Ten days to go: I’m starting to feel free!

Good afternoon world! It is 14.43 as I type my first words into this blank page and I do it feeling pretty damn good. 

You know that feeling when you’re working on a Friday? It’s the same work, it just feels better knowing the weekend is just around the corner. That’s how I feel today knowing that I have ten days left of my 88 days of farmwork.

Whilst on the topic of feeling free, the below and featured image was taken from #justaviation on Instagram of a wheelchair user refusing to give in to physical limitations. I found it not too long ago and found it to be both motivating and fitting for my post.

This is how I feel right now
I will no longer be stuck in this hostel that I rely on for work, and no longer stuck in this small town that I cannot leave for more than a day or two if I expect to keep my bed, my job and my second-year visa hopes alive. Not that I hate this place, in fact I have loved the experience and I know I will remember it for a long time. I have made great friends that I will see again outside of Ayr, whether in Australia or the UK. I have learned a lot and gained many valuable experiences. I am sure throughout my travels this will be one of the most memorable experiences. 

Now, my ten days of work might not be within the next ten days. It depends on how many days off I have inbetween. It could take up to two weeks at this current rate- maybe less, maybe more. Considering I have been here since March, I am not complaining about it taking slightly longer!!

I’m going to spend my last ten days highlighting the best (and worst) of my experiences here and I do hope you enjoy them. 

See you all in the comments, and I will have a new blog post for you tomorrow.

25 days left, but I have been told to leave Ayr…

It happened a few weeks back on a Sunday in this very small farming town. Something that changed the mood and even made it onto international news sites, but not a claim to fame Ayr needs. Every little town wants to be placed on the map, but why anyone would want to be seen in a negative light is beyond me.

I was walking to Coles (a major Australian supermarket) from my hostel. A few minutes walk and because there is so little to do in Ayr, it is a trip I make everyday. It’s what we do in the working hostel. Make sure you don’t get enough food in for a couple of days because, well, how would we kill time after work? It sounds crazy, but it’s true.

I was walking down the street to the supermarket, it’s a straight road until you get to the car park. It’s a quick left at a building with blacked out windows, what this building is in not sure. I’m not even sure if it is occupied. 

Area in question. Who new this little area of the world would make headlines?

This is the poster in question. Warning, strong language.

There was in fact another poster a few steps up, however I don’t think it was appropriate to upload here. It was much more racist and I would probably have to blank out the majority of the poster. The funny thing is the choice of wording here. ‘Ayr is a backpacker free-zone.’

It really isn’t.

Ayr is a farming town like many others in rural Australia, heavily relying on backpackers to keep the industry moving. I assume the reason I have to do the 88 days of farm work to obtain a second year visa is due to a shortage of young people willing to work away from the cities. I don’t blame them, it really is something you have to have a passion for. If all the backpackers left Ayr overnight, they would be pretty screwed here. Most locals know this.

You can read a little more about this in articles over here at the relatively local SBS and the UK’s Daily Mail Online

Also, if I’m not of ‘Northern European descent’ I’m not welcome here. Well, I’m a backpacker of Northern European descent. So being British allows me to stay, but being a backpacker cancels it out. Confused? Yeah, me too.

The Mail Online article above is interesting as it talks of the backpackers that hit back at the posters. Also, the locals that disagree with such discrimination. I have to say, the locals have been lovely since I’ve been here. The hatred in the posters is not seen in the town. 

Don’t get me wrong, backpackers can be a troublesome bunch. I see working hostels as like being back at university. Young people working hard and partying hard. We are loud on the weekends when everyone meets for the bars to let off some steam generated by a week of long farm days. I can also see how much money goes into these bars, restaurants and hostels from the backpackers. It is a cycle that cannot afford to have a small minority of people breaking it up.

What are your thoughts on this? are you a backpacker or live in an area that is popular with them? Love them or hate them, they will never be as bad as the people that are capable of creating such hateful posters.

They will be happy I’m sure to know that I only have 25 days left.

This is my new office 

As I was walking to the store to buy a new phone, my phone switched on for the first time in days. Very coincidental. Anyways I looked for a new phone, but I think I will buy one online and get a better deal.

This has allowed me to access the first picture I have snapped on the farm so far.

I thought the land around Ayr was flat, until we arrived at the farm 30 minutes from the hostel. Suddenly the terrain changes and we have a backdrop of beautiful mountains covered in dense forest and steep cliffs. The temperature varies everyday, some days are kind to the farm workers with clouds and a light breeze. Other days, like today, are full of relentless heat and blue skies. You need to have a minimum of 5 litres of water during a shift, enough to see you through the day and the heat. Some days bring huge downpours, with that, flash floods that make work and quad biking rather difficult. The quad biking is my favorite part of the work, cruising along on a trailer behind a farmer and his dog as we take in the scenery.

The itching is what I hate the most. I haven’t been bitten by a spider or a snake yet, so they haven’t been a problem for me. Green ants however, they are fast becoming an enemy.

If anyone has any questions regarding the farmwork, I would be more than happy to answer them. It is great fun. Hard work but fun. I have three days left on this current farm before moving onto something else, this farm is at the end of its season.

72 days to go…