Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Inspired choice

June 4th, 2011

Brisbane detour combo

I’d Mike to thank. Suggesting I might venture off the familiar Bruce Highway south of the town of Gympie. Instead, following the Mary Valley. Gradually climbing up to the small town of Maleny. Vantage point for the Glass House Mountains. Then a swift descent towards Lake Somerset. Skirting around Brisbane.

If he’d actually used the word scenic I’d missed it. But it was implied. Ordinarily something of a deterrent to the run-of-the-mill long-haul rider. Smacks of hill work. But sometimes you have to forgo such reluctance. Efforts amply rewarded. As in this instance. Not just the vistas. But also the characters I’d encountered en route. Inspired choice.

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Glimpse of the Mary Valley

June 1st, 2011

Glimpse of the Mary Valley from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Ken offers a glimpse of the rather picturesque Mary Valley. southern Queensland.

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Slippery encounter

June 1st, 2011

She leapt back suddenly. Knocking the small table. My coffee sloshing across it. "Snake" she exclaimed. By now out of my seat, I peered over. A few feet long. Slithering swiftly and silently across the warm stone flags. Its head raised noticeably off the ground. Threatening. As if to strike. Instead disappearing under a nearby water trough. Gone as quickly as it had arrived. A few seconds.

Commotion over. Explained that, roadkill excepted, this was the first snake I’d seen in Australia. Despite all my camping. Did she know what sort it was, I enquired? Wasn’t sure. But thought its aggressive posture meant is was probably venomous. The search for autumn sun and a winter habitat drawing it out.

I’d been surprised at the swiftness of the encounter. The potential for being caught unawares. Taking some comfort in the knowledge that I’d good idea what to do if bitten. Compression bandage. Never wash the wound. Residue helping identify which anti-venom to administer. And don’t be shy. Call for help. Textbooks say stay calm. Not sure if I’d ever manage that. Rather, don’t panic. For most bites are usually dry. A warning. No venom. Just septicemia to contend with.

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Goodbye cruel world

May 31st, 2011

Goodbye cruel world-horz

A social diary to errr die for…. In the Mary Valley, southern Queensland.

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Tangled web

May 31st, 2011

Tangled web - one

Early morning at a camp site near Kenilworth, Mary Valley, southern Queensland

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Early morning in Dingo dell

May 30th, 2011

Early morning in Dingo Dell from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Not actually Dingo dell. A campsite five miles south of Kenilworth in the Mary Valley, southern Queensland. Incidentally, dingos – a sort of wild dog – howl because they can’t bark. Not suitable for children.

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Playing with fire

May 29th, 2011

Almost midnight. Alone in the tent. Solitary pitch. Chilling howls. Unmistakably the sound of a dingo. A wild dog. Unable to bark. Even if you’ve never heard one before you just know. Numbers uncertain. How close I couldn’t tell. Hunting in packs. Circling their prey.

Would they venture into the camp ground? In search of easy pickings? Or too wary of humans? I wasn’t sure. Seemed to remember most attacks were on small children. Often mistaking the feral creatures for a family pet. Sometimes fatally so.

Toyed with how I might deter them if they approached. I’d a field knife. Razor sharp. But a close quarters weapon. Dismissed that option. Didn’t want to get up close and personal. Lighter. Bet the little critters weren’t fire retardant. And the flame might deter. Assuming I didn’t set the tent ablaze in the commotion.

Next morning I met Craig. He lived up on the hill. Dropping down to the camp ground to collect drinking water. Yes, he said, that’d be dingos you’d heard. Definitely. But few had ever seen them. Never ventured off the hills. Hidden amongst the woods and gullies.

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Kenilworth

May 27th, 2011

Kenilworth from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

It’s not always fun in the sun. Never quite the same as Neighbours or Home and Away. Kenilworth, Mary Valley, southern Queensland.

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Bellbirds

May 27th, 2011

Bit of a climb she said. Up to Kenilworth. In the Mary Valley. But there were bellbirds in the trees. Distinctive call. Single note. Shrill. At the time I thought more like a door bell than, say, an old hand wrung school affair. But my recollections were a little shaky. Efforts to record their sound thwarted by some intense late afternoon electrical activity.

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School days

May 27th, 2011

Dagun school - with Ken

Escaping the familiar Bruce Highway south towards Brisbane, I’d headed down into the Mary Valley. Stumbling on the village of Dagun. Intending only a brief stop. Perhaps a quick coffee. Nothing more.

Left a few hours later. Invited to the local school to give an impromptu talk to the pupils. Met by head teacher Jane. Then thrust into the lions den. For no question is ever off-limits to children. Tough audience. Great fun.

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