Eh, t'es où là !!


Shepparton, harvesting and gypsy camp

After 6 greats comfort days in Tim’s house in Melbourne, I am now in the small town of Shepparton.
Just arrived, I met a bunch of French (difficult to avoid them, there is a big french community, over than 2500 people  looking for a job in this small town). Immediately, they accepted i jumped into their vans to go doing door to door in all the neighboring farms. The first day, the “farm fishing” is successful, a farm in a neighboring town propose to us, to start the next week. The camping being espensive and waiting to start working and sleeping on the ground of the farm, we will end up sleeping under a bridge where a group of backpackers has piched a little Woodstock. Great meeting, even if most of people spend more time drinking goun (the cheapest wine of Australia) than looking for job. Anecdotally, at our arrival, a group was doing a alcoholic marathon, 3 or 4 days just drinking from ths morming till the night… no comment! I even did some good meeting.

3 days later, back to the farm, we met a group of Indians people who were also harvesting. Really good guys, we shared meals and tasted some Indian specialties like the unavoidable Indian bread, the chapatis.
After two working days  sorting out apples, the tyrannical farmers began really to bother me and  being not enough docile for them, they fired me on the spot! That solved my dilemma: stay or go away. In short, I packed up my things and headed off to another campsite where some friends had settled down,  for spending my last night in Shepparton. Purpose of the following day, to reach Renmarck, a small village at 500km to the north, hitchhiking. Over there, I know someone who may pull strings for me for a job and host me for 1 week.

Luck or fate, Nadege a French girl encountered in Melbourne, just arrived in Shepparton and had a date for a job. They are looking for two people! I show up at the rendezvous. That’s it, I am hired in Kalafatis. Just one problem, the ferm does not offer accomodation. The campsite is full and there was no way to pay $ 100 per week sleeping in a backpacker hostel. Finally, Boris, a Bulgarian farmer, agrees to let us sleep behind the fields where have installed a few caravans. After a thorough cleaning and some repairs … we’re getting installed! Here, I feel a bit like Christopher MacCandless during his discovery of the magic bus in Alaska. lol

The work in the fields are not going too badly, even if it’s hard and does not pay so much. Stand up daily at 5:30am, I harvest between 1.5 and 2 tons of pears per day in 35 degrees in the shadow, and paid 30 dollars (19 euros) per 500 kilos. To forget the salary, I positive and imagine I am in a fitness center with intensives activities! I hope to work thus until early March and earn enough money to finish my tour of Australia without touching the Asia budget.

Just a little anecdote: the spider visible on the pictures is a Redback, be careful it’s small but sturdy, the farms are infested. Here there are also Tiger Snakes, one of the most dangerous snake in Australia, I have not yet had the “luck” to see one, but last week one lucky girl was bitten by onr in another farm . After the first anti-venom, the doctors told: “We will know in 4 hours if she dead or no”!

Conclusion: Join us at Shepparton, harvesting fruit, we need manpower.

Have a look —here— to see the picture

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