Springbrook National Park – nature’s beautiful garden

Adventure, Australia, Poetry, Queensland

A fellow adventurer

From Germany

told me

Wenn Engel verreisen, scheint die Sonne

When angels travel the sun shines.

So walking in the sub tropic rain forest

An angel must have been with me

Walking as if in nature’s hand

Trees as old as Gondwanaland 

Thick green forest

Waterfalls

Sparkling like diamonds in the sun

Walking in nature’s garden

When angels travel the sky is definitely smiling

Springbrook is a place for angels to travel.

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Running south on the Central Queensland highlands

Adventure, Australia, Motorbikes, Poetry, Queensland, travel

It’s big
It’s open
Its vast

The yellowy brown grassy plain
Stretching to the horizon
Dots of trees and scrub

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It’s all big
The distance
Nearly 300k and only one town

Big coal mines
Big road trains

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And me zipping along on my motorbike
A speck in time and space.

Cape York – On the trail of our indigenous culture and James Cook

Adventure, Australia, Motorbikes, Queensland, travel

On the banks of the Endeavour River, in Cooktown, there is an interpretive plaque that says the James Cook and the local aborigines reconciled in 1770.

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Was it a reconciliation of convenience? Cook had a damaged ship that needed repair. Or was he open to a deeper understanding.

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The rock art on Cape York is evidence of a complex culture many thousands of years old. Some of the carvings in the walls of the Split Rock are estimated to be 13000 years old.

I’m a great admirer of James Cook, – three circumnavigations of the world before his death at 51 in Hawaii.

And know I can learn much from our indigenous culture, it’s spirituality and understanding of place and the land.

In Cape York the two came together.

Rainforest and Savanah

Adventure, Australia, Poetry, Queensland, travel

Rainforest and savanah
Separated by a thin strip of mountains not 1000 metres high.

The deep dark impenetrable rainforest dense green.

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The other side of the mountains
The savanah
Open forest
The grass a greeny bronze
Higher than my head.

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The savanah and the rainforest each have their own special beauty
Their own special meaning for being.

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I know I’m in the tropics…

Adventure, Motorbikes, Poetry, Queensland, travel

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It’s the smell
The warm moist fertile smell
Like any thing could grow here
Through central Queensland the smell was dry and dusty
Now it’s moist and you can smell and taste it

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The tropical forests bring there interesting dangers
Even the plants

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And of course there is the sugar cane. Been with me since the sub tropics.
It’s harvest time and sometimes the air is sickly sweet with the smell of sugar syrup especially near a mill grinding the cane

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The tropics and sugar cane are synonymous for me.
Be it tropical Queensland,  Mauritius,  the Mekong Delta, the moist highlands of Ethiopia near the source of the Nile or South Pacific Islands, sugar cane was always there.

Being on a motorbike I’m in the moment, part of the environment, and experiencing the smells is part of it.

Roads less travelled

Australia, Motorbikes, Poetry, Queensland, travel

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I seek the roads less travelled

Long flat ribbons of road narrow and rutted
Covering flat planes and sparse dry land

Curvy narrow tight roads through mountains and forests
A precipice at every turn

Hours alone

Past forests
Gorges
Rivers flowing
Rivers almost dry

Past mines
Pasture
Canefields

The little cane train rattling along its narrow rails
Huge bulls almost lost in the long grass
Move over for the massive mining machinery inching along

Then it’s the A1
Funnelled into a tourist town
Peace lost

Missing the quiet of the roads less travelled
The natural beauty along the way.

NSW /QLD border near Springbrook NP

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Natural Bridge NP
image giant staghorn fern clings to the cliff in Cania Gorge

I’m sitting at Airlie Beach, a popular tourist town and thinking of the roads less travelled and the beautiful places I’ve passed on those back roads; Mundubbera, the mandarin capital, Dingo, with an Argentinian barmaid, and the offer of a couple of days work as a bouncer in Biloela.

The beauty of the Natural Bridge and Cania Gorge NPS.

It’s warm though and riding in just a Tshirt under my leather jacket is a pleasure.

But the tropics still call and Cooktown is another 950 kilometres north.

Vast – no picture

Motorbikes, Poetry, Queensland, travel

Vastness
How do you capture it
In a picture
With a camera.

Riding along
To the east the Great Dividing Range
Stretching the length of eastern Australia
South to north

To the west
Rolling pastures
Turn to desert
To mines

To Pasture

To coast again
The vastness of Australia.

I sailed once
On the Tasman Sea
And the powerful vastness of the sea was awe inspiring

So vastness can’t be captured
And that is its beauty.

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Back on the road again, I’m now in Mundubbera on the last day of June.  A near full moon has risen on a mild evening in the Queensland sub tropics.

Escaping north to Cooktown

Adventure, Australia, Motorbikes, Poetry, Queensland, travel

Cold escape
Long ribbon of road north
Look to the tropics
From the winter gloom
To a burst of warmth

Along the way friends
Friends old- reacquainted
Friends new- discovered
Friends not yet imagined- anticipated

Times alone in contemplation
Warmth
Distance
Understanding
Loneliness
The moment
The place
Self.

Natural Bridge National Park Queensland Aust

Natural Bridge National Park Queensland Aust

I’m sitting on a veranda of a friends house in SE Queensland in the warm winters sun. Melbourne was cold and wet as was the ride through central NSW. But from Coffs Harbour on the sun and the breezes are warm.  A taste of what is to come as I’m heading to Cooktown in the Queensland tropics – 4000 kilometres north of the winter cold.