What a bloody place the outback is. To come here from a big city like Sydney (a flight then then a 16 hour coach ride) is a bit of a shock to the system. A good one though. It was nice to be away from the hustle and bustle of big city life and just slow down a bit.
The stars are amazing, like nothing I’ve seen. I went out every night I could and just stared at it all with amazement. The longer I stared the more I saw. We had a power cut one night as well so no light pollution for 100s of miles. It was mega.
It’s a good place to be on your own and really slow down. There is no worries of money because there is nothing to spend it on. All our basic human needs were met, we have a room (with AC,) We have food 3 times a day (just choose off a list) so it freed up the mind. Which at first was difficult to adjust but then it was freeing.
I was working at a road house resort so the shifts were pretty hectic at times. It’s one of the only stops on the road for people to get fuel and maybe stay the night on the campsite or motel. We get a lot of grey nomads, old people with caravans. Its funny because they all come in like “I know an Irish accent when I hear one,” No you don’t because I’m English.
The road we were on is so big that it takes a few days to travel it. We were pretty much dead centre so get lots of the grey nomads and trucks stopping for accommodation and food.
The trucks are humongous, road trains they call them. They can have up to 4 carriages on the back, so there’s some serious weight being pulled there.
I was working 5 days a week, total of 7.5 hours a day and taking home between $600-690 a week!! That’s after tax, accommodation and food (3 meals a day). Saved for the next trip and a new mac jaja. (update – got the mac)
They also had a baby kangaroo for a short time I was there. She was called Dotty and was recused from the side of the road. She went off to a sanctuary to be released in the wild.
The fun stuff
The reason I came here was to work and save but I also wanted to have proper Aussie bush experience. I definitely had one. First couple of weeks of being here some of the staff were leaving and the boss man’s brother was on site. He got us all in the back of his Ute and we went for a drive into the bush. We found a good spot under the stars and got a fire going. We had beers, tunes and a bit of weed. I had been drinking all day as it was my day off so I was sozzled. Bush raveee!
The next week Becki and I were on a late shift and I was closing the bar. The boss man was at the bar drinking with a truckie mate of his who had been coming through for ten years. Kiwi was his name, you guessed it he was from New Zealand. Anyway this was his last time coming through so bossman had a drink with him and then towards the end of the shift it was dead so he got me and Becki involved, doing shots of whisky behind the bar. We must of drank a full carton of Great Northern beer that night. Or white fish as they call it.
One night they had to shut down the generator to replace it. So the whole camp was pitch black. Couple of us thought it would be a good idea to go on the runway and look at the milky way. Took a speaker, some booze and had a good session under the stars. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen.
The dam (the Aussie word for a big pond) was a good spot to look at the stars, on a clear dark night the stars would reflect on the surface of the water like there was two skies. It was also the spot for watching the sun set. The range of colours on the sky over the course of sunset was amazing.
We spent Beck’s birthday in the bush too. I got Dave, one of the truckies to bring supplies like balloons, bubbly, cake and candles and we had a good old piss up! Nothing else to do except drink in the middle of no where. We had good few BBQs at the bosses house which always ended up in us disturbing the campers with our drunken antics at 2am.
When it got to summer it was even hotter than the usual 30 deggerz, we were looking at 40s. So pool days were a regular thing. I learnt to dive!!
Photo taken by the Wyld Wanderer. Follow her, she’s funny
The work wasn’t too strenuous; I did all the shifts! Usually people stick to one and do that but I am a man of many trades and a master of none. So I am somewhat of an all rounder. It started on the front counter morning shifts. 6am to 2pm, just serving breakfast and coffees all morning. It was pretty chilled. Next is the evening shift 2pm till 10pm where we started serving food from 5.30pm so all the grey nomads come in for happy hour, listen to some live music and stuff their faces.
Next is the bar shift, 2:30pm to 10:30pm. Good because I enjoy talking to people and hearing their stories. I also get some great travel advice off the nomads and locals (I say locals they’re 500k away.) One memorable customer was a bogan, Aussie version of a redneck lets say, however we had a great chat, everytime he came to the bar he would have a new joke. His finally words to me were “have a great life,” what a thing to say haha. Cheers buddy, forget his name.
Finally the kitchen shift which I ended sticking at, eager to learn. You’re looking at the next Gordan Ramsey, f this and f that. The three Chefs are good lads and great chefs; two from Nepal so curry was a staff special I looked forward to. I was just a pot wash to begin with and would assist with the prep of some meals and plate few things up. Nearly chopped my finger off chopping onions; who gives the new guy a massive fucking knife of his second shift? I’ll stick to peeling tattys thanks. Washing the pots was a pain in the arse but what better way to challenge your presence. I eventually got round to being a main cook so I was on the other side of the grill, I enjoyed it and I wasn’t to bad at it. Learnt a lot off my two chefs. Pictured on the left.
Morning kitchen was cool, breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and I will have it morning noon or night. You can’t beat a fry up. We would serve lots of work men and make up there lunches in little brown bags, it felt like I was sending them off to school. I loved using the hot plate, definitely getting one of them for my house. It cooks the perfect egg and those that know me well, know I’m an eggy guy!
A special mention
I met some truly great people out here and they know who they are so I wont bore you with details but a huge thank you to all of you, you all taught me a little something that I will keep forever and we had some fun times! Farting in people faces, late night swims, playing odds on, learning to dive, enjoying quality music, celebrating birthdays, sitting in bessie the van and on porches, bringing liquorice and Tim tams from civilisation and most of all allowing me to be my old weird self. Not to forget Whippy the bush cat. I was never really a fan of cats but Whippy changed this. Such a cool cat, had the whole ground for his roaming but you would always see him looking for attention around the humans. Often coming to our room for a chill.
A special thank you to my little Argentinian friend Antonella, feels like I’ve known her my whole life. I will miss our english lessons in morning kitchen. She is a special young lady with amazing energy and ‘heaps’ of wisdom and we had some amazing chats. We laughed, we cried, we meditated but most of all she helped me to clear some things up. Even had a Tarot card reading over FaceTime with her Auntie, Anto translating. Cant wait to connect again and meet her family in Argentina.
Me and Anto