Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Our (BIG) Country

I am so glad that my Great-Grandfather (on my mother's side) was a merchant seaman from Sweden. I am so glad that he came to Australia one day..........and decided to jump ship............and marry an Australian girl.......................and thus become an illegal immigrant.

I am eternally grateful he decided to do this in Australia, because seriously, in his line of work he could have picked anywhere to get off and stay. I'm glad he didn't pick Russia (too cold) and I'm glad he didn't pick India (too hot). I really love our country and I suspect that it's true that we live in the best country in the world. We love to whinge and grizzle about or politicians and the like, but seriously people..........have some perspective, it could be so much worse.

We have just had long weekends in a row. The most recent one, May Day, we decided to have an adventure weekend but do it close to home. The boys were organising it, so the girls booked the camp site at Bivouac Junction, 110klm SW of Townsville. This is one of the more beautiful camp sites we have been to - on the junction (is that the right word?) of the mighty Burdekin and Fanning Rivers. Because the guys organised it, the girls did all the shopping and much of the packing. We thought it timely to use the men for the 'heavy' stuff. We borrowed some kayaks and headed off. You can see the flood marker in one of the photos. The 2009 floods are 2nd from the top and peaked at 20.75metres. That's a whole lot of water. It was only outdone by the 1946 floods that peaked at a metre higher.The campground we were at would have been totally covered. As you can see by the river pics, there are still trees flattened in the middle of the river and debri is piled up in places ,and the silt goes all the way up the bank. VERY impressive.

As I get around our country more and more, I am struck not only by the sheer size of it, but awed by how quickly the landscapes change. This is certainly a beautiful country and we should all get out and see more of it.

I digress though.

As you can see by the (sometimes awful) photos, a great time was had by all. We were joined by a couple of grey nomads who we took under our wing and invited them into our campfire. It was helpful that they were Mack D's parents ( hi Doreen and Rob ) and they had EVERYTHING we had forgotten in their caravan. And I do mean EVERYTHING!. Even when the lettuce froze, Doreen and Rob were able to come to the rescue. A paddle broke and we needed araldite- Doreen and Rob

again. Although they DID fall down once on the usefulness scale.

Miss C forgot her bag of clothes........(good one), but wearing her Grandmother's gear just wasn't appealing to a 14 year old. Doreen couldn't help there. Off to Charters Towers for a couple of pairs of undies, and a few bargain tops.

I am grateful that we have the opportunity to do these things with our kids and friends. I am grateful our country doesn't dictate to us whether we can camp under the stars or not, and I am certainly grateful we can explore our country in relative safety and not worry that out kids will get

a leg blown off by a landmine when they venture off the track exploring.

I am eternally grateful to have such wonderful friends to share this all with. Long live the Screaming Gophers Tours!!

I just LOVE Australia......'nuff said.

Stay Beautiful


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