Archive for April, 2010

133. Sunday 25th April 2010. rain rain go away…

25/04/2010

For those who have read previous posts and or pages will recall that back around October and or November 2009 I was bemoaning how hot and dry it was and how the grass had turned crackly brown. Since early this year we have had lots of rain and as mentioned last week we can now give rainfall readings in metres, not millimetres. All week it has rained off and on. Our concrete driveway and pathways, like aa other driveways abd pathways around here, have developed a greenish black (the colour of good liquorice) layer of mould, mildew, algae or whatever you want to call it. Once wet it becomes dangerously slippery but it can only be cleaned off with copious amounts of chlorine and I do mean copious, or with a high pressure water spray. It will take all day. The bad news is chlorine is a toxic substance and is no good for our bodies, plants or other living arganisms so by killing off the algae it can kill off everything else as well. The high pressure spray is very good but the algae will grow back in a matter of days while ever we have the wet season. I have to wait until next month in the hope the rain has stopped for awhile before I rent a high pressure spray. In the meantime all visitors are reminded to walk carefully on our driveway and pathways.

After heavy rain while I was grocery shopping Saturday morning, the sun came out and brightened and warmed up the rest of the day.

Today is / was Anzac Day. A day of commemoration and remembrance. Over the last few years I have tried to attend a Dawn Service and or March. This year is different. I have been trying to carry out repairs to WWWGO.

I had one of the gas bottles re-filled and put that in the enclosed gas compartment. Now I have two full gas bottles, one of which is connected and turned on. The gas is ready for cooking or running the fridge while we are at Wintermoon for 5 nights.

The water tank has been filled and filtered water containers topped up and stowed.

Enough beer (2 each per day) has been stowed.

A few bottles of wine have been stowed.

I took the TV aerial apart on Saturday so I could find the leak and fix it. In the process I discovered I would need a tube or box spanner. None of the neighbours has what I needed although Stan had a set of long shaft sockets they were not suitable as, with most sockets they have about 12 sides whereas a tube spanner has 5 sides. Stans 15/16th socket would fit the nylon nut but it would only slip on the interface. I tried the hardware store and Supa Cheap auto store. Supa cheap had a super cheap set of tube spanners although the largest size was only a half inch.

The home hardware store only had a boxed set of spanners at a $60 price tag. I had no choice but to buy the set so I could complete the task. Only took 30 seconds with the correct tool. I was able to take the aerial apart, clean the fittings, spray with silicone and put them all back together.

Anybody want to buy an almost used set of tube spanners for $59? This is probably only the second time in my life I have needed and used a tube spanner.

Only time will tell if I have fixed the leak.

Sunday morning after a night of rain, no leak! Will continue to monitor.

The left (passenger side) tail light assembly has a blown globe or two. At least that is what people at Pinevale told me last week. Also on Saturday I took the tail light apart and with a little help from Donnis determined the brake light is not working, nor is the blinker. As I took off the outer plastic lens I saw some dampness, nay, some water ran out.

Hmmm. I am sure taillight assemblies should be more waterproof than that. After removing all globes I then unscrewed the inner fitting to expose the wires and the plastic base housing. It was all damp. One outer plastic seal was cracked and I noticed at some point some silicone sealant beading was run around the casing but  its seal has broken down. So I cleaned everything, dried up all the water, ran an emery board over all the fittings and put the inner fitting back then re-installed the globes.

Hmmm. blinkers on both sides work but the left hand brake light is still living in the dark!!! By now it was late on Saturday afternoon, I was tired and sweaty so packed it all away and weather permitting continue on Sunday morning.

Sunday morning, Anzac Day all the shops, well most shops, are closed today.

I managed to find my multi meter this morning. After an on line tuiton on how to use the dang thing Donnis put her foot on the brake pedal and the multi metre showed 11 volts??? I checked the other fittings. 11 volts! Next I moved different globes around the fittings. The brake light globe did not work in any of the fittings. Holding it up to the light it sure looks OK but it obviously has a fault.

Donnis had rented an overnight movie yesterday and we drove to the Centro Shopping Centre to return it. I slipped it in the after hours return movie slot and was a little puzzled there were no other movies already on the floor. The store looked to be in darkness. As I walked away somebody else arrived to return a movie and lo and behold the automatic doors opened. The store was open! I guess the heavy window tinting made it looked dark inside. Oh well!

Just a short dodder in the same carpark is Supa Cheap and I noticed their door was open. So we waltzed in and spent $3.90 to buy a pack of two brake light globes. We took them home and fitted one in the problem brake light fitting and viola, all lights work. The fitting was again dried off as it got wet in the overnight rain. It was screwed into place and a fresh bead of silicone was applied to the join. That should keep the insides dry. It was then I noticed the two lenses are different. The drivers side is a genuine Iveco tail light cluster lens while the one on the left is an after market look alike.

later in the morning I moved the two way radio aerial higher on the bull bar. About 40 ltres of fresh water were placed on board and the fresh water tank topped up with 120 litres.

We are back to thinking that maybe we should flat tow a car. Donnis wants 4WD and there are only 3 candidates in the weight class. Suzuki Sierra 1300 CC and less than 1,000Kg but they stopped making them about 1996, Suzuki Vitara about the same class now replaced by the Grand Vitara which is a bigger motor and heavier. Then there is the Daihatsu Terios about the same as the Sierra but more modern lines and models up to about 2006 are available. After that time, 2006, Daihatsu, read Toyota, stopped importing them although Toyota have promised parts for at least 10 years. Despite this drawback the Terios appeals to me, there are almost as many on the market as Sierra’s and the price is only a little more expensive. That is understandable as most are younger than the Sierra. They also have twin air bags, power steering, AC and stereo CD/radio all as standard. A CMCA forum friend, Laurie tows one behind her Sunliner MH which by coincidence is the same Iveco as ours. She tells me she does’nt even notice it when she is towing. Good thing we called her today to get her opinion.

It is now official. We are looking for a late model Terios. We have a Subaru Liberty, or Subaru Imprezza or a Yamaha Virago Mororcycle as a trade -in.

Today being Anzac Day I should have been at a Dawn Ceremony or at least the morning march. i did neither. Too tired and too much to do. Neither Donnis nor I slept well last night.

Tonight I watched the news and saw the reports from around Oz. The reports from Anzac Cove – Galipolli – and from France moved me emotionally. I feel I must attend one or the other in the future.

We are going to Wintermoon next week. I may be late getting the report posted. probably Tuesday or even Wednesday or even later before I report but if the weather stays dry I expect to have a long report on the music, the crowds, the camping, the interesting and sometimes way out people and lots of photos.

132. Sunday 18th April 2010.About Pinevale and drama at Wintermoon site…

20/04/2010

First up let me talk about Monday. It was Donnis birthday. I thought it would be nice to go out to dinner, maybe have a glass or two of wine.

When she got home from her night shift at the Nursing home she called me at work. I suggested dinner out.

“No”! She said. “Too expensive. We can eat better at home.” (I made Thai Red Curry Prawns on Saturday night and she said, as she always does, “why go out for dinner when we can stay home and eat like this”! Maybe I should not cook such nice meals.

A little later she called me back to say she was going to bed for a few hours but did not want to sleep all day as she has to work tomorrow and needs to be able to sleep normally tonight. So she says to me “as long as you want to take me out perhaps we can go and have coffee and cake or coffee and dessert”

OK I thought. Capers Restaurant bakes their own cakes. Perhaps we can eat at home then go out for dessert. I fixed that idea in my mind all day until I called her in the afternoon. “GO out for coffee and cake” she exclaimed “that will cost more than $20. I will bake a lemon meringue pie.” Mind you she has never baked one before and she is not too strict when it comes to following recipe instructions.

Grrr.

“But as long as you want to take me out how about you buy me a bottle of wine, I would like that”.

So I did. We had leftovers washed down with wine for the celebratory birthday dinner.

Sigh!

Of course I went overboard with the birthday gift. An iPod Touch and an arm band carry case along with a set of speakers and docking station in their own carry case. Of course the technology is too much so I have to set it all up, learn how to use it then train her. By default it becomes “my toy” which is not what I intended.

By Wednesday Donnis told me she has to work on the weekend. I had made plans to travel to Pinevale for a campout this weekend (I use the word campout rather loosely here as what we do is nothing like camping out, we have a comfortable time in out of the way places in the bush.) So after Donnis bombshell about working (she claims she told me last week but I have no recollection of such a conversation. Either I have selective memory or…)

At first I rather heroically  said I would stay at home and continue cleaning up Cyclone Ului mess. Donnis then mentioned  she is working nightshift 10pm until 7.30am. When she comes home she has breakfast then will go to bed and sleep all day. That means I will have to tippy toe around all day. No chainsaw, motor mower or whipper snipper.

Hmmm. Getting away to Pinevale by myself seems like a good idea.

Friday night it rained. About 9.30pm I discovered a leak in the TV aerial handle and it has leaked all over the bed. The blanket, top sheet, bottom sheet, mattress protector and mattress are all wet. I stripped the bed and spread the bedclothes around the spare bedroom and turned the overhead fan on high. I took a large fan into the MH and also turned it on high while covering the TV handle with absorbent cloth and placed a drip tray on the bed. There was nothing more I could do.

Saturday I re-made the bed and the sun was shining and I whistled a happy tune. By 7am when I was almost ready to leave the sun was replaced by black cloud and my happy tune turned to a mournful sound. The rain started to get heavier but I resolved to go anyway. After fuelling up at Cannonvalley I met Donnis in Proserpine after she finished her shift at 8am. She was curious that I still planned to hit the road. I promised if it continued to rain I would go to Mackay, visit Bunnings and be home that night.

Driving along the highway I was constantlyvisually reminded of Cyclone Ului’s visit. There were many trees snapped off around the 3 metre mark. No photo’s.

As I got closer to Mackay the weather over the Pioneer Valley area seemed to be fine and the road was no longer wet. In fact only small irregular puddles showed there had been some rain this week. The closer I got to Pinevale the happy whistle returned and the sun came out. Yay!

Saturday arvo was wonderfully fine and I even paddled a ski in the river against the swift current. I carried the ski up a gravel race and continued to paddle until my back protested then turned around and let the current take me down river. I even had a few moments adrenalin rush as I negotiated a small rapids. Whew that brought back memories of my whitewater canoeing days which seem so long ago.

Pioneer River rushing towards the causeway.

Some of the ladies went for a swim, laughing, giggling and sqealing like a bunch of teenage girls having a wonderful time. Some are in their 60’s and some 70’s but they still know how to laugh and enjoy life.

Alas no photos.

Saturday night we had a communal dinner (we cooked and brought our own food) under the club tarpaulin but I was back in the MH by 8.30, washed up and watching a recorded movie on the laptop but started to fall asleep by 9.15. Ahh! The blessed sleep of the innocent. I woke at 5.30 and although I shut my eyes tightly, sleep would not come again so I went for a walk up river and noticed the signs of the floods in February and March this year.

There was a little rain overnight but Sunday dawned fine and misty

Drifting mist across the foothills.

over the mountains.

At my campsite early Sunday morning.

In fact it stayed fine until I started to pack up and it rained long enough to wet the awning and I had to wait for it to dry.

After lunch I agreed to drive with friend Nevin to the Wintermoon Festival site and stake out a campsite. We have both booked for the 4 day event and the ticket price includes entertainment for 4 days as well as camp sites for up to two weeks.

 It started to rain heavily as we drove along the narrow one lane country road. At one stage a cop car gave me a fright by putting on its siren right behind me so I pulled over but he chased Nevin who also pulled over but the Police car kept going.

The road meandered through the back country of Pioneer Valley from Marian to Mt. Charleton and then by gravel road through equally lush countryside to the Wintermoon site on St.Helens Creek about 12 klms from Calen. They have been measuring the rainfall this year in metres not millimetres!

I followed Nevin to a campsite next to Stoney Creek and we drove in. We walked around the area and although the ground seemed a little soft we thought it was OK. OK that is until I drove down a small off camber incline and committed the cardinal sin of using my brakes. I did not want to end up in the creek at the end of the incline. With almost 5 ton under brakes on a wet and slippery incline I slid sideways and got bogged. Yuk! No photos. I was in no mood to record my misshap. We dug around the front and back wheels but soon discovered I could not go forward or back. I was stuck well and good. Nevin came to the rescue with a recovery strap. Next he unhitched the trailer from his Nissan Bus motorhome. I should explain here that Nevin has one leg and uses crutches and or a battery powered 4 wheel scooter to get around. While he directed, his wife Marie took up the slack in the bus and with me in gear and using controlled throttle I was back on dry ground in no time. Whew! I was a bit worried for a few minutes.

Next we went to hitch the trailer back onto the Nissan but Nevin backed up too quickly and  dented his boot when he backed into the tow hitch.

Next I needed to move out so he could get out. I wanted manouvre backwards and forwards until I could drive out forwards but Nevin thought it would be better if he directed me back onto the road while I was in reverse. Unfortunately in the process the back wheel went into a spoon drain, the mud flap went unter the wheel and the wheel dragged the metal bar and plate which holds the flap in place, onto the wheel. Of course I did not see any of this but drove forward again onto solid ground and pulled up. The metal was only a couple of centimetres from cutting into the tyres!

For the next hour we struggled to get the mud flap and attachments off the vehicle but all the metal was bent over the bolt. Somebody saw our plight and drove to Wintermoon to tell Chris, one of the organisers. He arrived in his 4WD and with a bit of push and shove and grunting we soon had the flap and plate off then bent the metal bar back up and away from the wheel. At leat I could drive again. Chris asked us where we wanted to camp and we answered, anywhere dry. He took us up a hill to a campsite he planned to open after the other sites filled up. We staked our claim and celebrated our safe delivery with an ice cream from Nevins freezer. The site is about one klm away from Wintermoon with a long walk up a steep hill. I will get Donnis to take her car and make life easier especially for Nevin.

I did not get home until well after dark but boy was I pleased to be home although tired and hungry.

Bendito son el atascado ya que ellos heredarán el camping seco

131. Sunday 11th April 2010. Grumble, moan, rant… and a Happy Birthday to Donnis

11/04/2010

So what am I grumbling, moaning and ranting about?

As I may have mentioned over the last few weeks we have had a great deal of rain this year.

We have also had sunny days.

Combined they produce great plant growing weather.

Saturday and today have been just typical Airlie Beach weather with bright sunny days ( a little on the hot side) not a cloud in sight. Calm seas and as the weather man predicted, great boating weather. Almost every third car on the road is towing a boat this weekend. The launching ramps have been busy busy busy.

So I am grumbling moaning and ranting for the amount of cleaning up to be done.

Apart from cutting the grass, trimming the edges and chainsawing all those fallen trees, there are the WEEDS!

They are OUTA CONTROL. Especially the guinea grass and the thing that sends out tough wirey tendrils and wraps itself around all the other plants. The couch grass runners are as tough as stainless steel cables. The sensitive weed is everywhere and is a real thorny tough plant. Hard to eradicate. The nut grass has made a comeback this year and a host of new weed I do not even have a name for.

My fault I guess for not pulling weeds when it was raining. Oh well it gives me something to do in the winter months.

Nothing special to report this weekend apart from the huge bonfire size pile of tree offcuts I have built in the back yard ready to load into a dumpster. There is still more to cut but I have already filled up a weekend and it will still be there waiting for me.

Whenever I am ready to start on it.

Next weekend is Sugarloafer time and we are going to Pinevale.

Yes! (That is a YES! I am excited and looking forward to next weekend yes.)

Yes. (that is a yes I know I know, type of yes) I know we have already been there. After all the rain this year the Pioneer River level should be higher than usual so it may be interesting to see the difference. Besides we just enjoy getting away for our weekends. Then after after that comes Anzac Day. Monday is a public holiday. Yay! Perhaps we will go away to Balgal Beach for the Anzac Day Dawn Ceremony. Then the following Thursday  we are heading to the Wintermoon Festival.

That is the rest of April booked up.

So all you weeds and fallen trees and stuff out there waiting for me you can just keep on waiting.

Tomorrow 12th April is Donnis birthday.

She will be so surprised with what I got her for her birthday. Perhaps I can write about it next week.

130. Monday 5th April 2010. Easter and we finally get on the road for a short time…

08/04/2010
Easter 2010.
WWWGO has been parked beside the house since Christmas. I was getting desperate to hit the  road and enjoy time away but the weather has been against us. This long weekend I resolved that despite the weather we were going away.
Good Friday.
For once I did not have a time in which to get on the road. Que Sera Sera. Even so, Donnis woke earli-ish and we were out the driveway by 9.15am. We fuelled up at Cannonvalley, over $100 and were soon on our way. I was a bit surprised at the amount of traffic on the road. Nevertheless we made good time although I kept our speed down to 93 kph. Donnis asked me to stop at the Bowen Homestead store to pick up a couple of her favourite comfort foods – Vanilla slices. I find them too sugary and sweet. A few klms north of Bowen I pulled off the road – to the relief of the dozen or so car truck and bus drivers behind us – to a little area screened by trees and where many locals park before they walk through the scrub to a local swimming hole. With all the rain we have experienced this year the swimming hole would be running with cool clean water. After coffee we were on the road again until we reached South Townsville where we had lunch. Then it was off to our destination for today – Paradise Waterhole at Big Crystal Creek about 60 klms north of Towsnsville. We travelled somewhat over 300 klms today which is about the max I want to travel in one day these days. We found a nice spot in the Queensland Parks & Wildlife (QP&WS) controlled area and set up camp.
I had been to Paradise Waterhole before and I wanted to show Donnis. With all the rain North Queensland has had this wet season the water level has increased. In fact quite a swift current was running and rapids above and below the waterhole were bubbling along. The few people who were in the water said it was cold. That made up my mind. If people say it is cold I am not going in the water. Donnis did and took 15 minutes to gradually immerse herself.  
 
After that she was happy swimming around. The overcast and occassional rain kept temperatures cool, well not really cool. After all I was still only wearing shorts and a Tshirt. However it was cool enough to discourage me from jumping into the water then or again the next morning.
After a quiet but rainy night and a morning at the waterhole we drove to Toomulla Beach campsite closer to Townsville.
 
We stopped here and had a casual lunch of cottage cheese n crackers. I rather enjoyed it. However a cold beer ruined any dietary benefit I may have achieved. We then drove to Bushland Beach, even closer to Townsville to visit daughter Shelley. We prepared a monster Caesar Salad and packed it in two foil containers to take to the Dairy Farmers Stadium for our dinner. Shelley had two spare tickets to the North Queensland Cowboys V Gold Coast Titans Rugby League game. What a night! By half time the Cowboys were leading, the first time since the season began. At the stroke of half time the rain came down in truckloads. Donnis and I had packed raincoats but Shelly, Dwyane, Jack and baby Matt did not, so with 95% of the crowd we stood under the stadium concession area while the rain thundered down during half time. Then about half a minute after the game re-started the rain stopped and we were all back in our wet seats to enjoy the second half and a 32 – 18 win to the Cowboys. Yeeha! 
We spent the night plugged into power at Bushland Beach and after a late morning coffee and some sit around chewing the fat time with Shelley & Dwyane we were off back to Toomulla Beach and set up camp again.  
 
We had a bit of a walk to and along the beach and a look at all the other campers. Mostly these Freedom campsites are quite good but on holiday weekends there is usually a redneck mob who play loud music all night and drink and yahoo to the detriment of those campers who really want a good nights sleep. Luckily we did not have the rednecks. We had the other side of the coin. The real nice, polite, friendly retiree campers in a little group. For some reason there is always somebody in this group who want to run their generator from mid morning until after dark. For what? I can only speculate he has a problem with batteries to need that much of a charge every day. His good neighbour starts his car and runs it for a couple of hours in the mistaken belief he is charging batteries but without a load, I.E going for a drive, he is not achieving anything. Combined, these two make as much noise as the rednecks but it goes on for hours and hours.
Of course in the same campsite is a retired lady in a little Toyota Mini Van who travels around full time by herself. She has a pair of fold up solar panels which she places on the ground in a frame she moves from time to time to catch as much sunlight as possible. These solar panels supply all the re-charge to the batteries she needs. If days are constantly overcast she goes for a drive to fully charge her batteries.
I set up our Webber Smokey Joe barbecue and cooked a whole Tandoori chicken. Shelley, Dwyane and the kids arrived for dinner.
 
We had lots of food including rice and salad and barbecued sausages. It was around 8.30 when the boys complained of being tired so they  went home while Donnis and I packed things away for the night in preparation for our homeward journey in the morning.
We managed, without undue haste and without any pressure or prompting on my part to leave the campsite and head for home by 9.15 am. After taking on another tank of diesel (we got over 500 klms to the last tank before I thought it prudent to fill up) we stopped at South Townsville for fresh brewed coffee and an apple custard dessert thing Donnis picked up at the fuel station. An hour into our travels we stopped at Home Hill to empty our black and grey water at a public dump point.
I want say a few words about these dump points which are in helpful locations all over Oz. Primarily the club to which we belong, the Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA) is probably the largest single RV club in Oz. We have a voice in many local, state and Federal governments. In conjunction with assistance and agreement with the local pro-active local government, sponsorship from Kea Campers and grants by some state governments such as Queensland and our own club funds, these dump points, which cost about $13,000 each to install are placed at towns which have demonstrated a co-operative attitude to having a dump point in their town. Some dump points are owned, installed and operated in council grounds and only open during their work hours. Some caravan parks own their own dump points which are available free to their guests. If not a guest you pay them a fee to dump. Our dump points are clearly signposted on the way into town and include a water hose to hose down. The dump point is public and can be used by all RVers, not just CMCA members. They are also free. We have used these dump points in various towns and we can always find them easily by consulting a book issued by our club or the Camps Australia Book also lists all dump points. We have a cassette toilet with a 18 litre capacity. Instructions call for a litre or two of water plus the required chemical dose. that reduces the capacxity to 16 litres. That is not much capacity for two people so we use alternate sources where possible  and tend to use our onboard toilet at night or early mornings. Even so our cassette was near full after three and a bit days. I applaud the CMCA Dump Points and will plan trips with dump point locations in mind.
On another issue, Donnis has been harranguing me about getting a scanner so she can scan her last 20 years collection of photos. Our flatbed scanner  can do the job but it is so frustratingly slow and will take a month of Sunday’s to scan all the photos.  I checked with all the electrical outlets as well as going on line looking for a high speed scanner which has a pair of  rollers to move photos through. We could not find anything. Then one day I half saw the end of a commercial advertising such a device. Alas I did not get the details. The first weekend after the cyclone Donnis saw the ad on TV and wrote down the website. www.digiframe.com.au  Now, at a price of $149 plus postage I was a bit sceptical about the quality and the effectivness of the advertised scanner. Nonetheless Donnis wanted it and signed up immediately. The Digiframe Scanner arrived 2 days before Easter. I read the instructions. Quite simple really. We were scanning a few minuutes later. It even comes with a couple of clear plastic sleeves as older photos can build up fingerprints, mould and other barely detectable sticky substances on the surface. Place the photo in a sleeve and 20 seconds later it is scanned. Do not use the sleeve and sure as God made little green apples, a photo will stick in the rollers. They are that sensitive. No need for a computer. All you need is AC power. The scanner has a 2Gb memory card and can hold around 8,000 photos. It comes equipped with a USB cable to connect to a PC or laptop to view photos. Despite my pessimism, the scanned images are as good or as bad as the original images. This is a great gadget and Donnis is having a fun time scanning her old photos. Who knows I may even get all my old photos from Averyl and scan them. It will scan photos up to 6 x 4. It will also scan things like shopping dockets. Why? I don’t know. Probably because you can.
Reading back over this post I came to the realisation that I have said basically “We came, we saw, we left”. I have not given any impression of how we liked or disliked a place or given a score on a 1 to 10 basis. I am not sure if that is what I should be doing in my posts. Simply because how I like a place is based on my judgement at that particular moment according to the weather, the rednecks and other noise factors, overall beauty, how tired or not tired I may have been and so on. It would be nice to have some constructive suggestions from readers. Do you want to hear my thoughts on a destination?
For the record, Paradise Waterhole is a great spot. It is even better when the sun is shining and the water is not cold and I can go for a swim without Donnis trying to get me in the water.
There is no vista from the campsite but there is ambience. There is lots of potential for exploring. Preferably from April through to about August before the heat starts again.
Toomulla Beach. This was our first visit. Donnis probably liked it more than me. The beach is a bit of a walk from the campsite through mangroves. It has some lovely tall and stately gum trees in residence. I like my gum trees.  

Tall and stately Gum Tree at Toomulla Creek.

The beach is sort of divided by Toomulla Creek which is a muddy mozzie and sandfly infested creek. If I were a crocodile I woud probably love it. Regretably or perhaps thankfully, we did not see any crocs. They probably saw us.

There is no vista from the campsite but a short walk takes you to the beach which, can be as hot as hades, especially once you are out of the seabreeze.  There are a number of older beach shack type houses here. Some are really old shacks.

This is a real fishermans shack. It was probably the shackiest shack among all the shacks. It also was one on the few which appeared to be a permament residence.

Some have had a lick of paint in the last 10 years and some are quite substantial. We got the impression the older shacky type houses are lived in all year round while the more pretty and substantial houses are holiday or weekend beachhouses. I could spend a lot more time here just exploring but I would prefer to do that in the Winter months when it is not so hot.

After leaving Home Hill we travelled on to Bowen. This town has a reputation for always blowin’ at Bowen and it lived up to its name. It was quite windy.We bought fish n chips and parked at the new harbour precinct area and ate our lunch then had a walk out on the long jetty which featured in the movie AUSTRALIA with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman.

Part of the big jetty at Bowen.

The harbour precinct is a paved and grassed area with a tourist info centre and a musical sound shell.

Bowen Harbourfront Precinct.

All rather well presented in an area which was once a bit of forgotten waste ground. Nice shade trees, picnic tables and a pleasant view but a bit lacking in toilet facilities. The tourist info service has toilets but they are locked when the staff clock off.

Eventually we meandered home, arriving just on dark. What a great weekend!

Esto era la espera que vale la pena para este fin de semana largo.

I am having a (insert swear words) difficult time with photos staying where I put them. I insert them in appropriate places, save the file and they end up at the bottom of the post. Sorry dear reader, I have deleted and re-inserted three times and I am so frustrated that I will just leave them here at the bottom. The captions explain what they are so I guess it is not too bad.

Toomulla Creek as it flows to the Coral Sea.

Donnis still in the process of slowly getting into the water at Paradise Waterhole.

Camped at Toomulla Beach.

L to R. Reece, Frank, Jack, Dwyane, Baby Matt, Shelley.