TITLE: What Day Is It?
A pie with sauce from the bakery across the road to start the day. I went for a standard meat pie, not tempted by the camel version sitting alongside. It was too early in the day for a pie as it was!
Fuelled, the car and ourselves we set off for the town of Gregory. As it was still early we continued on from there following all the signs to Lawn Hill Station. Belinda and Lux were going to put us up for the next two nights and we were looking forward to having a day where we didn’t have to be anywhere. Part of the road we were travelling on was being sealed. We’ve all seen men and women holding the stop/slow sign in road works directing traffic but for someone to be standing out in this intense heat on a remote newly tarred road was something else. And he still had a sense of humour.
The sealed road ended as quickly as it began and the corrugations shook any remaining sense our slightly dehydrated, little bit hungry selves had left. The dust was thick and prompted Fred to get on the radio to check on Jason. “Falcon one to falcon two, are you up there?” Falcon two do you copy?”
We entered the gate at Lawn Hill Station and drove up the hill to see what could only be described by us in that moment as an oasis in the desert. We were met by Belinda who offered us a cup of tea and answered all the questions I had, a big glass of water and I’d suddenly come back to life.
Made to feel instantly welcome we all took a walk around the grounds and admired the view from the cliff top at the back of their home. This view was not like any other I’d seen, from this commanding position it made you truly appreciate the region through which we’d been travelling and contemplate what lay ahead. It made me feel inspired. I could have stared out at the horizon for hours, but there would be plenty of time for that.
We met Belinda’s husband and Station Manager Lux shortly after and their two children Regina and Jack. Belinda suggested we head down to the creek to cool off – we didn’t need to be asked twice and quickly hopped in the troopie to follow Belinda, her grandfather Mr Hall and the two kids in their buggy down to the water.
“Are there any crocodiles down here?” I asked four year old Jack.
“No,” he said, “just freshies.” These of course being freshwater crocodiles. I’d established over the last few days that “freshies” weren’t of major concern to locals, predominantly because they were smaller, their jaws too. Still let me tell you, if I entered the water and felt something brush past me I would be propelled out of the water in fashion reminiscent of one of those jetpacks you see launching people skyward above the waves at the beach. Needless to say I took photos, went in up to my ankles and enjoyed myself immensely. Jack and Regina we curious about our cameras and took great pleasure in learning how they worked and trying them out for themselves. Between them they took some great shots, albeit well over 200 so the odds were good!
Back on the hill sunset was fast approaching so we headed back to the cliff top to enjoy a beer with new friends and watch the sun go down.
Chris is the cook at Lawn Hill and does an amazing job, she’s up early preparing breakfast, baking for the 9am ‘smoko’ break and thinking about lunch and dinner long before anyone else. That evening she served up roast beef and veggies which we shared with the Lethbridge family and all those who make the community at Lawn Hill one to admire.
That night Fred, Jason and I shared a bottle of red. We talked about our first days on the road as I took notes and Fred worked on the photos and footage. By 11pm we called it a day, and a wonderful one at that.
TIP: It’s the people you meet when you travel that make the journey come alive, our time with everyone at Lawn Hill was to be no exception.
TRACK: Death Cab for Cutie – Little Wanderer.