Unplug and Recharge.
Day 1 of my farm stay at DUCKMALOI farm:
At 2:20pm I left home and it was smooth sailing to DUCKMALOI farm. Well, apart from the twisty turvy roads, the stunning view and cows but don’t get distracted because there is a monster truck behind me waiting to ram. After road works and school zones and 20km the truck over took me – going over 100km/h in a 60 zone. One part of me hoped he would crash, the other thought part thought better because if he crashes I would be delayed.
I arrived at 3:40. The rolling green hills are turning golden for autumn but still stunning.
And it is raining which is better than heat but I need my wellies before meeting the goats.
It feels so weird that the first thing I didn’t do was light up a cigarette. Seeing the beautiful balcony, that would have been my spot back in my smoking days, didn’t make me miss it. Made me want a beer though haha.
I unpack in the gorgeous cabin and soak in the views and the beauty then gear up for the goats. Wellies and raincoat and side bag for carrots.
I hear them before I see them “baaaaaaa”. I run to their area and they are the cutest but they don’t want carrots. So I get some pellets and grains and they gobble away. They then begin to eat my coat, shoes and pants but I don’t care. The owner, Susie says hello and lets me hold the bunny, who eats the zipper on my jacket but again I don’t care. Susie asks If I want to bottle feed the goats, does a pig something… whatever give me the milk. It was such a happy moment having two tiny goats drinking from bottles in my hands.
I took many photos today but not then, I wanted to enjoy the moment pure, not through a lens, plus had my hands full.
Had a wonderful long nap in the most comfortable bed. Normally I need pitch black and everything here is so sunny and bright but the bed swallowed me whole and rocked me to sleep.
The smells here are incredible. The air is amazing and fresh.
So now for one of the meals I prepared earlier and some mini TV (luckily I only want to watch channel 7 today as they don’t seem to get many channels) then back to this incredible bed.
After watching my shows and picturing myself living on the amazing farm in this beautiful cottage I decided to have a little look outside. I have never seen so many stars in my life. Magic by day, magic by night.
Normally on holiday I awaken at dawn but as I didn’t go to sleep til after 2am and as the bed is uber comfy I slept in til 10am. But then I jumped out of bed, made myself a sandwich, downed an OJ and grabbed the key and my bag. No phone today. I power walked down the path saying good morning to the animals but knowing where I wanted to start. Can you guess? Yep the goats. They don’t have names yet so the grey and white one I call Billy and I strongly feel the black one is Jack Black. They hoovered the seeds and pellets I brought and jumped all over me. Heaven. Then it was getting too hot and sunscreen I had forgot. So I said goodbye and as I left the enclosure they bleeted and cried and it nearly broke my heart. Then I walked past the old stables and saw some Thistle – a place after my own heart. And just stared at the cows and the scenery for what felt like hours. Then I turned around and a little white dog was at my feet looking at me saying: “come on I’ll take you back”. It was time to visit Misty the deer and her alpaca companions with some carrots.
So deer are this delicate mysterious quiet animal right? Well not when there is carrots and competition. Misty pushed the alpacas aside and gobbled the carrots as fast as she could. While distracted Amber, the caramel alpaca came in for a look, very shy she took tiny nibbles of the carrot until Misty moved her along and took the rest. Ebony the black alpaca is still hesitant of me and needs a carrot thrown his way and Misty distracted while he slowly nibbles.
Then the carrots are gone and the sun is getting hotter. Time to retreat. Walk back up the hill and across to my amazing little cabin.
It is so quiet here, deafening sometimes but also amazing.
So now back in my peaceful cabin avoiding the sun and getting ready to read a book. Thank you Elizabeth. Finally going to read ‘Catcher in the Rye’, on my beautiful deck.
Well that lasted one page. The bugs got too friendly so I moved back to my super comfy bed, read one chapter and fell asleep. I’m pathetic.
I do blame the sun though, sitting with the goats I caught some rays that made me sleepy. Or I’m just exhausted from life and this break isn’t just about farm animals it’s about undisturbed rest.
Oh and farm animals. I jumped out of bed just after 3pm and got into my farmy clothes and wondered back down the path to the goats. Got two mini buckets of feed and sat in the shade feeding “Billy” and “Jack” until they get names. Little guinea pigs had just been born and were running around the enclosure. The owner asked if I wanted to bottle feed them again, I said “always” and I did. They didn’t drink all the milk though as they had been fed many times by other visitors today. But I know from their bleets I was their favourite haha.
Apparently a calf has just been born – mental note tomorrow find that calf. And I noticed Donkeys in a far off paddock. I asked the owner how to get to them and where all the sheep had gone. The donkeys would take a bit of a walk to get to and the sheep had mostly been sold as they had grazed everything and there was nothing left for them to eat.
I left my beautiful new friends, the goats and gathered the needed carrots to feed Misty and the Alpacas. Misty was always hungry but the alpacas nibbled a bit and then turned away so I kept some carrots in my bag for tomorrow. Walking up the ever steepening hill I saw them, the beautiful donkeys. Lucky I had 2 carrots. They were so sweet but got bulldozed by a mini pony half their size for half a carrot. Obviously a mob boss.
I walked quickly back to get my phone and camera to snap shot these sweet donkeys but as soon as I got in: autopilot set in; shoes, socks, pants, top off, nightie on. And I’m back in bed. This is awesome.
A bit more Salinger and a bit more napping. Then TV o’clock, dinner, another beautiful sunset and a dvd.
But then this familiar sinking feeling… I want to go home tomorrow. I only wanted 2 nights but when they offered me another night free, I couldn’t say no. But now I wish I had. 2 nights away from the world is enough.
Tomorrow I’m gonna visit the animals again and then what? Nap? Read? Watch TV? All things I can do at home. Plus at home I have a giant TV, air con, a pool, my cats and my awesome parents.
I will see how I go tomorrow but I know that once this feeling sets in I’m done. It always happens; the first night is amazing, the second day is super fun til the second night of quiet makes you feel more alone than ever. Another night here might be a bad idea and take away all the joy this place has brought me.
After a nice chat with dad he pointed out I am here to relax and I am doing that very well. Tomorrow I will walk more and find new animals, after I visit my goats. Then tomorrow night dvds and reading.
Then Friday I will go home.
I will push myself to not take the easy way out and run home. I enjoy my own company so let’s roll with that.
The owner, Steve knocked on my door at 10am. Not that early but it felt like 6am. He brought a dozen eggs, sadly I no longer eat eggs and had to decline. He offered me to stay longer if I wanted.
He said there were bottles and goats waiting for me and if I was up to it we would take a bale of hay to the cows to find the newborn calf. Yes I’m up for it.
It is 2:20 pm and I have just had the best day ever.
After Steve picked me up he took me to the goats and after I fed them offered me a lemonade – 2 days no sugar, mmm yes please.
Then got chatting to Susie. They have great banter between them.
The 4 of us (Finch the dog came too) drove to the cow paddocks and Steve asked if I could open the gates (aahhh a real farm job) we fed a herd of cattle and met the new little bull. Then drove and saw thistle everywhere but it is a weed so I was the only excited one.
I helped (a little) build a swing for the goats and they have named it Tash’s swing. These awesome farmers gave me fresh eggs for my folks and veggies and plenty of soft drinks.
Then it was time to leave, I sensed it and needed it.
They both offered me to stay longer but I’m good, I doubt today could be topped.
My back is quite sore but worth it. Nap time I believe and if I’m not too shattered I need to get a pic with the Donkeys later, but maybe tomorrow?
Best day ever.
I napped and then went to the Donkeys. I can’t leave without some pictures of them for mum. Then I came back watched dvds, ate spag bol and packed.
I just took one last look at the incredible sky and said goodbye to the stars, I doubt they can hear me but they meant a lot to me on this trip. With the animals, the beautiful scenery and the kindness of the owners this trip has been perfect.
Ignoring the moment of anxiety or loneliness last night, which I am glad I pushed through. Today really was amazing. It’s gonna be hard to top this.
Last night in paradise.
Day 4: home – recharged and plugged in.