We have had a lovely day today, enjoying the statutory holiday doing something other than sitting about watching sport on television or sorting through gathered possessions.
Philomena, another of the newly released films since Christmas, was showing in Maroochydore, so we headed the twenty kilometres south east to this tourist destination immediately after breakfast and had no trouble finding parking at the shopping centre where the cinema is to be found. It was only about 8.45 am and there were few about; the supermarket did not open until 9 am, and apart from a few cafes open for the latte and cappuccino addicts, everything was closed, security roller doors pulled firmly down over entrances.
|Fishermen on Cornmeal Creek|
We absolutely loved the movie and would be delighted if Judi Dench won an Oscar for her performance, and hope that the story will be another nudge to those brainwashed by religion to re-examine their faith; that there is life beyond fantasy land and the puppeteers who control that world.
Escaping the very slightly busier centre after emerging from the cinema, we set off up along the Maroochy River, toward Bli Bli, a satellite settlement we had hoped to base ourselves before realising that the Australia Day weekend would fill the seaside accommodation of Queensland. As we drove up along the Bradman Way which morphs into the Don Low Way, I drew Chris’s attention to the fact we had picnicked here three years ago; he could not drag up the memory from the many we have accumulated during our incredible journey.
Bli Bli, pronounced Bligh-Bligh, has a population of over 6,200 and has a rather mixed history. The plaque at the entrance announces that it was established in 1868, but development was slow. Those early settlors felled the scrub and established grazing leases. By 1903, a significant area of the Bli Bli area was under cultivation with corn, potatoes and other vegetables, along with pawpaw, oranges and even coffee. But it was sugar cane that really took off, making Bli Bli, rising from the wetlands, the home of the Sunshine Coast sugar cane industry. A cane tramway was built to Deepwater in the vicinity of Bli Bli in 1912 and cane was grown in commercial quantities here by 1915. Extension of the tramway system in 1836 through Bli Bli ensured that sugarcane became the staple agricultural crop in the locality. The name is derived from the bastardised version of “billai billai”, the local lingo for “swamp oak”.
Aboriginal middens alerted Europeans entrepreneurs that there were oysters for the taking and by 1881, oysters were being harvested commercially at Bli Bli, collected by handpicking and dredging, and conveyed by cutter and steamship to Brisbane until the turn of the century. Then they were conveyed by motor launch to Yandina, where we are now. In 1903, the farming of oysters was commenced at Bli Bli and continues today.
In 1913, five acres of pineapples were planted, and a sawmill to cut timber into fruit cases was erected. Eight years later a shortage of timber gave rise to a pineapple cannery where the current caravan park is sited.
And this is where we headed today after we lunched across the river at Muller Park. And it was here that we received our first response to the reduced price for our landcruiser; a cash offer with little quizzing, an offer of $3,000 less that asked. Again it is obvious that we have offered our beloved chariot for a price too low. The refreshed advertisement has been online for a mere twenty four hours.
We called into the caravan park and chatted with the pommie-accented receptionist who is the wife of an ex-Kiwi from places-we-are-familiar-with; we secured a powered site for the days that follow the certification process that will hopefully not only take place but be finalised on Wednesday, and those that will be required when our beloved caravan is gone to new ownership and we are reduced to living in cabins and other-people things. We paid a deposit of $50 for the most airy-fairy accommodation arrangement we have ever entered into; a mix of drive-through powered site for Wednesday to accommodate a possible revisit to the garage for the required certification, a loose date for a transfer into a cabin and an even looser arrangement as far as a leaving date. Mandy was marvellous; what more could we say.
|Views from Dunethin Rock|
|South Maroochy River at Yandina|
|The infamous Yandina Pub|