Well, the last 10 days have been a time for firsts, first time I've worked in a vineyard and first time I've been fired from a job!
So, I travelled to Blenheim last Sunday paid up front for a weeks stay at a backpacker hostel, and was told to be ready for work at 7.15 the next morning. There were 15 of us staying at the hostel who were working at the same vineyard and another 15 from another hostel. When we arrived at the vineyard we were told we had to cut off all the bunches of green grapes from the vines. Simple enough, he told us we needed to work pretty quick as we were getting paid per plant, and that he would let people go if they weren't quick enough after a couple of days!
Well, two hours in he then tells us that there's a new boss and she's not happy and is going to sack everyone at the tea break!! The tea break arrived and the sacking didn't but we were told we need to do a row and a half in one hour, it had just taken me two hours to do one row!!! With my trusty secateers I worked the rest of the morning in fear of the sack. By lunch time the supervisor went round telling people to go home, they weren't quick enough, two guys even had to just sit around for the afternoon as the mini bus driver was still working! Personally I felt it was quite an achievement to make it to the afternoon and I will hold on to that thought!! By the end of the day my back was aching and my feet hurt, I think we were still all going too slow as he told us he would try and get our rate of pay higher. We were told to be at the vineyard by 7.30 the next morning.
Later that evening I was given the message that there would be no work for the next 2 days as he was trying to get our pay increased but we'd be back on Thursday! I wasn't holding my breath, and the next day two people arrived to collect our signed contracts and to tell us there was no more work, we had all been fired and they already had new people in!
So I had paid up to stay the rest of the week but had no work! So I have just spent the last week in Blenheim, which isn't really the tourist capital of the world, but it was actually quite nice to stay in one spot for a few days, something I haven't done in some months! I have now returned to Christchurch, which I love, and have just had a day on the beach.
I've now decided to change my plans slightly and am coming home slightly earlier than planned, because of the job slightly, but also because I'm ready to come home now, I've been away a long time and had a great time, but am really looking forward to getting back to the UK to see family and friends. I've still got a while yet, I have about 10days in New Zealand and then wil spend just over 3 weeks in Thailand, arriving back in the UK April 15th.