Rolling into Newcastle in the middle of the afternoon I parked in the truck yard at Richo’s transport and drove a further 30 minutes down the road to finish the photo shoot for Compass pools and meet the CEO. Over a nice wine by the pool I photographed their kids enjoying their swimming pool and talked about the book and my travels.
Back to Richo’s yard I met with the owner, Tony and showed him The Drover, which resulted in three or four boxes being offloaded there for staff and gifts!
I rolled 20mins down the road to do a photo shot at a winery where it became apparent to me very fast that they had not read my email correctly and were not prepared for me. Feeling frustrated but trying not to show it I pulled for the first time, the ‘its now or never’ line, to which they realised I meant business. A few phone calls were made and an hour later we had action. Talk about getting creative on the spot! Maybe it was the wine tasting while I waited that sparked inspiration!
Back at Richo’s the next day cattle were coming and going from the sale yards across the road making plenty of opportunity for pictures and we headed out with six trucks to pick up cattle not far out of town.
The next morning it was an early start to get to Tamworth to do a photo shoot with RB Sellars and NSW Linen. The sheer statistics for the amount of linen that is carted around the state was mind blowing. Something most people wouldn’t even consider, but very important as most of us were born in a hospital so this transport has affected us at one point in time.
I managed lunch in the middle with an old friend, Hunter Jones the CEO of the ABCRA.
Next stop Guyra for the night to see my favorite cattle at Bald Blair Angus. With narrow cattle stops up the main drive way I had to go the back way and park in the paddock in front of the house.
There were cattle in the paddock but they didn’t seem to annoy me. Not until the middle of the night when the trailer started to rock anyway!
I was up in the middle of the night in my pyjamas chasing the cattle away who thought it was a great idea to come back every five minutes.
Sam had said I should back the trailer through the gate on the lawn and now I wished I had taken his advice.
It was a long night and I gave up trying to sleep at 430am so I got up, showered and headed off. The bonus of this was, I was going to get a photo in Glen Innes before the town was awake and there was too much traffic around. I put a call into Bald Blair to say goodbye to Sam and Kirsty later that day.
From Glen Innes I headed east across the range to Sunshine Sugar on the border of NSW and Qld. It was here I got to practice my truck driving skills again. A bloody great windy mountain, kind of like NZ so nothing too new to me, but challenging all the same as I was towing my 23 foot trailer!
I put the car in second gear and didn’t touch the breaks all the way to the bottom. I called up a friend Cameron who I had called to drive my trailer to the top of the Toowoomba hill when I first got it as I was too scared, and told him of my accomplishment. I was a day from making it right around Australia and clearly I had come a long way from when I got my trailer almost a year earlier!
Sunshine sugar was incredible. I camped a night in the car park and finished the shoot the next day before crossing the border back to the state I call home!