Shanks’s Pony   Leave a comment

Sunday, 20 July, 2014

Since Skippy took out my car back in early June, I’ve hired cars, borrowed cars and caught many a lift of various people (thankyou all!), but today I thought that I would try to get around Canberra without the use of a car!

Okay the day without a car didn’t start too well as I had to return the car that I had borrowed yesterday back to its owners over in Kambah, but as it was such a beautiful day I decided to put my hiking boots on and walk back home once I had dropped the car off. The only problem is that there’s a bloody great big hill called Mt. Taylor in the way, but after looking at the map I reckoned that found a way back that took in the summit of Mt. Taylor and used mostly footpaths which avoided nearly all the main roads.

Additionally, I planned to visit one of the places on Lake Burley Griffin that I’ve never been too, The National Museum of Australia (NMA). Looking at the bus timetable early this morning, I worked out that the local bus that passes my place would take me right past the NMA, but the problem was being a Sunday it only came by once an hour. The best bet seemed to be the 12:13, which would get me to the NMA by 13:00, where I could spend 4 hours or so looking at the exhibits before jumping on the 17:04 outside and returning home, simple!

So setting off from Kambah after dropping the car off at around 09:15, I kept up a fair pace in order to stay on schedule. I reached the top of Mt. Taylor without too much trouble, stopping to take some pictures on the way and then made my way down the other side into Torrens, where I picked up a footpath which cut through the suburb into Woden. The last stint was to retrace the route I take when returning from work on my bike back into my apartment complex. 1 Hour 50 minutes to do exactly 10km wasn’t a bad effort in my opinion and it meant that I had plenty of time to jump in the shower, make breakfast and update my Facebook site, before walking out to the bus stop to catch the bus.

At this point, things started to unravel as even though I was at the bus stop in good time, the bus never turned up and after a good fifteen minutes waiting I started to walk into Woden in order to catch the Blue Rapid into Civic. Sods law came into play, because as I was in between bus stops the bus came round the corner and went sailing past me, bastard! Fear not, if I walked fast enough and caught a Blue Rapid in Civic straight away, I would only be ten minutes or so behind the bus I just missed. Sods law part two, just as I was approaching the bus station, a Blue Rapid bus went sailing past me which meant I had a 15 minute wait for the next one. Also, when I did get into Civic I had to walk through town and along the lake shore to get to the NMA, meaning that I arrived nearly 45 minute later than I expected.

To be honest, once I was inside I was a little disappointed in the NMA. Maybe it was the design of the building, which meant that I kept finding myself retracing my steps through some of the exhibition halls or maybe it was just the content of the exhibits, as I found some of them quite boring. So as I sat down in the excellent café having a coffee, working out what I had seen, what I had missed and wondering if I should go home, I spotted an exhibit that was only opened on the hour for fifteen minutes. As the time was approaching 16:00, I made my way over the Garden of Australian Dreams! to the Open Collections. On the way I bumped into Eng, one of the museum helper who offered to show me around. Well, Eng and the open Collections saved the day, as I was treated to a wonderful insight into Indigenous culture by viewing the many artefacts that the NMA had in their procession.

As I was leaving a little earlier than I was expecting, I decided to walk back around the lake’s edge, over the bridge, take a few pictures of the setting sun and catch the Bus Rapid back into Woden and connect with the local bus that passes my place. Sods law, part three, it didn’t quite work out that way, as when I was taking a couple of pictures of the lake, museum and Black Mountain from the bridge, the bus went sailing past me again…

Posted July 20, 2014 by yermandownunder in Observations, Out and about

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