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Day 2 of my WWOOFing Adventure in Noosa, Australia
Saturday 12th March 2011 – Somewhere in Noosa, Australia
After my first night sleeping on the floor on an inflatable bed, having spent much of the night trying to block out the numerous noises all around me, I awoke feeling very tired, but anxious to get on and begin the work that I was here for. I didn’t – however – envisage the sight that lay before me as I entered the bathroom.
As I pulled the lid of the toilet up ready to do some business, a very large cane toad looked up at me from the water below. It startled me at first, and took a second take to be absolutely certain I was seeing what I was seeing. I now had a dilemma; do I go or do I wait for it to disappear first. As I didn’t have the heart to cover this creature in my waste, I had to wait until I got to the main house. I continued to shower and brush my teeth, then walked up the road to the main house for my breakfast.
We sat eating our food whilst glued to the television screen this morning. It appears there has been an earthquake in Japan, and a tsunami to add to the horror. We all sat – my host, his son and myself – all watching in disbelief at the scenes unravelling themselves in front of us. These sorts of events cannot fail to put things into perspective, and to make you feel as though your troubles are nothing compared to others. As it happened I was on a trip of a lifetime. A sense of guilt came over me at this point.
It came to the point where we had to get on with some work, and back to the cottage we went. The idea was to clean everything up in time for when the new tenant was due to arrive, and it looked like a big job. I had to clean the gutters of old, rotten leaves, being careful to watch for spiders as I went. After this the walls had to be cleaned down, and the windows washed. One very important job had to be taken care of as well, and that was the toad in my toilet. The host – Mike – picked the toad up by the legs, being careful not to touch the poison on its back, and tossed it into the field. Apparently this is all I need to do in future.
In the small room of the property the walls looked a little discoloured, and felt as though there may be a little water damage. Mike pulled one piece of the wall aside to get a better look behind, and a river of ants poured out of the gap and covered the floor below. Soon the entire wall was covered, and our best ally was a bug spray. This began a routine of pulling a piece of wall down, spraying the ants and walking out the room for a few minutes. Each time we re-entered the room, so the mountain of writhing ant bodies increased in size. It took most of the day to clear all the ants out, and I couldn’t comprehend just how many ants we had extracted from the four small walls.
The bodies were swept up and the wall rebuilt. Holes were filled in and new boards were cut to replace old, rotten boards. By the end of the day we certainly felt as though we had done a days work, and we finished late as well. Sitting down for dinner was very welcome relief. As I walked back down to the cottage after dark, I could see numerous shapes darting about before my feet. I felt confident they were the silhouettes of toads, but I know a python was living in this farm somewhere, and is often seen by mike and his family. I felt uneasy and quickened my pace. In the large storage shed next to the cottage there is a discarded snakeskin, apparently belonging to the python at one point.
As I entered the cottage and sat on the kitchen benches, I was able to identify some of the noises I was hearing last night. The very large moths seem to fly into the walls and cupboards constantly, creating a load knock on the wood. Animals occasionally walk across the roof at night, scraping the tin with their claws. I somehow felt a little more settled tonight, and would surely be able to sleep better. I knew I was sharing the cottage with hundreds of thousands of creatures, but I guess I would survive.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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