Walkabouts - 02

My sister has me sleeping on the veranda. The other veranda. she has the back, I am on the front one. It is quite a clever setup, this adds two rooms to the house. The floors are tiled with a nice brown ceramic tile the same one that is in the living room and the kitchen and the two kids bedrooms and the bathroom.. in fact everywhere. it is quite a change from the last time we were here and the floors were just concrete.

There's running water now too, she's had a bore done. The water is very good, it is good to drink straight from the tap. There's plenty of water around at the moment, it seems. It doesn't rain here very often though, this time of year. The first week we were here when we stayed in Cairns just 350 km from here it rained so much there every night that it was difficult to sleep through the noise, but here it was just a bit clouded, with nothing falling out except a few drops.

The sun started shining last Friday the day we left Cairns and it hasn't stopped since. The nights are cold and both of us sleeping on the veranda have thick duvets and hot water bottles but the ones on the house are quite comfy. In Holland the days are 30C and the nights are too stuffy to sleep. Here the sun is quite strong and you can be outside wearing shorts and a skimpy top, but the air is cold and in Cooktown it is windy as always so keep your pullover handy.

Talking about the wind, someone told us that there are plans of building a wind farm up here which is considered good news. It would bring some industry this way and energy prices are the talk of the town here like everywhere else. One of my sisters friends is an organic farmer who originally comes from Scotland. he has lost his Scottish accent completely, at least I can not detect it with my untrained ear, but he has kept the stubborn temperament and the fighting spirit. He is a little man, his face full of lines, white hair sticking out in every direction and a pair of very keen small round eyes beaming at his listeners all in their turn as he is holding most of the conversation.

He has a lot of ideas on sustainable energy projects he would like to build or has partly built and discarded at some point, and gets my curiosity, this is something I would like to get into. It is difficult to get a fix on something concrete to start with though. My sister has got a solar hot water system now, it works perfectly. It must produce water of 50C or hotter, since it is too hot to use without mixing cold water in. He has plans of buying or building a system to dry his fruits, using solar, but in the wet season when the need for it will be greatest, the weather will be cloudy most of the time and the humidity will make it very difficult. Humidity is also a factor which makes solar electric systems dodgy to operate in the wet.