Mid-January started to roll around and though I was still having a grand time with ‘J’ and ‘A’, I also didn’t want to out stay my welcome. So once again it was time to think of something else to venture to. I had really only scratched the surface of exploring Australia, so I wanted to stay a bit longer while also being able to afford it!
Oddly enough, one of my new friends whom I’d met back in Malaysia while at the horse facility emailed me in late December (once hearing that I was in Oz) about a friend of hers who was working at a horse farm on the Central Coast, about and hour and change north of Sydney. Even though I had this information back in December, I didn’t follow up at all other than simply getting an email for her friend.
Fast forward to mid-January, though I wanted to actually be able to travel more of Australia, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to at least shoot off an email and see if they needed any help at the farm. I can’t recall if it was later that day or the next, but very shortly after making contact I was given a number to call for a phone interview and a couple of days after that I made a commitment to go and help at the farm as a horse caretaker and groom. Part of the reason I decided that route was, well, because I love horses! But the other part was because it offered the potential to travel around to various parts of Australia with the horses.
I will never forget the day I arrived at the farm as it was one of the most memorable for me in a fun and funny way:) Even as I’m writing this I can’t stop smiling about it! Since the farm wasn’t terribly far from where ‘J’ and ‘A’ lived (and they wanted to make sure I wasn’t going somewhere sketchy, lol!!) they offered to drive me to the farm and we made plans for a day trip before getting there. First stop was along the coast for some beach time at shelly beach, then some late lunch at a chinese restaurant, then onward to the farm.
The part that made this trip the most memorable for me was when we were heading to the farm. Firstly the changing of the surroundings was absolutely stunning! The green, lush rolling hills surrounding us was just breathtaking! The second part is harder to describe, but it was the overall scenario. I had my backpack in the trunk, I was sitting in the backseat of the car being driven along the countryside into unknown territory and I was being fretted over by my two great friends about where I was going and whether the place was a good one… Which put together all added up to me feeling like a child being dropped off at summer camp by her two dads!! It was absolutely adorable!!
When we got to the farm we met ‘S’, my new housemate and fellow horse helper, unloaded my things into my new room (inspected first by my “2 dads”;)) and took a little wander around the front of the house. That is where we first met Rudy the rooster. I still recall ‘J’ and ‘A’ being cautious about the ridiculously fat, and I mean seriously rotund, rooster that was roaming around the front of the grooming stalls, while I simply brushed aside the notion that he could be dangerous by pointing out that surely they wouldn’t allow a rooster who attacks to roam around freely. He wasn’t showing any signs of aggression or threatening motions, so I figured he was friendly…
Of course the next day I was warned by ‘T’ (the rider) and ‘S’ that I should be VERY wary of Rudy as he was quite well known for attacking people, especially strangers (both ‘T’ and ‘S’ had been attacked!)!! So apparently ‘J’, ‘A’ and I were very lucky that first afternoon of arrival in that we did NOT get attacked! In addition, I learned that the trick to keeping Rudy at bay and happy was to feed him bits of horse feed… No wonder he was such a chunker, lol!!
I ended up spending several months at the horse farm caring for the numerous horses along with ‘T’ and ‘S’ and have so many fond memories of my time spent there (to be listed in my next post). And while I didn’t get to travel as much as I had hoped to originally, I was able to make it at least to one new State (Victoria) with the horses.
Originally I was hoping to stay for 6 months to a year helping at the farm, but energies started to change in a variety of directions that led me to decide to move on. ‘T’ and ‘S’ had also moved on to better and brighter things for their path a few months before I left, but we of course still keep in touch. It’s really amazing how even spending short periods of time with some people, you just know you will never lose touch, no matter the distance or time apart.