So we have another work offer that has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works. Col has been contacted by an Agency to apply for a Business Analyst Role in Darwin for 6 months. We are both conscious of the money situation as my Long Service Leave runs out at the end of June and the plan was to pick up some work in Broome, but there are no guarantees we will get work. We both feel that living and working in Darwin for a few months would be more in line with the holiday goals as it would be a totally new experience, but again we will be totally turning the holiday on it’s head if we do. Decisions!! Continue reading “Day 107 – 30th April 2018 – Giralia Station”
The temperature has crept back up and today hit 40 degrees celsius, toasty warm! We are still coping ok with the heat as it cools down overnight and we are fine with just a fan which we end up turning off in the early hours of the morning and pulling on the doona! The heat is quite dry so that also helps, if it was humid and 40 it may be another story. You do really feel it when you are doing physical work though, and going for a drive in the car is exciting as you get a bit of air-conditioning for a while. The small things. Continue reading “Day 106 – 29th April 2018 – Giralia Station”
We wanted to try and get some good footage of the road to the beach camps using the drone at the trickier sections. Denver gets asked by alot of nervous people about road conditions and towing. So we have some GoPro footage and now want some additional drone footage too.
We headed off towards the beach camps, stopping at each section and doing a variety of different types of filming. The footage looked awesome on Col’s phone as we were driving along with the drone tailing us, or with the drone flying backwards in front of us, or doing helix/spin away shots. There are three main dips in the road with large cracks and we stopped to film each one, then also stopped to film a really soft sandy section. Once we had the footage we wanted we drove back home to take a look at it on the laptop. Continue reading “Day 105 – 28th April 2018 – Giralia Station”
There is a big stove in the camp kitchen and it was covered in grease, so we thought we would have a go at trying to clean it. Col found some CT18, a caustic solution used to wash trucks and we took the large cast iron stove top pieces outside and painted them with the CT18 then left it to sit for a couple of hours. We then hosed them off using the high pressure cleaner. It doesn’t look that much better but at least it is grease free now.
I had a go at cleaning the camp kitchen on my own, using the high pressure cleaner and also the petrol blower to blow the pooled water out of the room. It was kinda fun. The blower has a choke and a rip cord to start it and sounds rough and rumbly when it finally starts going, coughing and spluttering away. Anyway it kept me entertained for a while and the kitchen is sparkling and clean now.
The experience has been interesting so far at Giralia. I struggle a bit with trying to find work to do. Col can wander around and fix water leaks, top up batterys with distilled water, weld things and just generally has the skills to fix whatever he notices needs fixing. I find it a little more challenging. And it is strange that we are no longer in Tourist/Holiday mode, we are here to work for our free accommodation, so you want to contribute. It is challenging me a little. I really don’t mind working, and I like to keep busy and happy to work hard. I guess it has been hard being in limbo a bit. The place will get busier and it will be good to then start lighting the camp fire at night. We have met some interesting and nice people that have camped here so far and we are getting good information from whoever we talk to about places to visit and stay and places to avoid. The information is appreciated. I am definitely finding it more challenging than Col because he has a few more practical skills to keep himself busy with work around the station. Anyway, I am not complaining, just sharing the experience. Trying to find my place and the balance between work and holiday and finding things I can contribute to.
I think not having internet connection has had a big impact for me too. I have definitely felt the distance from home for the first time this trip. We can’t face-time here and the calls are often dropping in and out which has made communication a bit challenging. I was surprised for the first three months how connected I felt to home and I think the blog has been a big part of that. Staying in touch with everyone and the constant communication. Not having this has really challenged me and I am definitely missing my family and friends. So sending much love back home and know that I am thinking of you all.
Today we did a bit of filming using the drone of creek camping areas and the beach camp areas. It is part of the video of the station that we are compiling, both for advertising the station as well as for Denver being able to show people the camping spots when they arrive at the station. We got some good footage. After we finished filming the beach camps it was just before sunset and Col had brought along the cast net for a bit more practice. I have never seen so much activity in the ocean as I have here. The water just comes alive and fish are jumping and splashing, you couldn’t take a step in the shallow water without stepping on a small shovelnosed ray, a turtle swam past intermittently raising it’s head to keep an eye on us and take a breath and there were schools of small bait fish swimming past rippling up the surface of the water and causing the other marine creatures to chase them and try to catch a feed. Just a spectacular scene to behold. Match that with the setting sun bouncing off the water then colouring the sky with brilliant rays of gold, it was truly magical.
These little Starfish were frantically moving all the little white hairs (not sure what to call them) and they looked hilarious. We put them back in the ocean where they belong.
I am pleased to say that Cols cast net throwing has improved exponentially and he managed to catch a few small whiting as bait for our next fishing adventure. We both had our reef shoes on but as I was walking along the beach something stabbed into the bottom of my foot. I looked at my shoe and a piece of coral and gone straight through the rubber, luckily it didnt cut the skin, but it did make me doubt the quality of the shoes that Col and I have. I would suggest investing in a really good pair of reef shoes if you decide to do the North West of WA. It made me worry a bit that the shoes we have may not protect us against a stone fish, so I plan on upgrading next we are in town.
I would also recommend to anyone to make sure you have a fly net handy. You don’t always need it, but nothing can make you angrier than a group of bush flies trying to get in your ears, nose and eyes. It brings out a whole other side of my personality that I wasn’t really in touch with! So when they get on my nerves I just chuck on the fly net. You may not need it, but so worth having I think, a real sanity saver. Also handy when you are working or exercising. Col has swallowed one fly and almost swallowed a second! Gross. With much gagging and coughing he managed to expel the offending fly the second time around. The annex has also been a life saver. The additional space that is a ‘no fly sanctuary’ where we can sit and watch TV at night and enjoy the cool breeze blowing through. So nice.
The camp has been pretty quiet so far, apparently things start getting busier in May, after Mother’s Day. The Grey Nomads start their migration from the cooler places in Australia up North. Also the heat starts to drop off and the weather cools down a bit from then, so the numbers will begin to increase soon. No campfires in the evening until there are more campers and the heat subsides a little more.
After our failed prawn fishing attempt, Col and I decided to watch some videos of throwing a cast net and do some practice. We went up to the grassed area out the back of the homestead and tried to follow step by step the video selected. We had mixed success but persisted until Col was throwing the net ‘mostly open’ with each attempt. I was really surprised how heavy it was and the strength it takes to repeatedly throw it. The weights in the bottom are really heavy and there is a lot of net to gather up, hold and throw. We both did pretty well and are keen to put the practice into action and try and catch us some prawns. The sun started setting during our practice and the sky made and exquisite backdrop.
I am trying to take a series of sunset shots at the same location on the station so I can do a bit of a collage at the end of our stay of the various sunset skies. I took off running to the spot as the sunset was really unusual and beautiful, but I only just caught the tail end of it. I am excited to see the series at the end of our stay. Giralia throws up some spectacular light shows.
I grabbed a couple of photos of the various fossils that we found the other day while fossil hunting with Jen and Indya, these are just a sample of the variety of things that we came across. There were so many and some were in such good condition.
Col and I headed into Exmouth today for our town run. Before we left I did a quick tidy up of the camp kitchen but as there aren’t many people using it right now it was still pretty clean from yesterday. This is a photo of the camp kitchen, I love the old wood fire stove although it would have been awful to use it in summer! Winter would have been fantastic. I don’t think it is ever used now as there is a big gas stove there now as well. My Grandpa said that his Mum was still cooking in a wood fire stove when he was young.
We checked with the others if they required anything in town and Denver had a few things he needed picked up.
We drove into Exmouth which took about an hour and a half from Giralia. We picked up some supplies for Denver and Jen and then headed to a bakery in the main shopping area for lunch. The food at the bakery was great. Denver has suggested trying the Yacht Club next time we are in as it has beautiful views over the water.
After lunch we went to the Exmouth Library where we set up the laptops and settled in to do our Techie thing. This was a great spot, a new building with desks and chairs and air-conditioning!! Oh and lots of books too We were there for a few hours in the afternoon but made sure we left in time to go and do the grocery shopping.
Once all the errands were done we started the hour and a half hourney back home to Giralia. We were about 50km out of Exmouth when I realised we had forgotten to get the alcohol. Major dilemma…. wait another week before the next shop, or turn around and drive back in and add an additional 100km to our journey? Of course we drove back. We decided to make the most of it and stay in town for dinner. We picked a pub in the central shopping area called ‘The Froth’, it is a trendy new place that has opened up and the service and food were great. It is an open deck area and the temperature is beautiful in the evening, great place to sit.
The drive home went well and we got back to Giralia about 8.45pm and dropped off the supplies to the Homestead for Jen and Denver.
I had experienced a couple of funny shower incidents that I forgot to mention in my previous blogs. I had walked over to the Camp Shower area where there are three showers, and picked the middle one as there is no light in there attracting bugs. I finished my shower and stepped out into the drying/dressing area of the stall to dry off and get dressed. I was half way through getting dressed when I felt water showering over me. I looked up to see that the person showering in the stall next to me had the water shooting up and hitting the roof and then showering down on my dry dressing area. Not happy Jan. There wasn’t anywhere else I could go, so I basically got dressed under the shower then got out of the stall and tried to dry off for a second time. I came back and told Col the story. Well the same thing happened again on the next night, I finished drying off, I had gotten dressed and then the shower came over the top of my stall from the one next to me and I was drenched, hahaha. I told Col about it and he agreed to have a look at it. So today he found the problem with the leaking shower and was able to fix it, so I won’t need to have two showers a night now, thanks Col!!! Luckily it is still over 30 degrees after the sun goes down so I was able to dry off. Continue reading “Day 100 – 23rd April 2018 – Giralia Station”
We haven’t been delegated any jobs yet and feeling more guilty being here and not contributing. We decided to go and start some filming so we started capturing some video of the drive into Giralia Station on the GoPro. When we got back Col saw John and Denver washing down the solar panels and headed over to give them a hand. He also noticed that a water pipe had burst so he decided to take matters into his own hands and try and fix it. Part of the issue is being happy to help but not knowing where anything is or how they like things done. Col dug up the area and managed to find some replacement pipe and fix the problem. Denver was appreciative. Continue reading “Day 99 – 22nd April 2018 – Giralia Station”
There is another lovely man called John who has stayed at Giralia for 5 months previously and done the bush camp host role and he and his wife have come to stay. John is happy to clean the amenities, so Col and I have been asking Denver for some additional tasks (other than fishing) so we can pay our way. Denver assures us that there is plenty of work to be done but to make the most of the good weather and quiet time at the camp. So he again suggested that Col and I take the boat out fishing today. Continue reading “Day 98 – 21st April 2018 – Giralia Station”