036. 20th September 2008. Our visitors get to experience Wandoo…
Geoff and Margaret had been away from their Bomaderry residence for about 5 months in the outback and Northern Territory. They stopped at Airlie Beach on their slow and leisurely trip home. We had already planned to join the Sugarloafers at Wandoo Station for the weekend, taking a days leave so we could have an extra day in the bush.
So it was we convinced G&M to join us.
The station turnoff on the highway is not signposted and easy to miss. Nonetheless we found it and followed the two wheel tracks to the railway line, which divides the property.
While Margaret assisted Donnis by opening then closing the near gate, while Donnis climbed a short but steep hill leading up to the tracks, crossed and opened the gate on the other side. While I drove over first, keeping a watchful eye on the train lines in both directions in case a train was approaching. Geoff followed, Margaret closed the gate behind him and followed up across and over to the other side where Donnis was ready to close the gate behind us. As they were closing the gate a monster coal train easily 1 kilometre long roared passed with a long toot on the air horns and a wave from the driver.
Following the track to Funnell Creek we found the Sugarloafers Camp high up on the bank.
Some were parked to get a view while most were just parked. After walking around saying hello we then looked for a place to set up camp. Our preference is always to get a view. We found a spot with a bit of a hump and a bit of a depression and an ancient stump. By driving into the depression and nosing up to the stump the bus was level front to back and side to side and the hump in the middle was just under our step.
The ground radiated out mostly level to a large hole big enough to swallow a couple of buses. By backing into the level area Geoff was able to have the caravan on level ground and with our awnings wound out and meeting in the middle we had a nice level, shaded area for eating, entertaining and lounging.
That evening we had the usual camp cooked communal dinner laid on by the Sugarloafers. At $4 a head we get an excellent meal including dessert all in an atmosphere of camaraderie. We dined under the stars with a glass or two of red or white. The sounds of the night were interspersed with shouts of glee and cheerfulness from the group of Scouts and Guides camped below us closer to the water. Our cheerful President Sandra as usual sat up with the card-playing group, including Donnis until lights out (the generator gets turned off) at 9.30.
Geoff became “in demand” at happy hour
due to his television, computer and electronics experience. He is also something of a raconteur and always has an audience. Next day there was a steady stream of visitors to our campsite from Sugarloafers seeking advice.
Late in the afternoon, using a borrowed satellite dish and portable TV, Geoff set up the dish signal and TV so we could watch the Final of the Rugby League. About 10 Sugarloafers dragged their chairs over to our campsite and cheered or booed as the game progressed. It was a fun night and cards went on for a bit longer than usual.
Monday rolled around and Geoff showed a bit more self-sufficiency in the travelling lifestyle. He pulled out a small Lemair washing machine hooked it up to an inverter and was ready to get a few days washing carried out. He and Margaret carried bucket-loads of water from the creek and by sitting a bucket on top of another bucket they were able to use the re-cycle program.
After a great stir fry lunch we were on the way home mid afternoon. G&M stayed on for a few more days to saviour the experience. As always I was reluctant to leave.