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

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.

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