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Tara Festival and Camel Races

When the last of us arrived on Friday we set off on foot from the showgrounds into Tara township which took about 15 minutes. As it was only about 9 degrees and no wind, it was a very pleasant walk. Along the way was a man-made lake which was full of water. The water was a rather interesting shade of white, but it still looked beautiful. Apparently it is stocked with bass, eel-tailed catfish and yellow belly. I would love to know why it was white...

Tara townsfolk put on a lovely display of market stalls and book-week dress-up parade for us. (collectively, all the visitors, not just us B4WDC!). After a while, we had collected our festival stamps and generally supported the Tara economy. Some of our group decided to try camel pie (not me). I'm told it was quite tasty. I stuck with my trusty sausage roll. We all split up for a little while to look at things we wanted to look at, then met up near the bakery. Some walked back, and others drove back to camp. It's okay we know who and why... but luckily for some intrepid shoppers, the Brolly Adventure Tours car was ready and waiting to transport their bargains back to camp!

Lunch, some naps and a bit more camp set up – next minute it was happy hour! And what a feast that was! Matty brought out the happy hour horn which we all had a turn blowing. That was funny! Some people are better at blowing horns than others. Some old club friends came and joined us (Graham and Deb) for a while and everyone had a great chinwag, shared stories and generally laughed a lot. Charlotte took herself to bed so she could watch her favourite TV show... but then she came out again, because there was so much laughing going on. The last thing I remember Friday night, was the sound of Anne's cackles as she described her first experience with shooting a gun. She seemed rather excited!

Saturday morning, we had organised to all be ready for the first camel race. Dressed in our very best club shirts, we walked over to the show grounds. Arthur smelled bacon and suddenly veered off like a zombie in search of the source of the mouth watering aroma. The rest of us made our way to the race track. Some of us were lucky enough to get a seat in the bleachers, while a small courageous group went to the bookmaker's area and placed a bet for the first race. What gangly creatures camels are! Are they even supposed to run that fast? Interesting observation though, when they came racing towards us, there was no sound. No thundering hooves pounding the ground, no harnesses slapping and tinkling. No huffing or puffing. Just silence (except for the excited punters). Speaking of excited punters, you'll never guess who won on the first race.... (not me).

After that we all split up for a while and did our own thing, looking at stalls and community groups. I watched the Polynesian group, and the bagpipe band and an indigenous group showing how to use the didgeridoo. That was fascinating. We met up again towards lunch time, making plans to come back for the next working dog display. This was a very cool display. One dog herded a small herd of sheep around a set course and the commentator talked us through how points are allocated during this course. The next dog showed us how well he could get a flock of ducks to do as they're told. I went for a nap after that. The early morning start Friday morning had finally caught up on me. I woke in time to prepare for happy hour.

OMG what a feast happy hour was! Anne had prepared strawberries, chocolate sauce and sparkling wine - as befits race day. Of course we all had contributed something yummy, including a selection of locally purchased cheeses.

I realised that night, sitting around the campfire, that three generations of people were represented in this group. Some were in my parents' age group. Some were my age, and of course Matty, who is the same age as my youngest child. It felt like a family too. Alas, the cool air and fatigue zapped me again, and I staggered off to my Garth (the party van). Apparently though, while I slept, Charlotte got up, announcing that she was going to bed and promptly headed off into the bush. Arthur quickly jumped up and redirected her when he realised she was headed in the wrong direction!

Sunday morning saw Brett, Molly, Matt and me packing up to come home. While we were packing up though, Arthur and his friend went for a helicopter ride and came back to show us the awesome pictures he took while in the air. We left the remainder of the group as they were staying on a bit longer. Graham was heading north after this to meet up with the Cape York trip group. I realised when packing up, that I'd been plucked. Thanks to whomever hung the hapless rubber duck on my bumper.

When we left Tara, we paraded gently through the inevitable line up of cars being booked by the local constabulary for failing to stop at the rail crossing. On the way to Dalby, I noticed that my fuel gauge was dropping rapidly, and hoped that it would be okay by then. When we pulled up in Dalby for fuel, we parked to go and get some food. That's when Matty noticed that my van brake was on - had I forgotten something? No wonder the fuel was dropping so fast! (Don't tell Wayne!!!)

From Dalby, we took the scenic route through MacLagan, Cooyar, Yarraman and down the D'Aguilar Highway towards Brisbane. At Yarraman, we picked up a bunch of 'hooligans' in fast and loud street cars who demonstrated some lethal driving manoeuvres. Of course, my van had Ch 9 posted on the back, so some smarty linked in to our channel and gave a bit of cheek, as teenagers do. We also saw the club colours of another 4WD club in a paddock on the side of the highway - more people out having fun. As we headed towards Caboolture, I notice that the sky was darkening much faster than a twilight. Rounding the big corner onto the Bruce highway, it was easier to see why - there was a big storm building. We all made it home safely though, in time to get things done and be inside before any rain fell.

Big thanks to Keiran and Anne for organising  this trip. It was a great weekend.

Big thanks to Brolly Adventure Tours and Matty - good trip home.

Last, but not least, big thanks to hubby Wayne who seems to enjoy helping me pack each time I go away with the club, and equally unpacking when I return. Love ya Hunni!