It was one of those weekends coming up where the girls were round at their father’s, the weather looked ok and we were looking for things to do.
Usually (as past posts have clearly shown), we’ll wander out for coffee and end up having either breakfast or lunch and then spend the rest of the weekend sleeping off all the calories.
Well, not this time
Jay breaks us out of an internet coma..
J: “Shall we go somewhere?”
Me: “Sure, where?”
*sounds of 2 laptops on google overload*
J: “How about New Norcia?”
Me: “Where the monks are?”
Me: “Sure – how far is it?” (I don’t know these things, distances in Australia still perplex me)
J: “Couple of hours drive maybe”
Me: “Lets do it, and we’ll go through x neighbourhood on the way so you can research for you book”
J: “Good idea”
And that, my friends, is how shit gets decided in our house.
So, we toddled off into the big yonder that lies only a short hop from Perth’s suburban boundary. I love that about living here – you dont have to go far before you’re alone (or almost) and have all the space you want to think. It’s just a shame that we dont get more time to escape into the big yonder (plus driving too far really makes Jay’s back hurt)
So, we trundled through the suburbs (via our research pitstop) and then on out on the Great Northern Highway (if they were thinking that ‘great’ meant ‘major’ or ‘big’ then, they were way off the mark – its a smallish windy road through the farms and forests.
We stopped at Bindoon for some mandarins (there are miles upon miles of mandarin orchards there) and then on to New Norcia.
On 1 March 1846, a Benedictine mission to the local aborigines was started about 8 km to the north, led by the two Spanish Benedictines, Rosendo Salvado and Joseph Serra. Within a year the mission was moved to where the town is today, and on 1 March 1847 the foundation stone of the monastery was laid. The place was named New Norcia, after Norcia in Italy, the birthplace of St Benedict. Unlike the Italian Norcia, which is pronounced “nor-chee-a”, New Norcia is pronounced “new nor-sia”.
So there you go.
It was pretty cool. Actually, it was fookin’ cold. Although it doesn’t look like it, there was a freezing wind blowing and it was only nice in the sun – was biting in the shade. I know, I thought it was warm all year round too. We’re sold a dummy by the Australian Marketing Board – its all lies!!
Anyway – this is way too much writing. Some photos for your viewing pleasure.
It was cooooooold!
The simple white crosses mark the graves of the Aboriginals that lived and worked beside the monks.