The Grey Nomads: Two lives; eight months; a thousand experiences
The top 28 things to do in Kyrgyzstan – culture, nature and sights
It is monotonous work, often in searing heat. Apart from the initial purchases of caravans or motorhomes, this group of wanderers is financially self-sufficient, partly because their living costs are low. Jobs on the fruit trail go beyond just picking.
Other opportunities include loading fruit into boxes in the relative comfort of the packing sheds, or working in administration. Instead these nomads have an informal network, by which they share job leads by word of mouth or email. They can then phone ahead to arrange work directly with farmers. In the distance, a coal train loaded to the brim with another lucrative Hunter Valley commodity rumbles past as a strong legion of pickers heads towards lunchtime.
Ankle-deep in mud, everyone is sweating. Most are foreign backpackers, but it is the experienced and hardworking older workers who are the bedrock of the harvest. The conditioning of 40 years working supporting a family and all of a sudden you are doing casual work and having days off during the week. It was very foreign.
But once you get past that, how could you go back?
The Grey Nomads
A newfound freedom Retirees join the fruit picking trail for different reasons. Open share tools. Like us on Facebook.
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Follow us on Twitter. A savvy move includes a contingency fund - this trip is an adventure, so anything could happen. If towing, pay attention to the cooling system, as towing increases the amount of heat generated by the engine and transmission. Free camping grounds: Take care, you can't pre-book, so the best idea is to get in early. Aim to be where you want to be by 3pm.
Toilets: If possible take your own, be it a toilet tent, chemical toilet, etc. There are grey waste points where sewage can be dumped in most towns - check before you go. Showers: Solar showers are cheap and work well. You can also check with some yacht clubs and service stations that may offer cheap showers just wear your thongs. Laundry: Put your washing in a bucket with a lid. Put in some washing powder and cold water and place on the back seat floor, then drive away. You will find the driving motion is enough to shake the dirt out of your clothes.
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