The Lamb Street Chronicles (On the Road With the Cackleberry Farmer 2)
Back on the Road
Equipped with two new batteries, Busby the ex-bus/now motorhome has a new lease on life. Still a little worse for wear after his earlier confrontation with the gatepost, but the damage was purely cosmetic. Not pretty, but I can live with it as I can't afford the cost of panel beating at the moment.
Anyway, we had to test out the new batteries. The previous ones had been losing charge every couple of days and I was constantly recharging. By shopping around I was lucky enough to purchase two for a little over the price of one elsewhere.
We decided to take Busby on a drive to Nanango (about 45 minutes away) to visit a friend at Protea Park (see my previous hub of that name), and then to check out a camping spot called Broadwater on our journey home.
Nanango is situated 190 kilometres (118 miles) north-west of the state capital, Brisbane.
The original inhabitants of the area were the indigenous people belonging to the Wakka Wakka (or Waka Waka) tribe. The area was used as a gateway to the bunya nut festivals, where Aboriginal people would travel from far as far away as the Clarence and Maranoa Rivers to feast on bunya nuts from the bunya pine trees.
The name Nanango has evolved from the Wakka Wakka word "Nunangi". It is thought the word means "large watering hole"
The welcome sign at Nanango claims that it is the fourth oldest town in Queensland, but such claims depend on how the age of the town is determined. Nanango's claim to be fourth oldest is based on the first establishment of commercial premises (e.g. store or hotel), which was Goode's Inn in 1848.
Dairy, beef, and timber (especially the valuable red cedar) were the primary early industries in the area. The discovery of gold near Nanango in 1867 resulted in a gold rush, and consequently a local population boom, however, the gold deposits were found to be mediocre so the boom was short lived.
Today, Nanango's chief industries are coal mining and power generation, agriculture, beef and pork production, dairying and milk processing, timber, small crops, natural medicine, arts and crafts, and tourism. (Source: Wikipedia)
Protea Park is a lovely acreage owned by a friend of ours who is a natural therapist and herbalist. My wife sees her regularly for treatment for various conditions and I also do when need be. However, this day was we were here for some fellowship and relaxation. Once a month a spinning and weaving group meets at the homes of different members, and this time it was at Protea Park.
While my wife, Kathy, and the other women spun and chatted I had time to wander around the property and then sit and write in the beautiful natural surroundings. I had lacked creative inspiration for a couple of weeks and needed a different writing venue. This place was perfect.
I'm not sure of the exact size of the property but I estimate in the vicinity of 100 acres. Protea Park is home to various types of livestock including: alpaca, camel, goats, horses, sheep, peacocks, chickens, ducks.
We spent an enjoyable and relaxing three or four hours there and then went boarded Busby, and went on our way.
The camping area at Broadwater had been recommended to us by friends (who also have a bus/motor home). They told us it was a peaceful spot where they often went to just get away from it all.
As Broadwater is half way between Nanango and where we live in Murgon we decided to take the short detour off the main road and stop there for a look on the way home. It is actually not an officially recognised camp but situated on a private property that has been opened to the public. Because there are cattle situated on the grounds access is through a gate which you need to ensure is closed on entering and leaving.
The camp site is perfectly located on the junction of two creeks and the setting is truly beautiful and serene.
It seemed strange having to go out of our way to find a quiet rural setting when we have spent the last ten years on the Cackleberry Farm and such a setting was our home.
We parked Busby in a wonderful spot on the creek bank (there were plenty to choose from), pulled out our camp chairs and reclined to enjoy the peace and quiet. If it had been summer we would have pulled out Busby's awning but at the moment it is late Winter and the weather is mild.
Ducks floated lazily on the water and a variety of birds flitted and twittered in the overhanging gum trees.
The best part about Broadwater is that it is not widely known to the general public, and consequently, is never crowded. It is also free. Although there are no facilities such as toilets and showers there are sites specifically for erecting fires and plenty of fire wood. We made sure we have a porta loo in the motor home anyway. We also have a 12-volt refrigerator, solar panel, and gas cooker.
Well, this was only a short temporary visit to investigate the site and when we arrived there were only two other caravans parked there. One other 4x4 came and went during our two hours there.
Too soon it was time to pack up and head back home, as we didn't have our dogs with us, and hadn't brought any food for dinner. Next time we will be prepared to stay a night or two and bring the dogs along so they can enjoy it as well.
Busby was a pleasure to drive and seemed to be enjoying his new batteries and actually getting out on the open road for the first time in months. We had no trouble sitting on the maximum speed limit and were home in around twenty-five minutes.
Our decision to move from our 40-acre block at Ballogie to the town of Murgon was not an easy one but after weighing the pros and cons we are confident it was the right one. Town living provides easy access to amenities like hospitals, banks, shops, restaurants etc.
Ten years ago we gave up all that for a tree change, now that's all turned around. As you get older priorities change and the work involved with keeping up a farm or large property gets more difficult.
We still have the three dogs, five cats, and eight hens but not the roosters, or wildlife like kangaroos, wallabies, goannas, pythons etc.
Gardening is one of our top priorities at the new home and we have been spending most afternoons planting native trees to attract birds, as well as cleaning up and weeding the gardens already established here.
Contentment Makes a Home (a Poem)
No longer living on The Block,
The Haven's been and gone,
The Cackleberry Farm has bid farewell,
Life at Ballogie's done.
The town of Murgon called our names,
So "townies" we've become.
Lamb Street is our new address
Of the place, we now call home.
It has its cons but also pros,
Access and less for fuel,
Replaces natural quiet surrounds.
Some may think me quite a fool.
You can't always control the cards
That life decides to deal.
Just play your hand as best you can,
And keep an even keel.
Anywhere you hang your hat
Wherever you may roam.
Bricks and mortar make a house,
But contentment makes a home.
© 2017 John Hansen