Well here we are and its the 14th January ... How did that happen ? We left Sydney on the 5th and found ourselves in the Warrumbubgles, star gazing .. We have never seen so many in our lives before. !
Then the next stop was a small town called Bingara, we were only meant to stay
three days and look what happened, we stayed just over a week. ! You see, you can
take the farming life away from the country Bumpkins, but you can't take the farming out
of them ! So guess what we have been doing ? Yeah you have guessed it, we have been
playing with horses, cows, dogs, puppies and cowboys (Michelle).
We have met some really fab people this week including Malana, Jan, Julie, Kate and
of course Hazel. The best bit was we all had that golden thing in common, the horses!
Yipee, we had fallen on our feet and didn't we know it.
Our first day we arrived on the yard bright eyes and bushey tailed, hoping to work
for our riding and get it free. The Boss 'John' and his wife 'Cathy' agreed we could
ride their youngsters for free and Hey presto the deal was made. ( Yes we did say
youngsters, have we gone mad ? Michelle hasn't ridden for several months and Hannah about two... So perhaps we were slightly optimistic about the whole thing).
It took a while to catch our trusty steeds, which was slightly worrying to say the
least and gave us enough time to deliberate on whether this was such a good idea !
The Bosses son 'Mick' ( Yes girls a cowboy with a real stetson ) rode them first, just to knock the stuffing out of them and gave us a chance to see how big they could buck too !
We rode as a huge group towards the river and the advanced riders split up, for a canter ! This was fun, as you dodged tree stumps, holes, dogs and the beginners who went
the wrong way !
Upon arrival at the river, people stripped off to their Bikinis and speedos and dived in to the water, for a well earned swim. They were also accompanied by their four legged friends ! What an amazing experience .. we had a lot of laughs, including watching the boys have their shorts whipped down round their ankles ( by the boss) as they posed on the back of their horse for a diving competition. In the afternoon, we helped repair some fences .. The grounds pretty hard for banging in posts though. !
We went mustering to ' The Bosses ' other farm with our mate Hazel, oh my god the scenery is just to die for ! We saw the biggest Eagle ever enroute, as it was munching on a dead Kangaroo. No photos though sorry .. It was quite quick to fly away !
We towed two horses on the back of the truck to the 'other farm' and upon arrival, Shelley, Hazel and the Boss got to choose their horse out of 250 horses. Catching them was fun ! But we got in there in the end .. Shelley Bell had Pickles, Hazel had Amber, The Boss had Branston. ! Hannah, rode the bucking Bonnie, for the second time that day.
Well we got there in the end on the cattle mustering front, a first project was to drive all the bosses cattle, which had strayed into the neighbouring farmers fields. We found that by driving them onto the fence line, was by far the best solution and we managed not too loose so many, as by driving them down the middle ! The boss we think was quite impressed !
We woke the next morning, seriously aching ... 8 hours in the saddle is quite hardwork you know. Plus the best bit was, we had to do it all over again ! Including a 25K ride to the farm from Bingara. ! Hazel and Hannah started off riding and then Shelley Bell swopped with me finally, when they caught us up in the truck. Our project for this day, was to round up the Mares as they were being scanned to see if they were in foal. It kept us out of trouble all afternoon ( Mustering these horses) and when the boss said, go into that paddock over there .. We didn't actually realise that they use the word ' Paddock' in a different concept. ( Infact it really means the biggest field you have ever seen in your ENTIRE life.)
Now the nightlife and the locals in this little Ol Town should not to be frowned upon. The Pub sells a fine brand of white wine and I think we may have drunk them dry, with the help of all the girls.
The locals were a pleasure to know, especially Orgas Mat ( Hazel, Kate and Julie), Barry the Baker ( Jan ) and lets not forget The Cowboy Justin too ( Little Miss Shelley Bell ... What we all want to know is did he leave his hat on?).
Little Message for Shelley Bells Mum .. I tried to persuade your daughter not swim in the river, one starry night after she had consumed a couple of bottles of wine ! But she refused to listen to me and her goodself and Hazel headed straight out to the deep water! I nearly had ten kittens .. She is pretty strong willed isn't she !!
On our last night, guess who we bumped into .... Our Old friend Garreth. ! Sadly, I think
this will be our last time we see him now, as he is planning on staying in Byron Bay, for quite a while !
We have been made to feel so welcome at Little Bingara (B--k)and we were really choked to say goodbye to all our new found friends ! We have promised ourselves a reunion one day! Keep in touch girls and safe journeys along the way !
Thursday we found ourselves back on the Oz Experience Bus, waving goodbye to Hazel
(trying not to cry)and setting off on our eight hour journey to Byron Bay. We spent the
night in the TV room at the youth hostel, as there was no room at the inn. !
Today we are in Mooloolaba a coastal town and enroute we called in to see Steve Irvin at his Australia Zoo. We saw him and his wife play with the Croc's ( Hannah and Andrew we tried to tell them to leave them alone, as they are dangerous animals.. but they refused to listen .. he is now missing two legs and two arms .. That will teach him. )
Thoughts of the day ... We want to go back to Bingara !
Next stops will be Fraser Island, Magnetic Island, Whitsunday Islands and Dingo .. ( The land of the line dancing!)
Keep in touch peeps .. Hope you are all well.
All our Luv Shelley Bell and Hannah.