WWOOFing at Kanjini

I have spent one week WWOOFing at Kanjini. This post will tell every single day and in the end you will see my photos from the week.

Day 0

I was picked up in front of my hostel by Svargo, Shiralee and her daughter Fay. They had just come back from Fitzroy Island so they could pick me up and I did not have to take the bus. Nice and handy ๐Ÿ™‚
Shortly after that we stopped at a small Thai restaurant and bought some take-away. We then drove for about 40-50 minutes across the Great Dividing Range to Koah where they live. It was dark when we arrived so I could not see much. We had dinner, I washed up and then Shiralee showed me the facilities and my tent. For the time here I have my private place a little bit apart from the main buildings. The tent is big enough for me to stand inside and I have a comfy mattress with a set of thick+heavy blankets to keep me warm. I really like it ๐Ÿ™‚

Unfortunately my mobile phone seems to be unable to use Telstra Next-G. I don’t know what’s so special about it, will have to see a Telstra shop about it. Luckily my laptop works as always. I wrote a short blogpost that I’m okay but can only be reached online, then went to bed around 10 pm. I was really exhausted from my day at the lagoon.

Day 1

I had my alarm set to 8 am. Because my watch was under the set of heavy blankets it took me 10 minutes to notice it enough to wake up. No worries. I slept very weel, but I had a funny dream: due to the heavy blankets and the recent trip I dreamed of scuba diving. While diving I got caught in some kind of giant plant. It was quite dark and I could hardly see anything. As a trained scuba diver I followed the 2 most imporant rules: stay calm and breath normally. After a while I was awake enough to realize where I was: sleeping in a tent at Kanjini. I relaxed and slept in again.

Apparently I’m that good a scuba diver that it saves me from sucba diving dreams turning into nightmares ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, I dressed and went to the main area. Shiralee and Svargo where already up. I had some coffee and we had breakfast together. Very healthy and very different from my backpacker life so far, but I liked it! Afterwards Shiralee showed me around the property and explained me what sorts of wood is good for the fire place and what not. Then I collected firewood for 2.5 hours. I had a short break, then Shiralee told me my next job: weeding+mulching. It was a nice task, but don’t underestimate it: I called it “extreme weeding”, because there where huge amounts of different plants to be removed. Watch the photos to get an idea! I weeded for 2.5 hours, then mulched with hay. I had rolled down the haybale from some other place before.ย  At half past 3 I was finished for the day.

Svargo explained me how to turn on the gas powered water heater, then I went for a swim in the dam ๐Ÿ™‚ very nice. Warm on the surface, cold below it. Had some fun with the swimming platform connected to a single dead eucalyptus tree in the middle of the tree. I climbed up that tree to jump back into the water. When I had enough I had a warm shower, dressed and sat down with my laptop in the common area and wrote day 0+1 of this post. My hands and legs felt very exhausted, but I enjoyed the day, the time went by quickly. The firewood I collected now keeps us warm and the result of the weeding+mulching is well visible. I’m not done yet, but that’s okay, I made it through a fair part of it.

Fay is a chef, and this night she cooked for us. It was delicious ๐Ÿ™‚ again it was my job to wash the dishes. No worries!

Svargo and Shiralee watched a movie while I continued reading my book by the fire. Around 10 pm I went to bed.

Day 2

I had a lovely long night’s sleep, until 8 am. Breakfast was at 9, then I started gardening with Shiralee. I planted some lemon grass which really smells like lemon. Nice! I had do make a bond around a grape plant, then start weeding and digging up an area that shall become a path to walk on.

After 2 hours it became really hot in the sun and I had a break. After that break I continued the extreme weeding from the day before, only that I became even more extreme: I had to saw off several trees, some really big among them. It was fun though! I put on my good mood music playplist and enjoyed the work.

At some point when I put my gloves back on I was wondering what strange stuff had gotten into the left glove. I put it off and when I shook it off a lizard fell out of it! Apparently it liked the warm cozy spot, because I had left the gloves in the sun. Cute!

After 3 hours I was finished for the day. I had to move all the sawed and weeded materials aside because I had blocked the way to the shed/workshop with all that stuff. No problem.

After that exhausting and sweaty work I enjoyed a swim in the dam ๐Ÿ™‚ had a shower afterwards, then sat down with my laptop again. Svargo and Fay went into the city, so for the night only Shiralee stayed with me. She cooked lovely spaghetti for dinner and I did the dishes. I watched a few episodes of “How I met your mother” before I went to bed.

Day 3

Like the day before I had a long sleep for almost 11 hours ๐Ÿ™‚ breakfast at nine, afterwards I continued working on the bank from the days before:
more trees and a hedge to cut down and some final weeding. I also had to carefully pick up very spiky mandarine branches.

After a lunchbreak I mulched the whole area. I had rolled down another haybale in the morning already. When the mulching was done I did bunds around the plants that shall grow in the area. The bunds hold the water which will slowly go into the earth then. To check my work Shiralee turned on the watering system. After a few minutes enough water was around the plants – my bunds were tight ๐Ÿ™‚ It was great to see the result, as this bank is more or less finished for now.

The last hour of work for the day I spent in the garden. Shiralee had me plant seeds in the nursery. She gave me the seeds and prepared the name tags while I put down the seeds into the prepared roster. We talked about different things, among them her ancestry and how/where she had grown up. It was very nice ๐Ÿ™‚

After work I enabled the gas powered water heater and went for a swim in the dam. Afterwards I had a nice warm shower, then sat down with my laptop again, watching series. Shiralee cooked dinner and I did the washing afterwards. Sitting by the fire I had a nice skype conversation with my family in Kรผckhoven before I continued writing this blogpost.

Day 4

It seems my body has caught up with the deficit of sleep. I was awake around 7 am already. Luckily my good friend Sara was available for a skype talk ๐Ÿ™‚ Breakfast at 9,then collecting firewood for 1.5 hours. This is my favourite task around here ๐Ÿ™‚ Afterwards Shiralee and I started working in the garden for another 1.5 hours. We had a short lunch break and then started making up new garden beds. After defining them I had to spread different sorts of fertilizer on them and finally mulch them.

In the afternoon I went for a swim in the dam again, had my shower afterwards and set up my laptop. Svargo had gone into the city to pick up the 3 daugthers of his and Shiralee’s. The original plan was for them to bring dinner home, but they decided to have dinner in the city instead. So Shiralee cooked dinner for the 2 of us and I did the dishes. It wasn’t much to do. I also showed Shiralee the GoodBye-book I got from all my friends on my goodbye party in Germany. My friend Lukas had stayed here for about a month a year ago and gave me the contacts for this WWOOFing-stay. Shiralee had asked how I got to know Lukas and enjoyed watching all these photos.

I watched a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother until Svargo and the girls came home. I already knew Fay, but now I also got to know Evelyn and Suha. We didn’t talk much though because it was already quite late. They prepared their beds and everybody went to sleep.

Day 5

Started the day with another skype talk to Sara, had breakfast around 9 and then started working in the garden. Shiralee explained me what to do: prepare the pathways. Svargo came by and told me to dig a drain next to the path and lead the water to a coconut palm. I worked my way further down the path. Had to do further weeding, do a bund and another drain. Basically it was water engineering ๐Ÿ™‚ had a lunch break in between. It was hard work and I was very hot, so I worked in shoes and bathing shorts only. Why not get a little tan while working ๐Ÿ™‚

This way I did not loose any time when I went for a swim afterwards ๐Ÿ˜€

The three girls had cooked a lovely dinner, which took them 2-3 hours. It was only fair that I did the washing afterwards. I really enjoy it here at the moment, everyone is really kind. We’re having cocktails and Evie told me that she could give me a lift into the city on Thursday as she’s bringing Fay to the airport anyway. Saves me the bustrip ๐Ÿ™‚ Fay is flying to Greece to work on a private yacht for 1-2 months as a chef. They even pay her flight. Awesome!

Shiralee is very happy with my work. She also told me that I would be a very easygoing person/guest and be very aware of everything I do. I’m glad to hear that ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 6

The day was very similar to the one before. Skype, breakfast, work (further water engineering and doing the pathway). After 3 hours it was done!
Had a lunch break and then got another extreme weeding job for 2 hours before I had my last extended swim in the dam.

Sat up my laptop, copied all the photos, had Shiralee check them and finally uploaded them. This night we had a kangaroo BBQ, prepared by our awesome chef. Delicious! As usual I did the dishes. Then I asked Shiralee whether I could buy one of these cool Didjeridoo-T-Shirts. What I haven’t told you yet: Svargo and Shiralee earn a living with a Didgeridoo-Shop. It’s the biggest and best-known world-wide. They don’t sell Didgeridoos as souvenirs but as real music instruments. You get a horrible sounding Didgeridoo at any souvenier shop, but for a proper music instrument you would go to didjshop.com. Shiralee had shown me the workshop on my first day. So I now have one of their T-Shirts as a souvenir. ๐Ÿ™‚

Later then I started packing.

Day 7

I arrived on a Thursday and I am leaving on a Thursday. The reason is that the flight to Melbourne was the cheapest this day. I got up at 7, packed the last bits and went to the common area. Set up my laptop for skype and facebook and had breakfast. Good thing I was up so early as the girls wanted to leave earlier than said before. Around 8:30 am we left, on the way we stopped at a lookout for a minute so I could talke some photos. Then I was dropped in the city. Evie will pick me up around 5.30 pm and give me a lift to the airport. I had a tasty Iced Frappe Mocca at the Coffee Club then went to the Cairns library where I am currently sitting and publishing this blogpost.

This was my week WWOOFing at Kanjini. It was a great experience, a very different lifestyle. If they had a piano I could have stayed there longer. After 10 weeks I am craving to play the piano again!

Now, finally, the photos:


From 2011-07-22 WWOOFing at Kanjini. Posted by Philipp Hรผbner on 7/27/2011 (58 items)

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Category: Australia, Places