We have just spent a week on a farm near a city called Roma in Queensland. The soil a bit redder than New South Wales' brown, Ben and I have been driving tractors, mustering cattle, making cattle feed (most dusty a process!) and enjoying not being in a tent! Ben, familiar with most tasks having been there previously, it was a bit of a new experience for me. Many machines needing a little bit of help getting started, I've learnt how to effectively jump and pull start a variety of items. I am now most confident I could do this all by myself ;-). I've also started my first generator by pull. Then repeated the act. Many times. A bit sceptical at first that I had the power, with some help from Ben and some focused energy, I was more than a little bit surprised (and most proud of myself) when it burst into life!
Helping to dig out a dam, Ben doing solid work moving pretty wet sludge by tractor, I've been rolling and compacting soil on the dam wall to strengthen it. Think of any song about rolling… I've had it in my head… 😉 Pretty hard work for little legs, after the first day I felt completely off balance with a hard worked left leg and right arm! By day three I had mastered reversing and learnt to let the tractor do most of the work! Laying water pipes requiring the use of concrete making skills, it served as a reminder of doing the same on the farm in Batchelor :-).
Back on farm time, managing quite a few sunsets and a sunrise, on the 'new things' list I have eaten kangaroo sausages, feral pig pork chops and been to my first spit roast. Beside a pretty lake with a jetty, the kids good subjects for pictures, enjoying a relaxed afternoon with good chat, it pretty cooly ended watching the stars from a kayak in the middle of the lake… 🙂
The stars so amazing, on our last night we decided to do some open air camping. It was the only night there were clouds… Carting half a kilo of rump steak, pumpkin and red wine, Ben took me to his favourite spot on the farm. By a cliff edge, with a pretty impressive view, I showed Ben how good barbecued pumpkin is and convinced my wine was evaporating on me, decided to drink it quicker…! Yes the resulting effect of this was that I got a little bit drunk… ! I swear it evaporated ;-). The sky clearing, from a significant only star to many and waking as sunrise appeared, it was a pretty awesome way to say goodbye to the farm.
Adding some new favourite moments to the Australia scrapbook including ducks and bacon, spotting bush lions on lime trees; finding out how sneaky badgers can be; feeding potty calves by hand; learning that there are maps which you can scratch off the countries you've been to (I really want one!) and the amazing blue sky with white fluffy clouds, my favourite moment by far was driving the property. So big, with many paddocks and open space, cows, emu's and kangaroos aplenty, there really is something quite liberating about rural, outback Australia. Much land; much landscape, it truly reminds what an awesome 'Aussie' experience I've had… What I've appreciated the most and can't imagine not doing… I now can't imagine not having seen a kangaroo in the wild… To not have woken up to wildlife starting their day around me as the sun rises, missing the middle of outback Australia or not having learnt of its story. To not have had the Northern Territory stars envelope me in a world of light down to the horizon, making me feel at the centre of the universe. To not have driven through the 'middle' land between all the cities and appreciated Australia's size. To not have seen the different cities and colours and times of the seasons. To not having learnt that the wet season is not the best time to go swimming in Crocodile inhabited waters but is the best time to see waterfalls Australia wide ;-). To not have met all the amazing people that I did. Not learning of their stories… Imagining how different my life would have been if I hadn't left Scotland… Amazing :-).