Friday, 27 April 2007

Flagstaff Road at Isla Gorge National Park

At the southern end of the Dawson Range, Isla Gorge National Park protects spectacular sandstone scenery in the central highlands. Here, among a complex maze of gorges, sandstone outcrops and striking rock formations change colour throughout the day. Scenic Isla Gorge is fairly broad and contains Gorge Creek, a tributary of the Dawson River. Flagstaff Hill has the remains of an old hand-paved road constructed in 1864 to transport wool from Roma to Rockhampton.

Dawson Backroads Explorer Trip

CQ 4x4 intrepid explorers lined up beside the old Tropic of Capricorn line.

On the weekend of 14/15 April, CQ Offroad club took a trip from Rockhampton to Upper Ulam, Mt Morgan, Lake Victoria, Goovigen, Rannes, Baralaba, Moura, Theodore, Flagstaff Road (Isla Gorge NP), Thangool and Mt Scoria.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Thursday 12 April 2007 - Gladstone

We had a great Easter! On Friday Darryl and I drove down to Gladstone, with Marc following in his car. We had a nice lunch with George & Eileen, and Darryl's brother, Kerry. They had not seen Marc for some time, so were really pleased to catch up with him, and we spent the afternoon chatting. Marc headed home, and Eileen and George came out with us to the Gladstone Harbour Festival. They found seats while Darryl & I checked out the stalls and side-show alley - stopping for a while to watch the snake show.

At 7pm the night entertainment started...and we watch the children's show, and a Reggae band, before the highlight of the night with the Buddy Holly Tribute Show. I was initially a bit sceptical...but I must say that we all really enjoyed the show. A big highlight of the night was seeing Anthea out with a friend. I cannot explain how fantastic it was to see her out without Kerry & Elizabeth! She looked fantastic and it is amazing to think that she will be 21 this year. She has such a great attitude at present, and is really looking forward to her next operation so that she will be able to walk again.

On Saturday morning, I thought that it might be interesting to check out the Kiteboarding championships which were being held at Tannum Sands. They were a bit slow getting started, as the wind wasn't quite right, but once they were up and going it was spectacular. Lots of them got out on the water, and we could not believe it that they didn't get their kites entangled. One of the guys, was really good, and jumped high in the air doing lots of stunts with his board. This is a link to the webpage with some great photos.

After that excitement, we had lunch with George & Eileen, and headed over to Kerry & Elizabeth's. Anthea was helping Elizabeth prepare for a dinner for friends that night. We stayed for a while and then returned to Agnes Street for Darryl to help George with a little project.

Sunday was a quiet day, and then on Monday Darryl & I went for a drive to Byfield to take some photos of the mountains, and also to go to a nursery up that way to get plants for the front garden. Darryl planted them in the afternoon, and they look great.

Yesterday I had a flex day and went out to the Central Qld University library to do a little genealogical research and give Gordon an orientation on where everything lives.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Heeland Coo

This is a wee video of a Heeland Coo (Highland Cow - Bos taurus) taken in the Scottish Highlands 1 Oct 2000.

Monday, 2 April 2007

Monday 2 April 2007 - Melbourne

I flew into Melbourne late Sunday morning, and after dumping my gear at the motel, decided to go the Melbourne Zoo. I got on a bus and then the train at Box Hill station. Eventually I asked someone if they knew where I had to get off, and discovered that I had to go right into the city then catch a different line. I was quite tempted to abandon my plan and just wander around the city, as I was getting pretty hungry and I was wondering if I would have enough time to fully enjoy the zoo.

I am not sure why, but I made a split second decision and then ended up on the right train, but had no idea where to get off. I asked a lady sitting next to me - but she didn't know. So, I thought I would see how things went - it is all an adventure, after all - and when I looked at the stations it occurred to me that Park Royal was a sign I had seen near to where the taxi driver had pointed out the zoo. As we neared the station, I saw the zoo entrance. My next big chore was to try and get something to eat, and I really was disappointed as I went into the 'shop' and all that was available - for me - was hot wasn't until I was sitting down that I noticed another food outlet nearby! least I had something in my stomach and was then able to head out and explore the area. The lions were magnificent..and I was lucky enough to pass by just as they were about to be fed. They had been penned into a small cage while the keeper went around and threw slabs of meat up in trees and across toys. They paced impatiently but were eventually allowed back into the run, and I got some great film of them 'chasing' their prey. The reptile and frog collection was excellent, and of course the apes were fantastic. Some gibbons just couldn't sit still..I wonder if they have ADD? I had to photograph the giraffes as there is a photo of me there when I was about 18months old. It was a very nice afternoon, and I quite enjoyed myself. On the way home I had to wait at Box Hill station for an hour for the bus, so I decided to go and find somewhere to eat. I wandered into Noodle Kingdom. It was a very strange experience as I was the only non-Asian there. I chose Spicy Deepfried Squid which was delicious and the waiter offered me a fork - which I declined. Interestingly, thermos flasks of jasmine tea were provided on the tables, much like we would have bottles of water....

On Monday my HP course started. The place I am staying at is only 8 minutes walk away, which is handy. The course has one other person from Qld Health and 2 guys from the University of SA. The trainer is from Sydney, so no-one is from Melbourne! It is great to be learning about the application. On Monday night I went to a workshop, being held by the 'Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies', on Irish Family History Research. Their library is located at Blackburn, only about a 3.5km walk from where I am staying. Even though I don't have any Irish ancestors on my side, Darryl does, and it was a very informative workshop in any case. On Tuesday night, it was the AIGS library night, so I walked down again, and did some research. They have quite a good collection of Scottish records, so I spent a bit of time on those, and also tried to un-fathom the mystery of John William Ireland and Ann Peters - who indicated that at some stage they were from Victoria. Unfortunately, there is still no joy with them, but I have some sources to follow up once I return home.

Wednesday night was one to stay at home. The motel unit had a spa and it was the first time for me to 'have a go'. On Thursday morning I decided to treat myself for my birthday and went down to the restaurant at the motel for breakfast. I had a cheese, mushroom and bacon omelette and a cup of coffee (the same as I had the previous two mornings), but this time is cost me $20! For lunch our class went to TaiPan chinese restaurant (purportedly the best Chinese restaurant in Australia!) and had Yum Cha! It was fantastic! Apart from all the other tasty treats I had pork & jellyfish, and a really nice green tea jelly for dessert - just yummy! And - the cost was only $20 each. Friday was exciting as it was the day to go home. I arrived back after 8pm and was pretty exhausted.

Saturday saw the final day of the Beginner's Genealogy Course. Helen and I have been presenting this over 4 weeks and I feel that it was very successful. We were each presented with a beautiful fruit basket. Then on Sunday we had a sausage sizzle at Bunnings to raise funds for the association.

Today I was back at work, and back to my substantive position. We can only be away from our substantive position for 12 months before we are asked to make a choice - relinquish the substantive position, or give up the secondment - I chose to go back to my substantive position.