Small town life is different. You might never have thought about moving to a small town but find yourself in one during your travels. That’s how I ended up working in Gumeracha, town of 400. I didn’t even know how to pronounce the name of this town and made a fool of myself asking for directions. Small towns can be fun though. They provide a totally different view on a country and often have some quirky sights to see.
Gumeracha consists of some small shops; antiques, post office, butcher, hair dressed, small grocery store/café, some take-aways and a pub. Then there is the football oval, a second-hand shop and a library. All of this can be found in one street, which is the main road to get to other small towns in the area.
Gumeracha’s main tourist attraction is a big wooden horse in front of a toy factory. It’s ‘the biggest wooden horse in the world’ according to many flyers. In the photos the things looks huge indeed, towering high above the trees. So why can’t I see it from afar? The trees must have grown since that photo. I climb to the top of the horse for a small fee. Great views are promised to me, but again; the trees must have grown. The view is partly blocked. Well worth the two dollars though.
Of course you can also visit the toy factory and buy as many wooden toys as you can carry. Also a good place for a souvenir. From the shop you can also access the wildlife park. Don’t get all excited. You can feed the kangaroos, sheep, goats and ducks. The kangaroos are so used to being fed that their noses are constantly on the ground, looking for food. They look drugged and nothing like the active, jumping roos in the wild.
“Hello” I suddenly hear behind me. I passed the cage of a cockatoo. Suspiciously I looked behind me. Did that thing talk to me? softly, so nobody would hear I whispered: “Hello birdie, how are you?” No answer. But as I continued my walk I hear him talking to the next person: “Hello!”
On the third Sunday of the month Gumeracha comes to life with a market at the town hall. I expected fresh veggies, fruit and bread and was excited to go. I opened the door of the building and saw… a nearly dead spectacle of some stalls with bored looking people behind them. Some had homemade jewelry or crafts, some sold books. There was no food apart from a coffee stall with homemade cookies.
I still managed to come out with a book, written by the man who sold it, and some earrings. Aah, it wasn’t completely useless. I’d mingled and embraced small town life. I had explored the town of Gumeracha and indulged in its pleasures. Next time, I can always take a bus to the city again.