“Solivagant: rambling alone” is what I did today, and I guess what I’ve been doing for 3 weeks now. 3 weeks. I can’t quite believe it’s been that long, but at the same time it feels like forever.
I’ve been putting off writing this blog for a few hours now, because I honestly didn’t know how I was going to find the words to explain just how seriously incredible the last 24ish hours have been, but I’ll try.
I arrived at my Airb&b apartment in Maleny, Queensland at around 4pm yesterday afternoon. I’m staying in a self contained granny flat at the side of someone’s house. The host is called Jolette, she is an immigrant from Holland who moved here quite a number of years ago with her husband and 3 daughters. She is a nurse, and her husband a farmer. Apparently his background is in pig farming, however, they now own a sugar cane farm in Bundaberg, which is around 4 hours away from here. Their house is magnificent, and the granny flat I am staying in is absolutely perfect. Spacious, light and airy with a lovely decking area outside where I sat to have breakfast this morning. Jolette showed me around the unit, how to work everything and how to find her if I needed her, which was nice. I’m loving my experiences with AirB&B – I haven’t had a bad one yet, and it’s always such a great experience and good way to meet new people.
By the time I got settled and fed yesterday it was already getting dark, but I took a walk up into Maleny town just to see what was around and get myself acquainted with the area. It is a beautiful, old fashioned, oldy worldy mountain village with everything you could ever need on the main street. I’m still in awe of the abundance of organic and locally grown produce available here, and I’m slightly envious of the abundance. I know I’m going to miss it so much when I go back to the UK next week, so I’m making the most of every mouthful of the amazing food. And gaining weight while I’m at it – but I don’t give a flying f***.
I had an early night as I was quite tired – I didn’t sleep too well because I was a little bit aware of all the critters that are to be found in this area of the bush. I saw my first Huntsman spider and cockroach last night, not a fan.
I woke up this morning at 5am to the noise of the birds and cows mooing in the back yard. There are gorgeous Jersey cows in the fields behind the house that apparently the local school uses for teaching the kids animal husbandry. There is a massive dairy farming community here, so it seems to be an integral part of the education system, which is pretty cool. After doing a bit of work, I researched some of the walks I wanted to do and picked the one I thought was best (I don’t have time to do them all on this trip). I got my backpack ready with the walking essentials, covered myself in sunscreen and mozzie spray, and drove to the Great Walk Sunshine Coast Hinterland car park to the starting point of the Baroon Lookout walk. I must admit, I was a little apprehensive about doing this walk on my own, but after I got started I was fine.
The walk took me through the Kondalilla National Park rainforest – both the floor of the forest and then up to the canopy and beyond. The trail was well worn and quite well signposted so there was no chance of getting lost – but I must admit it was slightly unnerving to have no phone signal and be in the middle of a rainforest on my own. When you look around, it all looks the same at some points, I did feel a little anxious. There was a couple about 500m in front of me though so I knew if I did get into trouble that I had company not too far away.
The walk took me to Baroon Lookout, which looks out over the canopy of the forest, over to Baroon Lake in the distance. It was one of those views that literally takes your breath away. Seriously. The vastness and tranquility of the rainforest, the noise of the wildlife and the subtle mist that covers the gully is something that words will never be able to do justice. Looking out over miles and miles of rainforest where you cannot see the end makes you feel quite insignificant in comparison. It has certainly given me a new perception on the world we live in – I’m so grateful that I have had the opportunity to see this. I am planning to visit another rainforest in the Gold Coast Hinterland on Friday (Springbrook) so we’ll see how that compares.
I spent quite a while at the lookout point, had some water and something to eat and then made my way back. It was much quicker going back because I didn’t stop to take photos and videos etc, so I was back in the car park before I knew it. I must admit, I actually did leg it back quite quickly as I was a bit overwhelmed by this point. It took me around 2 hours in total. For some reason the immensity of the walk and view made me want to hide for a bit!
Before heading back to the apartment, I stopped in another mountain town called Montville – which was an experience in itself. A beautiful little town nestled into the mountains with some more amazing views. There were lots of lovely little curiosity shops where I spent quite a bit of time mooching – I bought a couple of little keepsakes that I know I will treasure forever, as well as a little present for my niece Thea. I had some coffee and a quick bite to eat in a little cafe there before heading back.
I drove back to my apartment, had some lunch and then fell asleep for almost 2 hours!
I woke up feeling refreshed thankfully, did a little bit of research for my next few days adventures and did some planning, then headed up into Maleny town for a bit of a wander before driving up the mountain road to watch the sunset.
I wasn’t prepared for the view from Mountain View Road (you would think the clue was in the name, right?) but it was just… Ugh. I cannot find the words. No photos or videos will ever be able to come close to the real thing, so I’m not even sure it’s worth me showing them to you! Uninterrupted views of the Glass House Mountains in the distance where I sat for around an hour and watched the sun set over the hills.
As I type this, I still think I am dreaming… I’m wondering if I will get home next week and feel as though this has all been a dream.
My internet signal isn’t strong enough here to add photos to the blog unfortunately but they are all uploaded into an album on Facebook from today and if you’re interested you’ll find them by clicking here.