March 2015

As I still want to have some kind of diary here – for me and anybody that is interested – I post monthly updates of what we did (including pictures), what we are up to and what our future plans are. Ideally that will also show a bit how much our plans change and how our progress and planning goes for the near future. You can find all entries until now here and for a bit more frequent reports you can head over to Agnès Blog or her short updates.

What we did

In early March we flew from Auckland to Melbourne. We stayed 3 days in a hostel to visit some places around the city and then headed off to the Bellarine peninsula, an hour east of Melbourne to stay with some of Agnès friends. The plan was to stay for one or two weeks and then head north to Canberra, however there was a bit more work for us and we decided to stay a few weeks longer, earning some money along the way.

How to build a bath hob

How to build a bath hub

Most of the days we left in the morning with Tony the carpenter to work on one of the newly built suburbs around the peninsula. We saw houses in every stage of their construction, from the bare timber frame to some that were ready to move in. We learned and did a lot, including (but not limited to) straightening the walls for the plaster, building hobs for the bath tub, fitting door jambs and putting cement sheets underneath the roofs.

As we usually worked full days, we didn’t have too much time to do other things which had a positive impact on our budget. Anyway at the weekends we did some trips around the peninsula and I went fishing with Tony a couple of times (sometimes more, sometimes less successful).

For easter we went to Colac, around an hour west of Geelong where we stayed in a caravan park. On our arrival we talked a bit to the owner who then decided that she liked us and offered us to stay a 3rd night for free.

I also managed to apply for a new passport, which will hopefully be sent to friends in Brisbane by the beginning of May.

What we plan to do

We will leave Melbourne in the first half of April to go towards Brisbane with possible stops in Canberra and Sydney to arrive in the outback sometime in early May. It is neither planned when nor how we will arrive in any of those places, with possible options including hitchhiking, car relocation, busses and trains

Problems

As we didn’t move a lot, naturally the chance of encountering problems was quite limited, however we managed to get told of by the police and avoided a potential 2400$ fine. We decided to hitchhike from Melbourne to Geelong, mostly for the fun of it. We were quite lucky in the beginning and ended up close to a highway but around 1-1.5hrs walking away from the next town. While we were trying to hitch a ride (with a sign and the thumb out) a cop stopped and told us that hitchhiking in the state of Victoria is prohibited and we risked a 1200$ fine each. We apologized nicely and decided to walk to a nearby fuel station with the sign casually holding so that passing cars could see it (after all that could not be considered hitchhiking). Surely enough a car gave us a ride far enough for us to risk hitchhiking again. We arrived at our destination quite quickly after that without further disturbances.

What I learned

  • Lots about carpentry, including skills and vocabulary
  • How a timber house is constructed
  • How to fish for squid

To Do List

  • Get a new passport
  • Get a long-term visa for NZ
  • Catch fish for dinner on my own
  • Apply for new passport
  • Arrive at Farewell station
  • Get a job in New Zealand

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