Finally we have finished the 88 days of fruit picking and the day we leave has arrived but there’s something inside of me that doesn’t want to leave. For the past three months we have lived our lives on the boat and in the small river land town of Waikerie. We have celebrated Christmas, New Year and Australia Day here and found some way to make each of them great. We’ve had ups and downs the whole way along but I have found I’ve grown as a person because of the last three months and our relationship has grown too. Even know it hasn’t all been good I certainly have some great memories from the last three months.
When we arrived back in November I never pictured us actually staying and doing the whole 88 days. At Christmas I really didn’t think we were going to stay the whole time either but then the days started blurring into weeks and somehow we found ourselves having less time to go than we had done. Since the one month mark we have been counting down the days until we are finished but I’m just not sure I’m ready to leave now it’s time.
For 88 days we have done the same thing every day, shopped in the same shop, slept in the same bed. We have slowly slipped in to a bubble of ‘boat life’ and forgotten about reality. There’s been no fast food, no clothes shopping, no nights out in a bar, no trams or trains or buses – just Waikerie, the Murray River Queen and orange picking. Things that matter in real life haven’t matter the whole time we’ve been here, there’s no responsibility, no pressures. We just pick oranges and party on our days off it’s been a fun life but a bubble you can’t live in forever.
After a three hour bus ride we find ourselves sitting in Adelaide bus depot and all I can think is ‘this isn’t Waikerie anymore’. The fact we have left for good has not sunk in, we aren’t going to look out our window on to the river and get up at the crack of dawn to be driven to the orange fields. Still it’s exciting we are finally back on the road again we get to have all those things we have been missing out on for the last three months. So tonight I find myself sleeping in a new bed and the excitement of being able to explore a new city in the morning running through my body. After 93 days in Waikerie we are travelling forward again, just the two of us and I couldn’t be more nervous and excited.