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Tracey’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 18 Jul 2007

Location: Coonabarabran, Australia

MapI am staying 40km from Coonabarabran on a property that used to be a large farm with 6500 sheep kept for their wool. However, a couple of bad years meant that the farmer had to sell up everything. He only has a few sheep now and one had a lamb a couple of days ago. It is like going out on Safari when walking in the fields. One day the sheep went missing so we went looking for them and I saw kangeroos, couple of foxes, wild pigs, ducks and heard frogs croaking. I did wonder whether it was safe to be walking in the long grass in case there were snakes (and I was alone so I had no one to save me and I didn't have the snake survival kit with me). Anyway I was not attacked by any snakes so that was good and eventually found the sheep.

Vegetarians perhaps should not read any further

It is probably a good job I am not vegetarian because we have a good supply of meat (and not much else). Last week I selected a fat lamb and Ted the owner killed it a few seconds later and then I helped to skin it. On Saturday we had a barbeque and ate lamb, wild pig and kangeroo. On Sunday morning we went for a pig hunt taking three pig dogs. I had been to a few farms in New Zealand where they went pig hunting but I actually never went with them. The sun was rising and it was lovely to watch the kangeroos jump along the horizon with the sun behind. I am afraid I missed the action of killing the pig because I was taking pictures of the scenery and as I didn't know the procedure I kind of got left behind being caught on the barbed wire fence. The dogs caught a pig and weighed 56kg. We carried on hunting but did not catch any more pigs but I think everyone preferred just to look at the scenery. I saw Emus for the first time and the following morning we went Emu hunting as a man didn't want them to eat his oats and wanted a few feathers off them. Two Emus were shot and yesterday I had the job of plucking them and I cooked Emu au Vin for dinner. The meat is very dark. Whilst on our hunting safari we saw eight other Emus together, running in the distance and that was also a beautiful sight.

Pierre and I are looking after the place whilst Ted is away on his tour. Before he left we had some firing practice with the gun incase we had intruders. Today we will have to skin a pig.