Judging by the first visit to the Bathurst mall, it is not the busiest place on earth. With an actual population of 26,050 in the town, the mall was a pleasant place to visit to get our general shopping and errands done, then, someone mentioned a RACE. OMG! What a difference a long weekend makes. On the Tuesday after the October long weekend, needing to get some final supplies before leaving the Bathurst region, we paid one last visit to the main mall. Yikes. It was like the entire redneck nation had migrated overnight. The place was a sea of Jack Daniels and Jim Beam jackets. In fact as we made our escape through the rear fire doors (after stuffing a box of Kat’s tampons up my T-shirt sleeve to look like a pack of smokes so as not to get mobbed) I swear I saw them setting up barricades at the main entrance of the mall with placards reading: No Jack, No Jim, No Entry!
The shopping experience itself was far from the pleasant encounter that had greeted us the first time. Throngs of people milled this way and that making Christmas look like a trio of small children playing in the sandpit. Holden flags and Ford flags stuck out of shopping trolleys everywhere and we were lucky not to loose and eye as they jostled for position heading for the next purchase much like their beloved cars will be jostling for position in a couple of days from now. I saw kids aged about 11 sporting the Jack Daniels jacket, a one legged man using every inch of his body to support Holden (guess he drives an auto), enough mullets to make the Murrumbidgee River jealous and where would you be if there wasn’t a raffle for a HUMMER. And you can’t raffle a HUMMER without having the plasma mounted in the back and the stereo cranking out AC/DC now can you.
Yes, the Bathurst 1000 certainly does have an impact in Bathurst, and the major impact on us was to get the hell out of there!