Thursday, January 15, 2009

From Seadoo to Chainsaw…at Castle Anduramba


So time for an update!  The new year is well upon us and we are feeling more like mountain citizens every day.  Our little house is lovely, dogs well settled into their new routines and I’ve almost completed two weeks in my new job.

The best bit about being here is the 40 minute drive to our piece of paradise.  We have come up with a new interim plan, or project to keep us busy!  Inspired by a pioneer-type living in central Crows Nest we are looking into expanding our existing shed into a two room palace!  See the pic below for our inspiration:

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We love the iron cladding, ramshackle additions and multiple solar panels running those little necessities. And if this guy can do it in central Crows, then no one will bother us out in the ‘Ramba, surely!

So out to the block we went to measure and string and wander about visualising.

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Dom spoke to a local hardware store specialising in package deals about how much to build a tin-walled room which would become our bedroom and washroom.  I say washroom, not bathroom and really, without running water can it be a bathroom?  Perhaps bucketroom will become the vernacular!  They came back with a quote of about $3500 which sounds pretty decent!  And if we keep our eye out for great recycled deals and giveaways we could bring that price right down.  So operation Build Castle Anduramba will develop over the next months…maybe when it gets a bit cooler!

We have been exploring our new local area as well.  Dom is missing his easy-access fishing spots so we went for a morning drive west towards Jondaryn and a spot called Bowenville Reserve.  This is listed in the top three fishing spots in the area behind Cressbrook Dam and Lake Cooby.  It is a free camping site with an ablution block and not much else in the middle of a rural farming area along side a lovely river.  The river is stocked by the fisheries department and the local fishing guy told us it is the best place to go with an esky of beer and a fishing rod! 

The day we went was just after a night of heavy rain and our sturdy station wagon found the going tough once we were on site, with the mud.  There were three or so camping groups all peering at us from within their set ups and with our two overly excited pups we didn’t get to explore in full.  But we can see the potential of the spot and would recommend it to anyone looking for a peaceful and free getaway!  The shot below is of the road between Toowoomba and the Oakey bypass:

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Another day trip took us out to Lake Cooby, a water catchment for the Toowoomba region.  After a peaceful drive on narrow roads through a rural zone nestled in behind Highfields we made it to the dam wall.  There are two spots to stop and spend some time at Cooby.  The first is a wonderful long winding shady parkland along the overflow creek below the wall.  The area was beautiful, peaceful with recently installed barbecues, picnic tables and a fantastic playground for the little ones and young at heart.  And some beautiful old trees:

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From the same spot you can wander along the top of the wall and the shot below is a panoramic of the dam itself.  Maps show what it would look like when full, which I’m sure we will see again before too long…right?  Click on the image for a larger version.

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As you know we were given the surprise Christmas gift of a Seadoo Jet Ski thanks to a raffle we entered when we bought our car.  After a short listing on Ebay we sold it to a family man from down south and much to our pleasure found that we had some cash to spend on little necessities!  And what does an outback land owner need more than a brushcutter and a chainsaw!  No self respecting weed or fallen log can last long when Dom is around!  We went into Crows Nest to buy the new toys from the local dealer, Doug and needless to say Dom is one happy man! 

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In other news, Dom has decided to follow his passion and study a Certificate in Horticulture at the local TAFE and is looking for casual work to support his studies.  I am settling into my new job and loving every day.  Life is moving forward in the most delightful way.


Donna on January 28, 2009 at 1:57 PM said...

Wow! It is so good to see another local aspiring to a better life. That little house that you are using as inspiration is actually right next to our little patch of land (only a 1/2 acre) and we are planning on our own permaculture world there. That house is now for sale too! I am very much enjoying reading your blog.


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