Car Selling and Stud Farming

Trip Start May 11, 2003
Trip End May 10, 2004

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Friday, February 20, 2004

Our last few weeks in Oz find us spending a week in the hell hole of the "Backpackers Car Market" in Sydney, followed by a great 10 days hard work (yes, we did say work!!) on a Stud Farm in Portland, near the Blue Mountains......

Thu 29th Jan - Get up at 9.30am and L receives a call from Les. Take the car to the car wash, eventually finding one without a water ban! At the car market we get told we need to put the car through a safety inspection first, so we spend all afternoon finding another garage after the first garage lets us down. Browse the shops in Paddington while the car is being inspected then book the car in for a week at the car market with its white inspection slip (which means it's failed!). Spend the first hour until 5pm with no customers then head back to the hostel to cook "smokin" and have a bottle of wine!

Fri 30th Jan - DAY 1 Get woken at 4am (!) by a faint tapping at the door and a drunken Claire rolls in after a night out in Kings X! Having been separated from Becky she ends up sleeping on our floor and proceeding to keep us awake with drunken snoring!!! M wakes and heads to the car market for the 9am start. Becky coming to collect Claire at 10am wakes L&C. After they leave L heads to the car market with breakfast supplies for M. L then spends the rest of the day on the $3 unlimited Internet updating the Oz travelpod. M arrives deflated at 5pm having had no interest in the car and no sun all day! Later we treat ourselves to a meal out in the Spanish Quarter at "Casa Asturiana" tapas and Sangria always cheers us up!

Sat 31st Jan - DAY 2 Up early again for another day in the Multi-storey Paradise. L sneaks off at 11.30am to meet Claire at Circular Quay. Have dinner in Kings X then walk down Darlinghurst Rd to Oxford St where the Paddington Market is in full swing. Walk back to meet a weary M at the car market at 5pm with a present (a Sydney fridge magnet!?). Have a few drinks in O' Malleys with Claire then she heads to catch her bus to Melbourne. Spend the rest of the night eating smoked trout and salad and watching the "Peacemaker"

Sun 1st Feb - DAY 3 Early start again and another depressing day looking at the concrete dismal walls of the car park! Our highlight of the day is our pate sandwiches and the beers we get from the people who have been lucky enough to sell their cars!! Later on we head down to The Domain to go to the St. George Open Air Cinema which is situated overlooking the Opera House and The Harbour Bridge. We have some food and a drink before the film starts at 8.30pm. The film is a bit bizarre but the atmosphere is great being sat outdoors in the warm summer night.

Mon 2nd Feb - DAY 4 Due to the Ford Falcon competition and little interest in our car we drop the price further to $3000. M spends the afternoon on the Internet and L attempts to finish her book, oh and sell the car! Buy some bright yellow paper and marker pens for new signs for the car in vain hope it will help. Spag bog for tea and we hit the bottle again!!

Tue 3rd Feb - DAY 5 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN (of the Car Market Crew). We decide we have to drop the price top $2750 as it's our 5th day and still no one is interested, even with the new signs! More and more Ford Falcons are being sold and yet more Ford Falcons are arriving to replace them, will we ever get rid of ours? After dinner Lucy and Angelina go out and get John a cake for his birthday, complete with candles, and then L completes the Cairns & Uluru travelogue entries. M arrives at 5pm in a very bad mood to say the least. He had been about to sell the car to 2 girls but suggested they ask one of the guys who works at the car market for some advice on Rego. He took it upon himself to advise them against buying ours at all! To cheer ourselves up we head down to The Rocks and have a drink in The Orient Hotel, then a Guinness and Black (for L) at The Mercantile before having a fab meal at an Italian restaurant "Caminetto".

Wed 4th Feb - DAY 6 Another day at the office and drop the price yet again to $2500. Our friends Hank & Angelina roll in at 10.30am with no car having sold theirs to a private buyer last night. After bacon & egg toasties for lunch we have quite a busy afternoon. John has potential buyers who want a mechanical check done on his car and we get an offer from a mad German guy of $1900, which is the cash he has on him! We settle on $2200 but he says he'd come back at 10am in the morning when the banks are open! We begin a nervous 15 hours by having a takeaway pizza, watching TV and having a restless nights sleep!

Thu 5th Feb - DAY 7 We arrive at the car market at 9am to find the crazy German perusing the other cars! Thankfully he comes over and saying little, we gather that he still wants the car. After not even test driving it we go up to the office, sort out papers and count the money! Head straight to the bank to change the money to travellers cheques and then back to the Car Market to deliver a crate of beer to the unfortunate souls still left in there selling!! After finding out that we can't go to the Farm until Monday we book three more nights at the Travellers Rest and meet up with the Car Market Crew at "Thai Power" cafe and then have a drink at O' Malleys.

Fri 6th Feb - HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY, LES!!!! - Have a much needed lie in, then walk down to Coles for some goodies. Phone Lesley at 7pm (8am back home) to wish her Happy Birthday and she tells us all her plans for the weekend. Decide on spicy chilli chicken noodles for tea, washed down with more wine, whilst we watch a film on TV.

Sat 7th Feb - M gets breakfast in bed this time before L falls yet again in the shower and spends the next hour with an ice-pack on her elbow. Pack up our Esky cool-bag and head to the Botanical Gardens to spend the afternoon lazing in the sun and having a picnic of french bread, salami, ham, cheese, olives, salad and wine. Get back to Travellers Rest around 6pm and eat a takeaway pizza while watching an Aussie film "Road Train" and Parky with Robin Williams whilst polishing off another litre of red wine!

Sun 8th Feb - M cooks breakfast of sausage butties and makes some toasted sandwiches for dinner. Head to the internet cafe and spend the rest of the day there until 6pm. Get the train to Edgecliff to meet John & Vicky and have a great Indian meal with them at "Flavours of India" although the waiters are a bit too eager to replenish and then take away our beers!! Finish up at an English pub, the Lord Dudley, and have to leave after one drink as it closes at 10pm! See you in NZ!

Mon 9th Feb - Up early to pack up and check out at 9am. Phone Les to see how the party went and then have a last wander round Kings Cross. Stop at "Delectica" cafe for a coffee and a read of the papers before getting a train to Central Station and then on to Lithgow, where Maurice is waiting to take us to the farm. There are four other backpackers working on the farm already (Joost, Alison, Amy and Amy) so we have a chat to them before tea of chicken curry. Watch TV and relax for the rest of the night.

Tue 10th Feb - Up at 7.15am for our first days work in 10-11 months! First we feed the horses with Joost, then L mucks them out and M starts to dig holes for some plants. Have breakfast at 9am and then M unloads and stacks 100 bales of hay with Joost and covers them with tarpaulin, while L clears up the plasterers mess and then does some weeding. M lugs 24 railway sleepers into one of the paddocks (they are HEAVY!!!) before calling it a day. As it's Amy's birthday, Maurice does a special of roast lamb and roast veggies (which suits M down to the ground). Manage to stay up until 11pm.

Wed 11th Feb - L starts by cleaning Maurice's house from top to bottom and then doing some washing, while M continues digging holes. After dinner and our afternoon break (1.00 til 3.30), M carries on digging, L tidies the large communal kitchen. Finish at 5.30pm, chill out before tea of Continental Sausage & Zuurkool (a Dutch dish especially for Joost), then have a few drinks watching TV.

Thu 12th Feb - Up early again and feed the nags together. M digs more holes, L does some gardening. Pick up a slab of beer from the local shop (for local people!) before having Chilli Con Carne for tea. Crash out at 9pm.

Fri 13th Feb - Both feed the horses before M waters all the flowerbeds and some plants and L fills 3 wheelbarrows full of horse manure. The afternoon is spent painting (L) and digging holes (M). Can you see a pattern emerging?? Feed the horses again before tea of Chilli (again!). Watch the film "Erin Brokovich" before bed.

Sat 14th Feb - HAPPY BIRTHDAY M's MUM & GEORGINA! - Take the two Amy's to Lithgow station and then further down the valley to Lawson, where we dig up some wild plants to re-plant in the paddocks. Meet Maurice's wife on the way back aswell as buying another slab of beer and a box of wine (it's the only thing we can spend our money on!) Do some more digging and painting before having a tea of roast chicken and roast veggies (M's choice) and then watching "Gladiator".

Sun 15th Feb - Feed the horses, then dig some holes (!) and do some painting (!). After dinner, we pick up a new mare called "Wauk Ivory" who has gouged her stomach on a metal post and is recovering. Go on the internet during our afternoon break. Have Chicken Szechuan for tea and watch "Bridget Jones Diary".

Mon 16th Feb - Feed the horses, then dig some holes (!) and L mucks out. Feed Cajun (a stallion) half a bag of carrots before dinner and L helps Maurice give Wauk Ivory some antibiotic injections. Dig more holes and paint more in the afternoon, after which we sink a few cold beers. Today has been our hardest day. Have Chicken Laksa for tea and a few glasses of wine before an early night.

Tue 17th Feb - Feed the horses and dig some holes before breakfast. Maurice has given us the day off today, so he first takes us to Glen Davis (an old oil town where the refinery only lasted about 15 years) where we have lunch. Go and meet Alice the camel and then have a couple of beers and a game of pool. Buy some pine trees at a local nursery before going to Annie's place (a friend of Maurices) where we have our palms read (all good news of course!!). Back at the farm, M digs and L feeds the horses before tea of Chciken Curry. Maurice then takes us and Joost to the local RSL club (the equivalent of a British Legion Club) where he buys us a few beers.

Wed 18th Feb - Back to the grind..... L does some washing and cleaning while M digs ("Is that all I'm good for?!!!"). L carries on painting and M helps shift 2 tonnes of topsoil from the local tip while notching his 400th hole of the week! Feed the horses before going to the RSL where Maurice buys us a beer and a Chinese banquet (thanks Maurice!)

Thu 19th Feb - Pack our bags and say our goodbyes to the horses. Maurice and Joost take us to Lithgow where we wait for our train to Sydney with a coffee. Get to Sydney Central at 2.45pm and go straight to the Airport where we spend 3 hours making all our phone calls to family. Both the flight from Sydney to Brisbane and then from Brizzy to Christchurch (NZ) are delayed by an hour each, so we only arrive at 7.30 in the morning after two and a half hours sleep......
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