The Rocky Swap, was what it is, nothing really dramatic to tell about it. We arrived on Sunday late afternoon after the Rockhampton Arcade market, reported on in the last post, started to set ourselves up and continued to set ourselves up until Friday by which time lots of other swappers had arrived and we sold a bit. Then the big crowds came on Saturday and we sold a lot. Including the cinematograph and lots of other bric a brac. Few tools went which was disappointing for Alan but we made the same amount of money as we did in 2011.
Bella had to be barricaded in the caravan for the day… no dogs allowed on site! but she found a way to be part of the party! For me the big and best thing was catching up with old friends, Sue and Pete and Jack and Robyn in particular. I have missed knowing a few people at the markets to debrief with and be human and ordinary. It is quite isolating not to have friends in a place.
We moseyed on on Tuesday after that towards Sapphire and the GemFest at Anakie spending a night at Bedford Weir, another jewel of a spot, beautifully kept and on water again. To be highly recommended, not expensive either, they asked for a donation.
The landscape changed as we went further north and west…
The gums got bushier and the mountains more in evidence.
This sign was typical of those at other small towns and for us signalled the start of the Gemfields.
Arriving in Anakie on Wednesday we saw all the signs of a huge market starting to happen on the School of Arts ground. (I must just mention for those who wouldn’t know, Schools of Arts are in most towns and are in fact what we in SA would have called ‘trade schools’.) Over the road from the big setting up scene was a small setting up scene so we stopped by and had a yak. Turned out it was a ‘counter’ market. The woman running it was in dispute with the GemFest organisers and had decided to set up her own show at a house she owns! She is our new best friend Glenda who along with her daughter Shauna made us very welcome in Anakie by giving us an insight into life in the region and how adaptability can be both financially and intrinsically rewarding. We will meet them again for sure.
Next stop is the Gold and Coal Fest in Clermont this coming Friday and Saturday and then on to the market at Charters Towers for Sunday if we can get a site there. We will be missing the Detecting Competition on Sunday when they all go out with their metal detectors and compete… I would love to see that but we plan to go to Charters Towers to do the market there.
They call this area the Peak Downs area because there is a small range of peaks hovering elusively in the distance most of the time. Clearly depicted in the picture of Alan. It is also known for its largest open cut coal mine in the world, Blair Atholl it’s called.
Sure seems that the angels are on our side. They only have to get the houses sold now. The extra cash from Anakie meant that we could have the houses advertised in the Boettcher’s flash letter box drop brochure! Here’s hoping. And we are able to buy two new tyres for the van… much needed.
We came from Anakie to Theresa Creek Dam outside Clermont, another cheap stop, $10 a night with hot showers and composting toilets. We spent yesterday doing the washing and distributing the ATO refund (Tax Refund) that arrived on Monday. Although we still have the dreaded Ipswich properties we are now “flush” with all other niggling debts. As there is no connectivity or phone reception beside the dam all of this was done in Clermont. we then spent the rest of the day happily birdwatching and chatting about how to manage our lives in future. Too good.
A couple of pics I liked follow this…
Water or sky? Theresa Creek Dam.
Feeding time – Theresa Creek Dam
These pesky critters while destroying the Norfolk pine also dropped dirt onto our stuff – at Glenda’s – Anakie.
The following link is to the picasa album with more pictures… you know me I can’t help myself but didn’t want to overload you! I have annotated and this post will give you bacckground.