Remote ain’t always remote anymore. Just a bit harder to reach.
Punsand is a rustic campground charging $14 a person for a non-powered site. It is a bit exxy, especially when no fish oblige by hurling themselves on the lines poking out hopefully on the shore. A charter boat from around the corner at Seisa delivers some would-be fishermen back to camp at Punsand with two extremely expensive pan-size fish.
Beside us with a camper trailer is the Brisbane family I called Techs on Treks. Tony and Cassie Jewson with their two children encapsulated the new world of technology. They even moved with a new-world efficiency as they zipped around Cape York.
Tony is the first on-line server manager I have ever met. I knew there a faceless people around the world who mysteriously keep web servers serving. Now one has a face and a friendly, non-nerd personality.
Tony manages a bank of servers based in St Louis, US. He works in Brisbane; the staff work in Mexico, Russia and anywhere. They keep the servers rolling non-stop 24-7.
Cassie runs a website design company. They both work from home or anywhere they can link in to the web. The kids are even more internet-savvy than their parents.
Josh and his little sister Shannah have come up the Telegraph Track with their parents and had a ball as their 4WD tilted through tracks and crawled or crashed into crossings. They have been enjoying the bush life but now they know Punsand Bay has service they hanker to get back into cyberspace.
Tony is charging the batteries only enough to stop them shaking from withdrawal symptons.
Josh, who Cassie says is the web brainiac of the family, says yep, the Telegraph Track was fun but he’s ready for home. His fingertips are itchy for the whole world.
The odd thing about the intermittent service at Punsand Bay is that is a little better than what we left at home near Maryborough. Hey Telstra! What is going on?
Musing on the virtual world, I stop to have real-life communication with the neighbours behind us. They are a couple of nurses from NSW who decided to roam Australia for a year or so in a camper trailer, homeschooling their young daughter.
I am apologetic that Isabel, on our beachfront site, is blocking their view of the ocean and, if they had sensational curving eyesight, Papua New Guinea.
Perhaps they would like to join us for a drink at sunset so they could enjoy the uninterrupted ocean view, I thought. Feeling my way to see if they partook of alcohol, I asked “Do you have sundowners?”
Ms Nurse looked at me in alarm. “I don’t think so,” she said uncertainly.
I hesitated: “I thought you would like to join us if you did, seeing as we are blocking your view.”
Confusion and a little fear flashed over her face until we worked out she had mis-heard or I had mis-spoke. With some relief she said “Yes. Yes we do. I thought you were asking if I had Alzheimers.”
I left musing more on the value of face-to-face communication. They didn’t join us.
PHOTO ABOVE: Cassie and Tony Jewson with "net braniac" Josh on computer and Shannah (left).