Monday, April 28, 2008

28th of April 2008

Left Berrima early morning after a very cold night in my tent. Went back west into Belanglo State Forest and got a few rides there and walked around quite some.
Belanglo is the Forest where the bodies of Ivan Molats victims where found. Ivan Molat was the guy behind the Backpacker Murders; he picked up hitchhikers in the beginning of the 90s and murdered them by shooting them several times in the head, stabbing, raping and torturing them. So quite a nutcase! But two people did get away alive from him and because of these two he got caught. They found 7 bodies in the forest of which 5 were international backpackers but there are speculations that he can have killed up to 30 more. He is in a high security prison right now in Goulburn serving 7 life sentences, he got sent there after trying to escape from his first prison (why the hell don’t they put a whack job like him directly in a high security?) But he also has 3 brothers that he claims were in on the murders but that never got sentenced for anything. Ivan is probably the biggest reason hitchhiking became a dying art in Australia and that people are afraid of doing it and picking up people. He is also the inspiration for the 2005 horror movie Wolf’s Creek.
I did see my first snake in Belanglo since leaving Perth! Think it was a red-bellied black snake almost 1.5 meter long. A very fitting place to find a deadly snake!
Sadly my camera have stopped working so got no photo of it and the only photos of the forest I have is on my mobile, but I guess its better then nothing!
After that I kept on going west but only came to Yass, took into a motel because it was so cheap (20$ for a room!) Got on the piss on with the locals that night for a change, much fun but argh what a hangover! So got a pretty late start the next day and only succeeded in getting about 120km that day. Came to a place called Young where it started raining on me so I went into a cafĂ© to get some grub. While eating a couple came up to me and asked me if needed anywhere to sleep tonight to get out of the rain and told me I could stay in their caravan. So stayed the night there getting fed some warm soup and watching a movie, thanks Ron and Brenda 
Today its been so cold all day, was 8 degrees this morning and windy and stayed that way all day, just 5 degrees outside now, and this is supposed to be Australia? Been heading north all day and got myself a new camera in Dubbo because I didn’t have much choice if I want to take some more photos. After getting another 40km north of Dubbo the sun started setting and a woman named Lyn picked me up and offered me to stay in their house. So been fed today again and watched movies with her kids and sleeping in a warm big bed tonight! Tomorrow Ill hopefully get to the Warrambungle National Park pretty quick and do a hike there without it being to freezing cold, then after that the plan is to head east into even more mountains.. brr!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

25th of April 2008

Decided to stay another day in Katoomba because the weather was really shit. So spent most of the day just chilling, watching TV and reading. The fog cleared up some in the afternoon so I could go for a hike and check out the three sisters (It’s just a rock formation!), so good thing I stayed.
Today I headed southwest on the Blue Mountains to the Genolan Caves, a huge place with a lot of different amazing caves. Took only two tours (second one was free :P) because I’m a cheap bastard and wanted to keep going. Then I headed south towards Berrima where I want to check out a forest, I also passed the jail where Ivan is currently at! (Will tell you more about Ivan and the Forest in my next entry). Lying in my tent right now at a closed down camping ground, so it’s for free but no facilities here.
I just wanted to write about the last ride I had today (had 6 different ones today) because it was one of those really rare and memorable ones.
It was an elderly fella originally from Holland named Arie. He spoke Dutch, English, German, French and Italian fluently. He also knew quite some Swedish, Greek, Hebrew, Latin and god knows what else! Told me that he used to be an atheist when he was younger studying at Uni (I like to call myself an agnostic). And that he later on was a Buddhist. Then he studied the bible and Koran and other books trougherly and now he had become a passionate Christian. He was convinced that the second coming of Christ was going to happen within the next 15-20 years and unless you loved Lord Jesus Christ every day you would not be around for the afterlife. And that you had to do good deeds or you would suffer for all the bad ones you’ve done in life. This wasn’t the rare part about him though, it was how extremely convincing he was! I only rode with him for about 70km but still he really got me thinking and I’m usually extremely skeptic whenever it comes to religion and everything surrounding it. It’s just scary how this old man could affect me so much in such a short time and make me doubt all my beliefs. And I have spoken to a lot of Christians before in all kind of shapes, from priests to Jehovah Witnesses. But never before have I been so dazzled. And no I'm not turning Christian, I’m just amazed by this fella and really hope he never runs for a position with power!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

23rd of April 2008

Deep in the Forgotten Valley Northwest of Sydney, 4km from the closest neighbour, 90mins from the closest grocery store, living on rainwater and solar power (with a diesel backup), outdoor toilets, 2 lovely horses, 2 energetic dogs, a bunch of chooks, a lot of wildlife including king parrots that you can hand feed and the biggest spiders I’ve seen in my life! And a lot of organic fruits and veggies growing everywhere.
Kathmandu they call it, that’s where Ursula and Terry lives and where I spent my last 11 days.
Chopping wood, painting windows, grooming horses, digging holes and other stuff is what I’ve been doing for a couple of hours a day while really enjoying myself. I’ve had the best sleep since I came to Australia, been eating healthy and excellent meals several times a day, breathing fresh air while doing physical work and last but not least Ursula and Terry has taught and told me many useful things and stories.
The first day it was nice weather, but since then it’s been raining just about every day. We even had to wade through knee deep water this morning because the creek passing the entrance was at least 50 centimeters higher then it usually is.
Its just an amazing and healthy lifestyle they have, Terry is world known and working with Vincent motorcycle parts while Ursula takes care of the house, the surrounding land and all the animals and also goes away massaging people every now and then. Wish I can create something like that myself some day in the future.
But as I said I left this morning after Ursula went into the suburbs to do some shopping. Changed my mind and decided I will go to the Blue Mountains after all, so right now I’m high up in Katoomba where it of course is raining, is misty and really cold. Just hope it clears up some by tomorrow morning so I can see some stuff here!

Edit: Anyone stuck in the soya hype btw (drinking soya milk, eating tofu and so on) should really read this article!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

12th of April 2008

Leaving Sydney was a new experience for me, for the first time since I left Perth I really had no idea where I wanted to go next and what was worth seeing on the way. I figured northwest was the only way to go because of the freeways going north and me coming from the south, southwest. So I took a train to a suburb that looked to be outside the city (it wasn’t) and started hitching from there. Being in a really relaxed mood having no idea where I was heading was a really “free” feeling, the second guy I got a ride with I stayed with at the nursery he worked at for a hour having a few beers and just chilling, then I caught another ride to a small place called Wiseman’s ferry which seemed like a lovely little place, so having no better plans I pitched my tent next to the river already in the afternoon and just relaxed the rest of the day getting to know some locals of a couple pints of Guinness.
Today I took the ferry over the river got a ride to a even smaller town called St Albans (Historical town with a pub and around 10 houses and a gallery) via a dirt road which was the only road going there . I mentioned to the guy I was riding with that I was planning to start Woofing and it turned out he knew a couple in the region that took in woofers. So that whole day I spent at the gallery (the guy was on his way there to have a chat with the owner which he also knew) munching chocolate cake and drinking tea, and of course I had time for a Guinness at the pub also while they tried to get a hold of the couple! Turned out they really needed a woofer so the gallery owner drove me there because she was having dinner with them later the same day. So now I just arrived at this little house in the middle of Yengo National Park with an elderly man and women and a dog, 2 horses, a couple of chooks and a lot of organic vegetables and fruits!. Going to be another new and exciting experience :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

10th of April 2008

Sydney, big city, busy, nice harbour and parks, yadda yadda!

I keep on coming up with these small little challenges all the time, like hitchhiking around Australia! The most recent ones are that before I finish this trip I will learn to ride a horse, do a proper handstand and not eat at any of the fatty fast food places. Makes life more interesting when you challenge yourself :P
Was planning to head northwest tomorrow to a town called Scone which is supposed to be the “Australian Horse Capital”. Wanted to find some work breeding horses (yeah I have some weird impulses). But decided I'm going to try to do some Wwoofing instead. WWOOF means you go to some farm somewhere where they grow ecological stuff and animals, work for 4-6 hours a day and get free accommodation and food. Kind of a hippie kind of lifestyle but it sound like a fun thing, so tomorrow I'm still going to head northwest but I don't really know where I'm going, will figure something out while I'm on the road!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

8th of April 2008

In Sydney now, hurried to get from Canberra to Sydney so I could catch up with Mette one last time before she went home. Went southeast from Canberra to Batesmans Bay, made a stop in Pebblys Beach then continued all the way north to Sydney. Missed Jervis Bay but you cant see em all!

Just wanted to post a couple of amazing photos from Pebblys Beach, loved that place.. my arms look like Greger gone wild on em right now though

Sunday, April 6, 2008

6th of April 2008

Take a look at the photo above, now THAT is what I love about hitchhiking! In the middle of nowhere, the weather is beautiful and warm, the view is amazing. Can just sit down and enjoy the view or listen to the birds or read a book or whatever, a car passing by about every 10 minutes or so. No idea who the next person will be that picks me up but sure it will be someone interesting with lots of stories to tell (And it really was :D). The freedom, I LOVE it :)
In Lakes Entrance I met my match in hitching, a german guy that started his first thumbride 15 years ago, and he had been on the road the last 3.5 years hitching all continents except Asia, he was on his way there.. now that is impressive!
Left the Lakes in the morning heading east with a couple of rides to small unknown little place called Mallacoota. Its popular among the city people living nearby so there was alot of holiday makers hanging around with their caravans, but I was the only person staying in the hostel which was a kind of weird feeling. The next day I finally started heading north, towards Canberra crossing some mountains and viewing the Australian Alps in the distance, amazing countryside with lovely people and small little towns.
In Canberra now since yesterday, interesting to see how the town is built considering everything was planned and its so new. The War Memorial was the highlight, could have spent my whole day there if they weren't closing at 17 already. Other then that Canberra is pretty boring, people seem to be pretty dull around here but they absolutely love running! Never seen so many joggers in my life.
Tomorrow I think Ill head southeast to the coast then north towards Sydney, should arrive there tomorrow evening or on Tuesday if I just take it easy.

Edit: Seems to be a problem with the commenting from what Ive heard? Please email me or just tell me if it says it needs to be verified or moderated by me before it shows, because Ive turned that off before..

Edit2: If you get that I need to moderate the comment or whatever it says try clearing your cache and cookies, hopefully that helps..
And Decibella, har ingen aning! Men formodligen inte.. hoppas pa Augusti, da var val du ledig med? :D

Friday, April 4, 2008

3rd of April 2008

Just had one of my scariest rides ever! To lazy to write about it. Got rid of my laptop in Melbourne so sitting at expensive IT cafe time now. I also got rid of my lonely planet in Melbourne which wasnt the smartest of ideas ive found out..
So I left Melbourne tuesday afternoon by taking a train to the outer suburbs, got a couple of rides (I just love getting rides with "real" australians around there 40s on their way home from work) and arrived where I wanted. Watched the penguin parade which wasnt very impressive because apparently I was there during the worst time of the year. Just my luck! Got a ride from there after dark by a young ranger named Sam, he let me spend the night in his shed in a bunkbed. Hurray for free accomodation and dinner and brekkie! :D
Left next day I left early heading down to Wilsons Prom National Park which turned out to be pretty tricky, but 9 rides later I ended up there anyway. The staff there told me I wasnt allowed to camp anywhere except the main camping area because there was really bad weather incoming. So I took a 2-3 hours stroll in this beautiful national park (kinda reminded me of Yosemite) before the storm came and hit me hard! That night we had over 30m/s winds, the rain was pouring down, it was thundering and was around 5 degrees. Dirt was blowing into my tent before the rain hit and we even got hail in the morning. So both my tent and me was put to the ultimate test, it was a horrible night but atleast I survived it! Most stuff I own is covered in wet dirt though which isnt much fun.
I left the park in the afternoon today after riding out the worst rain, not a fun day because my rain poncho was all wet and whenever it started raining I had to seek cover under some trees and wait for it to stop before trying to hitch. But I got a whole bunch of rides still, with the last one as I said being pretty darn scary. But now im in a nice little place called Lakes Entrance in a warm hostel bed.
I didnt even see a single Wombat in Wilsons Prom because of the weather, this NP is supposed to be the easiest and best spot to see them in Australia :(