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It gets hotter every day

Bryah Camp — 2000-09-22 - 2000-09-25

The days at Bryah Station fly by. I use the time to write, as usual, although I really should be resting. I think I have already mentioned that about 25% of our expedition time is taken up with documentation. If I didn’t constantly write about our experiences, film or take pictures then we would be a lot faster and have more rest. On the one hand I do enjoy knowing that so many readers follow our progress, but on the other it takes great effort to keep it up. In addition to that it’s getting hotter every day and the heat is becoming another hurdle for us. Since leaving Afghan Rock Camp, almost three weeks ago, the temperatures have risen to over 30°C in the shade and 50°C in the sun. Geoff reckons it will get much hotter in the weeks to come. ‘How hot is much hotter?’ I ask him. ‘This is nothing. We have temperatures of more than 50°C in the shade in some summers.’ ‘Oh God, if this is one of those summers then I don’t know how we’ll cope,’ I reply.

I sit on the veranda of the old farm house and enjoy the luxury. After four and a half months in the Australian bush it is lovely to be in and near a farm house again. Bryah is an old farm which is actually mentioned and shown in a historical book about the gold mine and surrounding region. The original owners apparently came from Holland and achieved an incredible amount as most of the early settlers did. I heard that the farmer’s wife left him and that he then sold the farm, life work of the family. Unfortunately the lovely old building is going to ruin nowadays as only Ben and Geoff, the kangaroo hunter, live here. The new owners moved out many years ago and now live on Three River Farm. They don’t invest any more in the buildings and allow the kangaroo hunters to live here rent free, so as to slow the dilapidation somewhat. I was told that if no-one was living here then others would move in and ruin the place totally. ‘Victor, how did you get back in the garden?’ I call to the tame goat who always finds a way through the fence and succeeds in eating absolutely anything he possibly can. Geoff told me that he even eats books and note-pads but that his favourite treats are cigarettes and tobacco. ‘Make sure you don’t leave your maps lying around anywhere. Victor’ll have them down before you know it,’ Geoff warns me. The front yard stinks terribly, the smell of rotting flesh has been in the air since we arrived. A dead kangaroo lies in pieces all over the green grass and is dinner for Geoffs dogs and the thousands of flies. The sight is quite macabre but even we get used to it fairly quickly. Geoff, normally a captain on small boats, will leave Bryah with us and make his way back to the sea. He has been living here in isolation for four months and is looking forward to the fresh sea breeze again. ‘I’ve had enough of the bush life and of shooting kangaroos. And besides, summer is almost here and it’s a good idea to escape the heat,’ he laughs. We enjoy our time with him and promise to keep in touch.

Day: 134-137

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