The House at Tuckers Rocks
Trip Start Dec 03, 2004
85Trip End Nov 31, 2005
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We drove three hours north, to the town of Coffs Harbour, where we picked up three more volunteers: Sarah, an Aussie girl of the surf-and-dreadlocks variety; John, a lovely British lad; and Donny, an Irish fallen angel. Mick then drove us to the place we'd be staying for the next week. It was then that it became clear how wonderful the next five days were going to be. The house at Tuckers Rocks is out at the end of a long gravel track through dense eucalyptus and rainforest, right on the edge of Bongil Bongil National Park (the name means "the place where one stays for a long time due to the abundance of food")
Suddenly the prospect of doing a hard day's work to earn this place didn't seem so bad. We dropped our gear and headed out to a local headland where the ranger began to march about, pointing at various bits of greenery: "that one bad, that one good," and so on. I had a revelation: it wasn't "wading." It was "weeding."
We had an afternoon of hard weeding in blinding sun under prickly scrub bushes, and I had a headache and a fear of getting the red round-up, which we used to poison stumps after we'd lopped down the larger weeds, all over my skin. But while I was bending alone in a bush to pull out a particularly large example of lantana, a nasty weed imported from Mexico, a grey kangaroo bounded out of the bush beside me. It hopped quickly off and stopped at a distance to stare curiously back, flicking its ears and it considered the implications of my presence in the undergrowth. I stood still, afraid to breathe, until it hopped off and I rushed after to catch another glimpse. A kangaroo! In the wild! I let the weeds cut my legs in a stupor of relaxed happiness.