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CARAVAN TALES

BY OUR JOURNALIST-PHOTOGRAPHER.

Maryborough to Gympie

PLACES are like human beings one finds in them just what one looks for. I nave met people who could see nothing

beautiful or worthwhile in the small places, but that was because* of ? dulled vision. There are degrees of sight and of appreciation Just as there are degrees- of sensitiveness. It is true that one can be oversensitive even in the direction of seeing only what is good, but somehow that bias seems preferable. After all, it is as well to see the best of things in the places where life is passed, for only then can the game be regarded as worthwhile. The life of caravanners passes in passing (which sounds Irish). and it would be a poor one indeed if those who caravan were not fond of Nature, sufficiently fond, perhaps, to be a little blind to those things in which microscopic eyes would fail to detect much that was lovely. Of course, as one advances along the years one becomes impressed with the desirable less of adaptability, and to me the arid plain or droughty bush land is in vested with some attractiveness. In the Bauple district the beauty of the 'surroundings would, I imagine, be obvious to any one. It is a district with a distinct charm, a charm that is enhanced by the horizon of un dulating hills partly bush-clad and partly under cultivation. Here, venture some farmers have planted compara tively large areas of bananas well up the sides of Mt. Bauple, painting the hill with patches of dark-green cul tivation that appear strangely to fit in with the bush that edges them. Here and there small homesteads are perched so high on the hillside that the inmates must be veritable Alpine cumbers. Dawn on the Mountain. [AT an absurdly early hour this **• morning I arose ostensibly to make

the customary cup of tea. and watched dawn tripping lightly down the moun , tainside. As. it tipped the summit of Mt. Bauple I saw several columns of bluish-grey smoke lazily drifting up wards from the homes of these moun tainside farmers. The hill was a deep blue, here and there shading to purple, and as the sun arose it was not unlike a transformation scene at an old-time pantomime. Each morning as we camped here Nature repeated the same per formance, and I found it to be a pro gramme that never staled by repeti tion. And yet I met some who said they could see nothing in Bauple. Well, it is good sometimes to be a little simple, to be able to see the beauty of things without expecting anything material from them. Possibly the best things in life are those from which we indirectly benefit. Interesting People. r A 8 is our custom, our camp at Bauple xv was near a house, though in this instance it was surrounded, by bush, and we had the benefits to be derived from the beauties of Nature as well as the convenience of a good water supply and of human companionship. Our host and hostess weft Mr. R. Scougall and his daughter. Mr. Scou gall is one of the old pioneers, one of those men who always have loved the bush and who, having spent then* life in touch with it, find hi it a won derful companionship. Many years ago Mr. Scougall centred his interests on cattle. Then sugar loomed on Queensland's horizon, and he "fell" for it. I imagine it was a fall, for in several reminiscent conversations he expressed his regrets that he had not stuck to the cattle industry. All the same, I expect he is like other men, and that if he had his time over

again he would obey the dictates of impulse. At the age of 84 Mr. Bcou gaU milks bis own house cows and chops his own wood. I think that, like many other old pioneers, he would always remain steadfast and true to his old loves. Hie told me of the days of Sir Thomas M'lllwraith (who was a personal friend of his), and X could see that his ideas on politics, as on most things which had by the passing of years .become ingrained within him, were unshakable. What a pleasant thing it is in these days to meet any one who holds to his opinions, believing them to be right, and who refuses to be swayed by every little deviation of public opinion. Other interesting personages we met in Bauple were and Mrs. H. Missing, of Kia Ora. who come from one of the oldest settled families in Australia. For the last 18 years or so Mr. Missing has been engaged in the timber industry, supplying from his land the timber for many of the main bridges and similar structures in all parts of this and the Central West. The day we visited Kia Ora the most up-to-date sheds were being erected for dairying purposes, and by this time next year much of this property will be converted into an up-to-date dairy farm. Apparently dairying naturally fol lows in the wake of the mining and timber industries. From a financial point of view the sugar industry is far less.profitable than hitherto, and I should not be surprised if, within a few yean, many cane farmers In Bauple desert their sugary love for the übiquitous cow. Of course, even the small sugar farms appear to be still able to maintain their man, but man is seldom satisfied with just main

tenance, which is a good thing. Con tentment does not, I think, sow the seeds of progress. I detest the dis gruntled type of discontents who are commonly met with, but have great admiration for the grumUeness, am bitious souls who strive lor what thejr think will improve their present lot, while not grumbling at what they have, ■ Woald-be Caravannen. T ATELY we have met and received ?J correspondence' from quite a num ber of persons who intend becoming earavanners, at least for a while. Tney all wish to know what type of car I could recommend, whether a car or a truck, and ask for details as to dimen sions, &c. Apart from the actual con struction of "The Queenslandsr" cara van and its general road equipment, I would not recommend any particular make of car. I have, of course, my own favourite makes, but experience has taught me that one man's favour ite may prove to be another's abom ination. Times change, and no doubt the wheels of automobile progress have not ceased to revolve since we set out, so that there may now be many cars of which r know nothing. I still think, as I thought when we left Brisbane, that the first essential is a really reliable engine. Personally I regard "The Queenslander" caravan as a machine which* has proved itself to be as near perfection as anything that J~4fcs ever been on the roads of Queensland, but that may be be cause I have an affectionate regard for the things that serve me well. Perhaps one of the most important things for a would-be caravanner is to see that the caravan is not too high, as in parts of Queensland there are several railway bridges under which

even The Queenslander" will not pass. I know of one man who took the Central West route and subsequently had to turn back. We are always only, too pleased to allow any one who cares,. to visit us to inspect every part of,, the caravan and take a note of any* details they wish. I should like per-"1 sonaily to reply to all those who write to me, but it is impossible to find tim* for that. An Act of Kindness. TT is wonderful how good many x people are to us. Just as we were about to leave Bauple a cafe proprietor (Mr. D. Stewart), who also runs a ser vice car to Maryborough, drew up a most elaborate map outlining the best route between Bauple and Gympi«ffc There are several routes, all rough, bufP he selected what he thought was best, and from memory traced every turning' and accurately marked the mileage over the various sections. When travelling over a rough stretch such information is invaluable, particularly if It is fresh. The great trouble with the unformed roads in Queensland is that thejc change with each spell of wet weather, and the route that was passable last month may next month partially have disappeared. Whenever anything becomes popular there will, it weim, be imitations of it, as well as unscrupulous people whq trade on its reputation. In two town ships we have visited during the past two or three months the residents have told us of the visits of travelling photographers who claimed to be representing "The Queenslander," but who, it appears, showed no proof of this. In one case a man took photo* graphs of various children and col lected a deposit, but the photos, have never been delivered nor has the man been seen since. In our travels we have had numerous instances of this sort of thing. As a matter of fact, no photographs have ever been sold from "The Queenslander" caravan, nor has anything been done for monetary per auaslon. it is impossible to buy a photograph of any kind from "The Queenslander" caravan. (To "be continued.) '

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