Monday, October 29, 2007

Day 26 Day off Fraser Ranger Station Caravan park

Weds 31st Oct 07
Warm, overcast

Awoke early to the noisy Galahs (pic on right) rushing around the site with much raucous squaking, and I opened the outer flap so I could watch proceedings from the comfort of my sleeping bag. After a breakfast of porridge and toast and chatting to an ex-Dumfriesian I went for a walk into the surrounding hills before the flies got going. I took binoculars and camera - I haven’t had much time to use the former yet and did consider whether I really need to haul them around, however this morning they allowed me to see a lot more than I would otherwise. I watched scores of kangaroos grazing on the plain below, their eyes darting up to stare and check me out from time to time, and I was able to identify a few birds too. I was surprised how tame some of the birds are - I was able to get right up to a pair of 28’s (pic on right) grazing on plant seeds and the Galah’s too seemed hardly aware of my presence. I also identified some crested pigeons cooing away in a tree, having trouble with the rampaging Galahs it seemed. There were also large nos. of ‘roos grazing on the tough grass and woody plants, and by moving quietly and slowly I got within 100m of so of a group of 6 before they took off. They remind me of deer the way they stare with ears pricked. I sat on a rock nearby and some that hadn’t ran became more at ease and carried on munching, ignoring me. I remember a talk by Scottish wildlife writer Jim Crumlin, who does just this and writes about what he sees.
I had a really lazy day just wandering around, reading my Ned Kelly book (True history of the Kelly gang by Peter Carey - a dark story describing the poverty and discrimination against the Irish immigrants), snoozing, and watching the indefatigable and noisy Galahs. The relaxed day lefy me feeling very at ease, and savouring more days like this over the next year - I feel very lucky to be able to do this.
I bought a small barbecue pack of steak and sausages from the site shop, and cooked these up with half a zuchini and large tomato, well seasoned with salt, Tabasco, Aromat and a drop of whisky. I brought a miniature of Old Pultney (Wick) malt to have a few drops on my porridge, and it’s good for steak too. The meat here is of very high quality, always tender whatever I do with it, and dinner was thoroughly enjoyed.
The sun came out late in the afternoon and there was a beautiful sunset as the flies finally disappeared for the day. The tent has proved very effective at keeping flies and insects out as long as I zip it open and closed quickly - just a few small ants seem to find their way in.
Early start tomorrow, back on the road again and onto the Nullabor ‘proper’ to Balladonia Roadhouse, and hopefully uploading facilities.

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