The volunteering game

Bulli Travel Blog

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Packing down day-we didn't get a picture setting up, too busy!

Our cat was still enjoying a peaceful holiday with my parents since before Christmas so it was only the dog who had to go to kennels.  That accomplished we continued northwards to Bulli.  Last year the Illawarra Festival had moved from it's original home at beautiful Jamberoo which nestles under an escarpment in rich dairy country to Bulli.

We arrived at about 10.30am, parked the car and camper-trailer in the car park and immediately found set-up jobs.  Andrew had volunteered for this while my real roster in ticket sales was to start on Thursday evening.  I tagged along with some blokes who were erecting a marquee to house the ticket office, performer registrations and volunteer registrations.  This was quite an involved process as none of us knew what the final shape was and there were colour coded poles but no instructions.

The stately Heritage Hotel build in the 1880's - one of the venues for the festival
  We had got to the point where the frame was set up and the roof canvas over when the festival organiser stopped by and rummaged through his vehicle, producing the instructions for construction!!

The volunteer kitchen was up and running and we were well supplied with morning tea and lunch.  Sunscreen and a hat were vital and the work was hot.  We got advice as to where to camp and selected a leafy spot up near the Grevillea Park as we didn't need power.  Set the trailer up and covered the ancient canvas with a tarpaulin for extra shade and weather proofing.  Found that our attempts to locate a gas leak in the fittings of our camping gas bottle had been spectacularly unsuccessful, forcing us to purchase Chinese takeaways on the first night.

Jigzag - Greg Liz and Carolyn
  Next day a two hour and 7 store search finally produced the replacement fitting to allow us to use the gas cooking stove.

During the 3 days of set up our jobs included transportation of chairs to the marquee which had been set up in the centre of the greyhound and trotting track. There were signs to be pasted onto boards and covered in plastic in order to give them a couple of years life.  The main marquee frame had been erected only to allow the Wednesday afternoon greyhound race to take place without obliterating the views of the patrons.  This race meet was very interesting as we had never been to one before.  The seven dogs in the first race were led out by their trainers and paraded down to the starting box.

  The electric rabbit made a couple of circuits and we selected dogs that we thought might win.  The dogs were released and the race was on!  My picks came 1st and 3rd while Andrew selected a second!  At the end of the race the dogs are fenced into a run that stops them and all seemed to thoroughly enjoy the race with tails wagging and they searched for the "rabbit" which looked more like a toy wombat to me!

On Wednesday night at the Heritage Hotel (one of the venues which is sited outside of the greyhound track) a bush dance kicked off the festival led by the Wongawilli Bush Band which has been in operation for 20 years now!  All dances were called and that was a great night.  Thursday lunchtime the restaurant at the track was taken over by the festival people and an Italian lunch with entertainment was held with a three course meal for only $6.   On Thursday evening there was a fully catered Tripe and Haggis night to celebrate Robbie Burns' birthday with plenty of musical acts to entertain.  There was even a stew (called sludge) for those who didn't quite think they could come at the mainliners on the menu! 


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Packing down day-we didnt get a p…
Packing down day-we didn't get a …
The stately Heritage Hotel build i…
The stately Heritage Hotel build …
Jigzag - Greg Liz and Carolyn
Jigzag - Greg Liz and Carolyn
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photo by: clearviews