The falls were quite impressive, however the Bloomfield river was much smaller than I expected.. .the famous tidal ford didn't seem very deep at all. (Must've been low tide!) We came back for breakfast - I wondered if the old 4x4 would actually make it! (the Cortina would look like a new car next to this monstrosity!) We walked over to wait for Brock and Brad with Cindy - the neighbours.. .they returned full of beer with a large coral trout and a ? We all had more beers etc. Brad let us keep both the fish - we had them for dinner last night and breakfast this morning.., and I've salted the skin of the coral trout!

Brock's been giving Nugget a few lessons on standing still and not being afraid - I've been on him a few times this morning, and there's a remarkable improvement. It's given me a new sense of hope in many ways - having the horses this much more co-operative is obviously going to make my trip easier, but more importantly. I'm glad that I was right all along in believing that I didn't have to be heavy handed with them to get them to do what I want.. .even if that has been their only experience. Brock is an extremely patient, gentle teacher - much more my style! He also showed me how to worm them myself -save a few vets bills further down the track.

Sunday 19th June

We all ended up riding to the school on Friday night for a fund-raising community gathering -rode "Bigfella" again - he's a funny horse...HUGE (about 15.5hh) but quite bony and flea-bitten... actually he lost all his hair a while ago from sandfly bites and subsequent allergy, so we spray him with insect repellent twice a day!

The primary kids put on little performances which were very entertaining - I met more of the locals and had a great time, frequenting the bar and later the hamburger stall where Harrie was helping Out. Eventually the large contingent of murris from Wujal took over the stage, putting on some surprisingly good performances considering the state some of them were in. It was nearly a full moon, and every thing was bathed in silver light when Brock and I rode home together.

Unfortunately I paid for it all the next morning with a headache and an empty wallet! But we were up and about - I took Nugget and Sarah for a walk up the road in the morning - Brock rode into town, but we both needed a quick sleep at midday... before heading back to the recreation reserve for the regular Saturday afternoon cricket club activities.

The whole of Bloomfield/Ayton were there, murris and all, playing softball today, everyone from drunken Wujal characters to little kids were out there playing. There was a bar of course, and loud music. All very social and fun. Harrie was torn from her bar duty when one bloke got hit in the teeth with a ball, knocking two teeth out - she shoved them back in!

Just before we came home, Brock and Harrie won both the members' draw (a six pack) and also the meat tray raffle so we had beautiful pepper steaks last night. Apparently last week Brock won the meat tray also - but Harrie was away and didn't get to see any of it - Brock, Brad and Cindy ate the whole thing in one session!!

Keating Creek
Tuesday night 21st June

What utter exhaustion! Just on dark and I'm finally sitting near a fire with the horses secure in their fence. And there's a full moon in the clear sky - Oh dear I hope that's an omen for better things to come. I'm exhausted! Things haven't gone well at all. When I'm not thinking about options for quitting this crazy venture, screaming at the horses or about to cry, I try to tell myself that these hardships are part of the whole deal, that I'll learn to cope with them - that I'm prepared for them because I knew it wasn't going to be easy and had myself psyched. But I don't know if I can deal with this. But let me remember the story from the last time I left...