Add Water…

We’ve been away from Disney cattle station and the Gore earthmovers for the last 6 weeks.

It was dinner dates, coffee breaks and the usual stuff over 50’s need to do such as new glasses, physio, doctors and skin cancer removal. Visiting new restaurants and enjoying walks along the water all made this break enjoyable.

Christmas was spent visiting family and friends all while staying at Bells Beach in Redcliffe, our favourite area of Brisbane.
It was wonderful to catch up with family and friends.

It was then back to Disney’s to finish earthmoving jobs.
Tim, the owner of Disney, wanted more desilting and pivot and channel work, but we weren’t quite sure when.
It was all down to the weather.

January then bought rain, and what a difference it made.

The sound of rain on the caravan roof is so peaceful. We hadn’t heard that sound for almost a year. Australia is going through a drought season and has done for the last couple of years.
Tim was taking a gamble on building a ring tank (or water reservoir), as well as desilting his dams as they completely dried up. He’s VERY good at what he does! He said, “Rain will come in January and I’ll be ready for it.”
Well, he was right!

Most of the east coast of Australia got rain in January including inland QLD, NSW and VIC. Thank goodness, as we were also experiencing massive bush fires across large areas of Australia.

Now if we hadn’t seen the transformation for ourselves, we wouldn’t have believed it. Tim said they only needed 3-4 inches of rain in the right areas and his dams would fill.

Here’s a picture of the guys desilting a dam. They remove all that cracked earth which is very sloppy and so soft the cattle will easily get bogged and die. It’s common to see dead animals next to boggy water holes. Good farm maintenance means removing the silt that settles or is washed into the dams. This may take 20 years to build up, but it does build up.

Desilting Dams

What they are digging out in the first photo is the silt. It’s so boggy you can’t walk on it. Watch the video below to see just how boggy it is.

Tim then got the guys to dig out his dams from 5m to a depth of between 10m-15m deep depending on the soil composition, and then he waited for rain.

This image is a before and after shot of one of his dams. They had 63mls of water in an afternoon here. Tim knows the lay of the land and which way the water will flow and consequently, all his dams are now full, and the new ring tank is about ¼ full from bone dry.

Bolinda after 63ml rain

63ml of rain in the right place makes a big difference. Looking at the dams when they’re full doesn’t give the same perspective if you didn’t see it empty before.

On the move again…

The rain was a huge relief for farmers and country towns.
Some towns had been carting water in as their water supply was almost or completely dried up.

We knew this would delay the earthmovers working so it was a waiting game, but we enjoyed our time at Redcliffe.

We spoke to Greg (Baldy) the supervisor and arranged a date to start back. We packed up the caravan, washed and put away the annex and other bits and pieces into the storage shed and headed up the coast.

Our first stop for the night was Gracemere just outside of Rockhampton heading towards Emerald. We unhooked and then went and toured Rocky.
The last time we were here was when the Nissan had a dashboard light error come up after we had put in the diesel chip (read about that episode here)

We found Rocky still a lovely city, but because it was getting dark, we didn’t head out to Yeppoon, which was disappointing. Maybe next time.

The next day we drove to Emerald were we did a start-up shop for stores for the camp
Not being sure of what food was left, we purchased fresh fruit and veggies for a day or two and the main meal.

Chris had wanted to purchase a new Stockland shirt as his favourite one is getting frayed. There is a good store in the Woolworths complex, and he did what he hates to do…shop.
When we were at Redcliffe one of the locals in the van park John and his wife Deb, laughed one day and told me they knew when it was our washing on the line as Chris always wore a checked shirt. I guess he does for his good shirts as he likes the quality and fit of the country shirts.

Having one of those days…

You know those days when things just go wrong and you decide you should have stayed in bed and missed it? Well this was one of those days.

First, I hadn’t checked the overhead cupboards in the van after travelling over bumpy roads – mistake #1. Chris went to the cupboard and the glass measuring jug fell out and put a dent into our table. 8.5 years and not a mark on the table, now has a dent.

Mistake #2 not having a bullbar – We were 12 km from Disney and an Emu came out on the road. I hit the brakes (remember I’m towing a van so it doesn’t stop straight away) and headed the car to come behind the Emu so he would continue his path.
It was all looking good when, in a split second, another car passed me.
Now we hadn’t had a car pass for over an hour, but one just had to pass THEN!
The Emu got scared, swerved, missed the other car (which had a bulbar), turned around and ran straight into our car (which has NO bullbar).

We really must think about putting a bullbar on the Everest. Now before anyone goes on about, “Oh poor wildlife”, this was at 11 am, hot (they usually rest) and there was plenty of feed and water around for him to have stayed put (which they usually do). This wasn’t dusk or dawn when the wildlife is on the move. There was NO WAY I could have missed him.

The driver of the other car came back and apologised saying he didn’t see the emu and that he’d move it off the road.

Friends of ours have just completed “The Lap” and only hit one bird!
Why do kangaroos, emu’s and birds seem to be suicidal around OUR vehicles?

Car repairs

Mistake #3 It’s been raining – Here we are within walking distance of Disney when we get a call from Baldy saying they won’t be starting work after all as it’s been raining again and they won’t be able to get to the job sites.

As a follow up we’ve been sitting here for nearly two weeks waiting for the earthmovers to come back.

It rained for a few days then dried out and then more rain came. We can’t complain, Australia needs this rain so badly.

Tim let us stay here so we got plenty of our own work done while looking out over green hills watching the cattle grow fat on new lush grass.

Camp before and after rain
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