This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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1998 Travels November 11

WEDNESDAY 11 NOVEMBER     ATHERTON

I am still drying fruit. We are certainly getting our money’s worth of electricity, lately!

After lunch, went to the strawberry farm out on the Yungaburra  road, and picked two kilos.

Continued on, then, and went to Lake Barrine. This is a volcanic crater lake, formed from a big explosion of heated gases. Rainwater keeps the resulting crater filled. The lake is surrounded by rainforest, containing a number of large rough barked kauri pine trees.

We left Truck in the car park by the lake and had a brief look around that area, which contains Tea Rooms, in an old wooden building – like something from another era. The Tea Rooms are obviously on the bus tour circuit. They run boat trips on the lake.

We walked the track around the lake edge – a walk of about 5kms. It rained most of the way, which made it a bit dreary. It would be a nice walk to do in good weather. I got a number of leech strikes on my feet – stupid of me to wear just my Teva sandals. There was constant bird noise around as we walked, but the weather and the leeches did not encourage dawdling to look at same.

Back at the car park, having a major confrontation with a full sized tourist bus was – a cassowary! The bird obviously did not want to let the bus move anywhere. Whenever the driver tried to inch the bus forward – with its load of tourists – the cassowary attacked the front of the vehicle. Big bird – small brain – very bad temper! It was totally committed to its cause and oblivious to all us tourists standing around nearby, taking photos. It could have had a lot of fun if it had turned on us! Eventually, the driver stopped trying to move the bus, the bird got bored and wandered off a way – then the driver gunned the bus up the hill and away in a cloud of smoke, with cassowary chasing after it. Most entertaining. Funniest thing we have seen for ages, in fact.

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Cassowary determined that the bus will not get past it

 

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Cassowary flat out chasing bus up the hill

I wonder if this is a routine that bird goes through, on a regular basis, or if it was just having a particularly bad day?

When we got back to camp, the site had been whipper-snippered. There was cut grass everywhere – on chairs and tables, in the towels that were hanging on the chairs, and my wide washing bucket had a hole snippered in it. I was distinctly unimpressed.

Tea was steak and kidney and dumplings.


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1998 Travels May 30

SATURDAY 30 MAY     MISSION BEACH

It drizzled off and on through the day, skies were grey and it seemed a bit misty, which was probably due to the saturated air.

I was able to buy the Australian and spent some time reading it. I made focaccia  bread for lunch, which turned out very well.

After lunch, we did two walks. Drove firstly to the car park for the 1.3kms Licuala Palms circuit walk, just off the road back to Tully. The walking track was on very waterlogged ground. It features the Licuala fan palms, obviously – very photogenic plants that grow mostly where the ground is wet for much of the year. Yep, it is that.

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Licuala or Fan Palms – seen from below

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The Licuala Palms walking track through the forest

We kept a sharp lookout, hoping to see a cassowary, as they love the fruits of this palm, and so are in the area. We saw where one had been – cassowary poo is very distinctive! But no bird, despite all our peering about. Then, as we were driving along the track from the car park to the road, there was one ambling along in front of us! Unfortunately, it was being pursued by two female backpackers, intent on getting photos of it, and last seen following the bird into the bush. They were risking getting cassowary kicked, which – according to the literature – is a major health hazard. They are very big birds – emu size or more. Reputed to have a very small brain and a very bad temper! Apparently, they are at risk of being hit by cars, because they wander across roads – hence the warning road signs around the area.

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Extensive buttress root system on a rainforest tree

Drove back around and out the El Arish road a little way, to the car park for the Lacey Creek walk. This 1.5km walk through the rainforest is supposed to be an excellent one for seeing cassowaries. It features interpretative signs and a kind of cassowary arboretum area, which were interesting. It was a lovely walk through the forest, albeit damp, but no big birds were seen. However, there were lots of little mosquitoes!

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Interpretative display at the Lacey Creek walk start

Tea was tempeh stir fry and rice – good.

We have ants in the van. I guess, in this weather, they head for anywhere dry they can find. I bought some ant rid this morning and have put some, on pieces of foil, on the benches.