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Life eh?

5 Nov

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Wineglass Bay, Tasmania.

Well. Shit.

I wanted to retrace my Tasmanian sojourn before I went overseas, yet again. I wanted to show everyone around the world how great that little island is, how if anyone hits the merry old land of Oz, we have more than just the east coast and the rock in the centre that everyone knows (Uluru). But life just got super hectic. Tasmania is a memory in the distance. But boy oh boy is it the prettiest place. Truth is. Its behind me. I don’t want to rehash every detail. Since I started the Tasmanian posts life has just got in the way of transcribing those details into blog form. So the following will be a summation of the last few months.

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Tegallalang Rice Terraces, Ubud, Bali

I got back to the mainland at the start of July, to work a full week, only to pack the backpack again to journey to Bali. It was backpacking, fused with the wedding of my best friend ( see below), lugging my suit through the tropics, days lazing by a ritzy pool, hiring a scooter and riding through the craziest traffic imaginable ( virgin scooter ride btw, don’t tell Mum ).

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After the celebrations I’d say fare thee well to my friends and hit the ferry to Java. There the magic of travelling re-emerged. I felt the gut churn at departing the solace of friends and the comfort of my own luxurious room to be crammed onto Balinese public transport, on my way to the most inhabited island in the Indonesian archipelago. I knew the Javanese were different as well. I’d become accustomed to the forever smiles of the Balinese. But now. I don’t know what to think. It didn’t help that I didn’t have a plan either. I knew there were… volcanoes to climb? Temples to visit? But the logistics were lost on me. Until the guardian angel that watches out for me threw Enid in my path. Here was a fellow “whitey”, on the half hour ferry across the water. Into darkness, wrote Joseph Conrad. Well at least I had company. Myself and the young German, Enid seemed to be in the same boat ( yes pun intended). However her German knack for logistics had me beat. She had accommodation and tours lined up. The things I wanted to do, she had a planned. It just took a smile and kind words and I had a new travelling partner. I was by myself for a mere couple of hours! Fast forward a few days and we’d shared an amazing time, helping each other up volcanoes, laughing and enlightening each other on our previous journeys. I’ll let the photos show do the talking.

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“Acidic Kawa-Ijen Crater at sunrise”

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“Climbing Mt. Bromo”

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” Bromo Sunset”

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Air Terjun Madakaripura Waterfall, with Enid

Reflecting on hiking volcanoes at midnight, sharing a kiss with an erupting volcano at sunrise ( I had to throw that in there), hurtling along an ashen, burnt landscape, reminiscent of Mordor in a cavalcade of Jeeps, observing simple mountain life and simple mountain people I can’t help but wonder if it was all a dream. But I know I have some pretty wicked evidence it wasn’t. I have the photos, and the new friends encountered to show others that YES I had done some amazing things. This enlivened me so much so that the hurt of saying farewell to yet another travel flame died down soon enough as Enid ventured West to Denpasar. You just got to keep on keeping on. The road was still to be travelled on.

So, alone again, I was to go West as I ventured to Jogyakarta. For here was the reason i came to Java. To climb the ancient steps of the Buddhist temple, Borobudur ( See Below). Jogya ( shortened name) is an amazing cultural city. Diverse, modern and ancient at once, I had a blast exploring it after I’d ticked the temple hike off my list. Yes, another sunset tour. Beats the crowds every time 😉

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“Nirvana at Borobodur”

The final leg of my tour would take me a few hours north to Phuket, Thailand, to pay a visit to its latest resident, my cousin Rick. I’d grown up with him, being of similar age, so to share some silly adventures with one of my oldest friends, strolling drunkenly down the tourist trap hellhole that is Bangla Road, quad bike down flooded mud tracks, visit his in-laws who were locals, and to be welcomed like family, was truly a magical way to round up my adventure. Alas, back to wet and miserable Melbourne!

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“Quad biking Phuket!”

I’ve moved quickly through my Asian adventures, purely because, life took a different turn on return home. Not in any dramatic way. But this situation has both distracted me and compelled me to write again. I merely shifted house. But on a whole other level this was momentous. Ill preface firstly.

After each adventure I’d come home to the same old house id grown up in and wonder if I could really travel without the added bonus of living at home. The small amount of money I forked out on expenses and rent at home meant my account accrued savings easily, but the bubble had to burst after the latest adventure. I didn’t want to be 26, having never lived out of home, me being the independent dude at heart everyone thinks they are. So, now, three months on I’m a renter, with mates, re-assessing everything that’s important. I never used to give a fuck about money, I was safe at home, and things could always be patched up. Now it’s a different matter. It’s growing up and owning yourself.

It’s doing the shopping. It’s not being reckless every weekend with your body.  I guess It’s also a happiness thing. I’ve confronted a few personal philosophies recently. I guess I’ve veered from my 23 year old New Age-y think happy thoughts, naive self and started to realise: Life is there to be taken and sitting and waiting ain’ gonna cut it.  I’m facing a purge of reckless drinking, cigarettes, occasional drug use, to build a personal temple of wisdom I can be proud of. I’m flying my own flag.

I daily want to immerse myself and building a knowledge base, steeped in science and academia. I daily listen to podcasts on History. I love learning about out ancient forbears, our Roman roots, our Celtic origins. I think the Persian Empire is beautiful. Once I started listening to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History Podcast, it’s clear that our history is so much more interesting than fiction. I want to daily improve my body as well as mind so I exercise as regularly as possible. I’ve now realised these things are so much more important to me than sessions at the pub, days on the couch watching sport and other general lazy activities. Is this growing up?

I’m almost venting on all the things that have limited me from being the person I really want to be. For some moving out is nothing, but from that seemingly insignificant thing i realised the value of having purpose. A purposeless life is nothing but that, but now my goals are starting to shine their way before me. I still hold to some wisdom passed onto me an old teacher that “ life is coming at me and “not to worry where you’ll end up.  Just be grateful.” I guess I still have some of that New age positivity in me. I can only keep trying to change myself for the better.

So from showing off my travels to some mega, profound self realisation in blog form thats how I’ve been! How are you!?

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Tasmania : Land of Endless Vistas

4 Jul

I had this word reverberating through my mind, the whole week I drove the state of Tasmania : vistas. The views that endlessly peeled past my window had my head spinning. Green expandes of rolling hills, shrouded in mist, rivers zig zagging across the landscape. The state of Victoria, where I’m from, is for the most part flat. Tasmania is all undulated. Which makes for interesting driving. My biggest challenge for this adventure was the driving. Getting from A to B meant my attention wired to road. There’s a high risk of immediate death or injury around every corner. Which made for one exhilarating trip : stay tuned for more  

 

Another Year, Another Journey

25 Jun

I rolled out of Melbourne a year ago on a wicked, satiating road trip to the warmer climes of northern Australia and the time is nigh to do it again.

However this time, I venture South below the mainland to a place I’ve never visited; Tasmania. I’ve always been intrigued by its surreal images of nature. The people are always the best of us. Down to earth and proud of their Isle. 

It’s winter in southern Australia and colder still in Tasmania. I will be roughing it in the back of my trusty old ute ( that’s an Aussie pick-up for you foreign readers), for a mere week. Hikes, dirt roads, camping and hopefully some fun and culture in the cities of Hobart and Launceston.
I depart tomorrow evening taking the car ferry (The Spirit of Tasmania) across the wild Bass Strait for who knows what! 

I love the mystery and the nerves are kicking in. But I’ve always felt well guided by the spirit that guides all well intentioned journeyers and I hope I can feed any readers and friends with something insight and beauty as I take the plunge wayyyyyy down again.

Oh and as an afterthought: I go to S.E Asia in two weeks for another journey so the cold will be easy to bare with that in mind. 
Peace to y’all. 
 

pre journey

 

Waltz My Matilda All Over Pt.13

10 Sep

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I awoke freezing, with the morning sun, it not being past 6am. I shook some dreams away and had to double take my surroundings. Where?…

“You slept under the stars remember!”

I staggered back into my dorm, disturbing my room mates.

“Oh Adam’s Home! Where you been?”

“Slept in the bush, under the stars lads.”

“Oh Cool!” Back to sleep they went.

So I was buzzing, telling people what I did. For them, I was probably a crazy Aussie, but its something that I had to do! I got a good reaction.

What would this last day on Fraser be like? As the rest of the trip had panned out, everyday was a mystery. I didn’t gloss over the itinerary at all. We’d be down the beach, hurtling along.

“Oi Kev! Where we going?”

Today it was Wobby Creek. Significant for its sand blown, dunes that tumble down to a fresh water lake. So in Kev fashion he offloaded us and sent us up the track into the bush. I, as before, lead the way, not caring for the banter. I wanted to be out in the bush alone, with occasional company. This time it was Jess and Ollie. It was nice to break away from the pack. The walk was 45 minutes until you emerged into what flet like Arrakis from Frank Herbert’s  sci-fi epic, Dune. In fact as I later realised ( for those who know Dune lore) I was in the company of Jess and Oliver (last name) Duncan. In the book is Lady Jessica and Duncan Idaho, strolling the sand (below). Synchronicity follows me everywhere.

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Myself and Joris, another Dutchman, hiked further than everyone, through the bush, to the lookout above all of this. We sat above a spectacular scene, with the dunes rolling into the water, beyond the scrub we traversed, right back to the blue Pacific. Amazing.

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We hiked back down, me faster than him. I played my music, wanting a music-scape to hike to. From the start of the track I played ” Reflection by Tool, an Eastern style, prog-metal masterpiece. As I emerged back into the dunes it culminated to such perfection, I was ecstatic. (10 minute walk, 10 minute tune).

We all swam, chilled and chatted. Fraser was almost finished. I hiked back solo, with my music, in deep thought. It was like meditation. There was movement up ahead. Not our crew. As it turned out, the stag party from the night before was on the way. Seeing all theses faces, sharing a wink and a smile, it was “Wog”, the drunken rambler who offered me a beer.

“Here mate, its thirsty work, this walking!”

“So, you don’t remember me Wog! I walked you home last night”

” So you did! Hey cheers! Enjoy!”

So, back on the beach, drinking XXXX Beer ( Queensland’s beer of choice) I saluted Fraser, waiting for the crew. It was now time to depart, back to the mainland.

On the way back, we snapped a Dingo, curious as to our goings, as if to send us off.

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The ferry back lasted merely 10 minutes, yet we managed to spot a dolphin pod, behind the boat. Magic followed us everywhere. Driving down the roads we were only on 3 days prior, yet I felt it to be years ago. what a magic few days. I was still barefoot. Still in my Fraser element. I wouldn’t don my shoes until back at Noosa.

Farewelling Kev, cleaning the cars, and on the bus back to Noosa. Everyone was friends now, smiling, reminiscing. I enjoyed the bus trip. I remember Jose Gonzalez’s music playing the whole way, enhancing a serene drive, and everyone’s mood.

Back in Noosa, for another night, back amongst the Byron crew, exchanging stories, recommending Fraser, buzz still humming. Katie asked how I was.

“Katie mate, I am BUZZING. Buzzing on the beauty of this country. That was spectacular.” 

She laughed at me. She didn’t get it. But we’re all different.

I went out that night, wanting to celebrate with the Byron crew and the Fraser crew. We all ended up at the same club. I wouldn’t see most of them again.

The next day I was content. Leaving. But strange enough. South was my bearing. For the first time in a month and half I was travelling down the coast instead of up. strange feeling. For me, Cris, Kirsten and Katie-May (Dave was still journeying north) were on a familiar route. Way back to where we met. Back to Byron. Back to – The Arts Factory

Waltz My Matilda All Over Pt. 10

4 Sep

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I arrived in Noosa, fresh of mind, body and spirit, finding my lodgings easily, and immediately impressed by it’s open aired spread. Plenty of places for car parks, temperature perfect. I was beaming. My happiness increased when I saw the Family ( Dave, Kirsten, Cris, Katie-May), who’d just arrived as well. We’d been apart only a few days but all had random adventures.

It turned out the creepy kiwi had come back to the Gold Coast hostel/dungeon of doom and threatened to rape everybody in a meth fuelled rampage. Cris was the only one in the room so I dodged a bullet there!

It was nice to have friends around. We sat by the pool, drank, laughed and soaked up some Vitamin D. It was cool watching people try and slack line the pool. Each night I enjoyed beers in the Hostel Bar, KB’s, entertaining the numerous Europeans around.

The following days we enjoyed Noosa on it’s pristine beaches. The bush literally meets sand and the coves turn numerous corners so one can find a beach relatively unpopulated. We hired a paddle board, had a go, fell in numerous times, laughed and returned. Tick that off.

When my white body had enough of the sun I left the group to walk along the heavenly coast to Noosa National Park. For as much company I’d have,
I needed equally to embrace an environ, solo. Yin it and Yang it. I traversed the coast and by a whim followed an inland path. By myself for nearly all of it too. Here I was amongst a ceiling of green and a backdrop of sapphire watching cockatoos, birds I couldn’t name and one MASSIVE monitor lizard. Gorgeous stuff.

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For a while I had my sights on Fraser Island to be my furthest northern point before making the descent back home. I didn’t know all that much about it, except that it had a unique ecology. As I read on Wikipedia it is the largest sand island in the world. Ok, sure, let’s do it. So through the Noosa Nomads I booked a tour, not expectating it to be the absolute pinnacle of the trip. I’d be amongst Europeans. Everything would be catered for. I’d leave my car at the hostel and let someone else do the logistics.

The following days were a relaxing time . I frequented the bar quite a bit. As I recall the night before Fraser, live music was on. The posters showed a dreadlocked somebody playing as a “one man band”. As it turned out I said hi to him nearly everyday at breakfast. He was a resident. Me, oblivious until the night of the gig realised this . “Well DUH it was him”, as he was setting his stuff up. Multiple didgeridoos, guitars, percussion, loops. I had a feeling about this guy.

Jay Hoad blew my head off. He sung about Australia and since I was seeing it first hand all his music resonated. The didges warped into psychedelia, his lyrics were personalised seemingly to my own experiences. He covered my favourite Taj Mahal song, ” Fishin Blues”. I remember thinking as I danced manically to his song, Australia:

” This is me and my country converging. I feel like the trip is reaching a massive crescendo”.

I danced on.

Earlier in the night a rather attractive girl asked me a simple question.

” Hey, are you Australian?”

“Yes, why?”

She walks away and I shortly find her and prompt her.

” Explain? “

She jokes about and says that she wants an Aussie husband because she doesn’t want to leave here, she loves my country. I love it too! So much more that I was on the trip.

“Well sure we can get married!”

Janet ( Dutch) and I get along along well, joking about weddings and having nice chats about music. I’m rather drunk and annoyed at myself that I’m probably being an arse. I should go to bed but I’m enjoying it. But eventually I need to leave and sleep, before an early rise to Fraser. I’m saddened that there’s a chick I dig, but we’re passing each other. Travel will do that.

As it turns out she’s in my room. I wake up drunk, frantically pack and wish her a goodbye she never knew I gave. She’s sleeping deeply like I wish I was. But it isn’t the last I’d see of her.

Fraser beckoned me now. I’d go on to have an experience I’d never forget.

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(Sand art, Noosa Beach)

Thanks!

20 Aug

Just Wanna thank you new blogging friends for liking my travelling tales. I like the fact different strange people can share my experience. There’s way more to go! Happy blogging!

Waltz My Matilda All Over Pt. 4

20 Aug

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Happy to escape the oppressive big city, I had two flat hours of driving to Newcastle, the biggest non capital city in Australia. It was an easy drive down the Pacific Highway. Crossing bridges over blue inlets, catching glimpses of the ocean, infinite green all around, I arrived a happy chappy.

Newcastle instantly hit me as small city/big town. Which is good on arrival. No intimidation on where to go.

Parking up, I was starving so found refuge in the local pub. ( There’s a massive amount in this place, but The Crown and Anchor looked good) I ordered, plugged into the Wifi to find a room and relaxed. I was outside on the finest of winter days when a guy about my age started chatting to me. So within 20 minutes id made a local friend and we were laughing and drinking. I’d explained my trip which he found cool.

” Hey Jimmy where’s the backpackers?”

” Mate it’s down the road! I’ll show ya and we can come back and get on it. ( We Australians say “get on it ” when we intend to drink a beverage or ten!)”

As it turns out the backpackers was full . It’s Uni night. The city is swarming with young people, ready to drink hard. Most lodgings would be full! I explain this to Jimmy and he simply says:

” Mate park up at mine! You can just sleep in the back! Your car’s safe bro!”

No hesitation. I just roll with it. I’m fully in the mind frame of ” I’m supposed to meet him. I’m supposed to stay here” One problem is fixed by another chance encounter. Jimmy is my new mate. He’s very Australian. Very amusing. It’s Uni night. It’s also Origin night. ( Where NSW play QLD in Rugby League) New Town. New mates. The weather is good!

Within an hour of meeting him, I’m in his house, drinking and getting ready for an exciting night. Back to the pub! We talk to another solo drinker in our vicinity. Conan was from the far north, Townsville. An interesting and jovial character. So now we’re three strangers from the three east coast states of Australia, on Origin night. It was the makings of a funny joke.

The rest of the night rolled on as most drunken nights do. Silliness, shenanigans, laughter. A few joints smoked, a few games of pool. I disappeared to the car ready to sleep, never seeing my compadres again but that’s the travellers life.

The next day I emerge out of my car, still clothed onto a side street as people are driving to work. I’m getting funny stares from men in suits as I play my guitar and sober up. I’m a backpacking bum but not giving a fuck!

I go for a stroll, eat a big breakfast and make a call to a backpackers out of town. She’s got room! Awesome. I’m smelling bad, I need a shower I’ll pay for a bed tonight!

After settling in and cleaning up I go on some inside Newcastle news. My friend from Melbourne who’s a Newcastle local originally tells me about a hike nearby. I need some air and sun so I shoot for there.

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It’s epic. Rainforest walks. Chirping birds. Fresh waters running. I delve deeper into the bush and encounter a strange and frightening bird. It’s a Brush Turkey. My first ever encounter. ( As it turns out they’re EVERYWHERE north of Sydney) but still. Australia is full of creatures! Even down by the lighthouse near town, wild dolphins skimming the waters, seemingly just for me to gawp at!

Refreshed after the walk, I go to the hostel and make friends. We head out that night and there’s many great chats and a free dinner, so no-ones discontented. I mention this part purely to inform the reader of my encounter with Lucie. She’s a cute French gypsy type. We talk and it’s evident we share similar philosophies. I feel a nice connection with her.
I drive her to the train station the next day. It’s not the last time I see her.

I part Newcastle that day, enjoying a rowdy few days. I’d like to return. I like its vibe. However I’m going North. Port Macquarie here I come!