Goats, Guns and Gravel roads

Yes I know you have to wear a helmet in Australia…
The law says so.Just keeps on going

If you’d be on a flat and straight dirt road in the burning sun with approximately 50kg of bike and gear under your bum and three, maybe four, cars pass you in a day. What would you rather have on your head? A hat… or a helmet..?

cruising alongRight.

So do I.
Policeman thought different though. He obviously doesn’t cycle much…
He did mention that if I choose not to pay the fine I can never get a Western Australian drivers licence.
O, boohoo. I haven’t even got a Dutch one… why you think I cycle 😉

Ah well. One small mishap… And my first traffic fine ever!outback

I do have to say that the guys from the Paraburdoo police force have been extremely helpful.
Not only was I allowed to camp behind the station and use the bathroom and computer, I’ve also been given a mobile phone and stay in regular touch so they know I haven’t vanished in the bush yet.

It was a warm day leaving Paraburdoo
So when I came across a water tank I thought I cool down for a while.break at a trough
Water tanks and windmills are great for that! They make good camp spots too since you don’t need to be extremely careful with the amount of water you use. good camp spotThere’s always enough for a shower. You only want to be careful not to be too close as I discovered. You get cows trampling around the tent all night.my own waterhole!

After some serious headwinds and dusty roads I stopped at Ashburton Downs station.homestead
My plan was to fill up on water and move on. It proved a difficult thing to do.girls at Ashburton downs
I was offered two days work, and the wind was supposed to turn, so I stayed.Tricky checking the water level
‘Tricky’ the windmill-man thought it hilarious he needed to explain a Dutch girl how to work the windmills…fixing the mill

The wind turned and I moved on, only to come to a turnoff a few hundred km down the road and have that wind straight against me again.
The skies started to change, I saw clouds and one time I swore I felt a raindrop, getting cloudybut I deemed it impossible and kept cycling (and pushing) against the wind.abandoned station

Ones again the scenery stunned me. I could see Mount Augustus looming on the horizon many km’s before I got there.Mount Augustus
The biggest rock in the world. 2.5 times bigger and 3 times older than Uluru!

I wanted to stay at the rock for a couple of days, but when I got there I was told about the ‘Landor races’. An annual fest with horse races, fun & games and a ball.
So there was my choice. Old rock or horse races…

I kept on cycling. Leaving Mount Augustus to be explored some other day.
I called in at the aboriginal community of Burringarrah. BurringurrahMy plan was to fill up on water, and move on. It proved a difficult thing to do.mangeled sign

A lot of aboriginal people live in communities in rural Australia. This particular one was very quiet since most people had gone to a funeral. Chris and his son Dylan where there though. They let me stay at their place… for a week (…) We went to the races together and had a great time rockin’ & rollin’

It’s there I first tried witchety grub. witchety grubNever heard or seen it before, larvae of a moth that lives in the roots of certain bushes. It used to be a staple in the diets of aboriginal women and children. Chris showed me how to find them so no need to get hungry out bush ever again.hungry

When I did finally manage to escape it didn’t take me long to get trapped again.leaving the tropics

Cycling along an old stock route a car pulled up and the sheriff who I’d met in the community offered me a coffee. Two coffees and some sandwiches later he moved on but not after telling me he’d leave a container with water 80km up the road at a turn off.
When I got there I followed the signs he’d drawn in the sand and found not only the water, but some fruit and rice pudding too! Yum.time for coffee!

I really wanted to get to Perth sort of fast. I need to find work again soon and it is still getting warmer every day. So I planned to keep going. I should know by now not to make any plans since they do not ever last.

Because then I met Andrew.Andrew
He slowed down to ask me if I would want to call in at his station and have a shower.
I didn’t realise I stank that much, but sure. I called in at his station where I now, 10 days later, still am.Richard

I have been helping out around the station a little. Cleaned up the homestead since it’s only Andrew and his brother Richard here at the moment, and they’ve got better things to do then mopping floors or doing laundry…
I even managed to master the art of baking Anzac biscuits. I think they’re great! And popular all over Australia and New Zealand. Just in case you feel inspired I’ll write the recipe at the bottom of this update.Mark and Sandy

Wednesday and Thursday where muster-days, but not like I’ve experienced them before.Alex and Keith
This time I was an active member of a team of seven, six on motorbikes and one in a plane to go and find wild goats. All you need to do is get them together in a yard.watch them goats...
That sounds a whole lot easier than it is. I did have a great time racing through the bush and gullies trying to avoid collision with random trees or other motorbikes. But them goats go every direction except the right one.after a day mustering
They like to hide in bushes or just scatter. We did manage to catch a few though.got ya!

Next thing you do is go down to the yards to shift the goats.
I went out to give a hand when Andrew said; ‘right, you drive the Ute down and I take the truck’
I drive?can do

Yep. I did. For the first time ever I rode a car (with trailer) all by myself!
(did I mention I never got my licence?)
And I didn’t crash, or roll over. A proud moment indeed.

We went to get a steak one day.
It’s slightly more hassle then going to the supermarket and buy a t-bone.
We drove out. Shot a cow, cut it open and took all useful bits and pieces out. I had heart, liver and kidney for breakfast the next day.BANG
Then I had to saw straight through the middle to make sure the T-bone comes out good. A job that acquires some attention, as you can tell from the concentration on my face in the pic.cutting the meat

Hope you’re not vegetarian. I’m not. And I do find it interesting to find out what it actually is that’s so neatly and unrecognisable wrapped up in the shops…

Last night I found myself in the bush in the middle of the night with a guy covered in blood. A sharp knife in one, and an axe in his other hand.
It could’ve been a horror-movie, but no.
Just one man doing his job.big meal

Australia is a little funny. The only country that eats its national symbol. In order to do that someone needs to go out and get them.
And I tacked along for a night. I won’t put any pics on since it’s not a pretty sight.
But I do have to mention that up till the bullet hits, the kangaroos are happy as Larry bouncing about. They’d never know what hit them.
It helps he’s a very good gunman. All roo’s were hit in the head and died instantly.
He offered me to try, but I’m happy enough shooting empty beer boxes…
I’m actually quiet happy just emptying them 😉

It’s been an interesting experience, but I guess the time has come to keep on moving.

I wonder for how long.dusk

Anzac Biscuit Ingredients

1 cup plain flour
I cup sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
4 oz butter
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (add a little more water if mixture is too dry)

Anzac Biscuit Directions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (or approx 375 degrees F).
Grease a biscuit tray or line with baking paper.
In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
In a small saucepan over a medium heat , combine the butter and golden syrup until the butter has melted.
In a small bowl, combine the boiling water and bicarbonate of soda.
Add the bicarb and water mixture with the melted butter and golden syrup.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
Mix thoroughly.
Dollop teaspoonfuls of the biscuit mixture onto the greased baking tray.
Don’t forget that the biscuits WILL spread during baking, so make sure you leave room for them to spread! (I didn’t do this the 1st time and ended up with one huge biscuit)
Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from oven.
Allow the Anzac biscuits to cool on the tray for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

16 thoughts on “Goats, Guns and Gravel roads

  1. Je vertelt ontzettend leuk en beeldend. Petje af om die laaaaaaange saaaaaie wegen in je eentje te fietsen. Nog veel plezier en vooral veel leuke ontmoetingen gewenst!!

  2. Hey, leuk weer. Ik ga je recept zeker uitproberen, ben benieuwd hoe ik het er van afbreng. Bedankt ook voor de bierblik-cooler, superhandig! 😀

  3. Hoi Mirjam,

    Zit ik net je mailtje te lezen, ontdek ik ineens weer een nieuw bericht, en weer met geweldige foto’s. De filmpjes zijn trouwens ook erg grappig . 🙂
    Je raakt zo te zien al aardig ingeburgerd daarginds. En je hebt er ook wel lekker de ruimte…wát een verschil met hier (ook wat het weer betreft 😦 )
    En dan straks weer verder richting Perth. We blijven het volgen,


    pap & mam.

  4. Hilarisch, wanneer komt het boek uit? staat er dan ook een “how to” in voor koeien en roo slachten?

    eet je de witchety grub gelijk op? kun je tegen dat gekronkel in je mond? of “kook” je ze in een vuurtje?

    nu maar hopen dat je niet in zo’n zandstorm terecht komt als onlangs in Sydney was.

  5. Mirjam weer bedankt voor de geweldige verhalen en foto’s, wat een enorm land is het en je hebt pas zo’n klein stukje gedaan. Het zal langzamerhand wel steeds heter worden aangezien je naar de zomer toe gaat, stuur maar wat warmte hier naar toe met wat zonneschijn.
    Ik wens je zoals altijd veel fietsplezier en we wachten weer op je volgende belevenissen.
    Verder een goede gezondheid voor de komende tijd.
    Groetjes van Tante Riet uit Maassluis.

  6. Hiya missus I have 2 weeks to go before I hit Perth.

    I hope to get to see you somewhere in WA whilst I’m there. When I get a mobile I send you the no: I love the outback- you have had some rocking experiences! Yay. Hopefully you’ll be in Perth soon.

    Glad you liked Paraburdoo. I’ve eaten the grubs – they’re not too bad!

    Take care xxxx.

  7. Hee Mirjam!

    Hahah ook ik blijf je verhalen lezen, wat een avonturen, wat een avonturen! Geweldig om te lezen! Jij zit nog altijd in de dust, en ik zit inmiddels in het drukke ‘surfers paradise’, leuk om een weekje te zijn maar ik ben ook erg blij om morgen richting canberra te vliegen om daar op een farm au pair te zijn voor een maandje!

    Veel liefs, succes en ja.. GENIET ERVAN!

  8. Mirjam,
    Je hebt de tegenhanger ontdekt van pantoffelhelden-NL.
    Vergelijkbaar: Zuid Afrika, Botswana, Namibie.


  9. Those Australian Outback men, are real men! 😀
    Couldn’t you stick a postmark on Andrew’s head and send him overhere? 😉 Nice, nice, nice…
    Anyways, great story àgain!
    Although I think I immediately would have become a vegeterian when I needed to cut my piece of meat for that night out of a cow… Yuk…

    Take care!

  10. Hey Mirjam,
    Hoe gaatie!? Ik heb met heel veel plezier je verhaal gelezen! Geweldig!
    Waar ben jij nu? De komende maanden blijf ik in Margaret River, dus mocht je in de buurt zijn laat het me weten
    Lieve groet,

  11. Hi Mirjam

    I am your Dads cousin Michael looks like you have had an amazing trip I live in Sydney so if you need a place to stay there give me a call 0419975719
    ps loved the shotgun video

  12. Hey Mirjam,

    Wow, great great website. And I’m glad you’re loving Oz and my countrymen are treating you well and showing you some nice outback life. I’m extremely impressed by your journey so far – cycling Asia seems like baby steps compared to your adventure. Well done girl!

    I hope our paths cross one day…



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