Monday, July 18, 2011

Saturday 16th thru Sunday 17th

Gills rocking and
rolling in Camper
Yes you can be forgiven for thinking that we really are just being lazy and only doing an update late but truly that is not the case-  we have had at best limited internet coverage.  We left Bushy Creek this morning with Gill doing her community service thingy and driving another person’s camper van as he had broken his arm and then banged his nut on some cupboards so all in all he had had a couple of bad days!  Anyway we were going to Bibinda and that was where he was now heading – home and at my guess to hospital.  The local nurse had checked out the injury to the arm and following a conversation by telephone with the doctor confirmed the break.  She had bandaged the arm and put it in a sling, but he urgently needed an x-ray and for the arm to be put in plaster.  There was no way he could drive his campervan, and as he was travelling on his own, was in some difficulty.  When he had asked around the camp if anyone was heading towards Babinda what else could we do but help out. 
 Patient delivered camper
parked Babina
Anyway we arrived here at about midday, left our injured friend and his campervan at his friend’s house, and checked out the free camping spots as there are two – first one not that fantastic as there were a number of people there and all the best spots had already gone, so we headed for the hills and a camp spot called ‘The Boulders’.     Absolutely fantastic, peaceful, quiet and fantastic sites with toilets showers etc supplied.  So here we shall stay until we move into Cairns on Monday which is only about 60 kms north.  ‘The Boulders’ is at the base of a rain forest so we have a little drizzle currently but the temp is still out there with the top being advertised as 26 today.

On the way here we passed through a number of smallish towns that I am sure would have normally merited at least a stop and let’s have a look at that one however as previously noted that was not happening as we headed to take our new friend to the hospital.  We were committed to driving the campervan direct to Babinda.  The two small towns we passed through, Cardwell and Tully, were badly devastated in Cyclone Larry earlier in the year.  Many of the houses still have tarpaulins over their roof and lots of trees uprooted.  Tully was regularly shown on television as the area where the Premier for Queensland, Anna Blythe, visited soon after the cyclone and provided her reports from. 
Tractor full of cut sugar cane
We drove through areas of sugar cane and banana plantations.  The banana farms were badly damaged during the cyclone and that is why we are paying between $15 and $20 a kilo for bananas (well that is the cost, but we are not buying them!).  The new seasons crop is just beginning to form and the bags are being placed over the bunches of bananas to protect them.  Apparently we are about five months off being able to buy bananas for $3 or less a kilo again.

The two larger towns we passed through were Ingham and Innisfail.  In Innisfail our injured friend pointed out telegraph poles where marks had been painted on to show the level of the floods early in 2011.  These marks would have been approximately two metres high.  Apparently the real estate agents in the town put up a petition as they were unhappy about the depth of the flooding being advertised so widely as it would affect the sale of homes in the area. 

So now we are at The Boulders and when the misty rain finishes we will go for a walk to see the actual boulders.  The area has only ten sites and at 3 pm there is only one left.  Very peaceful and the grounds are beautifully maintained with a centre driveway around the toilet/shower facilities.  Just another example of the great facilities available for campers in Australia.

He was a big bugga
Whoa what a shock, was having a bit of a nana nap late afternoon opened my eyes and looked at the window to see this enormous big set of eyes looking at me it was a pre-historic monster - had to be the biggest bird that I have seen in my life – called a Cassowary.    Let me tell you they are nearly as big as a dinosaur and we have passed Winton!

Sunday 17th

Ok so we have had a really lazy day today done virtually nothing.  Gill as seems to becoming a habit, finally after much hassling by me, got out of bed about 9:30ish.  We had already had breakfast some hours before this and so it was just up to where to from here.  As we said yesterday we are staying in an area that is called ‘The Boulders ‘.  There are a number of walks around here so we went on one that took us up and down the river.  It really was quite easy to see why they call it the boulders - there were certainly big.  The picnic areas, and also our camping area, are beautifully maintained by the Cairns Regional Council. 

Following this it was back to the camp and another stretch of laziness!!   Well that was until such times as our friend the Cassowary came back to camp – from here I will let Gill explain some of her silliness that nearly made her  the mate or dinner of him/her!  We have new neighbours, a couple 
Cassowary territory
who regularly visit Australia from Switzerland.  They called us to let us know that the Cassowary was 
wandering around the camp site.  We both went outside with camera in hand to get some photos.  The Council guy had told Peter this morning that this particular Cassowary can be quite aggressive looking for food and the Council was considering relocating it to another area.  There are signs not to feed the birds etc.  The bird decided that he liked the brightness of my camera and came up very close to me stamping it’s feet and drawing his neck very high, circling around and around me .  The only thing to do is walk very slowly or stand still, I tried both and it still towered over me.  Fortunately a car pulled in and I was able to back towards it and they kindly opened the back door and I was able to take refuge with some steel between me and the bird.   The rest of the spectators were quite wary of him by this stage, and eventually the bird took off again back into the forest.  Unfortunately I had the camera so there are no photos to upload of my little bit of adventure.  I am glad to say I had no need to visit the hospital after my encounter with the wildlife. Never mind I am sure that Peter would have come to my rescue, yeah sure
Colour coordinated toilet facilities

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