• Day22

    Walking Like John Wayne

    July 31, 2006 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Yesterday was intense, we started the day being picked up at 8:15 by a driver for a company called blazing saddles who then drove us out of cairns and up one of the windeiest mountin roads I have ever been up and he wasnt slow about it either. The view we saw briefly fly past at the top of the mountain was amazing below us sprawled out the mountain rainforest we had just come through followed by Cairns and the Pacific, we didnt have any time to take this in however as we were quickly slung round another bend and started decending again. We arrived at Blazing saddles (a dusty looking farm/ranch ) to be met by some lovely instructors who sum up the Australian mentality on customer service, friendly, and I dont mean american Mcdonalds staff friendly, I mean genuinly friendly. we were then given some rather fetching hairnets and helmets to wear and taken out to meet our horses. I was on Wattle who spend most of the two hour ride with her head firmly inserted in her 'boyfriend' Arnies rear end. Ali was riding Noddy, noddy can be summed up in one word, SLOW, despite constant encouragement he refused to keep up when the rest of the group went into a Trot.

    Lunchtime gave us a couple of hours to relax and meet some of the locals, 3 baby goats, loadsa sheep, couple of turkeys and a few chickens, not to mention about 50 horses and a full on herd of cattle! we saw a sheep dog display which was the most pitiful thing I think Ive ever seen the dog, although he looked like he was carying out sheep dog like moves was actually clearly atempting to get himself a lamb supper and completely ignoring whatever it was his owner was shouting ( I have this all on film and it makes for funny viewing). Also I got to try my hand at a rather large whip which is used to scare cattle into moving by making a very loud cracking noise, I was told that I could have a go but it took the guy ages to get the hang of it so the look on his face was quite priceless when on my second attempt I made a rather loud noise and contined to do so for the next 15-20 mins while he continued to challenge me with longer whips and harder movements.

    The afternoon was what can only be described as white knuckle, two hours of being thrown around australian rainforest on quad bikes, left us battered scratched, bruised and ever so slightly dirty. After a rather gentile start to the ride the kids and less adventurous riders among us continued to chug lessurley allong whilst our guide who can only be described as absolutely nuts had us following him at 60Kph down tracks so dusty you could barely see the person in front and were following a dust cloud. At certain points we were lead down sheer inclines and up the other side, through Billabongs (what australians call a swamp or something simillarly muddy) and even had us try out doughnuting(360 degree turns) which ended with my bike upside down and me head for a rather large and forboding bush. It was FANTASTIC! we both loved it and were buzzing for ages to come. At this point Ali would like to make a personal apology to the australian conservation society for killing one tree and ripping another clear out of the ground! the first tree with its dying move attempted to get some revenge by dropping a branch square on ali's head, thank god for helmets!

    Just thought we aught to let you all know we wernt kidding about the didgeredoo and infact bought 1 and had it shipped home night b4 last! cant wait to have u guys all sitting roung a camp fire joining us in making some of the best farting noises uve ever heard ocasionally followed by something which sounds like a french horn and every once in a while actually playing it well(which mkes it all worth while!).

    for those of you not keeping up with whats going on interms of our travels, our diving in Cairns has been cancelled and we are not overly fond of Cairns(he says looking over his shoulder to make sure no locals are reading) so weve decided to head south early and go to a place called magnetic island for a couple of nights this afternoon (Monday) followed by a couple of extra nights in the whitsundays then its all back to normal (we hope)

    last but not least I would like to send a special request, can people please start answering their phones! weve tryed calling a few people so far but weve only managed to get through to ali's parents (and that was on the second try) Im not pointing any fingers but u know who you are!

    stew and ali

    p.s. - MICH - thanks for getting hannahs email adress(hopefully she's reading this) and congrats again on your 2i
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