Nights on the Road

Nights on the road can be quite lonesome if you are a solo traveller on your ownsome. Most fellow travellers who are happy to chat with you in the daylight are not so welcoming at night.

I have walked past while they have drinks and nibbles by their individual campfires by their individual portable fire boxes or containers and never in my ten years on the road has anyone ever said “Why don’t you come and join us.” I stop and say “Nice fire. .looks great ” and smile my happy smile and I walk past to my small van and go in and close the windows and doors.

I can read a book if I am in a powered site and also go on the wifi Internet if I am in an area with coverage and I am fine but the real loneliness is in an unpowered site with no wifi or phone coverage and darkness your only friend. At Heifer Creek there was no moon and no public lights and no nothing. I light tea lights and a couple of solar lights I travel with but I longingly looked at the campfires on either side of me and again wonder why my friendly neighbours do not invite me to join them in the evening when they had happily chatted with me during daylight hours.

Somehow when night falls campers huddle beside their own fires and retire into their own private worlds. There are groups that camp together and there are two or three cars that travel together and the happy comradeship makes me feel even more lonely. This trip has made me feel very isolated maybe because I am in areas where people don’t want to socialize with a single female even an old one. Night makes us invisible and unwanted like cochroaches and mice that scurry around in the dark.

So I play the ukulele and sing myself some songs until it gets too dark to see the strings and my fingers start missing the notes and then I change into pj’s and tuck under the blanket ready for the night for once it’s dark it’s bedtime whatever the time is.

Stormy Night

Birds at Coolamunda Lake

Birds on The Spit

Coolamunda Lake is a haven for birds…. The Lake has now filled after the rains and more and more birds are arriving at the Lake.

THE GOONDIWINDI REGION
lies in the heart of the Brigalow Belt, on the
border between Queensland and New South
Wales. It’s a place where the tropical north meets
the temperate south and the wetter conditions of
the east blend with the arid west. Where streams
merge into rivers before breaking out into a lazy
inland delta of billabongs, anabranches and flood
runners. It’s an area diverse in habitat and home
to a rich array of birds, with over 200 species
identified.

https://www.waxwingeco.com/birding-hotspot.php?id=L2554912

Coolmunda Lake

Coolmunda Lake

The Coolmunda Dam is an earth–fill embankment dam with a gated spillway across the Macintrye Brook, a tributary of the Dumaresq River, that is located on Darling Downs in Queensland, Australia. The main purposes of the dam are for irrigation and potable water supply.

I am camping beside the Lake and water unpowered sites are $ 12 https://www.lakecoolmundacaravan.com.au/

Lake Coolmunda Caravan Park QLD offers a range of comfortable, affordable facilities for a memorable and enjoyable visit. Renowned for being an incredible fishing spot! We love pets just as much as you do, bring them along!

We offer all water sports including skiing, paraflying, sailing, canoeing, fishing, sun baking. Also bird-watching, hiking, lovely sunrise, sunset or stars. We have lovely native flowers in season. Take a day’s drive to different areas – Warwick, Stanthorpe, Texas, Goondiwindi, Millmerran, Toowoomba or down to the coast or Brisbane. Or many other smaller areas located between these main towns.

Our park has a swimming pool, tennis court, B.B.Q., camp oven fire, fire drum, camp kitchen, full amenity block. Camping areas with fire drums and B.B.Q.
Have your rest and a snack at the picnic table, stroll around, watch the birds, boats etc, gaze over the water and stroll back.

The caravan park is $32 for powered and $12 for unpowered at the lake . The Camping sites by the lake are all $12 and all unpowered. There are toilets and hot showers and a barbecue area and picnic shelters and the location is very beautiful rich in bird life and you can park anywhere on the site.

Leslie Dam

Track to Leslie Dam

Leslie Dam is a dam in the locality of the same name Leslie Dam, Southern Downs Region, Queensland, Australia. It is 11 kilometres from Warwick town centre.

I camped at the Leslie Dam Caravan Park…cost $25 powered, $14 unpowered… The facilities are excellent. Hot showers, toilets, washing machines and a small shop with essentials and treats at the Office. Its very popular in the school holidays and the camping area was quite packed with families complete with boats and children.

Leslie Dam is situated approximately 12 km west of Warwick, and is one of Queensland’s most popular fresh water fishing and camping destinations.

Leslie Dam is a dam in the locality of the same name Leslie DamSouthern Downs RegionQueensland, Australia. It is 11 kilometres from Warwick town centre. Freshwater fishing and water sports facilities are available. The dam was named after Patrick Leslie (1815–1881), an early settler in the region and the first person to buy land in Warwick.

SunWater is undertaking a dam spillway capacity upgrade program to ensure a consistently high level of safety for the dams under their control

The beauty of Lake Leslie Tourist Park is the variety of campsites available. From powered sites to many acres of bushland for unpowered camping in an informal setting with a view of the lake. They offer a variety of cabins for those who want the camping-style outing with the creature comforts of home, as well as a fully self contained cottage featuring a spa.

I was also able to see a magnificent sunset over the Dam. I walked down the track and the sunset was magnificent

Patrick Leslie was a Scot who, along with his brothers Walter and George, was the first settler to take up land on the Darling Downs. The dam was built between 1961 and 1965 on Sandy Creek, 11 km from Warwick, to provide water security for Warwick residents and the district’s irrigators. It was raised and radial gates were added in 1986, which more than doubled the dam’s original storage capacity to 106,300 ML. The dam’s primary function is to store water for irrigation and urban use and was not designed for flood mitigation and does not include a flood-mitigation compartment

Heifer Creek

Heifer Creek

Address: 2536 Gatton Clifton Rd, Fordsdale QLD 4343

This is a good overnight location. It is located along the Gatton to Clifton Road, otherwise known as the Ma Ma Creek Road, from Gatton. Maximum stay is 20 hours.

Heifer Creek Campground – Nice grassy campsites and plenty of shade. On the edge of Heifer Creek, this is a large grassy campground suitable for vans or a tent. There are large mature gum trees for shade The area is surrounded by forest and hills so reasonably well sheltered from the wind. A great spot for tent camping.

Its a very beautiful place surrounded by mountains and trees, quiet and secluded with no internet facilities. Its a 48 hour camp with toilets and a tap for washing hands. The property was donated by the Thiess Family and the notice boards tell the story. The Thiess Memorial on Heifer Creek Cutting commemorates the contribution that the Thiess brothers made to Australian earth moving. The Thiess brothers’ first major earthworks job, took 40 men 6 months to open up the route. The route remains a scenic alternative to the main routes from Gatton to Toowoomba and Warwick.

This area is a haven for wildlife. Goannas are frequently seen (so keep your food safe!), birds are plentiful, and if you are lucky you may see an echidna. Occasionally chickens even come to visit. This campground is dog-friendly, although dogs must be kept on the leash at all times. https://www.weekendnotes.com/thiess-memorial-heifer-creek/

Queensland Ballet Gala Performance

Victoria Bridge and Brisbane Skyline from Southbank

I went to see the Gala Performance of Queensland Ballet at QPAC at Southbank. The trains were on strike, so I went on the buses and it took 3 hours to get to QPAC for the show. Southbank was very beautiful and I walked down the path to where the Wheel was, and QPAC was opposite the Wheel.

Sadly, there was no photography permitted during the performance. They did provide a beautiful catalogue and a free Ballet Magazine, and there was a video of parts of the performance that I was able to view. The performance was beautiful… The afternoon show was mainly seniors and students and the dancers were from the group but the performance was still beautiful and the dancers professional and expressive and the costumes and lighting was magnificent.

Prawn Fishing at Sunset

After the Circus I walked back to Redland Bay and took the ferry back to Russell island. To my delight, it was sunset time and I was treated to a beautiful sunset over the water.

I noticed small boats fishing and realised they were prawning. Often  prawns can be caught sitting on the bottom around weedy areas, with sand or muddy bottoms. Another surprise was the prawns often sit in water, between little more than ankle to not much more than thigh deep. This means it is best to seek prawns at low tide in Moreton Bay. But at certain times of the year, like right now, there are patches of prawns in the bay and you can see them jumping out of the water. This is when all the little boats come out into the bay to catch prawns using cast nets.

Cast netting for banana prawns, and as always, there is a lot of people chasing them.  They usually turn up in the southern bay at this time of year as well, top spots include the southern end of Macleay Island, western side of Russell Island down to the Power Lines south of the Logan River entrance.  the best technique is to move around concentrating on the deeper holes and channels using your sounder to find the schools, hopefully before too many others find them

The Circus is in Town

Contortionist acrobat

Moscow Circus…An extreme show. Featuring Australia’s top trial riders, “The Flair Riders”. Extreme High Wire and the worlds best dare devil motorcycle Cage Riders. Breath-taking Aerial performances and much much more. A circus not to be missed.

Russian Circus traditions include clowning, juggling, acrobatics, contortion, and animal acts with six tiny ponies. The show lived up to its advertising with an everchanging, fast moving selection of acts that effortlessly rolled on one after the other delighting the audience who were excited and responsive to the lively performers as they moved in the tiny arena and out interacting with the audience. The lighting was amazing and changed and highlighted the acts creating drama and following the performance.

Everybody loves a clown and this mock Charlie Chaplain type figure hobbled along silently interacting with members of the audience as he orchestrated his simple dramas in a very visual and tantalising way, leading the audience into responding with hoots of laughter and great enjoyment. I laughed so much I forgot to take photos as he manipulated those he selected from the audience and had them relaxed enough to perform beside him. He was excellent and memorable.

No wild animals perform in circuses anymore; domesticated animals, yes. To that end, Moscow Circus has a team of tiny, tiny horses which trot around this way and that and look adorable.    Ongoing acts are programmed seamlessly. The show moves swiftly, never dull.  The motorcycle Cage of Death is the climactic event. It is loud and fast, daredevil dangerous and as good as it gets.  https://www.thebarefootreview.com.au/menu/theatre/119-2014-adelaide-reviews/1728-the-great-moscow-circus.html

The trampoline acrobats are a highlight of this circus.  The trampoline is beside big wall with open doorways. The acrobats are dressed up like graffiti artists. The music is hip hop. They bounce and somersault higher and higher, in and out of the doors, up and down, faster and faster, clever, funny, inventive and utterly expert.

The final curtain raiser was the dramatic Motor Cycle Dare Devils riding the Globe and to my delight Diego, who I met when I was working at Hudson’s Circus, was one of the riders and I went to take his photo, and they took a photo of me inside the Cage instead. This is a scary and hell raising event, especially when they had 3 motorcycles flashing around this very small globe .It began with an amazing fire Dance bringing in the globe

The show ended after this drama, with a line-up of all the performers that extended to a line up outside the tent as we were leaving, so we could say thank-you to the artists for their amazing show, and it was an amazing show.

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