12 September 2002
On our second day at Wongi State Forest, we did some serious mooching around. I played the guitar by the river nearly all afternoon. I also helped Ruby photograph a model of a bird she had made from found objects, for one of her art projects. Susie had helped her put it together, and it was quite charming. The weather was odd that day: a big black storm cloud would pass overhead and it would rain for ten minutes; and just as soon as it had arrived, the cloud would blow away and leave us in dazzling sunshine again.
Susie made beans with salami during the afternoon, and we had another dinner cooked in the Dutch oven on the fire. Susie and I stayed up until midnight, talking and playing music around the campfire.
There was a substantial downpour of rain during the night, and everything was soaked when we woke up the following morning. The weather was mostly fine but windy again with those dark clouds passing overhead, so we were keen to pack up while the tent was dry.
We were pulling out because it was Friday and we were hoping that the schoolwork, which was mistakenly sent to Maryborough in Victoria, might have arrived in Maryborough, Queensland. While we were packing up, we got chatting to the only other campers who were there, a couple of New Zealanders.
When we had packed up all the gear, we went for a swim in the lagoon, which was deep, cool and refreshing. We all needed a swim because it was hot work packing up and we were starting to stink.
Having cooled off in the molasses-coloured lagoon, we headed back through the forest to the highway. We paused at the turnoff to check all our tyres were still inflated, and then headed south.
There were no less than nine packages waiting for us as Maryborough Post Office. We collected them, ordered a counter lunch, and I went off to put two rolls of film in for processing. We needed to send off the photos of Ruby’s art assignment that day.
After our counter lunch, we found a place where we could check our email. There we copied down the phone numbers and addresses that Susan Feez had send us of some people we might look up in the area. Finally, having sent Ruby’s work off to Sydney, we piled back into the car and headed for the Sunshine Coast.
We missed the turnoff to Coolum via Sunshine Motorway, again because we lacked a useful map of the district. So we drove through Noosa and the settlements immediately south of it, which made us realize how built-up the Sunshine Coast had become. We couldn’t locate the caravan park at Peregian (assuming it was still there) so we continued on to Coolum via the coast road.
We located the council caravan park which fronts onto Coolum Beach. It was dark by the time we turned up, so setting up wasn’t easy. To make things even more difficult, the rain started bucketing down just as we were trying to get the annex up. But the rain abated and we got the tent up, and we eventually sat down to a dinner of chicken curry, rice and dhal left over from the night before last. After dinner I washed up and did two loads of clothes washing, which was well overdue.