It’s been a while since my last blog, apologies but before I get started let’s have
my “friend profile” for this week!! Ok my friend of the week for this blog is Stu. I
met Stu in Korea, he was also an English teacher (although he taught in a public school, so he had a cushy number!). Stu is from Canada (yes that strange place where they talk funny and say “eh” a lot) and he was the baby of the group, hence his nickname, Baby Stu (I hung around with very creative people in Korea). Some things you need to know about Stu-hmmm, he has been known to walk up to girls, tell them they are pretty and then run away, he enjoys eating little potatoes cooked in the shape of smiley faces and he once threw his flip-flops under a car in Seoul in a fit of rage! Stu is one of those (annoying!!) people who loves doing “stuff”, he especially loves dancing among trees naked in weird little forest areas when he’s drunk! Stu is a man with many different personalities, fun Stu, really slow texting Stu, bus Stu, subway Stu, dancing Stu and our all-time favourite- beach Stu!!! 🙂
After leaving the metropolis of Rainbow we headed to Mildura for a few days. Mildura is on the Victoria/ NSW border and is a haven for backpackers who are fruit picking. We stayed in a motel for the few days we spent there, and despite all of the locals in Rainbow harping on about how great Mildura is; there isn’t much to do there! We went on a cruise of the mighty Murray river on an old paddle steamer and met up with the Swedish girl we worked with in Rainbow. Other than that, there’s not much to say about Mildura.
After those few exciting days in Mildura, we got the bus to Adelaide, capital
city in South Australia. You have to go through a checkpoint on the border between the 2 states to ensure you’re not sneaking any fruit or vegetables across, although I’m sure some rebels manage to get an apple or two over the border! Adelaide is called the “City of Churches” and rightly so, they are everywhere, luckily, I love churches so that worked out well!! Both myself and Phil really liked Adelaide, it’s smaller and more compact than Melbourne, easy to get around and is close to the beach. It reminds me of Galway in some ways, it has a bit of a hippy feel to it. While we were there the Adelaide Fringe Festival was on, so the city was really busy and bustling. There were loads of free shows, and street performances going on, aswell as some big productions that you had to get tickets for.
We were searching for jobs while we were there, as our plan was to work there
for a few months, but unfortunately, that didn’t work out! We both applied for some jobs, but didn’t hear back from them, and after a few days we couldn’t even find any jobs to apply for. All of the restaurants, bars and cafes had hired people before the Fringe and so were not looking to hire again. We stayed there for 2 weeks and then decided to head to Perth for work as our money was starting to run low (again!!!).
We got a really good relocation deal ona camper van so we decided to drive
from Adelaide to Perth (I say we, I really mean Phil drove!). The camper was only $1 per day, and we had it for 6 days, so we just had to pay a bit for insurance and then pay for fuel. The distance to Perth from Adelaide is about 2,700 km; about the same as driving from London to Moscow! It was an interesting journey, but at the same time one of the most boring journeys of my life! There isn’t much in between Adelaide and Perth and on our second day we entered the Nullabor. The Nullabor is latin, meaning “no trees” and that’s exactly what it is, small little bluebush and sand! The true Nullabor stretches about 700km, but for about 100km on either side of it is pretty much wilderness aswell. So we were basically driving through the outback for about 1000km. The whole we were travelling it was just one straight road and then the outback on each side of us, stretching as far as the eye can see.
There are signs all the way along saying wild camels, kangaroos and emus for
next 100km, but we didn’t see any camels, we saw a few emus and we saw 2 live kangaroos, the rest were all squashed in the middle of the road. Obviously you have to be careful when driving this way that you don’t run out of fuel, because there are no towns along the way. Usually there will be a roadhouse where you can get fuel, food and water and a place to sleep every 200km. All of those roadhouses had campsites too so that’s we were parking and sleeping! Along the course of the Nullabor they have the world’s longest golf course! It’s just literally a tiny green with a hole, and they occur every 150km or so, it’s really just to encourage people to get out of their cars and stretch their legs on the long drive. When you’re driving through the Nullabor, there is a compulsory wave that you must give to your fellow drivers. Everyone on that stretch of road has been driving for days so it’s common courtesy to offer them the “bush wave” !!
When we finally drove through the Nullabor, we decided to freedom campoutside the next little town we came across, because if you go into a
campsite you have to pay obviously. So we got to this town called Norsham at about 5 in the evening and went to buy stuff for dinner before we parked up for the night. It was the strangest town I’ve ever seen! It was tiny and like a ghost town, it had such an eerie feeling, it was like something out of the wild west! All the shops and pubs seemed to be boarded up and nothing was opened even though it was 5pm. We found a little supermarket that was opened and as we were walking in, 2 men standing outside bore holes into us with their eyes until we had gone into the supermarket! It was so weird, I don’t think they had ever seen “foreigners” before. Anyway, remembering the move Wolf Creek, we quickly decided that this could be a town where backpackers get murdered and decided to camp in a secure holiday park that night!!!
Anyway we have been in Perth for almost 2 weeks now. It’s a really nice city and we love it so far. We are back hunting for jobs ( I’m sick of job hunting at this stage!), Phil has got a job in a pub in a suburb outside the city and I am still unemployed! I’m currently working 3 mornings a week in our hostel, cleaning, making beds etc in exchange for free accommodation so that’s something. Hopefully I’ll find a full-time job soon. Everybody says Perth is booming and it’s the best place in Oz to get jobs, but it’s actually very difficult to find work. Employers can be REALLY slow getting back to you, and there are so many backpackers (when I say backpackers, I mean Irish backpackers!!) looking for work here it’s ridiculous. I definitely think it’s easier for guys to get work in Perth, because of the mining industry and construction industry. Fingers crossed I get something soon, and if not, I’ll just send Phil to the mines and live off him 😉
Until next time 🙂