On the weekend of 18/19 March 2023, I again went to Mittagong. Actually I stayed in Bowral this time, but pretty much the same. First a few observations from the trip, and then on the the actual reason for travelling – the Thirlmere Festival of Steam.
The opening photo (taken on my phone) is a steam tractor driving around the streets of Thirlmere towards the end of the day on Saturday. There were two of them, a few minutes apart, and I presume they were heading back to where they were going to stay for the evening before they came out again on Sunday.
The trip was pretty much the same as last time, travel-wise (see my previous blog here). Travelling during summer was definitely more efficient, using about 10% less battery compared to the winter trip. I put the difference down to not running the heating and (being daylight for much longer) not needing headlights. The trip home used a little more power than the trip there, but it was 38 degrees celsius outside (literally) so the airconditioning was on and actually had some work to do. It also wasn’t a completely comparable trip, as we actually left from Thirlmere on the Sunday afternoon for the trip home – so it was half an hour and about 40km longer than the trip to Bowral on the way up.
I had the elder junior Water Sprite with me for this trip. He came along to take photos and video. As at the time of writing I haven’t reviewed the footage, but I will put up a post on that in the next few weeks. There’ll be some YouTube footage going out too with any luck, as we took 5 action cam clips of the trains
Other than that, not much to report on the trip itself. I’m not in the habit of doing accommodation reviews here, and I’m not about to start. Ironically, perhaps, the only affordable place I could get this time was smaller than the room I had (in a different motel) last year when it was just me. No second bed, so the elder junior slept on a sleeping mat on the floor. I wasn’t sharing a double bed with a smelly teenager! (I DID pay for two of us to stay!). It was, however, quite decent for an older budget motel and I would quite definitely stay there again (although perhaps not with someone else).
Thirlmere Festival of Steam
The point of the trip (as it was last time) was to attend and take photos at the Thirlmere Festival of Steam. I have been to the NSW Railway Museum at Thirlmere several times, and it hasn’t changed much in the times I have visited, so I don’t go to see the Museum so much. It is nice to try and get shots of steam engines actually pulling trains though, so I have in both years gone out along the line to shoot the trains doing their thing. I will put up a post on that later.
Last year they ran the Festival of Steam in June because of COVID concerns during it’s normal slot. This year it was back in its normal time period. I’m not convinced I like the mid-late March slot – admittedly this year was unseasonably warm (and it was disgustingly warm), but I would still think March is much more likely to be unpleasant weather. June last year was a very pleasant weekend – but again, that might have been unseasonable, I don’t know. I did think last year’s Festival was overall a much more pleasant experience although the number of market stalls this year did seem to be significantly larger. I was too exhausted by the heat by the time we got to the market day on Sunday that we didn’t really have a look. Found some lunch and somewhere shady to sit and eat, then packed up and drove home.
That’s it for this week.