The galahs descended en masse at about 6:30 this morning, making a huge but delightful racket. No need for an alarm clock out here.
The dawn was lovely. It was quite cool this morning, so it’s necessary to dress differently during the early hours than at noon.
At breakfast, I struck up a conversation with a delightful woman, Dorothy, from Melbourne, who is in her late 60s, but sharp and fit. She has, of course, seen even more changes in Australia and the world than I have, and we talked about the non-improvement we felt much of this “progress” was brining in some areas. We discussed literature, economics, travel, and much more.Together, we wandered down to where Alec was boiling the billy for morning tea and preparing a new batch of damper (a simple bread cooked in a camp oven buried in the coals). Dennis, the young man from Ireland, joined us for a while, and we talked of the world and how our wandering had brought us all here.
Eventually, we parted company, and I went on a horse-drawn wagon ride, to view a bit more of the area around the homestead. There is very little traffic out here, but even so, cars passed by a couple of times. I was greatly impressed with the superiority of traveling by wagon. It suits the place.
I walked for about an hour after the wagon ride, wandering through the splendid red landscape. Trees and shrubs thronged both dry creek beds and the occasional waterhole. The branches were more often than not filled with birds, and kangaroos and camels lazily grazed near the waterholes.
At lunchtime, I headed for the homestead bar, where I was joined again by Dorothy. Over lunch, we continued our morning conversation, lingering over tea once the meal was finished. It may not seem that I’m staying wildly busy here, but it’s nice to slow down for a bit–and slowing down suits the place. One finds it hard to rush in the land of no time.
But, eventually, we did part company, and I set off to explore a bit more. I had picked up a walking map of the area at the office, and it advised that one take water if out hiking for the day. It also instructed hikers to let the office know where one was heading–just to be safe. So I stopped by the office and told them that I’d be traveling in the direction of a couple of rock formations noted on their map. I then picked up my canteen, filled it, and took off on a long hike.