Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Moping around Montville

I was really looking forward to seeing Montville so I'm not sure why I came away with so few satisfactory pictures and discarded even more once I started sorting them out.

This little town, referred to as the jewel of the Blackall Range, is set in an area of great natural beauty and tranquillity.  Brick paths, shaded by stately old trees and lined with lush plantings of shrubs and flowerbeds, amble up and down both sides of the main street, diving off here and there into a maze of interesting art and craft galleries, charming restaurants and every other shop you could possibly want to visit.

There were lots of rustic benches on which to relax and watch the passing parade while taking in the eclectic nature of the architecture which "includes Tudor, Irish and English cottages built in log and stone, Swiss and Bavarian chalets, colonial Queenslanders and an old water-wheel." * 

The thing is, it was a humid day with intermittent showers and light that was terrible from a photographic point of view.  I was tired and hot, my camera was heavy, my feet hurt and there were just too many people.  It was frustrating trying to take photos with crowds of people and monstrous 4 x 4 vehicles clogging the views.   In all fairness, it was school holidays and I think that out of season it would have been a very different experience.

That said, we were delighted to find this art gallery set in an oasis of calm and coolness.  Lots of interesting paintings by artists from the area and friendly assistance made it a pleasure to stroll around, away from the hubbub outside.  On each of our visits to Australia we've chosen a painting to take back home with us and, within the limits of having to take them back in suitcases, we've built up a collection of  sketches and watercolours which bring happy memories flooding back whenever we look at our "gallery" on the wall outside my study.

We both fell in love with this small watercolour  which is now sitting on my desk waiting to be framed when time (and money) permit.

The photos I did take reflect the fact that it was the smaller details, rather than the wider scenes, which took my interest   This is one of the beautifully ornate drain covers set into the brick paving in front of some of the buildings..

These painted tile inserts along the brick path next the school were painted by the school children and I like the way they give interesting little glimpses into the life of the village.

I particularly liked the bush turkey in this picture.  The first time I saw one of these dizzy birds was on our previous trip when we visited O'Reilly's Rain Forest.  While we walking along the boardwalk in the forest this bird ran past us and then back again at a crazy speed, something like Beep Beep the Roadrunner in the comics of my youth.  Is Beep Beep still around today? 

Delicate glass mobiles in rainbow colours tinkling in the soft wafts of spring air.

Going nowhere, slowly ...

Strut your stuff ...

Perhaps this sign should have included "tired grannies" and "money for cups of tea"

I'd read about this apparently well known shop, either on-line or in one of my guidebooks.  Inside it was an Aladdin's Cave of glass lamps, crystal vases and candlesticks, and in fact everything so fragile that I preferred to photograph from outside and not take the chance of camera bag or long lens causing an expensive crash.

Meet Mr Bower and Mr Bower's Bird!

Cake and milkshakes at a restaurant overlooking the most stupendous view, went some way towards soothing the aches and pains.  I didn't try to take many pictures of the scenic views as I didn't have my wide angle lens with me and, in any event, the magnificence of the rolling panorama just couldn't have been captured in the poor light.

Kierie took the opportunity to catch up on his reading and update his journal which he added to whenever we stopped and which was, in fact, a great help with keeping my pix in chronological order.  

Suitably refreshed we strolled back to the car, passing all sorts of creatures, made of wire and metal ...

... and soft, cuddly ones, hanging tantalisingly just out of reach of small interested hands.

Thank goodness the boys are long past the stuffed toy phase.  Now if it had been Lego sets, books or computer games ...

Glimpses through the tall trees and luxuriant fern undergrowth remind you that this village is perched up on quite a steep hill and that with a short walk you can leave the hustle and bustle of the street behind.

From Montville, we we would be driving in the direction of Noosa but first we had to find Tewantin, where Miss Molly was going to spend a three day visit at the Pet Resort Hotel and let me say that the beautiful gardens, lake and spacious kennels and yards really did look resort-like.  There had been a lot of agonising about having to leave her there but a no pets rule applied where we would be staying.  To our collective chagrin, she trotted off quite happily, without a backward glance, no doubt enticed by the sound of  the other dogs.  So, with clear consciences, we were bound for the Sunshine Coast!

PS  I was asked why only the youngest grandson appears in the photos.  The reason is the oldest is now a teenager and I'm allowed to show only a back view if he's in a picture.

PPS  Between internet problems and no image uploading by Blogger, it's taken five days to complete this post.  Here's hoping the next one is a little quicker.

* Steve Parrish - South-East Queensland - A Discovery Guide.


Mel said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Val
Love your pictures! They brought back memories, as I was in Montville in 2007 with my sister and I see Mr Bower and his bird are still there!
There was a lovely Christmas shop when we were there, I still have the deocrations.
Melanie, Stellenbosch (The Vineyard Connection)


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