MONDAY 30 MAY PUNGALINA
O flew out today, in his Jabiru light plane. He was off to meet L, who was flying up from Brisbane to Cairns and thence out on the air service that went via Doomadgee to Mt Isa. They would connect at Doomadgee.
O had planned for them to have a couple of nights staying at the Sweers Island resort, in the Gulf, before bringing her back here. He had seemed somewhat taken aback when I showed him a tourist brochure for Sweers, that I had amongst my travel stuff, which stated that all their accommodation was singles!
The place was as immaculate as he could make it.
I was not sure what L would make of O’s pet olive python, that lived in a glass fronted pen built into one of his house walls – and which he fed pigeons he shot for it. He knew I disapproved of the birds being killed and tried to hide the fact that he did it. But I guess it had to eat something and it was too old to last long in the wild.
It had been our understanding that the mechanic and wife would have been well and truly here by now. Back before we left home, A had spoken as if they would only be a few weeks behind us, but we had been here for seven weeks now. O had said something vague about them being held up, when we asked.
Lord knows, the services of the mechanic were sorely needed. The old bulldozer had to be parked up on the rise behind the shed, so it could be jump started! The Hilux run about John was driving was not running too well. O was part way into trying to construct a hybrid sort of vehicle that could move all the camp guests around at once.
Later, we found out from the mechanic, that O had deliberately told him not to get here until the second week in June. O, it seemed, did not want anyone else living around the house to disturb his privacy and time with the lady love!
So, after O flew off into the sunrise, we were the only people on the place. To our knowledge, there was no person closer than at Robinson River settlement – about 50kms away as the crow flies – but at least triple that distance by track. I did not think I had ever before been so isolated – it was quite a strange feeling.
A part of me would have been happier had O left his rifle out where it was accessible, but it was locked away in the gun safe. Still, in our time here to date, the only people who had appeared were those who were expected, and I took consolation from that, and the fact that we were tucked away from the main house.
We saw a whip snake sunning itself on the camp lawn, near the fallen tree trunk. It slithered off into the tangle of grass and plants that grew there.
The day was taken up with the usual chores involving gardening, watering and the like.
This night, we both felt the sense of isolation in a way that was not usual. Funny the difference one person made.