sydney turned out to be an exciting but also an expensive place to stay. i decided to go inland for the cherry season and arrived in hillston which is about 500km west of sydney.
the camp ground was already buzzing with people and the season about to start. after filling out the paper work and getting my picking card, i started a couple of days later. the first days were rather discouraging. i think as in most picking jobs experience is essential to make some money. experienced pickers are usually helpful with some tips and some encouragement to keep up the motivation which is as essential as the technique. after a week i was earning enough to make it easier to get up before five in the morning.
hillston can be described as a nice country town or as utterly boring. there’s is a swimming pool next to the camp ground which was filled up after some days for the season but nobody seemed to care to open it. in the end we had to come up with our own ideas to keep ourselves entertained. the most popular activities included cherry long throw while the opposite had to catch it with the mouth. the record stands at thirty meters. and since it got really hot during november and the doors to the swimming pool were still closed, water bomb fights had an increasingly number of participants. usually it works like the cherry throwing with two people facing each other with one filled balloon each. one try each while the other musn’t move or the person gets chased down with a whole bucket of water. so most people prefer not to move.
one evening the french community offered free crêpes for the whole crew, which were served with cherries for those who still not had enough after a day of picking. we were told that our employer would give us five days notice before the season ends but one day while we were picking word got around that this would be our last day of work. after an afternoon of planning and packing, a farewell party at the nearby lake, almost everyone left the next morning and our little village vanished. i would have preferred a couple of days of additional work but now i have the time to cycle the great ocean road and to explore melbourne before leaving australia.