove to the Information Centre in the main street, Sharp Street. He went in to get a history book Next door, there was a Pizza and Food Cafe. I waited in the car, while Geoff got some morning tea. The owner of the shop saw that Geoff was unsteady on his feet, so she carried the morning tea out to our car, very nice lady.

We went to have a look at the Cooma Cemetery on Mittagang Road, not a very big cemetery. Drove in a little way in, to look at some of the graves, there were some old and new, all mixed all over the place. After the cemetery we got back on the main road, had a look at Sovereign Motel -- no disabled unit there.

On our tour around town we called into the Railway Station, got some brochures. Back on the main road again, drove up to the Snowy Mountain Discovery Centre again, to have a look at the 30 minute Video of the Snowy Mountain Scheme, it was very interesting in how they built it, the hundreds of migrants of many nationalities, who came to help and work there. A point made on the DVD  was that inspite of the many and varied nationalities and abundant languages spoken by the workers, management seemed to be able to get by, in their communication with all the workers. Geoff bought the video.

We headed back into town, stopped at the Pizza & Food Cafe for lunch. We ordered a very nice meal of Roast Pork, Vegetables for main, Ice Cream with chocolate flavouring for desserts, it was a very delicious meal and Aussie too. We ascertained from the staff that we could get a meal delivered to the motel, on another night. Sadly that never worked out, as you will read, later.

After lunch we went into the Information Centre again to ask a few questions. Strolled back to our car and drove up the main road in another direction to have a look at Alkira Motel and they have got a proper disabled unit. Next time, if we go back, we'll stay there.

Headed back to our motel, but took a turn off on a side road and had a look around the other side of Cooma. Afterwards we went back to the motel for a rest. We had light tea that night.


Picture Titles: Top Left: Marlboro Motel;Top Right:Cooma Railway.
Second Left:Hydro Scheme Today;Second Right: Hydro being built
Third left:Memorial to Sir William Hudson the Scheme designer and engineer;
Third Right: Memorial to all the lives lost in the construction.

Cooma Travel Guide

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