Kelly watch the stars
Trip Start Apr 08, 2013
90Trip End Ongoing
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Bargara is a very quite seaside town and its a area that gets lots of turtles visiting this time each year to lay their eggs. We were lucky enough to spot a mum very early one morning laying on the beach, the area has very low level street lighting because of the turtles as when the eggs hatch the hatchlings head towards the light which is usually the rising sun, on the day we went out early one hatchling must have seen a car light or something and was heading inland, we managed to direct it back on its journey to the sea in the hope it will come back again in I think about ten years to repeat the cycle, there is only a 1000/1 change any of the hatchlings survive
With the low level lights in the area we got the best views of the stars we have seen so far, Keith at the resort had a telescope and we saw close ups of the moon and even venus amongst others, the view in the night sky was absolutely stunning.
We are here at Kelly's on a work exchange and for four and a half hours a day working in the kitchens and around the grounds we get to live in our own holiday unit in a picturesque holiday resort. The deal include a continental style breakfast and dinner in the restaurant and to use the facilities, for what feels to us like very reasonable and easy duties, it feels more like a holiday from traveling than an work exchange.
Maybe its like a holiday where your wallet and you have to do the dishes before you leave! That or somewhere close to retirement, where you potter around all day waiting for the next meal. Its been a very enjoyable break, but two weeks will defiantly be enough. Unlike most other help exchanges we have been pretty much left to ourselves, you don’t interact with the family as much, it feels more like a business transaction, thats not been a bad thing as we have enjoyed having our own space and the staff at this family run resort have all made us feel very welcome, its been a nice change of pace
Watching the guests you realise while they relax (at such a frantic pace it almost looks the complete opposite) and spend there holiday money without a second thought, our style of travel is obviously very different, for us every penny is a prisoner and a treat or luxury is sometimes a weekly or monthly thing. We don’t mind though we are enjoying the challenge of making our money last so we can keep going and the occasional treats feel even better.
I recently read an article on the BBC titled ‘the gap yah’ basically disparaging anyone who would consider volunteering and helping while traveling world, and suggesting the majority of westerners doing so are over-privileged and indulgent, spending parents money working in jobs they have no right or knowledge to try. While the article was clear poking fun at younger backpackers and there is probably a large percentage wasting their opportunity, I could’t help but feel annoyed and personally attacked for following our own ideas or other youngsters that may feel put off by the article or the even more negative public comments.
What made it worse was the person who wrote the article had traveled and volunteered extensively and after several years experiencing it for herself and setting up a company to help others travel she now decided that all volunteering was bad and simply self gratifying
If you want to travel the world and try to get blind drunk in two hundred countries, if that floats your boat why not, if you want to teach english to underprivileged kids over the world who is anyone to tell you otherwise. There are undoubtedly companies and individuals who will try and rip you off for your good nature and goals, the point is you find out for yourself, you see the world and you learn for all your mistakes. Youngsters all over the world live in an age where opportunities are scarce, now more than ever they should be encouraged to follow a idea and help bridge the global gap and realise we are all just people with exactly the same basic wants and desires.
Even though we are starting by volunteering in Australia our long term goal is to carry on and do this around the world, it allows us to travel for a long time, very cheaply, quench our own wanderlust, meet interesting people from all over the world and all walks of life, learn more about different professions and learn new skills
The suggestion that we are taking jobs from the locals is also laughable, we do the jobs people would never want to do as a career and jobs that hosts could never afford to pay anyone to do in the first place. Try getting a quote for one person lay out breakfast, clear fallen trees and clean gutters, tidy the grounds and then come back at seven to wash evening dishes, thats the job of several low paid unmotivated members of staff. Instead get two people to share that work for two weeks at a time after offsetting the cost with accommodation and food. Places like Kelly’s would have gone out of business or worked themselves to death a long time ago, we are both gaining a mutual beneficial and more economic way of working.
If by writing this blog I could inspire just one wannabe backpacker or gap year traveller to ignore the fear or the uncertainty taught to us by such doom and gloom stories or members of the public that poke fun at us all and would help them undoubtedly gain similar experiences that we have been lucky enough to enjoy before they settle in to daily life, good on them, it would have been worth all our time and effort.
Thats enough from me for today, its a lovely sunny day in Bargara, I’ve done my chores for the day and now have a date with the pool
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