L to R: me, Carola, Charlie, Helen and Julian
Our first woofing stop was a lovely farm just off the first stretch of the Great Ocean Road, the not-so-interesting bit. Julian and Helen run a small holiday business renting cottages in Johanna, not far from a newly opened 91k walk along the great ocean road. They also have around 250 sheep and sell the lambs. I couldn’t believe our luck when Helen told us that we were welcome to have a cottage as long as no guessed showed up, holy sausages! We moved our stinking backpacks into a beautiful 2 beds cottage with satellite tv, dvd player and even our own fire place! But why did I end up with the smallest room? For whatever reason Helen decided to give the large room with a double bed to Carola, and I had the kids room… with a bunk bed! Humm, my plan to share my journey was starting to back fire!
We settled in well and throughout the week we worked on the outside walls of the first cottage, in need of a new coat of wood sealant.
Carola in the living room
We did other small jobs around the farm and on one occasion, I joined Helen in an attempt to capture a heavily pregnant sheep, which suffered a prolapsed trying to deliver a lamb and had half her womb hanging out of her back side. This simple task soon became a shocking experience I will not easily forget. As we tried to sneak up on the sheep, she leaped up and sprinted away terrified. In doing so, the neat parcel of organs hanging out from her behind burst open, painting a red trail on the green grass. Oh, it was a retching sight! We got to her as she was lying behind a bush, shocked and exhausted. Helen asked me to keep her still whilst she brought the trailer over, as if the sheep had any energy to paint another grim picture. I knew I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t help having a good look at the mess of glossy red interiors coming out of her, oh man… it was bad! I remember thinking that I have never seen such vibrant tone of red before, it was so deep and rich.
living room of our cottage
Then my attention turned to her head and her eyes in particular, they started twitching… she tried to kick me, then she stopped and that was it! There was no more need for me to hold her down. When Helen got back she told me that it was unfortunate but a few die every year, and if Julian had been around he would have shot the sheep to give her a quick death.
Back at the cottage me and Carola were getting on just like husband and wife, constantly arguing and taking the piss out of each other! What do you expect, she’s German and I’m Italian, not exactly two peas of the same pod! Aside from a few moments of friction, we made the most of our spare time; we saw the triplets waterfalls in the Great Otway Park and we did a section of the great ocean walk, a 7k stretch from Castle Cove to Johanna beach.
It takes about 2 and a half hours to complete and it’s not difficult, still by the end of it I wished I had the feet of a hobbit. On the beach, we saw many washed up dead puffer fish and one very strange water snake-like animal. Check out the photo and if anyone knows what it is please let me know, because none of us at the house could identify it. On one of the last days I went fishing in the Aire river, the setting was awesome and although the only thing I caught were a few worms to fish with, I did see my first wild Koala in a tree near me. I wanted to get a better view so I attached a few leaves to the end of my fishing rod and enticed it to come down. Anyone watching would have thought that I was fishing for Koalas! The little bugger snatched my leaves and pissed him self! With his bum wedged on a fork there was no way the lazy fat fella was budging, so I sat back and enjoyed one of the best sunsets I’ve seen.
If there is one thing I love about Australia it has to be the sky. I don’t know why but whether I’m driving or sitting peaceful on a rock I often find my self staring into infinity at a vast horizon of clear blue sky, it’s very beautiful and you can’t help not noticing. I wish my photos would do any justice.