Day 193: 9 December – Cycling Cowra

Author: Mr A

From: Forbes

To: Cowra

Distance driven: 91km Cycled: 14km

Another sunny day and the wind had dropped so the BBQ was put to use for baked eggs, mushrooms and toast and Catherine smashed up some avo’s. Now that’s a good start to the day. All packed and ready to go – or so we thought – until I try to level the van – the air suspension had sprung a leak again. Not thinking it was Saturday I called the service line at Zone and immediately got a perky voice on the line asking how they could help. Now that is super service for a manufacturer to provide weekend service cover as well. Warms your heart it does.

We get talked through a fix and 10 minutes later all was sorted. Zone will also arrange for the system to be fully checked out when we back in Sydney. It looked like a couple of hose lines had got bent and cracked. We did feel quite masterful fixing it ourselves 🙂

It was a great drive down the Lachlan Way to Cowra. The recent rains meant we had emerald green fields and lush trees lining the road. We had booked at the Cowra Van Park, based on good reviews on WikiCamps, and we weren’t disappointed. A few minutes walk from town and on the river, its immaculately kept with perfectly groomed lawns and flower beds. The hosts Keira and Glenn were so helpful and welcoming, nothing too much trouble for them. Now why can’t every park be like this? A real cracker.

So it was time to explore the many sights of Cowra, on our bikes of course. Keira even provided a cycling routes map – now that’s a first for the whole trip! The route we chose was described as “rolling” by the ever so competent in marketing at Tourism NSW. My description would be “bloody hilly on a hot day!”. We had chosen the “Peace Precinct Trails, which started with a 2km climb out of town and up to the local cemetery – no, I’d want it in the dead centre of town….groan. The info boards explained this is where several hundred Japanese were buried who had staged a mass escape from the local Prisoner of War (POW) camp. Being captured and being alive was disonouring their family and country, so the way they tried to escape was described as a mass suicide by the garrison commander of the Australian army guarding the camp. They literally wanted to die trying to escape, and several hundred buried here succeed at that.We then went on to the POW camp itself. Not much was left to see, the info boards again though told a harrowing story of several thousand POWs crammed in to the camp, with the last prisoners not being repatriated until 1954!

Its hard for Mrs A and I never being close to war to comprehend what these times were like, for the guards or the captors. All I could think was when Japanese people visiting the site were reading how well we treated their POWs compared to what was happening to ours in Japanese camps, what would they be thinking?

We arrived back at camp and got ourselves ready for a big night out in Cowra, which turned out to be just perfect. A wine bar kicked off our evening, our first in 6 months. It felt so exciting to walk in to a place with such a range of wines chalked up!

Then it was down to the Indian – OMG – this food was sensational – one of the best North Indian meals we’ve ever had. Fantastic – Cowra…we love you.

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