My apologies for the belated update, returning to the working world has been a bit of a shock to the system, and time is just escaping from me!
So my new Australian home for the time being has become Coffs Harbour on the East Coast, where I journeyed North from Sydney. Life is now sharing a room with 5 other girls, but the Aussitel Hostel has been a great base so far – lovely people, a 10 minute walk from the beach, and there are exciting daily activities as well as paddle boards and surf boards to rent for free. Naturally this close proximity to the beach sees me there as much as possible (although working life is certainly interfering with my beach time) aside from the occasional Tiger Shark causing the beach to close… (how inconsiderate!)
The closest beach area is home to the Jetty, where I have finally completed my Coffs Harbour initiation in jumping off said jetty not once, but twice. Weekends see large crowds gathering to take the plunge, but fortunately on a Tuesday afternoon we were able to enjoy a more private jumping session!
I have managed to drag myself away from the beach on occasion to enjoy some alternative day off activities – strolling through the botanical gardens to try and spot koalas (which of course deserves a post of its own!), learning how to paddle board down the creek, snorkelling with sting rays and driving out to the mountain town of Dorrigo to enjoy some amazing viewpoints, and swim through waterfalls!
One of the most memorable experiences was taking a trip with the hostel to nearby Emerald Beach, watching one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen over the beach, whilst wild kangaroos hopped alongside us. With a bunch of surfers catching the last few waves of the day below, this was a truly Australian “pinch me I’m actually here” moment.
Unfortunately it’s no longer fun and games all day long, and the task of completing 88 days of “specified work in a rural area” has commenced. My office has changed from a 5* hotel in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world to a field full of blueberries in the sunshine… it can’t be all bad right?! Finding work was an easier task than expected as so many people in the hostel are here to work (I’ve never seen such a busy kitchen at 6.30 in the morning) and are almost all in the same boat of trying to complete the days. Some new friends found work on a farm and invited me along, and after some excellent recruitment work in the hostel, we now have a good group going to the farm each day. The farmer sends a mini bus to pick us all up at 7am, unless our rain dance works and buys us a couple of extra hours in bed! 13 days completed now leaves me with 75 to go.. ! Bar the occasional slip in the mud, falls through bushes trying to reach higher berries, and frog based incidents, I’ve been coping remarkably well, I do hope you’re proud of this little princess!
The foreseeable future sees a lot more blueberries ahead, with the aim of completing as many days as I can before taking some time to start some new adventures, and finally see some more of this huge country!I do hope all is well Hex, and there is definitely a part of me that’s jealous you’ve got winter on the way…! Lots of activities on the London social scene ahead I’m sure!
With kindest regards,
Farmer Peps xoxo