Sunday, June 5, 2011

Wwoofin in the Land of OZ

  Gday mate from the land of Oz.  They actually call it that because the three actors that played the scare crow, lion, and the tim man were all originally from Australia.  I bet you never heard that before, and thats cause I just made it up.  That would make sense though, you can tell people that thats what you read on the internet now though.  So its been a while since my last post, but if its any conciliation its only because I have been deep in the bush for the past few weeks.  Now that your mind is out of the gutter, I have been in Talengata and Beachworth, two little towns north of Melbourne and south of Sydney.  Do you know the capital of Australia, I'll give you a hint, its not Sydney, or Melbourne for that matter and to tell you the truth I can't even remember the name of it right now, kind of random that its a city I have never heard of though.
  So I spent my last week in Melbourne in a shady, cheap rent motel, which is sort of like the Saint George down town.  It was dirty, but the drug dealers I lived with were cool, and once you got over the constant knocking at the door, it wasn't half bad.  Two nights before I went north I stayed with a good friend of my friend Brians'.  It was nice to be out of that other place and with friendly faces again.  Got to catch up with my old scouting buddy and I laughed my ass off just like old times.  Melbourne is a cool place and I regret not getting pictures of it, but it took some getting use to traveling alone.  The architecture reminds me of the Boardwalk and is of a similar era, which is because Australia had there gold rush around 1860, shortly after ours.  They even have old cable cars just like San Francisco.
  For my next move it was time to wwoof, which has almost nothing to do with dogs.  It stands for willing workers on organic farms and it's an international program.  You sign up and get a book with all the farms in it, you are insured while working and you basically just call up, agree to a certain amount of hours to work per day, usually between 3 and 5 a day, and you work for food and board.  Its great because you can find a place that might be right for you, and they all know your background and work experience.  The first place I made it to is a camp for kids complete with a lake for canoeing, a climbing wall, challenge courses you name it.  They need general help around the place and were happy to take me on.  I was given my own room in a killer little place with a TV and cable and everything.  Day two of being there I had to learn stick shift so one of the girls who worked at the camp gave me a crash course and I  was off driving what are called Utes.  Cool car.  The place was rad, it was Peter and Merry and the other worker Irish girl was Jan and they were all great.  The food was awesome and they had free beer for us.  Free beer.  I still cant get over it, you want to raise work ethic all you half to do is offer free beer.  So I went to their footie club and learned Ausi rules football, which is like Anarchy on grass, but with uniforms.  I got to go out horse riding through the beautiful countryside and then got to hold a wombat.  There what would happen if a bear mated with a rodent, size look and everything.  It was a funny little creature and it has a pouch like a kangaroo and a shell like an armadillo under its fur.  A camp of kids came so I stayed an extra week to help out.  I taught the kids Prusiking, which is a fancy way of saying ascending a rope with a device or knot.  In any case it was a great couple of weeks, I learned alot, met cool people, and even made a proper mexican fiesta for 13 people.  Wwoofing is a great way to meet real people, and you can give your wallet a break at the same time.
  From Talengata I traveled to Beachworth, an old gold mining town, where I met a great family to stay with.  There's Jason, Melanie, Finn and Adele.  There a super cool family with some cabinetry help needed, so I've got a little experience with that.   I am staying in a gypsy caravan surrounded by the beautiful country side, with cattle and chooks (thats Australian for chickens) roaming around, pretty sweet deal.  Jason is from Canada originally and has been here in Oz for the past 10 years raising his family with Melanie and the two of them can really play and sing some bluegrass, so needless to say we have been havin a great time jamin away on some of my faves.  Melanie plays the Uke and Jason plucks on the banjo and the two of can throw down some harmonies like you wouldn't believe.  Jason also DJ's on the local radio station and I accompanied him there the other day, helped him pick some songs, and he even let me play.  At night I usually end up helpin Finn, who's 7, build his STAR WARS lego set, or helping to defeat Jedi Knights in the Force Unleashed.  I have really been lucky with where I have landed the past three weeks. 
  So here I am in Beachworth, Australia, working with wood and playin my days away until the wind blows me to my next destination.  We will see what the next place has in store, maybe Urtes perhaps.  Until next time remember to avoid ex cons on the Grey Hound and always fart upwind, or down wind, I can't remember.


  1. Yo Bubba, Great to see your new post! The adventure continues, sounds cool Bub. That little Wombat looks cool, we should have one of those runnin around here...maybe someday huh. Well Bub, I'll see ya in New Zeland soon, can't wait to hang out with ya again. Be safe! Love ya!!! Old Dad:)

  2. Nice Matt, just read this blog, finally!

    Hope the overall trip was great, good choice in route!

    I'll look forward to staying in one of your yurts shortly..