Archive for March, 2011

182. Sunday 27th March 2011. Still at Traveston but not for long and the traveller returns…

28/03/2011

No photos this week.

Monday 21st March.

Although I had a great walk this morning, the pain in my left lower back and hip was becoming too much for me. It is time to find a chiropractor who uses the wedges instead of manipulation. A quick Google search revealed several chiropractors in the Noosa area including one at Cooroy. I chose one at Noosa as the blurb on the internet suggested he uses a number of different techniques. I called at the practise and asked a few questions. Yes, he uses the wedges and the activator and can see me today. I drove back to Traveston to pick up my x-rays, have lunch and head back to Noosa for my appointment.

Duhh! I was in a hurry and forgot the x-rays.

The treatment was gentle and yes I did feel some difference although the chiropractor did say I would not experience any great relief from the first visit and may in fact have more pain as my pelvis was out of alignment and now that it is back where it ought to be it will be a day or two before everything settles down.

Spoke with Donnis after dinner. She is sounding better although I can still hear the congestion in her voice. She is arranging a flight to come home tomorrow.

She tells me her hips are out of alignment and she needs a chiropractic appointment. What a pair we make!

Tuesday 22nd March.

Donnis finally walked out the airport doors just before midday. It was a happy and sad reunion. I asked her if she wanted lunch at a beachside place, the shopping centre or a picnic at the beach. I had previously packed some salad and avocado, smoked oysters and grapes. She wanted none of the above until she had had a swim in the surf. That was her big wish. Although I was reluctant to agree, after all, she is still recovering from bronchitis, we went to the nearest surf beach at Mudjimba. The surf was rough with strong current, rips, backwash and sideways waves. It felt as if we were in a fuzzy logic washing machine, being churned in different directions. It was fun and invigorating. I believe it also loosened Donnis congestion and she immediately felt better.

Late in the afternoon we had the appointment with the surgeon about the hiatus hernia. In fact in his opinion if there is a hernia it is small and hidden behind the sternum cartilage and he was not inclined to operate just to find it. What about the episode of food being caught in my chest and causing tears and pain way back in mid-January and which prompted me to visit a doctor in the first place? In his opinion that was more likely to have been an oesophageal spasm and likely to have been caused by eating too quickly and perhaps with soft fluffy or doughy type bread.

Hmmm! I was on my way to the Gold Coast at the time, in hurry and eating a Macca’s. That could have done it. It did not explain all the years of reflux pain and taking acidophilus capsules to maintain a healthy digestive system. Stranger still is I have not taken any acidophilus since January and I have only had a mild indigestion once.

Now that is a good piece of news. We can travel wherever and whenever we want and not have to come back for surgery. All we have to do is complete the house sitting next week and we are on our way.

We are both looking forward to that.

But, first there is the matter of getting my back, hip and leg sorted out.

Donnis was welcomed home by a little snake coming up to the dining room door. That is the second time in a week a snake, that size, has been in the same place.

Wednesday 23rd March

First on the agenda was we both had chiropractic appointments in the morning. Later WE had a long walk along the beach followed by a sort of surf. Sort of surf because the real surf was at the other end of the beach. It was a more of a splash around in the small occasional waves. Afterwards we had a delightful picnic lunch at Noosa Beach.

Thursday 24th March

Another day of walking on the beach followed by a surf (a small surf but we did catch a few waves) followed by a picnic lunch followed by a visit to the dietician. Lost a couple of cm around the waist and around a half Kg in weight. Not good enough I say but will see how the first month pans out.

Friday 25th March.

Cleaning the cushions and curtains in WWWGO day. Plus of course vacuuming and cleaning behind the curtains. We took down all the pelmets and cleaned them and behind them. Sheets and blankets were also washed and packed away for the future.

We drove into Noosa and met up with Enid n Ken and went to dinner at an Indian Restaurant where Donnis n I shared a Tandoori Lamb and a cottage cheese in spinach gravy. Nice. The naan type bread was good to soak up the gravy.

Afterwards we decided to stay with Enid n Ken as they are only one klm from the Chiropractor and my appointment was for 8.15am

The day ended with significant pain in my back and left hip. I dragged out my remaining anti-inflammatory so I could get a good night’s sleep.

Saturday 26th March

We both visited the Chiropractor. Amazingly after the Chiropractic visit I felt much less pain and combined with the Panadol Osteo I was able to drive all the way to Woodbridge, south of Brisbane before pain started to kick in and annoy me. We had come to Woodbridge to visit Regelyn and her son Chris.

Regelyn kindly gave up her bed for us especially as Donnis was feeling unwell again as the bronchitis has returned to keep her feeling miserable

 

Sunday 27th March.

This morning we accompanied Regelyn n Chris to their church, St. Pauls Catholic Church at Woodbridge.

As an aside, Donnis and I went to two Anglican churches at Gretna and Ouse in Tasmania in April 2009. What was noticeable about those visits was the congregation was 100% WASPS’s (White Anglo Saxon Protestant. Donnis and I are both WASP’s)

By contrast the visit to the Catholic Church this morning was interesting by the cultural mix. There was a smattering of WASC’s (cannot really call them Protestants as they are Catholics) but the main body of the congregation was made up of healthy numbers of South Sea islanders, many of whom were in traditional grass mat (skirt?) which is only worn to church or other ceremonial occasions. One man, an usher, also wore the traditional conch shell necklace which hung almost to his navel. As well as the south sea islanders the rest of the congregation included Aboriginals, Chinese, Filipino’s and Africans. That was quite interesting.

An amusing sight was, after all the parishioners had completed communion, two ushers gobbled up the remaining wafers. After the lady usher sat down, the male finished off the communion wine from each goblet before wiping the rim with his holy tea towel. He has a good job!

Donnis is not well again, with the congestion clearly rattling in her chest.

Next week begins our pack up and we will be on the move again and back to adventures and photos.

 

I

181. Sunday 20th March 2011. A quiet week…

22/03/2011

Monday 14th March

… and few photos.

The Noosa Festival of Surfing commenced on Saturday and continues until next Saturday, surf willing. Notice I said surf willing, because the event will go ahead provided there is a reasonable surf, even if it is raining cats n dogs.

Today I took my camera with me and sought out the best spot to photograph some international surfers, most on Malibu surfboards (now shortened to Mals) or as we used to know them, Hot Dog boards (which got shortened to dogs). Unless I had a digital SLR with interchangeable telephoto lens I was never going to get any close up action photos from the nearest vantage point.

"Walking the Plank" as we used to call it. A phrase also popularised by the Delltones in their song, "Hanging Five"

I got some fair to middling photos and got to see some good surfers in action.

This is the real deal. Hanging Five.

After spending an hour on the rocks, my bum, by its numbness, told me it was time to pack up. I lunched at the end of Noosa at the river mouth and spied some drama when a group of two person kayaks came down the river to paddle out through the mouth into a pumping 4 to 5 foot surf. One overturned and the paddlers could not get back in until another kayak came back for them and held the kayak in place while the unhappy paddlers dragged themselves aboard.

Tuesday 15th March

Not much happened today. No walk as I had a medico appointment and did a few things around the bus. In the afternoon I drove into Noosa to do my grocery shopping.

One amusing sight was a woman driver backing a car into a parking spot at Cooran. She reversed up onto the footpath. The trouble with her parking was, hers was the only car on that side of the street. She could more easily have driven straight into a spot. Scary though, imagine meeting her on the road one dark wet night?

Around the corner a council truck getting ready to have a Bobcat loaded, drove onto the sloping grass verge and got caught up with wet grass and soft mud and the more he spun his wheels the more he slid sideways off the verge. For a brief moment I thought of stopping to lend a hand. I am sure my 1300cc 4WD was not capable of pulling a big tipper type truck out of a bog.

After dinner and just on dark, I thought lemon juice with my pawpaw would be nice for dessert. Armed with a torch I stepped outside to head to the “orchard” and pick a lemon or two. I had only taken three or four steps when I noticed the thin dark wriggly shape on the concrete just under the outside table. Of course it moved.

Slowly.

The trouble with all snakes is they do not just run and hide and stay out of sight. When they know they have been spotted they stand their territory for a few moments to decide if you are worth fighting. This one, although around 20cm long and whip thin, was no different. I did not get a close up look and the camera was not handy but I think it was a tree snake. It slowly moved off into the grass beside the verandah.

Tonight I had pawpaw without the lemon juice.

Wednesday 16th March

This morning I had pawpaw with lime juice squeezed over it. Yummo. There are two lemon trees near the house. One is covered with lots of lemons although only a few were ripe. The other only had one small lemon and it was ripe. So I cut it to squeeze onto the pawpaw and discovered it is not a lemon but a lime!

Went to Noosa for a walk and a surf. Although it was raining when I woke and overcast and threatening rain when I left, it was fine n sunny when I arrived and the afternoon was summertime glorious. The surf is down so the festival organisers moved the competition further north nearer the river mouth where a decent metre plus wave was rolling in. Today the competition was for the women.

Regretably my back has worsened over the last few days to the point of agony today. When in the surf it felt OK as the water supported my body. The doctor had given me a prescription on Tuesday in case I needed it.

I need it.

It is a Panadol Osteo and bluntly all it does is dull the pain. She would not prescribe anything with Codeine in it as it can elevate blood pressure.

Pity.

Panadeine Forte gives blessed relief. Oh well!

Saw some more snakes on the gravel road today and noted they were all much the same size – small – about the same size as was on the verandah last night. Perhaps they are on the move looking for their own territory. I am guessing from the size and colouring they are young tree snakes but they could be yellow bellied black snakes so I just give them a wide berth.

Thursday 17th March.

The best laid plans of mice and men…

I am flying to Mackay on Saturday for my sister Shan (Sandra) birthday. Donnis had a flight booked from Sydney to Mackay on Friday. We would meet up on Saturday then fly back to Brisbane on Sunday.

Donnis came down with bad cold/flu like symptoms 6 days ago. She saw a doctor this morning who proclaimed she has Bronchitis!

Weather forecast for the weekend is heavy rain on the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane as well as Mackay. The birthday dinner is at Simons Wok Inn (previously called Simon’s Kitchen) http://www.menufeast.com.au/info/8162/simons-wok-inn/mackay/

Here is the background. Simon has a smallish kitchen from which he prepares masterful, delicious banquets. It is a fixed menu with a fixed price of $45 per head. Bookings are required months in advance.  It is a BYO but Simon provides separate tables with ice filled esky’s, various glasses for water, beer and wine. You self-cater drinks and serve your own. The dining tables, complete with candles, are set up outside on the shopping centre car-park at night. Some basic shelter is provided by the awning overhang and some roll out awnings when it is raining…as it will be on Saturday. The atmosphere and food make for a memorable dining experience. I have been fortunate to have eaten there twice in the past and each occasion was wonderful.

Given that Donnis is not really well enough to travel, let alone sit outside in the rain we have decided she should stay in Corrimal, near Wollongong, until Monday when she will fly to the Sunshine Coast direct. That will give her an extra few days to recover.

Friday 18th March

The sun is out, the sky is blue but heavy rain is predicted for this afternoon and tomorrow. I spoke with John, Shan’s husband on Skype this morning. He said it is raining heavily at the moment, just as the weather forecasters predicted.

Saturday 19th March

On the drive to Brisbane Airport the heavens opened up and we were concerned the flights might be delayed or cancelled. We dropped the car at an undercover storage facility and they drove us to the airport in the shuttle bus. We had already confirmed our tickets the night before so when our flight was called all we had to do was walk through the boarding gate.

Aaron, Enid’s son and his girlfriend Megs (Megan) met us at Mackay Airport and gave us a quick tour of the almost completed Forgan Smith Bridge over the Pioneer River then dropped me at Blacks Beach where I was staying with my sister Bev and her husband Pete who rented a holiday unit for three days. I only had time to have a quick shower, change and be ready to head to North Mackay. It has not rained at all in Mackay today and with the heavy rain yesterday, the humidity was stifling even for someone, like me, who is used to the tropical humidity.

We had a great night, great company and great food although Simon had too many deep fried dishes for my liking but I happily ate everything. I got to sit with my daughter Averyl and grandchildren Shelby Rose and Anakin. Bev, Pete n I were back in the unit by midnight for a cup of tea then off to bed. The heat n humidity made for a restless nights sleep.

A constant, every six hours diet of Panadol Osteo tablets has helped me through the days and nights

Sunday 20th March.

The birthday girl, Shan is officially 50 today.

Woke to incredible humidity at 6am. I guess being six months away from the tropics has taken away my ability to cope. This morning we drove to Slade Point where Aaron and Megs had agreed to “do” breakfast or morning tea. It turned out to be both. They bought an old two bedroom fibro house and are slowly renovating it. Ken barbequed bacon n eggs and we enjoyed a great morning together. It was wonderful spending time with my three sisters again. It is a pity our brother Allan could not be with us.

We caught our flight at 3.05 to Brisbane and including the drive to Noosa we were home by 7pm.

180. Sunday 13th March 2011. Looking around the Sunshine Coast, Mary Valley and a bit of climbing…

13/03/2011

Monday 7th March 2011

After a weekend of rain the sun came out…for half the day. I managed to get to Noosa for a walk and had lunch at a picnic table on the river. Then I drove to Boreen Point in the hopes I might get some nice photos. Oops. I had forgotten about the wind. It was coming straight across the lake and made for uncomfortable conditions. On the way home the build-up of clouds dropped another load of heavy rain. The leak in the roof is still there. Looks like I am going to have to climb on the roof again no matter how wet n windy it is and crawl around looking for puddling and the inlet point for the leak.

Tuesday 8th March 2011 – Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Day.

It was raining when I woke and of course the leak has not gone away.

In recognition and remembrance of the Shrove Tuesday tradition I had pancakes for breakfast. Not just pancakes but Canadian Pancakes.

Canadian Pancakes? Yep. According to the little eatery I stood outside at Rainbow Beach last week, their menu listed a plethora of different pancake types. Canadian was at the top of the list and described as “Two plate size fluffy pancakes drizzled with traditional real maple syrup and served with crispy bacon”. Donnis is Canadian and her favourite breakfast is pancakes with maple syrup and bacon. In honour of the day and of Donnis being in Calgary, Canada, I had Canadian Pancakes with a wassail (the salute ‘Waes Hail’, the term itself is a contraction of the Middle English phrase wæs hæil, meaning litereally ‘good health’ or ‘be you healthy’ ) to Donnis with my cup of tea rather than the traditional apple cider.

A time honoured Ozzie currawong serenaded me while I ate. Good thing that is out of the way for another year. Anybody want the left over pancake mixture in the fridge?

Another day at Noosa Beach with my walk but no swim today.

After lunch, eaten at a picnic table beside the Noosa River, I spoke with past workmate Bill L via Skype on my iPad. We discussed this coming Friday where I have been invited to their regular 500 card night at a friend’s house. In the course of our conversation, my last boss Maria D was also with Bill so we had a catch up chat as well. Afterwards I visited parents of past workmate Ian H at their home just a little out of Noosa.

There was no rain since breakfast and the leak area is now nice and dry. Still need to find the source of the leak.

Wednesday 8th March

More rain this morning. The leak is back.

Into Noosa Beach for a walk and back home.

On the drive, every day, each way, I pass a turnoff which points to a fish hatchery and canoe launch point as well as a Scout Camp. It is about time I had a look. The road turns to gravel and a council truck and a front end loader are at work. This road must have really been washed out during the rain in January and February. It is still a bit of a mess now. I arrive at the launch site and realise it is across the lake – Lake MacDonald – from the Botanical Gardens which I visited last month. Apart from that there is not much to see.

Except as I was leaving I noticed and old horse drawn cart in the front yard of a property.

Rotting rusting old cart.

Rusty springs and white ant eaten spokes.

That was it. My day.

Oh. I did burn my tongue when eating dinner heated in the microwave. I did not allow the food to cool down.

Thursday 10th March

Grrr. The applications for Census Collectors has been put back until 9th April.

Last night, on the local TV news, there was a story about the possible closure of Mt.Coolum National Park, particularly the walk to the top of the mountain.

Woooee. I better do this walk before they close the trail.

After my appointment with the dietician this morning it was along the coast to Coolum in search of the mount. I had no problem finding the mount but did have a problem finding the turnoff to the park.

Mt. Coolum.

There were no signs!

At the beginning of the walk there are a number of signs.

The one which said it was a 2 hour walk did not faze me.

The one which said the track was only open to very fit persons who are capable climbers, did.

Fit Climbers Only sign at beginning of the trail.

I was here and I was going to tackle this little hill. How bad can it be? Then I saw an overweight woman coming back along the path. If she can do it, so can I. Then about 200 metres into the walk a young woman came jogging down the track. Well if she can jog it, it can’t be too steep. Can it?

It can and was.

Not far from the beginning the old walkway had suffered a landslip in recent rains. The area was fenced off and an alternate, harder trail was followed.

Landslip warning. Perhaps I should have turned back here.

Very steep. Near enough to perpendicular in quite a few places. Some were on exposed rock walls perilously close to the cliff edge with no safety rails or fences.

This was the unmarked trail and climb to what appears to be nothing.

At what turned out to be the half-way point I thought the hard work was over.

Looking toward Maroochydore from the halfway mark.

Not so Frankeeg, there is still worse to come and harder than the first part. At this point I heard a loud noise behind me, sort of a badly out of tune and un silenced Harley. What the!!! I swung around to see a Virgin Blue Airline swing around the mountain and heading out to sea in readiness to line up for a landing at The Sunshine Coast Airport.

By the time I got the lens cap off, camera turned on and focused Virgin Blue was already over the ocean lining up for a landing.

Eventually I made it all the way to the top

Other climbers at the top. Afterwards I found out they were a visiting Canadian group.

but apart from stopping for water I did not sit down or stay as I felt that if I sat for any time I would find it hard to get up again. This was a really testing climb but worse was to come.

This was hard climbing up but harder going down.

Going down was much harder on knees, ankles and calf muscles all of which trembled with the effort. I am so glad I took a walking stick which was very handy to give support when climbing up or down. Before I reached the bottom I was perspiring quite freely and my clothes were soaked. In fact I could smell the perspiration as I moved.

I was not dehydrated but I was exhausted. I am also glad I wore my sturdy hiking boots. I will not be tackling anything like that again in a hurry but am glad that I attempted and completed the climb.

I am so pleased that the rain, threatening all during the climb, did not arrive until I was back at Tewantin.

Once leaving Coolum I found a place on the coast, Point Perry, on cliffs looking back towards Noosa. I enjoyed my egg and lettuce breadroll lunch here.

Northern Beaches to Sunshine Beach from Point Perry.

Friday 11th March.

It was during my walk along Noosa Beach today that my buttocks, hips, thighs, knees, calves and ankles reminded me of the bit of exercise I had climbing Mt.Coolum yesterday.

Every day I drive to Noosa I twice drive past Mt.Cooran at Cooran and Mt. Cooroora at Pomona.

Hmmm. During today’s drive I pondered a bit.

All three mountains, according to my limited reading and knowledge, were created by volcanic activity. Looking at the three, my uncertain guess is that Mt.Coolum is the older of the three as it is much shorter and squat, having had more time to be eroded. There is a walk at Mt. Cooroora and it is reputed to be 482 metres high. I have no information on Mt. Coolum but visually it is much squatter and probably more like 250metres tall.

After my climb yesterday any thoughts I had of climbing Mt.Cooroora, with Donnis, have all but vanished. My fitness levels are still way above hers but way below what probably is needed to tackle this steeper and higher monolith.

Tonight, at the invitation of past workmate, Bill L, I joined him, his wife Jacinta and their daughter Jamaica for a night of 500 cards and dinner at their friends house. There were 13 people in all, assembled for 500. The home owner, whose turn it was to provide dinner, put on a lavish barbecue meal at their mountain top home at Yandina a 45 minute drive for me. He planned well. Because he had forgotten to buy a pack of 500 cards he started the barbecue late and by the time we had socialised and eaten it was too late to play and he made his confession. I arrived home just before midnight, the latest night I have had for some time. Of course we had been watching the horrific events of the earthquake and subsequent tsunamai in Japan and I turned on the TV when I arrived home, making for a very late night indeed.

Saturday 12th March.

Hmmm! An early morning after a late night sure left me feeling blaaagh for a few hours. The sore muscles and joints from the climb two days ago are still with me and given the morning was wet, cold and windy I decided to forego my usual walk on Noosa Beach this morning.

A few years ago, the state Labor Government approved a dam at Traveston Crossing in the Mary Valley. Although where I am located at Traveston would not be effected, the people living in the valley at such places as Kadanga, Imbil and Amamoor to name a few would face the prospect of their properties being underwater if the dam proceeded. While the government commenced buying affected properties, the good folk of the Mary Valley mounted protests to save their homes and their livelihood. Two years ago final approval for the dam was declined by the then Federal Minister for the Environment, Peter (Midnight Oil lead singer) Garrett. That was the end of the dam but the Mary Valley people retained their No Dam mentality, placards and signs throughout the valley. A few posts ago I wrote about my visit to Amamoor shortly after the floods which raged through the valley and Gympie. Today I decided to have a look at other parts of the valley, specifically Kadanga and Imbil.

The roads in the area, for the most part are in terrible condition despite some patching. The bottom line there is too little patching and too much damage waiting for patches or total replacement. In one place I was driving at 60Kph, way below the limit on the exit from a bridge. The unrepaired damage on the road was so deep and wide that the car was thrown sideways and off the road briefly.

Kadanga in my opinion is a town struggling to stay alive but that said, there are some nice homes and businesses. They have even set up a freedom campsite a few hundred metres from town centre. I noted there were around a dozen caravans and motorhomes camped there. Some of the owners were sitting outside having coffee under the shelter of their awnings while the rain tumbled down.

In the adjoining valley was Imbil which put on a brave and clean n tidy face. On the outer edges of town is a different matter. One run down house

It is doubtful this house has ever seen a lick of paint and that roof is about rusted through.

was surrounded by ancient rusting wrecks adorned with fading For Sale signs.

Side yard of house with its rusty hulks the most eye catching place in town.

The two guys who drove out as I was taking photos were dead ringers for the Duelling Banjo’s playing guy from the movie Deliverance. Scary!

Further out of town is the Borumba Irrigation Dam on Yabba Creek

Aquatic fishing and skiing playground at Borumba Dam.

which crisscrosses the access road in many places. I was gobsmacked to find a monster sized campground below the dam.

Campsite on Yabba Creek below the Borumba Dam. No dogs or generators allowed but campfires are encouraged and a huge woodpile is supplied for free.

The dam is currently at 80% capacity.

Borumba Dam, 80% full.

Even at this time of year and with current weather conditions the campground was one third full. That means around 100 campsites. At peak times there would easily be a thousand people camped here. It must be awful busy when in season! A steady stream of campers and boaters were on the road heading to the dam or the campsite.

Popular cafe beside the equally as popular Railway Hotel at Imbil.

At each creek crossing people were canoeing and fishing from unlikely places. I was impressed but reflected that unless I had a boat and fished or skied there was not much there for me except to just veg out.

I can do that!!!

Sunday 13th March.

Ho Hum!

Did the walk along Noosa Beach.

Then lunch with sister Enid and her husband Ken as they had returned from Tasmania last night.

Back to Traveston for dinner and a quiet night alone.

Boo Hoo.

179. Sunday 6th March 2011. Start the week with stinking hot days and finish the week with wet, windy and cool…

06/03/2011

Monday 28th February

Today is the last day of summer and the end of the month.

It has been a long day.

Past workmate Ian H called this morning. In the course of our conversation he mentioned I should go to Rainbow Beach and have a look at the National Parks campsites at Inskip Point. Campsites are all along a three or four kilometre stretch of the beach, beside the road. Some are on the surf beach side  while others are on the calm waters on the other side of the isthmus on the Great Sandy Straits / Tin Can Bay. At the end of the road are the barge services to Fraser island.

One of several barges which leave Inskip Point to cross the channel to Fraser Island.

I had intended to do a walk along Noosa today but what the heck, I have never been further than Rainbow Beach. It is close to a 100 klm trip one way.

So it was I found myself at Inskip Point looking in wonder at the scenery and forgetting to eat lunch until late. The final few hundred metres to the barge is all on very soft sand.

The signs warned to be in 4WD before travelling any further along the track to the barge.

The signs warn that vehicles should be in 4WD before attempting the drive out to the barge. A few campsites are all but empty, I suppose because they are difficult to get into on the soft sand with a caravan or motorhome. These sites only have tent campers on them.

Camper welcome signs.

The more popular campsites have lots of shade trees but the campers under the trees tend to use their generators. Sitting out in the sun gathers lots of sun on the solar panels but heats up the inside of the RV. The very front campsites nearest the beach and without shade are taken by caravans and motorhomes with solar panels. The very first campsite on the way into the park is very sandy but level and has a few shade trees but lots of sun exposure as well.

While walking around one campsite I got talking (as you do) with a man who has bought himself an ancient Winnebago and is parked under the casuarina’s. It seems he has just retired, like me. He is having trouble adjusting to his new life and yearns to be back at work although he is enjoying his new found leisure time. All day every day. Although he is the same age as me he was in National Service three years after me as he was a “Uni Student” and pursued his studies, obtaining deferments until 1969. We talked NS for awhile, remarking that after 40 years we both still remember our regimental number. He went one better than me, remembering his rifle number as well. It was pleasant standing in the shade of the Casuarina’s having a chat with an old army guy but I still needed to see a few more things before heading home.

I have a change in plans. When we leave Traveston we will come here for a few days before heading anywhere else.

Our future campsite?

Back in Rainbow Beach I saw numerous para gliders coming in over the rooftops and landing on the beach. Impressively they seem to hover over the Rainbow Beach Hotel

Paraglider over the Rainbow Beach Hotel.

before drifting away to the beach. Not far out of town is the beginning of a Great Walk to Double Island Point and further, along the beach to Noosa. A distance of about 40 klms. It can be travelled as part of a hike or a 4WD trek. The first part of the trek includes a .6klm walk to a lookout over the Carlo Sand Blow, a fancy name for a sandhill, standing over 200metres tall with views across to Double Island Point and back to Tin Can Bay.

From Carlo Sandblow looking back towards Tin Can Bay.

A steady succession of paragliders  drifted above me.

Paraglider over Carlo Sandblow.

All in all, an awesome sight.

There is a lighthouse on Double Island Point

Double Island Point as seen from atop Carlo Sandblow.

but there are only two ways to reach it. Pay $15 for the day and drive there along the beach at low tide. Or, pay $5.15 per day as a camper/hiker and walk there, 10 klms one way. As it was late in the afternoon neither option appealed to me. Perhaps in the future I will take the car on the beach and drive there. With Donnis, of course.

Tuesday 1st March.

It is autumn. Could have fooled me as it was another 35° plus summer temperature. I did my walk at Noosa then headed over to Kawana Waters where I got sidetracked (another word for lost) and finally pulled up for lunch beside the Maroochy River. Received an email from Donnis, in Canada, that she had an accident when her car was hit by a truck. (for truck read Ford F250 – they call them trucks in Canada & USA) Of course there were scant details but owing to no access to a computer with Skype and power failure in the area I got just the bare details. She is OK and the car can be fixed under insurance.

Finally found what I was looking for at Kawana Waters and headed back to Traveston.

Wednesday 2nd March.

Today was a scorcher and of course I pushed the envelope with walking. I did my usual long walk on Noosa then headed to the northern end of Sunrise beach where I secured a park spot. I did another 2klm walk in the midday heat. The walk was mostly up and down hundreds of stairs and rough tracks in the Noosa National Park. My destination was to the Devils Kitchen and return. I got as far as an overlook above the Devils Kitchen and decided I had gone far enough. Despite drinking water before and during this walk, the climbing of those stairs both descending and ascending and then again to come back had left me almost exhausted. I had also burnt the soles of my feet walking barefoot in the hot sand. After that I put my sandals back on despite the uncomfortable gritty feel. My leg muscles and particularly the knees were beginning to quiver and honestly, I felt spent. By the time I started on the final ascent of the giant timber staircase

Giant staircase at Sunshine Beach. Car is parked out of picture at the top right.

to where the car was parked I was feeling dehydrated, tired and shaking from the exertion. I took a number of pauses on this final leg. Luckily I carried lots of water.

From the hill above Sunshine Beach looking south to Sunrise, Marcus, Castaway, Peregian, Coolum Beaches and further beaches to Maroochydore in the distance.

Strange thing is I also felt like a cold beer so stopped at the Cooroy RSL and savoured my first beer in 2 months!

The predicted storm did not eventuate and the rest of the afternoon was spent trying to doze in the heat and humidity.

Thursday 3rd March.

Today was another day much like yesterday. Same heat, same walk along Noosa Beach. That was it, no additional challenging walks today. Although I was tempted to have a splash in the almost surf I came home instead. Although I had packed a bag of a change of clothes and towels and sun tan lotion I had left them at the door in my haste to leave. I did not want to drive home in wet clothes.

The southerly change arrived shortly after the clouds rolled in around 3pm. Despite some angry thunder and a few spasmodic lightning strikes and a hint of rain, not enough to wet the awning, it had not rained by 6pm and the humidity was oppressive at 74% inside the house.

Finally, got to speak with Donnis when they got the Internet back on this morning. She is OK but did have trouble sleeping the last two nights due to the replay of the accident in her head.

I threw caution to the winds tonight and made chilli chicken using fresh chillies. I left the seeds in to make sure it was hot. Sure wish I had photographed it. Yum. Yes it was good accompanied by a simple stir fried rice. It was not a hot chilli, mild in fact and could be served to most people but the flavour was there. Some fresh coriander and lime juice would have given it more oomph but the fresh ginger and lots of garlic was a nice touch.

Drizzly rain started about 9.30pm. Maybe some of the predicted rain will commence overnight.

Friday 4th March

Woke to the sound of drizzly rain. The bucket placed at the end of the awning was full so we must have had some good falls or at least constant falls overnight. It was cooler this morning, 25°inside the house with 82% humidity. Moderate to heavy falls of rain punctuated the morning. During a lull in the rain after lunch I drove into Noosa to get groceries. I noted the bridge at the bottom of the hill was still 2 metres above the water which had risen by a metre or more. I reasoned I would be away about 2 hours and the water level should not, could not, rise 2 metres in that time. As I was leaving Noosa the heavens opened up and there was a continuous deluge. The rain was so heavy it turned daylight into dark. Nearer Cooran I noted that water was across the road in several places. At one, the car in front swerved but I was too slow and hit the water at about 60 kph. The water sprayed over the windscreen and the wipers could not clear it for a few moments. When the screen was clear I was on the wrong side of the road!

Six Mile Creek was still below the bridge but water was cascading along the dirt road, washing and depositing debris on the road creating an obstacle course. As I drove onto the property there was water running down the driveway creating new gouges in the gravel. A sodden and miserable looking big roo was standing beside WWWGO, perhaps taking shelter. He slowly hopped away as I arrived.

As if on cue, the rain stopped.

Saturday 5th March.

The temperature has dropped to 22° and the rain just keeps on, well…raining.

I have no plans for today and considering it is wet and pretty miserable I consider there is really nowhere to go as that will make me wet and miserable too. The rain, heavy in the morning, slowed to spasmodic falls during the afternoon. At one stage between showers I walked the hill to bring in the wheelie bin, left out yesterday. It had around 5 inches of water in the bottom. After I walked back to the house the rain began again.

Ho Hum.

I watched a video.

I did a page about lighthouses for the blog. Hmmm. What I thought would be a half hour job uploading photos onto the blog page and giving a bit of information turned into a task that occupied me, off and on for 4 hours. I suppose finding the additional information and internet sites about each lighthouse is what took most of my time.

I sent and received emails.

I talked with Donnis by Skype.

I talked with my sister Bev by Skype.

I made a batch of Risotto Muffins. Yum. These are good. Even better, cold, the next day.

I made enough chilli beef, using fresh chilli, to feed me and set aside and freeze enough for another three meals.

When I finally dragged myself off to bed I noticed a small puddle of water behind the WWWGO sink. WTF! Where did that come from?

Initially I thought it may have been there for some time and was ready to ignore it and get into bed. I grabbed a torch and followed the tiny rivulet of water along under the window, behind the stove and there was a water trail down the wall. Placing my finger on the trail it pooled around my finger. Yep. It is still running at a fair pace. The trail went up into the cupboards above the stove, in fact right to the roof line. Stepping outside I grabbed a ladder and checked the outside wall. There is water running down there as well. In fact it is running on the underside of the awning as well!

Oh, deary me. A new leak to solve but at 10pm at night it is raining, the wind has been picking up since 3 this afternoon, it is dark and I am too tired. I can climb up on the roof in the morning and look for this leak. As a temporary fix I place a few sponges in place to absorb the water. Within minutes I drop into bed and find sleep. I woke several times and each time grabbed the torch and looked at the leak. It does not seem to have worsened. In fact now that most of the rain has been blown away by the strong winds, I mop up the leak with the sponge and no fresh trickle appears. Good.

I can look forward to climbing onto the roof in these gale force winds in the morning.

Sunday 6th March.

Wake early to a miserable dark, cold and windy day. I had two blankets on the bed last night but the second one was mainly around my feet.

The leak is still trickling but no longer running along under the windows. I remove all the items from the cupboard and grab a stool so I can get my head inside.

Hmmm! A few puddles of water on the cupboard shelves which I did not notice last night. With the aid of a torch (CSI style) I check all around inside the cupboard. I can see a tiny drop of moisture coming from wiring cable which comes through a hole in the cupboard ceiling. In fact I would not be surprised if the leak originates somewhere at the other end of that cable and where it is dripping is the low point. Now comes the monster job of finding where the cable comes from.

After climbing onto the roof and looking, CSI style all around the roof area near the leak, even away from the leak I can nnot find anywhere a leak could originate. Inside I dry everything and clean off the shelves then put everything back. It has not rained for several hours. The only item on the roof which uses power is the AC. Perhaps if the rain and the wind, especially the wind eases tomorrow I will crawl around on the roof again paying special attention to the AC.

Received a welcome and surprise call from Donnis in Calgary Canada. She was using her niece Simones iPhone 4 to call me on Skype. They were in a Safeways carpark and from the camera I could see all the snow and thank goodness I could not feel the minus 18° temperature. The technology we have at our fingertips is just staggering.

On the subject of technology. I was sent an email today directing me to a website

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cf7IL_eZ38

Just have a look at the near future.

178. Saturday 5th March 2011. It’s been a kinda slow week…

05/03/2011

Yes it has but that does not mean to say I have not been busy. It’s just that I really have not done much which readers may be interested in. However, the regular post will still be completed on Sunday night along with photos.

Today is wet. Nothing unusual with that. It seems since leaving Airlie Beach on 19th September 2010 it has rained at least every week and some weeks every day. At this stage I have no plans to go anywhere in the wet but may end up at Noosa Beach for a walk, despite the rain.

For some time I have been wanting to share some photos of items which never made it to the regular blog pages or if it did, it will be be shown again, maybe with a bit more information. In our travels over the last 10 or so years, I have taken photos of lighthouses, churches and animals. All the photos you are about to see have been reduced from the original file size otherwise it would take a month of Sunday’s to upload the photos. As well, some of the photos may have been cropped to remove excess sky or ground. You can still see the photo in a larger version just by clicking on the image. I recommend you do that anyway.

I always enjoy seeing a lighthouse. Mostly I do not make a special trip to find them but always enjoy looking around and taking a photo or two.

When a photo is taken with a digital camera, a good deal of information is stored with the image. Information such as date and time of original photo, camera type, f stop, exposure time, focal length and a whole host of other stuff which only the real hardened camera addicts are interested in. This information is lost when the photo is modified (cropped and reduced for example) and saved as a new file. Provided the original photo remains saved so does the information with it. All the photos are modified in some way so I cannot supply all that yummy useless information.

So come with me on a decade long walk to some lighthouses.

Aireys Inlet Lighthouse on Split Point, Victoria. Although we could not secure a visit inside, there is a wonderful Devonshire Tea place about 250 metres down the road, (in fact this photo was taken outside the shop) While waiting for your tea n scones the shop has a great collection of memorabillia, particularly photos of the area, including storm swells breaking on the cliff in front of the lighthouse. The photo was taken when we did the Great Ocean Road trip.

For more information visit

http://www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/Vic/Aireys%20Inlet/Split%20Point%20Lighthouse.htm

This is the Bustard Head, Queensland, Lighthouse and was reached by a trip on a LARC.

Here is a bit of an explanation courtesy of the 1770 LARC Tours website – http://www.1770larctours.com.au/

worth a look and if you are ever in the town of 1770 make sure you spend a few  dollars and time doing this trip.

LARC! Paradise Tour

This day tour is an amphibious adventure, travelling along the coastline of Eurimbula National Park while experiencing an informative commentary on abundant wildlife and history of Bustard Bay – crossing four tidal creeks, before four wheel driving up the steep climb to the historic Bustard Head Lightstation.

This award-winning tour includes:

  • Morning tea
  • Breath-taking scenery and panoramic views
  • Interpretive tour through the head light-keeper’s cottage
  • Guided walk to the light-station graveyard
  • Picnic lunch with billy tea, coffee and LARC juice
  • Australian wildlife
  • Historical and environmental commentary
  • Sand-boarding down the towering dunes of Middle Island
  • Byron Bay New South Wales, Lighthouse on the most easterly point in Australia. Unfortunately this was the only view and photo we were able to obtain. The carpark demanded an entry fee (Lions Club) then a further entry fee into the lighthouse. We had neither the time nor the money to mess around. Perhaps on another trip.

    For more information visit

    http://www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/nsw/Cape%20Byron/Cape%20Byron.htm

    Cape Ottway Lighthouse, Victoria. We were on the Great Ocean Road trip with Donnis sister Linda and her partner Doug. None of us was prepared to pay the ridiculous entry fee. This was the only photo I could get. It was taken with my old Panasonic FZ7 which does not have a big zoom facility.

    For more information visit

    http://www.lightstation.com/

    Eucleut, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, Lighthouse. The only photo of a lighthouse during our Canada trip. This is on the west coast of the island.

    For more information visit

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ucluelet

    Grassy Hill, Cooktown, Queensland Lighthouse. It is reached by a narrow dirt track which is signposted at the bottom of the hill as being unsuitable for motorhomes. I sort of did not see / ignored the sign. All the other vehicles at the top were 4WD and quite a few people asked how I managed to drive a 7metre Toyota Coaster up the narrow twisting track.

    For more information visit

    http://www.epa.qld.gov.au/chims/placeDetail.html?siteId=16005

    Kiama New South Wales, Lighthouse. We visited here on our way to Tasmania in March 2009. I had been here many times before when I lived in Wollongong but Donnis had never seen or for that matter heard of the Kiama Blowhole.

    For more information visit;

    http://www.google.com.au/images?hl=en&rlz=1G1TSAU_ENAU395&q=kiama+lighthouse&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&sa=X&ei=23hxTfGkEY

    OR     http://www.sydneyatoz.com.au/light_kiama.asp

    Nobby's Head, Newcastle, New South Wales, Lighthouse. We visited here in May 2009 on our return from Tasmania. We had problems with the starter motor and luckily we were able to stay with friends Roy n Katherine who took us for day visits while the Coaster was being repaired.

    For more information visit

    http://www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/NSW/Nobbys%20Head/Nobbys%20Head.htm

    Norah Head, New South Wales, Lighthouse. We visited here in March 2009 on our way to Tasmania. As a young man, before I was called up for National Service I lived at nearby Toukley and often surfed at nearby Soldiers Point or Cabbage Tree Bay and if really desperate on the reef below the lighthouse.

    For more information visit

    http://www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/NSW/Norah%20Head/Norah%20Head.htm

    Pine Islet, Mackay Harbour, Queensland, Lighthouse. If I recall correctly, this lighthouse was dismantled from its original location on Pine Islet and over a period of time re-assembled at Mackay Harbour. When the harbour underwent a major expansion it was moved again to its current location. When I lived at Mackay I often watched the progress or lack of it, of the original re-assembly.

    For more information visit

    http://www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/QLD/Pine Islet/Pine Islet.htm#History

    Point Dangar, Coolangatta / Tweed Heads, Queensland/New South Wales, Lighthouse. We visited in January 2011. The lighthouse straddles the Queensland New South Wales border.

    For more information visit

    http://www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/QLD/Pine Islet/Pine Islet.htm#History

    Griffiths island, Port Fairy, Victoria, Lighthouse. We visited during our Great Ocean Road trip. The weather was overcast, wet, windy, cold and miserable. Still, enjoyed the lighthouse.

    For more information visit

    http://www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/VIC/Griffiths%20Island/Griffiths%20Island%20Lighthouse.htm

    Fort Queenscliff, Victoria, Lighthouse. We visited on the first day of our Great Ocean Road trek.

    For more information visit

    http://www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/VIC/Queenscliff%20Black/Black%20Lighthouse%20Queenscliff.htm

    Sugarloaf Point, Seal Rocks, New South Wales, Lighthouse. We visited here when touring in the mighty Subaru Liberty Rallye several years ago.

    For more information visit

    http://www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/NSW/Sugarloaf%20Point/Sugarloaf%20Point.htm

    Tacking Point, Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Lighthouse. On the day of our visit in May 2009 it was a wild windy day and I could not take a photo unless I stood below the brow of the hill out of the wind.

    For more information visit

    http://www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/NSW/Tacking%20Point/Tacking%20Point.htm

    Wollongong, New South Wales, Lighthouses. There are two lighthouses here. One stands at the entrance to the small harbour (The lighthouse was also used as an iconic symbol by the Illawarra Mutual Building Society for many years) the other stands on Flagstaff Hill high above the harbour. We visited here in March 2009. The photo was taken from Keira lookout on the escarpment above Wollongong.

    For more information visit

    http://www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/NSW/Wollongong/Wollongong%20Head.htm   OR

    http://www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/NSW/Wollongong/Wollongong%20Harbour.htm

    Clarence River, Yamba, New South Wales, Lighthouse. As with all things Yamba we enjoyed our time visiting the town and walked several times to the lighthouse. Unknown to me at the time, with all the strong winds and heavy seas, my lens was coated in saltspray giving all my photographs at the time a sort of gauzy image.

    For more information visit

    http://www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/NSW/Clarence%20River/Clarence%20River.htm

     

    On looking back over these photos it seems that only 50% of the photos is the sun shining. In all other visits it was overcast, raining and or very windy.

    Hmmm! Isn’t that one of the reasons why lighthouses were built in the first place?