Thurs 7/10 Sweaty!
Slept like a baby again last night! Amanda Matt & I lazed around this morning, then Matt decided to walk to the beach, which he thought was about 1.5miles away - he came back about 2hrs later - he'd only got 2/3 of the way & was knackered! The humidity has really increased since I arrived in Cairns... summer is definitely coming!
Amanda and I caught the bus to Rockhampton (5hrs), and Matt is getting the overnight bus to Hervey Bay, where we will hopefully bump into him again. We arrived in Rockhampton at 6.30pm, good job we were collected from the bus that would have been one BIG walk to the Hostel! Didn't see anything of the town, because it was dark! We went for a couple of beers at a grotty pub up the road from the HOstel, and then an early night, ready for my 6.30am collection tomorrow, to go and do animal things!! Amanda is going to Great Keppell for the weekend - she doesn't do animals!
Fri 8/10 Sweaty!
I was up at 5am - woken by the good old noisy birds, so I was well ready when Renee from the farm collected me at 6.30! Got to the farm in time for brekky cooked on the campfire at 8am. After that we milked a cow - it was a lot easier than I thought, but it probably would have taken me a long time to get a 'respectable amount!'
Pete and Olive who own the farm are a lovely couple, in their early 70's, and there's also Shane, Renee, Lyn (P&O's daughter), Ray and another girl who's name I don't know. the farm is 2600 acres, in a lovely setting, in the middle of nowhere! There's only a few of us here at the moment, although it sleeps about 30. There's Hannah, form Kent, but she left this afty, Kirsten & Guidos from Germany, and an English guy called Nigel, who has a REALLY bad stutter - he's a pain!! I'm not really sure why he's hanging around - he hurt his shoulder the first day he was here, so can't do anything, but is still hanging around! Animals wise - there's 29 horses, 300 cows, a dog called Stubby, Tina the 10 month old orphaned joey - she is SOOOOOO cute, and about 15-20 other 'roos & wallabies - they are all hanging around at the moment because the food is so scarce in the wild, because there hasn't been any rain for ages.
We went out riding this morning for about 3hrs - I was surprised how comfortable I was with it, seeing it is 8yrs since I last rode! Bet I'll be a sore bunny tomorrow!! We got back about 1pm, by which time it was 36 degrees in the shade!
After a lovely salad lunch, Shane took me quad biking, which was cool, and then I had to do the 'Myella Bike Test' which was fun - dirt tracking - loads of red dust everywhere, I learnt to change gears etc whilst standing up, and then we went for a ride round the farm 'circuit' - I didn't go as fast as him though - I really don't need any broken bones after theses few days! Now I have 'passed' I can take the bike out when I want! Hoorah!
Came back about 5pm, and had a nice swim in the pool, then played with Tina for a while before sampling Pete's homebrew, and having a wicked roast beef dinner - the joys of living on a cattle ranch!
Tomorrow morning I'm going out with Shane in the morning rounding up the horses on the mototrbikes - should be a giggle! Had a lovely evening chatting to Olive, she told me the family's life story! Then fed Tina her bottle!!!! Bless!!
Sat 9/10 Hot
Had a great nights sleep last night - had the cabin door open all night - Olive said a 'roo may come & visit, but none did, or I didn't wake up!!? Went out & rounded up the horses with Shane at 7.30am, which was dead easy - we didn't need the bikes, they were waiting for us!
Kirsten, Guidos and I went out riding with Renee today - it was more fun than with Shane yesterday, we played barrel racing, and did some log jumping. Renee was quite comfortable with us doing pretty much as we liked, which was great for the other guys, who have now really managed to get their confidence, although Guidos hands are still flapping around like washing on a windy day!!
In the afternoon the Aussie contingent had to go and vote, so we went along with them into the town (270 population!), and went for a pint at the local 'hotel'! Then had a big zzzzz when we got back! Pete & Olive have gone out with some pals tonight, so it will be pretty quiet - they really are 'chat a lots'! I've learnt all about their kids marital problems, their grandchildren, etc etc! It is a wonderful place, I could live here no problem, although I s'pose it would get a bit boring... eventually!
Had a quiet evening, chatting to Kirsten & Guidos, then we watched a 'roo documentary, which made me cry - baby Jaffa was killed by dingoes! Sat outside my room & had a last cigarette with Selma the wallaby & her pal. Slept with the door open again - no visitors!!
Sun 10/10 Warm & Breezy
Up with the larks again - ready for action at 6.30am. Helped Shane again, and this morning rode Isis, a dudey little mare who is quite spirited! We went rounding cattle up, with me taking the front of the mob. You have to talk to them in a deep voice to make them follow, apparently! We rounded up a group of 32, and 'taught them some behaviour skills' & then let them go again! Then we went for a ride & played barrel racing again.
After lunch Kirsten & I had the pleasure of watching a little 3 month old joey suckling from her mum - only the second time she's been seen out of her pouch....
Shane & Olive gave me a lift back to Rocky early evening - aaah! I didn't want to leave :(
They advertise that 'You will leave tired, sore & dirty, but happy - and that's so true!
Met back up with Amanda - she had a very 'chilled' time on Great Keppell, had a beer or two, and then set the alarm and went to bed ready for another early start tomorrow!