The Outback Life

Hey there,

so it’s only been a few weeks since I posted, but I cannot honestly believe how much has happened since Xmas eve. It feels like Melbourne was a whole other world ago. Suffice to say, I’m missing it — but this is all part of the adventure. Where to begin…

Sini and I left the hostel in Cradoc and moved on to Tasmania. We couch surfed with an awesome guy named Sam who treated us to argentinian BBQ, a midnight swim in the FREEZING Tassie water, and a blacklight dance party in his living room (his friend does amateur DJing, no big deal). It was WONDERFUL. We had met two girls the day we arrived who said they were game to do a road trip with us – great! Problem was, the next morning as we woke up, we discovered that they were bailing on us because the german girl was flying home because her boyfriend had dumped her…? We didnt probe, but spent the day scouring gumtree ads and making our own in the local hostels to find SOMEONE to go on a trip with us. After a day spent moping around, we met a great German girl named Julia on the Saturday night. We had a few drinks down by Salamanca Market and BAM, we were all set for Sunday Morning!

Julia knew where to get a good deal on a car, so we headed out of town, picked it up, and our short but sweet trip began. It must be noted that Sam (the couch host) also lent us his tent, sleeping bags and mats for our trip, which is quite possibly the most awesome thing ever… thanks Sam!!
We decided to do the East Coast of Tassie and cut around through the center via Launceston. We had wanted to get in Cradle Mountain or Bruny Island but time was so tight and we overestimated the time spent on Tasmania’s windy roads. It was the craziest driving I’ve seen in sometime.

Tasmania’s east coast is beautiful. It can change in matter of minutes… vast plain-like regions, then cliffs and bluffs, dark blue water, then mexico-inspired sandy beaches and aquamarine waves… Check out my Tasi photo album on Facebook for a few examples, with more to come.
We loved the beaches in Bicheno, and did a hike to Wineglass Bay. Breathtaking. I loved relaxing up at Bay of Fires towards St. Helens. One day when I’m married (if I’m not a crazy cat lady…) I will come back and bring someone. It’s truly romantic 🙂

We all split the driving and I am happy to say I’m fairly comfortable driving on the left now! Our camping went okay, but we never had a great sleep, sadly. We stopped in at our hostel one night to pick up our remaining gear, but even then, the stupid birds outside and people coming in from work kept me awake…

We made it down to the south of Tasmania for a day and checked out some caves which were fairly interesting, and the first I’d ever been to. It was one of my first road trips and I know I want to go again. Considering I’d known Sini two weeks and Julia a day, we all got on fairly well.

Upon returning to Hobart, it was there we stayed for a day before flying to Sydney. We then couch surfed with an awesome Greek guy named Randy. He took us to the Blue Mountains for a day with two nice Americans, Andy and Shannon. We also went to the races on the Saturday which was wonderful, and my first time going in Australia. I won 50$! …which soon disappeared. Oops 🙂

After a great time with Randy, we got picked up by the farmer we are now staying with. “It has been in the family for generations. We’re doing it for 88 days to get our second year visa. I can already tell you I’m having doubts, but I’ll try to stick it out. It’s close to woofing as we don’t make a salary really, but food and accom. are provided. No cell service, but that’s something I need to adjust to as well. There are sheep, cattle, horses, etc. We have a ‘pet’ calf named Lotus outside our door that we feed twice a day… she moos in the morning if we don’t come when she wants.

So far we’ve learned to feed the animals, had a motorbike lesson, taken down fencing, learned how to pack a bail of wool… (think handling wool full of sheep crap and burrhs) I had a reaction to stinging nettle yesterday and freaked out. I also fell off the motorbike, but no big deal. We’re in for some really long days which is unfortunate, and it’s so far to the nearest town… but I hope they trust us eventually to take the car out for a day. I’ll pay gas if it means social contact.

Yesterday we went into Tamworth to see the Australian Country Music festival. We had a couple drinks and saw a few acts which was nice, met a few people. If only a younger crowd lived nearby…! Last night our ‘fun’ was endless Monopoly and our Australia will be spent alone by the pool and maybe some tennis…

Sini found a quote saying that it’s better to have a life of ‘oh wells’ rather than ‘what ifs’… so groan as I may over the next coming days, I know my second year visa is on the line and I want the option to come back. I’m looking forward to going back to Canada to see family, and it becomes hard… but I have to give it my best effort. On the plus side, I’m learning to do things I never would have otherwise, things many people won’t, and it’s an experience that many can’t say they’ve done. The family is very kind and I expect we’ll be well taken care of, and that says a lot. It’s only a matter of time until I’m used to it and get the hang of farm life… or here’s hoping, anyway.

Peace out, and much love from the Outback!

xx K


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