SATURDAY 30 APRIL PUNGALINA
John stoked up the donkey again, first thing.
It was the usual breakfast routine.
I hurried to make up rounds of egg and lettuce, and cheese spread and celery sandwiches, plus some slice, for A and K to take with them. They left not long after breakfast. I was quite sorry to see them go! With only two of them in camp, and just us a lot of the time, they had come to feel like friends.
But there was no time to reflect on that, apart from feeling that their stay had been successful for us, and really enjoyable for them.
The couple – V and P – were going to have an exploring day, so I packed lunch for them too.
They planned to walk along the Safari Camp Creek, to the house and the main river. P arranged with O to collect a canoe at the house and then canoe upstream on the Calvert as far as Surprise Falls. O would drive out and collect them at the Escarpment water hole at 5pm. This did not work quite as planned – as John predicted, it proved impossible to follow the creek through the dense vegetation, and they finished up taking to the vehicle track we used.
Once the camp was empty, and John had headed off to put in some significant time in the vegie patch, I did the usual cleaning, then went to check A and K’s tents, and close them up until I had time to strip and clean them, after all guests had left. The lovely K had left us a $100 tip! I was so thrilled that he’d had such a great time that he wanted to do that. They’d written really positive comments in the Guest Book, too.
With the guests out for the day, I did not have the interruption of lunch service, which was appreciated. I was able to have a leisurely shower, for once.
O brought the requested barra down to the camp, in the morning. It was still mostly frozen and clearly had only been taken out of the freezer this morning. When I investigated, after there had been some time for it to thaw a little, realized that it had not been scaled before being frozen! Late morning, fish and I went up the track a ways, and I sat down on a clump of grass, to scale this large, slippery, very cold and un-co-operative fish. At least, barra scales are big ones! It probably would have made quite a comical photo, with me looking like I was cuddling the damned thing. But I was not thinking happy thoughts about O as I worked, though.
I made pannacottas and set them to chill. Put together a green salad. Wrapped fish in foil, with the garlic, ginger, spring onion flavourings, ready to bake in oven later.
O took John with him to the pick up point at the southern part of the Escarpment – so John would know for the future. They had to wait for a while, whilst P had a try at fishing in the water hole. Unsuccessfully. The canoe was left, securely moored, at the river, for future guest use.
By the time the party got back from the Escarpment, time was getting on, and they still had to clean up before tea. So I did not have to worry about serving pre-dinner nibbles.
Dinner was the foil-baked barra, French fries, salad, followed by pannacotta with berry coulis (mashed tinned raspberries and strawberries). It seemed a success. I went in and sat with the group, over coffee. It meant we were rather late getting the dishes done, though, and things set up for the morning.
Feeding these two who booked on such short notice had taught me the wisdom of always having a large frozen fish, preferably a barra, for emergency use. I told O to replenish that supply, as soon as he could!