Let me preface this post by telling you about the phone call from a most indignant friend, wondering why she was waiting and waiting and waiting for a new post to appear. What else can I say other than I am a slack@rse? That the drought is not only sapping the life out of the land, it appears to have taken my brain and any creative capacity along with it?! (I’m only half joking!)
Anyhow, a few weeks back,The Husband and I went on what he fondly likes to call a “farmers holiday”. A 24 hour trip that had us spend most of it in the front of a landcruiser ute (albeit the new shiny one that goes fast/er and allowed me to plug in my iphone via USB for charging and musical entertainment).
With both road map book and the well thumbed Terrance Alick property map book in hand, we headed into the deep south (well, Central west?) of the state, to view a paddock for agistment. Some of the country we coverered was somewhat familiar, The Husband had been around this area QUITE some years ago in his youth at Ag College, but for me it was entirely new, bringing names only ever seen on paper into reality.
We stopped in Muttaburra briefly to get a coffee, served up by a terribly hung-over and of-little-words cafe proprietor. I only knew of her delicate state as it was gleefully told to me by two cheerfully cheeky local old timers parked up in the cafe. Turns out The Husband went to ag college with the cafe lady.
I missed seeing the wonderful wire sculpture that I know is at Muttaburra and will be checking out properly on the next trip through. Like all little towns, it has history and a story…
Reality is, as discovered with our own eyes, the rain has been indeed been patchy.
We cut from Muttaburra through to Ilfracombe. Finding it rather apt that the topic of recent geography lessons came across our path most unexpectedly not far north of Ilfracombe.
Ilfracombe’s main tourist attraction is the “mile of machinery” – made up of all sorts of vintage machinery all lined up along the main street. The fact that some of these machines are in far better condition that much of our current working plant at our place was not lost on The Husband.
I was quite looking forward to having lunch at the quaint General Store but being 12:15 on a Saturday afternoon it was firmly closed. Not being overly underfed or starving to death, we continued on our journey. And found very quickly were it had indeed rained.
Pressing on, we cruised the main street of Isisford, where I was surprised to see not one but TWO rather well kept pubs, and a small, airconditioned museum and cafe. (where the friendly lady served up a pretty good feed). We had taken our own food, but the flies were atrocious and made the thought of making a ham sandwhich with their help and unattractive prospect.
Again, quite an old town, Isisford contained many old buildings, with informative signage out the front telling of its history. Want more time to wander the street, as as we were leaving I immediately noticed THIS building!
Does it look slightly familiar?!! (down to the pickets along the front edge AND the cement posts? although the awnings are different, or are now at least)
Anyhow, onwards we marched, continually southward to a small little blip on the map called Emmet, which used to be a railway siding back in the day when large mobs of bullocks were loaded on trains out of the Channel Country at Yaraka, which was the end of the line. We turned west at Emmett, and continued onwards towards our final destination, which was not far from Yaraka.
There we found a congenial host and a paddock full of grass just waiting for our hungry little weaners. And surprisingly, “mountains”. Very much like our “jump ups” and escarpments around Winton but twice as high. Deeper part of the old Inland Sea I suppose = higher “edges”?!
As we drove about our host watched some showers to the south and worried that they might reach us before we got back to the house. We laughed. So wrong, goes to show local knowledge is best! And we drove straight through that rainbow. Did not see any barrels of gold though.
We were given the scenic tour home to the homestead away from the storm, touring down town Yaraka, and visiting the one of those mountain outcrops, called Mt Slowcombe. Engineering feat putting a road up the side of this never ending hill, the view from the top spectacular.
Dark by the time we finished the paddock tour, we declined the invitation to dine at the Yaraka Pub and stay the night. We headed back to Ilfracombe where we arrived by 9pm, to find the owner of the great little caravan park was a former neighbour of The Husbands. (remember > cafe owner above… and now the lady owner of the caravan park?! Much hilarity on my part about The Husband having old girlfriends in every town…) We arrived home, collecting the children from their sleepover on the way, by midday the next day.
So relaxing and restful, the Farmers Holiday.