WEDNESDAY 17 SEPTEMBER PUNGALINA
Today we packed up camp, to move to a new area. O assured us this – Squeaky Trees Camp – was much nicer.
From his house we were directed to take a track that crossed the little creek – which was the one that flowed past the safari camp – then follow that track south till it ended in a big grove of paper bark trees.
This camp was closer to O’s house – probably about 4kms away.
Our new location was a total contrast to the first. There was lots of shade, from big cluster fig and Leichardt Pine trees, and paper barks. The camp area was much larger. It was beside Karns Creek – a tributary of the Calvert.
The paperbark tree branches rubbing together when there is wind, make a squeaking sound – hence the name.
After we set up the camp again, we were able to go for a swim – rather cautiously – in the creek in front of our camp. At least, we got cleaner, and cooler, though the sensation of little fish nibbling the skin on our feet was unusual!
The creek seemed fairly deep, in parts, and likewise wide. Although O had assured us it was safe to swim there, I was not totally convinced. So we did not venture far from the bank, or splash around. But it was so good to be in cool water.
The gas fridge was working very feebly, so we continued putting wet towels over it, which maintained the inside temperature just slightly lower than outside!
O had asked us to go to the safari camp for tea tonight, so we made ourselves as presentable as possible and drove around there. In a straight line, we would not be too far from it, but had to go back to the house and out again, on the other side of the creek.
They were doing a run through of meal arrangements and preparation, because a group of paying guests were due in tomorrow. O’s helpers were a young couple who were staying in a tent pitched on the lawn by O’s house. I was not sure how they came to be here.
They cooked a meal of roast beef and vegies – it was quite nice and, I thought, an achievement, using the camp ovens.
I’d prepared and took along a plate of melon and other fruit, such as I could dredge up from the supplies we’d brought from Adels. It was well received.
Dining in the big tent was quite lovely. Some of the walls were mesh, so the sound of the nearby little creek, running over rocks, was all around.
After tea, we helped the couple with the wash up. Then it was the night drive back to camp. The bush looked totally different in headlights, as opposed to daylight – not quite as benign.
I had serious doubts about my ability to produce a meal like that, with just that equipment.