Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bribie Island Car Camping Escape

I have not been up to much as usual except for the dentist. I got my new crown but it seems to be a bit crooked, but better than no tooth at all in front. Been using the dentist days as an excuse for an outing at the North end of the Sunshine Coast, once a fortnight. One day I did a gallery and a bit of shop exploring in Eumundi and found out that my pierced ears can handle pure (not stirling) silver posts without getting sore. The lady from the Mango hut makes the earrings herself with the part that goes through the ear removable so you can put them on other earrings with a bit of fiddling. She was also telling me all about her parents who were the ones that lost their dream home to the house fire around Eumundi that was on the news. They had been renovating for some time and had not long moved up from down south permanently to finally move in for keeps. It was an old queenslander and only the brand new set of steps that were just completed by the workmen up to the front verandah were left standing.

Another day I sat on the Noosa spit with a brush turkey poking around and had a swim in the Noosa River because I could not get a park close to the ocean side and it was even worse in the Noosa National Park which I drove around 3 times trying to find a place to pull up. I had my thermos and a bite to eat in the shaded foreshore car park pull-in on the Spit and envied the happy hippie combie van obviously travelling around with its occupants who were hanging out their washing between sign posts.

It seems my new car (a gift from my sis earlier this year) is not that great for car camping after all. It is big enough to lay across the back seat curled up but oouch, I wake up hurting on and off all night. I found that out last weekend when I took off impromptu to Bribie Island quite late in the evening on Friday, had Macca's at Caboolture turnoff and pulled into this car park with toilet called Turner's Camp (historical site of the Turner family) a few k before the Bribie Island bridge. There were a couple of mobile homes there already doing the free camping thing and they were already asleep so I drove in and switched off the lights at 9pm and sat and soaked in the peace and nicotine for a while until I decided I had better hop in the back seat for a sleep. Actually I have been so tired lately that one of the reasons I took off was thinking that i would get more rest away from the house where Scott (who is still jobless and living here) had his son for the weekend. I have no patience for kid whinges and demands these days and seem to be so sensitive to noise that I have been way too cranky - yep, old and cranky I have become and I want my house back to myself rather than computers and TVs making competing noises. I don't think coming off anti-depressants has helped.

Getting back to the car camping - it was a hot night so I had the windows down some in the car and was getting a lovely breeze off the water but I was too exited or scared or hyped up to get to sleep for ages. But I did fall asleep (and wake up and fall asleep again etc) until about 3.30am when I had the urge to go to the toilet which meant getting out of the car ofcourse. As it turned out that was a problem. This car has the immobiliser alarm thingy on the key ring and I unlocked the thing by pushing the button but when I tried the door handle nothing happened! I pushed the button again - nothing happened and again, and again. Well maybe the button near the gear stick that said lock and unlock would work something - so I moved the switch and bingo......the bloody car alarm went off and the lights were flashing and I was panicking about "the neighbours". I was already "hanging" over the seat into the front with a sore body and then had to come back to the back window ledge to find the keys to press the button once again to turn off the alarm. A few seconds that seemed like an eternity. The alarm had stopped but I was still stuck in the back seat not particularly confident of NOT setting the alarm off again. A couple of deep breaths. Only one thing to do. Move all the stuff that I had piled in the front so that I could sleep in the back, and then climb over the seat and into the front drivers side - since I knew I could get out of that door. I do it every day nearly. Puff, puff, pant, pant. Done and out! Phew! So, am I going to have to climb over the seats every time I want to have a sleep and get out again? I still am not game to find out for sure and I was so embarrassed at being seen the next morning and to tell you the truth I could already see light on the horizon so I hopped back in the car and drove out of Turner's camp and headed over the bridge to Bribie Island looking for a toilet I badly needed by now. I found one, had another sit and hit of nicotine and went to find a place where I could cook my bacon and eggs for a very early breakfast. A nice little park with BBQ's with a view of the passage and also the Glasshouse mountains in the distance, the birds chirping and only the odd person around as the sun made its appearance in the sky. I was tired but I had had some sleep and I thought I would get a sleep in a shady park somewhere during the day. Breakfast was yum, the coffee sachets were yum, the thermos was still hot and the local ibis liked the scraps. But I had little energy to rush and everything took ages including washing up the dishes. I had not put anything in for that and bacon and eggs make a mess. There was a water tap and some paper bark off the paper bark trees that did the job for now.

Then out came the camera/video and I spent some time taking photos. People were doing their early morning constitutional walks by now and I packed up the chair and book that I did not get to read and moved on to the next place. Another toilet block. Bloody lack of sleep, bacon and eggs and the earlier panic had triggered off my irritable bowel and I only just made it in time to a toilet block in Banksia Beach (still on Bribie Island). That was a relief and I smiled once again. I went to check out the Southern end of Banksia Beach that promptly ended at Dux creek come canal development and I parked on the last remaining big dollar block of land for sale with views to the water on 2 sides and thought to myself that "i have been here" before even the new owners that will block off the entire area for the public once their house is built. Ofcourse people can walk up the path to the spot. This was an ideal fishing spot but also as it turned out, the end of a shore bird sanctuary which I went to explore next after some more photos.

The wader sanctuary had a bird hide and information displays and most of the land and foreshore was not accessible to the public because it was for the birds since they had destroyed most of their roosting habitat during the building of the canal estate. I saw a few sandpipers, a family of pied oyster catchers and some stilts which were also found elsewhere on the island anyway. The camera again. Then I want for a wander down the foreshore path in the other direction very slowly because I was not really that well and sat on a park bench for a while and then discovered a big bearded dragon lizard camouflaged well on the trunk of the tree. I watched him or her eat insects and eventually wander off after I got some more photos ofcourse and I think it was coming up to about 9am and I was ready to sleep again...but where? It was getting hot, too hot for sleeping in the car even if I didn't lock the doors so the search for the perfect spot began.

At the other end of Banksia Beach there was a great spot but you had to leave the car out on the road in the hot sun and I had a lot of gear in the car. It had a replica of the glass house mountains done in rocks, a toilet block, a picnic table and the best of all a tree with 2 fluffy juvenile tawny frogmouths (owls) and mother owl in it too - well known to the locals who were still doing the morning walk thing. But next thing a bunch of over 60's pulled up to sit out the day in the shade and I did not feel like laying down on a mat in front of them anyway so I headed for the trees I knew were in "White Patch" after a quick shop for cold drink and milk for cereal which was going to be my lunch. Yes I had an esky.

I had checked out the mudflat type beaches enough at this end of the island and the trees were preventing the cooling wind from entering so there was only one choice left to keep cool. Head to where the wind was coming from, it was gusty but cool. So I drove to the other side of Bribie Island, the surf side but once again I missed out on the only park that had a tree for shade. I put on my bathers and headed to the beach only to find the beach gone! It was eroded away into the sand dunes and the steps down to the beach ended in mid-air. So I did what everyone else was doing and walked in the sand dunes until I found a bit of shade under a spindly she oak. The shade got better as the sun moved around and I was cool here but the surf looked so dangerous that I could only stand on the edge and get wet and yet still get knocked off balance by the waves. This was also an unpatrolled area. Anyway, I could not sleep on such a dune angle - I have to lay down flat if I am ever going to sleep. I spent a couple of hours or more there knowing that no-where else would be any cooler but I imagined putting up my tent somewhere and having a sleep constantly. I never did find a place I could get away with doing that but I did not want to go home to a noisy house either - but by the time 4 o'clock that evening came, I gave in after checking out Turner's Camp once more in daylight hours. I drove home because I could not face another night sleeping in the car. Instead, to get away from the boys, I put my stretcher in the garage and with the door up and the gale blowing in, I went to sleep early and stayed there nearly all night! In fact I have been sleeping a lot ever since including today and I feel so blah that I cancelled my dentist appointment - but I got some good photos.

Well, I skipped the bit about skirmish point and the white mottled magpie that was obviously a mutation but this is the biggest blog that I have written for ages. I hope it entertains you for a while.
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