Before coming to Australia I had read a few blogs of people who had come to work and travel down under. Surprisingly, after a few months, they always seemed to have a lull in activity on their blogs. I don't know if it is for the same reasons as I have found myself in, but here comes the explanation.
After getting back from King Island to Reds, I had a week of just doing farm work on Reds property. Meanwhile I was looking for somewhere more permanent to work, so I could save up some Australian earned dollars to go travel. The ultimate goal was to buy a car that could take me pretty much everywhere, but didn't use a lot of fuel. Asking around and with a bit of help I found a more or less constant workflow in a dairy farm about 10km away from Reds. So after being introduced I started working for Stockys (as my boss is called). The first month was near constant work, as it was the season where all the cows are calving and have to be AI'd after that. The cows being milked don't care if it is Saturday or Sunday, so it was weekend work too. More so as Stockys other worker (“good” Jay, Digbys got a “bad” Jay too) has those two days off. On Wednesday evening I had off nearly every time as I tagged along with Red to go play badminton and also have a few drinks at the pub afterwards with the locals.
I helped Grinner with lam marking a couple of times. He just lives the other side of Digby. Luckily Reds mum Jossie let me borrow her car most of the time to get around and to work. We went fishing at night on the Glenelg river just over in South Australia in a riverside hut with Luigy and his girlfriend Marianne. Nearly all the names here are nicknames. I don't actually know most of the locals real names and they don't always coincide with the real names. Luigy, Marianne and me didn't catch a thing that night, but Red had two small fish on the hook which he had to throw back again.
We also visited Melbourne a couple of times. The drive there is pretty arduous, taking a few hours (three to four) and the road not being in the best conditions. Mostly it was dark on the way back, so the Roos are a constant threat as well. Just coming back last Tuesday, Red just managed to dodge one just outside of Hamilton. It wouldn't have been as bad as it could have been, as we where in his UTE and it has a Roobar on the front, but still, avoiding is better than hitting.
A few weeks back we went to visit a football match in the MCG. We where acompanied by Luigy and Marianne again, as Red and Luigy are Horthorn supporter and can get free entry (plus one extra) when they play. Marianne supports the other team, but was still aloud to come along. Horthorn beat the others, but everyone said that was nothing unexpected. Due to that the stadium, that can accommodate 100.000 people, only had 30.000 people watching.
And one of the last times in Melbourne was last Tuesday. Red has left for Perth yesterday, visiting a friend for a party and going fishing. As I have saved up enough in the two and a half months I have worked at Stockys and the one month before that on King Island, I finally wanted to purchase a car. A car grants a lot more freedom on this vast continent than a bus, train or any other form of public transport does. Inside the city's it's no problem, but outside is were they really pay of. Without a car I would have never met all the people around Reds place. I consulted the internet before buying one and had a look at the market on the internet for a period of time, but you still want to go and actually look at what you get before buying. We actually wanted to go two weeks prior to that, but due to a wave of sickness passing through the area that left me weak and most farmers around here bed ridden for at least a few day (Red was one) we had to scrap that idea and recover. But on Tuesday we managed and visited a few dealers. My price limit was set at 3000$, so I wasn't expecting anything new and flashy looking. The things it had to have where a low fuel consumption, a long body (so I can sleep in the back if necessary) and, if possible, 4WD. That narrowed it down to a few models and in the end I got a 1999 Subaru Forester. On average it had 100.000km less on the odometer and it looked cleaner and well looked after. As the dealer that sold it hadn't got the road worthy certificate for the car yet but was confident it would pass, I signed the buying papers and drove back home with Reds. As they need to take it to a licensed garage for the RWC it would take at least a day for them. Due to Red leaving for Perth on Friday anyway he drove down and I picked it up. Drove back home after tanking in a fuel station where the computers where dead (one angry customer just up and left) and headed out in the thick of rush hour. I was back at Reds place at half past nine at night, luckily not finding any kangaroos or wallaby's.
So, now I have a car. And I cant wait to get rid of it and the money it is costing me. From fuel, repair parts, registration and insurance I hope it is worth it in the end with granting me the freedom that only a car can over. I'll be working this and next weekend for a bit of extra cash, go and do “backpacky” things in the week and then head of in about one and a half weeks. Probably along the coastline from Melbourne to Sydney.