11/03/2010 - 15/03/2010
Well Richard did as promised and took us to a hostel In bundaberg. It was awful! We got a double room for $175 each a week and were told we were starting work tomorrow picking tomatoes. The room in the hostel was vile, there wasn't any windows in it and it stank of sweat. We tried to console ourselves with the fact that in 3 months we would be done and could do whatever we wanted for the next year and 9 months.
The next day we got up for work at 3:30am. Horrible! We left the hostel at 4:15am with the other guys. yesterday we had got speaking to Ben and Janine who seemed nice. I fell alseep on the way. We got dicthed in a field at 5am in the dark and it started to rain. We were waiting for around 30 mins when someone came up with a tractor. We were spilt into 2 groups, and sat on a machine and had to pick the tomatoes as we went past them. there was only a certain type you could pick - not the red ones!
It was okay, not fun by any means. There was also someone behind us who had to carry a bucket and pick the ones that we missed. It got too wet and we all had to walk and carry the buckets. It went from okay to awful. Our feet were slipping all over, we were freezing cold and the buckets were really heavy. We got a smokoe in the morning, but we just worked through it as did some of the other guys as we assumed we'd get another break later on - we didn;t until we stopped at 1pm.
We tried to find out how many bins we had filled as we were paid by contract rate - it ended up we earned around $18 for a full days work.
The next day we were told there would be work every other day - this didn't happen and on the saturday we awoke to find a notice had been put up saying there wouldn't be any work for a fornight.Someone told us of another hostel called northside backpackers, so we waited for Bowman to arrive and me, jonny, bowman and ben went to have a look around. It was bizarre - people seemed to be happy here! A big contrast from the one we were staying at as everyone was miserable and worried about work. He make booking to come and checked out the following morning.
That day we went to Agnes water with bowman where it rained, so went back to the hostel pretty early where we were sharing a room with Ciara, Dermot and Erika. That Monday we all got work - me and Bowman were picking macadamia nuts and Jonny was on sweet potatoes.
The nuts were ok, I woke up every morning feeling as if I had been hit by a bus, but it was hourly pay so couldn't really complain. Things got alot easier when Bowman got put on the quad bikes, as we had to pick 16 buckets a day or we would get sacked. Bowman could take some extra of my numbers so I could take it abit easier. Really lucky as people were getting sacked on a daily basis!
I was here for around 3 and a half weeks when a job came up in a packing factory and I was put on that with Jonny, Sophie and Birte. It was much better as we were indoors away from all of the spiders, snake and hot sun. The first week we all worked around 12 hour days for 8 days before we got a day off. After that the work started to dwindle and I did a couple of days work at other places - one which was fish harvesting. I think its fair enough to say I don't ever want to do that again!
Eventually the work stopped at the packing factory apart for jonny and some other boys.
By now it was our last week here - I only got one days work at Pitts farm, which was the pitts. It was vining. I was suppose dto be back for another day but burnt all of my hands on a pan, and didn't get work again after that.
All of this was littered with what seemed as exciting trips to iga ( the local supermarket ), the best bbq I have ever been to with Pierre, Birte, Ben, Janine, Sophie, Bowman and Jonny which consisted of fab food and lots of school games and lots of visits to the local haunt the central where on a Thursday and Friday night it was $5 jugs of cider - a backpackers dream!
All in all I would say it was a love/hate relationship - The people were great, but the work was awful. After 7 weeks we only left with 29 days completed, 59 to go.
Next stop Brisbane.