Experieneced a different side to OZ; the cowboy country. Stayed a night at Kroombit cattle farm just North of Rockhampton. No mobile signal, metak wind turbine, and goat skeletans nailed to wooden posts. On arrival we purchased cowboy hats and bandana's just to try and blend in. The cattle farmed here is the same breed as that found in India. They are more adapted to the climate here.
Many traditional cowboy activities awaited us. Goat rodeo. An activity that I triumphed, lassoing a live goat in 47 secs. I now know where my destiny lies. Watched yet another Austaralian sunset, bit immune to this now but the truck ride up there was an interesting experience. Stood on the back of a truck, one of us attempted to wrestle down the tool box, another sat on the cool box and someone else pinned down the chainsaw. Health and safety.......what health and safety??? The dinner served was to die for; a change from pasta and noodles. Roast beef and butterscotch pudding. The evening concluded with some crack whipping practice and a mechanical bull ride.
Spent three nights in the city of Rickhampton. A huge cattle farming area. Infact, spotted around the city are statues of bulls. A favourite sport of the locals is to steal the testicles from these statues. Something that has cost the local counsel a fortune. Went to the Great Western hotel in the centre to watch a practice rodeo. The evening kicked off with children as young as five years old riding the bulls. They would be bucked off,jump straight to their feet and strut off in their little chaps and cowboy hat. Cute!!
Final day in Rockhampton visited the local zoo with a group of British and Swedish girls I met at the hostel. Highlight of the day........biting a green ants bum to experience the citrus tang. Apparently, ten of these ants provides vitamin C equivalent to one orange.
Next destination.....the famous Airlie beach. wasn't exactly as planned, from the moment of arrival the tropical weather was demonstrating its more sinister side. The hope of witnessing the crystal white sands of Whithaven beach were dashed. The trip to the Whitsundays Islands wasn't a complete disaster. Had good company, saw a dolphin and a turtle swimming around the boat. I spent 2 days and 1 night onboard the "Siska". A sailing boat that had won the Sydney to Hobart race twice and even carried Prince Charles on one of these occassions. Before I left Airlie beach I ensured that I visited the Didgeridoo shop and had a practice lesson. As I imagined I would be; completly s***!! Ah well, maybe I should stick to goat hurding.