The Day We Met Sammy
So it turns out we were just being paranoid, city kids still unaccustomed to the limitless ends that country hospitality extends. We had packed up the car and figured now was the best time to go. We still hadn’t locked down any work but figured we would give Lindsay the farmer a break and move on to the next town for a change of scenery.
I was thinking when I told him this news I’d be looking at a man trying politely to hold his joy. But instead when I filled him in he really just couldn’t hide his disappointment, as is his genuine nature.
He started brain-storming ideas, we could stay up at another property he owns? We could use his house to charge his phones? Do we have jobs yet? Do we have somewhere to go? I didn’t really have much time to answer as his nine year old son chimed in “We have a campervan up home, sometimes I sleep in her but she gets pretty dark and I get pretty scared!” This was to be our first encounter with Sammy, and not the last.
Sammy is a sweet kid. The only way to describe Sammy is that he just doesn’t shut the fuck up. I mean that in the nicest possible way, but boy he can talk. He reminds me of the pudgy kid off Stand by Me or like the little rascals or something, if the little rascals talked about driving trucks and shooting animals. He asked if we wanted to go up and check out their other farm, there should be some mushrooms we can pick he insisted. Alright mate sounds good, the opportunity to meet Tom the Ram sealing the deal.
The Other Farm
The car ride up we heard all about Sammys 16 year old girlfriend Katherine from up the road. She had piercings everywhere, swore, and rolled cigarettes in class at school he regaled us. Shes much better than his ex in queensland, shes training to be a police officer. His tales of love and loss were interrupted from time to time to belt out Lee Kerringan’s “Shes My Ute” as loud as he can. A song Chris and I now know all the words to.
We sussed out the other farm, which was really just beautiful. There were a few horses, some cattle, and some sheep though Lindsay told us how little stock he had left due to recent flooding. The farm had a beautiful creek running along side is and was over looked by the 1300m peak, Drys Bluff. I often wondered when driving through country areas in the past, who owned these places? Who lives like this? Well today I found out people like Lindsay do.
So we met Tom the Ram, wandered about picking mushrooms, I was given a stick and was put in charge of snake patrol. Lindsay tried from time to time fill us in on the areas past though was always interrupted by Sammy most times, clearly being more knowledgeable on every subject raised.
So it was mushrooms on toast for lunch followed by some roasted marsh mellows. Sammy trying them roasted for the first time was disgusted. What a strange kid I thought. After lunch it was time to met Sammys rabbits, a bit of a bikeride, then up to Liffey Falls our day fully planned out by Sammy.
We were driven up a windy road for about 12kms hearing about Lindsays work each night loading ships at Devonport with logs for China. We started to wonder when the guy gets time to sleep in between his work each night, and hosting us during the days. Lindsay showed us all the giant stumps throughout the rainforest. Trees that were cut by loggers more than 90 years ago before the area becoming protected. He told us of his years spent logging up here back in the day and showed where the old bullock tracks used to run when his father used to log in the area. I looked at the other tourists heading to falls and pitied them for not having a guide with such a personal attachment to the place.
Logging is and always will be a contentious issue in Tasmania. I do wonder where the argument currently stands, although now isn’t the time to ask I thought. I think as a tourist it’s not really my place to involve myself in the argument. Also it was just interesting to sit there and hear stories from someone who was born and bred in the industry. This is a perspective I haven’t much heard.
Im not going to lie we are still a little confused about why we are being looked after so much and why we deserve such incredible hospitality. But Sammy and his old man are just such good company and such nice people we are pretty happy with staying here just a little longer I think. I just wish there were some way we could show our gratitude….