What a difference a day makes. What could be better than being wakened by nature’s alarm of the dawn chorus of a wide variety of bird song and calls, or than opening the tent flap to a bright sunny morning with no wind? Not a lot! But how could you follow that, well ……
… by a breakfast of bacon and eggs, of course. That was how our day 23 started and the rest of day held a few surprises. Whether walking or driving, Kerena and I have, on occasion, been undecided as to whether to take a particular turning or divert to a possible point of interest. I can’t vouch for the occasions where we have decided not to, but by making the effort to make the diversion, we have almost always been rewarded by little gems. This happened to us on three occasions today.
Last night we agreed that we would head as far north east as possible and take a loop to the west back to the campsite.
We came across the first gem on the road to Gladstone. There was a sign to the Blue Lake. As we had only been on the road for about 20 minutes, we looked at each other and agreed to make the turn. What we saw was the most amazing coloured lake. The colour in this photo has not been enhanced in any way – it truly was like this. The colour is the result of minerals leeching from the granite and the residue left from the tin mining in the surrounding area. The water is highly acidic and contains high levels of aluminium. Despite the signs warning not to swim in or drink the water, a couple of guys were having lots of fun diving into the water – hopefully the won’t have any long terms regrets.
The second gem we came across was the carvings at Legerwood. Kerena had mentioned that she would like to visit Ringarooma for no other reason than it has an interesting name. This involved turning off the main road. On approaching the junction she did not seem that keen, however I made the turn, not wanting her to wonder for the rest of her life what is at Ringarooma! In Legerwood on the way to Ringarooma, we had to take a right hand corner, revealing a series of timber carvings. These were originally trees planted to commemorate the local lives lost in the first world war. In about 2005 the trees were condemned and were due to be removed, much to the dismay of the town. So they raised money to have a chainsaw sculptor to shape the tree bases and carve the figures that now sit on the various branches.
The final one was one we went looking for when we arrived in Weldborough, but we didn’t go far enough along the road. This time we approached it from. the other side and almost went passed it without noticing the small sign. The Mount Paris Dam is a wall that once held back a large body of water to serve the tin mining industry. Built from concrete wheelbarrowed layer by layer, this is an amazing feast of human endeavour. It no longer holds back the water as you can see from this photograph. Unfortunately, it was difficult to get far enough back to illustrate its height and length, but hopefully you get an idea from this image.
So, tonight is the last night in the tent – tomorrow we are heading to Mountain Valley where we have booked two nights in a log cabin before we have to catch the ferry back to Victoria on Tuesday evening.