Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Homeward bound with a tear in my eye!

A tear was in my eye as I boarded the plane and headed back to Australia. I missed my bus and all the people from the kiwi experience who would carry on without me as I fly back to Melbourne.
I landed and through the chilly winds I caught a tram down to the delightful area of St. Kilda. This would be my base to explore the fusion of Camden and Brighton which makes up the capital of Victoria and host of the last commonwelth games.
Melbounre has a charm to it that I cant quite describe, its cosmopolitan yet Bohemian at the same time, with areas that make me giggle with delight such as Brunswick, St. Kilda and along the Yarra river.
My first night would be an eventful one. I met at the hostel soem girls whom I e in New Zealand and we proceeded to get drunky at the casino. I even managed to get some free drinks when the bar lady refused to serve me. She sais taht I couldnt be served as I am too drunk and was sawying. I then went off on one 'How dare you I have a plastic hip from a car accident, you are discriminating against people with disabilities. I cant stand on that leg for elongated periods of time and have to adjust my weight accordingly from leg to leg, hense the swaying look'. She was ever so apologetic and I got free champagne!!!!!! he he the mug!!!
I spent a few days exploring with some random people I met int he hostel the delights that Melbourne has to offer. I went to the grim and cold Old Melbourne Gaol. This is where Ned Kelly the famous Australian folk hero and bush ranger was hung. I saw hsi death mask and explored until the peace was disrupted by a bleedin'school party!
I wandered around the MCG and took in the singing bridge that leads down to it constructed to commemorate the commonwealth games last year. I also took in the modern art that adorn the city and make it have this charm that seems to seep from every pour.
But the best thing by far was meeting the living legend that is Dr. karl Kennedy from neighbours. There in St .Kilda is a pub called the Elephant and Wheelbarrow. This small pub hosts neigbopurs neights with come and meet the stars as its attraction. But the main attraction is the fact that the good old doctor and his band perfom at the end of the evening.
I met the lethcerous doctor and he hugged me!! I wasnt going to go as I thought it was a bit gimpy but soem of the girls in the hostel persuaded me, so I subsequently was the only bloke at our table. That made me smile boradly and giggle a lot, oh ladies come to papa!!
Anyway I met libby and she hugged me and was a right old slut!! Oh yes her embrace was full of filth and she wanted me, oh I could tell it by the lustfull look in her eyes, or was that beacuse I was pissed as a fart by the time she came round. I also met soem of the bloke stars but didnt really give a monkeys about them, they didnt have longing eyes for me to stare into!!
The band was ok, but Karl was to be funny as a crooner. Hunreds of people swarmed him afterwards and these big bouncers had to pull them off, I was meanwhile content at the bar talkingto an Australian girl who I was confused to see there as it was full of British and Irish. It afterall was a very good night and to say I touched Dr. Karl and Libby is a pleasure!!!!!
At the evning we hadto dance for soem compeition and I walong with a girl called Carly won a free cruise down the Yarra river. But when we rocked up for it, it was the shitest cruise I have ever been on and the guide and captain was useless for information and had no skill in talking out loud, I am glad I won it as I would never had paid for it!
I also took in the magestic MCG and went for lots of walks in and around melbourne.
I was staying in St. Kilda which is a beach suburb of the city, it has a long old poer that I walked down when it was totally encased in a danse fog. It made the whole experience very spooky. But I was staying ina hostel called Base backpackers. They have a fe gimmicks on in their bar. On a Thursday it is ladies night. It is advertised as free champagne (Cava and then when that run out Bucks fizz) to all ladies, also free champagne to anyone dressde as a lady. So me and afew lads all raided the gilrs clothing bins and looked a combination of crackwhore, junkies sluts!
But for free booze all night I was smiling, the troble is that we all go so drunk we did a Stan Collymore and set the fire extinguisher off and sprayed a lot of people, but the best part was, we got away with it!!!!!
Melbourne is also a thriving sports city. There are AFL teams galore such as: Collingwood, Carlton, St. Kilda and many more. So what true Australian sport should I go and see? Yes Rygby, but I fell asleep on the tram and woke up an hour past my stop so never got to see a league game. Instead I contented myself with a pre season friendly seeing the Melbourne Victory (A league champions) play Oakleigh Cannons. I missed a goal as I was in the loo and missed anotehr one when in the beer queue!! Melbounre played a full strength team complete with international record holder for gioals in a match (13 against American Samoa when the Aussies won 31-0) Archie Thompson, there was also a Chelsea reject on the pitch and the old hardman of Millwall and Wolves, the filthy Kevin Muscatt on the field!!
But the time came for me to bid faewell to Melbourne and head by a cramped greh=yhound bus back to Sydney to await my flight home. The time is near I face the final curtain. I am almost home, I feel sad but also very scared to come home. I will for once have to stop being a little boy and be a grown up, but that is hard for Peter Pan to achieve, I know I want to travel more and feel that I have another vo,unteer placement in Africa or Asia in me, bescides I havnt seen South America or India yet.
I waved goodbye to the friends I had made in Melbourne and got the tram ppast the ugly demonic clowns face that is the entrance to Luna park, the face seemed to mocvk me!
Luckily on the bus was a girl from my hostel so we chatted throughout the nifght journey, sleep was impossible as we were being driven by Lewis Hamiltona dn the bus cornered with fury!
We arrived in Sydney and booked into a hostl called wake up, apprantly it won 2005 best hostel in the world award!!!! oooohh!!!
So you have just rocked up into Sydney what should you do. Yes yopu have guessed it, go and see the Dalai Lama talk about happiness and life in the Domain for free. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is on an Australian tour and he is spreading the words of peace and love along the way. It was also free entry so I went along to hear his words in the rain.
He has a wicked sence of humour and many people collapsed around me and had to be carried out withh tears of joy streaming from their eyes!
I was glad that I have had the priviledge to see the Dalai Lama in person and hear his words about smiling to make people happy and living life with love. They hit home and he is quite a charecter. He even cracks jokes about going to nightclubs and why are all you Australians here to hear me speak? 'We are not giving away free beer'!
I spent the rest of the day milling about Sydney and poncing about down by the rocks in Sydney Harbout, then that evening as I was walking out of the shower going to my dorm room who shioudl I see? Well I bumped into a loads from my first Kiwi experience bus down in the south island, tehrefore a massive piss up ensued and it lasted well into the late hours as we drank many a jagerbomb and random fruity cocktails, all washed down by Tooheys new!
The next day I actually watched my bungy DVD. Ha ha I iggled so much because the soundtrack to me jumping is Gary Glitter, ooh a bit of bad taste misses!
The next day.........
The time has finally come to say goodbye to my travels for now. I know deep down this wont be my last lot of travels. I have so much more in me and I will never give up on seeing every inch of the world I can.
But now is time for me to look to the future and not remiiniss about all my travels, adventures and fun I have had. For I know coming home is anoter adventure too.
My last days in Sydney were spent wilt old friends and also meeting new ones and also ona aerrand to collect things for people at home who left stuff in Oz.
So I was busy and it was eventful.
Tonight is my last night and no doubt soemthing will happen.
I leave with a tear in my eye as I have fallen in love with New Zealand and all the rest, I leave behind my bus who now will have been in Queenstown for a while. I leave behind places where memories were created, but will retain them forever.
So for the last time in my travesl I email you all.
Wherever you are take care and enjoy what the world has to offer.

Sweet as Bro!!!!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Kiwi Love and beyond!

Kia Ora all.

I have a little small thing to admit to you all. I am hopelessly in love with New Zealand, the country has captivated me and made love to my soul. Some times without Lube too!!!!
I left Queenstown and headed north via an internal flight to Auckland. I was due to start the kiwi North island bus the following morning early, so my intentions were to go to bed early. But as with travelling things never go to plan. I walked out of the hostel and who should I see but too Irish girlsd I met in Australia. Therefore a massive piss up ensued which didnt end til 6am. I was swaying atthe bus stop the following day.
Let the fun begin......
The North island was one of the best experiences that I have ever had the pleasure to have. Our bus instantly clicked and the first night was legandary as we drew a Hitler moustache on a sleeping unsurspecting German in our room. This ladies and gentleman was Johan!!!!!
Oh Johan we all love him, we have even made a fan club. What a chareter to meet. He was a German farmer and really Aryan. He fell asleep later on one day and we pummelled him with permanet marker all over his face and body. the words Bundesliga bosch, bosch, bosch were adormed with the words Hasselhoff and Hero all over his chest and face.
So lets start off from Auckland.
I stood at the bus stop with amaizingly blood shot eyes, they are so bloodshot infact that they still havnt gone down. I stood waiting for the kiwi bus swaying still tanked up with booze. Our first stop was a place called Hot water beach and thats where our bus started to gel and bond. This beach had the amaizing fact that if you buried your feet under the sand you found amaizingly hot water ther, hense the name. Then we went off to trek to Stingray bay and Cathedral beach with its immense sea caves. The first evening was when the fun bagan. As soon as we settled into our room this is where it all began. There was myself, Stewart from Glasgow, Johan Zee German farmer, Mike from Crawley, Pingpong from Manchester (His real name was Michael but he mentioned table tennis and the name stuck and rather suited tehe little fellow and lastly Nick from Amsterdam.
We instantly all were pissing ourselves with laughter as we drew on the German in bed and took the piss out of each other. From that point on our group was inseperabel and we loved it all. We were staying in mercury bay that evening and the hostel was run by a man named Ron wgho obvioulsy kept his daughetr hidden in a cage and poked her with sticks, all very odd. Two other German lads shared a double bed and this Ron chaps face was hilarous when he discovered this fact. The evening in Mercury bay was spent not surprisingly in the opub socialising wioth the bus. It wasnt a very full bus but we all got on so well and fun was had by all.
The next day we went to Talisman mines, these are old mines which are shut off and guess what. We without any torch or even a match went deep into the mines of Moria and kept jumping out on the girls who screamed and screamed. The only lights we had were from camera flashes. We even got bollocked bya park warden for bouncing the suspension bridge far too much, you should have seen the bugger move it was like a slingshot.
We even had time to stop that afternoon for a bite to eat in Hobbiton, or rather the town where Hobbiton was filmed!! Go hobbits!!
We arrived in Roturua and I decided to go Luging down the mountain. So a few of us got up tot eh tiop via the gondola and immediately I took the advanced track, bloody hell these luges go so fast that I had sparks coming from my wheesl. How I didnt crash I will never know, great fun. Then along with two girls Naivashs and Vicky from our bus we went on the sky swing, which is like a massive catapult!
Not long after and soon we were all heading off to the Tamki Maori cultural village and show. A bit of sanitised tourism for us all. Well on the bus over the driver whom of course was Maori asked the entire bus who should be the Chief of our Wocha (boat), guess who got nominated?? Yes you have guessed it me. I was hoping to do the Haha but had the stand with 3 other cheiefs whom all were blody whooping Yanks (you know the ones who you would just love to smack in the much). Well we had to stand there after commanding our bus/boat by giving Maori commands of 'Te Wocha hue' while the Maori warriors intimitaded us by dancing in front of us waving their sticks and poking their tongues out. I was told 'dont laugh, or immitate as it is really offensive'.
As the chief I had a few responsibilities and alo got to choose my table and eat first. We then were shiown the Haka and a few dances and got to explore the traditional Pa (fortified village). Adter wards I was presented with a bone carved necklace and a chiefs wooden carved pandant.
Well I thought the fun was all over for me now, but oh no. On the bus home I had to sing out loud in front of everyone. So Common people was belted out to all with the Germans looking on in horror!!!!
That evening was spent dodging Japanese tag a,long who wore masks as they had colds in the Lava bar!!!! Once again my liver took a bashing!
The next day we were due to leave Roturua and head to Waitomo, but before hand we went to the Maori Te Puia cultural centre and learnt about their gods and mythology. We also saw the Roturua bobbling mud pools and natural spa.
The next stop was the small village of Waitomo. This is where we were to do black water rafting, for those not in the know, black water rafting is caving and tubing down rivers underground in glwoworm caves. Although there is no such thing as a glow worm. They are glowing maggots that fuck to death, and I am not kidding. But glowwrom sounds nicer for the old people. We abseiled underground into the freezing waters. It was bloody brilliant, I have caved at home but this was more extreme. 10 meter free falls into the icy water in the pitch black and also elles as big as my thigh swimming past and occasionally taking a nip at you. There was a zip line and the water was bloody freezing, the cold was penetrating. It was great fun and our little group always stopped to have water fights and piss in our wetsuits to warm up.
That evening was spent at the hostel drinking beers, when suddenyl a Jack Russell ran into the room!!!!!! Later on the very same dog got in soemhow and jumped into bed with Mike. The evening we acted like little school kids and kept locking people out of their rooms in their pants and we also drew on this guy who had the shittest beard I have ever seen, it was just under his chin so while he slept I drew where his moustache failed to grow!!! Everytime we saw him after that we abused him something crionic.
Then as we left sleepy Waitomo we discovered the weirdest place in the world. A rabbit shearing shop. It was either quite amusing or disturbing I cant decide which. Well basically they get this massive white uber fluffy rabbit and put its arms and legs in clamps and stretch the little thing out. Then they shave it. The poor thing is terrified, but the old ladies doign it are rather sadistic!! I couldnt help myself but laugh out loud and question the lady abiout whether the rabbit was the one from Monty Pythin and the Holy Grail!!!! Oh the scowl I got!!!
Next stop Lake Taupo. But this is where the weather took a turn for the worst! The heavens opened and the rain pummelled us. Therefore the next days activities were cancelled except the skydives, but I had done one of them 5 years ago inAustralia so did want to do another. But I dod want to do the Tongoriro crossing accross the volcanic l;andscape. But the winds were too high so the buses there were not running!!!
On the way to Taupo we stopped by Huka falls and then proceeded to have a massive night out. We could go all out no stops tonight as we had the rarety of a free day to sleep in tomorrow.
So off we went to get drunken, then I was attacked!! Yep I was jumped by some drunk. But this drunk jumped me in the hostel and guess what, he bloody worked there!!!!! The staff came running out as he had his hand around my fist and Zee German Johan came wading in. Oh how apologetic they were. I still dont have a clue why he attacked me, but I think it was because I was the smallest target as I was waling with the bigger lads!!!!! Anyway tio butter me up and Johan (my hero) we got free beers all night the next day. But then they went back on their promise as we were and I quote' drinking far to much for them to be able to supply us'!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway no harm was done and we spent a qualtiy evening out in Lake Taupo.
The next day 3 of us decided to hire mountain bikers and bike it back up to Huka falls using the dirts tarcks and try to amke it to the craters of the moon. We also encountered many hot springs and went for a little dip! On the way back Taupo and its majestic lake was immersed in the biggest rainbow I had ever seen.
We left Taupo and travelled off road to River valley. Here we stayed in some wooden lodge and got hammrede. That nigth jo one was safe as I had found a permanetn maker and I also got attacked by a cat that evening. We were all staying in these massive beds and so bundles galore ensude and when in the morning most people woke up and I had drawn massive mounsahces on them or given them Maori pattersn on their faces!!! Oh how drunk we were. Oh as we jumped from the top bunks onto the floor the glasses int he bar beneath fell and smashed, I think we broke the world glass smashing record!
The next day I though I was gouing to die of hyperthermia. This was because the six of us plus Dave from leeds went white water rafting. Oh the water was like ice needles penetrating your skin, when your head got ducked under it felt like the ice cream and slush puppy brain freezes you get when eating or drinking them too fast.
We hurtled down this river and everyone fell in, well everyone bar me, although Johan went beserk and bundled me in 3 times and I was shaking for an hours aftre. There were two rafts and many a time we had to suddely fish soemone out before we hurled downt he rapids with the dead cows who had fallen fromt he hill side as they loked at this strange new thing calleda raft going by!!!! I have never been so cold ina ll my life, but I loved it so much. it was great fun. I spent at least an hour in the shower waiting dfor my willy to get back to normal size!!!!!
Then on to Wellington and this would be our last night out as a group. I will miss the bus, they are going to have so much fun and travel down south and do all which I have done. Oh I wish I was with that grioup from the start. I felt like crying on our last night out as we took the Capital city by storm.
The next morning as I waved them off I suddenyl got the last laughon Johan who in the night chucked a cold water bucket all over me in bed!!! I stood wavign a I love you Johan sign which I made using an old towel!!!
It was such a shame that we are all splitting up and I can hoenstly say it was one of the saddest momenst I have had while tarvelling as I stood there watchign their bus dissapear towards the inter island ferry. But hey, we are all going to have reunions one day!!!
Then I left Wellington by plane in the win ds and spent 45 minutes flying down to Christchurch, oh boring, boring Christchurch.
This is where I sit now typing this. Tomorrow it is back to Oz and then I have just 13 days left til I return home.
Home, what is home. It feels so long ago. But I look forward to seeing my family and friends. It is going to be an even bigger adventure than any of my tarvels. Tnhis new adventure is all grown up and called jobs and real life. f%$k me what am ever I to do!!!!!!!!!
As I worry about the future I will leave you all for now. I am off to Miss my bus and pine for Johan!!!!!!!

Cheerio all, for soon I may be seeing you in the flesh!

Hai konei rā ki nga whaiāipo katoa, he tino roa pea te wā e ngaro atu ana mātau. (Translate that!)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Hills are on Acid!!

Bonjour mon petit!
The hills are on acid indeed, or at least steriods, the New Zealand scenery is soemthing else indeed!
The rain hammered down in Melbounre, the capital of Victoria. Why couldnt the rain have stayed in South Australia. But oh no it stalks you like a scorned lover accross borders and boundaries.
I had arived in Melbourne for one night before I departed to the birth place of the bungy jump. New Zealand. I was excited and couldnt wait to get there.
But before hand I had some time to kill in Melbourne. I wil come back here in June from New Zealand, so will do the Great Ocean road then or even go and try to lick Harold Bishop's face!!!!
So what do you do in Melbourne when its raining and you forget your camera? Yes you have guessed it, you walk to the Oympic park across the bridge with loud speakers and bizarre singing on it to the MCG. For those who are not in the know, the MCG stands for the Melbourne Cricket ground. This is the home of the 1956 Olympics and also where Don Bradman hit many centuries and battered the opposition like Geoffrey Boycott used to batter his wife!
Then it was time...........
New Zealand, wow what a place. Its like England, but I hate to say it, its like England but, well better! Oh yes this place is a home from home and to come here you basically fall head over heels in love with the majestic beauty which is the scenery and the Fiords and the mountains and most of all the fantastic opportunities you have to see it all.
I cant actually tell you in any fitting words just how beautiful this place is. Its rugged in parts, scenic in others, dangerously ferociouis in areas and hedonistic everywhere. The possibilities to do all sorts of mental things here are abundant. For example bungy jumping, oh sod me sideways how high the big boy is. I did one many years ago and this one is about 7 times higher. Wow, I will do that when I get back round from my Kiwi experience to Queenstwon.
Ok then let me give you the New Zealand run down about what I have done here.
I landed in Christchurch, the provincial capital of Canterbury where the rugby clobber comes from. I landed just too late to be able to go and see the Crusaders play. Damn it. I wanted to see the horse men gallop on to the pitch before kick off. So I missed that and then found my way into Christchurch and at a hostel. The next day I met up with soemone whom I had met in Thailand and then we proceeded to get very drunk at a house party which I had been invited to because I was the token Brit.
I got very drunk indeed that day on straight gin that the next morning I suffered badly. But hey, thats travelling for you!
Now in the cold It was time for me to sample the delights of what New Zealand has to offer. My first posrt of call was the student town of Dunedin, which in gaelic or Celtic means Edinburgh. The town even has kilt shops and is bloody freezing as it gets all the arctic winds! Its odd to see your breath after so long ina hot country. I spent a few days there and we even wona pub quiz and the grand sum of $50 kiwi dollars. Thats about 15 quid. Oh the big spenders eh!
After Dunedin I went to the scenic lakeside town of Te Anau. From there I joined the Kiwi experience green bus and headed for the day to Milford Sound. Which is not a sound at all and is actually a Fjord. A fjord is formed by moving glaciers and a sound is formed by rivers. But ther Welsh man who maned it didnt know the difference, silly sod!
Milford sound is beautifully wonderfuil. The sound (fjord) itself is massive and an adundance of watefalls run into the sea. It had rained the previous day so there were waterfalls all over the place and the water was so pure that the boat I was on going downthe sound could nudge up tot he waterfall and you could drink the water that you caught in a cup, beautifully clear and refreshing. The day was a great trip as we saw mirror lakes where the mountaisn are reflected perfectly in the lakes hense the mirror images seen in postcards.
After Milford sound I went to th hedonistic capital of the world. Queenstown. This is the birthplace of the Bungy jump back in 1989. So the town is lively and buzzing and an adrenaline filled haven. The people I met on the kiwiw bus at Milford and I went out on a massive bender and I really have no recollection of what happened but I know we were doing shots out of teapots in the world bar and also I was up for dancing which I never really am. We also maganed to steal a red bonnett and then had a 6 am ferg burger. Oh how lovely are they!!!!!
Now it was time for the fun to really begin. For I joined the Kiwi experience bus and I was off to circumnavigate the south island of New Zealand.
After Queenstown and one night in Christchurch we headed to the little town of Kaikoura. A small little town ionly famous for its Fur Seals which climb on the road and cause traffic to stop and whale watching. So whale watching it was. Oh what a bloody waste of money that was. Bloody ridiclous. We hammered it along the sea after watching a properganda video of dolphins being slutty and showing off and whales breaching. But did we see anything, not really no. We did see an inquisitive seal which bobbed around us as people chucked over the sides in the rough weather. BUt thats all. Well not quite. We did see the tail of a sperm whale pop out of the water and then dive. But that was all. Shite, really shite!!!!!
But Kaikoura baceme a great night out and a good evening of fun later on. I was walking back with a bag full of shopping to the hostel up a hill and this girl came hurtling down the hill being pulled by some large pitbull like dog on a lead, shouting help. So Capitan Bengy lept to the rescue to save the girl before she fell on fher face and was dragged down the hill. I am now a hero!!!!!
Later on the very same girl and I were in the same quiz team for the local pub quiz at the only bar in town. Along wioth two other girls we called our team Six tit and a winkle and we stormed the quiz. We won $100 bar tab and won the quiz with two rounds to spare. How cool was that. We had a great night and the locals were the freakyest bunch of people you will ever see. For example one looked a dead ringer for Jimmy Saville, he was even in a tracksuit but this was new zealand so it was a canterbury rugby tracksuit. Then there was the scary beareded man with tattoos on his hands and last but not leats was the legendary Beau. Thai man with a fantastic moustache was a cheese maker and possibly the dumbest man alive. The locals who were no real bright sparks themselves were offering his around the teams who needed a 4th person. A team of lades from our bus took up the offer and some of the snawers he came up with were f%*king ridiculous. For example one question was 'Who wrote Winnie the Pooh'. He answered this question with the shouted answer of 'That c*#t that went under'! I dont quite know what that means but he answered the question of what wa Bill Clinton's middle name with the response of 'North or souht clinton'!!!! Dumbest man alive, needl;ess to say we abused him all night and posed for fantastic pictures with him!
My next stop would be for 3 nights in Nelson and the Abel Tasman national park. So I said goodbye to all the others from my bus as I would be joining another bus aftre my trek in the park.
I spent two whole days in the beautiful park with its hill,s fantastic lagoons, pools, waterfalls and forest. The first day we kayaked 15 km's up the costline in sea kayaks all the way past seal island to a place called bark bay. Where we camped over in some freezing cold hut and made a massive man fire at night and then got lost inthe woods trying to find the beach. The next day through the hillsna d coatsl paths hiked about 20km's back to Kaiteriteri to get the bus back to Nelson. Nelson coincidently is the centre point for New Zealand and is called the sunshine city. It was still bloody cold though! The hut we stayed in looked like a set froma prisoner of war movie, the funny thing was that we shared it with Ze Germans!!
Back at Nelson I jumped on the bus and this kiwi bus would be the one I would be on all the way round to Queesntown where we would all get smahed and have a big party!
There were loads of us, two whole buses so we had competitions between the buses. Many of these involved random nudity and dare stunts like when we wall went to Nelson lakes and each bus had to out do each other by getting people ffrom their buses to jump into the freezing water. The water was so cold taht it took ages for my willy to get back to normal size! Needless to say my winkle retracted as soon as I plunged into the icy waters, but we won so all was cool!! Everyone was now getting to know each iother and we could remember first names and were having a great laugh. So we headed to the tiny town of westport and there I almost killed one of our group, what an introduction. A few of us went horse riding as as the instructors saw that I knew what I was doing I went off to gallop along the Buller river with one of the ladies in charge. We were racing in the twilignts along a path whoch split into two. I tried to take the left path to overtake her when the two paths joined later on. But as I came round a corner I came face to face with a speeding quadbuike with one of the younger lads on our bus riding it. Somehow I magade to stear my horse around hima nd stop myself from being thrown but the lad was trembling and looked like he needed a shot or two. I wa congratulated on controlling the beast and continued to gallp. We later all giggled about that in the evening. The evniong came and we watched the FA cup final which kicked off at 2 am. Bloody extra time I had to be up early to go jet boating.
Jetboating was bloody great though. I got soaked and freezing and we hammered along the river narrowly avoiding rocks and spinning on the spot. I highly reccommend it!
The next stop could be an email all by itslef. We went to Lake Maninuapua. Wow what a place. There nothing there apart from lots of greenstone jade and the lake and a river. But its home to the Poo pub. A legandary place run by 83 years old bearded scarcastic sod Les. This place for 12 years has been a regular stop on the kiwiw experience for all buses that pass throug. The reason why. We have a private fancty drwess party. The entire wals of the bar are covered in polaroid pictures of all the fancy dress party over the last 12 years and all of them at some point have soemones genitals in the shot! The place is a dump but a delightful one. Our theme as we raided the $2 shop and supermarket in the nearer town of Greymouth was anything beginning with the first letter of your name. I drew up a massive list of B's. Such as:barbarian, Braveheart, bandit, Botswanan tribesman. But in the end I went as a baby, complete with man nappy, dummy, bonett, massive bottle filled with beer and pink duck teddy. But I was quite dissapointed not to win the prize for best dressed, which was a free canyon swing. Instead a Danish guy dressed as flash won it.
The night was bloody legendary and only 4 people out of the 60 odd on the two buses didnt make an effort. We had soem quality costumes on display. Flamibngies, Nuns, two Jesus', periest, cowboys, robbers, superheroes, straighjackets, gladiators, drag queens and many more were packed into this bar. We all got very drunk needless to say and fun was had by all. But going to the toilet in a man nappy isd a funny old routine and many people were taking pictures of me doing so! The voyeurs!!!
The next morning the bus was silwent as every movement made them goran. No wonder so many fry ups were consumed at this cafe/museum that we stopped at. Thsi odd bushman centre even showed a video where men jumped from helicopters to caputure dear to the top gun theme tune. I have never seen anything so homoerotic in all my life,the short shorts and welly combos were soemthing else!
Now the kiwi experience wouldnt be the same if you had a shitty driver. Luckily ours is the nuts and every bridge you get too we have to stop so we can either jump off it or laught when soemone jumps in and a dead sheep floats by! Ours encourages us to be extreme and so far our bus is the extreme bus. We even won a loads of free shots by mooning some restaurant where they take pictures of all the kiwi buses that go by! But to get even more free shots I had to do soem full frontal niduity. So a mini streak ensued with a sock Chilli peppers style over my old man!
Franz Josef Glacier
We rocked up to Franz Josef galcier, named aftre some old prince from Austraia and named because the flowing glacier looks like the old codgers beard!
I did the entire day hike up the icy mammoth and was kitted out in cold weather gear. I had everything from a big manly ice pick, crampons on my feet (no not tampons), special ice boots which leaked and water proofs. I spent the day clambering up ice stepa cut out by massive ice axes and skidding around on the top. It took hours to get up tot he point where we coyuld and the shear size of it is massive. In the distance the galcier looks rather small, but the shear scale unfolds as you approach. By the time I got back my feet were icicles and I was soaking from crawling along little ice tunnels! But the best bit was some odd beardy man who was pullingthe best poses on the ice, go baby go!
That evening in Franz josef we wera ll very drunken and aftetr playing killer pool in the bar moved on to a bar whch bosated the worlds worst shot. The shot was free and they discouraged you from drinking it. Well guess what I did. Bloody nora! I was on fire for 45 minutes, it was like a vindaloo on speed. I was sweating and the next day I had a few botty explosions, serves me right I can hear you cry!
From Franz Josef we moved on to Wanaka and there we went to the boring puzzling worl and also watched the cheating handball Italians win the champions league at 6am.
But onwards we went. Thsi time via more bridge jumps to Queens town. The hedonistic adrenaline junkie capital of the world.
Our first nigth was messy. We were all out til about 6am and with no sleep and too much booze the next day we were all zombies.
But we did bbeat the Altitue bar record for Jegierbombs consumed and we had a long domino line of jager bombs going off, it was a sight to behold.
When we rockedup in Queesntown we hadthe team photo by the lake and also for those who were keen a naked team photo. Of course I can be seen with my white arse out ina silyl hat in the photo. Well you ahve to dont you, but I was very dissapointed taht the girls didnt join us for the shot, they all stayed in the bus as it was beginning to rain, wimps!
So with a night on the last and many stories and rumours the nest day what shudl we all do. Yes you ahve guessed it go to the birthplace of bungy jumping. The Kawarau bridge, the origional place they tested it after seeing the Vanuatuans jump with vines in the pacific.
I didnt do the bridge as I wanted the ultimate rush. I booked Nevis the higgest permanent bungy jump in the world, a freefall of 8.5 seconds. 134 meters suspecnded in a canyon.
Before I did the bungy we all did the luge down the hills of Queenstown. They are so bloody fun. You get a cable car gondola up the mountain pastt he ledge bungy where you can run and jump off and then you have these cravity powered go karts and race down the hill. Our race was messy and at one point I was rammed from behind and went flying over the safety rail and landed in an ornamental rockery resulting ina cut leg and a slight limp for a few hours! There was a massive group of us and we all bundled downt he track jostling for first place and punching each other as we sped past.
The next day which was yesterday was the day of the jump. About 20 of us were doing it togheter and I was bricking it. I am not the best with heights. But I did it. We were bussed out to the ravine and were weighed up. I was 73 kilos so was 8th or 9th overall to go. I had to wait and wait btu then came my turn and my trembling hands suddenyl stopped when I was sitting in the chair getting strapped up. I didnt go alone though. I jumped with the pink cuddly duck from my baby fancy dress costume, also one of the welsh girls did the same as she needed some normal suport. As soon as I was strapped in all my fears went. I was calm and lept. Wow wahata rush as I hurtled down the wind hammereing my ears. On the second bounce you can release you feet and you go into a sitting position. It was a truly exilerating experience and I was bloody loving it. I have never been so hyper afterwards I must ahve been murder. I couldnt stop giggling and smiling. The best bit too was I kept hold of the duck and didnt let him go!!!!!!!! I was contimplating releasing him into the wild!
So after allthe adrenaline from the bungy you can imagine that last nigts piss up was very hyperactive. My goodness did I put some drink away. My poor liver, detox when I get home me thinks!
Well taht was yesterday and today is my washing day and playing mini golf with the crazy Danes, many have gone to Milford sound but I have already done that so am resting up todaya nd re-charging my worn down batteries. Tonight I am off to see pitrates of the carribeana nd we are dressing up. Aaaaarrrrggghhh me hearties.
Well thats all for now. I will bugger off and enjoy myself while you lot go to work and read this and think to yourself 'doesnt Ben bloody waffle on'.
Take care all
I am home in under 30 days now, its gone too quickly.
Love to all
peace and bungy

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Kangaroo Island, Adelaide and old friends!

'There is no way she can sail in this weather', said the bearded man looking nochanantly out to sea as though he was waiting the return of a long lost loved one. So thats settled then we are stuck on Kangaroo ialsn. But hey if we get hungry at leas we can catch roos and possums and cook them up!
More on that later...........So after my adventures with the Pitjantjatjara and the Yankunytjatjara people of the Anangu at Uluru, I made my way down via the dust hole of Coober Pedy to Adelaide. South Australia's capital.
My first dat in Adelaide was spent finding a hostel, the first one that was open at 6am was a shite hole where I woke up with bites on my arms and stomach. Fooking bed bugs, out of all the bleedin countries I havebeen to a modern wolrd power has the sodding bed bugs! But they have all gone now due to a bit of cream from the apologetic hostel owner who also was the most tattoed lady I have ever seen.
Adelaide. Well its a very European and multi racial city, aftre the outback its like being in a new world. But the weather is rether dull and it rained for 4 full days, the first time in fact that it had rained in 6 months. So sods law I rock up and it rains and soda law again you lot at home have a bleedin heatwave. Oh well I know that I am still beating you lot wiht ym tan, but aftre the cold and wet ness of New Zealand which is still to come I will have fallen behind!
I met up with an old mate who I met at camp America. Ashley Giles, no not the reject catch dropping England cricketer. The Ash Giles who lives in a shed at the back of a shared house and I get drunk with a lot. Yes he actually lives in an ant infested tin shed in the garden!!!!! cheap rent!
Well we met up and instantly it was like old times when he came to stay at mine at home, we laughed and joked and had a great bundle of fun getting drunk, going to rock pbs dressed in 1980's charity shop clobber and I also went to stay at his parents farm where they had me up early and feeding the sheep in the hills. That was great fun as the scenery at Willunga in the Mclaren vale wine area was fantastic, I even visited the Woodstock vineyard and had many, many free samples and over did it on the port!
Adelaide is mad for Aussie rules football (AFL). I have been watching quite a bit of it and also did as it was raining a familt guy marathon, woo hoo! I am slowly getting the rules of the game and now know the pouint scoring system and the passsing rule etc. I want to play it. When I get back from New Zealand and go to Melbourne I want to see a match at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground), this is quite likely as Melbourne has many teams, although my mate was trying to get me to support Adelaide Crows and shun Port Adelaide! A bit like the Newcastle Sunderland rivalry I suppose!
Ash and I soent a lot of time drunk or in the process of getting drunk, mostly on bottles of bourbon that he had collected from his recetn 25th birthday. Then I would cook and fry up or somthing and then we would go out to some cool bars like the Exeter Hotel and rock it up. We went out with Tom from the Uluru tripI did and one of his German mates and we ended up drinking in a rock bar with a drag queen caled Gloria, or Dave! That was a very drunken night and when we got back we seemed to have accumulated a few roadsigns! Yes its a fall back to student days gone, but hey I like being Peter Pan!!!
The rain was a constant pest in Adelaide and it heaved down making the streets mini rivers, but when the sun did come out it was cold and damp.
While I was staying on the couch at Ash's we went to some friend of Helens (Ash's sister) 21st birthday party. I was the only English person there, or rather I was the only non Aussie, so I was like a circus attraction with all the people all speaking to me and getting lots of attention from the ladies, for one night only I felt indestructable and put on a leslie Phillips accent all night to the amusement of Ah and Helen who to their vredit played along and called me the Major all night!!!!!!!!!
Oh the 21st had a free bar too, rock on my son!
At this stage teh cricket world cup final was on and Australia beat Sri Lanka in almost farcical circumstances, but the celebrations were very minimal! No one really cared. Basically because Adelaide is such an AFL area and also that athe Aussies were so adamanst that they would win I think they had pre celebrated it all anyway!
Then came the best thing I had done in South Australia, Kangaroo island.
I stayed a night at the YHA in the centre of town and then early the next morning we as a group drove down to Cape Jervis to alight the ferry to Kangaroo island. Kangaroo actually in Aboriginee means 'I dont know what you are saying'. As Captain or Lieutenant as he was then, James Cook stepped ashore and in his plummy English accent asked a young Aboriginee boy,' I say whats that animal over there'. The answer 'Kangaroo'. Therefore we have the name that we all know and love.
Kangaroo iasland was named by Captain Flinders after they went ashore and shot 30 kangaroos to replenish their ships meat store, simple really.
The amaizing fact about Kangaroo island is that it is home to an abundance of wild life. We saw (all wild) Kangaroos, wallabies, Koalas, Possums (which you can hand feed as they get cheeky and come up to you), seals, Australian sea lions, new zealand fur seals (they stink) and Echidnas. So all in all an abundance of wildlife.
The group I wqas in was a quality one yet again. I have been very lucky that all things I do in groups, I have agood bunch of people. Although we had two Czech ladise who spoke no English at all and didnt chance their clothes at all!
There is so much to do on the island but the first port of call was a place called Seal bay, and guess what you find there? Yep, you have guessed it, Australian sea Lions, not seals!!!!!
They are massive big lumps and some look like little puppies just waiting to be tickled, but alas you ahve to keep at least 30 feet away as not long ago a 13 year old girl was savagely attacked by a dominant male, and they cane move faster than we can on sand if they want too. These big lumps go to sea for 3 days and feast, then come back to land aftre a massive 200 odd kilometer trip and sleep noisily on the beach. To watch them sleep it funy as some toss and turn and flap their legs all over the place. Some wake up and then wake the others up baceuse they are naughty little chaps!
I even saw a little pup suckling and the squeaking noise made me giggle. We had to have a ranger accompany us onto the beach, just so we didnt try to bugger the seals or anything. This guy ron became the but of all jokes as we said he molests the sdeals at nigth! Well he did have that look in his eye! Also see lions can surf in the waves, its pretty impressive!
After that we all did one of the best things I have done in Australia. Sandboarding at the Little Sahara dunes. These dunes are wind created and are 15 k's from the sea. I managed to stand up going down the dunes and then I had a competition with two British girls, a British lad and a Belgian girl as to see you could go the furthest after a run and jump onto the bigger body sanboard that you normally sit on. We hurtled down the dunes and when you do fall its like hitting abirkc wall and you roll and roll all the way down to the bottom, then have to trudge back up, re-wax the board and try again. The sunset there was amaizing over the dunes, the moon and the sun and sky was out at one point the sky went purple and pink.
The sun was setting, light was fading, so time to drive to see the Penguins in Penneshaw. We pulled up and with a torch tried to find the little blue penguin. The only penguin to be found on Australian home soil. Low and behold there was the little fellow waddling accross the road in front of us, he was ven wearing his dinner jacket! We only saw about 7 or 8 little penguins. But I thought of Pingu a lot while we spotted the funny little things waddling along maerrily. Now it was dark and time to head back to the farm with the koalas up the gum trees where we would be staying tonight.
We had rather a piss up that night, drinking many beers, chatting, playing drinking games and the like. That evening in my drunken brilliance I managed to get a possum onto my lap, smelly thing!!!!
The next day we all woke early and went to Admirals arch, a massive once sea cave whic h has been washed and wron through. This is home to the smelly New Zealand fur seal. You can smell them a mile off. Some of them were fighting on the rocks, some were playing in the water and many juts lay there snoring and farting. This was at the Cape Du Cuedice which has a massive old lighthouse and the breeze can knock you over.
After that we went on the platypus walk. But aftre staring at bubbles and ripples in various waterholes for ages we didnt see a sodding thing. So I went to look at the koalas sleeping inthe tree instead.
After that we went to some caves called Kelly Hill caves. They were absolute toilet. Massive lovely stalagtite and stalagmiote infested caves ruined by a bloody concrete path through them and lights drilled into the walls. It didnt help that the guide who took us down there had no life and was more boring than a repetetive Granny. We therefore made her life hell. She asked the most stupid question 'use you imagination and tell me what shapes you see in the rocks'. Guess what my answer was? 'That one looks like a massive wang'. She blushed and the entire group laughed at her, she stormed off after we left the cave. She would put her torch up to a rock to illumnate it and when she did that we call shouted 'Jen-Michel Jarre' and did his theme music as if it was some crappy light show. The poor woman was fighting a losing battle and out driver thought it was the funniest thing. He couldnt be;lieve how sureal we were, especially when in the night we started to chase the farmers sheep and also made up tales of a Ware Ron, who turns into a seal and has his wicked way with you while you are asleep!
The best thing we did that day was visit 'Remarkable rocks'. These are fantastic rock formations fashioned by conatsnt high winds over many years. Some have holes in taht you can clamber through, some you can get up but then it takes bleedin ages to get down. That happened to me and I have a quality scar on my knee aftre falling into the scrub from one particular high one, there was one that even looked like a eagles break. They were fantastic to climb all over and the best bit was we were th eonly ones there, being battered by the wind from all directions!
We also went to a shitty honey farm and had some free samples.
We were supposed to get the five o'clock ferry back to the mnainland. But the waves crashed into the harbour wall sending water spraying into the air and soaking passing pensioners on their 'death tour' bus. I bloody hate all these old people death tours, some cant even walk, some dribble. Why takle them to kangaroo island when they have to walk or climb up to all the places of interest. Also why give them name badges, that just encourages me to say their names out loud. Susch as 'Hello Malcolm, Hi Betty, have you had fun today'. They all just smile and wave, not necessarilly at me but as if they are in a dementia dreamland!
So anyway. Wev were stranded. The company we went with had never vexperienced this problem before, so their contingency plan was. Get them drunk and they wont complllain. Wea ll phoned pur hostels to tell them we were staying out late and then we were all treated to two cases of beer (not each but all togheter) a few pitchers of lagers in the pub, two boxes of goon and soem pizza. Rock on, get us drunk and no one complains.
We went back to the farm that night and a new group had rocked up, so we instantly in our drunken energy made the farm ours, running wild and playing twister by the campfire. Some of the locals even turned up and bloody hell were they odd. Sort of Billy Bob charesters.
The trouble with having free beer is that you drink too much. Therefore getting up in the morning is an ardous affair, but woo hoo no hangovers!!!!!
Then finally aftre a long drive back through Kingscote to the port we got the excessively rough ferry where many oldies from mthe death tours fell over back to the mainland.
Back to Adelaide and that evening I boarded a bus to leave South Australia and head along to Melbourne. But bguess what, yep that bus broke down so we all had to squeeze into another one and it stunk of sweat! I arrived at 6am this morning, tired and stiff and booked into some shabby hostel.
Tomorrow my adventure takes a new turn, for I am off to New Zealand in the aftre noon. I am flying to Christchurch and have it all booked, another day, another adventure, another country.
So next time I write my dear readers, it will be from New Zealand. The home of the Haka, The all Blacks, Johan Lomu, Kiwi's and the bungee jump.
Rock on!!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Uluru, the Anangu and the Outback!

The minibus trundled accrosas the red dusts that constitute Australias semi arid desert oif an outback. Midnught Oil pumped out of the sound system as Uluru loomed over us, the worlds largest onland monolith, red as blood shining in the midday sun. I had arrived at last, arrived at the centre of the Anangu people, the spiritual home of ancient Australia.
The last time I wrote was from Townsville, nothing happened there. TRhen I got an early bus to Mt. Isa, which is the most boring town in the world, but the start oif the outback, so the views from the greyhound bus are miles of nothingess, juts red dust and bush. At Mt. Isa nout much happened it was basically a stop gap for me to rest along the journey. I had to endure two whole days of boredom there, the hostel was ok thouigh.I also met some cool people though who we all sat up late drinking and telling yarns with, but most people who lived there were farmers so you wopuldnt see them for hours on end, leaving the place earily deserted.
Once out of Mt. Isa I headed over nigthto Tennant creek. I wanted to see the Devils marbles but alas they are a mission to get too from Tennant creek and in that small town full of Aborigionees shouting 'mala' (give me) at me, the accommodation is expensive so you are besically held to ransom. So instead of a stop off there I did a marathon trip over land to Alice springs, the town built around a radio relay post.
This is a real outbacktown, but still is surprisingly touristy. But here I would do my adventure to the Red Centre and Uluru (Ayers rock). Officially the rock has been called Uluru since 1985 when the lands were handed back to the traditional owners the Anangu people of that area.
To get to Uluru by Alice is the only feasible option. You have to go on some sort of adventure tour. Tour, yuck thats a dirty word I hear you cry. I know itsa a horribl;e thing and against my principles as a traveller, but this w\one is acceptable as I am not in the position to go to Yulara and stay in the Maerican owned and opressively over priced hotels, or buy a car and drive there. So for just over a hundred quid I went on the rock tour. Which would turn out to be one of the best decisions I had ever made. Buyt before the tour departed I thought I need some sleep. So as I was goign back to the hostel what should happen, another monumental piss up erupted and I was involved, finally I got to bed at 3 and was up at 5. Luckily as we trundled through the red centre stopping at random homsteads in the middle of nowhere that kept emu's as pets, I could sleep a little.
Finally after what seemed an age of travelling with ska blasting out of the speakers we arrived at Kings Canyon. This is where I first talked to the group, because we had all been snoozing and noone had peeped up a word so far. Our group was quite a cool one, a mix of English, New Zealand, Germans, Swiss and Italians. OhI almost forgot a Belgian and some Danish lass who was on bloody hyperactive mode all the time.
Kings Canyon, oh what a site, caused my massive earth spilts and cracks thousands if not millions of years ago. It was like being on mars, but mars with a few plants and little lizards and Thorny devilas running around your feet. It was a truly magnificent site, someof the cliff faces being limestone were too dangerous to loom over the edge of, but there were a few of solid rock that I crawled up too and looked down into the abyss. There is even in the middle of it a permanetn water hole wher all sorts of wild life live. This is called the garden of Eden!!! But sods law when we got there the path had collapsed!
Now the thing I hate about tours is that you have a guide, but this guide we had (Daniel) was a true blue larrikin outback bush boy, he even revealed ti us that only last week did he get an email address and the last tour group made him cut his mullet off! This guy was the exception to the tour guides. He was a cool fella who had a rule where one of us at random when he picked them would have to brown eye another tour bus, especially if the bus was full of Japanese people with orange backpacks!!!! Oh a browneye is Australian for moon!
This tour guide grew up in the bush, so like Dear old Steve Irwin would slam the brakes on and dive intot bush and come out with the worlds seconds most poisonous snake, rock on! He also loved me as I was the beer king, last to bed and I introduced him to a game that he said was the best one he had ever seen!!!
This game I introduced as we walked around the national park was, if you see a man with a beard you all start clapping. If you see a moustache you all salute. If someone is in a fly net (silly looking net that cobers the face) you shout 'sexy' at them. If they have a chopper Read moustache you shout 'you beaytu' and lastly if they have mutton chops you shout 'haaazaar'!!!! Endless fun, although we didnt see another single sould in Kings canyoj as we jumped over mini ravines and up rocks that looked like the winds of time had been tickling them leaving them in an amaizingly corroded shape.
That day was mostly spent exploring about Kings canyon, but after we had had our fill of this wonder we then drove way out bush to stay on the grounds of a cattle farm that was bigger than Belgium!!!!!
Here we would camp in swags, which are like an all in one ground mat and sleeping bag thing. Under the stars of the most amaizing sky I had ever seen, the sky was beautiful and all the stars winked there eyes at us.
We made a massive fire, and when I say massive I mean we were burning entire trees at one pint. Then the boozing began.
The next morning we were all up raely and drove past Atila, this is a table shaped flat topped mountain near Ulur. But it is also the lost marvel of the Northern Territioy, not known like its famous sister a few hundred kilometsre away. This is now fly country and as soon as you step into the dry blistering heat you are swarmed by bloody flies all over your face, they get up your nose in your ears and worst of all in your mouth!
Soon we could see what was formally known as Ayers rock, Uluru loomed over us. What a magestic sight. But we were not heading there. Oh no, our destination was what was formally known as the Olgas. Kata Tjunta.
Kata Tjunta was once a massive piece of rock, but time, wind, rain and all sorts of erosion have made them 36 domes of differing sizes, from small to bloody massive. You can walk through the valleys of the sacred site and the echoes are impressive verging on magnificent. Clambering up large slopes and looking through the valley onto the oputback, the harsh desretland the heart of the country!
We spent 4 odd hours there walking around and covering every inch that we are allowed to walk on, for most of it is sacred and never has an aboriginee climebed or attemped to climb Kata Tjunta.
The after dropping off all the wood we colected and didnt burn last night at the campsite in Yulara (what a horrid horrid town) we drove to the place that I have dreamed of going to, Uluru!
Uluru is actually a name of the water hole on the summit, yes there is water a some sort of poind life up there. The Aboriginees actually only call it 'The rock'. So off to the rock we went.
Now I decided long ago that as a mark of respect to the Anangu people I would not climb to the summit of Uluru. Even though I so wanted too and my hedonistic side was pleading me to do so. But I stood firm and was respectful of the wihes of the Anagu people who ask you not too, the entire thinbg is a contradiction really. The guide book says please dont, all literture in the national park pleads that you dont climb, recounting the stories of those who had died before doing so but then there is a chain going up 300 meters that helps you, contradictory or what!!!!!! Take the chain away and hey presto, but then will more people die. 35 have doen so far!
Instead I did the base walk, 9 plus k's around the base visiting all the sacred siretes and waterholes. I also did the Mala walk where a lot of paintings and features were explained, like the real colour of the rock is grey and the atmosphere makes it red!!
The rock itself is so awe inspring that when you look at it you are moved by its pressence. There are many sacred areas too that photography is forbidden and you cannot enter them. But even though the climb is frowned upon there are areas that you are openly asked to climb up, not the actual climb, but small reas that you can clamber all around on. The reason the climb is frowned upon is that you are walking in the footsteps of the only two aborigniees to climb uluru many thousands of years ago, to pay a homage to the spirits.
We then kicked a footbsll around watching the sunset. It was very impressive and the rock gradualy changes colour before being engulfed in the darkness of the land. Much more impressive than sunrise where there were too many Japanese with orange backpacks.
That night we all camped at the horrible ill plcade and ugly town of Yulara. The Aussie govermnent couldnt make any money out of the town so sold the entire thing to some septic company who make bloody millions!!! We camped and it was nice to have a shower, the water runs red off you because of all the dust.
Once again we had a massive fire and a few Tooheys new beers. But again it was up early and my goodness did it get cold that night!
Our final day at Uluru before the marathon drive back stopping only at fly infested roadhouses, we got there early and made out way to see the sunrise, we were the first people there and then suddenly out of nowhere hundreds of people all came in massive coaches from Yulara. The sunrise was good but not as impressive as the setting the previous night. Many ahouts of 'sexy' and rounds of applause happened spontaeously that nmornign as there were many bearded wonders and the like!!
Our last morning was spent doing the base route. We walked all around the rock and I have decioded that a 5 lap race would be so cool,the Uluru marathon! There are many caves and paintings and waterholes and no until you get back to where the climb is do you see any other walkers, no one does the entire route so we were alone with the rock in the desert.
The time finally came to say goodbye to Uluru. I had fallen in love with the place.
Finally after a long haul drive we were back in Alice springs. Oh what a piss up followed. I had a bus at 10am the next day and when I boarded the bus I was still drunk. The shot we were doing!! We even managed to get some photos of the locals, men with mullets and massive tashes!! One looked like Macho man Rnady Savage from wrestling when I was a kid!!
It was a great night and a great way for the group to part!!
Then came the walk home to my hostel. I was chased by Aboriginees wielding sticks. I had done nothing juts was walking home, luckily I can still run at quite a good pace when slaughtered, so avoided being beaten to a pulp. That made me for a fleeting second wish I had climbed Uluru. But the Aborignals in Alice are not Anangu, so the thought evaporated immediately and I rid my mind of it, in the knowing that I had done the right thing.
Alice is home to all the mispaced Aboriginals, such as those who are been forced from their lands for crimes etc. So you end up with a melting pot of ruffians and drunks, nive mix!!
I write this after 20 hours on a bus which stank of peoples B.O. I left Aliceand went to Coober Pedty, the opal mining town where if you walk off any path the earth will swallow yiou in an old disused mine shaft. The town was once again a very rough place, but I have never seen such dust storms, the streets were engulfed in a mass of dust and some of the locals were stuck in a time warp. Mullets everywhere!!!
Now I am in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia having left the dust of the Northern Terriitory behind.
Lets see what adventures I can go on now.
Cheerio my long lost buddies.
x x x

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bye bye my Asian lover, and how do you do Miss Australia!

Bye bye my Asian lover, and how do you do miss Australia!

I have been slacking of late in the old massive emails department. I apologise for all you out there who crave my installments of my worldwide rambles and frolics in the sun. But here after a hiatus of a few weeks is my latest adventure filled written monologue of love, lust, intrigue and danger.
So lets begin shall we......
Aftre I landed back in the capital of Loas Vietiene I had to endure a 35 hour plus bus journey accross the Thai-Lao friendship bridge( which is a piece of poo) back into the KIngdom of Thiland. But as buses go this one was the best, truly magnificent. We had only juts got out of walking distance from any known civilisatiuon when 'boom', soemthing in the engine explodes pissing oil and shite all over the road. Therfore we had to camp pout int he bus by the roadsiode in the heat, sweating like a midget in a porn shop fpor hours until a new bus could arrive. So my 3 countries in one day tour was rather slow and sticky!
But while we sat on the road side a plucky entrpeneur came up to us trying to vainly sell drugs. 'i have everything', he said. So me and this random guy decided to abuse him. 'do you have a panda' I enquired? Bemused and befuddled the poor fellow said he had and went off to try and find one. We were gone by the time he returned. so we never will have known if he managed to steal a panda or not, the other thing we asked for was a black and dekker power drill!!!!!
So it was back to the greasy heat and the pollution of Bangkok. Oh how I hate that sodding place, its so fake. Its not really Asia or a western country, its limbo. A place inbetween where you wait to travel again onto some other destination. Thats exactly what I was doing.
But luackily I met some Irish lads from Loas and we watched the Arsenal game while drinking mekong whiskey, but I collapsed as I was so inebriated and went to bed before we lost the game. Bangkok is a hub of travellers coming and going and you are bound to see people you ahve met before, but I was shocked at just how many people I came accross in the capital, so many from the travels of the last months.
Finally the time came for me to board a bus and head to the airport where the runways are sinking because in their wisdom they built them on swamp and marchland, well done!!!!!
It was bye bye to Asian, but hello to Australia. I was surprised just how empty my emirates flight was and I had an entire row to myself, I should have had a sleep lying down but alas I watched all the films and tried in vain to hear what slyvester stallone was actually mumbling on about in the new steroids pumped up rocky film! It felt strange to be finally leaving Asia, my lover the hedonistic capital of the wolrd with its communist rulers and randomness.
As soon as I got to Sydney I went to a central station backpackers and before I could even unpack or wash I was drinking goon with a bunch of mentalist from my hostel. We did so many bars in the city that I could never name them. But it was a great binge up.
The next day I started on my Aussie tan, to add to my Asian one I went with some Welsh girls I had met to an open air pool in central sydney and proceeded tpo get rather red, but never fear my readers I am so brown now I would be the envy of you all, he he!
Last time I was in Oz was 5 long years ago and while there I did Fraser Island. On my Fraser trip was a rather lovely girl called Jenny Page whom I have always kept in touch with. By some miraculous chance shge and her fella the charming Matt live in Manly. So I spent 4 days living in their lovely flat onyl walking distance from the beautfil Queens cliff beach. I relaxed, washed my clotehs went running along the beaches and also got drunk! It was sado to leave them but I loved having some sort of base where I could unpack and get all the sand out of my bag and discover receipts and papers right at the bottom that I hadnt seen for months, I also found my socks!!
While I stayed with them we spent many hoiurs on the beach and in the sea, but one day it pissed down with torrential rain and that was the day we got the Manly ferry back to Circular Quay and the Operah house and Harbour bridge. The ferry rocked violewntly as we crossed the Harbour heads, old men went flying and of course I tried to isile surf!!!! That day we went to the rocks market, very arty and very nice and also discovered a gourmet pie shop, yum yum, not to mention explored the Botanic gardens and watched massive Eric like fruitbats poo on old men reading the paper on park benches!
The Sydney manly ferry has a great slogan. '8 miles from Sydney, 1000 miles from care'. Its so true, the ferry ride in the evening is so calming as you see the illuniated skyline of Sydney recede into the darkness, very theraputic.
I left Jenny and Matt's and went back to Home backpackers hostekl where I was staying before and immediately hit it off with some Dutch lads who decided that a piss up was on the cards. So after copius amounts og goon (boxed wine) we hit the town and went to some random bars like: Slide bar and the scary canary. At the latter bar they dressed us up in bangdages as it was a hospital theme!
This night out ended with me and Rik from Gronigen being chased by tramp for some drunken reason or another and we climbed every statue we could find.
The next day I was to be reunited with Ally, my travelling partner for a month in THiland.
So I took the 18 hours night bus up the coast to Surfers Paradisae on the gold coast. It is just like Romford on sea and once there I immediately wanted to leave. But after a day or two I persuaded Ally and two others Kurtis from Ongar and Christain from Noirth Weald to come to Fraser Islans with me. What a great decision was made to do that trip!!!
While at surfers I contented myself by using the gym in Allys' apartment block, flirting with women in my hostel, running along the beach and getting drunk in the evening. Australia is all I remeber it to be but better, the bikini clad women, the sun, the surf, the adventure, I love it.
FRASER ISLAND and beyond.......
I must warn you that the following content is for adults only. No children should be allowed to read this bit or touch dogs!
Welll here goes but for legal and naughty reasons some of the details have been left out (my Mum reads this)!!
After bussign up to Hervey bay and settling into beaches backpackers and a drunken night in the bar, we all assmebled in the bar at 6.30am for our pep talk.
The groups were drawn up and I was with Ally and 8 other Scandinavians while Kurtis and Christian were with a group of Brits and few others. But this didnt put us off as re went over what food and booze to buy. Then came the point of who will be the driver. Ally didnt want to and none of the Swedes, Danes or Naughty Norweigians wanted to either. So capitaino Bengy was named responsible driver in chanrge of the Toyota landcruiser for the weekend.
After having a talkijng to by the people who hire the cars out, saying things like"dont drive in the sea', dont feed dingoes and dont crash basically we were off.
Our group ended up being absolutely mental with the Swedes coming accross as the funniest people I have ever met. They would do things like hold hands and walk up to random people and ask them if they wanted to join them in the showers for some sexy time before walking out like John Wayne!
We caned it all over the Island and out two groups had some mental drag races and went up soem crazily steep path. I was relishing driving as I could see all the massive bumps ahead and could choose to warn the back pasengers on the bench seats or not, th eresult was them always smackign their heads on the roof!
For some odd reason the Swedes called me Uncle Bob all weekend and would stock pile beers for me to have when my driving was over and we were safely back at base camp where the goannas try to get in the bins! All the time as I was driving all I could hear was the sound of cans opening and slurps of beer! But I was the designated driver and roared off along the beaches and dirt tracks trying to spot dingoes. We only saw one this time round!
The first day we went to Lake Wabby and slid and ran down the massive sand dunes and managed to carry an entire esky of beer there too. We also found a bra on a tree and made Jonas one of the Swedes wear it for the rest of the day. Next stop the first day was to Eli creek. This is where the birthplace of England verse Scandinavia was dreamt up. For the rest of our Fraser trip we had random competitions on the worlds largest sand island against each ither, rangiong from Touch rugby, to creek racing, to drag racing, tosinging to drinking games! No one knows the final score in the end, but really who cares.
As soon as we had finished buggering around in the creek we caned it up to base camp and hammered it therought he lose sand tracks and as soona s we got there the Swedes lept into action and the tent was up in a matere of moments. I then spent the next half hour rescuing some of the gilrs fcrom their colapsed tent!
The evening kicked off and it was like a football match, we sang we chanted to drank to oblivion and whats more, there was no vomit. That came the seocnd day. We scared the shite out of the other people in our campsite and made them run for cover, we muts have come accross as complete lunatics. At first some of the other Brits were a little cagey about all this random funness, but soon they qwere joining in on the fun and everyone had nicknames, we even Christened oen Brits Crouchy and thats all he know goes by!
The next day we had to wait for the tide to go out to enable us to drive on the beach and while driving and looking out for landing planes headed north up to Indian head and the champagne pools. We climbed the cliff to look for sharks but in the end juts had to make do with stingrays! At champagne pools we swam in the safe area of the sea well away from the tiger shark breeding ground. But we all decided that we wanted to retunr to the fresh water and so drove back down the beach to Eli creek to bathe in the clear and clean waters that you could have drunk.
That venbeing I asked does anyone want to drive and Eirin the Noweigian girl decided she did. So I had a drink and she drove into a tree. From that night on I was the only one allowed to drive!!! Luckily there was no damaged so poor old Johans credit card (for he was the bond holder) was touched!
That night even though we only had a small gap to drive down the beach at 6am before the tide would limit our travel paths, we still went mental and drank too much goon! As with last nigth we were making to much noise on the campsite so had to move down to the beach to party on. We were going mental and some people no names mentioned came back in different clothes as soem massive clothes swapping game ensued. By this time the drinking games were in full swing and we were so out chanting the table next to us that they were postively scared. When they did chant back we destroyed them with a massive chant of ' Your fat and your mums a slag"! This they had no reply to at all and thus we won!
How we managed to all get up the next morning and pack away the tents to catch the only tidal gapo to drive on the beach was beyond me, but we had vomit in our car, lots of vomit!!!!!!!
Our last day before I had to trickily manouver the car backwards onto the ferry was spent at the three wonderful lakes of Birrabean, Mackenzie and the other one beginning with a B, Benijini or soemthing like that.
At one lake there was a massive layer of black slit and as soon as we got in we were destroying the ecosystem and lathering each other upo with it and lobbing it at all passers by. Lake mackenzie was glorous but too crowded so we went to the last lake and swam in the tea tree watersd, which is great for the skin. A few lads decided to drive off without washing off the silt and it took them a good hour of scrubing to look any where decent!
We caned it through amaizing routes inland and bounced all over the place, I swang the wheels like mad man and shouted hold on on many accoasions as we lurched down dusrty massive hole laden snacd tracks. We must ahve done so many miles as we went from lakes to cebntral station to the town of Eurong back to the beach to play football!
Finally it was time to go and back to Beaches hostel we went. That night was a drunken spectacle of mayhem where firehoses weere let off, random acts of naughtiness occurred and we danced on the tables like homoerotic gods! The photos are very inuendo ridden indeed!
But time passes and people gpo off on their buses to other areas, some went up to Airlie beach, some down to Noosa. Ally, Kurt and Chris went back to Tomford on sea and thei 12th story apartment. I ended up going with 3 girls to the delightful placed called 'Town of 1770'. It was the birthplace of Queensland and the first place Jame sCook stopped and anchored inthe state. It is twinned with Agnes waters and its so relaxed and tiny that I fell in love with the place.
We were given a free tour of the place so they could sell their activities and as soon as I walked out of the hostel there was 3 large land cruisers waiting for us. One large bloke approached me and said, 'can you drive an automatic'. Yes was my reply and he chucked me the key. No questions asked, he didnt even check that I was sober or had a licence or anything. So I followed the cars around with a car full of Irish girls in someones unisured land cruiser, quality, The Aussie are so laid back when it comes to things like laws!!
That day I decided with a load of other people too do the chopper tour, where you paid about a tenner and drive these mini chopper bikes all over 1770 and Agnbes waters. We saw kangaroos galore and even stopped at a pub where they encouraged you to drink and ride!!!!! At the bar some old man with a massive father christmas beard exposed his belly at us all!!
It was great fun on the bikes and as I was up the front we all raced each other and the finishing line ended with me and two Germans girls crossign it simultaneusly!
That evening as therte is no real bars open we bought a few goons and a crate of beer and sat in the hostel listening to the prodigy.
This almost brings me up to date, the last day I spent all day in the sea surfing or sunning myslewf on the beach and yes I can stand up!!!
But now I write this in a bus terminal in Townsville. I left 1770 and they shuttle bussed us to some grassy glade by the side of the road as we waited for the main greyhound. Images of the Texas chainsaw massache came to mind. But the bus pulledf uyp and after 15 hours of bumpy sleep I arrived tired and on my own for the first time in ages in the capital of Northern Queensland. Tomorrow at 7am I leave for the outback, to Mount Isa. Its thousands of miles away, another 12 hours on a bus. So sleep for me tonight me thinks.
I must dash now my lovers, I need to find a hostel to rest my head for tonight. Otherwise I will be camping at the bus staion and I dont want to as there are lots of drunken aboriginees around causing trouble.
So til next time my dear readers, sleep tight.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

And now on to Oz!