I took my second drive on Sunday to try build confidence on the roads, but the SO drew the line when we were approaching the road onto Mt Glorious.
A good call. (^_^;)
With its snaking through a variety of surfaces, some bends were sharp and making a mistake meant taking a long bumpy one-way ride over the edge. It'll be some time before I learn how to control any vehicle on those roads.
But the trip was worth it. The skies were clear and although the sunshine was baking my arm when I was at the wheel, it meant warmth and little need for air-conditioning. Why bother with it when you can roll down the window to breathe in the fresh air, perfectly filtered by the trees? The trees even threw in a sharp scent of resin and eucalyptus aromatherapy free of charge.
Mt Glorious didn't have as many lookout points as Mt Nebo, but the SO decided to press on downward on the other side to show me where some of Brisbane's waters come from. It's always an educational trip with the SO, but given I'm still technically 'fresh of the boat', it makes sense for me to see where water comes from in one of the driest continents in the world.
Water is a very serious business in Oz.
We made stops at White Cedar, where families were gathered for picnics at the free BBQ pits... a shih tzu was running free on the thick grass... and a couple lay under some trees, the guy reading a book with his arm curled under the girl's head as a pillow...
The sound of rushing water compelled me to push past the shrubs, despite my mind reminding me of the dangers of spiders and snakes. Especially when all I have to wear for walking are my Birks (my sneakers haven't arrived yet and heels are not ideal for bush/trail walking).
At least if spiders or snakes wanted to bite me, they'd have to sink their teeth into my thick hide covered toes... and I should be able to live without a toe or two... I think.
After such a long drought, it was amazing to see a decent creek with flowing clear water. The sunshine illuminated everything to the very bottom, which wasn't terribly deep at all. Probably around mid-thigh deep. And not to see a single plastic bag, broken bottle or any evidence of human waste in that creek.
And to see it full of life: tiny fish, damselflies, dragonflies, water striders and huge tadpoles, wriggling to the surface to take a gulp of air.
The longer I stood there, the more life I could see.
Standing over the edge, I asked the SO if this water was drinkable. He assured me it was and asked if I would drink it. Having been an all-time city girl, I wouldn't drink water unless it's been filtered and preferably boiled... but the SO dipped his hand in and pressed it against his lips, tasting it.
I stared at him, wondering if he would fall over and die in convulsions... or sprout an extra nose. Or maybe run screaming cuz a leech had latched itself to his lips.
I stuck a hand in to see how cold it was...
It was chilly, like refridgerated water. So I didn't mind too much when my foot slipped over some of the rocks as we ventured further down the creek. The Birks dried themselves quickly enough walking back to the car.
Beyond the mountain, the valley was flat and drier. Cactii grew along the dusty roads and everywhere you looked was grazing land. Dots of brown and white marked the cows and horses munching away as we zoomed past. Maybe this was Australia's wild wild west? With rolling hills as far as the eye can see.
The SO drove us into Esk. Esk. Esk. Esk.
Terry Pratchett fans, spot the reference.
Somerset dam is about 70% full and there were families everywhere, swimming and boating and jetskiiing.
And then drove back again.