Wednesday, February 25, 2009
And so I am.
After a little hiccup yesterday (battery of car dead. new battery put in. bye bye $140), this morning Amy and I have packed the car up and are ready to move on to the Devil's Marbles. We are shopping this morning for food for dinner tonight and for the road, and then we're off!
We are planning on visiting, in true tradition of Australian 'big things', the big aboriginal man at Aileron, then on to Wycliffe Well in the hope of seeing a UFO (or at least Mulder and Scully) and onwards to the Devil's Marbles., where we'll be camping for the night.
Tomorrow we drive to Daly Waters, via Tennant Creek, stopping at Barrow Creek, where Peter Falconio left a signed $5 on the wall, and staying at Daly Waters pub, which Bill Bryson speaks highly of.
Then onto Katherine, Edith Falls and to Darwin.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I am in Alice Springs. I have had some good times getting here.
In Kings Canyon, I met a couple named Jackie and Mike. We had some good chats, good times, and did the Canyon Rim Walk together. It was so nice to have their company.
I ended up staying at the Canyon just for one night. The camping facilities were just okay, but the combination of ants and flies, and seeing a dingo rip someone's swag to shreds was enough to make me think that I should just head straight to Alice.
When I got here, I saw some friends from Yulara, and a big night of drinking and trashy dancing at the local saloon, Bojangles ensued. (no sign of Uncle Chop Chop at Bojangles...)
I am staying at a Backpackers here that is part hippie commune, part family share house. It's room circle a grassed area and pool, behind which is a big white screen, on which movies are projected at a deafening volume each night. Tonight it's Labrinth. I'm not making any secrets about how excited I am! I like it here. It's cool and chilled out. It's good recharge time.
Amy is coming this evening, and there will surely be some frantic repacking of the car to fit in both of our stuff in an orderly fashion. I have few other plans while I am here. I haven't taken any photos in Alice, so I might go for a wander today, but I don't feel any pressing need.
The universe has continued to provide in a number of ways. I am embracing this mantra, and holding on for dear life right now.
- good chats, and shouted a round at Kings Canyon, by the lovely Mike and Jackie.
- asking for a refund on the second night of a camp fee, and being refunded the full amount.
- stumbling across a yard sale and buying a rip curl beach bag and a pair of roxy swimmers for the sum total of $1.50
- elegant rabbit. need I say more?
- being given a left-behind copy of the Lonely Planet Australia book by the hostel desk chick (cause mine has vanished)
- scoring 3 books and a cd for $10 at Vinnie's yesterday - surely enough to get me at least through to Darwin!!
I am still stressing about money, but am also aware that it won't help solve any problems, so I am working hard to leave that worry on the back burner until such a time as I can do something about it.
For now, I am relaxing, contemplating shopping plans for food for the next week, and just enjoying myself.
And it's ace.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Indeed they are...
I have finished working for Voyages at Ayers Rock. I'm quite happy about that. Will be even more happy when I have had my rental inspection and my final paycheque so I can be done with them!
I have found a friend from work is leaving a week after me. We have made plans together. I am leaving here on either Friday or Saturday, depending on funds and activities. I will be spending 3 nights at Kings Canyon, camping (at Voyages) where I plan to do the Rim Walk, the Base Walk, and read some fluffy books. From there, I plan to head to Alice Springs and stay the night at a Backpackers, where I will meet up with Amy (from work). Once she has packed her stuff into the space that is left in my car, we will be off, driving to the Devil's Marbles on Wednesday next week.
We will camp overnight there, also making sure we stop at Wycliffe Well, a town notorious for the high volume of reported UFO sightings. After this, we will make our way to Daly Waters, and camp at the renowned Daly Waters Pub. The next day, we will be moving on to Katherine. I am quite excited about Katherine. Though I have lost (!) my Australia lonely planet book, I have been reading Sabrina's, and Katherine Gorge should be raging during the wet season. Should be lovely for photos. I am hoping to stay two nights in Katherine (hoping that it's cheaper than Darwin!!) Once I arrive in Darwin, I have no plans other than to desperately scramble and look for work, and hang out and wait for Mum to arrive on the 6th.
The money situation will be starting to get a bit desperate by that stage, so I am really hoping to find some decent work. Will end up in Darwin for about 6-7 weeks, so hoping to head out to Kakadu and Litchfield on some weekend trips.
Then Sabrina is coming up to Darwin, and we are headed to Vietnam! I have been to Saigon twice before, but am looking forward to seeing it through different eyes (and a different camera lens!) I'm hoping to have my new camera by then. We are in Saigon for ten days, and then back to Darwin for a couple, before we begin the long trek home.
We will probably stop in Katherine again, Alice, Coober Pedy (I'd really like to do the Oodnadatta Track mail run), Port Pirie, Adelaide, then back to Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road.
I'm looking forward to it all, and feeling good, knowing there is a plan, with general time frames. The universe will provide, but I hope it provides some cash flow!!!
All's well otherwise, I will be staying in my current room (after I have 'moved out') rent free until I leave here. I'm looking forward to making it back home to help Amy and Glenn celebrate their wedding, to go to the Pink concert, and to make a start on my new life, whatever that may be. I am having a down day today, I think the money worries are troubling me, but I am working hard to stay positive and focussed and enjoy myself.
I hope everyone reading this is doing the same, wherever they are...
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Tonight, I was SO lucky.I scored myself a near-free seat in a helicopter flight..
Yep. I got my chopper over Uluru.
In exchange for a sixpack of beer, tonight I was on a $400, 55 minute, sunset helicopter flight over Lake Amadeus, Kata Tjuta and Uluru.
I am so so so lucky.
It was ace.
(and yes I did get travel sickness!)
I took a deep breath after the last post, threw caution to the wind, and decided that the universe will provide.
Sabrina and I booked tickets to Saigon for May 2nd, for 10 days.
I am really really excited. I am hoping to get to Darwin (have a travel buddy for the drive, Amy from work) and find a job for a month or so. Do some weekend trips to Litchfield, maybe Kakadu, and head to Vietnam.
When we get back to Darwin, I will be headed for home, in time for Amy and Glenn's wedding, hopefully with new camera in tow. And possible a German friend with an interest in coming to Melbourne :)
I feel stressed about money, but excited about plans and adventures.
Ooh, and I may have wrangled the best deal yet...
But won't spoil it in case it doesn't happen. If it does, there'll be photos, never fear!!!
Friday, February 13, 2009
I am making big money decisions and taking big risks.
I am buying a camera. It's expensive.
I am thinking about flights that are too good not to take to Vietnam. They are expensive.
The money from working here is pitiful.
It's been a good experience here, but it's definitely time to move on.
I'm worried I will run out of money and get stuck.
I am worried that I won't get home in time.
I miss everything and I am worried that I am missing out on things at home.
It's hard being away, and not being able to do the things I want to do.
I'm trying to be big and tough and strong. But it doesn't always work.
And so I get scared...
Monday, February 9, 2009
So I am still sick, but it's meant I have had a lil bit of time to resize some of the photos I've taken to put up on my blog. Yay! Would love it if someone could show these to Chiefy!!
Out near the rock, at dusk. Not long after sunset.
Sunset light on the desert sand at a lookout facing both the Olgas and Uluru. Beautiful.
Sunset over the Olgas from the same spot.
Love this photo. It was a total fluke too. I'm way into silhouettes at the moment. Had you guessed?
Beautiful sunset view over The Olgas. I was really down the night I went out here, and it was really special. I was there alone, and took some time. Beauty like this unquestionably feeds your soul.
The Olgas at Dusk
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Who gets a cold in the middle of summer, in the desert?
Me, that's who. I am sicker than I have been in a really long time with a very bad head cold. It's making me sad and grumpy, and I am exhausted. I go to work early, I get home, and spend the rest of the day on/in my bed, only to have a restless night's sleep full of vivid and sometimes creepy dreams, having to get up and change my sweat soaked pjs, or just generally waking up and not being able to get back to sleep.
It's not fair.
I don't wanna be at home sick in bed in a room by myself where I have already watched all my DVDs, read all my books and magazines, and don't have any money for any more.
okay. whinge finished. Hopefully tomorrow I will feel better...
So with the abundance of stuff to do up here when you're not working (note sarcasm), I have been buying alot of magazines. One thing I will say for the newsagency here, though you have to pay freight on papers (Saturday's Age costs $6.60!!!) They have a vast and varied selection of glossies and mattes, and some really good design/art/gay mags (though not Frankie), however, I digress.
In one of these mags, fantastically named "Monster Children", they interview some artist guy, and give him a disposable camera and a list of things to shoot.
From this, my housemate, Sabrina and I have devised our own list, comprising 12 items from each of us, and have each purchased disposable camera, and within a week, we are in the process of taking each of these pics. It is ace and challenging, and something I am seriously keen to start up with a small group of devoted followers when I return home. Other suggested themes are the numbers 1-24, IN ORDER. Not as easy as it sounds. Also, the letters of the alphabet in order, backwards or forwards. My theory is, we get a group of about 10 people together (I'll make a facebook group), and make it a monthly thing. We agree to meet on a set date with electronic and printed copies of our list of photos. Photos must be taken on a disposable camera. I can think of a few people who will be keen already!!
And again, I digress. Here is our list, and with any luck, shortly following will be our photos.
something in your room
something you use every day
something you're going to eat
one of your friends
somewhere not accessible to guests (at the resort - yes. I live at a resort)
something you can see from work
someone who looks weird or funny
uluru at sunset
something on your way to work
something in the IGA
any kind of bottle
a view out of our house
something that makes you happy
something that has to do with sports
I have 8 to go
Now go check your facebook to see if I invited you to join the fotoclub group!!!
Friday, February 6, 2009
Last night I went to dinner at Winkiku, the 5 star Seafood Buffet at Sails in the Desert out here. It's quite expensive, but man, the food was amazing. I had crab, prawns, octopus, mussels. And that was just on the first plate!! It was a really nice treat.
I am counting down till my final shift. I'll be pleased to move on from here., though I have met some really nice people, seen some cool stuff and taken some cool pics, It's almost time to move on..
I look forward to being back on the road again.. just call me Willie Nelson. With the extreme weather all over Australia right now, there are a lot of cyclone warnings in the top end, but let's face it, the high ways are closed to the east and west, and if I don't go North, I gotta come home, and though I miss home alot, I'm not ready to return just yet....
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
yesterday I went for a swim at the pool. Mission Australia brought a whole lot of the local Indigenous kids down for a swim. They jumped and climbed all over me and we played for an hour and a half. it was ace.
an opportunity has presented itself where I may be able to get a lomo camera.
a huge goanna was hanging out outside my room tonight.
I had good chats with Anita.
I'm a whole nother day closer to not working here anymore. And I'm damn excited about it.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Today I got an email from my aunty.. she told me that an old friend, Frank Teese, used to say "you can't get lost because you can't get off the island, and you will make it home sometime." There's a lot of comfort in that. I am so far away, yet I know it's not that far.
I have found it hard the last week or so.. I worked 6 days straight, moved into my accommodation, the few people I know seem to work opposing shifts to me, money is running low, and a great deal of my time has been spent thinking and worrying in light of the tragic situation in Melbourne last week.
That being said, I have handed in my resignation and notified housing that I will be leaving in two weeks. My last shift will be on the 16th.. I leave on the 18th. I have a list of things I want to do here before I leave:
another sunset or 3
a pre-dawn base walk
a sunset helicopter flight
a dinner at the 5 star restaurant
From here, the plan is to head to Kings Canyon and camp for 2 or three nights. Do the rim walk on one day, which I have done before. Do the canyon floor walk. Chill out a bit. Then head to Alice for a day or two. Do exciting things like buy a new pair of swimmers. Stock up on books. Have some more fun. Potentially camp in the West MacDonnell Ranges for a night or two, depending on the heat. From there, spend one night at the Devil's Marbles, one night at Daly Waters, then arrive in Darwin. Probably stop there for a little bit of time to work, Mum might come visit, and I am interested in going to the Tiwi Islands, where they have an exhibition AFL game each year.
I am also toying with the idea of flying to Sydney on the weekend of the 6-7th March for Mardi Gras.
I have moved in with a German girl, Sabrina. She is not the teenage witch, but is lovely nonetheless. I feel very lucky to have moved in with someone I click with, given the close quarters of share share up here.
At the moment, we are doing a photo project. Each of us made a list of 12 items/objects. We each bought a disposable camera and have a week to shoot each thing on the list. This is something I need to do more of at home. It's so nice to be challenged and have purpose to my photos. It's awesome taking pics of the rock, but ultimately, it's a rock. There's only so many photos you can take of it, before they all come a bit same same.
All in all, I feel way better, knowing that there is an end point to my time here. It gives me purpose. I am working the next 6 days here, then have an RDO.
I bought a couple of underwater disposable cameras up here, which I intend to use during the course of my trip. I am enjoying my time here, though the work is long and draining.
I miss everyone a lot, but am trying to suck it up.
I am working hard on remembering.. we're all on the same island. I'll get home eventually. Until then, I intend to see and do as much as I can within my means...