The first time we camped out at The Sables, we were in a small dome tent. It was a stressful evening, with kangaroos hopping around and the dog trying to jump out through the fly screen to chase after them. At one point Matt went to investigate a noise, and saw the silhouette of a kangaroo against a starlit sky. He promptly mistook it for a man, had minor heart failure, then saw it disappear for a moment just to reappear 20 metres away. Nobody slept well that night.
With that dome tent in mind, we’ve come a long way! We’ve established a semi-permanent camp, at the centre of which is 6m x 3m cabin tent. Slowly but surely we’ve added and changed things to make life more comfortable while we’re in this phase of building.
We still hear things at night around the new tent though. We consider ourselves quite finely attuned to nature now and can discern one noise from another in the dark – noises heard in the grass around the tent fall into two categories – ‘cane toad’, or the more serious ‘don’t think that’s a cane toad’ (usually it’s still a cane toad, but once it was definitely a snake).
One night we heard the eerie howls of wild dogs, but the most terrifying noise of all came in the form of a quad bike engine. While Matt’s mild concern turned quickly back to a contented snore, I lay awake listening to it, imagining the opening scenes of ‘Wolf Creek 3: Kingaroy’. When you’re that far from a main road, you don’t want to be hearing engines at 2am.
Noises in the night aside, it’s a very peaceful place. Here’s a little tour of where we live:
This is it! We eat most meals around this little table (the first piece of furniture built from Sables timber and um, part of your old desk Gus which we found under the house at Kelvin Grove). You can see the half-built cabin in the top right side of this shot.
We’ve added a lot to the interior, including these shelves and desk, which is incidentally made from the other half of that desk found at Gus’s house along with a few trestle legs bought from Bunnings (where we spend most of our spare time and money these days). You can see the wires leading from the solar set up to the lights hanging in both rooms. These lights have been so reliable and have convinced us we only need solar power for the cabin. Also you’ll see the drawing board, which is evidence of the fact that plans were drawn for the cabin!! It wasn’t just born out of loosely formed ideas scribbled on the back of a napkin at a bar.
The view from the living room! This photo was taken last Sunday and looks out onto a slightly depressing scene. We know we’re lucky to have a dam like this, but we haven’t seen it this dry before. Since Sunday though, it’s finally started raining and we’ve had a few inches this week. Can’t wait to see the place looking green again! You’ll also see our makeshift shade – I move this umbrella around by the hour trying to get a tiny bit more shade. Despite the fact I’ve sailed across the Atlantic twice and Pacific once, most men who see me tying this umbrella in place feel the need to look critically on and make nervous sounds while I tie it, then re-tie the same knot in a more forceful way when they think I’m not looking. Very annoying.
Here’s the view back to the camp in greener times. We collect our rainwater from the little shed in the bottom left and the cabin is over on the far right. Hopefully this gives you an idea about the scale of things and how the site is laid out. It’s a very pretty spot.
To our friends and family: One day this glorious structure will be yours. If that’s not enough of an invitation to get you up here, I don’t know what is.