Trip Start Feb 14, 2007
68Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Great Western Hotel
Unfortunately there was nothing that rocked in rockhampton and on that basis it should be renamed dullhampton or tut-all-happens-here-hampton. This however should not be confused with not-hampton,where big gay al lives. Rockhampton proclaims to be the beef capital of australia with lots of iconic large cattle statue figures at every junctions, insert your own joke about big fat cows here.
"Laydeez and Gee-entlemen, welcome-to-the-Great-western-this-friday Niiiight. Have we got a show for you". It's friday night. It's 7:30pm. Jen and I are seated 12 rows up a rickety stand with a mild look of shock on our faces. The lights go down, along with the noise in the arena
Before venturing any further, I wish to say the venue for our first (only) Rodeo couldn't have been better. On the corner of 2 streets the Great Western Hotel ticked all the boxes on our 'rodeo experience' check sheet. Neon bull sign - check. Saloon doors - check. All male clientell wearing jeans, boots, chequered shirt and ridiculously large stetson style cowboy hat - check. So far, so good. We even enjoyed the feeling of being I.D.'d at the door (yes, both of us!). Plus with the prospect of finding ourselves unable to stifle a 'YeeeHaaar' inside the pub and avoid the ensuing brawl we had already spent 5 minutes sat in the car shouting "there's a snake in my boot' and 'nice shoot'n stranger' to get it out of our system.
With hopes almost as high as the barmans jeans we settled into our seats to watch the first victim. The general rules of the sport dictate that the rider must stay on the bull for at least 8 seconds, using only one hand to score any points, those points varying depending on the size and aggression of the bull
On our way out of 'rocky' we stopped at a crocodile farm to brush up on our 'Croc avoidance skills' as we were headed north and that's where they all live. Safely stood behind two fences we watched as a young man diced with death feeding crocodiles chickens heads while talking to them as though they were naughty schoolkids. Scariest of all was being unable to spot a 5m (16.4 foot) croc in 50cm of water. Great. So added to killer spiders and killer snakes (9 out of the 10 deadliest in the world live here) we have added killer jellyfish (you can't swim in the sea in Queensland without stinger nets) and killer crocodiles, so it'll be pools all the way for us then!
Next stop, The Farm.......