I’m starting to run out of ways to start each blog post. You can only say “G’day mate” so many times before it sounds like I’m making fun of the Aussies.
So instead I’ll use an awkward transition like the one above to lead you into the more riveting parts of my post.
Side note before I discuss today: they had french toast at breakfast. It was amazing.
Today we didn’t have class (yay!)
Instead we were all ready to go at 7:45am to head to Tobruk Sheep Station (yay?)
Yes, we spent our day at a sheep shearing station just about an hour north of Sydney.
I also want to point out relatively quickly that yesterday my post had a spelling error and I said we were going to a sheep searing farm. No sheep were seared (in our presence).
The day began with me getting car sick, to no one’s surprise. I knew I should have taken Dramamine but I didn’t and it was sad. We arrived on a farm much similar to the one’s I’m used to back home: they smelled of fertilizer & flies flew rampant. Welcome home?
Anyway, we began our day with a whipping demonstration, one that Rihanna would have been proud of.
And no, no one was whipped. Get your minds out of the gutter.
Next we practiced some boomerang throws. As everyone is familiar with, I’m not athletically inclined. I hoped this would be something I excelled in, something I could brag about in the states.
Mine sailed about 10 feet forward and didn’t return to me. Oh well, c’est la vie.
Next we met up with our shearer, a wonderful little old man who told us the history of Australia’s wool industry. It was actually pretty interesting.
Next, we learned to make Billy Tea & damper bread, a classic Aussie outback breakfast. Apparently they didn’t have spoons in the old days, so they would heat tea leaves & water in a pail, boil them and spin them around until they cooled & mixed.
Remember when you were 5 & found out if you spun a pail of water quickly enough, none of the water spilled?
I didn’t. And of course he called on me to spin the bucket.
The conversation went as follows:
“Don’t try this at home. Or if you do, spin it the opposite way if you’re in another hemisphere. Give it a try!”
“Three spins and stop. It’s like sex: we’re trying to get to the ending!”
I spun 3 times & stopped as directed & received a round of applause.
When done, I was told this:
“Let’s hope your sexual experiences don’t end that quickly.”
After that awkward encounter, we tried our Billy Tea & damper bread. The tea was very similar to un-sweet iced tea, minus the ice, so I enjoyed it. The damper bread is literally flour, yeast & eggs, so it’s very simple. They sweeten it up with golden syrup, a more refined version of molasses. It was pretty good too.
Next was the herding of the sheep. Basically, they have one dog who runs around the sheep and herds them towards the gate. Another dog lines them up to get ready for shearing. The second dog has to line them up, sometimes involving the dog jumping on the sheep to keep them in place.
I’m not one for animals, but the whole thing was pretty hard to watch. The dog was relatively vicious, sometimes biting at the sheep’s legs even while they were in line. If any of them ran away, he would literally attack them back into line. I feel like there has to be a more humane way of doing it, but maybe that’s just me.
After being herded into the fence, we were herded into the shearing shop. There we learned about the history of shearing tools & finally got to see a demonstration. He was pretty gentle with the sheep and it took him about 10 minutes to sheer the whole thing. But he said most shearers do it in about a minute and a half and I think he was being pretty tame. There’s no way you can shear a sheep and be gentle like he was.
Not sure why I was so sensitive about these sheep, but everything they did just wasn’t right with me.
Next was lunch, which was salad, steak & bread. Also some of the most delicious chocolate coconut cake ever.
And last, but certainly not least, we got to try our hand at whipping!
I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I could really crack that whip!
I hope you all said that last part like Devo.
Shame on you if you don’t know Devo.
It was a lot harder than we all imagined, but I was a pro.
Okay, not really. It took me a few tries but I did crack it, promise!
Afterwards we took another trip to Manly Beach. Again, didn’t make it to the beach. Instead I bought frozen yoghurt and a new sweatshirt, yay!
Dinner was a meat pie & the first soda I’ve had in five-ever.
I had a bacon, egg & cheese meat pie and it was delicious. And the coke.
I’ve been here for a week and it’s ben an adventure for sure, but it was so nice to have something & know exactly how it was going to taste.
Now I’m using this god-awful internet to do some work for tomorrow.
This hotel’s wifi<<<<<<<<
Hopefully I’ll be able upload photos soon, but right now the wifi is insanely slow. I can barely check email.