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Dust, fly’s and heat:

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Harvesting at Koramba
Harvesting the barley at Koramba.

Well, the harvesting is over at Koramba!
The balers, however, are still working stacking the high-density hay bales onto the head ditches at the end of the fields to be collected by the trucks.

Harvesting the barley at Koramba with the bales in the background.
The young contractors working this part of the process have had a lot of trouble with their gear.
First, running out of fuel while driving the tractor to Koramba, then being stuck on the side of the road for two weeks with a blown transmission.
They eventually got the tractor to Koramba but as of writing this post, they’ve still not had their mechanic look at it.

The tractor they’re using to stack has no rear lights working so they are unable to work 24/7 choosing instead to work one day each and have the next day off while the other works. The other contractor, John who was doing the actual baling, left last Saturday driving his tractor back to Condamine from where he came.
So, for the last week and a half, I’ve been driving to Koramba from Belah Park, (a 120 km daily round trip) to cook and clean up after them. I can’t buy food that will be wasted as once these boys leave, the kitchen and quarters will once again be shut down. Since these guys keep telling me every day that they will be gone in two days I can’t go all the way into Gundy just for food for two people for two days but these two days have now been pushed out to 2 weeks! If I’d known that we would have gone to Gundy for supplies and I would have stayed at Koramba to save the daily drive and associated wear on the car etc. At the moment it feels like they’ll NEVER get the job done!
We DO miss Koramba and its facilities!

Chris has come over on occasions and helped me cook up cakes or dessert and you forget how easy it is working in a commercial kitchen. The oven fits more than two trays and things like stainless steel bowls, trays and utensils all within easy reach of the cook. I’ve already said in the last blog I got the better deal on kitchens.
Chris is doing a great job out at Belah Park, at the moment we’re not only feeding a full camp with the guys from Gore Earthmoving but the farm workers who’ve come from another farm to harvest the wheat crop on this property.

The other night Chris Collins (we have four Chris’s out here including my Chris) made the comment that there had been no complaints regarding the food. We said if there was, we would happily move on as we don’t stay where we are not wanted. Chris Collins looked at the other guys around the table and said “You wouldn’t hear about it before we would sort it out”
I thought that was rather nice…scary, but nice.

The earth moving company is having their annual Christmas party next week and the workers will be off for the weekend, so Chris and I have decided to take an extra day and go to the Sunshine Coast to stay in the unit at Maroochydore. Because it’s such a short break and because it’s now only 5 weeks till we head to the coast for Christmas, we’re not going to be travelling to Brisbane to try to catch up with everyone this time round.
We hope that at least some family and friends will make the trip to the coast for a catch-up.
It will be ten weeks since we’ve had a day off and that 4.30 am alarm is starting to get very tiring. So we’re looking forward to blue water, green grass and being high enough off the ground that the flies and other bugs aren’t covering the walls, our backs, faces and food.

As you can see from this photo in the gallery which was taken from the kitchen window, the bugs have taken over. And this is DAYLIGHT, wait until dusk you can feel them as you walk through them, Screens don’t stop them as they are small enough to get through. We leave off as many lights as we can in the kitchen, even changing the fluro to a yellow bulb, but as the guys come in and out to go to their rooms, have showers or get a beer the bugs pour in.  I have to admit the bugs are sending us spare!
At Koramba I put up signs telling whoever was last in the mess room to turn off the lights because if they didn’t I would literally sweep up 2 mm of bugs across the entire floor before I could start work.

And then we have flies!
With your back always covered, you are constantly doing the Aussie salute and don’t get me started on the ones that get under your glasses. At least the mozzies haven’t started yet maybe we won’t have mozzies due to the drought….let’s hope so. Don’t you just love this time of year?
We have an early heatwave out here with temperatures in the high 30 to 40 deg + and it’s not even summer yet! Saturday’s temperature is forecast for 45 deg!!!!
Watching the rivers and weirs dry up around here is a very disturbing scene. Add the empty reservoirs on the farms and again our hats go off to the country folk who go on with their lives making a living out here as best as they can with no fuss, a smile and cheery words to anyone around them.
We moved Chris’s “office” into the caravan as it just got impossible to work out in the annex in this heat.
We think it turned out pretty good and he can still have his three screens up and not be in the way and the air con in the Aussie wide is coping with the 40 deg heat extremely well and even in the worst heat of the day keeps the van cool and easy to work in.
We should have thought about this when we were having the van built but thought just the table would be OK. That was the best part of the “Old Girl” how we had the desk for both of us and the leaf table for eating.
Now even when we go home at Christmas and stay at David and Lacey’s place Chris will have somewhere comfortable to work.

The “Office” is now set up in the caravan. A lot cooler with the air conditioner and not covered in dust.The farm at Belah Park is similar to Koramba in the sense that everything is Big. Big Machinery, big earthworks, big fields etc.
They’ve recently acquired the new Case Quad Trac tractor which has awesome pulling power and they say is incredibly comfortable to operate.

Yesterday Kevin, one of the guys from the camp had to clear away secondary growth from the levy banks around the camp and Chris captured it on his camera.
These machines made short work of gardening. I have been trying to dig out a few weeds around the camp with a shovel and it takes me 10 min to remove one weed, I want one of these!!!
Kev reckons the trees in this video don’t count as the Caterpillar D9T doesn’t even feel them.
He says trees the thickness of our caravan are more the go.





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