Myella - Farm Stay Ranch
Trip Start Aug 15, 2008
90Trip End Aug 14, 2009
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To get an even better look at the real Australia, we spent a couple of days on a genuine cattle ranch. The ranch, Myella, is 1½ hours drive west of Rockhampton & has been run as a "Farm Stay" ranch since 1993 by Peter & Olive Eather, a couple of old generation Australians whose ancestors were on nodding terms with Captain Cook.
I think Farm Stay is a crafty way of supplementing income from a farm -you get people to come to work on your ranch & then charge them for the privilege. They did, however, provide several amenities for our amusement which included horse riding, motorbike riding, cows to milk, kangaroos to watch & lots of red dust to choke on. They also provide shirts, jeans, boots & cowboy hats to save our own clothes - most useful.
They buy 2 year old cattle for AU$250, fatten them up for a year then sell them for AU$500, not bad eh ?
We were taken to see "Shrek", their Brahman bull, in his compound with his harem. We also saw the cow graveyard where they dispatch the old cattle that are past their sell-by date.
When we returned there were various activities to pursue. Barbara had a go at milking a cow. I tried my hand at cracking a leather whip, I ended up black & blue from whipping myself & I never did manage a decent "crack". Others tried lassoing, which seemed difficult with two hands - impossible with one.
They also had several Didgeridoos to try - none of them worked !
Did you know that the Aboriginals don't hollow out Didgeridoos as they don't have the proper tools - they just select tree branches that have been hollowed out by termites - cunning eh.
The evenings at Myella were a bit quiet - after dinner, most guests chatted for a little while, but went to bed at about 8:30 as they had to be up early to get their own breakfast by 7:15.
The group leader set us a little competition, she timed us riding our horses around a triangular course of oil drums. I managed to get my horse round the first drum, then he saw his mare & trotted straight back to the group. So I cheated, I waited until the girl on the mare set off, then got my horse to follow & we trotted round after her - sorted !
All in all, we had a thoroughly good time.