© Copyright Chris and Kerrie Jones 2018 All rights reserved
With the finishing up of the Gore earthmoving job at Belah Park station, it was back to our beloved Koramba for a while.
The job at Gore’s was initially for an 8-week period and ended up being a 5-month stint.
One of our last communications with the company as the job ended was when they asked us if we’d like to do another job for them.
They couldn’t tell us exactly where it was as they’re quite understandably very tight-lipped on future jobs especially before they’re not fully signed off and “in the bag”. They did however say that it was “no further from Gundy than this one”. Belah Park was about 150 kilometres west of Goondiwindi near Mungindi.
We said we’d be happy to do another job when it came up providing it was still under the same arrangement with Martyn Morrissey, our boss.
By the end of the Belah Park job we were really looking forward to a “Coastal Fix”.
The heat had been relentless for weeks as had the flies and dust and although we enjoyed the job we began to look forward to a break.
So it was with much joy that we hooked up and headed to Koramba yet again where we wanted to get the grounds around the camp looking as smart as we could in the drought conditions.
We wanted to take the ride-on mower into Gundy for a service and just make sure everything was spic and span.
We’d previously learned that Shannon, our young friend and teacher of all things rural from Koramba, had decided to move on.
He got a job with a stock transport company in Glen Innes which allowed him to live up at his property at Emmaville and commute daily.
Would Koramba be the same for us without his presence?
He’d been such a huge part of everyday life for us for nearly 3 years. It was both sad and exciting for us to see him move on. Sad from a purely selfish point of view – we wouldn’t have him around – but excited that he’s exploring other avenues and opportunities.
At 25 he has such a massive store of knowledge and yet we can’t help but wonder how that’ll be added to and honed over the next phase of his life.
After getting Koramba ship shape and harvesting the massive haul of delicious grapes from the vines we’d planted 3 years before, we hooked up the Aussie wide and headed to Brisbane for a Kids, Grandkids and ocean change.
It was a great feeling to have the Nissan humming along, easily towing the Aussie Wide again.
Just before leaving Koramba, we got a call from Jason at Gore earthmoving.
The new job would start in two to three weeks.
This meant a shortened trip as we wanted to swing around Emmaville and stay a few days with Shannon before starting.
We still didn’t know where the new job was but there were strong hints that it was much closer to Gundy than either Belah Park or Koramba. This was very exciting!
There was even talk of the camp being set up in the Gore yard IN Gundy.
The prospect of being “Townies” for a while was a thrill as we love Goondiwindi.
Kerrie began running through all the possibilities of being able to get to town just for a coffee, a chat and a look around the shops.
So it was with the backdrop of this prospect that would once again change the direction of our daily lives, that we parked up at David and Lacey’s place on the Sunshine Coast and relaxed and caught up with everyone.
I must say it was quite a thrill to be woken in the morning with a little girl’s voice coming from inside the house, “Nanna, Grandpa”!
It was a wonderful stay and it was a thrill to see the Grandkids, (Elliana, Riley and Charlotte), all growing so fast and happy and healthy.
It was a whirlwind of outings with the Netball Girls, talks with Ash, playing with Riley and Charlotte, dinners with Emily, shopping with Lacey, walks with Elliana, catching up with Barry & Christine and, of course, fishing with David.
This is always a highlight for me and this time we were rewarded with a great haul of Tuna,
I must say it was a bit hard packing up and leaving this time and as we hit the road again, pointed toward Glenn Innes on the coast road; it caused us to have a long discussion about what we wanted for the future.
On the one hand, there was the thrill of life on the road – seeing new places and meeting new people – and we loved every minute of it.
On the other hand, there’s a desire to have our own place again – but where?
After the quality of life we’ve enjoyed, especially at Koramba, would we be contented with a small house or a unit back in the city?
Country life has rather captured us and yet we still love the sea and the close proximity to Kids and Grand kiddies.
On a weekend trip up to Shannon’s land at Emmaville a few months previously we’d been captivated by the breathtaking views, peace and quietness of his 250 acres.
We could easily imagine a small house up there and perhaps a small unit on the Sunny Coast where we could enjoy the best of both worlds.
Of course, the foundation of it all is the Management Programme that we’re building that’s nearing completion.
There’s the possibility of us touring the country shows and Agfests to present the software to farmers. This would allow us to still spend time on the road in the Aussie Wide as well!
So after hours of these discussions, we camped the night in a small free camping area somewhere in the ranges north of Coffs Harbour and enjoyed a great sleep.
You know how sometimes you go to a place and really enjoy it, even fall in love with it but on returning it’s not the same?
Well, we wondered if this would be the case with Emmaville.
Would this be just an idea we’d come up with that on the next visit would prove impractical, unattractive or impossible?
We drove up through the New England ranges and stopped at Point Lookout, made a coffee, had a chat with some other travellers and marvelled at the magnificent scenery which spread before us.
Through the town of Emmaville, we drove up onto Shannon’s land where we were once again presented with the breathtaking views stretching for miles over the New England ranges.
We set the Aussie Wide up next to the little shack where Shannon temporarily lives and wandered around the place waiting for him to come home from work.
The last time we were there was in winter and although the nights were cold the days were lovely.
This was in the middle of summer and temperatures had soared. Koramba was hitting the 40-degree mark daily but here, although hot, it was pleasant and very bearable and there were no flies!
Kerrie loved the place all over again.
Shannon came home and took us for a drive up to where he’d carved out his future house pad with his excavator.
The three of us climbed onto the cab of the digger and looked at the view that Shannon would be greeted with every morning.
It was utterly beautiful!
Down in his valley was a blue water dam and a small 4 or 5-acre paddock that he’d planted some oats in. His cows, getting so big now on the abundance of feed, wandered peacefully over the valley and then we spotted our Topsy.
She’d formed an alliance with the little calf, Lulu, and it was lovely to see her wandering around fully contented.
We talked into the night with Shannon outside the caravan with the moon casting a magnificent silver glow over the surrounding hills and the air crisp and cool with no insects.
We could have easily just stayed there.
Jack, Shannon’s cattle dog refused to go with him to work the next morning and instead just sat next to the caravan. He spent the day with us as we drove around the countryside and spotted a few properties that we could easily have lived on.
No… the feelings and the idea of living up here had not subsided, in fact, this visit seemed to further cement the idea into our thinking.
After a truly wonderful three days, we once again headed back to Koramba where we’d await the call from Gore Earthmoving to start work.