Our next stop after Hervey Bay was The Town of 1770 where we had a few days. It was a beautiful little town with just one line of shops, plenty of greenery and then a beach at the back, we stayed in "Cool Bananas" which was one of our nicest hostels, but guess what, it was tipping it down the day we got there again, so with the boredom getting to us Beth and Beccy decided to design some super trendy raincoats out of the blue bin bags from the kitchen with the addition of waist belt to finish it off and then decided to walk round the town and supermarket in them getting a lot of comments from the locals! So yeh it was raining the night we got there so we just stayed in and watched a film in the cosy TV area on bean bags which was nice. The next day the sun had come back! For the first time in over a week, so being the tourists that we are we got our body boards and our towels and headed straight for the beach! It was a really nice beach, loads of surfers to the right, all the children in the middle and then just deserted long stretches of the beaches along the coastline, we got our vitamin D dose and then came back to the hostel for some Scooterooing in the afternoon! We got picked up and taken just around the corner where there were about 100 motorbikes, the mini Harley Davidson ones (not sure how you spell it) but we all jumped on one feeling suitably retro, had a quick lesson on what to do and then headed off, it was such a relaxing feeling, we had about a 60km ride through the towns and the hills, stopped to see some wild kangaroos and then finished off in Roundhill Creek to watch the sunset on the beach which was beautiful, there were loads of us doing it at the same time it was real a buzz! (Didn't want to mention to Dad that we were doing about 70kmph for bits of it!) But i survived and it was an amazing afternoon, definitely one of our best.
The next day we went back to the beach to chill out, Becky and Beth were hoping to go surfing as this was the last spot you can get in the water as it's the killer jelly fish season any further north than us but the shop was closed so they had to settle with the body boards. That evening we chilled out in the hostel again, managed to get the four of us in one hammock! And got talking to a local you had a wild snake in his car that he had accidently hit so we went out to see him, very friendly locals everywhere we go.
On Monday we packed up from 1770 and got on the bus to Kroombit, this was a cattle station a bit further in from the coastline where we'd spend an evening there and learn to be a cowgirl! We had quite a small bus for this trip, only about 13 of us on there so it was nice to be able to get to know everyone. The bus driver initiated some team games on the way to break up the long journey and we travelled further in off the beaten track. When we got there we were greeted by a cowgirl on a horse! We grabbed some lunch and dumped our bags in our little cabin accommodation and then me, Beccy, Beth and a new girl we met Jess went up to the horse paddock to do a goat muster! Beccy is super pro with horses and Beth is from a little country town in Canada so she just jumped on but me and Jess didn't have a clue what we were doing, and i had a huuuuge horse! So i was glad I wasn't the only one, we walked up through the hills and through the fields over the hundreds of acres of land that they have on the ranch and came to a huge field where the goats were somewhere in there! My horse was not co-operating at this point, deciding that eating the grass would be more fun so i felt a little silly! We trekked over the field trying to find the goats and came over the hill and there they all were, spread aall over the field and we had to get them into a tiny gate in the corner! The workers told us that they respond to the shout of "eeeehhh pa pa pa pa" so we had to round them all up shouting this out! Manoeuvring our horses around them (I was still struggling with this so i was kind of just walking around at the back but sshh!) Slowly it started to look like they were coming together, the lady could see i was struggling and so told me to tap/hit the horse with my reins and after that he was brilliant! So i was getting into it, we had one stray goat by the time we got to the gate so Beth galloped off to get him and got them all in, shut the gate and looked at the huge field we'd just collected them from! It was very satisfying even if we all were dying from the heat! We walked back to the ranch, having to cross a river where the horses were nearly swimming so that was a nice cool off, and then jumped off- (me taking quite some time getting off mine... i don't think I'm a natural horse rider) and walked back to the main area for the next bit!
We had a quick cool off and then we were taken in the bus back up to the goats we'd just collected! A couple of guys came out and we got the chance to shoot a shotgun- doing clay pigeon shooting so that was pretty cool, we had about 5 shots each. While waiting for the others we had a go at the lasso and then were rounded up to the goat paddock where we would do the goat rodeo- we were already in groups of three, (me, Beccy and Beth were together) and you had to jump in the enclosure plus a goat, then one of you had to grab it by its horns and drag it back to the area we were standing in, our goat managed to run up the walls and all over the place so Beccy did a very good job at catching him, it was pretty scary! Then Beth was number 2 so she had to grab the goat by its legs and tip him over and kneel on him while i number 3 had to run and get the "hot" iron, which wasn't hot as it was just a game, all against a stop watch, we came 2nd in the end which was cool, (you can tell i took the easy task though, it was pretty scary!)
...This was such a packed day, after this we went back to the ranch had a quick change then went up for tea, which was almost an English roast which we were pleased about- felt like some proper home cooking for once, a nice change from all the pasta.The fluorescent face paints came out so we had fun with those and then we had a talk from the guy who owned the ranch all about its history and why they use the cattle they do, he also explained how they round up the cattle now using helicopters instead of people as the area is so huge its more economical! After this we had a whip lesson! We were all stood on blocks with plastic goggles on which didn't really match the cowgirl image, but we realised how necessary it all was when we started hitting ourselves on the back and legs, they really hurt! But we all got the hang of it in the end and were making some good cracks!
The ranch was full of insects, toads jumping around and weird bugs which would spontaneously fall out of the sky on to you, you would just look above you and there would be a swarm of huge flying insects and then the guy showed us behind the bar was a Huntsman Spider, one of the huge ones so we were all a bit nervous at what would be in our room when we got back! After getting through a few bottles of "giggle juice" as it's called- cheap champagne pretty much, it was time for the mechanical bull, Beccy was a little bit tipsy at this stage and so the two didn't really mix with her falling off the end just as it started! It was pretty funny watching it, my first attempt i slid off the end very gracefully standing up only to find that the bull hit me in the back knocking me over off the cushions onto the concrete, but a very nice cowboy came and rescued me so it was ok- the second go went a little bit better- that was a pretty funny part of the night- particularly watching the guys try and conceal their pain! We had a few more games after this, chatted around the tables and then most people went to bed but i stayed up around the campfire for a few hours with about 4 others which was really nice, pretty perfect end to the day and i know i keep saying it was the best bit so far but this really was the best day so far! And i got into bed to find it was clear of any bugs so added bonus! x x