Friday, September 23, 2011

WA road trip: days 4 and 5. Part II

Once back in New Norcia, where we spent our fifth night, Mum and I trotted off to photograph what has to be one of the country's most photogenic towns, and Paul and Dad got to it with applying the sealant to the roof of our tent. (I'll fill you in on the success, or otherwise, of the exercise later. Suffice to say, it was not the last damp night of the trip.)

Inside one of New Norcia's glorious
churches (above and below)

Photographing this amazing place wasn't enough, so the Thursday morning we joined a guided tour of the town.
As a fact generally only stays in my head for as long as it takes for another one to enter, I don't recall 100 per cent of the info our guide imparted. Some of the more interesting bits I do remember include:
* New Norcia is Australia's only monastic town. It was created by Spain's St Benedictine monks.
* currently eight monks live there. They employ about 70 people.
* miracles involving bush fires and an angry Aboriginal man come in handy when you're a band of pioneering, missionary monks working to convert the local indigenous population.
* the early monks didn't agree with the government-appointed term of 'orphanage' for their home for Aboriginal children, as many of the children did have families living in the area.
* the monks have to get up before 5am six days of the week (meaning I shouldn't complain about having to do it nine days of the fortnight).
* but they get to maintain the Spanish tradition of an afternoon siesta (which I do not).

I cannot express just how amazing this town is. If you ever go to Perth, make sure you get up there for a look.
Some more photos:

Coming up: we head to the beach!

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