ok so it really is weeks and weeks since I updated this now! I have been focusing on trying to find a job and then given up on that and gone woofing so haven't felt like I had time for blog updating anyway and mostly had nothing to say other than that I was stressed which nobody wants to hear!
I'm happy again now having given up the panicked must find a job and resorted to woofing with a lovely family in their garden centre and café business. There are other woofer's here too, Emily and Darrel from England, Mina from Japan, Kersten from Austria and Memona from France so it is all pretty sociable!
But that's enough about now, I can write about that later. I still have most of the last few months to bring you up to speed on. I am going to try and do this pretty quickly because it doesn't feel fair to be using the family's computer for long periods, but there is no wifi!
So the last think I remember writing about was getting to Mount Isa. I think I finished writing about that, but if I didn't then you haven't missed out on much.
From Isa I got on the post plane which would drop me off at Bowthorn Cattle Station. The Australian Government thinks that it is every Australians right to receive post so they put on these weekly flights out into the middle of nowhere so that people living in the middle of nowhere can receive bills and buy things off Ebay and stuff like that! The plane was small, but not so small as I had been expecting, with 8 or 10 seats I think and space for all the post at the back!
Inside of post plane
Pictures taken from Post plane
I think the pictures give a pretty good idea of the flight so I am going to move on. My stop was the 4th one of the day, so by 11.30ish I was meeting the family I would be working for. They were nice (luckily!) and the kids were gorgeous, a 3 week old named Eleanor and Olivia who was 19 months!
Olivia wearing my hat and trying to put my sandals on (she loved earing adult shoes and hats!
Eleanor and Olivia (Olivia loved her little sister and was v sweet with her, though sometimes also a little over enthusiastic!)
The house was all powered by solar panels (makes sense when you are somewhere that insanely hot). There was also a generator, the only problem was that sometimes it was so hot the generator and panels overheated and the power cut out! we were left in the dark a few times! There was a pump which dragged water up from a waterhole next to the garden so that this water could be used by all the sprinklers they had set up in the garden. This pump was battered looking and temperamental and required tinkering often!
solar panels and a lot of dirt
Every few days someone would have to drive 10 minutes or so from the house to start the boar pump which provided the washing water. You started an engine and left it with the amount of fuel in it that corresponded to how long you wanted it to run. The water was pumped up into large tanks on a slight hill near the house so that gravity could provide water pressure.
Drinking water was rain water which was collected by a bit container on the side of the house. Many places in Australia seem to do this for drinking water.
The house and garden (yes that is a cow on the lawn, we found it there when we got home one day!)
The family also had a walk in Fridge as they need to be able to stock up and be stranded there for months at a time if needs be.
My work there was pretty easy, I go up with Olivia around 7 each morning so that mummy could have a lie in (if Eleanor permitted it) and helped with general care (playing nappy changing feeding Olivia and taking her outside to play in the garden! The good was good too (lots of steak and home baking!)
I was here for 5 weeks in all and in that time I also got taken to Doomadgee which was the nearby (ish) aboriginal mission, got to take a trip to mount Isa, got to go cattle mustering (where they round up all the cows and count and sort them and got to go up in a helicopter! The last two things were particularly awesome. The helicopter was on the station because it is used to find and also to help herd the cows. I got to go up in I one morning when it was being used close to the house. it was amazing but very strange, especially the take off, you are on the ground and then suddenly you aren't, you are hovering as if a giant hand just picked you up. I felt like I had just defied gravity!
Musterers come to the station to work during the muster and they ride horses or quad bikes or motorbikes and help to round up and then process the cattle. I went out with them one day, though I was just there to watch and rode in the truck at the back!
So that was pretty much all for cattle station times, think I ad better leave it there for now. Next time: jess goes a road trippin'!!