Bull, twenty years already!
Twenty Years. If you were inclined they would give you that with hard labour thrown in for crimes against the community.
She Who Must Be Obeyed and I have been married for twenty years so last weekend we celebrated what could have been my release date by heading out of town to a lovely wilderness resort on the New South Wales mid-coast. SWMBO is one for luxury, so the eco-wilderness-green lodge in the rain forest had to be 5 stars. It also has to be out-of-the-way-with-no-major-road-within-cooee type of eco-wilderness resort, which, oddly, most of these places tend to be. When SWMBO wants to unwind, seriously unwind, then it has to be in a spa bath with mother nature at beck and call, along with wait staff.
It can’t be done with tents and cold water.
So anyway, apart from a 4 hour drive, 30kms of which is dirt road euphemistically called “unsealed”, cattle grids, flooded creeks from constant heavy rain, tacked onto the end of a long work-week so we could take a day off, it wasn’t that hard to find. Thanks to “Sally” our on-board English lass who digitally directs us “In 620 metres take turn left”. SWMBO wants to ditch Sally for Bob, the American Mid-west guide, but he doesn’t do it for me like Sally does.
The resort was fine; more about the place another time, but the oddest moment came as we were leaving.
We checked out, angled ourselves into our Hyundai Lantra sportswagon as only trekked out people can angle, and gravelly went down the “road” and into a herd of cattle.
We could have been cast in Jurassic Park.The first few beasties, many as big as they get which for you and me are the largest pieces of meat walking the Earth, didn’t mind our presence. It was quite apparent cattle only distinguish road from grass by the level of food. Road-sense these boys do not have.
It was slow going, the cattle moving out of the way one at a time, clearing as we motored along in first gear, eyes wide with terror.
As if in slow motion, which is correct for these one-tonne pieces of dinner, the last of the animals parted to reveal the end boss.
No kidding, the last bovine stood there in our way, across-the-road. Like across-the-road. Nose in one gutter and tail in the other. Taller than our car, wider than our car, and probably heavier than our car (if SWMBO had got out and run off).
I waited some more
He ignored us.
So I blew the horn.
He ignored with gusto.
We inched forward, thinking he’d be frightened by a hunk of slow-moving metal and two worried faces. Nope he just looked at us with confidence. We’re on his turf, and he’s busy right now doing nothing in particular. I thought of things I might do all along the lines of scaring him, but even if that worked it had several downturns.
First up, he might charge at us; hurting himself and trashing our car. The prospect of contending with an angry farmer also crossed my mind. There was also the danger of him bolting off the road into the ditch on either side. He was standing over a culvert; each side had a deep drain. He could do himself an injury falling down there. It also meant we couldn’t drive around him because the ditch was too deep. Then there was the prospect of me out there shooing one tonne of muscle while SWMBO is in the car laughing at me running across the paddock chased by a bull.
Oh, my kingdom for a rocket launcher and mega-health.
The silent mammoths had surrounded us!I needed this guy to move but each time I moved toward him he picked up that stance bulls take. Forelegs askew head down and puffed up chest. Sort of like TOG | Butterfly on his way to a prawn platter and beer tray. I backed up a little then noticed we’d been closed in by half a dozen of more beef with heads turned our way. The road behind was blocked. So many heads staring at us!
We took the only course of action we could; locked the doors and wound up the windows. And waited. We had left Jurassic Park and joined Escape from New York.
It must have only been ten minutes, but it seemed longer. Eventually, with air running low, the End Boss moved from the culvert and made way to greener pastures. We sneaked past ever so gently and took off as best a Hyundai Lantra Sportwagon can take off on a wet, soggy, mud road.
Back to the city where it’s safe from murderous bovines.