The last four weeks in Canoelands
Sorry we haven’t updated this in a long time. We found a job posted on gumtree for fruit picking an hour from Sydney. It was $18.75ph and would be 10 hours a day 6 days a week. Accommodation was available on site for $5 per night and the work would be up to Christmas. We couldn’t turn it down. When we contacted the person we were told there was no way we would be able to get there unless we had a car. Immediately we got on the internet to find out much it would cost us to rent a car for a few weeks and then buy one as soon as possible. Car rental wasn’t too bad. We quickly nipped into the city to pick up some essentials; pillows, a sat nav, a couple of cheap tops and then headed back to the hostel to pack our things. We picked the rental car up a little before 3pm and then immediately started our 10 hour drive towards Sydney Taking the Hume highway
We had heard that getting petrol can be dif
ficult at night especially when you are driving through some of the small towns as they close early and some only accept cash. Every time our tank dipped below 3/4s we filled up.
We saw some very interesting things along the way. Some lovely views, lots of Cockatoos, lots of signs warning about kangaroos and two crashes. One had a number of ambulances and an air ambulance. The road was very quiet once it got dark and the rain was really heavy, making driving difficult.
We came through one town that looked like it was stuck in the 60s, and it had a submarine for a restaurant! Weird. It was an English submarine was called HMS something or other ha! I can’t remember.
After a very long drive (9 hours) we found the road we needed to get to, it was very dark and on the corner was a big sign used for bush fire warnings. Great! It was quite scary driving down the road. It was very dark and we passed a load of old rusting pick-up trucks that reminded me yet again of the film Wrong Turn. Jaime, the woman who had advertised the job told us that she’d leave the light on in our caravan so we’d know where we would be staying. We found the property after a little searching (the sat nav directed us just short of the actual property) and pulled up next to what we later found out is called “the ghetto”. My God what had we let ourselves in for? We brought our bags into the caravan and were so tired fell fast asleep.
We had to be in the shed for 6:45am to start work the next morning. The alarm woke us at 6am. It wasn’t as difficult as I was expecting to get up. We had breakfast and introduced ourselves the rest of the workers. There are three other caravans and three other people besides us that are staying in the ghetto. Neil, he is 24 and Canadian travelling around Australia, Bella, who is 19, Australian and on summer break from university and Jenny who is 50 something, Australian and also travelling around Australia. After the introductions we headed over to the shed for our days work. I was going to be picking and Leona would be packing. Our first day was really long.
We’ve been at the farm for almost 4 weeks and in that time have experiences and done quite a bit. I found out that I get a stinging rash all over my face if I go picking. Also Leona has experienced a lot of insect bites from mosquitoes, sand flies and march flies and spent a lot of money at the chemist getting antihistamines and creams for her face and bites.
We have seen both a funnel web red back spider that were caught by one of the owners and put in glass jars. We have also seen a snake but it was only small. We’ve seen a centipede that is poisonous and seen lots of zachartas which are flying creatures that hatch out of a shell and live for just 2 weeks. Also a huge iguana crossed our path on the road which we took pictures of and many lizards have been seen.
We are now getting to the festive period and its getting slightly stressful as we don’t know if we’re going to go someones’s house for dinner (Jenny’s family) or to Bondi Beach. We are planning on going to Sydney Harbour for New Years Eve. We bought a Christmas tree and decorated it to try and feel a bit more festive.
To bring you up to date – three days ago we bought a van. It’s a 1999 Ford Econovan and cost us $1750 – bargain! We’re hoping we’ll get some time between Christmas and New Year to transform it into our new home to travel up the coast in. We’ll keep you updated on that over the next couple of weeks hopefully with lots of photos.
We will continue living on the farm for hopefully 2 more months as we have a job down the road at a nursery starting 3rd of January for around the same money. This time we will be the only workers and we shall be doing 10 hour days again pruning and weeding the plants. Fun!
Christmas is going to be weird this year with no family around. We’re hoping we still have a good day what ever we end up doing.