The Green Green Grass of Quambi. Wwoofing in Mt Barker.

Littlehampton Travel Blog

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Yet another lovely Australian sunset

I know I shouldn’t say it but I was so glad to drop Carola off at her wwoofing farm, and I’m sure she was equally happy to see the big back end of Bella drive off.  My farm was only 10 km further down the road, and I started to feel excited and nervous at the anticipation of meeting my new hosts for the week.  I love those first few minutes, when you drive through the front gates and you see everything, the house, a workshop, a veggie garden or an orchid and maybe a big dog running up towards you wagging his tail.  Eventually someone comes to greet you, a young couple or an old and wise pair...  I always make an effort to give a firm hand shake, keep eye contact and smile, as you do in an interview.  After all, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, but how much does it count?  I have been wrong on many occasions, sometimes I think it would be a lot simpler to sniff each other’s butts like dogs do!  Hum, you smell nice today… I like you :-)

 

My hosts for this week were a very wise pair, Saul and Tamar, and their very clever teenage son, Leron.

Saul and Tamar
  Saul was a scientist; he knew everything about solar technology and provided support to new companies around the world starting up in this business.  Tamar was a retired architect, who spent many years building homes in Israel.  Leron, only just turned 18 but was in his second year at University, following his dad’s foot steps in scientific subject.  I couldn’t compete with these guys; every conversation at the dinner table was rich with facts and information about everything, how can people retain so much knowledge?  Mind you, Saul’s head was about the size of a basket ball!  What I didn’t like though, was the fact that Leron seemed to enjoy correcting his parents and always wanted to be right, to the point of arguing with them like smart people do… you know, using sentences like ‘well actually you will find that…’ or ‘technically that is incorrect’ or even ‘may I rectify your comment?’  Sure you can… shove it up your rectum!  Sorry, I just couldn’t resist the joke, I can’t take these things seriously when I think that at his age I was running around on my skateboard chasing girls!

 

Unsurprisingly, my contribution to the knowledge of this family was minute, but I did make my self useful.

me and Attila in battlefield!
  I cut grass!  Oh I cut a lot of grass, I mean probably the equivalent of a football pitch, with just an industrial hand held petrol strimmer I named Attila.  It was bloody hard work, covered head to toes in my overhauls I felt like a warrior, and the grass was my enemy.  I cut grass 5 hours straight for 3 days under the baking sun.  It was hot, and I wasn’t drinking much because it would take me 20 minutes to get my kit off for a piss, so inevitably I dehydrated.  Everyday, after the first few hours of sanity, the heat would get to me and I swear I started to hallucinate as my mind entered a remote dimension where Attila and I were fighting an epic battle to exterminate all the grass on this planet!  I would swing my weapon with pleasure and watch the grass drop to the ground; we killed everything in our path.  Accidentally, along my death trail, I managed to slice the water pipe feeding the orchid… whoopsy daisy… not once, but three times :-)  I fixed it with good old Duck tape, as my welsh friend would say:  if it can’t be Ducked, it must be F…

 

I was glad to hear that on the forth day, I was relieved from my duties to cut the grass and was reassigned to splitting wood, again under the baking heat!  I traded Attila for Igor, a 2 kilogramme steel splitter, and chopped my way through a mountain of red gum.

Igor the great wood splitter
  The worse thing about splitting wood is that you never know if the stump will spring back and hit you right in the chops, or your shins.  It hurts like hell I tell you!  My last job at Quambi was to drag a load of dead branches from one spot 200m to a bomb fire, but that was made easy when I convinced Saul to tie the wood to the tractor.

 

WWoofing is a risky business.  Some places are great and others are… well, not so great.  At Quambi I felt that I wasn’t learning much and they took me on purely as muscle power.  On the other hand, Tamar’s cooking was great, all meals were delicious and we always had fresh salad from their garden or home made goat cheese.  Maybe if I stayed a little longer I would have become more like one of the family and not just a labourer.

I split that in half :-)
  I will never know.

 

Time to hit the road again.  As I drove towards Adelaide I though to my self that this was going to be the last long trip for my old Bella, how sad.

alicegourmet says:
That's interesting to spend some time with this family!
Posted on: Oct 11, 2008
Sunflower300 says:
Great story Roberto, I love your photos.
Posted on: Oct 11, 2008
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Yet another lovely Australian suns…
Yet another lovely Australian sun…
Saul and Tamar
Saul and Tamar
me and Attila in battlefield!
me and Attila in battlefield!
Igor the great wood splitter
Igor the great wood splitter
I split that in half :-)
I split that in half :-)
View from Mt Barker, theres a nic…
View from Mt Barker, there's a ni…
family peacock showing off
family peacock showing off
Saul at work
Saul at work
View from Mt Barker
View from Mt Barker
My accommodation in the campervan
My accommodation in the campervan
Littlehampton
photo by: Rubbertoe