Hot article Karla the Park Ranger

Perkins the Park Ranger

Good morning class, today’s lesson is Bush Culture and History with Karla the Park Ranger at El Questro Wilderness Park.

Quiet at the back Perkins!   First off, we’re starting with the most distinctive tree of the Kimberley, the Boab. These fellas can live up to anywhere between 4-7,000 years, and if you take one of their seeds and crack it open, you can eat the white fleshy stuff inside. The pith in the fruit tastes similar to dried apple.

But you see the flowers on that tree Perkins? Well don’t eat that. Don’t even TOUCH that! That my lad is what’s known as Caustic Grevillia. One touch and it’ll burn your skin and leave you permanently scarred. Now you don’t want that, do you Perkins?

Ahhhh and here we have the Native Kapok and Rosella flowers. They both have edible petals with the latter said to reduce blood pressure if you mash it up and make it into a strong tea.

OK Perkins, have a look at this

What Sir? THAT Sir?

Yes, that’s right Perkins. Take a closer look at that branch over there and you’ll see lots of ants with green bottoms running along it. Pick one up between thumb and forefinger and put it in your mouth. These green ants are commonly called Electric Ants because of the zingy flavour they have. Eating one is the same kind of sensation as licking the end of a battery, or putting your tongue on a scalextric track, but I wouldn’t recommend either of those of course Perkins!

Wow thank you Sir, when I grow up I’d like to be a park ranger at El Questro! There’s so much to learn and explore about the fascinating bush survival techniques, but I’ve just got one more question Sir…….where are the toilets?

Come now Perkins, any tree’s a ‘lavva-tree’!

Hot article Mud Crabbing with Brian Lee - Dampier Peninsula

Mud Crabbing Monday

And we’re off! Ladies and Gentlemen my Taste Mastering adventure begins in Broome where we pick up our 4WD.

Make sure you know how to work the windscreen wipers otherwise you’ll spend the whole journey with them going like the clappers every time you try and indicate. We’re on our way to Kooljaman, a wilderness camp on the Dampier Peninsula 200km north of Broome in the Kimberley region, and we’re meeting up with my new hero, Brian Lee.

Brian is an Aboriginal elder and mud crab fisherman. He’s softly spoken, extremely wise and a great teacher and story teller. He’s also got a wicked sense of humour! Me being all respectful and first day on the job and everything, fell for the majority of his gags.

Today we’re catching our own dinner and on the menu is mud crab. Armed with just a metal pole and hessian sack we’re at Hunters Creek. Waiting for the tide to go out to reveal the crab holes, Brian suddenly whips his shirt off and dives straight in. He emerges a few minutes later whooping and hollering and holding aloft the biggest, meanest looking crab you’ve ever seen, looks to me and says… “Your turn.” Really??! First day on the job and I’m going to get my fingers ripped off by a massive crustacean?… I’ll never play guitar again.

Thankfully he breaks into a huge smile.

“Oh Brian, you big kidder you” I laugh nervously as sweat pours down my face.

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Hot article I Got the Job!

I’m on my way!

Well, 6 weeks ago I was stood on stage at the Sydney Art Gallery, where the Best Jobs winners were announced, in front of a host of TV cameras and news crews,

with my new Taste Master apron hanging proudly around my neck, clutching my giant Western Australia salt and pepper grinders and thanking WA, Tourism Australia and pretty much everybody for making me the new Taste Master of Western Australia.

Since that surreal moment I’ve been back at home in Brighton, preparing for the trip and returning to some sort of normality, with the whole experience seeming like a weird crazy dream. That was until Australia phoned a couple of days ago… “Hi Rich, your visa’s nearly through. When do you want to fly out?!” So 6 months after sending in my application video it’s all about to actually happen. The last couple of days I’ve been frantically packing and organising for the big trip. I’ve had a brief teaser of my first months’ itinerary, and now I fully understand why it’s called The Best Jobs in the World. Talk about a good start to September, I’ll be heading to Australia’s North West for some mud crabbing, pearl harvesting, fishing and foraging in the Kimberley, and then tasting my way around the bountiful flavours of Broome.

So WA, here I come!

I’m really looking forward to meeting you all, embarking on new adventures and exploring WA, starting with Perth next Sunday… I’m hitting the ground running (literally!) and I’ve just registered for the City to Surf 12 km run.

Running shoes: Check
Blister cream: Check

Hope my jet lag’s subsided.

See you all very soon!