Sunday, March 15, 2015

Day 2.5 (by Cherie Jones)

Day 2.5 (by Cherie Jones)

If you're a fan of the Australian Soap Opera called "McLeod's Daughters," then you will understand what I mean when I say we descended upon Drovers Run today. This 42,000 acre cattle ranch is the perfect combination of all things Australian.  After a few hours of winding through rainforests roads, canopied with the color green so unique, I'm certain it can only be seen in nature. We emerged into a world of flat lands and vast blue skies. Through the tour bus windows, we watched cattle graze, and an occasional nondescript bird streak by barely noticed. For a brief moment, we could have easily been on any NH road (or Texas for me, driving past our every day businesses, ranches, and local farms. But after a few confusing two wheeled, teeth clenching right turns from the left lane, we left the Hungry Jacks and Woolworths behind and the enchantment that makes Australia real, happen.

Bouncing down the bumpy salmon colored cattle station entry road made of clay and crushed rock, we were mystified by our reception party.  It began with three kangaroos bounding across our path, each one of the deer jackrabbit hybrid looking creatures, luring us deep into the heart of Australia's uniqueness.  Although nothing sets the tone for an Australian ranching experience better than a momma Roo and her Joey, the human family that has owned and operated this ranch for over 100 is almost as equally enchanting.  Outfitted in Leather cowboy hats, denim pants, T-shirts with no sleeves, and stiff toed cowboy boots, the family greeted us with a hearty Australian "G'Day Mate and G'day Dude."  A quick tour of the property revealed a family graveyard just yards from the front door of the main house, an oasis of lush trees and colorful Lorikeets, an abundant river almost too close for comfort, and our favorite amenity--a volleyball court.  It's amazing how quickly our group transitioned from an unmanageable hurd of cats into two well assembled volleyball teams with three cheerleaders (thanks Lori, Ellie, and Sarah!)  After our quick pick up games (where Ari said, "the bad guys lost!"..He was playing against his girlfriend by the way), we loaded onto an empty hay truck and set off on a tour of the land.  

It started with a sunshine filled ride along the river and Eucalyptus trees as old as the ranch. Koalas do eat Eucalyptus trees, but unfortunately for us, they don't live on cattle ranches (at least not this one).  But because we are in Australia and Australia doesn't disappoint, we did see the exact opposite of the cute cuddly koala when we came upon a fresh water croc sunning himself on the river bank.  Our tour of the land ended with a few more kangaroos and one very beauty Dingo-battling, goat herding, white dog, and then it was back to the volleyball court.  As the sky turned dark and the night noises started, the dinner bell rang.  The dinner bell was Bryan saying, "Hurry up!" It turns out a sustainability conscious cattle ranch is the perfect place for a great cut of beef.  This steak tasted so good, we were all wondering if we'd seen our dinner alive on our way in.  The jury is still out on that.  

Dinner wrapped up quickly when a giant cricket landed in someone's dessert and a beetle the size of a finch landed on the ceiling beam above my table. I heard there was fire going on where you were supposed to relax and enjoy the great outdoors, but tomorrow's blogger will have to fill you in on that one. I am anxious to hear about those who toughed it out with the creatures of the Australian outback.

(This has been updated.  Please excuse the previous grammatical mistakes.  This is what happens when we dictate blog posts to a person typing while in a hurry to get on the bus).

No comments:

Post a Comment