Day 14 – Wed 10th

This rotten cough is hard to kick, it had another go at me yesterday and last night, had to start off sleeping sitting up.

Chris was up at 3am this morning but he can say that bit.

While Chris was away I did a big clean up of the van all ready to head off tomorrow. At the moment we are just sitting relaxing with our feet up underneath the annex enjoying watching the birds walk past pecking at the ground for food. We found out about Buff birds from the bird watchers. Bit like the Apostle birds that live in families, they make a noise as they walk, have a hooked beak and are black like a crow but smaller with some white bits under their wings, not a very photographic bird so just nice to watch.

We leave here tomorrow and have decided to go via Rolleston, Springsure then into Emerald for the night. Then head off to Blackwater stop somewhere along there for the night, then head towards Rocky and stopping at Calliope for possible our last night. Then do a big run home on the Sun, unless something else takes our fancy on the way home.

Chris here now, I got up this morning at 3 so I could walk (or climb) the 3.2 km up to Boolimba Bluff and be there for the sunrise. It was a very dark morning with the moon having set before midnight, so off I go with a torch in one hand and my new headlight strapped to my forehead. Setting off up the track at 3:50am, it was a very different bush walking experience. You could hear the sounds of all the animals and see some of them that were a bit slow getting off the track. I used the red light for much of the way as that let my eyes work better in the dark. I saw several of those small bettagong things (like a very small kangaroo) and also several big kangaroos booming off to one side or the other. I was hoping I wouldn’t come across any feral boars.

Resting about 1.5km in just before the start of the big climb, I turned off my headlight and couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face. Apart form the thousands of stars peering between the treetops it was indeed very dark. Lots of the starry sky was missing, obscured with what turned out to be the overhanging cliff tops above me.

So now it was off up the steep part. Lots of steps and four ladders to climb through the gully between the cliffs. Made it to the top in good time and than arrived at the bluff at 5:10 just as the dawn light was starting to appear. I could make out the ranger station by the light of the public phone way down there. I was there in plenty of time as sunrise was at 6:08 so I looked around for the best places to take photos from when the light did appear properly. Some of the lookout area was closed, probably due to a tree threatening to fall near the cliff top, possibly taking some of the cliff with it. The cliffs across the valley are just starting to show up, very white against the blackness of the valley and hills beyond.

Sunrise Boolimba Bluff

Boolimba-Bluff-1 Boolimba-Bluff-2 Boolimba-Bluff-4 Boolimba-Bluff-6

Just after 7:00 and time to head back down. I could now see the giant cliffs that surrounded the track on the way up. Going down was a little slower as I was taking it easy on my knees. I saw one couple walking up not far from the start. I was back at the ranger station at about 8:40 and then a short drive back to my Kate.As the sun rose, I took a few shots off to the East but the main action was off the South West where the cliffs come alive with the new sunlight. I took a number of shots of the cliffs, some of them for later stitching together. There was some cloud in the sky, just enough to make the sky interesting. I also took a number of zoomed in shots of the opposite cliff, showing the trees growing midway up apparently hanging onto virtually nothing. I don’t know that the photos will be that good, but the experience certainly is.

Kate Back, we had a relaxing arvo, did the nature walk back down at the national park a 2km walk. A lot of fallen trees from the Jan flood were banked up along the creek; all looked a bit of a mess.

We hooked the van up and packed up as much as we could so we could get away early in the morning, or sleep in hee hee.

Just before tea the Apostle birds came back to our site, might have something to do with the fact I gave them some seed this morning and again this arvo. Anyway they were squawking away making their usual racket. One kept going up onto the car/van mirrors trying to give itself a leaf, going from one mirror to another, it would jump down then hop back up, dance up and down, peck at the mirror jump down hop back up, would do this procedure about 4/5 times. Then it would fly back to the seed and take some seed back to the mirror and start all over again. Then it started a new thing, it would jump down from the mirror grab a leaf and take it back to the seed as if it was an offering, grab Cheeky-Aposle-Bird2I was taking photos and I was still there when he came back.