So after arriving in Melbourne and spending the best part of a month partying, eating, meeting incredible people and exploring the beautiful city that is, I felt it time to take some time out of the easy-life and try and replenish my wonderfully empty bank account.
Myself and Leon, my new German friend, decided to hop on the ‘Spirit of Tasmania’ and cruise across to Tassie in search of work. What a sight; seeing the skyline of Melbourne, the skyscraper rooftops migrating from the hustle and bustle of the city floor below. The ferry was a grueling ten hour trip which wasn’t too bad, up until the ship decided it didn’t feel like gliding through the water, no no, instead it swayed side to side like a metronome, only neither of us were enjoying this rhythm! Sleep not looking too much like an option, I had no choice but to grin and bear it and after what i’m sure was passing out from nausea as apposed to falling sleep, I awoke to discover we had finally docked in Devonport. Devonport for those who don’t know is a small town in the central north of Tassie. Having not eaten since the afternoon before my eyes were drawn to the golden arches on the other side of the the docks. Stomach full of processed heaven and the Wi-Fi well and truly used up we headed, in our shiny rental, down to Dover for a job in apple picking. 4 hours later we had arrived at our destination. The population of Dover seemed to be around ten. I felt like the opening scene of 28 days later, just waking up in the passenger seat of the rental instead of a hospital gurney. Wouldn’t have minded wearing the gown though, was pretty damn hot!
So here we were, face to face with where we’d end up spending the next month, spending Christmas and at the time maybe even New Year. The accommodation was…undesirable at best. Probably wouldn’t have scored too highly on trip adviser, nor with The World Health Organisation but you know what, It would do. The TV, stolen from the 1990’s, Wi-Fi that worked for a solid 30 seconds a day and a wall mounted heater as our only source of night time heat. No oven, just camping stoves. Hot water (as long as you showered first). Home sweet home.
The work was easy but boring, it was just apple thinning, so essentially just killing the clusters of apples to leave one or two, just room for the remaining apples to grow.
Some fun was had though, I mean come on, we had a quad bike!
The pay was pretty good, but thanks to the holiday season and some bad weather days our working weeks were cut short. But all of that needn’t matter when payday came around. Money is money at the end of the day. The first pay check helped Leon and I buy a car. A 1992 Ford Falcon. What a beauty! (Car on the left…our friends have the same car too…)
All was well and I even managed to get four of our French friends (Owners of the car on the right) from Melbourne work here too! Our own little Tassie family. This meant Christmas, both day and eve was all the better. Living room replaced by the beach, presents replaced by beers and BBQ. What a Christmas it turned out to be! We even found a canoe to use for some late night rowing.
It wasn’t all work mind you, we did plenty of exploring whilst down in Dover. We went into nature, Tasmania’s most southern point, one trip even was presented to us with a sign with bullet holes in it. In true Aussie style!
We attempted to summit Adamsons Peak, a mountain just behind our farm, being beaten however by the downpour of rain the night before making our path near impossible. Still 8 hours later, near the top, we still got an incredible view!
And of course we made the most of the completely dead roads with a bit of roof surfing! Being sensible and all that! Plus, with a full 360 view from the roof, we could see wildlife easier…that was the real reason for it…obviously.
Unfortunately for the six of us, like all inevitabilities in life, the fun hit a brick wall. As mentioned before, our not so 5* accommodation had only one source of heat for the nights and early morning starts. The heater was for some reason hated by the farmer. Despite our rent giving us a right to use it when cold he still hated it as it cost a bit of extra money (again, covered by our rent). The fateful morning came. 6am. Colder than you could imagine for a summer time Tassie. The heater, turned on by my cold German amigo. In walks the farmer, a rare visit for this hour; It was almost as if he could sense the extra pennies being spent by our warmth. It was as if a murder had been committed in the accomoda…hell i’ll call it what it was, the SHED. Being the nearest target I became accountable for the sin of not wanting hypothermia. After a plea of nothing more than wanting to warm up before work the guillotine dropped with Leon and I’s head below. FIRED! Now to become the 7th and 8th persons to be fired in a month. Others for no reasons either.
After something I guess i’ll just call passion, others may call an argument, we, for what may be the most ridiculous dismissal found ourselves unemployed…on New Years Eve!! Not to worry though, our French friends decided to leave along side us and we were happy as Larry again as now we could spend NYE in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania! What a New Years story that day turned out to be!
Hey ho! Drinks in hand, camping in our cars, we made the most of the situation we had. Enjoyed the fireworks. Looked nervously as the thoughts of a new years kiss crept into our heads. No, none of the guys will be my first kiss of 2016.
Now in a fresh year, all that ‘new year new me’ bullshit aside, we set off once more as the Falcon Duo for another job; but first a few days getaway to Bruny Island. Goodbye Dover. Goodbye Hobart. It’s been emotional!