A Travellerspoint blog

Checking in from Margaret River

sunny 63 °F

Hey there,

It has been quite a long time since my last posting and much has happened here living the good life in Margaret River. The weather seems to be clearing and we are a month or so away from very nice weather. It is still cold several days a week, but there are more and more nice days sprinkled in between. The month of July was one of driest on record down here and I still thought it was way to much rain. Everyone is looking forward to the warmer months and it feels very strange heading into the spring/summer and knowing Christmas is going to be involved. Of course I associate Christmas time with cold weather but it just really throws my mind for a loop sometimes. Weather aside a lot has happened since my last posting over a month ago so I am just going to keep it real and break it down.
The sports wagon, which is my only mode of possible transportation to and from the muesli factory, is dying a very slow slow death. I hate to report that she could be gone any day now. We are all obviously hoping for the best, as she is in critical condition. I have had a very tenured mechanic take a look at her very shortly after she started to run very rough. Initially I thought the petrol was bad as someone else filled up at the same station and was having problems with their car. A mechanic looked at it and after changing the fuel filter and spark plugs the problem became pretty clear. Only 3 out of 4 cylinders are working. Oh but don't you worry this beast has kept on trucking along for the past 2 weeks and all I need is another couple months and that's it. Once I get up to speed all is well, it's just getting up to full speed where the challenge is. Just picture the little engine that could, just chugging along up the hills, then eventually with much effort and strain, the engine reaches the top of the hill and jets down in a burst of wicked fast speed. As cool as it sounds the sports wagon sounds or resembles nothing like that. It vibrates like a go-kart driving over loose gravel in a western North Carolina trailer park when it gets to the top of the hills it kind of just gently glides to the bottom, almost letting out a sigh of relief. At this point nothing can be done, so everyday I drive it, and everyday for the past 2 weeks the sports wagon has not failed. If/when it does breakdown a career shift may be in my near future. Going back to my roots I may be putting down the Muesli and picking up the pizza paddle. A small brick oven pizzeria in town has an opening for a pizza guy. Most importantly it means I do not have to depend on a car and a bike would then become my main form of transportation. More on that opportunity as it develops.
With a possible career change looming my living situation has also shifted in the last 2 weeks. The room I was renting with a local couple in town was really kind of a boring setup. The dude living there was pretty cool and we got along well, but the girl was kind of awkward. My take on it is after me moving in with them she realized how nice she had it when it was just her and him. I can completely understand and without her having to say anything I made other arrangements at the hostel where I previously was. It was really nice having a house with your own bathroom and queen size bed, but when I would get home from work it would just be me for most of the night. It was also refreshing to get out of the hostel scene for a month or so but I was ready to go back. It got pretty boring there so I made the executive decision to move to go back to the hostel. Yeah the hostel kitchen is kind of dirty in the mornings and the bunk bed I am sleeping on looks like something from Freedom Town in Scarface, but that’s not the point. The point is that living with other people from all over the world, making food with everyone at night, drinking beers/horrible nasty goone after a long day of Muesli production is what I am all about and what keeps this motor turning. Watching the Olympics with everyone the past couple weeks has been great and has pretty much dominated the TV. We have s special Foxtel sports package the hostel subscribed to so we could literally choose from 10 different Olympic channels/events. Speed walking is now my new favourite event.
Well my time is running out here and I need to grab some food from the grocery store down the street. Not really sure how long I am staying in Margaret River or even Australia for that matter. Not really sure what country I am going to go to next. I am 4 months in and flying by the seat of my pants in the land down under. Really just taking it week by week and keeping things simple. Moving is as easy as throwing the pack on my shoulders and taking the first step…..which is a pretty cool feeling. Big ups to all.

A Wolf pack of one,

Matt

Posted by laxman0284 03:08 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

3 Months And Going Strong

semi-overcast 70 °F

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Hello,

Yes you read the title correctly. In another week or so it will have been three months since I had flown out of BWI. Some parts of the the last 3 months have gone rather quickly, while others have kind of dragged by. Work has been taking up alot of my time and has left me not very motivated to do to much in the evenings. It gets dark here early as we are in the thick of winter and I have never seen so much rain in my entire life. It rains almost everyday here and at this point I am considering myself extremely fortunate to have found a job indoors. The rain is intense and literally blows sideways 3 or 4 days a week. It doesnt rain all day typically and it will often rain even when it's sunny outside. But when the rain clears and nature starts to dry out I have been blessed with seeing spectacular rainbows pretty much every other day. They are so beautiful, what does it mean ? I even saw a full-on double rainbow all the way while driving home. It even started to look like a triple rainbow it was so full on. I should have stopped to take a pic and regret not doing so. Did I quote the Double Rainbow you tube guy the rest of the drive home ? I sure did and even the next day's commute to work I picked up where I left off. The radio/head unit in my car has been broken the past week so I have to keep myself occupied some way on the 20km drive in.
Didn't do to much last weekend as I mostly just took it easy on our backporch and soaked in the rays. The weather was very nice so I made sure to take full advatange. A couple of cocktails, several postcards finally completed, music on in the background, while soaking up the sun and I was just fine sitting on the porch for a few hours. Being in a very small town with the nearest big city alomost 3 hours away definately forces you to slow down alot. Sometimes it is hard and I feel bored, but I make sure to constantly enjoy where I am and what I am doing, even if it does seem a little boring at the time. On a side note, I have been eating alot of Kangaroo lately and am thoroughly enjoying it. It seems as though not many locals I have met really enjoy this mysterious/magical creature slow grilled and served on a plate. I think many travellers and backpackers tend to gravitate towards it as it's something different. To each is own I say and in my eyes it's delicious and affordable. Throw a heady slab of roo meat on my plate with a side salad, lump of mashed potatoes, cooked mushrooms, and you have yourself a delicious dinner and even seconds for lunch at work. I pack lunch everyday as there is noother option. There is not a single place to eat or grab lunch out. Plus, it is my belief that the meat of these creatures gives me some sort of special energy as my Muesli production has been through the roof.
Yeah of course it's a tough job, making Muesli that is. It takes a toll on your mind, your spirit, as well as your body. The constant non-stop repitition of lifting, pouring, mixing, and packaging all by yourself each day is definately a challenge. However, I am very fortunate to have this job as I had mentioned above and work hard day in and day out. The beard net sucks and I have pulled ligaments in each of my thumbs so my hands are constantly falling asleep and the feeling of pins/needles is present at times. With time this will heal as I am working through it and my body will get used to the strain. I often stop and think, mid-muesli production obviously, and just reflect upon where I am and what I am doing. I am in the bottom of SouthWestern Australia, next to the Indian Ocean, making Muesli for a South African family, and making really good money doing it. None of which was planned and just sort of fell into place. A little pins/needles feeling in my hands and a beard net...who am I to complain ?
I truly wish I had more pictures on here, but for some reason unknown to me TravellersBlog mass photo upload fetaure has not worked consistantly this entire voyage. I have tried numerous computers on several different continents and it's only worked a couple of times. Hate to throw you under the bus TravellersPoint, but it's really kind of a big deal as I depend on this feature to house my photos. Especially since ti do not utilize facebook all of my eggs are in this basket and I am not feeling to confident. Maybe a PM with some troubleshooting tips or FAQ inserts would do the trick? I could then report how great your customer service and techsupport is to all who may read this.
On that note I am going to wrap this package up, tie a ribbon around it, and put a nice bow on top. I hope everyone is having a great summer back home and the weather is hot. Enjoy those Sam Adams Summer Ales and please cherish the Sierra Nevadas for me.

Be good to yourselves,

Matt

"The early bird catches the worm, but it's the second mouse that get's the cheese."

Posted by laxman0284 20:37 Archived in Australia Tagged river margaret Comments (1)

Matt's Making Muesli in Margert River

50 °F

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Well well well,

First and foremost I want to give a shout out and big ups/boyakasha to Elizabeth, my younger sister, for graduating highschool last week. Job well done and hopefully you are having a great time raging down OC for senior week. Just remeber that even though you put the beer in a paper bag it's still considered an open conatiner and OCPD's finest with still throw you in the hooskow for such an offense. Your best bet is to mix a nice cocktail in a soda bottle before hitting the boardwalk or jumping on the bus. If you do get in trouble just cry alot and when they are not looking run fast, real fast. Im talking about Forest Gump, run forest run, type fast. Congrats once again and I am pumped for you as the next 4 years of college (maybe 5 years if your having alot of fun) will be great !!!
It's 4:00 pm on a very windy and stormy Monday afternoon as I am typing away in the internet cafe located in the epicenter of Margert River. I am pretty beat after working a full 8 hours at Margaerts River Nut & Cereal Factory. It's official at this point, you are reading the blog of a full-time Muesli maker. What happened to the grape vine prunning you may be asking yourselves ? Well after demeonstarting my excellent customer service skills on the retail side of the business the owner offered me a full-time position as the head of Muesli production. For those of you that dont' know what Muesli is (I had no idea until 2 weeks ago) Webster's defines it as a breakfast ceral consisting of rolled oats, nuts, and fruits originating from the Swiss. Of course it maybe a small operation, but I am the go to guy when it comes to Muesli. It's pretty hardwork and I am responsibe for the whole process from soup to nuts, no pun intended. Grinding the peanuts, baking the grains in several huge ovens, mixing in the fruit, packaging, and then boxing/shipping. There is a window in one of the rooms where people can watch me in action, like some sort of side show freak. The kids seem to be particulary curious as they look through the viewing window and see a 6'2 goofy looking white dude, sporting a beard net and hair net, hunched over a packaging machine. To add effect I make funny looking faces and throw a couple of the raisins at the glass just for showmanship. Not sure if these actions are condoned by management, but I feel in this situation it's better to ask forgiveness than permission. If the customers are laughing than I think I can make a valid arguement. The beard net is kind of a bummer, but it's a small price to pay to have the opportunity to grow such a fine specimen of facial hair. Plus the owner agreed to dreadlocks just as long the main hair net covers them. At this point in my life I have adorned numerous hair nets as well as name tags and it's looking as if this might be my last time obtaining such nice accessories, so I am truly pushing the facial hair envelope.
Due to the fact the store/factory is around 20km away, or about 12 miles for those not in the know, I really had no other choice than to purchase a 1998 Hyundai Sportswagon to get me to and from work. Rest assured this a sports wagon and not a station wagon. It even has a little button on the gear shift to throw it into "sports mode" when I need that extra kick in the mornings so I am not late in doing the Lords work............making Muesli. The surf spots are not really walkable either so the shagin wagon will remedy this obstacle also. The simplicity in buying a car here is wonderful. In 20 minutes I had a car that came with insuracne and was ready to drive. The registartion is good for the next 3 months and that was that. The radio is pretty messed up, but I quickly found out that a stern punch to the dashboard clears it right up.
My living sitation was all over the place until last week when I cemented down a house with a local couple in Margarets River. It is insane how tough it is to find a rental property here that will cater to a short stay of around 4 months. Most of the rentals, even though it's the off season here, are more for weekends/weekly or a one year lease. Of course this seems pretty normal, but when you take into account the vast number of people that descend on this town from June until October for vineyard work it's very suprising. Needless to say I have been there for several days and I couldnt ask for a better setup. My own room, closet, and bathroom is extremely refreshing after living in hostels and out of my pack the last 2 months. It's a queen size bed compared to the bottom bunk where my head and feet would typically hang off. Obviously I need a good nights sleep so I can make the best Muesli possibe for all of Australia to enjoy.
This past weekend I worked both Saturday and Sunday for a farmer who needed help clearing trees as he was putting up new fencing. Chainsawing down trees and then dragging them out of the forest with a tractor for 8 hours was tough, but very fun. Don't worry out there parents as I am well aware the dangers of a chainsaw. They are very sharp and can indeed cut off your arms,legs,heads,etc. I don't want that to happen just as much as you don't. Rest assured that if I did loose a leg I would opt for the wooden peg leg versus the fancy titanium, Lt. Dan type. I haven't even seen Forest Gump in a long time, but for some reason the references just keep popping up. We breaked at 10 am for proper tea and a homemade cake. Went back to work for several hours and then headed in for a delicious lunch. Called it a day around 5:30 where we then had a few beers. What type of beer you are wondering I am sure. If you guessed the cliche Fosters than you are dead wrong. Much to my suprise we had Peroni's and man did they taste good. I had been partaking in the wine so much the past several weeks that this was only the second beer I have had in Australia. There is still alot more to clear on the farm so I am hoping there is more work this weekend as the pay was great and I had fun getting my hands dirty outside.
Not much else to report on this end and I am hoping to get some sweet pics of the sports wagon in the near future. Heading to the grocery store now and then home to make some tasty food. It's looking like a spaghettin night, garlic bread, side salad, and a tim tam or two for dessert.

Keep It Real & Keep it Gutter,

Matt

Posted by laxman0284 00:56 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Sydney-KL-Cambodia-Back to AUS

I've Been Around

sunny 70 °F

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Greetings,

It has been sometime since my last post and I blame this on several factors including loss of motivation, inadaquate computers, and expensive internet/wifi. Have no fear as things are going well and I am still kicking. I promise moving forward to be update this blog more often as I am now back in Australia for at least 3 months with a laidback internet cafe right down the street from where I am living. On a negative note I was on the recieving end of pick pocket who helped himself to my Ipod touch. It really sucks as that was my internet, portal for my sweet sweet music, texting, and camera. I am thinking it happened when I was weaving in and out of the crazy busy night markets in Kuala Lumpur, but who really knows for sure. Bottom line is Jack Kerouac didnt have an Itouch and he made out pretty well. If you aren't familiar with the reference throw his name into the old Google search and read a summary of the book "On The Road." Actually a very funny reference to his book was in the movie Step Brothers. That being said I am travelling super light on technology, pulling a Jack Kerouac on everyone's ass if you will.To summarize the past several weeks I shall break it down into neat and nicely organized sections.
Leaving Sydney on a flight into Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia I was not sure what to expect. Touching down mid afternoon I made my way to customs and straight to the cash machine where I takeout ringits for a txi to the hostel where I am staying. It's about an hours cab ride and the friendly cab driver who was is driving like a bat out of hell with no method or logic. Weaving in and out of cars and blowing through intersections I was strongly motivated to fasten my seatbelt. Making it in one piece to a hostel by the name of Reggae Hostel #2 I made my way inside. It was a small hostel, about the size of two Baltimore rowhouses attached together. The rooms are small and cramped and there's barely enough space to put my pack on the floor. Unloading my things I make my way back out to the street where I am hit with pure chaos. Mopeds everywhere, cars, intense heat, smells that take your breath away (both good and bad), as well as street food everywhere. Coming off a long budget flight with no food I immediately make my to a vendor on the corner. The food is literally prepared on the sidewalk and 2 plastic tables and chairs is where you eat. Realizing I can't speak the language I am provided with a menu in pictures, Ikea style. I make a few selections and in 5 minutes several plates make there way on my table. All the meanwhile I am being looked at as if I am from a different planet and have three heads. I think the people just like watching this "Fat American" shovel food in his mouth via chopsticks at an alarming rate. After dinner I make my way to a sister hostel, Reggae Mansion, about 15 minutes walk on the same street. This hostel is owned by the same guy and is much larger with a sweet rooftop deck and fully stocked bar. The hostel is very nice and I have the chance to look into one of the 24 person dorm rooms. Usually a dorm is crowded with a bunch of bunk beds in a large room. People are coming and going all the time and it can be pretty noisy. However, this dorm was completely different. Instead of bunk beds there were bed sized cubbies (before starting this blog I have used the term cubbies 3 times in my entirelife, I think I have used it three more times the past two months) that are stacked on top of each other. Its hard to describe, but there are walls on three sides and the entrance has a curtain to give you privacy. You climb up a ladder to get to the second level ones, jump into the bed, and then close the curtain. It's like a litte room, so the privacy is definately welcomed. In the middle of the room full of cubbies is a long row of ottomans where people can spread out. The air conditioning was icy cold and I knew that after the two nights in my original hostel were up I was going to pull the old switch-a-rooney and shack up in this place for awhile. The owner of this hostel is obviously doing pretty well as he has three other hostels and parks his Ferrari out front for all to see. I grabbed a picture of it with me pretending to open the door and get into the drivers seat when he wasn't looking, but the only person to view this epic picture is the hell bound pick pocket. I wound up staying in KL for 5 days before making the decision to head out. I think 5 days spent there was more than enough. The highlight of my time there was visitng the Batu Caves. It was an hour long bus ride from the city and an experience I will never forget. There were huge caves with close to three hundred steps leading into them. Kind of like the steps in Ace Venturas Pet Detective, where he watches the slinky go all the way to the bottom. If only I had though to bring a slinky with me this could have been a reality. There were wild monkeys all over the place screaming, jumping around, and just doing monkey type things. I was waiting for a tour to start when one of these clever little guys came within 1 foot of me. Perfect I thought..what a great chance to snag an awesome shot of this crazy monkey. False, as soon as I reached into my pocket that Cheeky Monkey (also the name of the bar in Byron Bay, AUS) grabbed my 1 litre water bottle from behind me and jumped onto a vine into the trees. That damned monkey waited for me to reach into my pocket knowing that my hand would be tied up and then proceeded to grab the water. I could tell this wasn't his first rodeo as he escaped into the jungle and started to unscrew the cap to get a drink. Mind you, the bottle was the same size as the monkey and within 60 seconds the bottle slipped from his grip and dropped a good 30 feet below almost taking out a tourist making their way up the steps. For some reason both man and monkey like to steal things from me. All the monkey had to do was ask and I would have surely given him a drink. All in all I didnt like KL very much as the people were not very friendly and making my way around was very difficult. I still do not understand why the hostels utilized the name "Reggae" as they didn't play any reggae music, Malaysia is a Muslim country, and posession of cannabis is punishable by death. I guess it's just one of those things I am not supposed to understand. Ready to hightail it out of KL I was told Cambodia was the place to go. With a few clicks of the mouse and a couple good conversations with other travellers who had been there I was all set to jump on a 2 hour flight into Phnom Penh.
Entering into Cambodia, without doing absolutely any research, I was very scared making my way through customs. Fingerprints, pictures, $25 Visa fee, and scary dudes wearing millitray uniforms were waiitng for me upon touchdown. However, they were very friendly and very welcoming. Making my way out of the airport a herd of Tuk-tuk drivers were waiting for me. A $7 and hour long ride in a Tuk-tuk through the dusty, raw, hot streets of Cambodia was a sensory overload. I can't even begin to describe the sights and just overall feeling of being on a different planet entirely. The hostel I was staying in went by the name of "Happy Hostel" which was strongly recomended by a fellow traveller and true to it's name, it was very happy indeed. Cambodia is a very poor country that is still feeling the effects of the horrible genocide that took place there around 35 years ago. Unfortunately the USA contributed to some of this happening, but the people were still very friendly to me and didn't (or at least I think they didn't) harbor any resentment towards me. Street food is everywhere, Tuk-tuk drivers are constantly trying to give you rides, and prostitution plagues almost every street. There are different markets you can go to and buy all kinds of crazy goods, food, moped parts, etc. This markets are huge and covered with stalls that are crowded together in an unimaginable congested maze At one vendor I ate a baby roasted chicken and then to supplement this fat Americans hunger a few chicken claws. I always make jokes about how much I eat because it makes the locals laugh and takes the pressure off of me for eating so much compared to them. I don't want to call it a highlight, but a very memorbale day trip was touring the Killing Fields. This was one of the places were the Khmer Rouge took Cambodians to be executed. Executed not by bullets, but by blunt force objects to the head. Babies were killed by being swung into a tree, which is now adourned with trinkets and offerings. It was an audio tour that took about 2 hours and it was a very somber experience. I don't want to go into to much detail, but if your not familiar with the events that unfolded there it's worth a look. The mass graves, even to this day, still produce bone and tooth fragments after a hard rain. After the killing fields our tuk tuk driver offered to take us down the road where we could shoot a missle launcher for $300 or a machine gun for $40 a clip. Our targets would be live chickens or old cars. I though this a bit of an odd time to offer such an adventure after just experiencing 2 hours of sheer horror on the tour of the fields. Needless to stay I politely declined as $300 for a missle was outside of this poor backpackers budget. After the fields we made our way back closer to town where we then toured S-21. This was a processing camp where people were interigated/tortured before they were trucked off to be executed. It used to be an old school, but when the Khmer Rouge took over the city it was converted into a prison. Blood stains could still be seen on the floors and it's crazy to think this all took place not that long ago. It turns out our Tul-tuk drivers mother died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge from starvation. While it was kind of a depressing day, it was something that had to be done/experienced while visiing Cambodia. It's unreal the things Cambodians have expereinced, the extreme poverty they are currently blanketed by, and even through all this they are some of the friendliest people I have ever encountered. Not trying to sound to deep but it definately puts alot of things into perspective and it was truly an event that will shape the rest of my life. I really wish I had pictures of Cambodia and I think after my stint in Australia I will visit there once again as it's a great place to start he third leg of my journey deeper into Asia.
After about a week in Cambodia I realized funds are tight and before I continue my travels I need to make some money. Not really sure what to do I decided to grab a snack from a street vendor and figure out my situation. Enjoying a delicious meal on the streets of Phnom Penh (not even sure what it was I was eating, but it was tasty) I saw a white couple eating two tables down. I asked if I could join and we all just started talking. They were from Germany and suggested I head down to Margarets River, 300 km south of Perth in AUS to find some work. This area is known for their vineyards and some of the best surfing spots inthe entire world. From June to mid September they are in need of workers to prune the grape vines and get them strong for the spring. The pay is great and in a couple short months one can save enough money to travel the entire world and still have cash leftover. Dropping $325 on an Australian work visa I then booked a cheap flight from Cambodia to Perth, which is on the South West coast of AUS. Not much money to my name I made the 10 hour flight and then jumped on a 6 hour bus from Perth to Margarets River.
I have been in Margarets River for exactly one week and have already found a job. I am working on the weekends for a cereal & nut shop just outside of Margers River. It's a small family owned business and I am basically working the cash register the majority of the time. When it's not busy I am in the back filling bags of nut's and naturally cereal also. For $20 an hour I am not one to complain and this is supplmenting my income pretty nicely until the vine prunning swings into full affect. I am very lucky as there are alot of workers here, broke as a joke, just waiitng for the vines to be ready. We need cold weather and rain, and once the leaves fall from the vines it's go time Then everyone will get 40+ hours per week. If you know any cold weather/rain dances please feel free to send some of that energy our way. The hostel here is nice and I have included a few pictures. I had forgot to leave my old phone at home and amazingly enough I found it in my pack. It takes awesome pictures and I might be able to get music on there, o put that in your pipe and msoke it Mr. pick pocket. Three dudes from Hong Kong and two girls from Taiwain are also staying at the hostel and we are in the process of renting a house down the street for the three months we are here. It's alot cheaper and very comftorable, plus they can cook some mean Asian food, a huge plus.
Stay tuned for more as I need to get back and make some lunch. It's looking like Kangaroo sausage over a bed of egg noodles, with some generic red sauce. Food in my belly is all I need. Once again please don't mind the spelling errors as the spell check function is not active here. I hope all is well and eveyone enjoyed the Memorial Day weekend.

Over and Out,

Matt H.

Posted by laxman0284 20:30 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

On The Move

sunny 78 °F

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It's 5:45 Monday evening and I am sitting in a last minute accommodation situated conveniently over a sleepy little Pub. I made it to this small town of Mclean, AU after leaving NImbin around 9:00 this morning. I was there for 12 nights and 13 days and I am happy to report I made a great decision in spending "so much" time up there. The last two days were jam packed with fun as the festival was this past weekend. The transformation from a quiet little village to a place packed to the brim with tourists, live music of all flavors, patchouli, and the sweet sweet smell of Kabab vendors. The weather couldn't have been nicer with crisp blue skies and low 70 temps. It definitely started to get really cold at night and as much as I liked it there, I am happy to move north to keep following that summer weather.
Ending a great run and a good weekend I washed my clothes for the second time yesterday in anticipation for hitting the road. Why is this significant ? First, l I have learned that by not wearing boxers or socks the frequency of having to absolutely wash other articles of clothing drastically decreases. This is a good thing as the going rate for a load of laundry has been insane at the past several places I have stayed. Secondly, having the opportunity to hang my clothes on the clothesline while watching wallabies jump around 30 yards from me makes me realize how much I should appreciate every task/interaction.
With a freshly packed bag of laundered clothing (although they are still pretty damp because I didn't take them down before the evening dew came in) I caught the shuttle this morning from Nimbin to Byron Bay. Once in Byron Bay my plan was to check in with the Greyhound station and see when there next bus to Sydney was. Well unfortunately the next bus didn't leave until 8:30 pm that evening and wouldn't arrive in Sydney until the next morning. I am all for long bus rides, especially through Australia, but I am not one to spend a sleepless night in a bus. I did that once in the US and I would prefer not to repeat that, Say what you will, but it's just not my bag. I could have caught a plane for a fair price, but I really wanted to see some more of the country before I left. With that being said I hit the road with my pack on my back and a bag full of treats. Not much time had passed and a guy picked me up as he was driving home from a morning surf session. He lived right outside of town and then dropped me off at another convenient spot. Once again someone just picked me up and drove me another 30 minutes as he was on his way to a mid-day session at this really cool spot that I can not remember the name of. I caught a couple more rides and made it to where I am now, Mclean. Now before I get concerned texts, emails, or face time invites it's a little different of a concept over here than in the states. A little old couple, probably in their 70's, stopped and offered me a ride. If that alone doesn't speak volumes and just make you feel reassured than I don't know what will.
It just so happens that the town I am staying in tonight had a small locally owned old school travel agency on the same block. It was 4:45 at this point and they closed at 5:00. I made my way down there and the sign still read open. 10 minutes later I had a bus booked for 10am tomorrow morning for a 1 hour ride to the train station. From there I will be on a 10 hour train ride straight to Sydney with a bunch of spots sprinkled in between. I am going to try and take some pictures of each station/stop along the way and I couldn't have planned it better myself. The icing on the cake was that they were having a Tuesday special and I got the ticket for more than 50% off. Normally an $80 ticket I got for less than $40.
Once in Sydney the plans to just get off the train and find a hostel to stay in for two nights. Then on Thursday it's off to Malaysia and then hanging out there for a few days. I'm planning on taking a two-day overnight train from Kual Lumpur to Bangkok, but if you enter by land you are only granted a 14-day Visa, where if you fly in you have a 30 day Visa. I still need to double check this, but I think this is the case. If so, I am not sure which mode of transportation I will take as Thailand is a very big country and a lot to see.
Still recovering from the weekend and with a smile on my face this is where we must part ways. Stay tuned as I still haven't found an adequate computer to upload a ton of pictures from.

R.I.P MCA

No Sleep Till Brooklyn,

Matt H.

Posted by laxman0284 17:00 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

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