This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2003 Travels May 5

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It was an 8am start for me today. It was somewhat earlier for John, because he wanted to get breakfast, before he had to drive off to the National Park to do the canoe hire.

I couldn’t do much at the start, because the generator was started late – guess the boss got caught up with something else. The main phone, shop lights, register all rely on the generator power. Likewise the washing machine, and I was on tents today.

Fortunately, there were only four tents vacated this morning.

The routine was to strip the beds and take sheets and towels to the laundry and put the first load on to wash. Tent floors were swept and mopped. The shadecloth floor area in front of the tent was swept. Any leaves that had accumulated on the tent roofs were swept off, likewise spider webs from the tent outsides. If there were spiders inside, they got sprayed with Baygon. The table outside each tent, and its chairs, were cleaned. Each tent had a torch style lantern – the working and batteries of each was checked.

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Cleaning a tent

All that happened in between dashes to the laundry, to fill the machine using the hose, then after the wash cycle, to fill it again with the hose for the rinse cycle. Then the sheets and towels were hung on the clotheslines adjacent to the laundry, to dry.

I had soon worked out that it was best to start with the tents closest to the laundry, given all the dashing back and forth, in the absence of automatic functioning of the washing machine. It was very tempting to leave the hose filling the machine and dash back to a tent to do a bit more there – since the flow from the hose was not all that fast. It was also very easy to miscalculate the timing involved, and have the laundry floor flooded! Fortunately, that was only lino off cuts laid on the bare earth – it dried out quickly.

Later, when the sheets and towels were dry – which did not take long – the beds were made up again, the towels folded and put on the foot of each bed. The tent was then closed up.

I did a load of washing for the boss and hung out a load of B’s washing that she put on after I’d finished with the machine. I managed to wash our oddments too – paid to do it while one could!

I cleaned the long drops and guest showers at the tent end of the place, then went down and did the campground ones. The little Suzuki was a great help – it is quite a way between the two parts of the establishment.

Did a final check of all the tents booked for use tomorrow – eight of them.

Patched a couple of small holes in tent roofs – done while they were still pitched. Superglue and pieces cut from an old tent, or new canvas,  were used for this – a messy job and hazardous to the skin on one’s fingertips!

John came back early from the canoes – there was not enough business to justify him staying there through the later part of the afternoon. He helped me patch a big right-angled tear in a tent – more superglue, and also patch up torn corner tape on one – using heavy duty staples. Some of the tents were quite aged, having come from the original Riversleigh camp – and some of the guests were very careless with things like sharp luggage corners.

I found a little tata lizard under the edge of a tent when I was sweeping, and moved him into a garden. They were the Adels Grove emblem. They were so called because they run a little distance, then stop and wave a leg at you. Technically, they were Gilberts Dragon. They also tend to make very sudden, sharp noises in the undergrowth, when they move, and thus scare the living daylights out of nearby people. Big impact for a small critter.

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Tata lizard – aka Gilberts Dragon

At the end of the day, my back was quite sore from all the sweeping and bending. Hoped it would adjust to this sort of work.

John looked after the baby, for the boss, for an hour or so. He pushed the pram to wherever he was working – watching the clouds moving across the skies and the leaves blowing in the wind seemed to somewhat mesmerize baby.

John had been rather hurried and flustered getting away this morning, and managed to take both my watch and his own, even though they look nothing like the same. I had a big hunt for mine before starting work this morning, which made me too late for breakfast or coffee. I was not happy at the time, but was pleased when he got back in the afternoon, to find he had it with him, and it wasn’t lost.

Found out that daughter had phoned during the afternoon, to get the mailing address. She spoke to V, who was on reception. V told me she would phone again about 7.30 pm – that was the best time as it was after tea, but while we were still around to hear the phone.

The days were still hot, but it was slightly cooler at night, so easier to sleep.

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