I am at the end of another fantastic weekend. The weekend began with 4 of my friends arriving for dinner on Friday. It had been a whole 2 weeks since we had seen each other so there was a lot of catching up to do. After dinner we headed down to Glow Worm Glen. Since the sun is setting pretty early these days it was well past dark when we headed off. We heard some noises on the way down but were not able to spot any animals. The glow worms were doing what they do best and glowig nicely. We had a glass of wine and enjoyed the sight. On the way up we encountered a huge wombat. It was the first one that any of us had ever seen. It was right in the middle of the path and stood and stared at us for a while until we encouraged it to go into the bushes so that we could pass.
The Bundanoon Stones of Manhood
It was about the size of a pig but a little shorter. We then returned to my place for some pavlova. Pavlova is considered a cultural experience and thus does not have any calories.
Saturday was the big day. We were all up early and as we had our breakfast we could here the pipers warming up in the near by park. At 9:30 we made the big 2 block walk down to watch the parade. It was very impressive it felt like we were in Scotland however the playing of Waltzing Matilda on the bagpipes is not anything that I had heard when in Scotland. It was a great mixing of the cultures. At the end of the parade we followed the pipers down to the oval (sports fields) where the Highland Games were. We decided to be spectators as none of us felt the need to throw our back out instead of the caber.
Lifting the stones
The caber toss was very impressive. The champion lined his tosses up very straight. There was lots of piping and dancing throughout the day and a dog show. The hightlight however was the lifting of the Bundanoon stones of manhood. These are 5 stones that the participants must lift onto barrels. Sounds pretty easy except that the lightest one is 100 kg and the heaviest is 165 kg. This along with the fact that they are spherical and that it was wet that day made it a bit of a challenge. The competitors each had one and half minutes to complete it. Two of them got the first four lifted but noone was able to get the fifth during the competition. One of them was able to do it afterwards. Then it was the closing ceremonies and then home for dinner before heading to the pub.
The Caber Toss
It was quite the night at the Bundanoon Pub. As we sat outside there were a few pipers that still had their pipes with them. They would randomly start playing for a bit before they realised that it was getting in the way of their beer drinking. The band inside was a lot of fun and the had the pipers join them for a couple of songs. It was a great night of dancing and all those years of highland dancing sure paid off.
The time changed this weekend and it was a great weekend to get an extra hours sleep. We headed for a beautiful walk in the National Park and I saw my first Lyre bird. All and all a wonderful weekend.