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Lillies, Little Towns and Landslides

March 4, 2011

Guest blog by Anita Bromley

I would like to think that I’ve seen enough of the world and Australia for that matter to not be surprised about what I’d see heading ‘out west’ with Danielle for the weekend. And no, I haven’t been surprised. A better word would be ‘reassured’. Reassured about this wonderful country we live in, the wonderful people that inhabit it and the wonderful adventures you can have just a few hours from home.Danielle and I headed off from Brisbane yesterday and our first official ‘let’s take some photos’ stop was at Miles, half way into our day. I have both heard about and seen images of a rare water Lilly now extinct in its natural habitat. After Danielle last headed out this way I was mighty impressed on hearing how Therese braved the creek to get up close to the Lillies. My stance was “I’ll leave the wading up to chest height in unknown waters to Therese thanks Danielle…..I’ll grab my zoom lens!”

Now extinct in the wild, these rare water lillies thrive in
Chinaman’s Lagoon on the outskirts of Miles.
Image by Anita Bromley

After snapping off a few shots we continued up to Injune were we were thankful to be invited to stay with good friends of Danielle’s – Puddy & Daggy – on their station. With a day’s worth of travel behind us we arrived just before sunset. Being my first road trip with Danielle I was eager to capture the amazing sunsets I’ve seen from out west, however the clouds had gathered thickly and our sunset shooting was off the agenda for the night. What to do? Settle in and enjoy the hospitality of some amazing people.

Our accommodation for the night is affectionately called The Hilton by many who have stayed there and I have to admit I had a better night’s sleep than I’ve had at many ‘real’ Hiltons, so I think we need to upgrade the nickname! For those that loved Augustine’s frog image last week, there are many, many green frogs up this way also. As an avid frog lover myself, this was one part of the trip I had renewed interest in after seeing that cute image on the blog last week. And hey, what’s a country experience if not having a green frog under your toilet seat :)

The ‘Hilton’ taken by Anita on an iPhone4

Following the above mentioned good night’ sleep we were roused from our slumber by Daggy, calling out to us from the back deck. Big rain was on the way and we had better get going before the dirt road out got too slippery and we were stuck there for the day (or month). Given the amount of red wine that was in stock Danielle and I exchanged a knowing look. We both agreed getting stuck on this amazing this property with such hospitable hosts would not be such a terrible thing…. However there were places we needed to go and so up we jumped, quickly grabbing our gear and hopped in the Bluedog truck.

Not two minutes later we were sliding and slipping down the road. The best description of the ‘greasy’ road was just that ‘greasy’. Danielle had the steering wheel working overtime until we literally slid sideways into one section of the road. After a few minutes of trying to get out of our little predicament we agreed that we were stuck. What to do next? Well as Danielle headed back up the hill to find mobile coverage to call for help I did what all avid photographers do, grabbed the camera! Thankfully just a few minutes later a knight in a shining ute, also skidding down the hill towards us, hooked us onto a tow chain and pulled us to safety. Thank you Sir Hugh!

Bogged we were! Image by Anita Bromley

Danielle then reassured me that adventure is always on the agenda on a rural trip. So we headed back off on the sturdy non slippery bitumen road for Rolleston – our destination for the weekend. But alas, what good adventure movie have you watched lately that simply ends after the first dramatic scene? Just 20 minutes out of Injune the trusty Bluedog truck lost gear….argh, what’s going on now? We were forced to pull up in the middle of the road and push the car to a safe area off to the side while a helpful passerby stopped for assistance (they breed them well up here). Thankfully the fix was quick and we ventured the remaining distance incident free.

Now for those that don’t know my history with Bluedog, a quick recap on my experiences – whilst in Vanuatu an earthquake occurred and we received a Tsunami warning and needed to head for the hills to safety, ANOTHER Tsunami warning was received the morning we were due to depart on the Stradbroke Island Tour last year and now heavy rain on the Rolleston remote trip……I’m thinking my career with Bluedog is on shaky grounds due to a weird connection I have with bad weather…..surely I don’t have that much power with Mother Nature, do I? I think we’ll just have to wait and see how the weekend pans out. Wish me luck!

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