So, come the 28th April, I have to get up at an ungodly time of morning and head to the airport. Getting the first plane out as it’s the cheapest by almost $80 and figure I can spend some time in Townsville. As it happens, when I’m picked up by Karley, she ends up dropping me at the Domain Shopping Centre, which was pretty much my old stomping grounds on free days at the Mango Orchard. Not really the city, but can’t really complain. Hit up the supermarkets for some hair products, get something to eat and eventually get picked up again for the 3 hour drive to Lynd Junction.
The Roadhouse is run by Pauline, and her 2 daughters Karley and Laurell. They also have a hoard of dogs (a lab, jack russel, king cavalier spaniel, and 2 crosses, as well as 3 pups currently for sale) and a cow with a calf. I’m also told there’s horses, but yet to see them.
The Roadhouse itself is about 2km from the Lynd Junction, and is at least an hour from civilisation (barring the many, many cattle farms littered around the area). Due to it being on a busy road between Cairns and Townsville, it gets a lot more traffic than you’d think, and with winter coming, lots of people pass through on their way North.
My first day started off easily enough, allowed to get up an hour later than usual at 8, and eating breakfast before starting work. I’m allowed to use anything in the kitchen – but anything from the front shop has to be paid for. This does at least mean cooked breakfasts are probably going to be a regular and awesome thing.
Every day, my first job will be cleaning out the toilets and showers, and Pauline showed me the ropes for the job. Due to bleach and most chemicals killing off bacteria in the septic tank, they rely on a vinegar based cleaning product for the bulk of the cleaning, with a few different liquids for other jobs. The last backpackers weren’t very thorough, so there’s a bit of back dirt in the men’s showers that I’ve got to try and get through without ripping up even more of the floor paint.
My other duties include cleaning the used dongas (rooms) that have been slept in, but there’s not many of these being used so its not a regular job, and helping prepare the shop. After 7 years of filling shelves in a supermarket, there’s nothing I don’t know about stacking chilled fridges, and every morning/evening, have to fill up the drinks cabinet, and check the other items for refills. Also have to clean up the outside area every day too.
Eventually, I’ll probably be shown how to use the register (which I understand, but never had to worry about petrol or an EFTOS machine before) and some short order cooking. At the moment I figure I’ll make myself things off the menu in order to get some old fashioned experience (so far made a burger and breakfast and neither has killed me yet!), and prepare for that when it comes.