I’d been in bed/tent since 20:00 yesterday evening. The trouble is, once darkness falls and others invade the kitchen area, there is little to do for entertainment. I had fallen asleep and awoken twice before it was midnight. This was going to be a long one.
Since I’d had trouble packing my gear previously, at 03:50 I decided to squirm into my clothes and start getting ready. The Kookaburras were late with their alarm and began calling at about 04:10. Once the Kookies started, other birds joined in. I made myself comfortable and began to strike my tent.
Our pitch was essentially sand and I was keen to find something other than sand to try and fold it. I went into the kitchen and used a table to deflate my sleeping mat as best I could. It wasn’t a very good best and the valve that is supposed to make it airtight doesn’t, it sucks air back in. I repeated the exercise and tried to strap it before it ballooned up again.
Mercifully it was calm and I found a patch of almost-grass to fold my tent. My sleeping mat was too big but still just about fitted my bag. Both my sleeping bag and tent were too long and I had no chance. The tent went into the car solo. This has to get easier or something is going to get left behind. I’m thinking I should have brought the slightly larger holdall.
After another stressful packing, at 06:00 we left the delights of Paradise Beach and its groups of young studs to head off to Rockhampton.
On the way we stopped at some potential habitat with just a smearing of water left. Roy found a poisonous Red-bellied Snake and we all skilfully avoided it. After it squirmed into its woodpile, we found a single species, my first Ozzie Ceriagrion and a tandem pair to boot.
Another detour off piste through a bone dry forest to find a creek which turned out to be saline. Bother. Ignoring the no through road, Google told us we could go through so we did. What Google thought was an entry back onto the highway was actually a fence. We ended up riding 2 kms on a very rough forest track back along the fence line to get to the entrance we had entered through. A truck driver, maybe the farmer, asked what we were doing there. He seemed to be amused by combinations of following Google and looking for dragonflies. I can’t think why.
Once in Rockhampton we diverted to another creek surrounded by posh-looking houses. In Australia a posh house is one whose gutters do not bump into the neighbours gutters. The houses were pleasant but the creek was as dry as a dingo’s crotch. Failure #3 for the day.
We retired to the campsite, stopping first at a bottle shop for a couple of six packs. I have become particularly fond of Furphys, which happily they had.. At last a success.
The campsite is pleasant in a basic sort of way. We’re the only tents in and we’ve pitched under a shady tree sporting very red blossoms that are dropping on the ground. (My tent is the green one on the middle.) We’ve seen a lot of these trees with brilliant red blossoms. I’ve no idea what they are but they make quite a contrast to the jacarandas when in close proximity.
I’ve got to pack the tent again tomorrow. I think I’ll just leave it out of my bag.