ag camp and cowpats

by bezzle

What: Gloucester ag camp

When: 5:00pm Wednesday till 3:45pm Friday

Who: 34 HSC ag students, 2 teachers, 1 bus driver (with a handlebar moustache!)

Where: Riverwood Downs Lodge, Upper Monkerai, and various farms in the area

After spectating at two very one-sided basketball games on Wednesday, I left home to finish packing (!) and get ready for camp later on the same day.  Managed to get back to school at the nick of time, and got on the bus.  It was getting dark as we drove along, and the full moon was out [Tranny: “TAYLOR LAUTNER IS COMING…”].  Stopped at some fast food outlets for dinner, and continued on our way to Gloucester.  It was fully dark by now, and the trip was made much more scary, especially was we were nearing our isolated destination.

We got there about 9pm, and the accommodation was…painfully simple.  There was one main ‘hall’ or room, which was originally a large shed, and on either side were a row of demountable rooms, girls and boys on opposite sides, of course.  The rooms were minuscule.  I’d estimate it at 3m by 4m, with a triple bunk and one single.  I got stuck with the bottom bunk (which was basically the floor, with a foam mattress..) in a cabin with Chewbie, Alex and Linda Wu. 

There was a supper room, the sign above which I noted someone had changed the ‘u’ in ‘bunkhouse’.  As expected, no one went to bed at the 10:30pm lights out curfew.  Slept at 12, and woke up rather annoyed the next morning to ‘Waking up in Vegas’ at 5:30am.  It turned out to be Linda’s phone alarm.  It went twice more at fifteen minute intervals, before it finally stopped. 

Breakfast was, like most camp breakfasts, scrambled eggs and sausage, with cereal, canned spagetti and toast on the side. 

Went to the Gloucester saleyards, where the cattle were getting sold.  They were all standing on ground covered with their own excretement, and some people got splashback…  The auctioneer was a cool guy (I liked his voice) and there was a guy next to him who shouted ‘YES/YEAH’ every time a buyer made a slight gesture to bid, and another guy whose sole job was to paint the cows which were sold, with a sponge on the end of a long, literal stick.

Then some more farms, and lunch at a park with very nice chocolate cake!  We got told off for monopolising the equipment…and then Sandra broke her wrist.  Get well soon!

Dinner was nice.  It had three courses and waiters.  The dessert was chocolate pudding and a scoop of icecream.  It was very very tasty!  We found out that we had an open book test based on our notes the next day, so socialising was done over the big table in the communal hall studying, or on the grass area over the bonfire.

Which was rather fail, I might add.  Despite adding diesel to the wood twice, the fire didn’t burn nicely until everyone had left it to study and shower.  My first time toasting marshmellows on a fire though!  They caught fire several times, and although they got nice and gooey, there was always some crusty burnt stuff [Amanda: “It makes it taste more…cancerous…”] and it was so STICKY!

Studied some more that night, went to bed at 12 again.

And woke up to Waking up in Vegas again. 

Went to one more farm in the morning, which involved trekking through paddocks, stomping past weeds, and dodging electric fences, just to see a river!  And then did the test.  Which had such broad questions, I think it was rather simple.

Lunch!  Fish and chips, and some salad without dressing.  And jelly and peaches and a scoop of icecream for dessert.  Took some group photos, and then set off home!

I forgot to mention the dogs.  The lodge we lived in had numerous dogs, all free to wander, and one that led us around was this one blue-eye, one brown-eye Border Collie.  And the last farm we went to on Thursday, the $9 mil, 2000 hectare one dude had lots of dogs as well.  Suppose they must be useful.

OH and there was a cow called Ben.  The farmer was talking, and then he points at this [singular of cattle] and says ‘That’s Ben’.  And because Ben Jee was there too, someone (I think it was Didi?) asks “Is he a weaner?” (Think of the homophone…) Or was it a bullock (castrated male)?   And the guy says no, she’s a cow, and a very nice one at that.

Trip home, microslept several times, finally got to school and handed in my Japanese assignment forty minutes late.  Phew.  Had to catch the bus home with my very heavy bag, and got scolded for not getting picked up.

So there’s my summary.  No doubt I’ve missed/forgotten many memorable moments though. 

And finally, a quote when seeing the school coming back: “Look, grass without cowpats!”

And.

WHERE HAVE THE REST OF YOU PEOPLE ON THIS BLOG BEEN DOING?!  WHY IS IT SO QUIET??

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