Part One is here.
So we’ve already established that GOF did something strange and irresponsible back in 1983 by moving his young family to an isolated, abandoned and waterlogged paddock in the middle of the tropical rainforest.
No services. No close neighbours. Access to the nearest road via six kilometres of disused logging track which was trafficable only by tractor during the worst of the wet season. A place which would guarantee permanent financial uncertainty, but also offer the greatest challenges and rewards of a lifetime.
Mrs GOF must be one of the most tolerant women on the planet. (Quite apart from the most obvious cross she’s had to bear for 34 years.) Together we have dug house foundation trenches with picks and shovels, built the house and numerous sheds, installed tanks, irrigation and water supply systems, grown food crops, constructed plant nurseries (then rebuilt them each time they were blown away in cyclones) and re-forested the farm…..mostly just the two of us with some help from Inga’s child labour.
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In December 2013 we decided to overfly our little piece of paradise so Mrs GOF could take some aerial photographs.
Today these pictures remind me of our long journey and I feel some pride that we have made a living from our land when many people said it could not be done, but more importantly that we will leave most of it in better condition than when we arrived. In return, the spirits of this country have always looked after the three of us.
The photographs also prompt me to remember all the sweat and swearing and occasional blood and tears which went into this place, but I still can’t help wondering whether we’ve done the right thing by the planet…..we’ve brought an awful lot of crap onto this land which previously had none.
And so my friends, this is how GOF’s Paradise evolved;