It’s May 2015 and we’re camped at Pardoo Station in the Pilbara, more than half way up the West Australian coast, a small cattle holding of half a million acres or thereabouts. Heaven knows how many cattle they have but they’re mustering at present so the question will soon be answered. There are hundreds of cattle in the yards and they are making quite a racket. As we wake to another day I say “Smell that air, isn’t it great?” Woody replies “Smells like cow shit to me.” You can’t please everyone can you?
Now that we’ve adjusted to the climate of this latitude it is very pleasant, especially the warm dry breezes. The Pardoo homestead has a high spreading roof over a darkened verandah. The verandah has tin walls that lift outwards to catch the breezes. The only phone reception that we can get is out on the central lawn between the general store, the cafe and the homestead. Yes, you read that correctly, the café and I thought that we were in the bush. Did I mention the delightfully cool pool?
Phone reception takes up a lot of our conversation these days and it goes something like “how many bars have you got? One bar or two? One, oh that’ll drop out.” This in mind we sit on the lawn trying to download a ‘must have’ app and it takes forever and as we do we watch real cowboys swagger across the lawn for a meeting in the homestead and we read instructions on the wall on how to handle snakebite. By the looks of the snake pictures I reckon you’d need more than a compression bandage bearing in mind that the nearest hospital is about 200kms away.