So we arrived at Brisbane airport early hours of Tuesday morning. Having not had much sleep we got our heads down at the airport with the understanding that we wouldn’t be able to check in to our hostel in Brisbane anyway. I was very excited to see some familiar faces as we had arranged to meet up with friends from university, Alfie and Lizzie.
We woke up around 9am, confused, tired and partially hungover from the final, final drinks in Darwin and airport/aeroplane beers.
Slightly tipsy and excited on our flight from Darwin to Brisbane.
We booked a taxi and headed for Bunk Backpackers in Fortitude Valley, a fairly luxurious hostel when you compare it to Dingo Moon in Darwin. After a quick nap and shower it was time to get the gins back in and catch up with our old friends. We had a fantastic night, ending with Alfie and Lizzie getting thrown out for being too shit-faced and Ludo wearing a dress. Standard.
Checking out of Bunk is a bit of a blur as we were very hungover/still intoxicated. We managed all the same. We went for a routine hungover Mcdonalds to try shape us up for our journey to Gatton Caravan Park- where dreams are made a reality. In other words where backpackers come to do their farm work, live like tramps, drink and party and (I’m being optimistic) save. The reception was closed when we arrived which was less than ideal considering we had had roughly 4 hours sleep.
Gatton Caravan Park, we have arrived
Luckily we were greeted by one of the lovely managers, Joy, soon after who let us into our caravans/huts. Ludo and Kerry have a ‘couples caravan’ and I’m in a hut with two Italian girls. They’re lovely and all but they don’t speak very good English and tend to turn back to Italian once the conversation runs dry. Which is fine, I get it, but also it’s not ideal for me. So I tend to spend a lot of time holding the candle for Ludo and Kerry. We get on like a house on fire though so that’s fine.
We’ve spent almost everyday texting and ringing local contractors to try and find some work. Ludo was lucky enough to find some just two days after we arrived. His job is catching chickens and putting them into boxes of six. You really just couldn’t make it up could you.
In terms of finding work as a female in the agriculture industry, it seems to be much more difficult than it is for males. It’s still a man’s world sadly. It won’t stop us from being persistent and optimistic though.
Everybody here, even the girls say we will find something in due course. We couldn’t be in a better place to find agricultural work- Gatton has a lot to offer and many different crops and roles. To be honest I’m quite enjoying being unemployed, but sitting around being trailer trash isn’t going to get me a second year visa.
The caravan site itself is very sociable. Crawling with backpackers, there is always somebody having a beer or 10. Backpackers are alcoholics I swear.
Whilst we’re on with backpackers, they’re also tramps. Just because I’m living out of a 60L backpack, wearing the same clothes week in week out and can barely afford to feed myself. It doesn’t mean that I live like a homeless person. I’ve seen inside people’s caravans/huts here and it isn’t pretty. Backpackers get so caught up in this ‘free spirit’ carry on that they forget to shower or do laundry. I’m a bit of a freak when it comes to cleanliness and being tidy, so I’m looking forward to getting a hut with Kerry and Ludo. At least then I know it will be clean and tidy and I can eat my breakfast without having to wipe the table of weed and tobacco first.
We had our first night out in Gatton on Friday night. I say night out, there’s only one pub named the Royal. There really is nothing Royal about it. It’s lights are unforgiving, it’s music trashy and cheesy and it’s drinks small and over priced. But it’s going to be our local for the next 3 months- I think I’ll learn to love Friday nights at the Royal after packing/picking/planting fruit all week.
Watch this space. 🍏🍎🍐🍊🍋🍌🍉🍇🍓🍈🍒🍑🍍🍅🍆🌶🌽🍠