Monday, December 31, 2007

First Stay at the Block

We have just returned from our first stay at the block. We took up tent and tarps, dogs and tins of food for a few days leading up to New Years.

We arrived on Saturday morning after a bright and early start and dream trip up, and picked up Linda and Ray in Crows Nest. We drove out with them in tow and set straight into setting up the home-away-from-home. Battling against a gale rushing up through the valley we got our tarp and tents up, equipment out and set in to relax. Ahh the serenity....NOT!

Cicadas are lovely, but thousands of them, all screaming at the top of their lungs, or should that be wings, can be a little unnerving! Barely had we got the camp set up when a white ute (there is an unnamed (as far as I know) white ute club in the area... we shall have to find out the initiation process so we can get one too) pulled up at the gate and a cowboy and his two dogs got out. Turns out our neighbour Tom, had heard about our purchasing the block from our mate, Geoff (the real estate agent) and popped over to say G'Day when he saw us setting up. I love it already! He gave us a welcome and was off again, into his white ute.

Dom got a lovely fire going and we settled in for a night of alternate flame and star gazing.

Off to bed next with two large dogs and two humans in a small tent. We survived until morning, that is if you can call 5:00am morning! Some may call it night! We had a little breakfast then off into town to meet Bethany, Alex and the kids.

With them in tow, again back to the block for some walking about and bragging and walking about. After they left it was time for fire-pit-phase-two with the help of some local rocks and another roaring blaze of warmth.

Linda and Ray joined us in the rough that night and we awoke to the patter of rain on the roof, I mean tarp! We released the dogs from the confines of the tent, only to hear Woof, Woof, Snarl, Moo! The neighbour's cows had approached the fence adjoining our properties and one had escaped out onto the road. BJ and Gypsy did their best intimidating run and bark but were called off and Dom made his best attempt at cow wrangling, to no avail. Apparently he doesn't speak cow! It turns out also that it wasn't in fact a cow, but a grumpy young bull, which explains the shaking of head, stamping of feet and general grumpiness. It's owners were down shortly after to show us how cow-wrangling should be done. Which apparently involves lots of walking about with dogs, opening and closing of fences and exasperated hand actions! Dom wandered down and met the female half of our neighbours. He found out that the grave site on our block is not that of an elderly lady as we thought but of a young child who had died from Diphtheria in the late 1920's. The roads were too wet for her to be taken to be buried in Crows Nest so she had been buried on the church block.

With the news of bad weather on the coast that Alex had brought, in our minds, we decided we had had the best of things and home was calling.

It was fabulous to stay there for a few days, great to meet our lovely neighbours. Every time we go the land seems to increase in size and so do our dreams! Here are some lovely panoramas that Dom took of the block. If you print them out wrap them around your head and spin, you could imagine you are there! Larger versions can also be found here:



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