Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Too many tourists spoil the beach...

I tried to go and see Lord Of The Rings yesterday. Didn't see it mind. First of all we spent 3 hours on a local bus that should take 45 mins. The roads were completely jammed with cars. Every few hours the number of tourists here doubles! We are now officially trapped here until after new year, as I dont think we could get out even if we tried! So anyway, we spent 3 hours on the bus, with only one amusing moment when we got stuck at an awkward junction for 20 mins, and when a gap in the traffic finally appeared, everyone on the bus who had previously been sitting and biting their lips suddenly starting screaming "Go! Go!!" and then burst into spontaneous cheers when we finally managed to pull out into the traffic! The bus journey back was a bit more exciting when after 3 mins of sitting in my seat I was showered in a waterfall of glass! The guy in front of me tried to push the window open or something like that, and it just shattered into a milion pieces and fell on his (and my) head. The driver came over to see what all the fuss was about, and then got a broom and started sweeping the glass onto the floor. At first i think he was planning on using the bus anyway, but then at the last minute they decided to put us on a new bus and the journey became pretty boring...

Well, Hobo hasn't been back, which just adds to my theory that he never existed in the first place but was in fact jesus or an engineer from Burnley. I wouldn't be surprised if I recieve a knock at the door in the next few days and open it just in time to catch a glimpse of a burly Northern man named Daniel running away down the road and a bag of dog shit on the doorstep. Look Daniel, I'm sorry alright, but you didn't really make much of an effort. You could have written something on the tiles with your paw! Ahhh, didn't think of that did you you daft bugger! So anyway, as far as I'm concerned the whole affair is over and I'd as soon forget it if it's all the same to you.

Today I have not really left the house except to come here, and I only really came here because I started thinking of the ice cream buffet they have down here. You take as much ice cream, nuts, chocolate sauce, 100's and 1000's, smarties etc etc as you want, and then you pay by weight. Bloody marvelous!

Well I finished my book about victorian criminal lesbians, and I have to say it was a damn good read. It's called "Fingersmith", out on "Virago", by "whatsername". I am now attempting to read "Life of Pi", despite Joanna telling me that it's crap. I think she just didn't "get it", and I will undoubtedly "get it" and become extremely enlightened as a result. I've only read the first few pages and I practically believe in God already! No, seriously, I normally hate these kind of books that outline incredibly simple concepts in patronising parables for people who need someone to point out to them that life is great, but I really have no other english language book to read, so I have no choice. I'll let you know how it goes....

ok, I've run out of drivel. till next time! :)

Sunday, December 28, 2003


Merry Xmas again. I had a funny experience the other night. Me and Joanna were walking back to the house and we passed a very cute little dog. The Dog looked at us and we looked back and said hi, so he started to follow us. After a few minutes we reached the house but the dog carried on walking ahead and i figured he obviously wasn't following us after all but lived somewhere nearby. So we went in the house, and a few minutes later came out to sit on the veranda. Well there was our little dog sat right outside the door staring up at us. I decided to name him Hobo, after The Littlest Hobo in that old US tv series, and sat down to have a reefer. Hobo came over and put his front feet on my lap and stared into my eyes. Now most dogs can only hold your gaze for a couple of seconds before they suddenly get agitated and look away, or start getting excited and barking at you, but hobo just stayed perfectly still and stared right back at me for ages. At first i thought he was quite cute, in a dopey kind of way... then i got stoned. After a joint, Hobo started to seem staranger and stranger. He was just too chilled. It just wasn't right! He'd come up and sit obediantly next to my foot and stare into my eyes, and then if I said "Go and sit over there!", he'd wander casually over to where I pointed and jump up into one of the chairs and stare at me from there.

Now I think part of his strangeness in my eyes can be attributed to the fact that I just finished reading "Pet Semetary" by Stephen King, in which a guys cat gets run over, but comes back to life after it is buried in an old indian burial ground (what IS it about these old indian burial grounds!!). But after it comes back to lfe it is clumsy and seems doped all the time, kinda like a zombie. I guess Hobo was a bit like that, but I have a better theory. I think he was actually a man that had been turned into a dog by a brazilian witch doctor. At first he kept coming up and staring at me, obviously screaming inside his head "Hello!!! Can you hear me?! I'm not a dog! My name is Daniel Smith! I'm an engineer from Burnly!!! You have to help me!", and then when I didn't understand he went and sat on the chair and stared at me, thinking, "It's no use! They don't understand a thing!! Damn that stupid witch! What am I going to do?! Maybe they'll let me sleep in their house?! If I sleep out here I'm not gonna last five minutes with all these other big dogs on the loose!".

Around this time Hobo slipped unnoticed into the living room. I went in and found him curled up in the corner behind the door. He stared at me. He was trying to say something, but i just couldn't tell what. So we left him there for a while, but then he started scratching his fleas and we decided that even though he was cute, and even though he may well be a transmogrified human desperately in need of assitance, it was time to put the dog out. So, with some sly coaxing and promises of strokes and cuddles, i managed to entice Hobo back onto the veranda, and then ruashed back inside and clpsed the door. I turned around to say something to joanna, and there was Hobo, stood in the middle of the living room! He walked straight back over to his spot by the door and resumed scratching his fleas! The second attempt to put him out was a bit better, but just as I went to slam the door in his face, I stopped. Looking through the crack of open door I could see him staring up at me with his puppy dog eyes. "Why don't you love me?" he seemed to be saying (or it could have been "My name is Daniel! You have to believe me!! - I'm still not discounting that idea). He wasn't demanding, or frantic, or whining, or anything like that, he just stood there and stared into my eyes. Five minutes later he was lying in his spot by the door scratching his fleas again.

The third time we put him out, I shut the door quickly so I wouldn't have to see his face, but 10 minutes later, there came a polite little scratch at the door. Just once, as if to say "Hello? You forgot to let me back in...", and then nothing. Once more a few hours later, i heard him from my bed, giving just one more polite little scratch on the door. Am I a bad person? Should I have given him a roof over his head? What if he was actually Jesus in a dogs body? That would explain why he was so chilled.... Maybe it was jesus doing one of his little Xmas tests of peoples goodwill, and I just failed it miserably! Damn! Sorry J! I can make up for it! Honest!

Ok, I'm kind of getting a little carried away here I know, but all the other stories I have involve failed attempts to go out and enjoy the nightlife here with 5 million rich brazilian kids in brand new hatch-backs clogging up the streets for miles in every direction! So no, Hobo is much more worthy!

Have a good new year!!

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Dear Friends and Family,

I regret to inform you that Billy Salisbury will be unavailable for christmas greetings this year as he is presently occupied with getting a tan, drinking beer, smoking weed, and lying in a hammock reading a book about victorian lesbians. I would also like to inform you that Billy is not, as you have suggested, in Argentina, but is actually in Brasil, in a place called florianopolis, where he has rented an apartment on the beach for the whole of the xmas and new year period. He will be staying there until he has found out whether Sue will have to stay in the madhouse or whether Maud will manage to escape the clutches of Mrs Suckesby and rescue her so that they can live together happily ever after. Or until his weed runs out. Either way, he has asked me to wish you all a very merry xmas and a happy new year, and wishes he was with you all at this festive season.


Wanita (Billy's newly appointed "secretary")

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Merry Xmas!!!!!

I hope your all well and having a good xmas wherever you are. I'm doing pretty good. Yesterday we ended up at the house of some young brazilians who live over the road from us, drinking beer and smoking. In Brazil they do all the celebrating on xmas eve rather than xmas day, so today feels quite ordinary really. But we're going to have a proper xmas dinner at a hostel run by some ozzies in a while. The cheeky bastards are overcharging like mad for it, but they know we can't resist the possibilty of turky and roast spuds! So far I haven't recieved any gifts and I haven't given any gifts, and quite frankly, I haven't really missed it! I think it's much better to just focus all your energies on drinking and eating without the stress of trying to buy presents... perhaps i should suggest this back home... ha! right, i'm starting to get hungry, so I'm gonna head off in search of potatoes. Drink a beer for me everyone! I'll toast each of you individually I promise!

lots of xmas love,


Tuesday, December 23, 2003

At Last!!!!!!!!

My blog has been broken for the last week, and hasn't wanted to post anything! Technology has been my enemy of late. I have also lost all my photos since arriving in s america due to a corrupt Sony Memory Stick. Corruption is a big problem in digital photography, and I obviously didn't grease the right palms at the right moments, hence my loss of data. Anyway, back to the business at hand. Iguazu Falls is by far the most incredible, mind blowing, fantastic, unbelievable thing in the world, full stop, no contest. I cannot recommend this place enough, and I can't really describe it. Imagine taking something really spectacular, like say the grand canyon, or Niagra Falls, and then multiply it by 100, and place 50 of them in the same sopt, one on top of the other. That's something like Iguazu. If the world was really flat, this is what the edge would look like. If my Camera lets me, i shall post some pretty amazing photos up. It actually pissed it down with rain both times I visited the falls, and yet I'm still saying it's amazing! Now if that's not impressive I don't know what is!

So anyway, I'm now in Brasil, on a little island staying in a bungalow by a beach. Merrrrry Xmasss! It's tourist central, but mainly brasilian tourists, and it's pretty damn chilled out. I'll probably hang out here for xmas and new year.... it really doesn't feel very xmasy tho, I have to admit....

I'd like to write loads of amusing anecdotes, but there's some people waiting for me so I'll have to come back another time to do that.... I'm just glad my blog is finally working again!!! hooray!

ok, Merrrrry Xmas guys!!!!! Eat an extra roast potato for me! love Billy.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Back into the fire....

Oh my god help me, i think my eyeballs are melting. I´ve just arived, after 24 hours of bus travel, in the town of Puerto iguazu, in the north east of argentina. My reason for being here? To see the mighty Iguazu Falls, probably the most impressive set of waterfalls in the world. Or so i´m told. They looked good in the postcard! But yeah, it´s kinda warm here, and all the aircon got blown up by a thunderstorm apparantly, so the rooms are all like ovens. I´m not complaining tho, this hostel is the dogs bollox. It has a huge reception/communal area with pool tables, sofas, hammocks, free internet, bar etc etc, and a big ass swimming pool out front....

It´s funny you know, but as soon as i stepped off the bus and felt those 95 degrees of humidy start to extract every last drop of moisture from my body, I thought "At last, I´m in a foreign country again!". It seems I need to be uncomfortably hot to appreciate the fact that i´m travelling. When the weather is cold, or even pleasantly hot, it feels like it could be england, and quite frankly, I didn´t come halfway across the world to feel like I´m in england! So bring it on! Another thing that was refreshingly foriegn was the touts that approached me as I got off the bus and tried to blag me into going to their hostels, and then lied about the adress of the hostel i had already booked. God bless thier little cotton socks! I´ve been kind of missing those guys ever since I arrived in australia, as ever since then the countries I have been to have been full of honest, courteous, genuinely helpful people, and lets face it, where´s the fun in that!!! I´ve decided to maybe head to Brazil for New year, as the brazilians have a bit of a reputation for throwing the best parties, and i´m basically on the border now anyway... not sure about xmas, but i´m sure something will pop up.

I need to start writing some interesting "article like" posts, as I´ve discovered a cool site called www.thetravelrag.com and I want to submit some stuff to it. Anyone got any suggestions of anything I wrote before that might be worthy of sending?

Also, if anyone has at any point stumbled across the answer to the following question, please post it up: What should Billy do with his life when the travels are over? Answers on a postcard to the usual adress. The best entry will get to see their idea immortalised through me actually using it to live the rest of my otherwise rather directionless life. :)

Life is like a box of chocolates: smooth on the ouside, sticky on the inside, and sometimes quite nutty in the middle. oh, and yeah, u never know what you´re gonna get (God Damn those Orange Creams!!!!!).

Monday, December 15, 2003

Ola Chicos!

man am i tired! It's been a long couple of days. It all started on saturday evening....

I was starting to feel a little recovered from my flu and I decided that I would go out and party. At about 11pm we headed out for dinner and a few bottles of red wine, before heading back to the hostel for a snooze. At 2am somebody shook me awake. "Billy! It's time to go out!". What could they possibly mean? It was the middle of the night, I was sleeping nicely, and now I was awake with stinging eyes, a throbbing sore throat, and being told that it was time to go out?! Then I remembered that I had actually volunteered for this, and after a few more prodded reminders I got up and got dressed. We headed out into the street, where everything was continuing as if it was still early evening, and flagged down a couple of cabs. The party we wanted to go to was out in the countryside somewhere, and all we had was a small flyer with a rather dubious map, so it took quite a while to find a taxi driver who knew where we wanted to go.

Eventually we found some cabbies who claimed to know the way, and we set off. We thought it was 8km out of town. After about 10 mins the cab driver told us it was 50km. Mmmmm. Oh well, we had started now, so we were going to get there no matter what. After about 1 hour and about 3 stops at garages to ask directions, we finally arrived in the middle of nowhere. We pulled over at the side of the road to confer once more, and then another car pulled up next to us. "Are you looking for the party?" they asked in spanish. "Yes!" we replied greatfully. "So are we!" they said, "We cant find it anywhere!". Bugger. So we carried on driving and pretty quickly realised that all the cars going in both directions on this road were lost people trying to find the party. Then we saw a 6 foot rabbit by the side of the road and decided to ask him for directions. The man in the rabbit suit told us that we had come to the right place, and that the party was a few more ks down a dirt track behind him. After about 2 miles of dirt road we came to a que of traffic, and a guy told us we should get out and walk from here, so we did. down a hill, over a stream, up a wall, and into the party. It was actually a campsite in the middle of no where with 3 sound systems set up and a couple of bars.

I headed up to the first bar and asked for a beer. The lady produced a litre bottle of beer and then proceeded to pour it into a litre sized plastic cup! Not exactly the most practical drink to dance with! So after drinking that rather large beer, I followed it with a littlun, and went to have a dance.

It�s a rather strange experience arriving at a party just before the sun comes up. Usually the sun coming up signals the winding down of the party, but here it's just the beginning! I danced and danced, and soon the sun started getting hot, so i decided to join the rest of my friends in going bare chested. I'd just bought a beer, so I put my beer and my t-shirt down next a tree stump just beside me and carried on dancing. 5 mins later I went to take a swig of beer only to find that both beer and t-shirt had vanished! It was around this time that I started to realise that I didn't have any way of getting home, and that I was in the middle of nowhere in argentina, with barely enough energy left to stand, barely enough spanish to buy a beer, and of course, a bare chest. Most of my friends had left about an hour before, and the 2 friends remained had both been popping class A's left right and centre. One of them, Nadav, had spent the last 2 hours sat under a tree discussing with an imaginary friend the possibilty that one of his other imaginary friends may in fact be imaginary. If only he'd asked them if they had a car and were driving back to cordoba....

After another few hours, the music suddenly stopped, and within minutes everyone was flooding to the carpark. I suggested we'd better head to the carpark and try to get a lift before everyone left. Nadav agreed, but his friend, whos name a forget, wasn't willing to give up so easily. "It's just a power failure!" he said, "they'll fix it in a minute and we can dance more!". "But they'll be no one here to dance with, they're all leaving" I reasoned. In the end he agreed to come just to catch up with Nadav, who had wandered off on his own, and convince him to stay. At last we made it to the carpark and set about trying to get a lift from people quite clearly not fit to drive a go-kart. Unfortunately the best response we got was for people to laugh at us, which was a little demoralising. Then one argentinian guy, (who had actually told us we could have a lift with him earlier but then taken the girls we were chatting up instead), called over a guy with a green shirt, who was one of the guys working at the party, and asked him if he could sort us out. The guy with the green shirt said it would be no problem, but we'd have to wait around for a little while for him to help pack up. Greatful for the lift we walked back to the party to find somewhere to chill.

We ended up sat at the side of a small river having a few beers and joints with a very friendly local drug dealer and his mates. To my great relief he wasn't wearing his top either, so I could kind of get away with prtending that i was deliberately topless despite the cold wind that was picking up. Mind you, his torso was completely covered in tatoos, including one of a naked woman squatting, which I'm sure I've seen on the wall of more than one public toilet cubical, so he wasn't quite as naked as me...

After another hour or so, the guy with the green shirt came over. Nadav asked him if it was still ok to get that lift. He looked at us as if we'd just asked him if we could gang bang his siter. He went off on a little rant in spanish, which was along the lines of "What are you talking about?! Why would I want to give you a lift anywhere, the only place I'm going is to bed!! Cheeky bloody gringos!". I guess the drugs had worn off.....

So we were stuck. The dealer suggested we'd better start walking, so we all headed off up the dirt track towards the main road. The sun had come out again and was beating down. The track just seemed to go on forever, and I could feel my skin begiining to sizzle. Every time we arrived at what I had thought was the end, another km would stretch out before me, promising an even redder shade of skin at the end of it, maybe with actual blistering! Bear in mind that no one had had any sleep and we'd been dancing the whole night! In the end we reached the main road, which wasn't really a main road at all, but hey, at least it had tarmac! We sat at the side of the road and pondered how we were going to get anywhere with about 7 people and only one car going past every 20 mins. Then god smiled, and a bus passed. We all piled on the bus, which promised it would take us to a town. By now even Mr Dealer had put on his t-shirt, and I was starting to feel a little concious of my by now lobster red naked torso. Dealer's wife leaned over and asked me "You lose your top?". Not knowing the spanish for "stolen", i just smiled and shrugged in a "You know how it is!" kind of gesture, which quite clearly she didn't.

We soon arrived in a town, and no sooner had we stepped of the bus than we saw one of those oh so blessed vehicles: a taxi. We jumped in and told the driver to take us home! At last! We finally arrived back at the hostel at 4pm, and I walked into reception, only to be told by the receptionist "Hey! You're not allowed to walk around with no top on in here!". I just looked at him and laughed before staggering up to my bed and sleeping till 11pm.

I'm still recovering now actually, but I'm finally leaving cordoba and getting a bus to Buenas Aires this evening. Gotta keep moving!

Friday, December 12, 2003

Man I�m bored.

I�m so sick of being sick!!! I�m trying so hard to not do anything so that I can recover in time for the weekend, but now it�s friday and I�m still sick as a dog! Bollox! And I know I�ll probably end up having a couple of beers tonight and then be even more sick tomorrow... anyway, enough moaning, let me try to continue from where I left off last post....

So we arrived in San Juan and checked into a rather dubious looking hotel with an excess of mirrors in the otherwise dingy foyer. The young guy on reception as very helpful tho, and eventually we found a suitable room and I set about my ninja style mosquito extermination routine. The next day we headed into town to try and find a bit of breakfast, but the whole city seemed to be deserted. It felt like some wierd zombie movie. This feeling became even stronger when we started walking down one street and heard music playing, seeminly to no one. I tried to pinpoint the source of the music and eventually found a strange object coming out of the ground under one of the trees set into the pedestrian walkway. It looked like a chimney from the roof of a gypsy trailer.. you know the ones with the uptuned dish on top to keep the rain out and the grills around the sides to let the smoke out but stop the animals coming in.... So I figured it must be a vent for an underground garage or something where they were playing music while they worked. The we walked on for about 10 metres and realized that every flowerbed had one of these strange chimneys and each was blasting music at the same volume. W soon figured out that they were actually weatherproof outdoor speakers, that seemed to play music to the street regardless of whether or not anyone was there to listen! Cool huh?

We soon figured out that everything was closed becasue it was sunday, and after hours of wndering the streets we eventually found the whole population of the town in .... no, not church.... the park!! So we joined the masses and plonked ourselves down for some cheese and crackers. Pretty soon very plainly dressed but very cute girls came over to make sure I loved Jesus. After I explained to them that me and J went way back, they decided to bring the rest of their god bothering posse over to have a look at us. I drew the line at reciting a rather long prayer with them and they left promising to prey for my soul all the same. It�s good to know someone is!

Later that evening we made a decision of where to go and decided tht we�d better call ahead and find out if there was a room and if we could visit the national parks we wanted from there. Being as my spanish was marginally less useless than Nicole�s, I was nominated to do the talking. The phone was answered by a man called Antonio, who proceeded to talk gibberish.. I mean spanish.. to me at an astonishing speed. I somehow manged to tell him we wanted a room and that our bus would arrive at 11pm. Then he started saying something about searching... did he mean we should search for him? or that he would search for us? or maybe that he couldn�t pick us up as he was involved in a nationwide search for the presidents missing spaniel? I obviously wasn�t meant to know, as the money ran out just as I was asking him to repeat it one more time, and we had no more change. We decided it would probably be alright anyway, and jumped on the bus.

We drove thru desert and scrubland for quite some time before finally arriving in St Augustine 4 hours later. Anotnio was there to meet us after all, and he drove us back to our new home and made us dinner... awwwww. The next day we got up early and set off on a day trip to the valle de Luna (vally of the moon) with Antonio and manuel (one of his relations). The Valle de Luna was really spectacular. It�s a bit hard to describe it without making it sound like a bunch of rocks, which is essentially what it is, so I won�t bother. After arriving back in the evening we headed into "town" to try and find some info. Once again everything was closed. It�s amazing, but everything is almost always closed in that area. Apparantly it was closed today because it was a monday, and their weekends seem to change on a rotor system of ome kind! When you look at the calender, the red squares marking the weekend dont always fall on the sat and sun, sometimes they come on modays, sometimes just randomly scattered about. It�s most confusing. Add to this the fact that everything shuts for siesta from about 11am to about 6pm and it makes finding open shops a bit tricky.

We did however find a man behind a table in an empty room, which according to the sign outside was the tourist information centre. He didn�t speak any english, but through a combination of bad spanish and sign language we managed to discover that all our plans involving buses were completely useless as there were only 2 buses a week and they left at 3am. We decided to go and ask antonio if he fancied taking us to the second national park, Talampaya, the next day. Of course he did, as we were paying far to much for the service, and he said that although he didn�t actually have a car (the previous one was not his and had been taken) he would find one before the morning, no problemo.

We got up in the morning and saw manuel in the drive wiping down a vintage Peugeot that must have been a classic car for sure. It had the tail lights on fins, fins over the headlights, chrome hub caps.. the works. It wasn�t however in the best condition, especially for driving down a dirt road into the middle of the desert. We got in anyway and were almost choked immediately by the petrol and exhaust fumes. After a few scary moments parked by the side of the road with the hood up and almost continuous backfiring, we eventually arrived at the talampaya national park. As we drove up to the park we saw 2 ppl hiding in the shade of a small shrub at the side of the road. One of them jumped out and started waving her arms. They turned out to be Cecillia and Ben, and argentine girl and an american boy, who had been dropped at the main road and had decided to walk the final 13k�s to the park in the baking midday sun along an infinitely straight road thru the desert! They�d got about 3 k�s before they decided to hide under the shrub...

After a few more hours of waiting at the ranger�s station, we eventually headed into the park. It was awesome. Just like the arizona you see in the movies... huge towering red cliffs and massive tottering red pillars of rock that seem to defy gravity. We were the only people there and it was really something.

I discovered that Cecillia and Ben were driving to Cordoba the next day with Cecillias boss, and I asked for a lift, and got one, which is why i am now in Cordoba bitching about my flu and wishing I could go out drinking. Oh well, maybe a bit of the fizzy yellow medicine will make me feel better....

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Hello there,

I�m sick. It�s been so long since I last had a proper cold/flu type thing that I�d forgotten how shit it is. Anyway, sickness aside, I�ve been having a pretty interesting time....

After my last post I decided that I needed to move to get myself back on track, and later that afternnon I discovered a note on my bed that I�d obviously missed before. It was from Nicole and it said that she was heading off that evening for San Juan if I was still up for it. So I packed up my stuff and at 6pm we headed for the bus station. Soon after, we were on a bus headed north, and I settled myself down to watch what promised to be a spectacular sunset.... I woke up an hour later just in time to see that it had indeed been a spectactular sunset and I had missed it. But there was still some beatiful coloured clouds and they were framing perfectly a full moon which was sitting unusually low on the horizon. It was a perfect photograph. Suddenly waking up I groped for my bag and clumsily rummaged thru it for my camera. After what seemed like an age I finally had my camera in my hands, and I switched it on. After another age the lens emerged and the lcd moitor came on. I pointed it and clicked the shutter, and was presented with a picture of some grey clouds completely obscuring what I knew to be a full moon. Bugger.

Oh well, nevermind, I thought, and leant back into my really rather comfortable seat to doze back off to sleep. That was when the kicking began. At first it was fairly intermittent. Whoever was sat behind me abviously thought it was pretty funny to give the back of my seat a good kick every now and then. Then it became pretty regular and I started to hear a child�s voice behind me talking in spanish, no doubt saying "Look mummy, I kicked the gringo�s seat!". "Why can�t these parents control their bloody children?!" I thought to myself. After another hour of kicking I finally decided to take action and turned around in my seat, only to be confronted by the face of a 4 year old boy grinning insanely, his face only inches from mine. He was leaning over my headrest and his face must have been just above my head the whole time. Then the hissing started. I say hissing, but that�s not really what it was, it was more guttural, from the back of the throat, and gave him the look and sound of a possessed child from a stephen king movie. The hissing was accompanied by clawing gestures with his hands, and I imagine in his 4 year old brain he had probably decided he was a dinousaur or something, but through my 26 year old eyes he looked very much like an extra from The Exorcist. This monster routine went on for a good few hours, and I couldn�t really ignore it, because every time I tried to sit back down and face front, I�d hear him hissing and spitting just above my head, and I�d imagine the string of drool that was slowly working its way down towards my hair, and I�d be forced to turn back around and face my enemy.

Nicole thought the whole thing was hilarious, even encouraging him to pull my hair, that was until he decided that pulling off the shoulder strap of her top was even more fun than spitting in my hair. Every now and then we�d look at the mother, sometimes with a pleading "Can�t you do something?" look, and other times with a "Why the fuck don�t you do something?!" look, but always she replied with her "what can I do? I�m just his mother!" look. I can�t say i blame her tho, she was obviously enjoying the brief respite we were providing from her obviously very hyperactive devil child.

Soon he became bored of just leaning over the seat, and started actually climbing over on top of us. By now we had discovered the secret weapon of tickling and were using it to some effect, but always he returned even more detemined than before...

Eventually we arrived in San Juan, said goodbye to our unwanted child and checked into a hotel.

I�ve got loads more to tell you but my headache is coming back with a vengence! Time to go and find some more ibuprofen.... Why?! Why do I have to be ill now?! I�m currently in Cordoba, the biggest University city in Argentina, the highest concentration of attractive young women anywhere in the world, the most non stop party scene this side of Rio, and I have to be ill! And to top it off I�ve just finished my book and have nothing to read! Ok, time to lie down again.....

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Ohhhhhhhh my head....

I went out to a club last night for the first time in ages. Going out clubbing here is so different from clubbing at home. At home you go out to the club at about 10pm and it closes at about 3am. Here you go out to the club at 3am, and it closes at about 10am!!! Anyway, the club was completely packed wall to wall with beautiful girls.. in fact I think it was about 3 to 1 in favour of girls and i didn�t see one that wasn�t attractive... and yet somehow i managed to completely fail to get anywhere with any of them. I remember when I was about 13 years old desperately trying to pluck up the courage to make a move on a girl and thinking to myself "I can�t wait until i�m older and I become full of confidence like adults", and now here I am, 26 years old, and still completely incapable of chatting up a girl without feeling like a clumsy 13 year old doofus. In fact, come to think of it, I can just about stumble my way thru the "chatting" bit, it�s just the next bit that still gives me trouble. It doesn�t help that the only spanish phrases i know are all along the lines of "Fuck me harder", "Touch me here", "I�m sorry i can�t get it up" and "Don�t worry I�ll do it myself"! Thankyou "Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook" for equipping me so well to get a kick in the bollocks. (All the above are genuine phrases from the LP phrasebook!)

As well as feeling like a romantic cripple today, I am also having one of those mornings where I can�t help thinking about how soon I am going to have to fly home. I�ll be honest here, I�m absolutely shitting myself. I haven�t the faintest idea what I�m going to do when i get back. My latest plan is to become a famous musicion, but being as i can�t even spell "musicion", I think that plan has a long way to go. In fact come to think of it, that�s not a new plan at all, it�s probably the oldest plan I have, formulated by a hopeful 11 year old me whislt belting out Roxette in my bedroom.

Anyway, I know there�s no point looking for sympathy from you guys, I mean after all, I�m here in Argentina and the sun is shining, and you�re all at work or college or at home signing on and playing playstation. So yes, you have every right to say "Shut the fuck up billy you lazy whinging bastard, when you get home you�ll just have to get a job like the rest of us!", and you�re probably right. Ok, thankyou for listening to me moan, it�s been a most thraputic experience! :)

I watched possibly the worst movie ever made last night. It�s called "Ghost Dog: the way of the samurai" and it stars Forrest Whittaker (fat black guy with the squinty eye) as a black gangster samurai working for the mafia. The best part of the character is that whenever he re-holsters his silenced pistol, first he waves it around a bit like it�s a samuri sword and then sticks it back in the holster. It is quite frankly the most pathetic looking move I�ve ever seen. Anyway, if you do get a chance to watch this movie, don�t.

Right, i think I�ve hidden in this internet cafe for long enough. It�s time to face the world! I think I�m going to go and buy a dice to help me make my descions. 1: go north, 2: go south, 3: go east, 4: go west, 5&6: go to bed.
The mullet is coming back.... what, it went away??

Aregentina is officially the capital of beatiful women and men with mullets. It's amazing. 8 out of 10 women are fit, and 8 out of 10 men have mullets. It's almost like argentina never quite moved on from the mexico 86 footbal world cup. Think back if you can to that time and you will remember that every team in that world cup had mullets... now think forward to the next world cup... most teams had cut of their mullets, except for the argentinians and the germans, and now, 17 years on, only the argentinians have retained there obsession with the worlds worst haircut. Mind you, it means I fit in perfectly! Hooray!

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Check out this news story from today�s Independant. Fucked up!

"Meiwes said he grabbed a kitchen knife, switched on a video camera and severed the organ. Brandes was bleeding profusely. But Meiwes bound the wound, cut the penis in two and fried it. The two ate it with salt, pepper and garlic. Meiwes told Stern that it tasted "tough and unpalatable"."

read the full story here

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

eating and being eaten...

We went to a restaurant last night that was recomended for its all you can eat buffet. I was expecting a cheapie little place, but when we arrived it turned out to be a huge posh restaurant with just about every food imaginable, from massive steaks flame grilled over a huge barbecue, freshly made ravioli, pizzas, starters, deserts, you name it they had it, and all for 12 pesos, which is us$4, or UK2.40!!!!! Even the wine was only a pound a bottle! I have to admit i overate tho, and had trouble walking back to the hostel. Then I spent the whole night being eaten by mosquitos. bastards. I still say we eradicate them forever thru genetic meddling... it must be possible Im sure...

One interesting thing Ive noticed in S America so far is that the buskers/beggers are much more imaginative than back home. In Vi�a Del Mar, next to Valpo, the town was overrun by clowns. They jumped up on the bus while you were on your way to the beach, and launched into a comedy routine normally involving rude jokes and oversized sunglasses. The most fascinating thing for me was seeing them on their fag breaks! It was just like something out of a monty python sketch: 10 clowns all stood around a park bench smoking fags and arguing loudly. As well as the clowns I also saw guys performing in front of cars stopped at red lights: robot man painted silver being bitten by street dog and incorporating it into his act, man juggling clubs, man spinning fire (take my money, just get that flame away from my petrol tank!).....

By the way, argentinean girls are hot. just thought Id mention that.....

ok, bye for now.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

A shit memory and rizla chess...

Man my memory sucks. First I left my fleece in santiago (which I have decided will make a great song title: I left my fleeeece in saaaannnnntiiiiagooooo...). Then I decided that seeing as I had to go back to santiago to get it before heading north, I�d make a stop at a little place an american guy recomended to me called Isla Negra. Then I could head straight off to santiago from there, collect my fleece, and jump on the bus up north. That is if I hadn�t then left my money belt in Valparaiso! So there I was in Isla Negra, with my passport and money in Valparaiso, and my fleece in Santiago! I decided the best course of action would be to hang around in Isla Negra for a couple of days and get stoned and eat barbecue. The hostel I was in, the casa azul, was run by this lovely chilean guy called bruno, who kept me supplied with huge chunks of roasted animal and cheeky little bifters the whole time! On the second night all the other gusts left except for me and this canadian girl, who promptly fell asleep on the sofa. So what can 2 guys do alone in a house in the middle of no where? Play "Rizla Chess" of course! You too can play this amazing game! The rules are as follows:

Take a chess board, and arrange some pieces on the board in an approximation of a maze/obstacle course (you�ll learn to modify it as you go along for the most exciting games), then take a rizla (a cigarette rolling paper), and place it face down on the edge of the board in front of you. The idea is to get the rizla off the other side of the board without it falling off the sides. The catch is that you cant touch the rizla or blow it! You have to move it using air movement generated by your hands. The idea is to use bruce lee style hand movements and get it over in the least number of moves possible. Try it, i think you�ll like it.....

Anyway, moving on, after my night of rizla chess, i failed to get up at 7am, and instead woke at 9am and managed to make it to the main road by 10:30am, and caught a bus to Santiago. My plan was to get my fleece, get a bus to valpo (valparaiso), and then catch a bus to la serena in the north. By 5pm I was still on the bus to valpo. It wasn�t looking to promising. Then I read in my book that bolivia is in the middle of it�s rainy season, and my whole plan of heading north started seeming less than appealing... So what to do??!! I was starting to get a bit confused. I�d been in S America for 2 weeks and so far had only moved in a very small circle between santiago and valpo and isla negra. While I was sitting at the table back at the hostel in valpo and reading by book, trying to decide whether to go north or south, I heard the girls at the table mention mendoza. "Are you going to mendoza?" I asked. "Yeah! Do you wanna come? Oh go on!" they replied enthusiastically. Mmm, sounds promising, but where the fuck is it? I thought to myself. Then I found out it was in Argentina! And it was to the east! Perfect! I coudln�t decide whether to go north or south, so go east!!!

So, after a long bus ride thru the rugged and stunning Andes, I am now in Mendoza. It�s a pretty town, lots of big squares and parks with fountains and trees and people snogging in public. So anyway, I�d better be off now cos we�re gonna go try some argentine steak, which is supposed to be the best in the world.... mmmmmmm.

by the way, loads of new photos up at http://community.webshots.com/user/undercoverhippy thanks to my wonderful ex girlfriend Selene!! Hooray for Selene!

Tuesday, November 25, 2003


Well I�m still in Valparaiso, trying to learn spanish! Damn these verb conjugations! So, what has been happening to me... mmmm. I had a rather awkward experience yesterday. I had to go and see the doctor just to check up on a problem I�ve been having with my prostate for some time, and I�d been putting it off for ages cos I knew that the doc would probably want to have a fiddle with my gonads, and well, it�s just not cricket is it? So anyway, I finally made the appointment to see the only guaranteed english speaking doctor in town, who was apparantly some german woman.

Woman wasn�t really the word I would have used to describe the sexy blond young thing that greeted me when I walked into the surgery... My doctor turned out to be a very attractive german girl who can�t have been much older than me! On the one hand it was good: I mean, much better to have a sexy lady handle your bollox than a fat smelly old man. But on the other hand, could I trust myself to remain, shall we say, "bored", through the examination? So, after chatting for a while the inevitable moment came and she asked me to hop up onto the table and whip down my pants. Desperately trying to fend off images of german porn movie scenarios (yah doctor, i haf zis problem u see... iz zat better?... ohhhh, yeahhhhh... oh doctor!..), I lay myself on the table and lowered my trousers, leaving my boxers on just in case there was still some chance she wouldn�t want a full fiddle. "If you could just slip them off as well...." Damn. I did as I was told, and at least the surgery was warm, saving me some embarresment....

"Mmmmm, let uz zee..." she said as she began to play with my balls. "It�s ok" I thought to myself, "it�s purely scientific. That�s my scrotum there that she�s examining, and that tube inside must be the Vans Deferens, and I guess that bit she�s fondling now... Examaning! That bit she�s EXAMANING now must be the shaft.. No! The base.... Arggghhh! It�s impossible, if she keeps on going like this there�s no way I�m gonna be able to keep myself from.... " "Ok, you can pull your pants up now". Damn.

And the sad thing is that that�s the closest I�ve been to getting any for quite some time.....

Anyway, moving swiftly on. England won the rugby!!!!! I know that�s old news to you guys, but I�m a bit behind here! I can�t believe I didn�t get to watch it after investing all that time in NZ teaching myself to like rugby! Ok, I�ve been in this Net cafe for bloody hours now downloading free spanish tutorials (the ones they gave us at school are shit) so I�m gonna shoot.


Friday, November 21, 2003


Well, I have to admit, those first couple of days in Santiago were a bit miserable. I met approximately NO people at all, spoke about 20 words to another human being, and slept about 6 hours. But all that changed yesterday.....

I was supposed to meet up with Paula (girl I met on the plane) the night before for drinks, but when I called her she said that she couldn�t make it, but that the following day she would be going to Valparaiso with her brother to visit her grandmother and did I want to join them? (wow, long sentence!) So of course I said yes, and decided to pack my bags and move to Valparaiso, despite having no idea what it was like. That night I changed rooms as I didn�t want to spend another night in that noisy room. My new room was on the fourth floor, and had a big window that let in the sun. As soon as I moved into this room I felt better. It�s amazing how much having sunlight in a room can change your mood! I woke up yesterday morning feeling good for the first time since being here. I had finally had a good nights sleep and the sun was shining onto my bed, and also I actually had a plan for the day!

Paula was picking me up at 12, so I went for breakfast at a cafe near my hotel. For the first time I sat down at the table, and when the waitress asked if I wanted a menu, I said "No gracias, Quisiera un Sandwch Churassco Italiano y una caffe con leche por favor" and she smiled and nodded and walked away to get my breakfast!!! Hooray! This amazing feat of fluency was actually achieved by ordering exactly what I had the day before, plus 10 mins spent studying the menu in the window outside... :) After my sandwich of thinly sliced beefsteak, avocado, tomato and mayonaisse (mmmmmm), I headed to the elecric shop, where I successfully asked for a transformer ("transformer" en espanol) but unsucessfully didn�t find one to fit my stupid bloody sony MD player. Then i went back to the hotel to wait for my ride.

At 12 there was a phone call for me. "Billleee! I am so sorry, we are running a bit late! We�ll be there about 1 ok?". No problemo I say, and go back to reading my book about working class irish people eating pigs heads. At 1:30 I get another call. "Ello? Billy? Ehhhhhhhhh, iz brother from paula....ahhhhh... Paula says... ehhhhhhhhh...... she... ehhhhhhhhh.....mmmmm.......otel...... ahhhh.... 30 minutes....... ok?". No problemo.

At about 2:15 Paula turns up and I meet her brother Alfredo and we all jump in the car. Finally I start to feel the excitement of being on the road in a strange country again! 24 hours ago I was lying in my cell of a room staring at the ceiling wondering what to do, now I�m speeding along the highway with two new friends to a place called valparaiso, listening to pumping latino music and being asked if I like to smoke marijuana.... things are looking up. When we drive into Valparaiso I am blown away. It�s the coolest town ever. It�s hard to describe but I�ll do my best. There is a semi-circle of hills surrounding a harbour bay, with a flat area at the base of the hills. The whole area is completely covered in buildings. The buildings down on the flat are larger and make up the downtown area with all the shops, offices etc, but the hills are just completely covered in the most motley collection of houses ever. Every one is a different size, a different colour, facing a different direction. It�s like it was designed by an anarchist architects convention. The whole area has become a world conservation site, so there are buildings that are crumbling and falling down next door to beautiful restored houses and everything just seems to complement everything else. Now, the hills are not rolling hills, they are like pimples sticking out of the ground: small in diameter but tall; making them very steep. And yet somehow the buildings just perch there on the sides, some of them on 50-60 degree slopes! To get to the top of each of the pimple hills, you can walk thru a wet little tunnel that takes you underneath the hill, and then get in a lift (more like a metal box attatched to a rope) that lifts you to the top! Once at the top the views are mindblowing. The whole area is a haven for artists and the goverment are trying to promote it as the cultural capital of chile, so the place has a very bohemian feel. There are murals on the walls of houses and bright colourful buildings everywhere.

As soon as we arrived we had a quick bifter and then wandered around giggling and taking photos. We met so many funny people that day! First we went to get a drink from a little bottle stall in a quiet little area on one of the hills. The old lady running the stall was really sweet, and Paula started chatting with her about tourists, and she said it was a shame she couldn�t speak english, because she would like to be able to chat with the tourists. So, we decided to teach her one line of english, and wrote it out in spanish phonetics so she could read it. "cud...yoo...giv...mee...sum...sing....too...reee.....mem.....bver....yoo...bai.....?"... She tried to read it but every time she got to about the 4th syllable she would burst into fits of laughter and have to start again. She was so amazed that she could speak english just by reading those sounds.... it was quite a moment. :) Later we tried to drive to Paula�s relatives house, but the way the town is designed makes finding anything virtually impossible. To make it even more difficult loads of it is one way and on 60 degree slopes. We stopped at a red light and asked for directions from a very smart looking businessman wearing a suit and holding a document case. He started by saying hello to the 3 of us in the car including me in the back, and then launched into the most animated directions I�ve ever seen, waving his arms everwhere. Apparantly he was quite the comedian, coming out with lines like "then you take a right, but just cos you �take�a right, doesn�t mean you should �take� drugs! ahahaha! then you go...."! A few minutes into his speech, the lights changed, and the cars behind started honking their horns for us to move. This guy just waved a dismissive hand at the cars behind and said in english "One moments, one moments!" before carrying on as if they weren�t there. Anyway despite his lengthy directions, we ended up asking for directions after literally every single turn, and then being told to go back the way we had come. It really struck me how different the people here are to in england. In england, most people would rather drive around lost for an hour before they pluck up the courage to do that most terrible act of talking to a stranger. Even then, if the directions fail they�ll drive around for another hour before asking again! This is quite strange, because in most of england (not big city centres) people are always happy to help you out if you ask. Here it�s completely different. I often got the impression that Paula already knew the people she was talking to from the way they spoke to one another.

Eventually we found the place and soon I had found a nice hostel to stay at. So I checked in and Paula and her brother went to have dinner with their grandmother and promised to to pick me up at 10:30pm..."mmmm, no make that 11 to be on the safe side".... to go out on the town. At 12am I was still sitting on the steps outside the hostel having a few beers with some guys from the hostel. At the end of our alleyway a film crew was setting up for a shoot. Some film directed by a german woman about a guy meeting an old version of himself in an alleyway or something. When they arrived at some time after 12 we headed off to try and find a bar that was still open. Twice we had to walk thru the film set going "sorry... sorry...sorry....". The only bars still open seemed to be a long strip of salsa bars, all almost identical playing the same music and full of people dancing salsa. We decided these were too expensive and eventually found a bar and started drinking the unfortunately named local spirit, Pisco. Today i am still suffering from the after effects of this Pisco stuff. In fact I think i need a lie down..... all this writing is making me dizzy....

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Mi cuarto es muy ruidoso!

God Damn! I did it again! After wandering around the streets of Santiago yesterday, I went back to the hotel about 4pm and just lay down for a second to collect my thoughts..... and then woke up completely lost once more, not sure what time or day it was! Luckily it was only 8:30pm so there was still time to go and get some food. I headed off to this little cafe i found at lunch time which was cheap, and was once again forced to choose something random off the menu. This time I opted for "Pollo Asada d/ Salade Tomate". Well, I knew Pollo was chicken, and I figured you cant really go wrong with a tomato salad. How wrong I was. The chicken turned out to be delicious. It was pretty much half a chicken roasted with some nice tasting seasoning, and served with a bed of sliced tomatoes. It looked pretty good, and the tomatoes here are really tasty, so i thought I{d done pretty well. But when I shoved a mouthful of tomatoes into my gob I was surprised to discover that there was a layer of salt about 1mm thick over the whole lot. It was, quite frankly, disgusting. That didnt stop me eating it mind you, which might explain why i was up half the night with a stomach ache.

Yep, it was another sleepless night for me Im afraid. It doesnt really help that at 3am the street cleaners come past my window with incredibly noisy machines, and my room is right on the street. well, it was. I just changed rooms to a lovely little room on the 4th floor with sun streaming in the window. I think maybe tonight Ill sleep after all.... :)

I apologise for the lack of apostrophes in this entry, but I cant figure out how to do them on this keyboard, its a weird spanish one..... is it "weird" or "wierd"? I can never remember. I think its the former, but the latter makes much more sense if you ask me: wi-erd. see?

Not sure what to do today... guess Ill go and find out how to get a bus to somewhere.. or at least figure out how to ask for one!

ok, hasta luego

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Painful flights and Sleepless nights...

Buenos Dias!

I�m now in Santiago, so I guess I�d better give you a quick run down of what�s happened to me since my last blog entry:

I left Wellington and started hitching North after catching a train to a town just outside the city. I got a lift after just a few minutes and was soon on my way to somewhere or other... My second lift was with a middle aged kiwi couple who gave me a running commentry/guided tour of the highway for the entire journey: "Now those trees over there are indiginous trees and they flower twice a.. oh look, this town is an old railway town, and these houses are all railway houses...", "No they�re not dear", "Are they not dear? Oh no, that�s right, they�re not railway houses, but they�re very old... and up ahead is Mt blah blah blah".... It was a most informative journey I can tell you!

Eventually I arrived in a place called Turangi which I decided would be a good stop-over, and checked into the "Extreme Backpackers", which was run by a deceptively un-extreme old couple. Anyhow, they were extremely nice, so that was ok. I wanted to do the "Tongariro Crossing", which is a cool walk along volcanic craters, but the weather decided I shouldn�t go, and I ended up just going for some small walks in the rain with a few lads i met instead. After the walk we went to the local "Hot Springs". I was expecting natural rock pools full of steaming clear water, but it wasn�t like that at all. It was actually a load of small rooms with concrete pools in and the water was fed into the pools through a series of pipes. Boring. Anyway, we went up to the counter and asked for a hot pool. "Normal or Magic water?" asked the overweight mouri girl behind the counter. We hadn�t anticipated this and were a bit stumped to be honest. What was this "magic" water? Was it hullucenagenic? Did it make you immortal? No, it turns out that the most magical quality this water has to offer is that if you get any up your nose it will give you amoebic meningitis and kill you. Now that�s magic young man! So after a very relaxing time in the pool trying not to scratch out noses with our wet fingers, we eventually headed home.

Back at the hostel I met a couple of german guys who started raving about this hostel they�d been to up in the north of the North island, and then they said "Actually we�re driving up that way tomorrow, why don�t we drop you there?". So that was that, I didn�t need asking twice, and me and Greg (one of the lads) both got a lift with these two fantastic german doctors all the way to the small village of Waipu (pronounced "why poo?") and the incredible Ebb and Flow hostel. It was without a doubt the best place I stayed in NZ, and the group of friends I made there in just a few days were like best buddies. The owner, a crazy german ex-punk, instead of making me fill in forms, show my passport, and pay up front, just showed us round, introduced us to everyone, and then when I started playing my guitar, brought me a crate of beer and told me to drink it!!! Bargain!

Anyway, it couldn�t last forever, and after a few days of rugby watching, beer drinking, and nocturnal Charlie kicking, it was time to leave. I got the bus to Aukland and caught a flight at 5pm to Santiago, Chile.

Now you might think that coming to S America would require a certain degree of planning. I mean after all, S America always conjures up at least a few images of scary shit in most peoples minds, so best to be prepared eh? Well you�ll be pleased to know that I bought myself the "Footprint South America Handbook".... 2 hours before i got on the plane! I started reading it in the airport before i checked in, and I have to say that the "What to do before you go" section was a little demoralising! Anyway, it was too late for regrets now, all I needed to know was how to get from the airport to a good hotel. About this time I suddenly realised that I had absolutely no idea what the time difference in Chile was, how long the flight was, or what time I arrived. Mmmm, perhaps a little bit more planning would have been not such a bad idea after all....

I finally found out what the flight duration was when boarding the plane... 11 hours!!! God Damn!! I didn�t think it was anything like that long! And I also discovered that my flight arrived at midday, which was a bit of a godsend really, as I so didn�t fancy arriving at night! The flight was pretty awful tho. Lan Chile economy class sucks arse. The seats were so cramped that you got Deep Vein Thrombosis just from looking at them. Luckily I was sat next to a really friendly Chilean girl called Paula who was on her way home after a year in NZ studying english, so I had someone to chat to. After a while I needed the loo, but every time I looked over my shoulder there seemed to be about 10 people crowded around the entrance waiting, so i�d decide to wait a while before getting up. Eventually I could wait no longer, and I headed up towards the toilets/stewards area, where i was amazed to find that the toilet was actually free after all!! All the people crowding around the area were just "hangin out" and munching free food!! The poor stewards were trying to prepare the breakfast for later whilst squeezing through this mass of old ladies gossiping! It was quite a sight!

Eventually, after a sleepless and freakily short night (god knows how many hours i lost with the time difference!) we finally arrived in Santiago. I said goodbye to Paula and promised to call her after a couple of days when she�d finished her family duties, and got on a bus to town. By the time I arrived at my hotel I was too tired to even take a shower and I just crawled into bed and fell asleep. I woke up at about 8pm feeling incredibly disorientated, and figured I�d better find some food, so I headed outside to look for a restaurant. The area I�m staying in is really beautiful. All old buildings and cobbled streets, which is such a welcome change after NZ (Look at that building! It must be at least Fifffffty years old!!!). I found a nice restaurant, and picked up the menu. It was about then that I realised that i don�t know how to read spanish... then the waiter came up and I was reminded that I aslo don�t know how to speak spanish... mmmmmm. In the end I opted for the only thing on the menu that I understood, which was "Fettucine Neapolitana", and only after it came did i realise the irony of my choice: 2 months of surviving on pasta, and when i finally get to eat in a proper restaurant, what do I order?....

After dinner I headed back to bed, and had a really good sleep and woke up feeling refreshed and alert..... at about 2am. Shit. To add to my disorientation, I wasn�t actually sure whether my watch was right, as I had only guessed at the time difference and hadn�t checked with anyone. I kept thinking it must be morning by now and peeking out of the windows only to find the same orange glow of the street lights... So I tried to go back to sleep, but in my confused state of semi sleep I kept having THE wierdest dreams ever remembered by man. In one of these dreams I was stood in the street with about 3 other people around a gas cooker. On the cooker were 2 saucepans with boiling water in them (and maybe an egg), and one frying pan with a mixture or corn and beans simmering away. Now comes the wierd bit. For some reason, someone was really sick, and we were trying to get them to hospital, but the pans of boiling water were inextricably linked to the the ill persons life, and therefore the cooker needed to go the hospital with him. Luckily the cooker was on castors which sat on a set of rails going down the street. Unluckily, the rails ended and a wall blocked the path of the cooker. We kept checking that the water was still boiling as if that might somehow help the situation. Incidentally the corn and beans simmering away had nothing to do with the ill guy and were in fact our dinner. I distinctly remember at one point thinking "fuck it, let�s forget this guy and just eat the food, I�m starving!!". Selfish, I know, but hey, I was hungry and I didn�t even know the guy! Why couldn�t he find his own cooker to boil his metaphorical life force on? Ok, I rekon by now you�re probably starting to appreciate to a certain extent what a fucked up night I had last night, so I�ll stop.... :)

At about 6am I decided it was better to turn the light on and just wait for the sun to rise, and by 7am I was out on the streets looking for shit to do.... and I�ve been there ever since! Well I�ve just spent 1.5 hours in this net cafe, and I think it�s about time I had some lunch.... but i still haven�t got round to learning spanish! damn! I refuse to give in and get McDonalds! I guess i�ll just have to order something random and see what i get....

ciao for now.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Bedding down in a Borstal...

After a pretty uneventful ferry ride over the Cook Straights, I arrived in Wellington at about 9:30pm, and was picked up by a guy from "Rowena Lodge" where I had booked a bed. The wind was so strong that the van was rocking violently from side to side and it was bloody freezing, but I didn't mind because I was looking forward to seeing the hostel, which was described by The Book as being small, welcoming and homely. When I arrived I walked into the reception area and was surprised to find it was a cavernous affair, with huge high cielings. The girl behind reception was friendly enough and gave me my key. "You're in room 51" she said. 51!!!? How many rooms did this place have?? I was used to being in room 3, or maybe 6, but definitely no number higher than that. She pointed towards the kitchen, tv room, and pool room, all of which were painfully depressing, and sent me upstairs to find my dorm. My dorm, it turns out, was little more than a broom cupboard with 3 bunk beds squeezed into it. There wasn't even any room to put my bag down! The beds were those rickety iron ones that you would expect to find in a rumanian orphange, and they had thin matresses to match. The room stank of beer BO and I started to get a fairly good impression of what I could expect from my room mates.

All in all the hostel felt like a young offenders institute and was not at all "small, welcoming and homely"! It was about this time that I realised I had traced a slightly less than horizontal line accross the page of my lonely planet to the phone number of my chosen hostel and ended up booking the wrong one! Oh well, it's only one night I figured. I headed downstairs to the enormous but messy "communal area" where a few plastic chairs and tables made up the rooms only furnishings. There were a few people sat around so I joined them and played a few songs on my wee guitar before heading for bed.

When I walked into my dorm, the lights were out, and from the light coming from the door I saw a rather large guy climbing/falling from the top bunk next to mine. "Shit beds aren't they?" I said, and he replied, rather oddly, "I'm not gay!". This seemed a rather unusual response to me, but then I noticed that the bunk he had just climbed down from was still occupied! "Okaay" I said, and started trying to get to my bunk. At this point I reslised that all the beds in the room were full, and that the smell of beer had become stronger since their arrival. I decided I had to turn the light on briefly to find my torch, but this turned out to be a big mistake. Once the light was on, the big guy who wasn't gay and the guy on the top bunk who he apparantly wasn't trying to have sex with took the bright light as a sign that they no longer had to be quiet and launched into a loud drunken argument over who had been the most successful at "almost pulling". Eventually I managed to get into my bunk but these two drunken idiots, who were of course English, continued arguing in a tone and volume of voice that suggested that they thought all of the other inhabitants of the room must be finding them amazingly entertaining. Luckily for me my super japanese airtight headphones from the future saved me from their mindless drivel and I was soon asleep.

The next morning I was up at 8:30 and out searching for another hostel. I found one round the corner which seemed much more up my street. It was run by an eccentric and grumpy old singaporean who apparantly has gained a real reputation as a complete freak. The house is a complete mess, with years of junk and random paraphenalia scattered around the floor/tables/shelves in every room. Just like home! I checked in, which basically just involved saying hi to a german guy called Urs who was apparantly running the place, and 5 mins later was sat outside in the overgrown garden enjoying the free breakfast and having a rather interesting discussion about the number of words in the english language. :)

Since then I have been to an exhibition of Wim Wender's photographs (guy who directed Buena Vista Social Club), been out on the town, watched 4 games of Rugby, and been to the beach. All in all I think Wellington is a pretty cool city. But alas, I have to leave, as I fly in about 6 days and I have to hitch to Aukland. Anyway, S America soon! Woo Hoo!

Friday, November 07, 2003

I'm 26, but do I look it?

I went into the supermarket the other day to get some groceries. After finally managing to force myself to the checkout without picking up the kalamata olives, feta cheese, nachos, salsa, and countless other delicious things that were screaming from the shelves to be eaten, I was confronted by a young girl sat behind the till. When i say young, i mean like about 12 years old! So as i'm stood there in my own little world wondering what the legal working age is in NZ, I suddenly realise that the little girl is talking to me.

"Do you have any ID?", she asks.

The question fails completely to make any sense in my already distracted mind, and I hesitate for a few seconds as I try to figure it out. Why could this girl possibly want to see Identification? Does she not believe I am who i am? And what does it matter who i am anyway, I'm just buying groceries?! For a second I think it might have somethingto do with credit cards or something, and then dismiss it as I haven't shown her a credit card. Eventually i pull myself together.

"Umm, yeah I have, what do you need it for?" I ask.

She looks a bit embarresed and points at the crate of beer in my shopping. Ahhhhh! Of course, how stupid of me! It's been such a long time since I've been "carded" (as everyone calls it here) that I'd forgotten that it actually happened!

"How old do I have to be to buy alcohol?", I ask her.

"Eighteen", she tells me.

"Oh, ok", I say, and show her the page of my passport that has all my details on it.

"What am I looking for?", she says, scanning the page.

"My date of birth", I tell her.

"Ahhhh, ... mm.. yeah, ok". she says, and then looks back at me and smiles as if to confirm that all is well and I've passed the test. I take my passport back, and then ask her,

"So how old am I then?"

"Ummm, I dunno", she says, starting to go red.

"Then how can you sell me alcohol?", I ask.

"Cos i just just check the number, and if it's 84 or bigger then i can't sell it to you... or is it 85? It's one of them... Oh no, hang on, it depends if it's this month... I forget which one...". She starts to look over for guidance from her supervisor who is grinning broadly and enjoying the whole affair, but none is forthcoming.

"Well actually i'm 26", I tell her, and she goes more red. I decide that enough is enough and move onto her supervisor, who informs me that by new zealand law, you only have to be 18 to buy alcohol, but you have to look 25!!! How insane is that. At first glance it may seem like a fairly sensible precaution, but think of it like this: I go into a shop to buy alcohol, i get refused, i ask why. The girl tells me I don't look old enough. I ask her how old I look. She says I look 23. I ask her how old I have to be. She says 18. I tell her I am in fact 23, and her guess is bang on accurate. So she thinks I'm 23, I know I'm 23, we both know i only have to be 18, and yet she still can't serve me a beer..... now that's pretty fucked up if you ask me! Anyway, I'm not complaining, if people think I look younger than I am then I'm happy! :)

Ok, enough rambling. I think I should tell you a little about the last few days/weeks.

Firstly, you will be pleased to know that my birthday was awesome. I got up in the morning and headed out to sea in a boat. I then pulled on a wetsuit, a hood, booties, flippers, and a snorkel, and jumped in the water with about 30-40 Dusky Dolphins!! They are incredible! They're different to the usual bottle nose dolphin that we all think of when you say "dolphin". They're smaller, have a more streamlind nose and body, and beautiful colouring. In order to attract their attention in the water and get them to play with you, you have to act like a dolphin, which basically means making stupid noises down your snorkel, pumping your pelvis like your trying to shag the plankton, and making futile attempts to dive into the deep whilst wearing an ultra bouyant wetsuit. I found that the dolphins responded most excitedly when i sang "Ooh baby i love your way". Incidentally, they despise Coldplay. After about 20 mins, all the Dolphins dissapeared! So i was there spinning around in circles thinking that it was all over, when all of a sudden a pod of... wait for it... 200 dolphins rocked up!!! It was unreal! They were doing synchronised underwater swimming with me and all sorts! Anyway, eventually i had to get out, and it was only once I'd swum back to the boat that I realisd my hands had frozen into claw like shapes and couldn't be opened. They were completely numb! I managed to haul myself up onto the boat using my elbows and my useless jelly-like claws, but I had to get someone to help me do everything after that! I couldn't even hold a cup of hot chocolate!

When we got on the bus to head back to town, a blond girl and a red haired guy walked past me and sat at the back. I could have sworn I knew them! They just looked so familier it was unreal. For one person to just look like someone you know would be understandable, but 2?? nah, it had to be them. When i got off the bus I waited for them, and as soon as they got off they recognised me! It was Fergus and Emma, 2 friends from my university days!! So now I had friends to have a drink with on my birthday!! Thankyou God/Allah/Buddah/Krishna/Gaia/Mother Earth/OB1!!!!!!!!!!!

After that I headed home and jumped in the hot spa pool, and then an Israeli woman who I had smiled at a few times presented me with a birthday cake!! Wow! Amazing how things have a way of working out if you let them..... :)

ok, that's enough for now. I have to go and catch a ferry to the North Island. Seeya! :)

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Well, I finally left Nelson. My mate Rob dropped me at the edge of town and I stuck my thumb out and soaked up the early morning rays. Within about 20 mins I got a lift with the principal of a local primary school. When he found out I was english, he wanted to know if I was a Royalist. I told him I thought the Royal Family should be moved into council houses and all their treasure sold and their money taken and spent on worthwhile things like education and healthcare. He tried to defend the Royals by making out that tourism revenues from the Royal Family were one of The UK's major sources of income. I'd always thought Arms dealing was our main source of income, but even if he was right, I pointed out to him, there was really no need for the Royal family to actually be present. We could simply move them out under cover of darkness, and then every week we'd get a lookalike of the queen to pop her head round the curtain at buckingham palace. The Royal press office could contimue leaking scandalous stories to the tabloids, and no one would be any the wiser! I mean let's face it, how many tourists who visit the UK actually SEE a Royal? None! They just wanna see their houses! At about this point i remebered that this guy was actually giving me a lift, so I said he was probably right after all and changed the subject...

He dropped me in his nondescript hometown of Blenheim, from where I was supposed to be hitching North to Picton where I could get a ferry to the North Island. My plan was to be in Wellington, the capital, by the end of the day... but somehow I found myself on the wrong side of the road hitching south instead! I could pretend it was an accident, but really it was just that i couldn't face the thought of going to a city, and someone had mentioned that Kaikora was really beautiful, so I just started heading there.... that's the beauty of hitching! No tickets, no fixed destinations... and no money!! Anyway, Kaikora is stunning. Today I walked along the coast as was blown away. Luckily someone caught my trouser leg and pulled me back down to the ground again.... (groan) no really, it is amazing. The mountains (snow capped of course) literally come right down to the sea, which is the deppest turquoise ever. There are seal colonies living right on the beach so you can walk up to within a metre of these awesome creatures. I might go swimming with dolphins tomorrow, but it costs 115 bucks, so not sure....

It's gonna be my birthday on Monday and it looks like I may be spending my first ever birthday alone with no friends! Sad huh? So please feel free to e-mail me a card! That way if I have no one to talk to on my birthday I can come in here and read mails! :)

ok, better be off, tummy's rumbling! (made green curry again last night!)


Wednesday, October 29, 2003

I was supposed to leave today....

but it's soo hard! When you wake up and you can hear the rain drumming on the roof, the thought of hitching is just so unappealing! So I'm stuck in Nelson once again... tomorrow I'm gonna leave for sure....

Anyway, what's new? I went busking yesterday for the first time ever! It was a glorious sunny day so I picked up my little guitar and headed into town. After trying one spot with no sucess I eventually bagged a spot by an ATM, so people had to stop right by me and couldn't feign poverty as I could see them withdrawing loads of cash! (a trick I learned from the homeless beggars of Leeds). At first no one seemed to even give me a second glance, so I changed tactics and started making songs up about people as they walked past... they were usually too embarresed to give me any money as they passed the first time.. they'd just look back over their shoulders and smile. But when they returned past me later, they'd already have a big pile of cash at the ready and dump on my little tartan guitar case! Woo Hoo!

Anyway, what else is news? Mmmmmm. Starting to learn a little spanish... slowly. Ola! Mi Mochila es Mal! (Hello! My backpack is ill!) . God I hate rainy days! What to do? I'm trying my hardest to remember anything remotely entertaining happening to me but I'm afraid I'm drawing a blank... Don't worry, I'm certain that S America is going to be full of exciting stories to tell! Right, I give up. Seeya!

Tuesday, October 28, 2003


I've had a funny day today. I went on a roadtrip with a bunch of guys from the hostel. They wanted to find some cows so that they could look for magic muchrooms in their shit, and after climbing a bitch of a hill we eventually found the cows, the shit, and the mushrooms... but we weren't sure whether they were the right ones because we'd only picked english mushrooms before... so, we headed to the town library and walked in there carrying a box of mushrooms and cow shit covered in mushrooms, and went to the natural science section... after looking at various books and laying out mushrooms and shit on the table, we finally found the right page and discovered that these were in fact magic mushrooms... probably. Which meant that maybe it wasn't really that clever being in a public library with them spread out all over the table!....

Anyway, I'm still in the Hostel Paradiso in nelson, wasting time.... should really leave soon i guess but I'm still quite set on the idea of doing some busking here.. i just need some sun... my little guitar is getting a lot of action ay the moment... starting to get really into this whole guitar/singling malarky.... forget working on computers man, they suck, guitars are the way forward. I think all ofiices acress the globe should switch their whole system over from desktop pc's to guitars, then for every task for which they used to need the pc, they could simply sit on down and sing a song! It wouldn't be particularly efficent, but it would be much more fun, and i think the general wellbeing of the employees would benefit as well.....

I made a thai green curry last night... it was bloody marvelous if i do say so myself... a bit on the spicy side, but that's all part of the experience i rekon... as was my 45 mins in the toilet this morning... ahhhh, thai curry.... :) It's nearly free soup time, so I'd better move soon.... in 5 mins the staff will bring out a big cauldren of soup and all the poor hungry backpackers will form a long tine to wait for their daily dose of nutrition... it's a heartwarming sight i can tell you.. shame the soup is the same every day... vegetable... but hey, free soup is free soup.. "beggers cant be choosers" as my grandad used to say... as well as "a dying man will eat a rat" which was one of his favourite comments when asked how he liked the vegetarian food my mum had made for him. anyway, off on a tangent there for moment... so, New Zealand... it's like an exagerration of Wales... the mountains are bigger, the lakes are deeper, and the sheep are even more attractive.... ok, time to go... seeya!

Sunday, October 26, 2003


logged on to write big long blog entry but ended up banking.... how bring... now times almost up....

ok, speed blog time:

went to west coast with friends from Wanaka... stayed in hut by river... rained.... eaten by sandflies... got drunk... awesome. Tried to hitch to Franz Joseph Glacier... ended up on bus which stopped every 5 mins to visit another lame as tourist attraction like a salmon farm or a white bait stall..... arrived in franz Joseph and met up by chance with Irish Guy called Gary who i met on a bus in Java, Indonesia. Hung out for few days with hjim and other friends of his... saw glaciers... big chunk of ice.... rained.... climbed alex's knob... ran down his knob and ended up with fucked up legs... couldn't walk... tried to hitch to nelson in the rain.... got lift with nice german girl twins and french girl.... drove north into sunshine... sat in Spa watching stars drinking beer digesting thai red curry listening to waves break on shore.... then more rain..... then trekked abel tasman national park... forgeot to take a book... got cabin fever sitting in "hut" with nothing to do.... slept in hut full of smelly "trampers" (read: tramps) next to french guy who snored all night.... next day tramped back to start of track, wincing every step cos knees are fucked... stupid bloody knees.... got to nelson, said goodbye to the girls.... checked into Guesthouse Paradiso.... tried to rest but england playing tonga in rugby... wnet out, got drunk.... ended up at live drum and bass night.... tried to dance despite fucked knees.... woke up today... can't walk..... luckily its a public holiday so have excuse for doing nothing!! Pheeeeewwwww, that was faaast! ok, now maybe I'll try to expand on some of that until the time runs out....

bugger, time just ran out...


Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Hello from New Zealand!

It's been a while I know, but I haven't had internet and it's been so hard to� ahhh, who am I kidding, I've just been having too much fun and I couldn't be arsed!

So I left byron bay after more days of rain and jumped on a plane bound for Christchurch, which is on the south island of NZ. I'd spoken to Rob and Jess, a couple of my old skool friends from home, and found out that they were staying in Wanaka, a small town in the mountains. They told me that if I got a flight from Christchurch to Queenstown, they'd pick me up from the airport. So eventually I managed to buy this second flight online by pretending to be a Kiwi, and set off to catch my flight in Brisbane.

I landed in Christchurch at 10pm, but my flight didn't leave for Queenstown until 7:15am the next day. I'd read in my lonely planet that the airport closed at night, but I was damned if I was going to pay for a taxi into town and a hostel bed just for a few hours sleep, so I set about finding a good hiding place in the airport in which to build my nest. Unfortunately my trolley seemed to be determined to ruin my silent infiltration of the airport, and kept making a very loud clattering noise, which in the silence of the closed airport seemed deafening. Even when I moved really slowly it still made the same noise! But eventually I found a nice spot in the domestic terminal hidden behind some rows of cleared away seats and set about making myself at home. After about half an hour I was fully settled in with my sleeping bag and blankets and pillow spread out over a row of seats, and I stuck in my headphones and lay down to sleep. Then the cleaners saw me. Within about 5 mins a security lady was stood over me with walkie-talkie in hand. I reluctantly removed my headphones and gave her my best "Is there a problem officer?" look. Luckily she turned out to be very friendly and told me that I could probably get away with sleeping at the far end of the international arrivals hall, so I packed up my nest and headed off with my noisy trolley once more.

In the arrivals hall I found one guy already asleep on the bench, so I squeezed myself on and set about rebuilding my nest. I have to say that it was really quite a comfortable bed. My only complaint was that there was a huge fluorescent bulb directly over my head that kept shining in my eyes, but hey, it was a free bed!

I got up for my flight at 6:15am, and it was still dark. After checking in I went to the cafe and sat drinking coffee looking off into the darkness outside. As the sun slowly came up I was suddenly presented with the most awesome view I've ever seen from an airport caf�. I was completely surrounded by mountains. Bloody huge ones! And they were all snow capped, and the snow was pink. It was bloody marvelous.

Then I got into a rather tiny plane and flew right over these pink mountains (which slowly turned white) all the way to Queenstown. I have to say it was the most enjoyable flight I've ever taken. I arrived in Queenstown at 8am, my friends picked me up at 9, we arrived in Wanaka at 10:15 (after the car overheated coming through the mountains), I had a full set of free hire equipment by 11, and I was snowboarding down a mountain by 12. Not bad eh! We did have a little setback when the car overheated again halfway up Treble Cone (the ski mountain) and we had to hitch the rest of the way, but I think 24 hours between being on a rainy beach in Australia and being up a mountain in NZ with a board strapped to my feet is pretty damn good going.

That was all about 6 days ago, and since then I have been snowboarding for about 4 of the days, mountain biking today, and the remaining day was spent caned, wandering round "Puzzle world", which despite sounding a bit lame, is in fact the coolest "museum type thing" I've ever been to. Rob and Jessie have been ace and I've been so enjoying living in a proper flat and sleeping alone in a room. They are managing a backpackers hostel here and have there own little attached flat. The scenery here is without a doubt the most amazing I have seen anywhere, including the Himalayas in Nepal and India. It's just so diverse, and the colours are so varied and beautiful that everything seems like a painting. An average view goes something like this, starting from the bottom and working up: Green stuff like willow trees and bushes and shit; lake with reflection of the following; greeny browny yellowy bluey hilly mountain type stuff; snowy peaks of aforementioned mountains; blue skies and white clouds. The blue skies bit is kind of every other day, but it doesn't seem to rain for more than one day in a row here�. not like some countries whose names I won't mention�.

So yeah, if you like mountains and breathtaking scenery, come to New Zealand!

So what else has happened to me? Well, I have a gay haircut if that's interesting�. It all started back in Mission beach�..

I was travelling down the East Coast with this rather sexy girl called Alex who I met in mission Beach. We ended up having a bit of a fling, and the day before she left to catch her flight to Melbourne, she offered to cut my hair. She was a hairdresser by the way, if that makes things a little clearer. Now I was quite happy with my hair at the time; it was long and unkempt, and the only "styling" I needed to do after a shower was a vigorous towel dry. But Alex convinced me that she could do wonderful things to it, and I figured "right, if she thinks it looks good, then maybe other incredibly fit girls will also think it looks good, so what have I got to lose?" So I let her loose with her scissors, and she told me that she was going to do something a bit Paul Wellerish, leaving the length but taking off some of the bulk from etc etc� When she had finished I went off to find a mirror and examine my new barnet. I went back to the room and she asked me,

"So what do you think?"

"It's a mullet" I said.

"It's not a mullet!" she said, looking shocked.

"It's longer at the back than it is at the top and sides, that's a mullet" I said.

"It needs some wax!" she said, grabbing a tub of vaseline and smearing it into my hair. "Without wax it will look like a basin cut".

With Vaseline it looked marginally better, but as much as I tried to imagine myself as Paul Weller, I couldn't help seeing myself as Cleetus the slack jawed yokel from the Simpsons��. or any number of German porn stars�.. or any football player from the Mexico 86 World Cup��. There was no avoiding it, I had a mullet. In fact, let me rephrase that, I HAVE a mullet! My god, what have a done! I even bought some styling wax in the hope that it really would transform my basin like mullet into a super cool brit pop barnet, but all it seems to do is give me a greasy mullet��

I have to admit that as the days go by I am less and less shocked by my mullet, after all, it is a part of me, and I suppose I should love it just the same as I love my butt or my fingernails. Maybe, given time, my Mullet will grow on me�.. Hehehehehe, sorry, I couldn't resist it! :)

Ok, better go as the sun is shining and I have a book to read..... seeya!

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Hey guys,

well, it's been a fairly eventful week i suppose.. in a painfully boring kind of way. The weather has been shit, i.e. rain, cloud, and fucking freezing. Byron bay is lame if you ask me. It's just a touristy seaside town with a packed beach and expensive accomodation. The place I'm staying is called the "Arts Factory".. that's a fuckin joke! The place was founded by hippies in the 60's and gained a reputation as a wild party venue and general far out place for bohemians and artists to hang out and be groovy. Up until a few years ago it was under the management of this guy called Jim, who now runs trips to Nimbin (see later entry), but apparantly his laid back style of management wasn't making enough cash, so it was handed over to a proper businessman who has been sucking the soul out of it ever since. To give you a few examples: Jamming hours are between 10am to 1pm and then 4pm to 10pm.. jamming outside of these hours is prohibited, as I discoved the other night when they confiscated my little baby guitar!! bastards! I wonder if the Ramones or the Pouges ever had this problem when they stayed there... Anyway, I got my revenge: I entered the "talent contest" and won it hands down by improvising a song about what a shithole the place is and how it's run by a bunch of mini hitlers. And they had to give me a prize for it! Ha!

The prize from the talent show was a trip to Nimbin! Well I'd already been but I thought fuckit, I'm bored so i may as well go again... Nimbin is a small village in the hills where the growing, selling, and smoking of drugs has become pretty much legal. It's pretty fucking wierd. Like a mini amsterdam in the hills. Lot's of messed up old hippies who've lost the plot, and young lads selling pot. Anyway, the tour is pretty cool. Jim (see earlier) is an old hippy who drives the bus. He basically takes everyone out there, everyone eats some "special" cookies, and then he drives around the countryside with good tunes blasting, showing you nice spots. At one point he stops up at the top of a big hill and tells a few stoner stories, and then says "ok guys, I used to do this thing where I drove down this hill really fast playing this scary pink floyd song...."

"Dooo iiiit!!!" we all cry from the back of the bus.

"Noooooo, go slow!" they all cry from the front of the bus, obviously freaking out on their first cookie experience.

"ok, I'll go moderately fast and play something a bit scary"... he tries..

"No! go slow!" all the pussies at the front whine.

"ok, I'll go slow.." he says, and flashes us a naughty grin...

He drives to the edge of the hill and we see that it is in fact a natural rollercoaster that goes on for miles. A perfect rolling "big dipper". The music starts to build up... I don't know the name of the track, but it's pretty intense.. and we're off! He floors the accelerator and we start hurtling down as the music builds. All the stoned people start whooping and waving their arms in the air as if they're at the fair... after about 5-10 mins of intense music and near death experiences, the road levels out, and he switches into "Three little birds" by Bob Marley to try and win back the pussies... :) Anyway, highly recommended, go try it....

I had a rather disturbing experience this morning. I came out of the shower in the communal bathroom and went to the wash basins to have a shave. At the basin next to me was this middle aged, red headed, slightly podgy and extremely naked man. No big deal i thought, it's a mens toilet, perhaps the shower was too cramped and he wanted some space to get dry.. I couldn't help noticing however that his dick wasn't quite as droopy as it should have been... But hey, how many dicks have i examined? None (except my own of course), so maybe he's just a bit of a freak... Then it got worse. He started applying moisturiser all over his body, but got a bit carried away whilst lubing up his groin. Bear in mind that I'm doing my best not to watch this, but I'm shaving in the mirror and it keeps catching my eye. Eventually I think fuckit, I have to check that this guy's not about to shoot his load over my leg, and I turn to look at him. There's no doubt now that he's got a hardon, despite the fact that it's embaressingly small, and it's also pretty clear that he's trying to crack one off right next to me.

"D'you wanna go and do that somewhere a little more fucking private?!" I say to him.

"No" he replys, but quickly starts getting dressed and leaves. So what the fuck was going on there?! When he started the sinks were all taken and it was pretty busy in there, but by the end it was just me and him, so maybe he thought the sight of him spanking his stunted monkey was going to get me all turned on and end with me inviting him into the end cubicle... Dirty old bastard. Looking back, maybe I should have clocked him one, but to be honest I didn't really fancy getting to close... eeeew.

I'm flying to New zealand in a few days now! Oz was over so fast! I've spent toooo fuckin much money, and I figure NZ is gonna be quite similar.... Oh well, just have to spend my whole time in S America chillin and doing nothing.... :)

ok, gonna go for now, but have unlimited internet here so maybe if another story comes to me I'll add it later....

Monday, September 29, 2003

G'day guys, how ya goin?

I'm goin pretty good. Sitting in a cafe in Byron Bay.

Well, Airlie beach didn't look so bad in the daylight, and I managed to book onto the same package as my friend Alex so at about 3pm we went down to the marina to find our boat. Our boat was called Jade and was skippered by a weatherbeaten old ozzie who's philosophy seemed to be "at sea, anything goes..." I can't really think of a lot to say about the trip. We spent the days lying around on thre deck of our catamaran, snorkelling in the crystal clear waters, visiting blinding white beaches etc, and the nights getting horribly drunk and sprawling in jaccuzis.

After our sailing trip, we got the bus down to Rainbow beach where we were doing an organised trip to Fraser Island. Now this is damn cool and I highly recommend it to anyone. Here's the jist of it:

take 10 young travellers, give them a 4x4 landcruiser, some tents, a load of food with an day by day menu of what to eat, an itinery of where to go and what to do, and then send them off in the direction of the ferry, via the off-licence..... :)

It was a bit like "Survivor - Fraser Island" crossed with "The Amazing Race 7 - Bickering Backpackers", but I enjoyed it all.. :) Needless to say, my driving skills were top-notch. On the first day, I was driving back along the beach and the tide was coming in fast. We had about 10 mins left to find the camp site and tensions were running high in the group. We had been told by the organisers and rangers that everytime we approached a "washoff" (stream/river running out to sea over the sand), we should send someone out to check how deep it it and how high the edge is. We did this for the first, but it was a waste of time as it was really shallow. As we approached the second washoff, I thought "fuck, this one looks quite deep" and I looked at my co-driver, who would be the one who had to wade out into it. "Just go for it" he said, and without another thought, i did. We flew off the edge of the bank, which turned out to be about 2 feet abover the water, and nose dived into the water, which turned out to be about 3 feet deep. The water came crashing up into the windscreen and for a good second i couldn't see a thing except water, and images of ppl passing our jeep stuck nose first in a river bed kept sneaking into my head. Luckily however, i was going pretty fast, and the momentum pulled my through the river and I revved up the other bank. But everything was soaked with salty water, which is one of the few things you are NOT allowed to do or your insurance is screwed. But fuckit, how were they gonna tell eh? The car kept going so i was happy, and my passengers forgave me pretty quickly, cos lets face it, living safely is boring, getting fucked up sucks, but living dangerously and not getting fucked up, now that's FUN! :D