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Published: March 3rd 2012
March 2012. Day 23 of 88 for Visa.
G’day peeps! Sorry its taken soo long to update the 2nd
part of our blog but due to the fact of not having either wifi or somewhere which we could plug Saul’s computer into, we have had no means of getting onto the internet long enough to update this! So after 2 weeks of long hard work at the Lemon picking farm, we have managed to save enough for a netbook and an internet dongle( ha ha) so here were are back in touch with you all! J So happy about this! Being stuck in the middle of nowhere when it rains with no books or internet can get a little tiresome and there are only so many games of Rummy and Solitaire we can play! J Yes that’s right, we said RAIN! There has been a bout of very bad weather here and it has been raining hard for about a week non stop now. On the news its apparently coming from Queensland, and Sydney ‘s habitants have been told to evacuate as the Dam on the River has burst and flooding is very likely. Luckily we are in Victoria, at Lakes Entrance however they have mentioned flooding around here if it carries on, which it currently is!
So as some of you have seen from the pictures on Facebook, we are now reporting from a big fat gypsy caravan in Lakes Entrance on a Lemon farm called Vilenza Produce, run by a Sicilian Vince and his wife Lena. They are very nice and have been very helpful to us but we just don’t understand how after living in Oz for over 55 years, their English is still so poor. We must be able to understand about 20 percent of what he says, which suits us really as we just nod and smile! Funnily enough the Lemon farm is actually on Lemon hill Drive! You couldn’t even make this up! Its true! J
In the last blog we were about to embark on our Fruit picking journey and what a journey it has been. The first farm we arrived at was called P.Pullar’s in Cobram, New South Wales. After a 5 hour drive we met a guy called Fred at the farm who immediately told us he was French and has worked with Raymond Blanc before! He was the Janitor/Chef/ general dogsbody really but very nice. He showed us to our rooms, Saul and I were lucky enough to have our own room and Robbie Hart was nextdoor. When I say rooms, these shelters were orginial WW2 shelters and probably original beds. I must say the first thing which we noticed as getting at the car was the absurd amount of flies that greeted us all over our face and bodies. YUK. They were literally relentless. Later that evening we went to Woolworths, ( I know weird hey, Woolies is like the biggest supermarket here!) to buy our beer to drown our sorrows before the hard work really began the next day Pear picking.
To say pear picking was/is hard is an understatement. The heat most days were 40 degrees, with little or no shade and the bags strapped on our fronts weighed a tonne. Needless to say it didn’t take us very long, to figure out that we wouldn’t become millionaires doing this job especially at this company! Our first pay packet came after a week and my grand total net pay was $6.50 for a weeks work! Within these two weeks however one good thing came from it, we met 2 really nice people, Beckie and Jaede who were also doing it for their visa extension. We worked one more week there and decided a road trip was in order to find another job.
The road trip went from Cobram, through Wangaratta, through the snowy mountains on the Great alpine road and arriving at Bairnsdale then Orbost. This drive through the snowy mountains was testing for all of us to say the least. The roads were atrociously dangerous with huge cliff edges combined with full on hail stone and mist and fog. Just as we were about to reach the summit, a police car was flashing at us, there was nowhere to stop though until finally we came to a safer bit and he breathalysed Rob and checked the car over. I was beginning to wonder if this was Rob’s car as this wasn’t the first time we have been stopped! J
As we finally arrived in Orbost, things were looking promising to earn some good money and increase our visa days. Until we arrived at the house of horrors on Back Corringle road, Orbost. The worst place on earth. The guy who Saul had been speaking to on the phone wasn’t actually there and is junkie looking wife said she knew nothing about us coming to help paint and decorate some ‘holiday homes’ and pickle samphire. After being begrudgingly shown around the place, seeing puppies tied up here, there and everywhere, having no toilets and cooking facilities and having to sleep in kids minging bunk beds, we told them we would go to the supermarket to buy supplies. Upon arriving at foodworks and seeing a dead rat in the car park, I burst out crying and told Saul and Rob we couldn’t stay there! So after a long debate in this rough part of Orbost, we bought a slab of beer and decided to check into a local hostel called the Riviera Backpackers in lakes Entrance to decipher our next move. The owners were so nice and friendly and within 30 minutes of being there, we had another job lined up at Vilenza Lemon farm for the very next day. Phew!!
And that in a nutshell is how we wound up here in Lakes Entrance. In the 2 weeks since being here, so much has happened again so I think I better sum a few things up otherwise you may find yourselves drifting off into a coma. I guess its not as fun to read this than it is doing it! J
Here are some of our best and Worst bits..
· Learning to drive a tractor and delivering lemons to the coolstores and driving about on the farm.
· Being woken up by cows daily next to our caravan and Rob’s near fatal experience with the tractor. He tried changing gears on a steep hill with Saul and I in the crates on the back and basically sliding down backwards fast until our carriages colliding.
· Seeing all sorts of disgusting creatures in and out of our caravan. So far we have had 3 huntsman spiders in our caravan and a redback spider outside the house. One of the most deadliest spiders on Earth.
· Meeting and living with Backpackers from all over the world and enjoying beers with them and chatting in the evenings.
· One of the guys from Germany setting off a Flare given to him from the fisherman he worked with and setting it off on the farm and causing a fire.
· Rob’s constant singing.. with his favourite being Shoo fly don’t bother me.
· Coming up with as many pear puns as possible.. here are our favourites- What a pear, we were not pre-peared for this, its all gone pear shaped, what a pear of donkeys!
· Making as much as we can with the free Lemons, Lemonade, Lemon and poppyseed muffins, Lemon biscuits.
And that is probably about it for now, but as you can see we are having a blast and it sure is an eye opening experience this backpacking malarkey! J
I did want to sign out with some witty remark about how hot it is here and sunny and how cold it is in England but sadly its raining and grey here but still a modest 21 degrees. J Miss you all and would love to hear some of your news.. Ciao for now! xx
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