New Norcia

Trip Leader: John & Rosalie

When: 3rd to 5th March 2007

Location:  New Norcia

Participants:

Saturday 3rd
“What time are you leaving to go down on Saturday?” (this is getting to be a bit monotonous) asked everyone in the lead up to this trip. 
I replied confidently,  “Just after 1 pm ‘parents with kids’ time”. 
So here we are doing trip notes again.!
 I think I might start paying Diana to come on trips so She can do some for a while. 
Anyway it was about 4.30pm when we rolled into camp and the peanut gallery were in fine form, the comments and innuendos where coming from all directions. After a quick setup in the nice balmy late afternoon we were ready for happy hour and the first couple didn’t touch the sides.
5.30pm and it was time for Vespa’s, “hmmm right”‘ I thought “I’ll be in it.” 
I haven’t ridden an Italian scooter before but I am pretty good on motorbikes so I was willing. 
Turned out we were going to vespers or evening prayer with the Monks. 
Now for those of you distinguished enough to have had the privilege of learning Latin at school would have been able to follow the session quite well. I had the words in front of me and didn’t catch one of them.
Contrary to popular belief and due to a last minute change of plans, dinner was a gathering at the local hotel where we were treated to a lovely roast carvery and salad buffet.  The place was quite a buzz as the Variety Bike Run was holding a fancy dress party upstairs, the music and the sites were quite entertaining.
Sunday 4th
Morning mass was was attended by many of the group and then we had the tour of the town at 11.00am. Our tour guide was absolutely fantastic and it was a pleasure to see a person that not only excels at her job but enjoys it as well. The tour showed us through the numerous chapels and buildings to sample the wonderful and varying types of architecture. So much history and so much tradition in the one place it is good to see that it is being preserved and slowly but surely restored. 
We ended the tour by visiting the museum which is filled with all types of interesting items that were used in the early days when the town was being established, and by viewing the paintings that were stolen back in 1986. We were fortunate enough to see these paintings on display as they are usually kept stored away, I had to cringe when I saw some of the before pictures and the damages caused by the theft.
Dom Chris gave a talk to the group and answered many questions on the life style and daily ritual that the Monks engage in, a very interesting insight to life in Australia’s only Monastic town.
Dinner was at the hotel again this time the Chef number 2 putting on a feast of a BBQ catering for what seemed like even more people than the night before. The food was great and cooked to perfection. 
Happy hour started at the hotel and finished back at the camp site.
Monday 6th
Well it was forecast to be a scorcher so all the worry warts packed up and left soon after breakfast. Terry & Paul and their associated clans decided to rough it by packing up at a leisurely pace after a cooked breakfast and then spend the morning viewing the cemetery, and swimming in the town pool. 
It didn’t start to get warm until about 12 noon by which time we were in our air conditioned vehicle on our way to the Bindoon Bakery.
Thanks John & Rosalie for arranging this trip as we all had a great time and several people have suggested a re-visit sometime in the future. For those that would like more information about New Norcia please click here
Paul , Louise, Matt & Sam

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