176. Sunday 20th February 2011. Traveston, Noosa, Big Pineapple and cable skiing…

Monday 14th February – Valentine’s Day

Lots of photos this week.

Yep. Spoke with my valentine today.

Also spoke with the doc today. As far as the back problem goes the MRI reveals that vertebrae L3, L4, and L5 are affected as well as S1. There is disc bulge at the joint between L3 & L4 and L5 & S1. The bulge is to the left and is pressing on the nerve which sends messages to/from the muscles in the left leg. Treatment? Rest. No heavy lifting, pushing or pulling. Maintain walking and extension exercises. If any lifting cannot be avoided it can only be a straight lift. In other words, no twisting action, turning or over extension. When pain occurs use codeine supplemented pain killer but nothing was prescribed at this stage. Cannot use anti-inflammatory as these will elevate my blood pressure.

The hiatus hernia can be corrected with minor surgery but I will know more about that when I visit the surgeon. I have an appointment for 22nd March.

The rain has returned and it seems, with a vengeance.

When it rains heavily, water and mud runs beneath our mats.

Accidentally step on a mat in the wrong place and water n mud squelches through the holes onto your feet.

I had planned to drive to Rainbow Beach for a solo picnic. Instead, I sat at home and had my picnic. As the weather has also turned coolish I decided to bake a chocolate cake. Now if I have my choice of cake it would have to be chocolate. Today I had my choice.

Tuesday 15th February.

The day dawned promising. That is, it was not raining.

After coffee and chocolate cake at 10am I packed a picnic lunch in my cooler and headed to Noosa River. My thought was to walk along the sandy beach on the river edge for as far as it was possible. That thought was short lived as much of the Noosa River, at least at the part I chose to start, has lots of little boat sheds all hiring kayaks, tinnies and jet skis. Most of my walk was on paths following the river. Mostly, in bare feet, it was comfortable.

As I was enjoying the picnic lunch, the rain began and got heavier as time wore on. Any half formed plans I may have had for the afternoon, dissolved with the rain. Instead I sought the safe dryness of the Civic Shopping Centre, did my shopping and hightailed it back to Traveston.

Wednesday 16th February.

The rain was intermittent all night. Mostly heavy stuff which has once again turned the area outside my door into mushy mud between the pebbles.

Along with the rain comes cool. Most mornings I can walk around “naked”. Well, when I say naked I really mean underwear or jammie pants. This morning was so cool I searched for my nylon gown to lend a bit of warmth.

Again it was too wet to make any plans to go anywhere so I stayed at Traveston. Once more I pulled the moonroof off and inspected the seals to identify where the water is coming from which leaks from the light fitting. I have applied some silicone beading along where the rubber seal does not 100% join the roof lining. I am theorising the rubber seal acts like a kind of “wick” allowing water to follow its course until it reaches the slight gap in the roof lining and instead of draining into the drainage channel it drains into the roof lining. Time will tell if the silicone works.

It rained off and on all day. The weather forecast is for the same for the next 3 or 4 days. This evening I spoke with former workmate Brian L. Brian was the mate who helped me polish WWWGO when he first came to work at Oceanic. He also twice came to visit us when we went on weekend chapter meetings. He bore gifts of slabs of bacon, hash browns and eggs. We would have a right royal high cholesterol mid-morning breakfast cooked on our outside stoves. It seems that Brian suffered a heart attack just after Christmas.

WTF! Brian is at least 20 years younger than me and he always appeared healthy. Not a big drinker, light smoker, no exercise. He did buy his lunch every day and mostly it was Hungry Jacks, deep fried fish n chips or meat pies. Often at night he would dine out. Seems his cholesterol was way high just before the heart attack. Now he is on a strict diet and has been ordered to exercise. He now has a computer at home and I explained the benefits of Skype and he could find it a useful tool.

Thursday 17th February.

It rained off and on all night. Often, it was quite heavy.

I woke early to find a thick fog enveloping the property and the valley below.

In the morning I had my acupuncture session and followed this up with my always enjoyable walk and surf at Noosa Beach. The walk alone takes an hour and this is at a fairly steady pace. If I did a dodder the walk could take 90 minutes or more. After the surf I had an outdoor cold shower then sat on the edge of the beach, under the shade of a spreading casuarina (also known as a Beach She Oak) and enjoyed my home packed lunch.

All throughout Noosa Beach, car parks, Hastings street, river, scrub and lagoon are the cheeky Scrub Turkeys. The last week or so there have been lots of little baby scrub turkeys and at a week old are independant and can scratch up a feed in the ground or harrass the tourists for a handout.

After lunch I drove around the hills above Noosa Heads and found a lookout in the National Park. There are stunning views from up here and I sure hope it is never turned over to developers. The view overlooks part of Laguna Bay – Noosa Beach – the river draining into the ocean,

Noosa River and surrounds from Laguna Lookout.

Weyba Creek which drains into the Noosa River

Bridge over Weyba Creek which drains into Noosa River.

and the suburb of Tewantin, the Noosa Everglades system, sandhills near the Great sandy Straits – Fraser Island – and some of the volcanic plug mountains –(including Mt.Cooran near our campsite) I have mentioned in previous posts.

My walk extends from the river mouth at the rock wall to another rock wall below the catamaran then to the end of Noosa Beach hidden by the shrubbery then walk back the other way. Somewhere I have a surf. Photo from Laguna Lookout looking down on laguna Bay.

I then drove over to Coolum Beach to visit “TEX” a man about my age and fitness level who is a collector and purveyor of all types of surfboard, some dating back for thirty or more years. I was looking for a belly board but mainly more interested in his collection. I did see some of his collection which covers all the kitchen, lounge, bathroom, stairs, laundry, bedroom and backyard. I did not ask if he lives there but from looking around I would guess he squeezes in somewhere amongst the collection. Tex no longer surfs as according to him he has “too much steel in his shoulders”. Tex is Ken’s cousin and according to Ken, yes, he does live amongst all those surfboards.

From Coolum I drove to Cooroy as I had heard they have a theatre above the library and I was keen to find out what was showing. Actually it was not so much what was showing as where. Above the library there is a concrete slab deck. Open air movies are shown here about once a fortnight depending on weather. It is a bring your own chair and blanket affair. This week’s movie is one from the Twilight series. According to the librarian they expect a full house of teenagers tonight.

Pass.

Friday 18th February.

It was a busy day today and I covered many kilometres.

The Touch Up Guy arrived about 20 minutes early and completed the job by 9am. The silver bumper now looks all new again. All that needs to be done is drive on the dirt road so a thin layer of dust settles on it and it will look just as dirty as the rest of the car.

He caught me off guard as I expected he would take longer so had not planned anything for today.

Hmmm! What to do this morning? Drive to Noosa for a walk and a surf.

Or drive to Rainbow Beach – a distance of over 90 klms each way – for a walk and a surf.

Or drive to the Big Pineapple near Nambour

The Big Pineapple. Iconic Sunshine Coast landmark is no more. Sob.

as there are probably readers who have never been there or for that matter never heard of this great Ozzie Icon. Afterwards I could drive to the coast and have a walk and a surf before heading home. I was last at the Big Pineapple waaaay back in the mid 1980’s and remember it as a great place to take kids. At the time it rained all day but we still had fun. OK that settles it. I am off to see the BP.

Umm errr. On arrival and from a distance the place looked run down, nay, deserted. Probably because it was a weekday and it was still not yet midday, I reasoned to myself. The car-park is empty. Well not quite empty. There is a car near the walkway to access the zillion dollar footbridge constructed over the highway from the car-park. There is another car parked in the shade of a tree at the bottom of the car-park. Another vehicle is a Maui hire campervan way over in a corner. They looked like they were camped. Why not, as I found out. WTF! The BP has been closed for a couple of years and the walkway has padlocked gates. The iconic BP is still there and looking as I remember it a quarter of a century ago. I fumed internally that I had driven all this way to a locked and deserted Sunshine Coast attraction. Even the walkway is looking tired and in need of maintenance but as nobody will be using it…

Footbridge built to allow visitors to safely cross from the car-park to the Big Pineapple now going to ruin. As seen from the empty car-park.

The car park would make an ideal overnight camp spot.

A few more cars arrived and left while I was here so I guess I was not the only one still unaware the place was closed.

My mind went into top gear devising a plan B. What the heck, I made it up as I went along. Leaving the BP behind I headed up the Bruce Highway and turned off towards the Mudjimba Airport thinking I would go to the beach somewhere, have my picnic lunch followed by a walk followed by a surf. This was a road I had never been on before and a bit of exploring will not go astray.

Yay. All is not lost.

Driving over a bridge on the upper reaches of the Maroochy River I found a park beside the river near a town called Bli Bli – I think. This was where I had lunch watching the change of tide as it drained the river. While eating I could hear some commentary being broadcast nearby. After lunch I drove on and found a cable water ski park in what looked like a sugar cane farming area. Wow! There was a competition in progress with competitors from the local area and from what I heard, NSW and overseas. Today was a King of the Kicker

Lining up the ski jump "kicker" ready to perform acrobatics.

event and simply the competitors had to go over a ski jump and perform a trick.

Mid air antics.

There are two types of board. One is a bit longer and wider than, say, a skateboard and is used in a similar fashion. The skier has no foot holds to anchor to the board. Staying on is simply a matter of skill.

Boards with ski boots attached and boards without any binding whatsoever.

The other boards are a bit longer and have boots attached, similar to a snowboard. Either way the object is to jump the ramp, do tricks in the air and preferably, land and stay upright. The booted board riders definitely had an advantage. At least they did not have to worry about keeping their ski attached to their feet! I spent a couple of hours watching, listening and photographing all these people having fun. Of course I did think to myself how all these people, many of them school age, perhaps should have been somewhere else on a Friday. Who cares? It was fun.

One thing I did notice was the young men – that is, probably under 25, all had tattoos on their legs and strangely the tatts all looked the same. I guess the tatts are one way to tell the boys from the girls as the girls all had a tattoo in the small of their back. Again their tatts all seemed to be the same. I would have thought basic body shape, physique, height and different voice types may have been an indicator of which sex is which. I guess that is not enough these days.

I followed the coast road from Mudjimba Airport until I arrived at Point Arkwright

Pandanus has a tenuous rocky foothold on Point Arkwright.

where I stopped for a bit of a walk and photography session. Lovely spot and there is a clifftop bush walk to Coolum Beach but as the day was dwindling it was time to head home.

However I had one more stop. I visited the Mater Hospital Prize Home at Coolum. The house has a $1,000,000 plus price tag. As nice as the house is, it is a fair walk to the beach and has no beach views at all. It even shares a common driveway with the house behind. That is a recipe for future disagreements. No! I did not buy a ticket.

Saturday 19th February

Walked Noosa Beach as I have been doing regularly, well at least when I can. Although it is a 45 minute drive each way, I do enjoy the walk, rain or shine and feel remarkable well as a result. I even have no trouble taking a cold water shower before I leave the beach and walk to the car while I drip dry. I only carry the bare essentials when I walk the beach. Hat, sunglasses, keys. When I walk from the water to retrieve my stuff, no matter how hard I try to be careful, water will drip off me onto the glasses or the keys. I have decided to buy a microfiber towel which folds into a bag smaller than a pack of cigarettes. At least with a towel I can dry the worst of the water before I pick up my sunnies.

I carried my lunch stuff through to the back lagoon behind Noosa village. What a lovely quiet spot. Lots of families come here to have a picnic and where they can watch the kids splash in the calm water. There is no surf, no jet skis or other boats and is just a nice out of the way quiet place.

Along with Enid n Ken, we walked about 2 klms along the Noosa River to The Boathouse where we had a beer sitting on the top deck watching the sun set behind the volcanic plugs in the distance. Then we walked to an Indian restaurant for dinner. Well, I am being generous calling it a restaurant. It is more along the lines of a deli and lolly shop where they sell breakfasts and Indian dinners. It was such a beautiful balmy night and the numbers of families having a barbeque or fish n chips along the banks of the river is incredible. Even when we walked home the river banks were still crowded. Many of the kids had fallen asleep on blankets laid on the grass while the parents sat around their tables having a wine or a beer. All very nice, relaxing and dignified.

People were fishing and we saw one man reel in a very large Flathead, enough to feed four people. A crowd soon developed with questions such as “what is it?” “what bait ya usin?” “it’s a breeder, throw it back”, “its too big to throw back, toss it on the barbie”, “somebody got a measuring tape?” and so it went. The fisherman said, “I am putting it back just as soon as I can get the hook out of its mouth”. True to his word he released it a few minutes later amongst cheers from conservationists and gasps from those who would keep anything they pull out of the river or ocean.

Sunday 20th February.

Up early, packed a lunch, the boards and we were off to the beach. Oh, dear!!! Noosa Beach was hosting two events. One, on main beach and the other was an Outrigger Regatta on the back lagoon. Parking was a problem and the beach, even the northern end was jam packed. We had an hour or so in the surf, ate lunch at a grassed area behind the beach and watched a man practising his balancing skills on a tightrope he had set up between two trees.

By the time we arrived back at their house we were all exhausted from lots of walking, surfing and the effects of the sun, believed to be about 36°. Down on the beach it was cool in the water and under the shade of the trees and with a lovely breeze blowing. It was a different matter out in the open car-park.

After a snooze I headed home to Traveston.

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