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

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.

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