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Landor Station, Landor Mt Augustus Road: more encounters with flies and ants

19 September 2011 | 80 km | zzOz total: 4,770 km

“Want a cuppa?”, Will asked. I’m riding down the main, ie, only, street looking for a public phone.

“Why not.” I replied, might as well find out about this little settlement, Burringurrah, population about 120.

I knew two things already, the shop had closed down, once again, apparently it was hard to keep on top of the trade when the entire town, almost all aboriginal, can decamp for a week, or two, for a funeral, and they seem to be pretty common around here.

I’m going to have to tighten the belt, either that or start having cous cous for breakfast and lunch.

The other known known was that on the other side of the main road through town a huge police/courthouse, just completed at a cost of $7.5m, the citizenry would be outraged if they knew, all for said, small population. The two local coppers lived in new residences, the female was single, the bloke married, his wife a school teacher.

Will was the local, umm, don’t quite know how to describe him without use of acronyms but he basically keeps the townfolk, 110 of whom are welfare recipients, sorted out, organising the rubbish collection, tidying up around town, everyone has an hour of community work each weekday, 35 people are supposed to turn up at 930 but there’s 3 on a good day, 2 more normal.

By the time I’m there making my own cup of tea, I guess Will would prefer not to use the grimy cups, I set to work and clean one up, the place has 25 people with the usual observations, where’s the motor, along with where and where to questions.

It’s a fun place, Will got it sorted after about 6 months, been here 18 now, getting the server going at school took 6 weeks, (his wife is the principal), the keys to the entire community, rooms, cars, buildings, sheds etc were just in a big cardboard box when he arrived, no identification, he still can’t get the camping trailer unlocked although after this period of time most of the other keys have been matched to a lock, there must be 200 in the key cupboard all now diligently labelled.

The level of skill for the townsfolk is quite low, no one has a driver’s license, I suspect the English language skill are low, but with the new cop shop at least people can apply for a license in town.

Everyone had a great sense of humour. One guy, Charlie, I met on Saturday over at Cattle Pool. He had turned up with about 10 kids, aged about 9, I guess, and they must have spotted a goanna because the kids all took off in search of the lizard. Eventually it was located and took the unwise decision to head straight under the car, the doors wide open Charlie runs in to close them. Surrounded, when it finally decided to make a run for the hills it was too late, the kids getting it for a feed that night.

Today I joked that Charlie seemed a bit scared of the 900mm long reptile, that got them all laughing.

“Did you save me any?”, I ask innocently, just a bit worried that my vegetarian tendency would be greatly tested if some poor native animal was produced.

I declined the offer of an honorary job for a few days. I thought I’d seen just about everything, and met everyone, in town by that stage and I’m not really enthusiastic about sticking around for Wednesday night’s roo shoot, where 8 of the larger hopping variety, the Big Red, will be dispatched. Some experiences I’m willing to turn down.

Another guy, Robert, asked me, “Got any weapons?”, as I was heading out the door. “There’s big dingos out there on the road to Meeka.”

“Nuh. I’ll just fight them off with my hands.”

I’m sure they were thinking that’s a crazy guy on a bike.