Today was a bit more of a struggle to wake up but I did eventually manage to scrape my sorry bum from the bed. I’m feeling a bit tired but not too stiff and once again looking forward to a day on the ranch.
After breakfast Bill takes the kids off to milk the cows and after helping Rosie clear up we go to meet the neighbour Jack. He has turned up in his ute with 5 dogs hanging out the back of it and tells us all about their job as working cattle dogs. It’s interesting and he’s a really great character. I love hearing him explaining to Ali and Maisie how the dogs are trained and he gives us a little demonstration of their obedience skills.
The weather today is lovely and we decide we will ride this morning. After saddling up the horses we set off and ride all through the eucalyptus trees and out to the hills. It’s just awesome, so beautiful and we have the best time. I’m feeling really confident and all my long lost childhood riding skills have come back. Cantering around the fields, I let Jasper go a bit and we sneakily jump a few logs for fun. The more laidback Western style is a bit different but easy enough. Maisie has decided riding horses isn’t for her but Ali and Simon love it and we all have fun. Three hours later and we get back for lunch. Fairly hungry by now and ready for a good feed.
Bill tells us he is going to be putting up some new fencing in the afternoon and asks us to help. We all set off and before long he has us like a well organised chain gang. Gabby marks the fence, me, Jill and Ali carry the fence poles, Simon and Terry knock them in and the little kids bend the wire into shape. In a couple of hours we have fenced nearly a km of paddock and we’re all completely knackered. Its hard work and we haven’t finished until we’ve loaded the ute up with firewood.
We all pile back in and Bill lets Ali drive back. It’s not a private road; no one wears seatbelts and Simon, Gabby and Maisie are stood up in the back. Hmm! Quite scary! Anyway they all get back in one piece and Ali’s year has been made. He’s beaming from ear to ear and tells us the past three days have been his favourite experience of the whole trip!
Simon books our bus tickets and accommodation for tomorrow. Sadly we have to leave in the morning and none of us want to go. We sit chatting around the fire and Bill tells me he is going to get up early in the morning and make me a birthday bacon sandwich. Off to bed now. Exhausted but very happy.