Define: Bombala

Bombala is a small country town in the south eastern region of New South Wales, Australia. It is about 485km (301 mi) south of Sydney, and about 200km (124mi) from the nation’s capital, Canberra, ACT. It has a small population of approximately 1,206 people and it name comes from the local Aboriginal meaning “Meeting of the waters”. Its principle industries include grazing and timber, with a number of smaller specialty producers with meat rabbits, lavender and herbs.   (Source: Wikipedia, 31 July 2011)

See Bombala on Google Maps!

What I didn’t know, and I found quite interesting, is that Bombala could have had an entirely different future: in 1903, it was put forward for consideration as the new location of Australia’s capital, due to its location of halfway between two existing major state capitals, Sydney NSW and Melbourne, Victoria. Ultimately Canberra was chosen, but how about that!

However, Bombala came to mean something very different in my family. If you’ve read my About page, you will know that while I am Smrat and Intellagent, my family knows of many instances when that has not been the case.

Here is one of these.

Once upon a time, a girl named Morgan lived in Newcastle, NSW. But her mum lived a long way away in Canberra. One weekend she decided to visit her mum in Canberra, so she packed her basket full of goodies and hopped in her superfast go-cart with a red hood and started the long drive to Canberra via Sydney.

Later that day she arrived in Canberra and her mum was very glad to see her. They enjoyed what Morgan had brought in her basket and had a lovely weekend together. But, like all weekends do, it started to end so Morgan had to say goodbye to her mum and drive back home so she could be refreshed for work the next morning.

And that’s what Morgan did. She waved goodbye from her go-cart and set off down the road.

After a while, Morgan started to think the countryside looked a bit different from the hills and farms she saw on her way to Canberra. The road was smaller too. But it was so pretty, so she kept going.

A while longer and Morgan started to think she should have been on the Big Highway by now. But Morgan didn’t have a map, and being in the Australian countryside her phone didn’t have any signal. So she decided to stop in the next town before dark and buy a map.

But in the Australian countryside towns are far apart. Finally Morgan saw a sign pointing to a country town, Bombala! She was just in time. She found a small service station that was just about to close for the night! She got more fuel and a map and a map there. That’s when she saw just how far of a wrong turn she had made!!

“Oh dear.” was all she could muster. When that wore off a few seconds later, she said “Oh well!”

Morgan hopped back in her little red-hooded go cart and headed back up the road. Since this had now turned into an Adventure, she decided not to go back the way she came via Canberra but instead drive up the East Coast. There were more towns that way so she could get more fuel and food, and keep in range of the phone towers so she could call her Nana, who tends to worry when people aren’t home on time.

Onward she went. It got dark, and she saw kangaroos and wallabies and lots of places she remembered from family road trips when she was a youngling. She called her Nana and they talked and talked and talked while Morgan drove and drove and drove.

Finally Morgan drove into her Nana’s driveway in the early hours of the morning. Nana was very happy to see her, and put her to bed. In the morning, a very sleepy Morgan went to work and worked all day. Then she went back to her Nana’s for dinner. As they talked and laughed about how Silly Morgan can be, Nana declared the new word for Morgan’s Silly Mistakes with Happy Endings was Bombala!

And that’s what a Bombala is on these pages! So when you see it being used to describe some of the things I do on this blog, that’s why.

To help you visualise just how colossal this Bombala was, here’s a map with my flight path (Flight path because while I was very much on the road and concentrating on driving, I have no idea where my head was drifting to end up where I did). And here’s the stats: I drove about 881km (547mi) over 12 hours. I got home at 3.30am. If I’d made the right turn out of Canberra, I would have done only 438km (272mi) in just over 5 hours. What a Bombala!

One day I intend to go back to Bombala, next time intentionally, and have a look around! It was a very lovely area, and I think I remember a fancy country teahouse being nearby…

See you again soon Bombala!

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