--- Gareth and Helen travelled the world! --- travel blog

"You may not know it now you bloody foreign pommies! But you'll...

Helen gets to work, heating the steel to 1600C.

Now here's something I bet you thought you'd never see! Helen hammers...

Helen starts to shape the metal.

It's a case of bang the metal, heat it up again... bang...

The fire gets stupidly hot.

Once you have the shape you plunge the red hot steel into...

Helen's knife begins to take shape.

Gareth gets in on the act. Check the fashion!

It's all jokes - Gareth superheats his steel as his knife takes...

Gareth hammers the steel - shaping the knife.

Helen begins to shape the knife. Impressive stuff!

Gareth works his knife and they start to look like the finished...

Gareth's knife takes shape - the brass is added.

Helen's knife takes character with a very worrying pointed section at the...

Helen with a jigsaw!! She cuts the handles out for the knife.

Gareth's knife with the first signs of a handle!

OUR 1000th PHOTO!!! Our freshly sanded knives (Helen's at the top).

The group's finished knives. Gareth's second from the left. Helen's second from...

Gareth's finished knife.

Helen's superb knife.

Our knives.

Steve (right) introduces us to his moonshine and the drink and the...

We all show off our knives!!

At lunch we got a chance to check out the property and...

The poor little Ram has just been sheared!

Helen and "Big Chief".

Gareth rides Big Chief around the property!


What a fantastic day!

Bargain too!

At about 9.30am, Robyn, the Knifemaker's wife, turned up and dropped us up to their farm. We then met Steve. This guy is soo funny! He has loads of personality and is really good fun to be around - always cracking jokes with his very sharp and dry kiwi humour. We then were given our rods of steel, which were about 2ft long. We then had to thrust them into the coal fire which was raging at around 1500 - 1600 Centigrade. The metal then went red hot, from which we then took a hammer and bashed the rods as hard as we could on an anvil, slowly shaping the metal into the shape of a knife. After around 30 mins, the end of our rods started to resemble something that could one day be a knife! We then had to sand down (on this crazy power-sander type thing!) our knives to the shape we wanted, whilst also chopping off the end of the 1ft section of metal rod that we didn't need (it was there to stop us from burning our hands when the metal was in the fire). Cooling the metal down involved us dunking it into a bucket of water, causing a very impressive sizzling effect. From there we sawed off bits of brass, glueing and nailing them to our 'bits of steel'. The knives were now definately taking shape. We then chopped out bits of wood that would be our handles.

Yay! Lunchtime! Steve and Robyn had put on toasted sandwiches for us - containing a mixture of chilli, cheese, pineapple and onions. Sounds rough, but they were really good! Helen and Gareth were too hungry to think about it!!

After lunch Robyn invited us out onto the farm - where we met and got to ride their horse 'Big Chief', although Helen turned the offer down! Gareth took 'Big Chief' down to the end of the road and back, giving it a bit of the old 'woah there horsey' as and when...

Back at the knife scene, Steve had used the lunch to carve the sharp edges for us. Obviously this section was seen as dificult and dangerous, and frankly we're glad that someone else did the risky stuff!

We then sanded down the knives and varnished them. The finished reslut is very impressive. Gareth sub-conciously created a bread knife (no shock there) and Helen has put something together that will ensure that Gareth should be under her thumb for some time to come...

After that Steve very kindly invited us all into his house, where he showed off his new 'White Lightning' moonshine. It was basically a very strong vodka, which we all drank with lemonade and orange etc. Gareth risked a (very very small) neat shot of the stuff and can report that it stripped a much need layer of enamel straight off his teeth. ;-)

Steve told us of his new brew "black thunder" and asked us if we wanted to try it. As most of us were still on fire from the first bevarage we turned it down and decided to leave it at that!!

But what a great day! Steve had the funniest way with words... "YOU DON'T WANT TO DO IT LIKE THAT BECAUSE IT'LL LOOK SHIT-HOUSE" etc.

Anyway, if you're interested he takes one off sword commisions for $1500. Our knives cost us $85 (around 35 quid we guess) for a full day, food, drink and we get to keep the knife. Check the photos - they're great!

After that we headed back to the pub for a roast. It was the first roast dinner we'd had in months and it tasted fantastic. Gareth and Helen's big project in Sydney is to cook a roast, culminating with us cooking our own Christmas dinner!!

In the evening we chilled in the pub, played some pool, laughed about how when you travel you lose all ability to spell, write, type, drive and generally do anything that requires skill!

So when you so poor grammer, spelling and other errors remember that we just can't help it!! (oooorrr we're just lazy!)

Onwards people...!

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