Sitting, Waiting, Wishing......For Work
Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
284Trip End Ongoing
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It is a working hostel so the owners do their best to arrange fruit picking work for you in the local area. When I arrived I went to the bottom of the list but it only took a couple of days before I was offered work. So I had to sit around the hostel doing very little while I was waiting.
Spent 2 days watching movies in the TV room and playing some pool whilst getting to know the others in the hostel. On the Tuesday we spotted a flyer for cheap golf at the course in town and had to have a go. It was only $20 for a round of 18 holes with club hire and golf buggy! What a bargain!
I can't say I played very well. This could be down to the fact I hadn't played since leaving home, not that I'm any good there either, or the fact we were drinking beer whilst playing! I also managed to crash the golf buggy into a tree, smashing off a huge branch and nearly getting kicked off the course. The owner was great however and was really happy to see a load of backpackers supporting his local club. We'll be back for sure.
So onto work. After a couple of days I was offered the job of zucchinis (courgettes) and I wasn't exactly looking forward to it. Out of all the guys in our room no one had lasted more than 1 day before quitting! I did slightly better and lasted a whole 2 days before quitting and going back on the waiting list again. Picking zucchinis was like working in a slave labour camp! You had to walk around bare foot in ankle deep mud, your arms got a rash from carrying stacks of the vegetables, legs cut to hell by the razor sharp leaves and only 10 minutes break in 9 hours! I can't understand how any of the people at the hostel put up with it for more than a couple of days but some people are currently on their 12th straight day!
I had a job on the last 2 Saturdays which was far better. Working on a mango farm moving around plant pots and topping up the soil. Really easy work, a roast dinner, couple of beers and $100 cash at the end of the day. If only all the farms in the area were so friendly. Sadly no work there this weekend but hopefully again soon.
I was woken up early one morning (5:30am) and offered the chance to pick cucumbers for the day. Thought I may as well do it for a bit more money but it wasn't worth it. Cucumbers lasted less than 30 minutes before I had to start picking tomatoes. Not big tomatoes but grape tomatoes. Tiny little things smaller than cherry tomatoes and the boss expected me to pick at least 3 10L buckets an hour! I was picking slightly less and at the end of the day she informed me I would be sacked by lunch the following day if I continued to pick at that rate! I didn't go back the next day.
It was just as well really as the World Cup is on and it has been great fun watching it with all the people from the hostel. We all went out to the Commercial Tavern in town for the England-Paraguay game (see pics above) and had a brilliant time even though the game was terrible. Slightly better for the Trinidad and Tobago game but nowhere near good enough. Watched the Socceroos play a couple of times so far and it's amazing how good the locals seem to think they are because they beat Japan! Japan didn't deserve to lose and 4ft Yoshi in goal played a blinder! Anyway lets hope England play well tonight and good luck for the second round.
I started doing contract rate Pumpkin picking yesterday and it is the job I have been waiting for. Good rate of pay and far easier than fiddly little zucchinis. In our group of 6 we had to pick 22 tonnes of pumpkins in the day and it wasn't too difficult. We'll get far quicker in the coming days though and should be able to make some really decent money. Raining today though so no work.
I said we would be back to play golf and we went on Friday night for night golf! Totally pitch black and we had to play with some special golf balls with glow sticks inside. It was almost impossible to hit a ball in a straight line and you could only just see the glow stick on the flag pole but it was brilliant. Had a barbeque afterwards and even got our picture taken for the local paper! Celebrities in Ayr! We also managed to win the raffle at the end of the night and took home a free crate of beer! What a great night.
I think that's about it really. I have 3 weeks left in Australia and this is the last town I will visit. Lets hope I get some good weather so I can make as much money as possible and continue travelling for the duration of my round-the-world ticket.