102. Sunday 20th September 2009. The lure of the bush pulls at me…

It has been another busy workweek for both of us. Donnis planned to get all the external ceilings and under eaves painted. She managed one day and got called in to work every day after that.

We were looking forward to a weekend at Pinevale but Donnis realised she is working both days.

I will go alone.

Several years ago I would have stayed home but the last year or two I have gone to weekend camps alone if Donnis is working. Otherwise I would be at home…painting.

This week I was reading Cuppa’s latest blog update (there is a link to his blog site on this blog) He and Julie are still in Katherine waiting on a new motor. They struggled from Kunnunurra and were eventually towed into Katherine on the back of a tray top truck. I noticed some of his photos are the same as mine when we were there anout 8 years ago. For example, here is a photo of the dam at Ord River. Seems he took his photo from the same spot. Our photo was taken August 2001.

Ord River Dam.

Ord River Dam.

After getting up early on Saturday and staying out of Donnis way as she was getting ready for work, I finished packing stuff in “WHEREWILLWEGO” and had a light breakfast. Shortly after Donnis left for work I was on my way but first a slight detour. I was still hungry and decided to have a Hungry Jacks Breakfast Wrap which includes a cup of coffee. I knew the wrap included a piece of bacon, and egg, a slice of cheese and a hash brown. I thought this would be a hearty breakfast and see me through to smoko time. What I did not count on was the salt laden barbecue sauce they drown the food in! Yuck! It was about the third bite when the BBQ sauce made itself known to me. From then on I struggled to eat the stuff. Thank goodness for the coffee, although mild it still helped to wash the sauce taste out my mouth but did not help to relieve the horrible sick feeling in my stomach for the next 2 hours. The countryside is dry all the way to Pinevale and in fact the campsite on the hill overlooking the Pioneer River is also looking a bit dry although down the steep bank closer to the river the ground is still harshly dry then suddenly greens up a metre or so before the water.

Incredibly the water is still flowing and not just a trickle either. It is a good current and a gravel race near the low level bridge splashes and races towards a deeper pool just beside the bridge.

It was quite hot. It felt like the middle of summer but a delightful breeze came off the river especially in the evening.  As always we had a communal dinner, this time of rissoles and snags with jacket potatoes and salads. Some of our members wandered off to the river for a dip, declaring it “just right”.

The cane crushing season is in full swing. In fact it is beginning the final leg and in a month will be all over.  Cane harvesters are working seven days a week, some even during the night. There is perhaps one or two cane farms on the other side of the river from our camp site. Two haulout tractors and their bins scurry backwards and

Confrontation between haulout tractor and Brahmann's.

Confrontation between haulout tractor and Brahmann's.

forwards every 15 minutes or so with a load of harvested cane.

Every hour or so a 10tonne truck grinds past with a 30tonne load of “mud”. The mud is the result of the crushing process at the mill. It is loaded on the truck still steaming and it is delivered to the farm and dumped. Later it will be spread as a sort of nutrient rich soil additive.

Both haulout tractors and “mud” trucks stir up the dust but we are high enough and far enough away for it not to bother us.

During the night the temperature dropped. I had forgotten to take my summer jammies. Good thing I remembered my winter jammies as I needed them.

The Broncos played St.George and won. I could not get a TV signal but listened to the game on the radio. I also watched Survivor which I had recorded on the laptop earlier in the week.

Sunday morning I was up before 6am and found a few photo opportunities.

Camped high on the riverbank at Pinevale.

Camped high on the riverbank at Pinevale.

 So after wandering around on the upper river bank I climbed down to the waters edge and found the mist rising off the water.

Early morning mist on Pioneer River.

Early morning mist on Pioneer River.

Then I wandered among the tall gum trees just a few metres from the waters edge.

Tall Gums beside Pioneer River.

Tall Gums beside Pioneer River.

The colours in the early morning sunlight are just delightful.

Relaxation River.

Relaxation River.

After the Sugarloafers meeting I had an early lunch including a beer. Of course a cold beer in the midday heat makes me drowsy so I had an hours snooze before packing up and heading home.

It has been another relaxing weekend with the sounds of the bush, plus a few harvester and truck sounds thrown in. I did almost nothing and did not even think about the painting waiting to be finished…until now.

Cheers!

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