A lot has happened since the last update in Tasmania. At the present time I am writing from Germany again. Fortunately I wasn't deported and it is a short visit.
Once mum and me finished up in Tasmania we returned the car to the dealership in Melbourne without them knowing we had ever been in Tasmania with it. After that we spent a while in Melbourne and then grabbed a train towards Hamilton. Along the way we met Katherine, quite a coincidence actually, as I had thought that we would see her the next day at Reds farm and not all be travelling at the same time. The next four days were spent at Reds, showing mum the way I had lived for most of my time in Australia. On the third day mum and Katherine set of to Sydney and on the fourth I got a call from Matthew for work. Up until just before Christmas I then spent the time working as a hay contractor again, which was a lot of fun. Thinking about all those poor backpacker working on fruit farms and here I am sitting in an air conditioned tractor.
Around Christmas and New Year I didn't do to much. Visited a few people and had a Skype chat with my siblings, mum, Grandma and Aunty Lesley. For a few weeks after that work sort of stopped, so I racked up a few hours of swimming in Hamiltons local pool. Around that time I also applied for my visa in the next country, New Zealand. Why not, whilst I'm down here? Then I thought I really should visit some people at home and booked a flight back to Germany for a few weeks visit. I told dad about it, but kept it a secret from mum so I could surprise her. Shortly after dad asked me if I wanted to go sailing with him in Croatia for two weeks whilst I'm there. I agreed and next thing you know both my siblings are going to and I'm visiting Rhiannon in China before we both depart for Europe.
Also around that time New Zealand started getting a bit in to me about not being a British Citizen (the passport I had applied with to go there). As a British person you can stay two years if you want to, but you have to have lived in England (which I found out later). Being born and raised in Germany that didn't apply to me, but fortunately I had gotten my German nationality prior to leaving for Australia. It was a bit of a hassle and took a few trips to Melbourne, but eventually I got it four weeks later after New Zealand had declined the visa application and I then applied with my new passport, which was accepted fast.
By that time I had finished working for Matthew and returned to Reds, to spend the last few weeks there and give him a hand. Australia seemed to not want to let me go without a mark and between looking after puppies, tagging calves and fishing I also managed to pull something in my back, which left me unable to walk for two days, and twist my ankle rather badly, but I left the country without any snakebites. Although there was my closest snake encounter I had...
I managed to go to one more rodeo, too. Luckily I avoided getting on to a bull and the following days I visited a lot of people and said my good byes. The last day before leaving Red had a friend come around and we had a bit of a test on a new rifle.
On the day Red drove me to Melbourne we also sold the last of Cokes pups (Red Kelpie), so they wanted delivering to Melbourne. The pups weren't to happy about the car drive. Half way along one ore more of them threw up all across the cage (luckily Red has a Ute) and by the time we got to Ballarat the cage was clean. How that happened I'll leave out, but it didn't involve any human intervention.
On the way mum called to, so being in hast Red and me thought up some half baked story about going fishing and being out of phone service. We stayed the night at Reds cousin and left for Tullamarine airport early to get on time. At the airport I said my goodbyes to Red, got checked in, did some last minute phone calls with the hospital in Hamilton about a bug I'd had a few weeks earlier and then boarded the plane that took me from Melbourne to Sydney and then Sydney to Beijing.
Goodbye Australia, all the people I know there and I'll miss being in this awesome country.
PS: I'll be back for four hours when I fly to NZ.
PPS: The snake story I mentioned before involved me walking towards Possum (Kelpie dog), her hiding behind her kernel and a Tigersnake moving away from the half way point between the two of us (about three metres away)