Thursday, May 29, 2008

29th of May 2008

Going to Moreton Island was almost doomed from already from the beginning, people had warned me how isolated the place was but I went anyway. Took the train and bus to Redcliffe in the outskirts of Brisbane and from there I took the afternoon ferry.
Moreton is a big sand island, one of the biggest in the world (Frasier is much bigger though), and it basically has a lot of, umm, sand! You can only get around with a 4WD vehicle driving on the very few sand roads or driving on the beaches and almost the whole island is a national park so there is very few buildings around. Once I got off the ferry I spent about 2.5 hours trying to get a ride and only having 2 cars pass me by which both were full so I had to camp out for the night just where I got off.
The next day I got a ride after about a hour to a beach on the north side and from there I had to walk about 2-3 hours with my heavy backpack before I ran into someone having breakfast on the beach, spoke a little to the couple then kept on walking. But they felt sorry for me and drove after me and picked me up and dropped me where I wanted to go, and in the afternoon they drove me back to the ferry I planned to get on, thank god for that because otherwise I would have to stay 2 more days (no ferries leaving on Tuesdays) with only one day worth of food on the island. Moreton was a very nice place thought and if I lived in Brisbane and was into fishing I would go there often! Got off in Redcliffe again when the sun had already set and couldn't find any place to stay for the night so pitched my tent on a patch of grass down by the docks.
The next day I got a ride to GlassHouse Mountains after some troubles and spent the day there trying to get a ride to a lookout which in the end I had to walk about 3 hours to get to. The mountains were kind of a disappointment and I spent another night in my tent, but this time at a proper camping.
Yesterday I went to the Australian Zoo which was just another 8km away, I mean who can travel to Australia without going to Steve Irwin's Zoo? The Zoo was quite nice and all the Steve memorial stuff and photos and so on made me kind of sad that the world lost such an awesome bloke! Though the Zoo was a bit pricey, I mean 67$ just to get in! Crikey! After the Zoo
I caught a few rides to Noosa Heads at the north of Sunset Coast (Another area like the Gold Coast, just not as many skyscrapers yet) which is where I'm currently at, and once again the rain is just pissing down so I decided to stay another night in the hostel just reading books and so instead of trying the very cheap surfing here and awesome beaches. I really hate this shitty weather!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

25th of May 2008

Just a short entry.
Getting to Brisbane was easy, only one car.
Not much to see in Brisbane but I still like the city, cant really put my finger on what it is I like!
Don't think I'm gonna repair my camera, would cost me 200$. But I'm to cheap to throw it away so now I'm travelling around with a camera that doesn't work ^^
Leaving for Moreton Island today, or at least trying.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

22nd of May 2008

Getting the less then 100km to Byron was easy, or so I thought! Took me 5 cars and the last one was with this Brandon bloke driving a wicked camper van and when I could see Byron Bay and almost had it within an arms reach he asked me if I wanted to come to Toowoomba with him and pick up another car and drive it to Brisbane, he would pay me and let me sleep in the van the next day. He promised it would only take 4-5 hours and it was only lunchtime by then so I figured why not.
30 hours later I came back to Byron! Everything was just jinxed and both the cars just kept on dying, I spent the night in Toowoomba 150km west of Brisbane sleeping in the back of the van on some random street and all the money being spent on food (should have agreed on an hourly rate instead!). In the end we dumped one of the cars (really nice car to drive with a V8 engine kinda sports car, don’t remember the name though) just on the grass next to a busy highway in Brisbane because we were so sick of it giving up on us. Then Brandon drove me back to Byron and dropped me there but had to keep driving north in the van himself. So that’s 30 hours wasted but at least I had a fun time.
Byron Bay is a backpacker mecca on the east coast, can’t decide if I love the place or hate it but spending 3 nights here still instead of one! The beach here is one of the best I ever seen and just chilling there and playing volleyball during the day and getting on the piss in the evenings are great. But it’s all so cheesy and backpacker oriented! Found that I don’t really like backpackers despite I am one myself. Being so close to Nimbin, Byron Bay really picks up the atmosphere with a lot of laid back surfers and a lot of weed going around. And for the first time since leaving Perth I’ve been able to wear my shorts during the day! Think I’m out of here tomorrow, skipping the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise because I checked it out some with Brandon and its just way to much for me, its like Malibu or something in California with all these hotels and skyscrapers just next to the beach, I miss the countryside already with all the nice laidback ozzies! So heading directly for Brisbane for a day or two so I can try to get my camera repaired before I go further.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

18th of May 2008

After I wrote that last entry the rain came to Glen Innes, I seem to bring it with me everywhere I go! But just before the rain there was such a beautiful sunset I just have to put up one of the pics here!

Getting the 280km to Nimbin only took me two cars and the second one was an ozzie named Bruce that was heading to Nimbin to live with his brother & Co. When I arrived in Nimbin I couldn’t get a hold of my Woofer host so Bruce offered me to stay at their place for the night, so once again I got fed and free accommodation. The following day I got a hold of my host Gloria and went to her place to stay for a week.
Nimbin used to be another ghost town until 1973 when a bunch of students and similar minded people decided they would hold their Aquarius Festival there. This was during the flower power era and they all loved Nimbin and the surrounding area so much that a lot of them decided to stay there and start a bunch of communities and build there own houses and such. So it became Woodstock’s sister town in Australia filled with people embracing alternative lifestyles.
Nimbin basically only has one street and not a lot of people live in the actual town, but it’s a very busy town with 3 backpacker’s hostels and buses coming there every day. Also all the lovely old hippies with their long hair roam the streets as well as the newer Nimbians trying to rip of all the tourists or just being junkies. In the stores they sell pipes, hemp clothes and similar stuff and you can hardly get out of your car before some young dude comes up to you and ask if you want to buy some marijuana. The town also has a lot of cafes, one pub and one hempbar, all in which people sit smoking their weed openly.
Gloria lives in one of the oldest communities,
Tuntable Falls which also is one of the biggest in Australia with about 300 occupants, the community was a bit different then the tight knit sharing communities that I imagined but I reckon there’s 3 reasons to that. First its way to large with 2000 hectares, secondly they have too many members so its take away the personal feeling of knowing everyone. And last but not least the community was created 35 years ago so think the original idea and spirit is all gone from the old people living there and the young are just too few and don’t have the same spirit anymore.
Gloria lives in a beautiful little house just at the edge of the rainforest on the steep rise of a mountain, lots of birds around and tons of little lizards running around. Also spotted a cute little wallaby in the garden as well as a bush turkey. And inside Glorias house (I slept in another further down) she had a nice 15cm across little “house pet” to take of the flies, I’m glad I didn’t sleep there!
Only staying here for 6 days, been doing some brush cutting, wood chopping, avocado and tamarillo harvesting during these days, but just a few hours a day.
I also tried a bush tucker vegetable named Taro raw, which we found out afterwards was poisonous when eaten raw so that wasn’t a to pleasant experience having my throat swell up and chest hurting and having no idea why. Although the taro tasted very nice when cooked!
Tomorrow I’m off to Byron Bay.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

11th of May 2008

Been living with Steve and his son, Steve, the last 10 days at his place, 3 Waters.
Steve is 72 year old man who has lived a very adventurous and eventful life and has the most amazing stories to tell. He has quite a piece of land northwest of Glen Innes up on the great divide (about 1000 meters up) and now he is trying to get a holiday ranch running here. He has built the house and everything else on the land himself. At age 30 he rode his first horse and now he is a proper “cowboy”, amazing with horses and used to do 6 day pubcrawls on horse and similar stuff to make a living.
It’s a beautiful countryside surrounded by a couple of creeks and a smaller mountain with plenty of wildlife. Lots of wild Fallow Deers and Roos running around on the land, just this morning I saw 20 different Deers while taking the dogs for a morning walk! Sadly I never got a good picture of them, one day I even saw a bunch of Deers standing just next to a couple of Roos and horses grazing but of course I didn’t have my camera with me!
He also has about 10 horses roaming around on his land which he brings in whenever he feels like going for a ride. The place is also blessed with two lovely Red Australian Kelpies.
The weather has been awesome since I came here with sunny but not to hot days and chilly nights which I spent inside the house with a warming fireplace.
I’ve mainly been chopping wood, doing fencing and getting poles and firewood with Steve the time I’ve been here which is much needed physical work for me! Steve has also been giving me a couple of riding lessons during the week and we’ve been going for 2-3 hour long trail rides, so I’m starting to get the basics of riding and have a good balance and mastered the trot, but still working on the canter. Steve is a very knowledgeable man and a great teacher but with a little to short fuse sometimes. His youngest son Mark lives on the land next to 3 Waters and he rode his first horse already when he was 4 years and nowadays he works as a horse breaker, we went over there a few times to have a look while he was breaking in some horses and it was amazing and interesting to learn how the horses think and act.

Tomorrow I'm leaving 3 Waters and will try to get a ride to Nimbin where I’m heading into another Woofer place (the last one for a while, really need to cover some distances soon!).
Nimbin is what you can call the Christiania of Australia. And for you who don’t know what Christiania is you could call Nimbin the hippie capital of Australia, with lots of communities and drugs and stuff being sold in the open. I’m going there to live in one of Australia’s largest communities with over 300 people, going to be a very interesting experience to say the least.

Friday, May 9, 2008

9th of May 2008

I think that I'm starting to become a little to much of a dreamer.
As I mentioned in an earlier entry I like to challenge myself and learn things like with the riding and handstand right now (both of em are actually going pretty good!)
But I also want to learn to sail, get a MC license, learn to play the Harmonica, learn to Surf and much much more.
Then I also want to fulfill my dream to Hitch all around the World, I want to buy a piece of land in the northern parts of Sweden by a lake and build myself a timber house and the most recent one, build a sailing boat!
A lot of things to do but so little time to do them all, do I want too much? But on the other hand, if we didn’t have any dreams we wouldn’t experience and try new things in life and have goals, and that would be a pretty boring life I reckon.
I just read a nice quote in the biography Steve is writing (the elderly bloke I’m living with right now). His grandpa told it to him when he was young and he has tried to live his life by this one and a couple of others, anyway here goes:

We grow great by dreams, all big achievers are dreamers.
They see things in the soft haze of a spring day
or in the red fire of a cold winters evening.
Some of us let our dreams die,
but other nourish and protect them,
nurse them through bad days till they bring them to Sunshine and Light.

Woodrow Wilson

Sunday, May 4, 2008

2nd of May 2008

After a big breakfast and even getting a lunchbox with me from Lyn (came in very handy the next day hiking, thanks!) I was of to the Warrambungle National Park which I reached in the afternoon. The Warrambungles was created 17 million years ago when a volcano went nuts in the area. Its amazing how this mountain range just turns up in the middle of the nowhere when you keep driving on the flat western plains, and also how all the landscape around is so flat looking at it from the mountaintops.
I really loved the Warrambungles, have to be the best place I’ve been to since I left Perth. Other then having minus 6 degrees during the night camping out (who even knew it could get that cold in Australia?!) everything was just perfect.
Camped out in a camping spot all on my own having Roos and an Emu grazing close by. Went for a short hike up a mountain to watch the sunset and while I took this photo to the right I had a majestic eagle soar by just 3-4 meters away from me, almost fell of the cliff! Never seen so many stars in my life (about 600 meters up, no light pollution and clear skies! The town just next to the NP is supposed to be the astronomy capital of Australia). Then I woke up 6.30 to a symphony of different birds and was up hiking in the cold 15 minutes later. Perfect hiking weather all day, not to warm but sunny all day, with the most amazing views all around. Kangaroos everywhere in the park, saw tons of birds, a rock wallaby, a bunch of skinks, a whip snake, bunch of wild goats and of course the eagles soaring in the sky. Hiked about 19km, took me most of the day but was well worth it! And didn’t see a single human being during the whole hike, how awesome is that?
Got a ride into town by the woman working the visitor centre and spent the night at a pub hotel in Connabarbran. Leaving the next day I got my 100th ride since leaving Perth and outside Armidale a fella named John and his son picked me up and drove me to the camping spot they were staying in at the mountain town and celtic capital of Australia, Glen Innes. Experienced once again the Australian hospitality when John, his two sons + GF shared their dinner and breakfast with me, thanks! Really been a good week with lots of free accommodation and food :)
This morning I got picked up by my new Woofer host which I will stay with for about 10 days and spend my 50th day (of which I had about 5-7 days of sunshine, just how sucky is that?) on the road with, so could be a couple of days before my next entry.

Edit: As Beckiz mentioned its hard to follow where I am on the map, so if anyone got a good suggestion how to show it please tell! First tried with live maps but didn’t work out to well
And also not very happy with my new camera, but better then nothing I guess!
Think my next entry will be around the 12th