Thursday, March 31, 2005

The frogurt is also cursed

Happy Birthday to meeee! heh... well, close enough. I missed posting about it by a day.

Well, nothing stupid unfortunately. Sorry Mel. Well, nothing extraordinarily stupid that is. Plenty of day-to-day dumbassery; stubbing my toes, bashing my elbow into chairs, stepping in front of oncoming cars, etc... waitasec, scratch that last one.

The last week or so has been pretty boring. Mostly I've been sitting around waiting for calls about jobs I'd applied for, and not much else. I got sick of that, so I bought myself a birthday present. Its my Precious :) (as my dad asked, does it make me the Lord of the Strings? The answer is no. haha)

So that's taken up a lot of my time lately. I had a tough time deciding on an acoustic guitar or acoustic bass, but the price of the cheapest acoustic bass kinda made up my mind for me. The guitar is a little more versatile also, I suppose.

Other than that, I did a couple days bushwalking the last two days. An Aussie girl staying at the hostel was also bored and had a car, so we went on a walk to the Walls of Jerusalem National Park. Its close to Cradle Mountain and the Overland Track; both probably the biggest tourist attractions in Tassie. That was a good little walk... lots of nice scenery 'n stuff. The mountains are no Rockies, but they're pretty spectacular still. So I spent my birthday sleeping in a cold hut in the mountains. :) Better than my last birthday anyways... studying at school right before exams. Bleh. (oh yeah, hahahaha suckers!! :)

As always, some pictures... the first couple are from a little hike close to Launceston. The first picture if you can't read it... the hut's called the Hoo Hoo Hut. Have I mentioned I love the names Aussies give places? heh. And the second... as you can see, everyone here is very nice and they seem to like me right away, just like back home! :)

The next two are from the walk the last couple days, in the park.

And yeah. Looks like I'm going to be hanging around here for another weekend, then hopefully starting working on Monday. Another guy thats staying in my dorm at the hostel here says the place he's working at is hiring, and they're going to call me tomorrow. It'd be work for the Forestry; pruning trees 'n stuff. The same kinda work I did a few summers ago at Davey Tree in Mississauga anyways. I'm getting tired of waiting around for other jobs, I just wanna get working and make some money and get travelling again.

But like I can complain :)


Monday, March 21, 2005

It was the blurst of times?

You stupid monkey! Heh. I never realized before I got here what a popular show the Simpsons is overseas. In most of the hostels I stay at the TV room gets kind of taken over during Simpsons time and everyone sits down to watch. Its fun even though I've seen most of the episodes at half a dozen times :)

Well, I made it to Tassie. Seems like a great place so far, too bad I have to work though. It'd be pretty easy to get a crappy job fruit picking (apples or grapes! yay!) but I think I'll kinda hold out a little longer and try and find something...well, less crappy I guess.

Melbourne sucked. I don't like Toronto, didn't like Sydney or Hong Kong... I don't know why I thought Melbourne would be any better. Still, met tons of people at the bed-bug infested hostel I stayed at and had a mostly good time.

I got off the ferry from Melbourne at Devonport, and stayed there for four days while I was out job-searching. Pretty place, and the people are great here. I met one nice lady at a job centre who loaned me her kayak for a day. That was a lot of fun, kayaking in the ocean. Except when the ferry comes by and throws off huge waves and you almost get swamped. :) But meh. Couple pictures of town here; there's the hostel I stayed at and a shot of the countryside. The whole island is like this so far, seems a little dry. Hmm.

This has been a lazy week. I've been kinda feeling like crap... one of my tick bites (not that one) got infected a week afterwards, and I've been taking antibiotics to keep the infection down. So its been quiet.

Well, I left Devonport and have moved onto the second-biggest (I think) city on the island, Launceston. Should be easier to find a job here... I've applied for a couple mechanical engineering jobs that are just short-term contracts, which would be perfect. We'll see. There was a job I just missed out on in Devonport at a call center. It paid $17 an hour! I can put up with dumbasses calling about stupid problems for that!

Ahh, sigh... Starting to get tired of living out of my backpack. I keep seeing stuff I wanna buy and I can't, cause I don't have any room for anything. Maybe thats a good thing though. I really want to pick up an acoustic guitar, but that would be a real pain in the ass to haul around. Eeh, I'll probably get one anyways. I've already checked out the local shops and its getting harder and harder not to pick one up.

And yeah, thats it. Its gonna get pretty boring for a while until I actually do something again. I'll make it a point to get drunk and go do something stupid this week so I have something to talk about. heh


Sunday, March 13, 2005

Okay, now I'm really sore.

Lots of pictures this time, by popular request. Requested by at least one person. I think. eeh. I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I've got a lot to blab on about. hehe

Well, the last week I've been camping out in the bush. To summarize, I had an excellent time. The scenery was fantastic, every person I met was extremely nice, and it hardly cost anything. :) My plan to hitchhike into the town at the start of the walk worked out very well, the third car that came by stopped and gave me a lift. The guy even went out of his way to give me a little tour of the town before he dropped me off right infront of the motel I was staying at. heh

So that town was called Mallacoota, it's right on the ocean over the border into Victoria. Pretty little place, it has a permanent population of about 1200 people, and during the summer gets up over 10000. Spent a couple days there anyways, I got there Saturday and had to wait till Monday morning when the Parks Victoria office opened up and I could get a permit for the walk. One picture from there; I went for a little walk around town just after it rained and got a nice shot of a rainbow over the inlet from the ocean.

Anyways, on to the walk... the first day the weather was great, just under 30 degrees and sunny. I started out the walk from Mallacoota, the official start of the walk is about 5km out of town so I could pick my own route to the beginning. I decided to do some rock-hopping along the beach to get there. Saw some nice caves... the tide was low so I had no problem getting through most spots. Just after I went through this cave (below) I had to kind of backtrack and climb up overtop of it. Of course I was doing it in my sandals, and of course a small piece of rock broke under my foot, I slipped a few inches, and cut my heel open nicely. Great start to the walk :) It wasn't that bad; I didn't even realize I'd cut myself until I was about a kilometer down the beach from the rocks and I realized my jeans were a little bloody. heh

It was about 17-18kms walking that day, once I got to the campsite it was getting kind of late. There were only two other people there, and they'd driven in. I was just sitting down to cook my supper over the fire and they came over and offered me some cold beer :) Very nice people, they didn't stay around for the night.

The next day was pretty short, only 12km. Half of the day was through a forest and across some plains (see picture), the other half along more beaches with some more rock-hopping along the way.

The third day was pretty similar, except the track across the plains got a lot thicker. And I met lots of happy little guys called paralysis ticks. So, it wasn't the snakes, spiders or crocs that got me. It was the ticks. After I'd gone through a particularly overgrown section, I was starting to get sore...uh, down there. (trying to put it delicately since I know my grandma and other relatives are reading :) It was kinda weird, cause I was sure things weren't sore from over-use... hahaha. I went on walking for a half hour, until I stopped and had a peek. And yeah, I had not one, but two ticks happily burrowing into... uhh, me. So pulling them off was an adventure, I'm glad there wasn't anyone around cause I was kinda half naked down in the middle of the trail pulling 'em off. hehe. No pictures of that, sorry. :) I ended up pulling off another couple ticks that night before going to sleep; one on my neck and one on my back. Not to mention the dozens I brushed off my clothing and backpack before they could latch on.

The rest of the walk was pretty easy, mostly along beaches. Lots of rock-hopping; generally there would be a stretch of beach for a few kilometers then some more rocks, then another beach. All very nice, and very deserted. I ended up seeing only 7 other people over the entire 5 days. Here's one of the beaches I had to myself...

The last night's camping spot was the best. I couldn't find the actual campsite I was supposed to stay at; there was supposed to be a clearly marked sign on the beach pointing it out, but I'd probably overshot it by a kilometer, and I didn't feel like backtracking. So I found a nice little sand dune that was sheltered from the wind, and pitched my tent there. Got to see a nice sunrise and nice sunset there. A couple pictures from there... there's me after getting to the site and having a dip in the ocean, and another of the sunset over the beach.

The last day was nice and short, a quick 8km hop along a long stretch of beach. My plan was to grab a ride out with people leaving the campsite in the morning, but I kinda ran into a problem... the place was almost deserted. There were about 45 campsites, but only a half dozen of them had people. I was running out of food and had no ride out.... and it was a 42km drive out to the nearest town. To make a long story short, I met some very nice people that insisted on feeding me (I ate kangaroo!) and found some other people that were heading out the next day and had some room in their truck. So I had to stay an extra night, but I made it out with no problems and picked up the bus to Melbourne just last night.

So yeah, what an excellent trip. Australians have to be the nicest people... so friendly, so helpful... even when I insisted I didn't want anything to eat the family there gave me a plate of some of their kangaroo stew. (they must've seen me cooking the last of my food over the fire; some rice in a Campbells Chunky soup tin and had pity. heh) Then I hung out with them around their campfire the rest of the night and played Trivial Pursuit with them. :) Good times.

Well, now I'm in Melbourne. Its kind of a shock being in such a populated place (3.5 million) after being so secluded the last week. Today was great here though, they have a Waterfest going on (like Belleville's Waterfront, but far less sucky) and there was a carnival and some waterski-jumping going on. Lots of things to see and do here.

Anyways, I apologize for the length of this post, but I figured it was worth typing it all out. Still so much more to tell but it'd probably get too boring to read that much. Well, me so hungy, so I'm gonna go shopping and make myself something to eat. The hostel I'm at here in Melbourne is enormous; there's close to 500 beds they have here. I'll probably stay one more night there then find a smaller place that's... well, better. heh


Thursday, March 03, 2005

Stupid clouds

The last few days its been overcast, and only like 25 degrees out. Sigh... I know, its rough. Anyways, I've been in Merimbula the last few days after Bateman's Bay. Most of these little towns along the coast are pretty similar I've noticed. You've got a couple main streets with all the shops, a bunch of motels and hotels along the coast, and internet cafes that charge way too much. haha

Some pictures... this is from a walk to Pambula, about 11-12kms round trip from Merimbula. Heh, I love their sense of humour around here. I couldn't stop laughing for a while after I saw this one.

A couple more...

There's the beach from Pambula back towards Merimbula, and a shot of some of the locals. These kangaroos were pretty tame, they just sat around waiting to be fed. Quite different from the others I'd seen in the wild. Those ones took off before I could even take out my camera most of the time.

Eeeh, not much to do around here when its not sunny out. I still went out snorkelling a couple times yesterday and today. Can't see all that much compared to when its sunny, but I saw a couple big sting rays, and tons of fish. Pretty cool.

Anyways... my plans for the next couple days are kinda sketchy. There's a 5 day hike along the coast down in Victoria that I want to do, but its kind of out of the way from the highway my bus goes down. So, the plan is to get off at the closest town (at 1 in the morning when the bus passes through) and find a place to stay, then probably thumb my way to the start of the walk. Should be nice though, if I make it there. Coming out at the end of the walk is the same deal, but I doubt I'll have any problems.

After that, I've gotta start working so I'll be heading all the way to Melbourne and looking for an apartment for a month or so and a job. Woohoo!

Yeah, thats it. I know, exciting stuff! Well, I'll post again in a week or so if I live. haha