Hard Yakka

Trip Start May 10, 2006
1
14
223
Trip End May 09, 2008


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Where I stayed
Nomads Oasis

Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Sunday, July 9, 2006

I'm over here on a 12 month Working Holiday Visa which means that if I do three months "seasonal work in regional Australia" I'm eligible to apply for a second Working Holiday Visa thus allowing me to stay with the right to work for a further 12 months.
This roughly translates as three hellish months doing a job you don't want in a part of Australia you never wanted to visit. In my case, vine pruning in Echuca-Moama.

I thought I'd try and get this out of the way in winter so I can stop worrying about it, once its done its done and I can apply for a second visa. Also, temperatures can get into the 40s in summer and I'm a firm believer that anything above 30 degrees is meant for swimming, frolicing or taking all your clothes off and lying very still on the beach.

Vine pruning (we're currently trimming Shiraz) is easy enough, it's just boring, mind numbing work and your hands and wrists ache like mad at the end of the first day. I asked one of the lads how long before it stopped hurting. He just shrugged and said, "Ah it never stops hurting, you just get used to it." So that was comforting then.
It's not a stressful job though, once you've got back to the hostel, drained the fluid out of your blisters and emptied the stray twigs and leaves out of your bra you can just relax and try and forget about the dull ache in your wrists.

Bear in mind I haven't worked in about two months either so all this getting up and doing stuff before 7am is disconcerting but you know the best thing about working apart from being paid?
That Friday Feeling. I forgot how amazing and sacred Fridays were.
The hostel I'm staying in is cool, most people here work in the vinyards or do other seasonal work in the area. Most of them are trying to get a second visa too but there are a couple of Aussies, us foreigners are still trying to work out why anyone would do this work by choice, not neccessity.

Echuca is the Paddlesteamer capital of Australia which would be great if Paddlesteamers were more interesting, there's not much to do here but Melbourne is only a 4 or 5 hour drive away.
See, I'm getting the hang of the Aussie concept of distance, I'd never dream of driving for 4 hours to get somewhere for the weekend in the UK but over here a 4 hour drive is deemed "just up the road." Plus petrol is cheaper here which makes long distance driving less painful, it's about $1.40 on average which is about 60p a litre.

Emma started work at a restaurant in Melbourne on Thursday an all so hopefully we'll be able to get some money behind us before we head off to the next place we want to be which is Adelaide where Emma's brother lives.

I heard Adelaide is renowned for its wine and vinyards.

Oh joy.
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