Busy doing lots of things

Trip Start Apr 08, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Our first few months of relaxation seem a long way off after the last few weeks of work! Its been good to feel useful while we travel, the experience is great for learning new skills and seeing how people with wildly different backgrounds, philosophies and life experiences live there day to day lives. I think it was a good decision to travel like this, it keeps the travel costs down and helps you make some real connections to people, something which I think you can miss when you just put yourself in a travel bubble especially when you travel as a couple. When we traveled around Europe the experience would have been much better seeing it through the eyes of locals. 

So you can learn while you travel! The myth may have some truth. Well we have certainly learned we have muscles we had forgotten to use, after two weeks of building, animal care and gardening most nights we are mainly by seven o'clock in the shower, by the fire and relaxing our tired bodies after a rewarding day working. But tis a good kind of tired, we are defiantly learning skills and about ourselves, the tiredness at the end of the day is contentment.

After we left Peters we traveled across the north of Melbourne and camped one night north of Emerald, we were due to arrive at our next pre-trip arranged house sit on the 17th but we had discovered they also have helpers staying with them and they agreed to let us come early help on the property and learn as much as we could about the horses we would be looking after while they are on holiday.

The family are originally from Holland and its interesting to swap stories about emigration, they have three young daughters, four horses, two sheep dogs, nine ducks, three pigs and numerous chickens. Not including child care, we will have a busy few weeks!

I have been asked to help with the finishing of the stables, fitting out the inside, I've really enjoyed getting my hands dirty and using tools, with Arthur's help I have plained shaped and fitted what seems like hundreds of panels. He really has been great at just letting me get on with it and they are starting to look pretty good, by the time we leave they should be finished.

We have never really been around horses much, we have never really been around kids much either! But the experience with both will be good for traveling around Australia as there seem to be lots of opportunities to help on properties with horses, also as we don't have kids its always nice to be around them as you can forget how much fun they can be!

Sharon is a bit overwhelmed by the size of the bigger horses but she is slowly getting use to them, much like kids you have to let them know you are confident and in charge of the situation or they will quickly walk all over you, Sharon may find it hard to win back there respect as they realise she isn't that confident. You don't need to bully or whip the horses you just need to let them know you are confident and what you want from them, it all good learning.

On our day off we had chance to drive to the SkyView in the Dandenong ranges, we also visited a sculpture park we had heard about by a artist who lived in the area, William Rickets. His sculptures examined Aboriginal relationships with the land and Westerners. He was a 'while fella' and I guess in the sixties at the height of his fame his work was pretty controversial. His legacy is a very serene park where his work has found a natural home. His work is certainly a bit quirky but there is no doubt he was totally sincere and wanted to explore our relationship with Australia in modern and traditional times.

Aukje and Arther have been wonderful hosts, in our ten short days we have learned so much. I drove them to the Airport today, we now have this wonderful property and all the responsibilities to ourselves now for three weeks. We have lots to keep an eye on but you could't wish for a better location to be a caretaker in!
There may even be time for a little relaxation now we are alone ;)
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