Embracing the Aussie lifestyle... and look
Jillaroo (noun): a young woman working on a sheep or cattle station to gain experience.
Origin 1940s: from the given name, Jill, on the pattern of 'jackroo'.
Where do you begin with catching up, when you've been away from blogging for two months, having holidays in Australia, building up an arsenal of literally hundreds of photographs?
Well, let's go for a stereotypically Aussie adventure, just for fun...
The background story: When I was spending a few weeks in Gippsland, in the south-eastern corner of Australia, I went up into what is known as the high country, the mountainous area towards the the top of the state of Victoria.
|A classic High Country scene, in the town of Dargo|
|Curious High Country cows. Moooo?|
In this beautiful part of the world, the 1980s film, The Man from Snowy River, was filmed. Based on a poem by the beloved Australian poet, 'Banjo' Patterson, it's a wonderfully dramatic love story in which a young man proves himself to the local landowner through his ability to capture and tame the infamous wild horses of the area, and in the process wins the heart and hand of the landowner's daughter.
Watching the film after my visit to the High Country, I decided I had to go horse riding. I wanted to be able to ride down the side of a rugged mountain in the fashion of the film's hero in the climactic scene...
|The climactic chase scene - apparently the stunt was carried out by a local lad (Image source)|
And so, horse riding I went! It wasn't quite like the above picture but it was pretty amazing! We went on an hour-and-a-half trail, up and down the side of mountains, traversing rocky ground, splashing through creeks, avoiding wombat holes and trotting past grazing cattle.
Here's my faithful steed, Caddie. She was a bit shy...
|Caddie and me|
I wasn't able to take pictures on the ride, obviously, particularly as I was very busy concentrating on not falling off and adopting the right bouncing pattern when Caddie trotted and egging her on (I was given one of the more docile horses due to my complete lack of experience, but that meant she had the tendency to slow right down when I had to get her to keep up). But here's a view back down over the place where all the horses lived, Coonawarra Farm Resort, taken after our ride.
|Coonawarra Farm Resort, in beautiful Gippsland High Country|
Back on solid ground, I could focus on striking a few poses... Here I am, doing my best farm/bush girl look, with hat and all.
|Jillaroo by the gate|
|Jillaroo by the creek|
|The surprisingly rich colours of the Australian landscape... even just in a few little rocks|
(Pictures of me, and the view of Coonawarra, all taken by my lovely mother, who accompanied me bravely on the ride)