Saturday, 21 November 2009

Monthly travel update :- November, The Wild Wild West...

Hey guys.

Its time for another update on my travels. In the last one I had just left Kakadu national park and was thinking of heading towards western Australia... The good news is that we made it!

After Kakadu we spent a couple of days around Darwin, mostly checking to see if there were any jobs in the area. Finding no jobs available we decided to head south towards Katherine with it in mind to travel on westwards from there.

So waving a teary goodbye to the last K-Mart and Macdonalds for 2000km we headed south.
The trip to Katherine was uneventful enouagh, except that our van started to make strange squeaking noises as we were driving... Thinking it would be better to get that sorted out before we traveled any further we made the decision to stay in Katherine and fix this problem.

By visiting all of the garages in Katherine (six) and all of the parts shops (three) we managed to get our van fixed in 5 days and for less then $300! For these 5 days that we were forced to stay in Katherine (honestly it isn't a very nice place) we mostly checked for jobs (unsuccessfully) and hung out in the tourist information center... mostly because of the free air conditioning there...
As soon as it was physically possible we left Katerine and set off west, towards the border of the Northern Territory and Western Australia... It was 2 days drive to the border, and the place that we stopped off overnight had a crocodile show every evening. I got to feed a crocodile, which was kind of exciting. After the show we found out that this was the last show for this year as the bridge had to be raised for the wet season! As ever our timing was excelent!

We stayed around after the show to watch the spectacle of te bridge being raised. This mostly seemed to consist of Aussie guys standing around, drinking beer,and offering each other such advice as "try hitting it with a hammer" and "last year we got it up much faster...".

The bridge raising was pretty entertaining, and culminated with the camp owner's son being stranded on the other side of the river, throwing his shoes across, and then jumping in to croc infested waters and swimming across. As if this weren't enough, one of his shoes ended up in the river and the owner of the camp site also jumped into the river, compete with his mobile phone and wallet in his pockets!

The next day we knew we had to cross the border into Western Australia. This is easy enough, but you aren' allowed to carry any fresh fruit or veg over the border... Luckily we knew about this in advance and all we had to give them were a few cloves of garlic and a pot of honey...
After adjusting our watches (there is a one and a half hour time difference between the NT and WA), we continued on to Kununnara. We arrived very early, mainly because of the time difference, and immediately found a job! Before noon we had our new home, a camp site called "the Hidden Valley" a new job, picking mangos, and had re-stocked our fruit and veg. Life was looking good!

It became quickly apparent that life in WA has a slightly different pace to life elsewhere in Austraia... or anywhere else in the world. We got a break every hour and a half, then a bigger break every 3 hours. The pace of the work was steady, and the people were friendly. I was going to like it here!

Our two work mates were english and were nice fellas. One of them was from somewhere near Birmingham, and the other one was a true cockney geezer... Unfortunately they didn't heed the advice of everyone around them and decided to pick in short sleeved shirts, and one of them even picked topless!!! The regretted this soon enough as the mango rash struck! Within a few days neiter of them could work, and one of them even had to go to hospital!

We are still working at that farm now. We have been transferred to sandalwood, which is not too tricky, and have made loads of new friends.... most of them Korean! It seems that WA farms, like the rest of australia, are full of koreans. Less Germans and French here though... I think I've found where all of the English people are... for some reason we are all in WA!

Anyway... that takes us up to the present day. Did I mention we only work 5 days a week!?! I like WA... :p

Pictures of all of this can be found here

Take care people.

Trev x