Thursday, March 29, 2018

The MnM Story Day 7 

50 klms west of Augathella

 Mercedes is out in the moke, very confident.

On the moke, chasing Ailsa
 the sheep who did not want
 to be shorn

Where is that sheep????

Dam has only 8 ft of

McAulay reall does learn to drive the quad!

Megsie was terrified in the storm.  A shawl helped. 

Mercedes and Loreto in the house garden

House built around bottle tree. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

The MnM Story  Day 6

Roma to Augathella and thence to Perola Park, via Mitchell, Morven 

We are at Perola Park, 50 klm west of Augathella through unsealed dirt (black soil) road. We left Mercedes' car in Augathella at Cyril's place and Lyn met us and brought us out here in a reliable 4WD.  After a tour of Augathella.  We learned that the Creeveys - AHS girls will know the name - were one of the first families to settle the Warrego country. 

We saw the first lying in hospital here. 

And of course the Post Office (the building was to be built in Charters Towers, but an administrative error saw it built in Augathella), which Lyn and Dick ran for 16 years.  And the Cemetery.  All the history is there.

At the moment, Lyn is stretched out reading and consoling Megsie the dog who is stressed by the thunderstorm. (such welcome rain)  Dick is watching football.  McAulay is writing to you ,dear readers.  Mercedes has gone to bed.  We have had a big day.

The drive from Roma out to Augathella turned out to be a pub crawl.  Towns along the way sport the most beautiful old pub buildings. Mitchel had three of them along the main street.

Augathella has another, and a Men's Shed.

Here, we are at a beautiful property with a gracious homestead.  Ailsa the house sheep met us on arrival.  Megsie threw ecstatic doggie wheelies. The cat ignored us

And look what bush babies get to sleep in. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The MnM Story

Day 5  Emerald to Roma via Springsure, Rolleston, Injune. 

No Queen's Baton today.  It went to the Coast possibly. 

Today, Emerald to Roma via the Carnarvon Highway. At its best, lush green, with wonderful escarpments of the ranges overlooking us. 
Springsure -they are taking care of their bottle trees.
Rolleston was not in peak traffic when we were there. Did not pursue the corrugated kitchen option for lunch, found a picnic pergola. 
Traffic chaos Carnarvon style.
No barriers, no supervision, no accidents. The cattle and horses do not even lift their heads. Near Injune.
Injune information Centre the only one I have met to offer free tea or coffee and biccies.
Lovely Injune general store.
We have seen QGAP offices everywhere. Coralie was instrumental in the development and implementation of this programme -Queensland Government Agent Programme.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The MnM Story

Day 4 Mackay to Emerald

Wot a day! Mercedes is already horizontal on the bed in the cabin at the Emerald Cabin and Caravan Park.  (good spot) McAulay stays awake to bring this blog to you, dear readers. 
We were sent off from Habana with a "full Australian breakfast" expertly prepared on the barbque by Paul.  Cake and apples were packed for us, lest we be hungry on the way!  (we were)

We did get lost leaving Mackay, despite an expertly drawn mudmap by said Paul. (not his fault, ours) Eventually we were on the road to Nebo. 

Then we found that the Queen's Baton had chosen to take the same route as we were taking. We became the designated Senior Citizen Delegated Escorts as the Baton went from Nebo to Capella to Clermont to Emerald.  We enthused with the crowds, we waved the flags we were issued, we lunched with the Police Highway Command Escort crew at Macca's at Moranbah. 

We and the Baton passed through country richly green, but a bit besmirched here and there by mining activity (acres of double decker dongas) , and some startling ranges (The Gemini Mountains, Wolfang).  At Clermont we saluted the Griffins who raised their cattle and their family somewhere outside there, (on the Brigalow property that they called KenMar) and spent some money to contribute to the local economy. 

Emerald.  Now around 17,000 in population.  McAulay was here in 1971 - drove here with Chris (England) O'Grady as she returned to her teaching post here after the August school holidays.  It has grown a very great deal since then. 

And the Council workers were out in the main street smicking up the mulch on the gardens for the Baton tomorrow morning. 

Mercedes - main street Clermont

Road Policing Command crew member protects the Queen's Baton

Banner for the Barton - Clermont

Gemini Mountains - who knew?


A Mine

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The MnM Story

Day 3

The Sunners, Rosemary (Row) and Paul, live in a botanic garden like setting in a semi rural area called Habana outside Mackay.  Wide timber decks surround the house, with inviting spots to sit and stare at the soft rain falling.  McAulay is particularly entranced by a beautiful stand of slender gums.

The Griffiins, Marg (Byrne) and Ken, live just up the road in an equally bucolic setting, with expansive views.  Marg and Ken joined us for dinner last night, and today, the women had lunch at the Griffin house.

Solid four-way talk for close on four hours.  Covered everything.  Caught up on all our lives.  The Griffins won a Brigalow lot ballot back in the seventies, and spent four decades developing a flourishing cattle property.  Four children were born while they lived in a shed with neither running water nor grid power.  Everyone thrived!  The Sunners have reared four sons, and now their lives feature four-wheel driving trekking with the extended family - all sixteen of them went to the tip of Cape York last year.  They travel in a pack!

Coralie, Marg, Rosemary, Liz

Rosemary checks out Marg's flatware

Marg and Ken Griffin, Paul and Rosemary Sunner

Cheers All. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

The MnM Story

Day 2 Yeppoon (outside Rockhapton) to Habana (outside Mackay)

Driving the Marlborough stretch was much more pleasant today - the country is green and lush, the cattle are fat - than I remember it from the 70s, when driving from Brisbane to a teaching appointment in Cairns. 

The highlight was to come across, at the servo on the Highway at Marlborough, an electric car charging station.  This is the first I have seen in Australia (I know there are lots, I just haven't seen them. And I was surprised to see it in such a remote location).

Now the two Ms are at the beautiful home of Rosemary Row Sunner and her husband Paul, at the beautiful Habana, outside Mackay.  Drinks time.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The MnM Story

We two, Mercedes and McAuley, have decided to make a Progress around Queensland, to celebrate 100 years of friendship since we were All Hallows Girls. (50 years for each of the Ms).
The idea came upon as at the 50 year reunion at the Alma Mater in October 2017, when we talked with many of our boarding days friends, and decided to drive about in Queensland to visit whomsoever we could. 

Today is Day 1.  (Well, Day 2 for one of us, who drove from Brisbane yesterday, but we won't count that) 

We left Bundaberg at 9am.  By the time we had sung Angeli , (lustily), and I'm an All Hallows Girl (sweetly), and recited fifteen decades of the rosary dedicating every one of them to Sr M Ronan, we were at Miriam Vale and very much in need of coffee.  There is a v good coffee place there opposite the playground, which is itself looking its very best, having been smicked up for the Commonwealth Games baton passing through next weekend. 

We progressed on towards Rockhampton. Before we had quite got there, Mercedes spotted a lagoon along which she used to walk in another life when she worked in Rockhampton.  We picnicked by the lagoon.  It was hot and dusty.  But the pull of reminiscence is strong. Pic below shows McAuley picnicking.  Mercedes would not be photographed. (THAT will have to change).

A drive around Rockhampton.  No comment.  Then on to Yeppoon, where we are on the eighth floor of a nice place with a view to next week.  This is a glorious place, the ocean dotted with islands just a way away.  But, and this is quite a but for Queensland, brown sand.  Not our usual gold.  I don't know why.