Perth to Manjimup – Part 2

In proper outback of Aus’ now haha!

We’re getting Fish n Chips bcus we ran out of time to fill our gas cylinder for the stove

Pat and Jess arrived at the Belivdere Camp Ground in Bunbury in the dark.

One dirt track running through the camp ground n u choose a numbered bay on either side.

It’s nice.

There are people nearby so don’t worry!

They left the next day, and drove along the picturesque coastline of the Indian Ocean, world famous for surf.

Road Trip

The direct route from Bunbury to Margaret River is an hour and a half. However, they visited Busselton and Dunsborough and soaked up the beauty of the area before arriving at Margaret River, which has been described as having one of the Planet’s most beautiful oceans and landscapes!

They were booked into Fair Harvest Permaculture Farm campsite for a few nights. This place is a gentle, restorative and healthy place to stay. Fresh produce to eat on site at the Farm Cafe, such as freshly harvested honey comb! Mindfulness, Bee Keeping, Cooking and many more Permaculture and Sustainability courses are on offer at the Farm. There are also Yoga classes at the Yoga Barn. I sent Jessie an early Birthday Gift of £20 and she bought a $35 Class Card for 2 Yoga Classes in 1 week.

Margaret River is known for its Wineries, Craft Beer, Boutiques, and Gourmet Food. So they ate Deli-Style Gin soaked Olives and refreshing Australian Wine with their alfresco Spaghetti!

Margaret River is not so good if you are on a small budget and need a job! With the season already started Pat and Jess found it very difficult when they began their search for work.

As well as online job searches they looked for jobs advertised in shop windows and talked to other travellers in Coffee houses and Skate Parks. Jessie bravely enquired about a job advertised in the window of a Boutique. She had the desire, drive and experience to work in this clothes shop and messaged her old boss for a reference, who was happy to help.

The following day, the pair continued their job hunt and passed by the boutique.

She’s taken down the add in the window, so she’s found someone or has enough applicants

Rather demoralised they cheered themselves up with Jessie driving the car!

Was so much fun 🙂

A bit of 4WD off-roading is bound to be fun! Some of the tracks go through the Karri forests and some go to the Beach at Joey’s Nose.

Unless you get STUCK!!!

Pat and Jessie’s friends – Matt, James and Charlie, followed them in their little Hyundai Getz. As you can see they got stuck.

Of course, sometimes you can become BOGGED DOWN

Pat and Jessie went off along the track (photo below) to get help, only to return to find four 4X4s being blocked, but helping them out.

4WD in a Forrester Suburu

Then in convoy, they continued on to this beautiful beach.

We’ve had a big change of plan

There’s absolutely no work in Margs so we going back to Perth

Back to square one

So after packing up the car – off they went.

Back in Perth they restarted the job search

There’s 3 good potential jobs.

1 is milking cows n feeding baby calves, so a dairy farm.

Another is picking strawberries way down south where it is quite cold now.

And another is picking potatoes also down south.

I also applied to a cat shelter

It’s annoying bus most of the farm jobs advertised are for people with licences to drive or operate machinery

A week later and Jess is in better spirits. A bit of retail therapy in a Charity Shop for warmer clothes and Jess has her new #OOTD – Second hand Vans, Dungarees and Jumper – Nice and snug all ready for the Australian Winter!

Excuse the mess – we’re sofa surfing!


Me and Pat start table Grape Picking

About an hour south of ere

In a place called Hamel

Start in 3 days

The weekend before they finally start work, the pair were spoilt by Teena. They went to the cinema where Jess also won a T-Shirt as she had the winning envelope stuck to the underside of the seat she was sitting on. A cool Skate T-Shirt made by a Company from Western Australia called BEYOND, lucky thing!!

Teena also bought Pat, Jess and Pat’s cousin Genevieve AFL Tickets. So they got to go to an Australian Football League Match, a mixture of Rugby and Football – definitely an experience they won’t forget!


After a good weekend they travelled an hour South from Perth to Hamel to start their job at Frutico – picking and packing graded Table grapes. They would camp in the car at a Pinjarra Campsite as no other accommodation was provided. And would have an early morning drive to start work at 6:15 am and a late night drive back after 10pm.

After a couple of days driving this long road to Hamel with the occasional massive dead Kangaroo in the road, they moved to a campsite closer by in Waroona where other workers were staying, cutting down their travel time 30 minutes each way.

Pat picks the grapes n I pack them

After a week they had a day off, so drove back to Perth to celebrate Jessie’s 20th Birthday, the original idea was to have a picnic at Kings Park. But it started to rain??

Beautiful Kings Park

So they went for lunch instead!




Jessie’s friend Cat who had been travelling alone around South East Asia and now Australia decided to surprise Jessie on her Birthday. Jess had been missing her friends enormously so this was a well treasured visit.

The Grape picking job they were doing didn’t make her feel happy.

The work wasn’t paying them as much as they had thought it would too. A French couple in the grape vine next to theirs were able to pack 160 boxes of grapes a day, and Pat and Jessie’s record was only 75 boxes. So if you get paid per box which you then divide by 2 there is not as much money coming in as expected. Jessie was covered in bruises from carrying the boxes, and living in a car was hard after long days working.

So they decided not to go back to Frutico but stay in Perth and try looking for more jobs.

Trip to the mechanics to check over the car before heading off on the road again.

Matt told Pat and Jessie to go down to a Working Hostel in Manjimup where he was working as they had some vacancies. Finally a bit of luck on the job front.

So deciding to hit the road again, they left Perth once more and 3 hours later arrived at Normalee Hostel Jessie felt a sense of relief arriving at the farm. A nice private room to themselves with a view and some friendly farm dogs running around.

View from Hostel Room

Every night Bella puts a list up in the kitchen of who is going to which farm job the following day.

So later on I’ll find out where I’m going

Bella said she’s taking me to work in the morning.

Bella sorts out where the people staying at the hostel work. There is still rent to pay but the hostel paid an hourly rate of $23.66.

The Road to Manjimup

Pat worked in the Apple Orchard with the other lads at a different farm and Jessie was taken to the Lettuce farm. Her first day was 6:30 am – 2pm and the rest of the day was free. She was with 5 others on a small farm in a nice group. They only worked till lunch time as it gets too hot later on. So Jessie filled her free time up with reading and Yoga and cooking as there wasn’t anything else to do – it’s a 2 hour walk into town, so would have to wait for lifts into town, which was fine!

Jessie had heard that Gilbert Street in town had a couple of Cool Upcycling/Charity shops.

Matt went there last week n I can’t wait to go

After a few days Jessie asked Bella if there were any other jobs she could do as Pat was working much longer days and so she felt she wasn’t bringing in as much money as him. Luckily for Jess, Bella offered her some cleaning work in the Hostel. Jessie jumped at this and so had 3-4 hours work after the lettuce farm to clean the place, which she actually quite liked.

The first day she spent a good 6 hours getting the place into shape so she could keep on top of it and get a routine going. They paid her in lieu of rent plus what ever else they owed her into her bank account. The rent was $160 a week for their room so it helped! She celebrated by going into town and buying a new book.

One morning Bella said that she didn’t need to clean as there was work at the Potato Farm so she dropped Jessie off there. Unfortunately the potato dust didn’t agree with Jess.

I inhaled so much dust n mud n soil n I just had a gurt nosebleed

The experience was good, but she decided the Lettuce farm even with cold feet was better.

If anything I’m excited to go back to lettuce farm tmr

I’m glad Bella and co’ were on hand at Normalee as they did help and look after Pat and Jess. One Saturday evening when they were driving to Dunsborough to go to an event the clutch on the car went! They were stranded an hour away from the hostel in the outback.

We rang the women at the hostel n they’re coming to get us but the car has to stay

the clutch has completely shattered

Unfortunately, the adventure off-roading and towing in Margaret River might have finished it off. Very sad and unlucky!

Pat had to visit the car in Busselton a 2 hour drive away to see the mechanic and work out what to do.

he’s decided to scrap the car

Bcus will cost $2000 to replace gear box and clutch

So the guy offered him $200

We’re gutted

Was a bloody good car!

Putting on brave faces Xx

Pat and Jess picked themselves back up quickly. They tend to look forwards and enjoy life too much to let things hold them back!! Not letting this trouble them too much they carried on working and living at the Hostel, going to Skate Parks with Jess reading and sewing as she doesn’t skate. She also keeps time and like a Mother lets the boys know when time is up! They normally respond with –

Just one more go!

Except on this occasion Matt was also saying

Lets go it’s staring to rain!

Pat and Matt are both excellent Skaters. Here’s a taste from Pat’s Instagram account!

Somehow at this park something went wrong and Matt and Jess heard a scream!!

Pat had messed up his ankle.

He can’t walk at all

So we’re going to go to the hospital soon

Pat stayed off his feet for the week and Jessie carried on working, but 6 days later they got a lift with some French guys from the hostel back to Perth so Pat could get more Hospital X-Rays and treatment before making any more plans.

We listened to French Rap for 3 hours!

Meanwhile I went on my Holiday to Seville and Malaga and enjoyed myself not worrying about anybody as I knew everyone was safe and sound. Jessie kept in touch via Whats App.

My son called me on my return to ask if it was OK to visit.

While washing up and staring out the kitchen window I heard the front gate go and saw Kez (son) coming up the path. I was about to shout out ” Shut the Gate” when I saw another familiar face peering around the hedge.

Instead of being happy, I felt like I needed a Sherry! In shock I was too stunned to cry like a normal person, just kind of thought I might be about to have a stroke.

Still shaking I went to hug her, then couldn’t let go. She had flown back alone and her brother had picked her up, bought her lunch and driven her over to me. I think I might have said to her

But I’ve only just got use to you being away

Poor Pat wasn’t able to fly yet as his leg wasn’t stable enough.

It turned out his injury was much higher than his ankle, more below the knee. He wouldn’t be able to fly with a cast on, so would only have a boot and crutches. Six days later Pat alone flew back to Heathrow with his massive Rucksack and crutches. Matt followed shortly after too.

He was booked straight in for MRI scans etc and has been told so far it will be a 6 month recovery period.

Jessie’s plan to Work Abroad and travel for a Year took 6 months. She wouldn’t go away for that long again she said. She found it much harder than she thought but amazingly she did it and has learnt more about what she wants to do. Her plans for the next few months are already sorted. I am very proud of her and so happy she is safe and sound. My son is now talking about his future plans, which will be another major Roller Coaster, but this is what Life is about. I am pretty sure I scared the Pants of my parents when I was that age!

There will be more adventures and I have lots to write about too. So this Blog will slowly adapt itself . Like I said at the beginning, I have turned 50 now and have wanted to write one for a long time, so I need to keep it up.

Pat on his return with Jessie and Me and at the back Matts mum and Pats mum

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s