We are on the road just before 0800. The forecast is for “possible showers” today and then “a shower or two” tomorrow, but the day is perfectly clear and quite cool. The temperature gauge in the car is hovering around 14⁰C so we are hoping that it will warm up as the day progresses. Our campsite is at the end of a short valley, so we are hoping for some shelter from the winds that are persisting this week as well.
We head for the
Mount Lindsay Highway and pass through Beaudesert, and follow the signs to Rathdowney. As always, there are heaps of caravans and motor homes parked behind the historical museum which is a very popular stop. Just outside town, we adjust our direction once more and head towards Boonah. This is a very scenic drive and the last 15 minutes or so should be driven carefully, as the road narrows considerably and is rather windy, with some spots recommending 30 or 40kph.
We easily find our turn off near Maroon and head approximately 5k’s to our destination, where we find ourselves completely alone.
After examining our site and determining which will be the best way to set-up, we proceed to do so. We note a car parked in the campground, but no-one else is around, so figure they must have gone for a hike. Glenn parks the camper with our back to the sunshine as this is the direction the wind is coming from at the moment. Once set up though, that wind changes direction often so we just adjust our chairs to suit and we sit in the sunshine to gain some warmth.
Someone has left us a lot of timber right beside the concrete fire pit, so Glenn immediately decides that the OzPig is staying in the camping box on the ute. We are close enough to enjoy the fire there, but far enough away that stray embers shouldn’t worry the canvas. I throw a bit of cardboard that I’ve bought with us on the fire.
We head to the creek to see that there is no water flowing like last time we were here. Pity, the sound of it would have been nice to listen to, so we’ll have to make do with birds and the wind in the trees. Disappointed, I suggest we wander up to the waterfall to see if there is any water falling. I grab my camera and we walk to the crossing to find that the water is actually flowing very lightly across the road, so it must be disappearing underground near our camp. Heading upstream, we find a few good water holes where swimming would only be suggested in summer as the water is freezing right now. Not surprising really as most of this water is in the shade of cliff faces here. Of course, Telashi dives right in and two of these holes are deep enough so that she can get her feet off the ground. The water is crystal clear. As we wander further towards the waterfall, you can actually here a small sound of water falling to the rocks below. Glenn heads up to have a look whilst I keep the dogs with me. The sides here are not very dog friendly … well for old dogs anyway … but they are slippery and uneven, and I don’t want any of our pups injured. We slowly head back to camp.
Once back, Glenn notices that the fire is still actually nice and warm under all the ashes, so I tear the cardboard into thick pieces and shove them into the ashes, hoping that I won’t have to do much else to get the fire started. I also check the fire wood supply that’s been left and grab some bark to add, then some smaller timber. Surprisingly after about 30 minutes, the fire ignites itself and I hurry to add something decent to the now burning cardboard.
Two cars pull into the camp ground. All occupants disembark and head for the waterfall. There are 4 adults and numerous kids, so the noise level of our campsite elevates for an hour or so. Once they have checked out the creek, the mothers start putting together a lunch, whilst the dads head the kids off in another direction, probably hoping to wear them out a little before lunch.
As it’s time for lunch now, I start to thread marinated meat cubes onto the skewers I’ve bought with us this trip. This will make the meat easier to handle on the BBQ plate. The marinade is a simple Indian style one: soy, peanut oil, ginger, garlic, palm sugar, coriander, cumin, lemon juice and lemon grass all blitzed together, then add the meat and forget in the fridge for a few hours. Glenn sets up the plate using a rock already in the fire pit and grabbing another from the creek to make things nice and flat. Whilst that warms up, I get some oil out to add to the plate, and get the bread out ready. We’ll cook the meat and then empty the skewer onto some bread like a hot dog. A bit nicer than the simple sandwiches we normally have and not something we have every day, but easy enough to create and cook. The plate is a bit worse for wear though and will need a good scrubbing, so I leave it near a meat ant nest along side the fire pit to see if they might assist us in the clean up, but funny enough a magpie attempt to help us out there and Kiah scares it off.Now there isn’t much to do except sit around digesting our meal and enjoying the sunshine.
The day visitors start packing things up as well, but make one more visit to the waterfall before settling back into their cars and heading off. I’m surprised they didn’t attempt to go up to the Upper Portals car park and enjoy the view. We get a few more cars come through the rest of the day, check the waterfall and leave. We note that the lone car parked near us is still locked up and lonely. We throw the ball for Telashi and she gets a bit puffed and thirsty.
About 1500 I start preparations for our dinner. Glenn wants a nice stew. I think he’s addicted to my stew now, but still not interested enough to find out how I create it. So I slice, dice, brown, mix, chop, stir and pop the lid on. We’ve got some good coals happening for dinner. The fire pits are conveniently square on the outside and round in the middle, leaving enough room on the corners for a camp oven and anything else you might like to put there. Glenn sets up some coals beside the fire but still in the fire pit, where I put the camp oven then he adds more coals for the lid. These pits are so huge that you could have a roaring fire going if you had unlimited timber for it and 3 or 4 people could sit in chairs on each of the four sides.
We spend the rest of the day and the evening loading wood on the fire. For dessert I make an orange and poppy seed cake. Glenn heads to the creek to check out the water animal activity and then the waterfall for the same … I follow suit later on.
08.07.12We are awoken next morning by some more visitors who like closing car doors and it’s pretty early for visitors. And I thought we’d be alone? I manage to fall back to sleep and thankfully they are quiet from then on.
When I decide to get up, I check the overnight temperature … 9.6⁰C … not all that bad for this time of year. First up it’s coffee then Glenn has reheated stew whilst I opt for cereal. We then sit ourselves in the sun to absorb some warmth while we can.
Not long after breakfast, more cars come in to park and walk. Some of the occupants check out the waterfall, but a few head straight up
. One couple are gone for an hour or two, but 3 fellows head off for hours only returning just before we pack up. Some cars drive past on their way up to the lookout, but a group of three turn around and come back. I head over to flag them down to ask if the gate is locked. The first car has two blokes in it and the driver gets on the CB to ask one of the other cars if the gate was locked or not … he said it looked locked so they decide to turn around and double check it. I tell the blokes that the car park at the top has a great view that they wouldn’t want to miss out on and the track is a good 4wd for them. They turn around and we don’t see them again for a little while. When they finally return, they beep and wave before heading back out. I suggest heading up there to Glenn, but he’s not so keen on it this trip. Mount May
We clean up after breakfast, and throw the ball for Telashi till she’s puffing quite a bit. Nice to see her getting some good exercise as my yard at home is too small for a good run. Once again she stops for a drink, so we put the ball away. She spends the rest of the day sitting at the back of the car staring upwards … the ball thrower is on the tray.
We agree that we must walk up the hill to where Glenn went yesterday. He tells me the view is nice from there and it “will be good for me” … I’m sure my doctor would also agree with that last one. So we pack a few things in the backpack, grab the dog leads just in case and head up. We get about half way up when Jack turns around and heads back down. He’s ignoring me telling him to stop and I get almost all the way back down before I can stop him. Guess his legs are as jelly like as mine. I snap the lead on him and we head back up. Feeling confident this will be the last time I do this, we make it to the top of the first in a series of cliff faces. I ask if we are going up further, but it seems this is where we’ll stop. Jack and I sit to catch our breath and Glenn and the other two dogs head a little further up. The view is rather nice. I can see that we aren’t all that far from neighbouring houses should something go wrong at camp. About 15 minutes later we are on our way back down. Back at camp my legs do indeed feel like jelly. I think I need to climb hills more often. Bet I’ll feel my leg muscles tomorrow more than I have for awhile.
We head inside the camper to lay down for a bit before we have to think about packing up in earnest. I check my watch and see it’s after midday. We’d best be having some lunch and starting our pack up rituals before too long as Glenn wanted to be on the road by 1400 so we still had a bit of sunshine once home. So after a sandwich, we start packing things up, but we are doing things slowly as we’ve got well over an hour to do it.
One last car pulls up as we close up the camper at 1400 and does a drive around our campsite. They pull into camp # 1 while we lock the locks up and hitch up to the ute. Driving the ute forward, we stow the ramp and chocks and do all the final checks: everything locked, hitch secured, lights working, puppies secured … and we are on our way home. 11.5AH
Trip Kilometres: 240
Trip Duration: 48 hours