Two days on the road and we are settling into our routine of travel. Leisurely start with breakfast, pack up van and take off with no set plans for the day, just see what turns up. With thermos for cuppa and supplies on board we stop and eat when we are hungry and start looking for some where to camp for the night about 4pm. Because the weather is slightly cold and have had intermittent showers we are going into caravan parks with power so we can put on the little oil-fired heater. Last night was a van park behind “The Golden nugget” road house and truck stop just south of Gympie. The road house had a shepherd’s pie special on the board at $9 so couldn’t go past that. What we forgot was that this is a truck stop and the serving was tasty but HUGE.
Today we arrived in Childers at mid-day. In 2000 they had a terrible disaster when the Palace backpackers, that was in the building above, was deliberately torched and burnt to the ground with the loss of life of 15 young international backpackers trapped in their dormitories. We have passed through Childers several times in our travels and seen it slowly transformed from a rather scruffy small town with not much to stop for, to a vibrant community, proud of its heritage and the centre and heart of the town is the beautifully restored Palace Memorial Centre, the downstairs area is a tourist information centre and is staffed by very helpful and friendly local volunteers. We went upstairs to see the memorial painting of the 15 young people, and the story of the tragic fire. But what we also found was the most amazing works of art by a young 15-year-old aboriginal girl. Chern’ee Sutton has taken aboriginal dot painting and stories of her ancestors dream-time to a vibrant and modern interpretation. When looked at they are fresh, the colours glow. Then we were given 3D glasses to go round again and look at them. WOW!!! they just jumped out and vibrated with life, we could hardly tear ourselves away from them. Butterflies floated in front of deep indigo pits with the dream-time dots flowing in and around them, just amazing. Do go on the link to see some of her work, and read her story, but of course you need to see them in reality to get the full impact, not just photos.