We finished work yesterday (20th of Dec). It’s crazy to think we have been here for 6 weeks. Whats even crazier is that we have been in New Zealand for 2 months already, time is truly flying.
It was great to get a job early on in our trip and make a bit of money to help fund all the plans we have.
I really liked working on the orchard although it was not an easy job. As I explained in the previous post – apple thinning is the process of pulling some of the apples off the trees to allow the remaining apples to grow to a large size. We were put on contract work which means that we got paid for each tree that we thinned. The price of the trees varied from $2 up to $6.50 depending on their size and the amount of apples they were holding. Me and Jasmin worked together. We would both start at the beginning of a row, Jasmin would thin one side and I would thin the other. Doing it this way ment we could thin faster but it also ment that the price of the trees was split between us so we had to do twice as many trees as someone working by themselves. Our goal every day was to make over minimum wage which is $120. Some days we made a bit more and some days we made a bit less. Sometimes if you were stuck in a patch of large trees priced a $2.20 it was impossible to make good money. Other times when we were going good we were able to make around $150 per day and I think our best was $165. Some guys on the farm who were fast and had sections of small trees to thin were able to make over $200 a day. It’s all a game of luck though. The Bosses always priced the trees so that we would make around minimum wage and we were up against it to do better than that.
We worked 8.5 hours a day, 6 days a week. The job was monotonous but the monotony became therapeutic at times. A lot of ideas started to formulate in our minds and a lot of plans were made about our lives and the trip through New Zealand, out among the apple trees. We decided early on to travel the length and breath of NZ on bikes. We got obsessed with the idea. At work we discussed routes and in the evenings we researched touring bikes, panniers and everything else about the bike touring world. At this stage we are all set up and almost ready to hit the road but I will go into that in a later post.