141. Sunday 20th June 2010. Another working week and a Sugarloafers weekend at O’Connell River.

Nothing earth shattering or unusual to report at work this week.

Uh.Well. My sister Bev and husband Peter along with their youngest, Mitchell and his girlfriend are visiting for two nights next month. I applied for a days leave so I could spend a whole day with them. On Friday I received an email to advise the annual Show Day will be a regular work day for us. However we have a day in lieu to be taken between now and the end of July. I asked for the Monday after Bev’s visit. That will give me a 4 day long weekend. It also happens to be the Sugarloafers weekend at Boulder Creek. Bev and family fly out on the Saturday so after they leave we will have an extra two days camping out.

Donnis thought it would be nice to drive to O’Connell River on Friday evening. She prepared a large Lasagne for us to have for dinner after we arrived. I had forgotten that this weekend, large numbers of travellers would be camped out with us. On arrival, in darkness, I noticed all the rigs along the road verges. I found a place to drive off the road, threaded between a couple of other rigs and pulled up for the night. We were roughly level so turned off the motor, handbrake on and stepped back to the living area to prepare dinner.

This is where we arrived in the dark and this where we stayed parked all weekend.

It was quite cool when we arrived and Donnis startede sneezing. Not a good sign. The sneezing became more frequent and more violent. Kleenex tissues were being used at an alarming rate and her eyes were swelling up and watering. By the time we finished dinner she was exhausted from sneezing so got into her jammies and rugged up in bed. Keeping warm is the trick. We had no anti histamine medication on board and resolved to walk around camp the next day and ask for some hay fever or allergy medication. I managed to get her three tablets including one Phenergan which was used to give her a full nights sleep on Saturday.

The damage from cyclone Ului, this far inland was quite evident including the height of the water level in the river. The damage to the road, part of which, just a little way past our campsite had been washed away. Repair work is still be carried out.

Some of the 38 rigs. Note how many are parked right on the edge of the road! There is a reasonable amount of traffice along this road and each vehicle or motorcycle kicks up a cloud of dust. They all used the excuse they need to be in full sun to charge the batteries via solar panels.

Saturday Donnis found enough energy to join Joan and George for a walk. We walked passed where the road was obviously washed away and is being rebuilt. They have built a sloping rock wall in filled in with road base. This looks to me like a substantial piece of engineering and appears to be much stronger than I have ever seen it. A new channel, to a depth of around 4metres has been dredged through the river stones.

The rest of the weekend I spent doing what I usually do. Socialising, walking, talking, eating, resting and listening to others. Donnis spent most of her time rugged up in bed feeling tired and miserable although for a few hours each day the sun streamed in through the window onto the bed.

Sunday morning a local family spent hours in the swimming hole with their dogs. The young daughter just spent so much time swinging out over the river on a rope swing while a few of the brave southern visitors also swam in the clear clean water.

The swimming hole below the campsite.

Many of our Sugarloafers were away travelling so we were outnumbered by visitors this weekend. On a good weekend we will have around 20 Sugarloafers. This weekend we have 38 rigs and probably only a third were Sugarloafers.

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