Simple Pleasures

Published: August 26th 2009
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DAY 291

We woke up this morning to a beautiful day at Fong - on bay, Lake Tineroo, although the sun was starting to climb it had not appeared over the top of the mountain, it was a very damp morning, Caroline tells me she looked out in the night and it was very very foggy outside.

The pigeons were tap dancing on the roof of the tent, they seem to pick on one particular tent or caravan and congregate, do lots of running around to make sure the occupant is now well and truly awake.

Caroline was out of bed first, she got straight out of bed, grabbed her camera and wandered off in her Pyjamas to get some photo’s of the lake and mountains covered in low cloud.

When she got back she put the kettle on then promptly got back into bed where it was comfy and warm.

By 8.00 we were up and about, but though the sun is coming up it is still quite damp and quite cool but at 8.20 it was as if someone had just flicked a switch to put the heating on, it went suddenly from very cool to quite hot in the sun, so we needed to put our chairs in the shade.

This is such a magical place, this is camping at its very best, why? Well, blue sky’s (and its nearly the end of winter) low camping costs, not the commercialism associated with camping on a site, and you’re allowed to have fires which the whole concept is just fantastic, how lucky are we to be experiencing this and how lucky Australians are to have all of this at their back door. Except that during the winter months in Australia Victorians, New South Wales and South Australians all have to travel a fair way to get up North to experience this. For most people winter is the best time to experience the Northern part because of the heat and the rains.

We had a light breakfast and sat around for a while, I pottered with tidying the truck as we are taking Julie and Sen to the airport in Cairns, tomorrow afternoon when we go and take over the house for the month from Julie.

Today is not going to be an exciting blog by any count, as we are doing very little, Caroline seems to have her head stuck in a book, so I probably wont get a lot of sense out of her today, except at meal times.

Our neighbours Ian and Jean have gone into Atherton for the day, they ask if we need any provisions, but we decline as we have everything we need. In the meantime some new people turn up, they park a little bit further up the hill where it is flatter. Andy and I both remark on how we think they have one of the best views, but then it is hard not to have a good view here.

I wander up to the top of the hill to put the rubbish in the bins, as I have been reading for a while and glued to my chair I figured that I should at least do something useful. I speak to this couple with the caravan, they have a Kedron which is specifically designed for being off road. They are a retired couple from just south of Brisbane, they are now enjoying their adventures, although only out for a few months, they are relishing the fact that they can do this instead of being confined to a couple of weeks at a time.

They wanted to camp at School Point but they tell me it is fully booked tomorrow night, it is a popular spot, although Andy and I liked School Point we both feel that this site is probably better as you are not consigned a designated spot.

I have been sat watching the wildlife, there is an abundance of Ducks, Egrets, Masked Lapwings, Pacific Black Ducks, Magpie Lark an abundance of birds that I could not even begin to tell you what they actually are. We also have the very shy Bush Stone Curlew (thick knees), they are hanging around in pairs at the top of the camp site they tend not to come near you and will run away if you come anywhere close to them.

I find it quite fascinating to watch the wildlife, you get to see and understand a little about their habits, we find that the Pacific Black Ducks come around us near dusk and first thing in the morning, they have no problem getting close to you, but if you stand up they run away, as soon as you sit down they waddle back to you and will sit near you as long as you sit still with them.

I find it quite sad that one of the Pacific Black Ducks is walking with quite a limp, he has both legs and both flippers, he appears not to be injured (on the surface) but looking at him (or her?) he seems to be quite healthy, his feathers are all in place, he looks clean and glossy and happy just like his mates so perhaps he is not bothered by his injury at all. Sometimes you wish you could help but we would probably not be helping at all if we did try, if you get my drift.

I am pretty certain that I saw a Red Capped Robin, but I am not an experienced bird watcher, this bird was tiny, black all over with a red cap and red breast, he was just too quick for me to photograph.

Andy joined me for the afternoon while he read his Led Zeppelin Biography “When Giants Walked the Earth”, it was great sitting in the shade reading occasionally glancing up at the water in front of us, especially as the speed boats and skiers gracefully raced past, there were kids being pulled along in their inner tubes, you could hear their screams and whoops of delight before watching the boat pull right round and throw them off helpless into the water.

We even see a seaplane take off from Lake Tineroo, but I guess that it is a long stretch of water, it is beautiful and of course open to everything and everyone that enjoys water and all within a couple of hours from Cairns.

We drive off to find some wood outside of the campsite we soon have a bit more to top up our supplies for this evenings fire. Neither of us are that hungry so we just have a snack for our tea eating up some leftovers, for a change we eat in the daylight, the fire is roaring away.

Oh, I forgot to mention that when Ian and Jean came back from Atherton they wandered over and Ian who got his chain saw fixed today helped cut some of our firewood up, he also told us a tip on fire lighting, keep our tea bags, dry them out and then soak them in kerosene, when you need a fire lit just drop a tea bag or two in, pop a match in and voila! You have one roaring fire on the go, we just usually use firelighters or if you are lucky and the ashes are still hot, you can rekindle the fire (oops did I mention Ashes? Now that’s obviously another story, but didn’t England just win the Ashes? Sorry to all our Australian friends, could not resist that one!)

We sat around the fire all evening, contemplating life on other planets and other such things, the sky is just magnificent, we were talking about how complicated our lives had gotten, and how we seemed to surround our lives with things that we thought were important but were not, and we now seemed just to crave simple pleasures and this was it at its best, a lovely camp fire to sit around on the journey of a lifetime, with Caroline, and only the noise of nature to keeep us company in the darkness, perfect, Simple pleasures.

By 9.30 we were exhausted, although the fire was going well we have had such a busy day, it was bed time.

Natures anaesthetic took hold and soon we were both in slumber.

Additional photos below
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26th August 2009

Stuck on the job
An elderly man in Cairns, Australia got stuck to a toilet after pranksters caked the seat with superglue. The incident occurred in the public conveniences of a shopping centre. Ambulance staff had to carry the victim - still attached to the toilet - out of the precinct, in full view of shoppers. He was then taken to hospital, where industrial-strength solvents were reportedly used to free him from the unexpectedly adhesive apparatus. According to, it was the second case of a strong, fast-acting glue being smeared on a seat in the same men's toilets that day. In the earlier incident the man had been able to get up before the glue set. A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said the elderly man, who did not want to be identified, was "pretty distressed about the whole thing". Cairns Police District's Superintendent Brent Carter has appealed for public help to identify the culprit. "The humiliation of sitting on a toilet while emergency services are working around you trying to free you…I just feel for the man," said Carter. "Then to have to be wheeled out of the shopping centre with the toilet frame still attached to your body is just dreadful." Your in queensland? you didn't? did you? lol

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