This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2005 Travels June 22


Another early start.


Donkey working hard to heat water. Switchboard box to right

Breakfast was a yesterday. But today most of the guest opted to have cooked bacon and eggs as well, so I was quite busy.

O brought down a large partially thawed barramundi, from the freezer. This one, at least, had been scaled before freezing!

Today, the group would be out all day. I made up lunch sandwiches that would keep without going mushy: tinned ham, cheese, cold roast beef, and little packs of salad. Sent out apples and oranges, muesli bars, biscuits, and the remaining cakes for smokos.

The group being out gave me a clear run to get ahead for the rest of their stay. A had been coming down from the house for the past couple of days, helping with the tent checks, amenity cleaning with M, and with some kitchen hand work in the mornings. Today she collected guest washing – they had been asked to leave out any that they required doing. She took that, and the tablecloths and used tea towels back to the house to wash.

It occurred to me that it would be a good idea for S to arrange, for the future, a washing bag for each tent, with its name on. This could prevent mix up of clothes. Calico would be a good material to use. If we were coming back next year, I could make up same, at home, if S hadn’t gotten any.

One of the very early morning jobs for M had become removing numbers of little rocket frogs from their perches on the cisterns in the toilets. Our previous toilet inhabitant, Gertie the green tree frog, had finally become discouraged and removed herself permanently. The rocket frogs were cute, but very messy!

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Rocket frogs and their mess

I managed to get up to the house, to the computer in the office room, and put in the orders for the next supply truck, just in time for the deadline. It was a rather massive order, that I’d been collating over the past few days, whenever I could snatch a bit of time. The Woolworths order included 106 different items, with multiples of a lot of those, like six half kilo packets of dates and six jars of cheddar cheese spread, six kg of plain flour. The wholesalers order included 12 tins of tomatoes, 10 litres of long life milk, 12 packets of dried green peas, and so on; in total there was an assortment of 83 cans of food in that order, 20 kilos of washing powder, and items like kerosene, fly spray, food wrap. The greengrocer’s order was of a similar scale: 20kg potatoes, 10kg onions, 4 dozen eggs, 4 kg zucchini, 8 bulbs of garlic, and so on.

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The old Silver Bullet van that housed the office, beside the house

Back at camp, I made some loaves of bread and a cooked savoury zucchini slice, biscuits, and a date loaf. Prepared the salads for tonight’s meal: rice salad, Asian style pineapple salad, and a green leaf one. Made mango cheesecake for dessert. Also made potato and bean salads for tomorrow.

Prepared the barra for cooking – it was large and would only just fit in the oven – diagonally, and with its tail curled up! Put spring inions, garlic and ginger in the cavity, to flavour it, and wrapped it in foil for baking.

Made up the pre-dinner nibbles – the usual assortment, making sure I added some of the gifted gravlax.

A had brought back the guests’ washed clothing during the afternoon, along with my clean tablecloths. She couldn’t remember which items belonged to which tents, so we had to leave it on the outside table for them to collect! Not best practice, when underwear was involved!

When I was finalizing dinner, the guest who had brought the gravlax came into the kitchen tent. He suggested that I heat a cup of peanut oil in a saucepan and then pour the really hot oil over the skin of the baked fish. It worked really well – caused the skin to sizzle and go really crisp. I would definitely “keep” that method!

The meal was successful, with the various elements fitting together well.

It turned into another evening by the campfire, with didge and guitar. There was no shortage of interesting conversation, that I could hear drifts of, as I worked in the nearby kitchen tent.

The group was slightly earlier to retire tonight – they’d had a busy day.

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2005 Travels June 13


It was all systems go, getting the place ready for A’s visit.

W was working flat out, trying to get the Billy Cart vehicle operational.

O was building a second toilet at the Safari Camp – one would not really be adequate for twelve or so guests! He made a wooden platform floor from some of the milled timber – thick stuff – bolted to a steel floor framework. I think he was hoping it would stand up to cyclones and floods, so it was raised up on a mound, with a ramp going up to it. Walls were constructed  from mud bricks, produced from somewhere up at his house. The roof was a tarp. He even conjured up another toilet bowl and cistern! A hole was dig at the back for the pipe to lead into, and then covered over. He did not have a proper hand basin available, so rigged up a tin dish with hose and tap, on the little deck in front of the structure. It turned out to be quite a handsome looking little structure.


New loo

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The rather dark interior, showing floor; complete with rocket frogs

John and O had finished the kitchen shelves. They were really solid and strong and would make a huge difference to the efficiency of the kitchen operation.

John was now hand carving and finishing a big wooden bowl that could be used to set out the snack and lunch table fruit for guests. He decided to also make a couple of cheese platters for the tables.

The really exciting event of today was the mid-afternoon arrival of friend M. Her visit had been planned before we left home, and she had kept us occasionally informed of her progress northwards. Her letters had been interesting. We were expecting her today, having received a message that she had left Adels yesterday, intending to camp last night at Kingfisher Camp.

It was a relief when her Troopy finally trundled in. She had introduced herself to the group at the house, and O escorted her to the camp. She set up her camp near us, in Cane Toad Clearing.

It was so good to have a friend here, to show off the place to.

We had so much to talk about! M’s adventures on the way up here. How she was enjoying the free, nomadic life, now that she had finally retired and sold up her home. We told her all that had happened in the couple of months since we arrived.

Tonight’s was a special happy hour, with the three of us sitting out in the clearing, talking away and watching the sunset over the trees.

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