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Old 10-16-2012, 05:31 PM   #11
platypus121 OP
CT.110 NZ
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Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
Oddometer: 106
Birtles vs Australia

In which we hear bells in the forest, abuse the faithful, laugh at cemeteries, and meet one tough bastard.

We head inland on the D’Aigular Highway, soon turning off onto
the picturesque Neurum road.

Display of large wood carvings at Goody Park.

Top of Lake Somerset at Villeneuve.

Through Kilcoy again and onto the Jimna Road, heading up into the hills.
Almost no traffic and an easy surface give us time to enjoy the bush
settings, and we stop several times just to listen to the birds singing in the eucalypts.
I think they are Bellbirds: if they are not, they should be - sound
just like little bells, all tinkling away happily.

Being out of my usual environment sharpens the senses. Back home
if I stopped in a forest and the birds were chorusing, it would probably
not even be noticed - here each new sound or new vista rushes into
the senses and stands out fresh and clear.

Tracks head off into the bush every few kilometres with no sign as to
where they might lead. That is too much of a temptation for Birtles, and
one of them has to be explored. As we get further from the road there’s
another temptation, to just sit in the grass (amongst all the MD’s) and
become part of the scene - hard for Birtles with all his day-glow fittings.

Over the Great Dividing Range again and the land opens out into gently
rolling pasture stretching to the line of hills on the horizon. It could be
savannah land anywhere in the world, except for the ever-present eucalypts
and the occasional Kookaburra that brand this area distinctly Australian.

Iconic …. !!

Moronic …. !!

It takes all sorts, and the world would be a poorer place without a variety
of people, but I’d rather be without this looney with his endless supply of
metal rectangles, red paint and limited range of expression. His efforts
have been seen nailed to trees through NSW and Queensland, and at
each one I wished I had a ladder and a claw hammer.

Since I didn’t, a bit of post-trip photo manipulation is the best I can do to
lessen my distaste for the evil tree-mutilator.

Ban Ban Springs, where in the long ago the Rainbow Serpent came to
the surface and created a spring that still runs today. A plaque lists the
further activities of the Rainbow Serpent and the significance of the area
to the original inhabitants.

I usually go all gooey and New Age-y at a site like this, but all I see
here before me is a spring - there is no mystique, no aura, no feeling
of being somewhere special. This may be because I read that, some
years ago, a larrikin levelled the area with a bulldozer and the whole
area was later reconstructed. So now the spring has become like the
Kelly Tree - it marks the spot, but only as an impotent understudy
of the missing original.

Welcome to Trev’s Place, Gayndah.

Urgent corrective podiatry needed at Mundubbera

Road signs for cemeteries really do need a bit of extra thought.
The pairing of a cemetery sign with “Dead End” or “No Exit” is often seen.
Maybe it is deliberate, meant to cheer you up a bit when you visit the graves.

Munduberra carefully avoids the cliché ….

Funny ‘ol things are cemeteries.
In them we are all levelled, literally and figuratively, yet segregated
burial plots strive to ensure the divisions that religion created
in life are not healed in death.

This is the ancient lungfish which gave its name to the nearby locality of
Ceratodus. Once found in local waters but now only on a mural in Munduberra.

Birtles fraternises with the Big Boys who are lounging at the side of the
road, making eyes at every passing Italian car.

Another cemetery, another laugh.

The things you find at the side of the road!

This puffball has found a niche all its own. It grew further off the road
as well, but right on the edge of the tar seal seemed to be the preferred place.
It is so fragile that just a touch with a boot and it will disintegrate, yet it
grows through the stones, pushing them and the tar aside. No doubt it
already has a scientific name, but I called it Globuli Toughbastardus.

Mini volcano created by ants.

Nature studies will only delay us so long.

Tomorrow we head for Theodore, Springsure, and then the Dawson Development Road.
Reports from locals about the DDR are not very encouraging, but, as one admirer of Birtles told me :

"It's a Honda - it will never fail". I think that is what's called blind faith

To be continued .....

BigZoner #096 (English Chapter)
"Keep brotherhood till die"

platypus121 screwed with this post 10-18-2012 at 01:26 PM
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