Author Archives: dimcfarlane369

About dimcfarlane369

My husband Peter and I are currently travelling around Australia in our new Kimberley Kruiser.

Bundoora Dam – Lake Elphinstone (Queensland)

22/05/18  We’ve had our first awful camp. Bundoora Dam is located 28 kilometres south-west of Middlemount on Connection Road which links Middlemount and Dysart with Tieri and Capella. It is a very popular campsite for travellers. The rookie mistake we made was going there on a weekend, when it’s also popular with the locals. With no spots available along the water’s edge, we settled for what looked to be a quiet camping area a little up the hill. But at around 9:00pm, four carloads of local bogans pulled in and the thumping music got underway until 4:00am. Lots of slow groans passed between them as they stirred at sunrise; hopefully some new social diseases too. Needless to say, we were out of there early, lesson learned – on weekends avoid dams and weirs that are popular with the locals.

240kms further up the road beyond the townships of Middlemount and Nebo, Lake Elphinstone on Sutton Developmental Road more than made up for the previous sleep-interrupted night and we got our happy faces back on. What a great place! With no-one else in sight around us, we camped on the edge of the large naturally-occurring lake, in among river gums and lovely old twisty paperbark trees, with a view of the expanse of water and thousands of waterbirds. The cameras came out and Di commenced clicking away. She spotted a new bird, a Cotton Pygmy-Goose. The black swans, pelicans, and many varieties of ducks kept up a regular chatter all day, even in the dead of night with their “You’re too close!”; “Give me room!”; “Daffy! Where are you?” Close your eyes and it sounded like you’re near a poultry farm; open them and you were greeted with this view.

We stayed for three relaxing days at Lake Elphinstone doing lots of bird watching, reading, sitting in the sun, and stargazing at night.

Di and I pretty much came to the same conclusion that we’d had our fill of dry, flat and dusty country. While I especially like getting away from the populated east coast, the country we’d just been through had been pretty uninteresting and we’d just been driving from A to B to C without stopping and checking out places like we always enjoy doing. There hasn’t been much lately to warrant any of that so we’re going to alter course for greener pastures. After Lake Elphinstone, we’ll be veering towards the coast, to head north with the ocean on our right. Hopefully, the greener pastures won’t be too crowded.

“Sometimes the road less travelled is less travelled for a reason.” – Jerry Seinfeld

Categories: Travel News, Travel News - Queensland | Tags: , ,

Futter Creek – Bedford Weir (Queensland)

19/05/18  I put my name into the Wu-Tang Names Generator website. It came back with “From this day forward, you will also be known as E-ratic Conqueror.” I thought “Yep, not bad, I can go with that” especially given the weirdly erratic trouble I had hitching up the van that morning, before I totally aced it.

After three nice days at Moore Park Beach, we headed off past cane fields bordering the road to meet the Bruce Highway at Gin Gin, and in fairly light traffic, headed north for an overnighter at Futter Creek, south of Calliope. Charles and Joy went to Agnes Waters to have a look at the coastal spots going north, while we’re doing a loop west, returning to the coast at Townsville. In one of those surprising “it’s a small world” things, pulling in to Futter Creek we came across a couple who were camped there at the same time as us last year. They’d done quite a lot of travel since then, but there they were with us again – same time, same place. Huh. Futter Creek had no phone or internet reception so we hit the books and hit the sack early. Even the folks with the persistently rotating sat dish on their roof gave up trying to locate a signal. Total telecommunications dead spot.

It wouldn’t have been too hard at all to stay on longer at Futter Creek. We were keen to get further north, though, beyond where we’d finished up last year so it would start feeling like a brand new trip and not just covering old ground. Consequently, the next morning saw us heading off early, to Mount Larcom for a leg stretch and meat pie (couldn’t resist), then just shy of Rockhampton we turned west to Gracemere, had a stop at Duaringa for a cuppa, and went on through Dingo to camp at Bedford Weir, 30kms north of Blackwater. Just a couple of kilometres before reaching Bedford Weir, we crossed over the Tropic of Capricorn. Despite being designated with a broken line on the map, no such line was evident across the roadway.

You know it’s going to be a good campsite when a pair of Rainbow Lorikeets land on the van roof to check you out and, with a piece of apple and very little enticement, end up sitting on your hand, happily feeding, and being stroked. That sort of thing doesn’t happen every day. Though I’m thinking “Hmm, maybe we’re not the first suckers to fall for their con.” Over two days they cleaned up my stock of apples. The only bad thing about Bedford Weir were the bindies!

And in another of those “it’s a small world” things, what got me fanging on a pie at Mount Larcom was a couple sitting outside the bakery fanging into one themselves and commenting how tasty it was. They were Harley riders going home from a meet in Townsville, back to, of all places, Scarborough. Turns out they live not too far from us. Huh.

Speaking of small world, it’ll soon be getting smaller – by that I mean more crowded. It seems we’re presently a little ahead of the Mexicans. The wave of southern travellers coming north to escape the winter cold has yet to form into the unremitting annual migration, not unlike Wildebeest across the Serengeti. Our Maryborough camp site was practically empty. Nor was Moore Park Beach by any means at capacity. And at our Futter Creek overnighter, there were just two other vans apart from us. License plates have primarily been Queenslander. The exodus has yet to happen, and we’re enjoying the relative solitude while it lasts. It’s quiet…maybe, as they say, too quiet. Yet, there is a palpable thrum in the air. ”They’re coming…They’re coming…” is being passed around in whispers. The migratory urge is beginning to manifest itself down south. With any luck, by the time the southern tribes ascend on our fair State, we’ll be further north and west of the bulk of them.

Di and I are finally feeling that we’re shaking off our seven month stint at home, and getting our van rhythm back. It takes a little thought, patience and understanding. And letting go of timelines and schedules and planning. And just going with the flowing. It’s about the Vibe. It’s about stopping to smell the gum leaves. Yep, it’s all about the Vibe.

“Pilates? I thought you said pie and lattes!”

Categories: Travel News, Travel News - Queensland | Tags: , , ,

Scarborough – Moore Park Beach (Queensland)

15/05/18  After seven months at home, we’re back on the road to complete last year’s cut-short trip, going north from Brisbane to Cape York, across to Normanton in the Gulf, and a zig-zag route back down through Central Queensland. The country should be pretty green after all the rain up that way. No more cyclones and floodwaters, right? Touch wood.

The Things-To-Do-At-Home List was all ticked off – medical checks, dental checks, vehicle checks, home renovations, lots of other things – and Di and I were itching to go. We could just about smell it in the air – that whiff of dust and diesel and eyeglass cleaner (in-joke) that smells like travel. Both the Landy and Kruiser were serviced and champing at the bit, up against the rails, rearing to go. Perspectives change when you’re home too long – one fly in the house and it’s a rush for the insect spray; one fly in camp and it’s a good day.

It should be less expensive now we’re gone. My chronic OPD (Overlanding Preparedness Disorder) had been in remission. But with the long spell at home since last September, it’s quite understandable that I had a few relapses. So, in accordance with the principle that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, I picked up some more Drifta canvas bags to hold the ground mat and other stuff, and a nice protective bag for the small butane stove and another one for the 2-burner gas stove. I have a thing for canvas bags – and a dislike of loose gear rattling around and rubbing. And a nice little Uniflame bread toaster too that I’m keen to try out.

The roof rack awning on the Landy had come out second best in an altercation with a campsite tree on our WA trip, and while it was still pretty secure, it was askew and from the rear looked about ready to fall off. So the cactus L-brackets got binned for a couple of solid Front Runner awning brackets – surprisingly inexpensive bits of quality gear. The awning now sits a little higher than before, and tucked in closer to the Front Runner roof rack. Besides looking better, it should also be harder for trees to argue with…ripper!

How good is internet shopping! I was like a web warrior with a black belt in “google fu”. A few keyboard clicks and a courier van arrived at the door with a pair of canvas sleeves from Stone Stomper to cover the canvas flaps on the back of the Landy. So when she’s not towing, the Stone Stomper flaps can be rolled up nicely in the sleeves and she no longer looks like she’s wearing a tutu.

I’d been combing the web for ways to use the space in the Landy when we travel, and came across some gear based on the molle (pronounced like Molly as in Meldrum) military system. Magically, the stuff soon appeared via courier at the door. Landy has now gone tactical, sporting a seat-back molle panel to which are attached five pouches and a rip away Velcro IFAC (individual first aid kit) set up for snake-bite. The pouches hold small stuff previously stowed away under seats and in other hard to get at places, now all at hand and more organised. When we’re not travelling, the panel can be quickly unclipped and removed, complete with pouches. And besides working well, it looks Seriously Cool and battle-ready. And that’s important. Di’s new role will be manning the 0.50 calibre.

Our Hema navigation maps – digital ones, not paper (we have paper ones too just in case the tablet dies, like one did once…got to have redundancy, right?) – are on a tablet that sits above the centre console in the Landy, held in place by gravity. This setup has worked well most of the time, but I’ve learned that gravity becomes impaired on corrugated roads, when the tablet bounces around and Di has to hold it in her lap to stop it from taking flight. So another OPD episode had me buying some RAM mounts to secure the tablet. It’s great stuff, solid and well made, and pretty versatile in how it can be used. Better yet, it wasn’t too expensive. Now when we travel, the tablet is attached by a short clamp arm to a 1” ball mounted on the dash and when we’re at home, I can swap the tablet for a Garmin satnav…easy-peasy.

A little while ago, I called in to see Wayne at Wayne Lloyds Tyre and Mechanicals, my local go-to guy for anything to do with rubber hitting the road. I wanted to arrange for the fitting of replacement pressure sensors to the tyres on the van. The current sensors were installed back in 2014, but their non-replaceable batteries had begun to fail last year, resulting in some very random readings. So replacements were called for. While we chatted, Wayne asked how the tyres had been performing that he’d fitted to the Landy in 2013. Three of the six Goodyear Wrangler AT tyres had failed at various times in our travels due to separation of the bead from the side wall. When I replaced each one, I’d stayed with the same brand (but by then a later design) because I was happy with their road noise and off-road performance and didn’t really want to have a mix of different tyres on the vehicle.

Wayne got on the phone to the Goodyear rep and it turned out that the earlier Wrangler ATs had a fault that was subsequently rectified in the later design. Goodyear offered to replace at no charge the three remaining old-design tyres still on the car. The upshot is that the Landy now has all six wheels shod with good quality all-terrain rubber. These tyres aren’t cheap so I was dead set stoked with the good deal that came out of just a casual conversation. Two big thumbs up for the excellent service from both my local tyre guy and Goodyear. Good things come from good relationships with good people. Karma…what goes around comes around.

We’ve outlaid heaps throughout our travels to keep the Landy and Kruiser in good, safe condition but, in one of those lightbulb moments that happen, it occurred to me I’d overlooked a crucial bit of equipment – the hitch pin that has the critical job of keeping the van attached to the car. It’s a small piece of metal with a big, big job. The pin I use is a locking anti-rattle hitch pin that I got from BTA Towing Equipment in late 2014. Giving it the once-over, something looked not quite right. The pin has a locking piece at one end, which was still attached but somewhere along the way in our travels the lock barrel had fallen out of it. While the pin still worked, it was no longer theft- or tamper-proof. So I contacted BTA on the off-chance I could purchase just the missing bit, and was very surprised by their offer to replace the whole thing free of charge. The replacement pin arrived within days. It’s great when a company stands behind its product and customers like that, especially after three years.

I also had a local canvas supplier make up a wall panel for the Kruiser’s driver’s-side awning to keep the sun off the wall where the fridge and freezer are located, and a canvas weather cover for the drawbar.

Anyway, that’s enough about the trip preparation stuff. We’re now actually on the trip.

Maryborough – Doon Villa Campground (Qld)

First stop was Maryborough to check in on my uncle who had the medical problems last year that resulted in us terminating our trip. All was well and the following day we travelled further north to Moore Park Beach, 20 minutes from Bundaberg, where we’ve camped for three days with Charles and Joy, friends from Perth who we met on our WA trip in 2016. They are halfway through the Big Lap and we’ve timed things so they join up with us for the Queensland leg.

A yummy Mother’s Day lunch was spent with my brother Steve and his wife Bron and their family at the Spotted Dog Tavern in Bundy. Their pizzas are highly recommended. Back at Moore Park Beach, after a sustained onslaught of pestering and coercion, I rather reluctantly agreed to join Di for a dip in the ocean. From the beach, it looked very scenic and pleasant. However, my reluctance was justified – it was bloody cold in the water and even colder out. The man bits protested and got busy retracting themselves into my stomach cavity. A lovely hot shower at the top of the beach managed to thaw out the iclicles, though. We liked Moore Park Beach and reckon it’d be a good spot to camp for a week or two. Have to keep that in mind for next year.

“Stress is caused by not camping enough.”

Categories: Travel News, Travel News - Queensland | Tags: , , , ,

Bird Watching – Kabra To Maryborough (Queensland)

10/09/17

Categories: Bird Watching | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Rosedale Hotel – Maryborough (Queensland)

10/09/17  Rosedale Hotel – Binnowee Bush Camp – Iron Ridge Park – Doon Villa Campground, Maryborough

Resuming our trek back to Maryborough after three days at Futter Creek, we travelled 140kms south to cross a very rattly old timber railway bridge into the small township of Rosedale, and camped out back of the pub. At best, it was a pretty basic campsite in amongst a large yard of discarded junk and scrap but in Rosedale for $10 you can’t expect the Hilton. It was OK for just an overnight stop and the price did include power, hot showers and laundry facilities, so it was kind of a bargain. We didn’t use the latter but both of us delighted in the long and gloriously hot shower after three days of navy washes at Futter Creek in our shower. You can overlook just about anything if the shower is hot and stays hot long enough.

The one night at Rosedale Pub was enough. The following morning, we trekked a mere 44kms to Binnowee Bush Camp, just north of Bundaberg, to a lovely spot at the edge of a large dam bordered by paperbark trees. The bird life kept Di occupied and she spotted a new bird – a Little Grass Bird. Each evening meal was cooked over the campfire. It was a very enjoyable three days at a very pretty spot. We met up for campfire scones, and then later for drinks, with fellow travellers, brothers Ken and Murray, and their wives Ann and Ann (not hard to get the girls names right). Ken’s Ann presented me with a pair of knitted slippers that have had a lot of use during the cold nights while I’m sitting up reading. My tootsies are very warm and happy.

Iron Ridge Park – Campsite (Qld)

 

Our last stop before Maryborough was back at Iron Ridge Park near Childers for two days. In town, we met up again with Ken and Ann for coffee and I took the opportunity to restock the dwindling wine cellar in the Kruiser with more reds from Brierley Wines. Purely medicinal, mind you; it’s good for the blood.

We arrived back in Maryborough to collect my uncle from the base hospital where he’d been treated for a break in his lower right fibula. The following week saw us assisting him at his home – Di couldn’t help herself and got stuck into a major clean of his house while I arranged for some disability furniture aids to make him more comfortable.

Further medical complications resulted in him being flown to Brisbane and we are heading there as well to see how he’s getting on. It was fortunate that we were there with him when the complications arose. These unforeseen developments have brought our planned travels to an early end but, on the positive side, going home will allow us to get stuck into some major flooring renovations that need doing and Di has some dental renovations to be completed as well.

Sometimes the road of life takes an unexpected turn and you have no choice but to follow it to end up in the place you are supposed to be.

Categories: Travel News, Travel News - Queensland | Tags: , , , , , ,

Kabra – Futter Creek (Queensland)

27/08/17  After weeks of glorious weather – clear blue skies and mid-20s temperatures – we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn at Rockhampton. The next two days were very hot and uncomfortable with temperatures up into the 30s, though, happily, this unpleasant weather was short-lived, followed by a couple of days of cold blustery winds and extremely cold nights and mornings. Whenever we’ve crossed the Tropic of Capricorn, regardless of where in Australia, it’s been associated with a marked and immediate change in the temperature.

A short fifteen minute drive west of Rockhampton, we camped next to the Kabra pub on the busy Capricorn Highway. Lots of semis were barrelling both ways, carrying goods to and from the Bowen Basin in the west, and immediately across the roadway, the dual rail line was busy all day and night with long coal trains from the Bowen Basin coal mines heading east to Rocky – multiple locomotives with up to 100 coal wagons – and empty ones returning west for refilling. We camped there for three nights, awaiting the arrival of tyre pressure sensors to replace those on the van that had started to fail shortly after leaving home. In the past three years, the system’s low pressure alarm has saved a few tyres from complete destruction and I was reluctant to tackle any gravel roads without a properly working tyre monitoring system.

The Kabra pub is unusual in its construction. We were told that the original old timber pub and adjacent hall were originally located nearer to the town. The pub, owned by a wily old lady, burnt down and while insurance was being arranged, a temporary bar was set up and the hall used for bar storage. Insurance came through, but then the hall subsequently burnt down and was subject to a further insurance claim. The story goes that insurance paid out again but on the proviso that the new pub was to be constructed of concrete block with cement floor. The new pub is built like a bunker. You can just about clean it out with a fire hose. No more fire insurance payouts, I assume.

Yeppoon – Singing Ship Monument (Qld)

Just to the north of Rocky at Yeppoon, we caught up for the day with locals Vic and Bronwyn, 5th wheelers we’d met recently at the Futter Creek camp, and had lunch with them at the yacht club over a nice piece of local beef.

Our travel plans have now changed due to an accident involving my uncle, the one we’d recently visited with in Maryborough. A fall and subsequent broken ankle laid him up in hospital and we’re heading back there to help him get back on his feet after he’s discharged. As we get older, we don’t seem to bounce as well as we used to when we were spry and nimble.

We’re now working our way back south and are again camped at Futter Creek for a couple of days.

You know that point you reach halfway between being awake and asleep – that numb state of drowsiness when thought is slipping away. I was in that lethargic state, reclining back in the chair, soaking up the sun, nodding off…when an angle grinder started up and blew it all to hell. Hardly what you’d expect to encounter at a pleasant little creekside camp spot in the middle of nowhere.

It was all the fault of the guy in the van just across the way. He started the whole thing. It was laundry day and out came the portable washing machine and generator onto the grass beside his van. Now, if it was me, I’d have put it all around the back to block the noise, but that’s just me.

Anyway, next thing, Old Mate from the van next door spies Washing Guy’s generator and, seizing on an opportunity, trots over and plugs an angle grinder into it and starts grinding away at some God-Only-Knows-What thing he’s got going on.

In no time at all, Grinding Man triggers some deep primal urge in Old Mate in the van on the other side of Washing Guy, who proceeds to get out his own grinder and gets stuck into his own noisy God-Only-Knows-What project.

Our once-serene campsite is now reverberating to the cacophony of washing machine, generator and angle grinders.

Offering a discordant accompaniment to the tune of the “The Laundry and Construction Orchestral Trio” are Ma and Pa Kettle in the mobile home on the other side – Ma with her irritatingly loud nasally voice that I’m sure could easily etch glass if she tried just a little bit harder, continually berating downtrodden-looking Pa Kettle for daring to breathe; and Pa hollering to whoever’s on the speakerphone that they are camped in such a nice quiet spot and that their toilet pump isn’t working. Makes sense now. I thought they were full of it. And their little spotted Rat Dog’s perpetual struggles to cough up that permanently stuck fur ball just rounds off the complete symphonic package.

Serenity is such a fragile and fleeting thing. Angle grinders pale compared to Ma Kettle’s dulcet voice.

“We’re out of here first thing tomorrow.” – Pete

Categories: Travel News, Travel News - Queensland | Tags: , , , , ,

Mount Morgan (Queensland)

20/08/17 After a night at the Futter Creek camp, we headed west through lush cattle country that is undoubtedly the reason nearby Rockhampton promotes itself as the Beef Capital of Australia. The cattle we saw were glowing with condition – the fats were very fat and the bulls very bully. Our intended campsite at Biloela and another further north at Goovigen were both bypassed as we’d been making good time and chose to go on to Mount Morgan for a couple of days pursuing family history links.

I was last in Mount Morgan as a seven year old holidaying with my family, and for that short time my elder brother and I were enrolled at Calliungal North State School where our maternal grandfather, Connor Connell, was the principal and sole teacher from 1950 until his retirement in 1965. My memories of that time are very patchy – Grandad circulating around the single classroom as he taught each of the year level groups; sitting with the other students on bench form seats in a vaulted-roofed music room singing “A Scottish Soldier” with Grandma playing the piano and occasionally emphasizing with her hand the metre of the song; the musty smell of wooden school desks, chalk dust and wet writing slates; constructing meccano contraptions on the front veranda of the school residence that seemed the size of an aircraft carrier deck; collecting eggs each day from the wire and corrugated tin chook yard out the back – so I was looking forward to seeing if the buildings still existed and if they evoked any additional childhood memories of that time.

On the outskirts of town, after asking a local for directions to the old school, we very soon pulled up at an old school building now functioning as a private residence. We introduced ourselves to the very elderly owner who was more than happy to chat and recount stories about the building and school days. After an hour or so, I remarked that the school residence didn’t seem at all familiar, so my grandfather may have lived elsewhere away from the school. I said he’d been listed on a number of census returns for that time as living in Baree – to which she responded that Baree was the next community just out of town. “Well then, I guess he must have lived away from the Calliungal North State School to have that address on the census returns.” “This wasn’t Calliungal North State School,” she said, “This was the old Walterhall State School. Calliungal North is further out of town at Baree.”

We had a good laugh, realising that for the past hour we’d each been speaking about totally different schools and still making good sense of it all. Regardless, she was a lovely lady and the chat had been a very enjoyable reminiscence of those times. Now following her directions, Di and I headed off to hopefully locate the correct school. A wrong turn on the way and we pulled over once again to ask directions from a chap standing in his front yard.

“G’day. I’m looking for the old Calliungal North State School. Would you know where it might be?”

“I should. I did my primary schooling there.”

“My grandfather was principal there for fifteen years,” I said. When I mentioned my grandfather’s name, he said “Old Pop Connell! Yes, he taught me the whole time from Grades 1 to 6. Great teacher and great bloke!” After introductions, Keith asked us inside his home and we chatted for an hour or so, with him digging out old photos and ringing his sister a few doors up the road to see if she might have any others that included my grandparents. He also asked after a couple of my uncles who were at school with him in those days. Lovely guy. Keith promised to have a look for more photos and we met up with him again the following day. What’re the odds of a person you meet quite by chance knowing your grandfather and some of your uncles really well! Small world. But then again, Baree is a very small place. Keith had been born and raised in the small weatherboard cottage that he still lived in.

Once again, and now following Keith’s directions, we went off to find the school; this time with success. There it was perched on top of “that bloody hill” that the kids trudged up and down each school day. Tooting the car horn at the rather large guard dog sign on the front gate, Di and I introduced ourselves to the owners, explaining why we were there. They very graciously allowed us a tour of the building that had opened as a school in 1904, closed at the end of 1971, and was now a family home.

Keith had confirmed that my patchy recollections of the internal layout were pretty accurate. But the original internal timber walls had been removed some time ago and the arrangement of rooms considerably altered. The impressive old building has undergone a number of transformations in the almost half century since it ceased being a school, including conversion into flats and for a few years as home to a rather dubious and secretive religious cult till that faded away. The exterior, though, has remained very much as it had always been, aside from the addition of a few windows when a false ceiling was installed inside.

Through renovation gaps, we caught glimpses of the glorious original vaulted ceilings of tongue and groove timber and the original double-height windows now lighting the unused void above the false ceiling. I could see why, with such raking ceilings and windows, I‘d remembered the classroom being like a cathedral; a high lofty space. Thankfully the current owners wish to retain as much of the authenticity of the building as possible as they continue to renovate it into their home.

Calliungal North SS – Old Principal’s Residence (Qld)

They took us next door to the old principal’s residence and introduced us to that owner, who was pleased to show us through and relate what she knew of the buildings past. We had a very pleasant chat with both owners about the history of their buildings and the area, and most especially with Keith, the past student, who shared several warm memories of my grandparents.

In all, we spent six days in Mount Morgan. The town’s past, present and future focusses very much on the gold mine that in its day was the richest in the world. It’s been closed now since 1990. The locals hint at the possibility of rejuvenation due to modern techniques for extracting gold from the old tailings, but they seem unconvinced much will happen soon. With very little other industry in town to support the community, the general downturn was evident. It’s a great shame that the once wealthy, vibrant and historic mining town now appears to be in its twilight years.

“Towns are like people. Old ones often have character, the new ones are interchangeable.” – Wallace Stegner

Categories: Travel News, Travel News - Queensland | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Bird Watching – Gympie to Mount Morgan (Queensland)

17/08/17

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Kruising Musing 18

16/08/17  A Fair Call

While the two of us motored along, I was quietly musing on the number of caravans travelling in the opposite direction. I was doing more waving than the Queen Mum and developing RSI in my wrist. I remarked to Di that about 1 in 4 vehicles coming the other way were travellers heading south – travellers being caravans, motorhomes, camper trailers and whiz bangs. To Di, 1 in 4 seemed a lot. Was I indeed correct?

On the road you look for anything to pass the time and we latched onto my latest theory like a magnet, resolving to put it to the test. Fact Check it – Fact or Fiction? Firstly, we deliberated and then agreed on the required statistical groups – Travellers vs Non-Travellers – and which vehicles fell into each category. It was then determined that a 10 minute survey would provide a reasonable and (for that time of day) representative statistical sample. Having laid the basis for our test, we then commenced a tally of oncoming traffic for the requisite time duration, with Di recording the count.
Calculation of the results proved that, indeed, my original estimate had been sound, with 24 Travellers recorded compared to 60 Non-Travellers, representing 28.57% of southbound traffic being Travellers. Close enough to 1 in 4 – well, 1 in 3.5 actually, but you can’t realistically have 3.5 vehicles….Hey, c’mon now, wake up! I hear you snoring. I know it’s not very riveting stuff, but it did help pass the time for a while. And besides, I like being proven CORRECT.

A good wife always forgives her husband when she’s wrong.

Travellers On The Road (Google Image)

Categories: Kruising Musings | Tags:

Lowmead – Futter Creek (Queensland)

14/08/17  The drive up through the heavily wooded hills of the Warro Forest Reserve was a slow haul, along a snaking gravel road and across a narrow wooden bridge that I thought best to walk over first before clunking across the rattly wooden bridge deck with the rig. Shortly after descending the far side of Mt Warro, we came to the small village of Lowmead, and over the level rail crossing of the main north-south line to set up in the large shady backyard of the pub.

Over a drink in the pub a little later, Di asked the publican and two guys sitting at the bar how many people lived in Lowmead.

“Six” they all agreed after counting it up.

“Six houses?”

“No, six people.”

With the two guys at the bar, the publican, two others sitting across the room, and both of us, it was pretty much full house for Sunday lunch.

We unhitched the van and took an afternoon drive to nearby Agnes Waters and the Town of 1770. Di loved the long curving white beach at Agnes Waters, but 1770 didn’t appeal to us much at all – too hilly, too isolated and too many backpacker whiz bangs everywhere. Bustard Bay, dotted with many boats and yachts moored offshore, was certainly scenic and would be a great place to stay if you were a boatie. But we weren’t.

With the shadows lengthening in the late afternoon, we enjoyed a drink beside the van looking across the paddocks to Baffle Creek at the far tree line. An impressive Spotted Harrier on the hunt, skimming above the tops of the tall grass seed heads, proved faster than Di could locate her camera. She settled for just a distant hazy image of this new bird to her list. We had a very quiet and peaceful camp site, tucked away in the back corner behind the pub, despite the occasional horn toots of trains approaching the nearby level rail crossing. Thankfully, they didn’t blow their horn at night.

The next morning, we packed up and headed north through Miriam Vale and Calliope to a camp at Futter Creek. The days are becoming steadily warmer as we travel further north. The nights are still cold and we’re hitting the sack much earlier, our sleep patterns very much dictated by sunset and sunrise.

Futter Creek (Qld)

“Knock Knock! Who’s there? Tibet! Tibet who? Early Tibet and early to rise!”

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