Spent a few days on the Gold Coast mostly around Tweed Heads. Theres some big surf break in the area, with good spots for watching. One day off behind a group of 30 odd surfers was a mama humpback whale with her calf. I love camping next to the beach. Theres no better way than waking up to the first rays of sun next to a deserted beach before anyone is around and before the cars start chugging by. Only company you have are the random birds hopping by to see what you’re up to and if breakfast is ready.
Headed up to Brisbane where I had a buddy that I could stay with. Last October, about a year ago, I met an Australian guy in Phuket during a festival. It was the Vegetarian Festival where they self mutilate and pierce large objects through their mouths (I have some pictures of it in my photography section). The last time I saw him was at one of the temples in the morning when they were doing the piercing and he was a bit grossed out by it and took off.
When I got into Australia he saw it on Facebook and let me know that I was welcome whenever arriving in Brisbane. One of the awesome things about traveling is the making friends all over the world and touching paths again later down the road. Turned out to be a sick weekend getting to know a bit of Brisbane. Had little fires on the front patio while drinking lots of cheap Indonesian Bintang.
One day we rode bikes all over the city and along the river walk, which reminded me of Portland, OR. The big river that weaves its way through the city is about the same size as the Colombia. The only bad part, and unusual, is that the city is inland aways from the nearest beach. It’s strange since most of the east coast cities cities are on the coast. There’s one thing they did that makes up for it a wee bit. They’ve built a big artificial beach and pool right on the river. When looking away from the skyscrapers you almost feel like you’re at the beach, until you turn around and realise you are right in the heart of the city. It’s a great spot to stop by and cool off after riding along the river.
Spent one night at the Universities outdoor basketball hoops playing with all the Chinese students, and a few vietnamese. Being taller than pretty much everyone makes me look a lot better than I am. By the final games they were calling me the monster like I was the return of godzilla. I could get the rebounds over them a lot of the time, but then faced eight karate chopping arms pulverising me like a schnitzel. A vietnamese guy playing with us was a crack up. Whenever he missed a shot, which was often, he would scream at himself. He had lived in Australia for about four years and hated the Australian accent. He wanted to talk like an American and loved trying out his slang on me. He said his wife had American swag, whatever that means. He couldn’t wait to get his Australian citizenship so he could travel to the states. We played for a couple hours before our legs turned to jello, and then gorged on cheap Indian food.
Sunday was the grand final of the NRL, National Rugby League. The Bulldogs and the Rabbitos, both from Sydney, but 99.9% of people were pulling for the Rabbitos. Apparently they haven’t won for a long time and the bulldogs have had some real dickhead players.They were being talked up on the radio for a week, and everyone picked them. So naturally I had to go for the Bulldogs. Went to a big barbecue with a bunch of guys from Cairns, where Stevens from. Coolers full of beer and piles of food. Out of about 20 people there I was accompanied by only one other guy pulling for the Bulldogs, and I think he was just being nice so I wouldn’t be alone. I made a bet for ten bucks on the Bulldogs and I was given four points.The game started off right when one of their top players was face crushed by another guys skull full speed. It broke his cheek bone and eye socket.
It looked pretty gnarly and his face looked caved in, but unlike the NFL, he kept playing the entire game without even going over to get checked out. NFL players are out for weeks with injuries way less severe. Later on another guy got knocked out cold by the same dudes skull. It was a close game for most the way, and even looked good for me for a wee bit. Then it all went haywire and the rabbitos scored about 300 times and made it a blow out. I’m pretty sure it was all fixed by the mafia and biker gangs.
It’s what I get for betting on rugby. While in Brisbane I was able to play three courses for my other site golfingtheglobe.co and one on the way up. So I’ve done six in Australia now. Had some really fun rounds and met some nice people along the way. I left south from Brisbane to start the journey back towards Sydney, and went off into the country aways towards a mountain that I wanted to climb in the morning called Mt. Warning. I got to a small town and continued out towards where I thought the road up to the park would be. It was late and I wasn’t sure where it was so I pulled over to debate going back to the town to camp. I was looking at the map on my gps when an old red Volvo with a white door slowly pulled up in front of me and just sat there. This is in the middle of nowhere and seemed strange. I decided to return to the town to camp, I did a U-turn and headed back, and then I noticed the car do a U-turn to follow me. They didn’t get up close to me and stayed back a bit, but I’m not stupid and something was up. So when I started getting to some street lights I pulled over on the side in a random spot to see what he would do, and of course he pulled in behind me. I waited a few seconds to see if he would do anything. I usually carry with me a pocket knife and I grabbed it. A few summers ago I rode a bike through eastern Europe and went to Slovenia where I found my family and house that my great grandpa came from. It was an incredible time meeting them, and when I was leaving my cousins boyfriend gave me a pocket knife, which I’ve always carried on my travels since. Anyways, I got out holding it and stepped towards their car while I yelled to them “you following me”? A super creepy looking red headed old man with a beard stuck his head out and quickly said “nah”, and drove away.
I followed him back into town right on his ass. It creeped me out a bit, but also pissed me off. It was pretty late at this point so I just decided to camp out in the Mcdonalds parking lot for the night. In the morning guess what I do? If you know me at all, you’re probable guessing I locked the keys in the car, and you would be correct. Its one of my all time favorite things to do. Not sure why, it just happens at an extremey high rate. On a road trip from California to Dallas and New Orleans for Thanksgiving I Had to call tow trucks to come unlock the car three times in less than a week. I know all about my love affair with this though and here I have always kept the spare key in my wallet. I’ve probably already locked the keys in Moby II over ten times, but I always have the spare in my wallet to get in. But on this morning, with the keys sitting on the bed one foot away through the window, the spare was not in my wallet. I still have no idea what happened to it and how it could just disappear into thin air.
When i shut the door I had had three wooden clothespins in my hand, so using a stone I hammered them in to pry the door open a bit. There was a construction site next door so I went over to see if they had any wire. One of the guys had a giant spool and twisted up two chunks into a nice strong piece. I thought it would do the trick, but the damb side of the lock was way too slippery to get ahold with the hook. During all of this there was an insane magpie that was attacking me. It happened at two golf courses as well. They start dive bombing you and hitting your head. As soon as you think its gone it stealth-like swoops in for another attack screaming and cawing. I was about ready to freak out from the combination of being locked out and being attacked by a bird with a stupid name.
I asked a guy making a delivery if he had anything to get a vehicle open. He didn’t really, but knew what I needed. The guy went over to the construction site and got the special trick. I had never seen it done before. It’s just a piece of that hard plastic wrap that they put around boxes. I have no idea what it’s called, but he made a loop, slid it down the door jam, and after a few minutes of tinkering was able to get it around the lock and pop it up. My hero. I gave him a big hug. Good karma to him for taking time out of his work to help me. So after a entertaining night and morning I didn’t even climb the mountain because it was covered in clouds with no view. Instead I made my way over to Byron Bay, where I sit now next to the beach in the warm evening air writing this.