New Norcia (5th May)

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On Friday 5th May, Steve Kerr drove us north from Perth to one of the strangest sights in the outback; a old Benedictine monastery at New Norcia. This was founded in 1847 by Spanish Benedictine monks to ‘educate’ the aborigines in the bush, but is no longer a functioning monastery. However, there are many buildings of interest here and a museum. Sadly, Steve’s schedule did not allow us time to explore too much, nevertheless, we had a delicious lunch in the hotel shown above. In outback Australia, it is not advisable to drive between dusk and dawn because of the risk of hitting kangaroos. The large red kangaroos can write-off a car, so this warning is taken very seriously by locals. So, if we were to return, then an overnight stop in this hotel would be the recommended thing to do.

Here are some photos taken around this large complex; first our host Steve with Lawrence snacking enroute to New Norcia and discussing film making.

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While Lawrence and Steve tested out Lawrence’s drone, I walked back towards the main road to see what I could see.

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Below is St Gertrude’s College, fronted by a magnificent row of palm trees.

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Around the corner was a grave yard; the monks’ graves had head stones, while the graves of the aborigines were simply marked by a cross.

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Next I came across the building of St. Ildephonsus College. For a Westerner, these buildings may not seem special, but remember that New Norcia is a 2-hour drive north from Perth and hence really in the middle of nowehere. To get here, you drive past massive fields of harvested wheat (may beiing autumn in this part of the world!), but you see very little in the way of habitation for miles and miles.

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The next two buildings show a much simpler style, but are still striking none the less.

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Finally, the old police station in New Norcia.

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© Helen Gray 2020