March 2015 It is a warm morning in Pildappa, South Australia and I’m sitting in a National Park long drop trying hard not to breathe until the day’s work is completed, when an ant bites me! Ouch!! Translation note: Thunderbox = unsewered outdoor toilet, hence ‘long drop’. Campers sometimes remark on how well the rangers have dug the hole as they often listen for the deposit to reach the bottom. Continue reading Thunderboxes

Jet the Truffle Dog

Spring 2014 Our friends are growing truffles in the NSW Southern Highlands and are yet to harvest their first crop. They have been told by the experts that truffles can only be found by strictly trained truffle dogs. These are hard living working dogs, not pampered house pets and must be treated as such. Yet a neighbour in the next valley has produced Australia’s second largest truffle and it was unearthed by their fat overfed blue heeler Jet. Jet the truffle dog. Good dog Jet.   Continue reading Jet the Truffle Dog

One Hump or Two?

In our wanderings about the countryside ducking and weaving to avoid kangaroos, emus and feral pigs we have often complained that we are yet to see a camel in the wild. We know that they’re out there, thousands of ’em. Descendants of camel trains that worked the outback now roaming freely in the whoop whoop (desert/bush/mulga or scrub whatever you prefer to call our less populated inland). Imagine our surprise to find a herd of very civilised and inquisitive milking camels in the dairying district of Kyabram in Victoria. And if we were surprised imagine how the cows must feel? Continue reading One Hump or Two?

The Coat of Arms

The Australian coat of arms has both a kangaroo and an emu and it is said that they were chosen because neither can walk backwards, thus symbolising a progressive nation. Although both are plentiful it is always exciting to see them for two reasons. Firstly being such large creatures both can cause horrific damage to cars, so the navigator is always on alert for kangaroos and emus and shouting something like “Emu on the right!” Grey Nomads like ourselves aren’t on a strict timetable like younger drivers so we tend to stay off the roads in the early morning and … Continue reading The Coat of Arms