Yesterday the Diocese of Wollongong hosted an "Everything Aussie" day to welcome all the pilgrims that have stayed in the diocese in preparation for next week's activities for World Youth Day. We travelled to the event in Wollongong via Macquarie Pass - a very winding path through the mountains, with many hairpin bends and road edges bordering on long drops to the ground. This is an interesting YouTube video of a motorbike enjoying the seemingly never ending bends. We were sufficiently supplied with a variety of buckets if anyone started feeling car sick.
After this rather "scenic" drive, we wondered where we could park. The road next to the park was closed, so I went up to the fellows directing (and blocking) traffic and said we had pilgrims that needed to be dropped off. "OK, but you must continue on." "No worries," we replied.
We then stopped at a point we could drop everyone off while I continued looking for a spot when Lana saw a number of empty spots just nearby.
"Why not park there?" she asked.
I looked around, thought, "Why Not?" and entered in the exit and parked. Right between the beach and the park.
Our pilgrims then had the tough choice - go to the park or THE BEACH! (It wasn't really that difficult - the beach was on the list of THINGS TO DO). The seagulls were very co-operative once they realised we had some food scraps to throw their way. They hovered just above us while we were taking photos. Click on this photo of the greedy birds for a full detail shot.
All of the pilgrims visiting our parish fulfilled their task: A foot in the both sides of the Pacific - the American edge and the Australian edge.
I was once more wearing my Vegemite jumper. This jumper had been made for Lana's sister quite a long time ago and she was generous enough to give it to us when she realised I was brave (or silly) enough to wear it more often.
Quite a number of pilgrims stopped me and said, "Mr Vegemite! Can we take a picture? Can we get in a picture with you?"
"Sure," I answered as Lana and Ariel scurried away to temporarily deny knowledge of me. (Actually Lana claims she was moved out of the way as "persons of no consequence" not having obvious Vegemite flavoured clothing.) I dutifully asked if they had tried Vegemite and gave them tips on how to enjoy it more.
The "Everything Aussie" day was very busy with a small petting zoo, a Koala for petting, a kangaroo with joey, sheep shearing, rides, local foods and lots of other attractions. And Free Fairy Floss! Just right to get the children hyped up ready for Vigil Mass. Our feet were very sore by day's end.