We met up with Sean, the tour leader and Riley, his seven year old son at 1 pm after a quick fill up on chips and wedges at Cooinda! We didnt know how long it would be 'til we would eat again and what the food might entail. (Isaac was actually finding it hard to go to sleep the night before as I had told him about the tour. He was all worried about what he would eat and how he would cope if he didn't like any of it or feel comfortable etc. I assured him it would be fine, that plenty of kids went and they all seemed to have a good time (see tripadvisor reviews!!). But he remained unconvinced (He rapidly changed his assessment as the day progressed).
First part of the drive we headed out to where our Indigenous guide, Patsy, lived on the remains of the old buffalo farm.
Despite the sad bits above it was overall a fantastic experience for all of us. The boys loved Patsy and her sense of humour which came out more and more during the course of the day. They loved that they were doing all different things and not just sitting still being told about stuff. They gathered bush fruits, ate some ants (remarkably like lemon!), found a mussel or two and a few water chestnuts. Sascha made a small basket out of paper bark after Patsy showed him how. I had a bit of a crack at making some string out of pine leaves - pretty terrible, would need many more hours of practice at this sort of thing!! We ate some palm heart which Paul and Sasch thought was ok ("like coconut") and Isaac and I thought was just pretty bitter! We also helped out Patsy plucking the magpie goose for dinner and preparing the fire and ground oven in which to cook our dinner.
Dinner was really excellent, actually, and mainly consisted of buffalo, magpie goose and sweet potatoes, and a few tastes of the various other things we had collected. The lovely billy tea and damper rounded out the meal. It's funny how being out in the open and having an excellent appetite improves the whole experience so much. Normally powdered milk in my hot drink would not go unnoticed, but on this occasion I truly did not think the drink anything less than excellent! Mmmm sweet, milky tea! Yum!
The offcuts from the goose preparation went to the kites and watching them in a "hide" with Riley was a very memorable experience for the boys. We all enjoyed the spectacular sunset over the floodplain and the space around us, and being away from all our usual cares, felt great!