So here I am in Darwin in the beautiful sunshine and warm weather… just completed another two week road trip from Adelaide along the Stuart Highway through the middle ("Red Centre") of Australia and I loved every bit of it. I've learnt a lot about the Aboriginals and their history and culture which I've found very interesting! We made stops at Uluru (Ayres Rock) Ktata Juta (The Olgas), Kings Canyon, Katherine George, Devils Marbles, Kakadu National Park and lots of other places. I have taken in a lot of different scenery and landscapes and took note of how it changes throughout Australia… however this also involved a LOT of driving; everything over here is so far away from each other!!
Before that amazing road trip I spent about 7 weeks working on various farms… I know it's probably hard to imagine me on a farm but I spent 5 weeks in Jamestown (2 hours north of Adelaide) working on a Vineyard and then a Sheep Farm. I spent two weeks WWOOFing on a Vineyard pruning grapevines, rescuing baby lambs and feeding baby lambs! Ellen and I were living with the Australian owner, his Thai girlfriend and an Italian couple working there. Ellen, myself and Aurora and Lorenzo spent the afternoons baking bread, cooking delicious soup and making cakes and donuts… we had a great time and it felt very homely!!
Ellen and I were then offered some paid work on the farm next door to the Vineyard (although it is still about 5kms away!) in the Sheep Shearing shed with a really nice guy called Graham… this was certainly different from what I am used to and a real eye opener!! We were "Roust-abouting" which included sweeping up, pressing wool, picking up the wool (which there is quite a skill to but we started to pick it up!) and organising food for "Smokos" (tea breaks) and Lunch! I thoroughly enjoyed the week in the Shearing shed (they Shear the sheep so quickly!!) and learnt a lot, for instance they have to inject the Rams before shearing them as they are a lot bigger than the Ewes and can get quite nasty! We spent a couple more weeks on the same farm with Graham, his house was lovely and homely and we have decided it is our Australia Home so we didn't want to leave at all. We spent our time feeding sheep, mustering and moving sheep around, driving the Tractor; Graham was great as he showed us a lot and enjoyed having us helping him so again I learnt a lot… mainly about the price of selling and buying sheep, looking after sheep and the different breeds of sheep. So I now think I am fully qualified to be a Farmer (although Graham isn't quite convinced haha). In the evenings we all just chilled out, got a real wood fire going, had some dinner and talked for a few hours, we were like a little family I loved every minute! And on Fridays we would go to the pub and have more than a few drinks, and Ellen and I were like locals in the end, quite a few people knew who we were and everyone was really friendly (apart from a few guys being a bit strange…). We spent one weekend driving through the "Outback" up to Broken Hill, which is actually in NSW not SA and about 300km from Jamestown but Australian's don't think anything of driving that far just for one weekend! We stopped at a town called Silverton where Mad Max 2 and quite a few other films were made. We spent the Sunday visiting the Menindee Lakes (Australians have some sort of obsession with water because they don't have a lot!) which were in a drought only a couple of years before and all of the trees that had died in that drought were still standing in the lake now full of water and it looked really bizarre but interesting!
So obviously myself and Ellen had a great time whilst in Jamestown and were very sad to leave but we want to see as much of Oz as possible so we then moved to Kangaroo Island; Graham's son lives there and had a contact on a Broccoli farm who gave us two weeks work. The weather varied between really warm and massive downpours of rain! We had one nice day just driving around the island visiting various beaches including Emu Bay and Stokes Bay and then down to Little Sahara which was really cool even though it was raining! Little Sahara obviously consists of lots of Sand Dunes!
We are now about to venture on our next road trip… the West Coast to Perth and then it's over to Cairns!! So I have lots to look forward to… again! Until next time… Buh-bye J