The reached the base of Mount Barren just as the sun was going down Robert yawned; he was tired but knew they had to set up camp before they could relax and get some sleep. They were all getting used to the routine now and it wasn’t long before the tents were up and the fire was made. Rob cooked the rest of the wallaby which they would eat for dinner tonight and tomorrow as well. Nobody complained because it was better than plain pasta or rice.
Tonight it was James turn to cook and he curried some of the wallaby with some boiled rice. Once dinner was over and all the meat cooked Rob packed it in the reseal able bags that they could use tomorrow. The bags were kept in the single tree near the camp to stop ants and other pests getting into the bags and spoiling the food.
“I’ll take the first watch brother; said James as he looked at his older brother who was clearly done in.
“Are you sure?”
“No worries get yourself some sleep.”
Rob climbed into the tent and was out within five minutes.
His father and the girls stayed up until about eight o’clock then they too went to lie down.
What James did not see was Adoni who had followed unseen he slept in the bush about five hundred yards away.
He also knew that they were low on water but he knew where to find water.
Adoni had been living off the land since he set out to trek The McCreadies and the two girls. Skills had been past down from generation to generation.
He found macadamia nuts, fruits and the odd snake which he cooked by heating stones then wrapping up the snake in Eucalyptus leaves then covering the leaves with earth until the meat was cooked. The fires could not be seen from above.
The water was found from the trunk of the red malee tree or from the roots of other trees buried deep underground. Adoni also found water from small rock pools. An aborigine never cultivates plants or animals he just takes from what was growing and living around him.
Robert came out of the tent around eleven o’clock and said he would do a stint to let his son sleep. James got into the tent and lay down.
Rob woke up about two o’clock he felt refreshed having slept for six hours straight. He told his father to go back to bed and rest.
Dawn came and Rob got them on the move as soon as they had packed everything after breakfast they all had to use the shovel after breakfast; the curry they ate the night before had made their bowels move. It was a good job they had brought two toilet rolls with them.
Rob led the rest of them up the steep climb he looked up and thought that they could probably climb this mountain in an hour and a half. As usual Rob kept picking up pieces of rock. There was a lot of quartz here so Rob knew that there must be gold here somewhere.