It’s been a weird mission to leave the life I’ve spent 8 months trying to build, and go do farm work for 3 months. 8 months adapting to the surf culture and trying to set my career back in motion and all of a sudden, having to stop and drop everything to head to the middle of nowhere and take care of animals.
But that is the deal for us working holiday visa-ers who want to stay longer in Oz. I guess it’s like giving back to this magical country, a good push in the butt to explore new places and, for a little while at least, lead a life I’d never think of living.
Finding the right place to do it though is a pain in the butt. Up until 10 days before I ran out of time, I hadn’t found anything I could like. Yes I was very specific in my demands: I wanted to go to Western Australia (if I have to be shipped off to the middle of nowhere, might as well go somewhere I knew I’d love) and I wanted to work with horses. But after some dodgy owner in Mandurah tried to rip me off and I was running out of time, I started to look for stuff all across Australia.
I ended up with 2 choices: a big ass beautiful ranch near Cairns for tourism horseback ridding, full time work, unpaid and living in a backpacker’s and on the plus side: horses, good weather, near rivers and the beach. Or I could go to the Blue Mountains, on a small hobby farm with goats, alpacas, horses, geese, chickens, ducks, and a couple of cows. I have to pay for food, but there’s only a couple of hours of light work a day and everyone lives in the same house.
Despite what everyone was telling me, I chose option no2. For some reason, even with my original plan of going to WA, I felt terrified of moving away from the Sydney region. I wasn’t scared for one second when I’ve left my home country, my job and my family to live on the other side of the world, so if this time I was trembling just at the idea of leaving, I was going to listen to that gut instinct and just go 3h30min away from my Bondi bubble. Maybe I could come back sometimes on the weekends my brain was saying.
Like I said in my previous post, it was tough to let go, but still felt good to do so.
After one last cheeky paddle in the turquoise Bondi waters and subletting my room, I was ready to take the train with Rekha, a cute Welsh girl with Malaysian origins who wanted to renew her second visa as well. Instantly I felt like this was going to be a fun time. I’ve NEVER shared a room with anyone for more than a couple of days, but I have a good feeling about this.
We arrived at the farm, both not really knowing what to expect. A Peruvian farmer and a Scottish backpacker welcomed us and I suppose it was expected of us to feel at home straight away as nothing much was said apart from a couple of basic ground rules. So we did.
So far the days have been very peaceful. Lots of sun in the morning, start the day at 8-8h30am by feeding the animals, then do a bit of maintenance work: light fencing and weeding/trimming crops and trees for the girls and heavy duty mechanical stuff for the boys, til lunch time. Then we chill out, watch TV with a cup of tea if it’s raining til it’s feeding time again. It’s nice and relaxed, and the farm has a gorgeous view over a valley, which I think will be lovely for some photo taking.
I especially adore those massive black Cockatoos and Eagles flying over the valley, and the swarm of Parrots and those pink Galahs bouncing from tree to tree. I loved riding at the back of the ute into the forest to go mushroom picking.
I’m also so surprised at how friendly the farm animals are, the goats are just begging to be cuddled and one of the duties include feeding milk to a half blind rescued veal. Feeling the baby cow sucking on the teat (and my hand haha) is just the cutest thing!! The three dogs are especially friendly… Way too friendly for my taste sometimes… I’ve ever only had cats in my house so having two beasts jumping all over me (stains of dirt and saliva apply) and a little one begging to come onto my laps every time I sit down, kind of made me dubious whether or not I was going to love dogs as much as I love cats. Then last night when it was time for bed, the leader of the clan, Chui, jumped on my bed and could not be moved. Oh well, he’ll be keeping me warm this winter. #doglove XoXo – from the Mountains with Love