Cattle Branding, Prairie Oysters, and Mud Fights

Trip Start Jul 09, 2013
Trip End Jul 28, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Monday, July 15, 2013

We were given the chance to sleep in this morning, but despite that, students were up and wandering even before the sun rise. (I think that part of that was because they wanted to take advantage of the warm water before it was gone.)

We had brekkie at about 8:30, and we learned how they make toast on the farm (by placing a slice of bread on a wire and hovering it over the campfire). After breakfast, David, the farm owner and his sons took us to the cattle station to see what they do for a living.

We herded cattle, branded them, then some of the students held a few of the young male steers legs while they were castrated. The farm boys grilled the prairie oysters on the branding iron torch and cut them up into tiny pieces so that everyone could try them. I thought they tasted like chicken liver. After the prairie oyster snack, three students were volunteered (selected) by Adam & Andy to conduct a pregnancy test on a cow. The OBs in training were Daniela, Christian, and Katrina. Their faces as they stuck their arms in were priceless!

After cattle fun, we all piled into the truck and David drove us out to the billabong for lunch and some kayaking. We had grilled steak sandwiches for lunch, and once they were done eating, they were invited to hop in a kayak, play some volleyball, or just sit in a chair and enjoy nature. It was nice being able to slow life down a bit.

Once everyone was good and relaxed, their oldest son, Adam decided to liven things up a bit and start a mud fight, and because he was just so adorable, the girls were very happy to "fight" back. I kind of felt bad for the ones in the kayak because they were so vulnerable... No way for them to collect ammo to defend themselves! Some were so covered in mud that they looked like swamp people!

We headed back to the farm once the mud was washed off and the kayaks were returned to shore. Then it was a race to the showers! Dinner was spaghetti then we got back on the truck for a night time safari. We were on the hunt for kangaroos, and other night time creatures - like drop bears!

On our safari, we saw quite a few kangaroos and several bandicoots. At one point, Adam (who was driving) stopped the truck and said he spotted something in the trees. He shined the floodlight off in the distance when we saw movement. OMG! It's a DROP BEAR! (Actually, it was Andy - the younger son, dressed in a gorilla suit).

The farm stay hosts have been hosting P2P groups for the past 22 years, and their children have grown up with tormenting American high school groups. They have so much fun with it!
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