Well...first of all Merry Christmas from Australia! I have to say we are not feeling Christmassy at all as we are in the midst of summer here.
I think the last update ended our New Zealand trip. After that we headed over to Australia and landed in Sydney to find rain which was a bit of a disappointment because I was dying for some sun! Anyway, after 4 months of travel, fun and no work the funds were running incredibly low so it was time to find some work. We had a look in Sydney and had absolutely no luck partly because the financial crisis has hit pretty hard but also because we.....and when I say we I mean I, needed a job straight away and we didn't have the time or money to live in Sydney and wait around. We spoke to a couple who we met in the hostel who said they had done fruit picking and made loads of money doing long hours. Also, because you are in the middle of nowhere there isn't much to spend your money on. We decided drastic times called for drastic measure and managed to find a job packing mangoes in a little place called Ayr which is in Queensland.
After sorting out the arrangements we had a couple of days seeing the sight of Sydney. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed but I think it was because my expectations were so high. We did head over to Manly on the last day which raised my opinion of the place a bit and Darling harbor was really nice as you will see from my pictures. I don't think the hostel we stayed in helped much either....it was pretty dirty and horrible and we ended up staying in a 10 bed dorm with some really annoying people. One of which has just been on the TV programme "Make Me a Supermodel" - the Australian version of Britain's Next Top Model which I was massively impressed with and had a look through her photos. Adam on the other hand was not so interested!
We took a flight from Sydney to Townsville which is the closest airport to Ayr and arrived to find work was pretty slow and spent the first week or so hanging around which was a bit annoying as we were both keen to make some cash. After doing a few odd jobs at first like pulling up plastic, picking mangoes and chillies (which was the hardest work I have ever done in my life!) we both ended up working in a big Mango packing shed. The job is really easy and the shed is air conditioned which is a massive bonus. I have had a bit of a nightmare since we got here though because I have suffered from Mango rash really badly. You probably didn't know mango rash existed and I didn't till I got here but it is awful. I have it all over my arms, legs and belly and it is so so itchy. Last weekend my face and eyes totally swelled up and the hostel owner, who is lovely, had to take me to the hospital to get something for it. You probably think I am all mad but I am still working there now because I need the money but the job finishes next Tuesday so don't have long to go now until I can get out of here and get rid of the rash.
We have met a group of really nice people in Ayr who we are going to spend Christmas and New Year with in Byron Bay which I am really looking forward to and is keeping me going through my 10 hour shifts packing mangoes at the moment. I think there is about 16 of us going so hopefully it will take my mind off being away from home for Christmas.
I think that is all the news we have for you now. Missing you all loads and we will be sure to fill you in on all the rest of our travels.
Love Lauren & Adam