Tag Archives: travel

People from Perth

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I woke up this morning with a horrible hangover. Goon, fruit elixir, is the drink of choice for travelers on a budget. It’s a sweet tasting wine that comes in a bag in a box. Once done the wine, the bag can then be blown back up and turned into a pillow. If you hear a person in the hostel, moving there head on something squeaky, and quite possibly snoring. They have been officially “Gooned”. After two glasses of the stuff, I don’t care who you are, it’s almost a guaranteed hangover. Every time.

I spent the night playing a life sized chess game with two gentlemen from England and the other from Australia. Whoever lost the chess game and to chug two glasses of Goon. Seems easy, but let me tell you, I would have much preferred a different punishment to that. The thought of it right now makes me cringe.

Anyways the events of this morning went like this… I headed down to the kitchen. The only thing I bought to eat for breakfast was granola and yoghurt. Any sort of milk product, obviously do not go well with a hangover. I couldn’t even have milk in my tea which was absolutely devastating. I sat there drinking straight black tea with a small lump of sugar and sat at a table looking into space, trying to stop my head from spinning.

A kind older couple from Perth came in and set up a spread of hot eats at the table I was sitting at. We began to talk. The made topic was unfortunate events. They were travelling across Australia from Perth to Cairns in a camper van for two months. Neither one of them had been to Queensland and they wanted to experience the heat and the vast change in landscape. The crank for there bed broke and the top of there camper had collapsed and they decided to stay in the hostel for a couple nights until the parts arrived at the shop. Also during the last three weeks they had two flat tires, three batteries die and a water pump that failed.I told them about my misfortunes; the lost camera at Tully River, roaming phone bill, and my near homeless situation from the day before where all hostels in Townsville were full and I was close to camping on the beach. She commented on how she never sees me eat anything but apples. I told her it was my comfort food. She told me that it was not substantial and that I was going to get to skinny. She took out the last bits of food from her cooler. Two pieces of bacon, two eggs, and two pieces of toast with butter. She handed them to me. Times like these make me really appreciate a good meal and good people. I feel as though both are sometimes very difficult to come by, and I was privileged to receive them at the same time. It was a great morning to say the least.

Song of the day: Feel the Love by Rudimental

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2/14 Months

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Well here it is, the first post since being away from home, exactly 66 days ago. In a short sum up, I have travelled from Edmonton to Moshi to do volunteering work in an orphange but as soon as it became apparent to me that none of the money I spent trying to help the other side of the world was being used, I decided to change my itinerary. Continued travel to Machame, Arusha, Dar es Salaam (capital of Tanzania), Dar to Stone town ( Zanzibar), Nungwi Beach (north island), Jambiani Beach (southeast island),  Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoru Crater, Lake Manyara to Karatu and back to small town Moshi. Included in this journey, 7 nights and 8 days were taken to summit Kilimanjaro on the Lemosho route and another four days to soak in the sun from the open top 4×4 safari vehicle to search for wild animals. Within travelling to these places my friend Bryan and I met some people with some big stories, such as the oldest north american man to climb everest and Marty Schmidt, the owner of MSIG trekking. After Tanzania, I had decided and planned to come to Australia for a year on a working holiday visa and visit Bryan. It’s been a whirlwind adventure with much culture shock, money wasted, friends met and sore limbs. I couldn’t be more excited for what the next year has in store for me.

So…where have I been since I have arrived? I flew into Melbourne Airport and stayed at Habitat HQ hostel. In it were young people like myself struggling to save/ make money. But, in the big scheme of things, none of this mattered. They were all here to have fun. It brought about so much peace of mind knowing that I wasn’t alone in all this. Spent five days with some of the most down to earth people I have ever met. Oddly enough, most of them were from the United Kingdom, I felt strangely at home. Spent a night at O’Reilys Irish pub just off St. Kilda, went to the second largest casino in the world in Melbourne. If you don’t like Melbourne as soon as your arrive, give it a couple days, you’ll come around…

When talking to a friend of mine about travelling Australia while I was in Africa, he highly recommended a program called wwoofing (willing workers on organic farms). With this program, you volunteer on the farm in order to receive three meals a day paid for plus free accommodation. Now I said, “well I don’t know a thing about farm work”, it doesn’t matter to many farm hosts as long as you have a willingness to learn and get a little dirty. So where did I chose? A chili chocolate farm, about 25 mins from Toowoomba. I really wanted to understand the ” real Australia”, and wow! Was that ever a treat. Chopping wood, eating chocolate, piling the wood, eating chocolate, label chocolate and dinner parties with chocolate being the topic of choice. My first night on this farm I had the incredible privelage of meeting a couple bound to go down in history, Vickie and Richard. Richard is currently running the Bicentennial National Trail. It runs from the south to the north of Australia and is the longest marked trail in the world at 5330 km. The chilli  farm was there halfway mark and it just so happened that on their one night there, I happened to be there as well. Felt amazing meeting people actually working for a cause. Interested in wwoofing? Go to wwoof.com.au You won’t be disappointed and you can save a couple bucks while your at it.

From Toowoomba, I was craving a bit of city life and decided to spent the night in Brisbane. I met a guy named Eloi who has travelled back to Australia three times. He showed me the entire city by night. People do not mention Brisbane as much as it deserves. So much to do, beautiful architecture, foot paths that connect the entire city  located on the ocean front, South bank lagoon, Kanagaroo Cliffs ( no kangaroos have actually been found) and botanical gardens. Spent the night partying with a Frenchmen, an Estonian, a Belgian hippie, and a Brazilian at city backpackers pub. The detour was unexpected to this beautiful city, but sometimes the most unexpected places reward you with the best moments.

Next, visited a dear friend located in Coffs Harbour. Met Lauren in beautiful Dublin, Ireland in November of 2011 in a hostel located by the Liffey River. She was an incredible host. Spent the days visiting the Big Banana in Coffs Harbor, walking to the top of Muttonbird Island by Coffs Marina, driving to Dangar Falls in Dorrigo National Park, driving to Byron Bay to visit the most easterly part of Australia/ lighthouse, visiting world heritage sites around the area, sitting on the banks overlooking the Gold Coast and driving into Surfers Paradise and a bottle of white wine at the Byron Bay Hotel to end the journey.

Where abouts am I now? I returned to Byron Bay and have completely fallen in love with the atmosphere of this popular tourist destination town on the east coast. Local cafes, surf lessons, diving in reefs, hippie trends, perfect waves, good food, vibrant sun… Can I stay a second year? Could I be in paradise?

Next adventure is completely undecided, just as adventure should be….