This year’s stay with Simon & Nicole, brief as it was, had everything – inter alia, being licked and nuzzled by their cattle dog Pepper; a convivial gathering for Simon’s birthday dinner at the Wellshot hotel in Ilfracombe (a standout being the brilliant birthday cake featuring Shaun the sheep, a present from a professional baker friend of theirs); seeing the Qantas Founders Museum’s Super Constellation being restored, thanks to Nicole (the four impressive engines, lined up on pallets, looked brand new in their shiny grey cowlings, but are not airworthy); attending Pepper’s dog training class, which was a hoot and going on walks with her and swarming flies; binging on minced beef (a keema curry and spaghetti bolognese cooked by Simon) and watching the new 65” telly which was just brilliant. The weather was cloudy, with warm day and night temperatures. I couldn’t have envisaged a more enjoyable time.
The highlight was a grand day out organised by Nicole, touring Noonbah, a working cattle station 160 km south west of Longreach, the final 60 km on well-graded dirt roads. Even before we arrived, I was thrilled to see two wedge-tailed eagles at a road kill. The station is… Read Complete Text