204. A couple of days riding around the valley and the Census delivery begins in earnest…

Something new to start the week. I have added a map showing all our destinations since we first started a journey with a motorhome.

The first was a hire motorhome which was really too small for our needs. This motorhome is shown as:

1. on the information box when you click on the tent icon

Our second was a converted Toyota Coaster and is shown as

2. on the information box when you click on the tent icon

Our current motorhome is a Winnebago Leisure Seeker on an Iveco 50C15 Daily Chassis. We call it WWWGO and it is shown as

3. on the information box when you click on the tent icon.

At this stage the travel route is not shown on the map and the tent icons are not in a different colour to denote which vehicle is represented. There is time enough for me to learn how to do all that whizz kid stuff in the future.

Monday 25th July 2011

Donnis worked today. It was her day off but got called in. At least she has Tuesday & Wednesday off.

Our new Rolla Roof Rack cross bars arrived in the mail today. After unpacking and determining that all parts were in the box I proceeded to put them together. I then attached them to the TERIOS roof track rails and we now have rather smick looking roof racks. Donnis wants a canoe. I say let’s compromise and have an inflatable canoe. So far we are deadlocked one all. Besides we have too many other things we need to buy first.

Tuesday 26th July

Donnis went to work today. She got called in again.

I, on the other hand, have the day off. I took a ride on VIRAGO to Kinchant Dam.

The area where the canoe activity is taking place is where the family picnic area is located. Most speedboats and jet skis operate from around the launching ramp where there are fewer picnic facilities.

I rode to Mirani and took the road which runs beside the dam wall for about 5 klms. It is unsealed but in good condition. The sealed road leading up to it is in terrible shape. No potholes, just car sized holes and riding on a motorcycle was quite a challenge. Considering it was Tuesday the dam had a good deal of activity going on. Several speedboats including water-skiers and on the picnic part of the dam what appeared to be a school excursion with about 10 canoes with four children per canoe.

This cool dude in his muscle shirt would zoom around and back to the ramp and turn off his motor. Then a minute later would fire up and do the same loop again. And again and again and again No passengers, no skiers.Huh!

There is a resort of sorts here at the dam. It is known as Kinchant Waters but the office, bar, restaurant were all closed until the evening when the bar is open until “late”.

Kinchant Waters bar and dining area.

Hand made rough hewn rough "chic" tables n chairs.

This would be a popular gathering spot in Autumn, Winter and Spring. A cozy fire to stare into as you sip on a beverage of choice.

 

Lots of permanents with pretty rough rigs hogging the foreshore sites. The better looking caravans and motorhomes were further away set back into the hill. Apart from the noise from speedboats and party time with live bands Friday & Saturday nights and juke box the other nights I wonder if anybody gets any sleep at night.

VIRAGO at KInchant Waters.

Wednesday 27th July

Today was a day off for both of us so we went to Mackay to do a big grocery shop as we may not be able to get to a shop for the next 10 or 12 days. We went to Spotlight for some curtain material. While there we bumped into Pete. I worked with Pete and have not seen her since she retired two years ago.

Later we were at Porters Hardware and bumped into a Sugarloafer, Sandra who we have not seen since early 2009 when she and husband Phil went travelling for 6 months. Sandra had an operation on her foot a few months ago and although she looks well still walks with limp as one leg is now shorter than the other. Perhaps when she has her hip reconstruction later in the year she will be more balanced. It was good to see her.

Thursday 28th July.

We have checked the mail every day in anticipation our BigPond antenna patch lead. Nothing has arrived.

Another day around the farm.

Friday 29th July.

I was off at 8.30 to start my first Census delivery day at Eungella. The traditional meaning of the name Eungella is “land of constant cloud”. It was an overcast day but halfway up the mountain pass I was in the midst of cloud and barely able to see more a cars length in front of me. At the top it seemed worse. I could not see the houses on either side of the road. It was cold and when a wind sprang up it was numbingly cold. Regardless I started my deliveries and thanks to the wind, the cloud dispersed and was all gone by about 11am. Mostly there was nobody at home either because the people are at work or there are a good many weekender type houses here. I finished relatively early as I had to collect Donnis when her shift finished at 3pm. Despite a late start and an early finish I managed to get 25 census paper delivered. Only 175 more to go and 9 days to do it in. The outlying farms will be ones which take the most time, driving along farm roads, opening and closing gates, looking for the residents. Those that are home have so far been inside with doors closed and log fires burning. Did I mention the temps can be as much as 10° cooler on top of the mountain?

One person I called upon told me they have had 7.5metres of rain since the beginning of the year. Further up the range at Dalrymple Heights, 11 metres has been recorded this year. Yes, you have read that correctly, rainfall is measured in metres!

Saturday 30th July

Another day up in the cool mountains. Today I drove the full length of Bee Creek Road and called into all houses which had markers at their gates.

Gates!

Gates!

Let me tell you about gates. They are so frustrating. In case you are not aware, all gates in rural areas should always be left as you find them. If they are closed then close them behind you. That means, pulling up at the gate, determine which way it swings so you do not open onto the vehicle, understand the locking chains, open gate, swing it back and hold it with a rock or similar, get back in car, drive through, stop, get out close gate and connect chains and drive on. On the way out it is the same procedure. Some properties have two or three gates. Considering I called on 30 properties, that gives you an idea of how many gates were opened and closed. Once in, once out.

As I drove I could see yet another rural road in the hills above me. Mt.Dalrymple (1,549metres) rose even higher in the distance. Eungella itself sits about 1,200 metres above sea level. I met interesting people saw great scenery and properties hidden in rainforest or above a creek. The mountains in the distance looked as though they should have snow on them. In fact they have. In recent years, I believe 1994 and 2002, good snow did fall.

Tomorrow I plan to tackle those higher elevated roads and Mt.Dalrymple.

Sunday 31st July

Day three of delivering census papers.

Today I tackled Dalrymple Road, knowing it ends at a dairy farm sitting just below the summit. I saw some wonderful valley views and looked down the escarpment at Mackay, 1,500m below. Some places I saw made me wonder, how and why people live there. These houses seem to physically grow out of the rainforest and are just as mouldy and rotten as the ancient forest itself. The walls and floors do not join and doors have shrunk inside the frame. The roof is invisible beneath a canopy of greenery growing out of it. Even the doors were rotten. When I knock on a door or wall there is a distinct RAP, RAP, RAP sound. Knocking on rotted timber doors sounds like knocking on a damp sponge

It was another long day, and I arrived home ready for a shower, dinner and bed.

Cheers

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