Aside

There has been terrible bushfires in this area and I almost lost my home. I was forcibily evacuated by the police, which was not a good experience and the residents of our small township were left to fend for ourselves after being told by the police to go to the Woodgate Bowls Club, which was closed. We all waited at the park in front of the hall (next to the Bowls Club) for three hours for someone to come and tell us what to do. No one came, so we all had to find our own emergency accommodation. Most of us had no clothes or food with us, which added to the challenge. The power was out because the powerlines had been burned down. There was also no internet and almost zero phone reception. It took several days before we could find out if our homes had been destroyed and we were only able to return yesterday. The fire service worked very hard to save our homes and I am extremely grateful for that. I am not grateful for being treated like shit on two occassions by the Qld Police Force. In one incident an officer called me a fuckwit twice, then took a pile of clothes I had arranged on the river bank, spread them out into puddles and stomped all over them. Later, after I’d gathered the clothes up again, he came back and either took them or threw them into the river when I wasn’t watching. Either way, my clothes are gone. He can’t claim that the tide took them out because the tide was receding, which can be proven by the tide charts for that day, and there was no one else there, but him, his sidekick and myself. There was another incident the next day, which was much worse, but I really can’t be bothered talking about it anymore because I am totally aghast at the way many people in this area were treated by the police. I got a tiny little glimpse of what it must be like to be Indigenous.

BEFORE THE FIRE ARRIVED:

Bulldozing a fire break across the road from my house

Smoke from approaching fire

sun

AFTER THE FIRE:

Along the road to my house

At the end of the street

Bik pla bagarup

Tok pisin for a major bugger-up.

Bik pla bagarup on Fraser Island: ACCESS DENIED due to fire hazard until the 5th of October. I was so, so, so excited when I got this message from QPWS today. I was jumping for joy because it wasn’t like my entire charity hike was depending on me being able to complete this section of the route or anything. POO BUM WEE X 100.

Now I really do have to go the long way around through Maryborough and on to Rainbow Beach. It’s around an extra 15km, so not too bad I guess if the distance matters, which it doesn’t, it’s the other things that mattered, well, to me anyway. I imagined swimming in lakes, relaxing at a nice campsite and having access to endless water. I’ll have to drive ahead now and waypoint campsites along the road and leave water ahead of myself. At least much of the road to Rainbow from Maryborough is forestry.

I am really hoping they don’t close the Cooloola Great Walk too because how will I get water if I have to walk along the beach? I can’t carry enough for water for five days. The walkers campsites have watertanks and there are a couple of perched lakes along the way, but there’s nothing like that on the beach. I’m not going to worry about it and when I do, I think of this:

My Nootie on the beach this morning. Nootie also known as March. Nootie is her stealth name, so when she’s in covert operations, she’s invisible because that’s what nooties are; invisible.

Hopefully no more bik pla bagarups are on the cards. This is the kind of shit you just can’t plan for. Ugh 😦

Adventure teaches equanimity