Monday, November 7, 2011

GERROA and ALBION PARK Tuesday 1st November 2011

Today is Melbourne Cup Day – didn’t have a bet, and not in a Sweep anywhere.
We drove to Albion Park to have a look at the Air Museum at the airport.  Got there about 11:30 as we’d had a slow start to the day.  In fact Bill took down the annexe in case it decides to rain before we leave.
We had thought to have a wander around the museum by ourselves rather than join a guided tour, but apparently one must be ‘escorted’ so we opted for the tour.  Joined in a tour already in progress.  The man had told us it was about an hour long, but it was closer to two hours all up, maybe even longer, because it was nearly 2:30 before we finished.
Saw lots of old aeroplanes – it was more of a day for Bill, but I still found it quite interesting and the guide told some amusing tales.  It was also quite fascinating to hear how much it costs to repair and run the big metal (or in some cases wooden) birds.  They also had lots of engines on display.  Some planes were used for flying, others will only ever be for display, and some are awaiting parts or funding to make them flyable.  We joined the tour just as they were coming out of the Super Constellation or “Connie” so that actually became the last thing we saw.  We were able to go into “Connie” and actually sit in the first class seats.  A big plane for a relatively small number of passengers.  And room to swing a cat in the on-board loo.
We also saw a restored Catalina, like the one at Lake Boga (or is it Bolac, as I wrote in my Mildura holiday journal?  No, Bill tells me it is Lake Boga.)  The guys from this museum (the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society – HARS – Museum) went down to Lake Boga to paint the Catalina there about a month ago.  There was also a reconstruction of Charles Kingsford Smith’s Southern Cross – from what I gathered it wasn’t a modern reconstruction.  It is being repaired at the moment because the last time it flew it crashed into the ground because the undercarriage collapsed.  It is made of plywood and canvas.
When the tour finished we went to the Aviator Lounge across the way at the airport for a late lunch.  I had a lovely ham and pineapple sandwich, Bill had roast pork.
Back to the caravan via Gerringong where we stopped at the station to see if we could find out about going to Wollongong on the train, then to the supermarket to get a few bits and pieces for tea which we had decided to have in the van.

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