23rd – 26th March
Eurardy Reserve (you can use your search engine for that) is the Garden of Eden in the bush. You notice details when you sit still and wait. Birds of all varieties and animals that you normally just catch glimpses of as you walk across our country shyly start coming to the water trough – sometimes in twenties and forties.
How we got here: I was taking my sometimes midday snooze on the side of the road trying to escape the worst of the bush flies and heat of the day as well as the last of the shadow on my side of the road. It’s not unusual for a Ute to pull up to see if we – that’s buggy and I – are okay. But Ian and Peter in this Ute were on a different mission. Peter, a member of the Geraldton Shed who is a volunteer cook at Eurardy, was told by Bill, president of the Freo Shed that I would be hereabouts. Did I want a lift and if I didn’t, it’s only a 4km walk. Did I want a shower, a feed and a comfortable bed? Did I! So back to snooze.
This day had started to be the day I did my first marathon. I got up at 2.30am because it was nice and cool and dark and the best time for walking. So by the time I had walked up to the start of this story, I had to do only another 12km to have my prize. Hubris again beats me.
Along came a beautiful off-road caravan/office, the first to offer me a sit-down and a cup of tea. Ah! What bliss!
This is Peter, the founder of Nexus of Sadlier/Nexus, the large trucking company who have offered to deliver anything I need around Highway 1, and Ann. This was the result of being invited by Steve and Valerie Sampson to talk to the staff about walking as they are very health-conscious about their workers. I enjoyed their company for an hour and two cups of tea later; I went on to find Eurardy.
Ian and Peter were just getting to the entrance as I got there and lashed the buggy onto a trailer to go the 3km into the homestead. A meal and a beer and a charge for the computer that had gone “missing” – without charge for three days.
Ian Hamilton and his partner Nicki manage Eurardy Reserve. It is one of 70 such properties that are an oasis for native animals. The manager’s work is to keep feral animals at bay and maintain this beautiful property. They are all philanthropically owned private properties. It is now 3.48am and I am going back to bed. See you soon.