This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2003 Travels May 8

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THURSDAY 8 MAY     ADELS GROVE

I was on shop/reception. The usual 10am start and later finish.

There were boxes of supplies that had come on the truck, to be opened and put way. With each weekly truck, now, the shop stock was being built up, to cater for the busier times to come. So some of the box contents were stacked on the shelves in the shop, filling the many gaps that were there in the “off” season. Other surplus was put away in the large pantry/storage area, between the shop and the kitchen – part of the new main building.

The shop had a large chest freezer, for bread (frozen) and one for blocks of ice. These were made here, from water frozen in ice cream tubs. Later, as the season built up, bags of ice would come on the truck, though I wasn’t sure where a large quantity of a week’s supply of bags of ice would be stored. More than the chest freezer could hold, I suspected.

The range of ice creams and icy poles was reasonable, but limited by the smaller size of their freezer.

There was a fair range of tinned and packet basics, long life milk cartons, and a few camping and fishing supplies. The shop did a regular trade in things like hand fishing reels, with the aborigines who came down from Doomadgee to fish at the National Park. They never came prepared – it was easier for them to call in at Adels and buy gear, rather than plan ahead and pack. They also bought a lot of the large supply of snack foods, crisps and the like, that the shop stocked.

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Reflections in Lawn Hill Creek at Adels Grove

More geared to the tourists, there were souvenir stubby holders, post cards, hat pins, T shirts.

The shop stocked a limited range of cigarettes, tobacco and camera film.

There were lots of cold drinks, of course – a whole big drinks fridge full, and some frozen packs of meat suitable for the BBQ. Sometimes, some fruit and vegetables were put into that fridge, for purchase, but sales of same were not promoted. Most of the time it was hard enough to keep up the supply of these for the kitchen, let alone try to stock for traveller demand. Occasionally, a desperate tourist would plead for a few potatoes or onions – and if I was on shop, I would go ask cook if she had enough for the week and could spare any. We did the best we could to meet demands, within the constraints of being so far from supplies and having to pay high transport costs to get goods here.

Although we had some bottles of methylated spirits and kerosene in the store room, it was policy not to display these on the shelves of the shop, but only to supply tourists who asked if we had such items. “Locals” were to be told that we did not have any.

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