This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2005 Travels July 17


Today was our day off, apart from the watering chores.

We did some bird surveys around the camp and house area.

Did not feel like a major expedition today, so just drove out to Crocodyllus, did some bird counting and went for a paddle on the lake.

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The extent of the mud around the water’s edge had lessened a bit, but we still got really muddy feet getting the canoe in and launched. It was a matter of leave footwear at Truck and go bare footed to the water.

I was not game to take the camera out in the canoe – pity, because some photos from out on the extensive area of water would have been worth having.

After we got back, I read for a while and John played computer games on his laptop.

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2005 Travels July 16


I spent some time cooking more supplies for the freezer – zucchini slice and more bread.

John did his usual chores – raking leaves at the camp, working in the vegie garden.

O, W and A went off to retrieve the truck. They took the Daihatsu again, and the Troopy, and managed, using the two vehicles in tandem on the tougher sections, to get as far as the start of the long sandy section. Then W and A returned with the Troopy and W took  out the tractor. They only just managed the worst of the sandy section. It was sunset when they arrived with the old truck. Quite an achievement to get it in here, at all.

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Old truck a couple of months later, after cannibalization

I cooked roast chicken for tea for John and me, with vegies and gravy. A luxurious treat for us!

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2005 Travels July 15


Mail plane. The groceries arrived as ordered. So did another box of books from the library.

It seemed there had been communication between the survey company and A. The fuel truck was not prepared to tackle the Pungalina track in. Some sort of alternative arrangement had to be made, so there was quite a bit of communication to and fro about this.

O had purchased an old truck, not in going order, from Borroloola. The intention was to cannibalize it for parts for the Billycart, and other needs. It had been delivered to the corner of the driveway and the Savannah Way, and left there. He took the little Daihatsu to get the supplies, and then on the way back, used it to tow the 5 tonne truck as far as he could – at least away from the “main” road. It got about 20kms in, to the first rough-ish creek area past the fence and rock barrier “gateway”. At this point, the weight of the towed truck was too much for the little Terios, so the truck was left there.

A and I sorted the truck order between us. We were so pleased that the frozen meats had come, this time! I took the camp supplies back to the camp, along with my personal foods – like one frozen chook!

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Cane Toad waiting for dinner

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2005 Travels July 14


The camping family left today.

Their comment in the guest book: How lucky we are to have stumbled across this gem – something we will all remember forever. The kids are excited that they are the first kids ever to venture into the “dragon’s breath”. Thanks to O for making it possible and John and Wendy for their hospitality.

They were certainly happy and enthusiastic about their whole experience here. It was nice to feel appreciated!

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Escarpment country near the track out

O left in the late afternoon to go fetch the truck supplies from Redbank.





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2005 Travels July 13


Again, John guided the family around some of the property’s sights. He took them down the Dragons Breath Cave, which was a real highlight for them.

While the family was standing around in the cave, looking at the various formations, John noticed some little bats flying into a dark area off to one side. He thought that might have been a way to another entrance and moved in that direction, to investigate. Suddenly, one foot went through the cave floor, and when he looked down it was evident that there was another large cavern beneath! A long way down… He quickly moved back to the firm area and made sure no one went near that part of the cave – without saying why! It gave him a fright.

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In the Dragons Breath Cave

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Cave formation

To vary lunch today, served cold squares of zucchini slice, and  made some special sandwiches – egg and lettuce, tinned flavoured tuna with mayo and lettuce, cheese spread and celery and more cheese and vegemite ones. Offered melon and fruits again, and more of the raspberry slice.

John turned off the genset, and thus the fridges, and I took foods back to the house again – along with some leftovers for them to eat up there. I wiped out the fridges, cleaned up the kitchen, mopped the tarp floor.

John was very careful, over the couple of days, not to have Lachy dingo near the children – he did not quite trust him around small creatures! The children did get to pat Scunge dingo, though – she was much more placid and predictable.

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2005 Travels July 12


John guided the family out and about, sightseeing.

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I managed to get the fax order off to Tennant Creek for Friday’s plane: the usual bread, fruit and vegies for A, some for me too. In this cooler weather, the supermarket had for a while, been able to supply things like corned beef, sausages, which helped vary our diets.

For their lunch, I made some salads and meat platters: a potato salad, one of lettuce, capsicum, cucumber, tomato, grated carrot, hard boiled eggs, pineapple slices. Bowl of beetroot. The meats were ham, salami and smoked beef. Made some cheese and vegemite sandwiches for the younger children. There was sliced melon and raspberry shortcake slice, apples and mandarins.

The parents seemed really impressed with the appearance of the safari camp – and with the meal, which I served on the big table outside in the shade. They asked if I could provide lunch again, tomorrow.

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2005 Travels July 11


A family came in today, driving, to go tent camping. Parents and three young children. They were put at Squeaky Trees, which was a great camp site for young families.

I was asked to provide them with lunch tomorrow – paying, of course.

So I had to fire up the fridges again, to chill drinks and foodstuffs. And move requirements from the house to the camp, again. This was getting a bit tedious. But, still, preferable to the genset noise all the time!

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Pied butcher bird






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2005 Travels July 10


Our day off.

Had the usual sleep in, then went up to the house to do the watering, as usual.

After that, took a packed lunch and drove to Kirkby Waters – on the Calvert River, to the north.

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The Calvert River at Kirkby Waters

Here, the river narrowed and had shallow sections. A small side stream coming in created a somewhat swampy section. It was a really pretty part of the river.

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Tributary stream entering the Calvert

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On the way, we explored a rough side track that went to a low rise where we thought there might be a cave entrance. The trees there looked right for it. We found a cluster of stones that we thought was an aboriginal stone quarry area.

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Aboriginal stone quarry? Or just a heap of random rocks?

Driving around the tracks on the property was enjoyable recreation in itself. There was something quite special in knowing that we were not sharing the spaces with anyone else – that we were, basically, alone, wherever we went on our times off.

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Upstream view at Kirkby Waters

O came back today, earlier than expected, and not seeming very happy about it. Gained the impression that the boss  had communicated that he should be here, attending to the business needs, like what was going on about the survey booking.

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2005 Travels July 9


Today was uneventful. No word of the camper. No communication about it from the boss. I didn’t really know whether the survey people would eventually be coming, or not. Didn’t make planning the catering any easier!

I used the day to make some stocks of camp food that would be frozen – in the house freezers. Made some loaves of bread – would be good for toast, and a couple of zucchini slices.

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A grevillea?


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2005 Travels July 8


Decommissioned the camp again. Sent the left over food up to the house for A and W to eat.

There was no communication from anyone about our missing guest. We hoped that he had simply changed plans, not that he found the access track so bad that he abandoned the attempt. At this stage of the season, the boss needed all the guests he could get!

Sent an email to the boss informing him of the no show.

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The dings were very used to our Truck being parked up at the house.