Romany Rambler: Travelled 19008Km; 318 Nights Away
I could hardly wait till Friday morning, as there was a stock sale taking place adjacent to where we were camped at Clareville for the weekend. It wasn’t a big sale by any means, and seemed to be aimed at those who had small holdings, and ran a few head of stock on their hobby farms or lifestyle blocks. Soon mud splattered 4WDs towing small trailers carrying sheep and calves arrived in the yards – so it was time to go over and check things out. The men manning the office rolled their eyes and looked at each other in amusement when I commented that the young calves in the pens were crying because they missed their mothers, especially one tiny little bull calf who hardly looked old enough to be on his own.
Pigs are always my favourite, and there were only a couple of pens filled for the sale. Look at those cute curly tails. These bettered their reserve at the auction, so the seller was very happy. As we walked around the building, we had to pick our route carefully to avoid the unmentionables dropped by the animals. No wonder all the country folk wear gum boots.
The auction got underway and we watched and listened as the auctioneer worked hard trying to generate interest amongst the gathered crowd. The bidding was done very quietly, with no one shouting out prices. It must have been achieved with quiet winks, raised eyebrows of the tiniest flutter of a finger.
The sheep and calves went for varying prices, and a handsome russet shaggy coated Highland Cattle beast fetched $500 in the auction.
There was a mobile refreshment van parked outside and keeping all the farmers well fed and watered. “Are you from town”, the owner asked us, and we answered yes, we were townies. “I thought so”, she commented, “you both have white shoes on”. With all the farmers wearing gum boots while traipsing around the sale yard covered in droppings, our white sneakers were a real giveaway, as were our cameras snapping away!