May 12, 2014
With nearly 3000 kms under the belt, the mighty rocket is doing me proud. We might not be on top of the ladder in the overtaking stakes but we are certainly creating a bit of interest on Highway 1 especially with those truckies! They get so close and so far up my backside, they must want to have a look at what’s on the back seat.
Heading out of Noosa I took the back way to Maryborough through some really pretty countryside, lots of sugarcane fields then onto Bundaberg. The rocket gave the Bundy a bit of a nudge so to speak, when I got to Bundaberg.
I had a good look around Bundaberg and went on a tour of the Bundaberg Distilling Company which is a must do when in town, then cruised out to Burnett Heads on the coast to have a look.
After a night in Bundy at the Alexandra Park Motor Inn I was heading to Agnes Water. Just out of Bundy on a really bumpy stretch of road, it was getting late, the sun was going down, the rocket was getting a bit edgy; neither of us like driving in the dark. When I noticed a sign……………….
The Universe had sent me a sign…..at the Avondale Tavern there was Fred Brophy’s Boxing Troupe, cold beer and free camping. I didn’t even have to steer the rocket, she just seemed to veer off the road right into the first available car space, on her own accord. Before I knew it, I had set up my tent and I was ready to see what all the fuss was about and who “The Boys From The Bush” were and where they had been.
Fred’s Boxing Troupe is the last one of its kind in the world. I was excited.
I bought a ticket, a massive steak and sat back and watched the crowd roll in…. all 300 of them. The campsite soon filled with every conceivable ute, swag, tent, truck, dog and caravan.
I’d seen this Fred Brophy character in the media, but had no idea how big this night was going to be. By 7.30 we were all waiting outside the tent, ready for some action and that’s exactly what we got.
Fred laid down the ground rules and introduced us to the boxing troupe: Chopsticks, Butterbean, White Lightening, Digger and The Beaver to name a few. Chopsticks appeared not to be able to speak a word of English. White Lightening looked nothing like white lightening, he looked like an Elvis impersonator, only a young fella and had traveled up from Hervey Bay with his mum and dad for the night.
In the senior ranks there was Digger and Butterbean. Digger was a heavy weight, ex army colonel, I found him out the back having a few rums to keep warm. Butterbean was no butterbean he was massive.
It wasn’t just blokes fighting either, there was a sheela who’s nick name was “The Beaver”, Fred reckons the hairs on her legs would scare a sewer rat! I thought this is going to be a big night and the first punch hadn’t been thrown yet.
The crowd was warming up, there was plenty of rum and beer being drunk. As the people poured into the tent, they all left their egos outside in the cold, there was a great atmosphere, the band playing Country And Western, Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire, dogs under our feet and boxers champing at the bit to get into the ring. Fred rounded up some local guys, all shapes and sizes to fight and a girl to take on The Beaver. Fred cross examined them all several times to ensure they knew where they were and what they were doing!
3 x 1 minute rounds with a 1 minute rest inbetween
If you won you got paid, if you drew you got nothing and if you lost you got the experience of a lifetime!
After each fight the crowd threw coins onto the mat as acknowledgement of their appreciation of the entertainment. The boxers could collect these but had to be careful they didn’t get KO’d by a flying 50 cent piece.
Eventually it was the Beaver’s turn!
They boxed and boxed and boxed. The Beaver was much bigger and stronger than Rachel, but Rachel did manage to land a couple of decent blows. At the end of the fight the two girls gave each other a big hug. Nice!
When the boxing was finished everyone poured back into the pub: more beer, more rum, games of pool, arm wrestling and the odd dog fight. It was also going off outside: the cops were breathalyzing anything that moved, drivers were ducking and weaving between the utes, there were burnouts, bonfires and donuts.
It was cold. Eventually everyone quietened down and I got some sleep.
I survived the night. The next morning I peeked outside my tent, just checking the Beaver wasn’t lurking around. The coast was clear.
I got up, dusted myself off, packed up the tent, stepped over a few bodies (with hands still wrapped around Bundy cans), jumped in the rocket and set of for Agnes Water.
The name Agnes has played a few major rolls in my life to date. My older sister’s middle name is Agnes (sorry Laura, everyone knows now) and thanks to another Agnes I became known as Dr Miller when I delivered her 3 kids.
I found the Agnes Water Beach Caravan Park, an amazing little caravan park right on the beach with great folk and a great atmosphere.
I really enjoyed exploring Agnes Water and 1770. I relaxed, swam, watched the sun rise and the sun set.
I had time to fly my kite. Simple pleasures.
“When you send it flying up there
All at once you’re lighter than air
You can dance on the breeze
Over houses and trees
With your first holding tight
To the string of your kite
Let’s go fly a kite
Up to the highest height!
Let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let’s go fly a kite!”