Venturing onto Outback Queensland

We drive west. Past mountains, round valleys, we find windmills and cows and funny looking fruit trees. From green to brown to dust to outback Queensland, it’s a really weird feeling to describe how the outback makes you feel… I like it. A lot. Free and expansive, away from the hustle and bustle, the noise of the city empties out of your head… The thought of ‘possibilities’ fills the air… The memories of previous outback experiences become forefront in your mind… Making us both smile, the drive definitely inspired some thinking of our time in Australia and of the variety of previous jobs we’ve held.. For me, thoughts of Renner and of the camels, Ben of his his time spent on cattle stations, fixing swimming pools and working in a roadhouse in NT. Sparking a discussion of our favourites :-).

We reach our destination. A town called Georgetown on the Savannah Way. The biggest town between Cairns and Kurumba (a town in the Gulf of Carpentaria on the other side of the Queensland Coast). Georgetown bigger than Ben expected, but just the size I thought it would be, I did have help google mapping it before leaving Cairns ;-). Back to a familiar view similar to that of Renner, there is a bit more around this time.. A public swimming pool for one! Enjoyed quite a few times, twice it was at 9am to cool down from the heat! Quite warm here (28 degrees at midnight yesterday), it is a thank god for air con situation!! Though it is not so good for my persistent morning cough…

Working a variety of shifts, work split between shop and kitchen, I have tried to be open minded and as willing to learn as possible. It is good to be busy and I am learning new things. A pretty cool way to cook eggs for one! A fried/poached combination…. The process of speed making toasties and how to make the delicious iced coffees on offer here :-). Asked for a ‘shifter’ (wrench to you and me), chat about silkaflex (branded sealant), serving interesting customers as always, selling both a sledgehammer and children’s candy to the same customer made me smile and kids as always melting my heart, I’ve had a nice chat with three kids who had been road tripping for ten months and wanted to know where they were on a map of Australia…

In non working hours, the roadhouse shutting at seven, this is a whole new world to me. The joy of free evenings… Trying to make a dent in the optimistic four book pile I brought with me (now standing at six with some additional book swap titles), finally finishing Mary Poppins (Saving Mr Banks inspired) I am now onto Charlotte Rogan’s ‘The Lifeboat’ (so far yet to like it 122 pages down). Lots of movies and a telly available in the staff accommodation, I’m also slowly working through some items on my watch list… I’ve really enjoyed ‘Hitchcock‘ (note to self: must read Psycho), liked ‘The Family‘, ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty‘ has made me really want to go to Iceland, I’ve finally managed to catch ‘Frozen‘ and I was left a little perplexed by ‘The Butler.’ I would have loved to have known more about the separate administrations…

Banter as always, buying the ingredients before looking first, I had to make pasta bake in a cake tin, I’ve tried my first corn dog (surprisingly quite liked it!), tried pasito (passion fruit soda), found the amazingness of sweet chilli philly cream cheese, learnt how tasty jam donught shots are (chambord, baileys and sugar mmmmmm), ventured out to meet the locals at their annual ball and in the the same night, one of us burnt popcorn, I burnt pizza and Dama set the oven on fire! Oh dear… All safely put out!!

Bonding daily with animal life, kangaroos and crickets are around the most. They frequently take me by surprise jumping around everywhere! Crickets more so than the kangaroos! The geckos as always very friendly, they are a handy insect repellent to have around! I am now used to sharing the external shower with a plethora of insect life. Of course giving my towel a quick check to ensure none of them are attached first! My bug bear though is not with insect life but the many sharp ‘burs’ around… Sharp seeds that lie on the ground. You have to be very careful where you are stepping without any shoes or thongs on!! Not cool!!

Working away and enjoying chilling out together, with so far no work in town for Ben, for sure it is a difficult head/heart pull going on in my head if he’ll have to find it more than 300km away… Hopefully something will swing his way soon… 🙂

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