Backpacker check-list

I think that a check-list is really useful when you are travelling, but sometimes, when you start packing your stuff, it’s hard to find out what you’ll need on your trip and sometimes you forgot things that are especially important! (Once I forgot my swimsuit when I was going to a Spa, then I understood the importance of a check-list..).

So, based on my experience, I tried to make a check-list with the “essentials” for a backpacker to try to help people not to forget the important things at home when travelling.

You can download the Backpacker check-list fromĀ here (PDF).

I hope it will help you!

I thought about to put also “a piece of garlic” on the list, but I’m not sure that this is an essential to have, anyway it can actually save your life. Really.

Bye Bye Bowen

After a few days on the pumpkins farm we were again without a job, so we decided to leave that hostel because we were spending more than what we were earning actually.

We decided to go to Cairns and look for a job over there; we left the hostel the very next day after the last day on the pumpkins; it was quite sad actually to say goodbye to our Swedish friend but we would see each other again soon!

Anyway we packed our stuff in the evening and the morning after we said goodbye to everyone and we started our trip to Cairns!

At it was such a nice trip actually!

 

 

 

Life at the bush house

What can you do if you have a day off but you are in a hostel in the middle of nowhere, without internet?

Well fortunately there were a few things to do; there was a swimming pool and a pool table that we used a lot, we used to have a swim in the morning and after lunch a pool match.

The guys, before we arrived, bought a playstation 4 so we could also play videogames with them.

We didn’t go many times in town ’cause it was more than one hour far from the hostel, we usually went there to buy some food once or twice a week.

Some days we went to the beach in Bowen with our Swedish friend; there is such a good spot for snorkelling over there were the corals are so colourful! After a snorkel session have dinner on the beach (with burgers from macca’s obviously) is the best way to enjoy the sunset before going back home!

 

 

Pumpkins piking!

After too much days off finally there was a job for me for a few days, but not for the girls. I decided to go for it and we would waited for some days more, if the girls would not had a job in one week then we would left that hostel.

Anyway the job was pumpkins piking! My Swedish friend loved it, it was so happy to work on that farm picking pumpkins, he loves pumpkins. Really.

He can’t even see one.

That job was hard but not much harder than watermelon and rockmelon picking, and once the boss gave us also an ice-cream ’cause it was so hot that day! So finally it was ok for a few days, at least some of us had some work to do for a while.

But the girls were still waiting for a job at the bush house.

Too much days off

After one week we started to have too much days off, really.

Maybe some of you will say “but then you had time to relax, take a swim in the swimming pool or play pool with your new friend from Sweden, your travel buddy”.

Well we played pool, a lot (but never enough), but the problem was that without working we couldn’t make money, we were spending more than earning so relax was not a good thing for us!

Sometimes we went to the beach, sometimes we just chilled all day at the pool or on the sofa playing videogames or reading, was quite boring actually (but never as boring as when we were without a job in Gundy).

At least we had time to keep writing our diary; we all have a diary where we wrote everything about our adventure, everything (…almost)! We started writing when we started working in Goondiwindi, I think that is one of the most precious things from this adventure.

Watermelons and rockmelons in Bowen!

We started working after one or two days, I was picking watermelons while my girlfriend and Eleonora (our friend) were packing rockmelons at the shed. At the first time was quite an hard work ’cause I was not so trained and the watermelons were quite heavy.

This is how we used to pick watermelons:

we used to walk between the plants and every time we found a watermelon (every 10 centimeters!) we took it from the ground, we threw it to the guy who was on our left, the last guy then put on the ground every watermelon making a line, so once we reached the end of the filed we could fill the truck easily ’cause all the watermelons were in the same line.

It could seem easy, and actually it is, the only problem is to do it for six or eight hours per day, then your arms and your back start to not collaborate with you.

I worked on that farm for a few days, when we finished I and other guys at the hostel started to do rockmelons picking in another farm.

Do you remember how was rock picking? Rockmelons picking is the same s. . . hard work!

We had to pick the melons from the ground filling a basket, then took it to a guy on a truck who was putting all the melons from our basket in some bins and then repeat.

After the first day my back was burning, so when I reached my bed it was like be in paradise, I couldn’t move anything, but after a while I was on the field the morning after.

It was quite hard but working with friends is alway better, and there at the hostel we met a guy from Sweden (the guy who is sitting next to me in the photo above) who was so nice and soon it became our travel friend, so it was much better to work with him on the field.

Everything was going quite good, at the moment . . .

Bowen here we are!

Finally we arrived in Bowen and even if it’s really fun to travel by car after two days almost non-stop driving we couldn’t drive any longer!

Bowen it’s a small city, it is nice and quite, with a huge main street and several beaches were you can have a swim and snorkeling trips.

There are many shops and a really important place for a backpacker: macca’s! (if you’re not an Australian, this means McDonald’s, don’t ask why they call it macca’s).

Almost in every single town in Australia there is a macca’s, and it’s important to have one nearby ’cause when you are a backpacker you don’t have money, and if you have money you wanna keep travelling and you need money for this so you don’t have money for a luxurious dinner!

Anyway we were looking for our hostel and finally we found it … 50km far from Bowen in the middle of nowhere in the bushes!

It was a really nice place with a swimming pool, a pool table, a bar, a kitchen, lots of kangaroos and frogs and there we met the first Italian guy in Australia!

The phone over there didn’t work at all, so we had no internet, no calls, nothing but the owner usually used to give us 15 minutes of free wifi so at least I could text my mum that I was still alive. (Sometimes I forgot to text my family because I was busy or my phone wasn’t working and they start to call every person in the world to have news about me so wifi was important to not see my face on an Italian newspaper with the message “Lost in Australia” below my face!).

When we arrived the owner gave us two rooms: one for Eleonora and one for me and my girlfriend (yeah), we had dinner and we started to get in touch with the other guys and with the Italian guy, it was so weird to talk in Italian with someone else, I forgot how to talk in my mother language!

This was our first day here, but the adventure was yet to begin.

Up to Bowen

Our next destination was quite far from Goodiwindi, and when I say “quite far” I mean two long days on the road driving all day!

We looked for a farm job near Gundy, but there wasn’t so much around so the best choice was Bowen, there are many farms over there. To be sure that we would find a job we called some of the farmers who were looking for workers before leave Gundy and finally we found a hostel working where we could have a room and a job. Great!

Before leaving we had the last shower, the last dinner and the last sleep in our real first “home” in Oz (actually we where already out of Gundy but we were still close to it), then the next morning our trip began!

Our new “car”

In Goondiwindi our car used to be our accommodation, but not this time!

We were tired of sleep into our car, we needed a REAL bed with REAL blankets and REAL pillows.

So what did we do? We booked a room in a hotel during our working period.

Why didn’t we book a room before? Because is quite expensive and we need our money to eat and travel! But this time we didn’t care too much about the money, we knew that job would be only for four or five days so we could afford 3/4 nights in a hotel.

Finally a real sleep!

With a mini-bar too!!!