Friday, August 3, 2012

The cougar and the Black Adder go North Part2

A long time coming, but here it is, part two of the trip which was an uneventful and disappointing leg made even more so as I have now forgotten a lot of what happened which is always a problem when you don't record events in a timely manner. I really must get together some system to do this on the road.

So Cania Gorge to Proserpine with a look at Airlie Beach, 792 km with a couple of stop offs on the way.

View Larger Map

After being "stuck" at Cania for a couple of extra days, our first stop was Biloela to stock up on supplies and have a look at Callide Dam, which was also full and starting to fish again. 

This is the view Louise and Brad had for a lot of the trip as, being the slower vehicle, we set the pace which was a bit sedate for the cougar at times I'm sure.

The dam was looking beautiful and you can see the clouds still hanging around after a week of rain. The cattle were enjoying the new greener environment and as it was late afternoon by the time we arrived, were coming down for a good long drink and an afternoon siesta.

The map came out and we discussed whether to put the boats in or fish the banks, to have diner here or drive a bit more, where we might spend the night and all the other important things of the days events when on the road

As you may have guessed by that little yellow figure down there, the boats stayed on and the boys went for a flick along the edge of the dam. Lou and I dragged out a couple of chairs, a half bottle of red and a very large bag of chips and settled down for an hour of so peace and quiet, ha!
As we sat and contemplated the little pleasures in life, we saw some surface action and thought the boys had found some fish in the warm shallow water, but no it was some ducks coming in and landing just behind those trees. The first few ducks turned into what looked like hundreds and soon they drifted out from behind the trees. 

 What do you call a large collective of ducks? A raft came to mind as they certainly look like one, so I had to google to see if I was correct, which I am - but - and heres a bit of useless information for you;
In the air they are a Flock, on the ground a Brace or Badling and on the water a Raft, Team or Paddling. Who would have thought there were so many names for a lot of ducks.

Our own afternoon siesta was soon interrupted by this.  What appears to be a cute inquisitive calf turned into a right pest. Once it decided we were no threat, it proceeded to use the boat as a personal scratching post and teething ring.  Stretching the elastic tie downs on the boat cover and watching them snap back became a favourite past time and soon the boat was covered in slobber and the engine was taking a bit of a beating as it was a very convenient head scratcher. No amount of shouting and arm waving worked and I even took off a slap / thong / flip flop and gave it a good whack on the rump, didn't batt even one of it's lovely long eye lashes. There were lots of photo's and even though Louise had  retreated to the safari pen and taken video inbetween bouts of laughing, it has all mysteriously dissapeared. I thought I was being quite forceful in my attempts to shoo it away, but looking back at the video later was rather pathetic and completely ineffectual. 
Luckily the boys were still in radio range and we put out a mayday as it had now found the trailer cables and we were in danger of loosing all the lights. Brad appearing over the top of the ridge with arms and legs in full flight had it running back to mum at long last.

We spent the night at a free camping spot a couple of hours drive away and the next day prepared to tackle our old nemesis the Development Road going north from Dingo. It was a long hot drive and luckily uneventful apart from one heart stopping moment when the cougar and a large coal truck seemed to share the same piece of tarmac. The cougar was leading today to give them a change of view as it is a boring drive at the best of times.

We arrived at Proserpine to find exactly what we had feared, flooding, a dam spilling over and no fishing. We stayed a night hoping to try the river rather than the dam, but was windy with a fast moving tide and not even the slights hint of fish.  We also drove out to Airlie Beach and was thoroughly disappointed, what was probably once a lovely spot is now a completely over built, commercialised center with no appeal at all. But that is the beauty of a road trip with no set itinerary, we moved on.

Till next time, which won't be months, I hope!


Shoshi said...

Wow Tracy, I love reading about your trip! The landscape is so beautiful - you've got some lovely shots there. I love "a paddling of ducks" - must remember that one, and your account of the calf really made me laugh! (They do have gorgeous eyelashes, don't they! Makes you almost forgive the slobbering...)

Thanks for visitng my blog and leaving such a nice comment. Glad you like my latest effort. Don't worry - you will be getting your Cougar going sooner than you think, I am sure. I got mine mid-December, it didn't come out of its box till New Year's Day and then I didn't get going for ages. Pathetic Shoshi was too scared to start cutting lol! It was a long uphill struggle to start with, involving quite a lot of hair tearing, but I suddenly got it (mostly with Loupy's help - her summary on blade height, force etc. is brilliant). I'm still doing basic cutting but have recently started with the pen holder which is really brilliant and sooo worth having, and eventually I shall do print and cut, and embossing!

It all takes time when other things get in the way, but it's important not to let other people's progress and productivity make you feel bad - it's not a race and we all do things at our own pace.

Thanks for the Joggles link - most of this stuff we can get in the UK (better postage rates than international!) but they've certainly got a lot under one roof. Off to explore some more! It looks a great site.


Wilma said...

Great to hear about your adventures, Tracy. Love that part of the world as I come from Townsville ... somewhat further north, but still like to think of myself as a Queenslander. Enjoy....