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When I see people's lights on I know their home

Posts tagged Travel

IMG_3838somewhere-new230/07/2015

Withington, Manchester.

Trying to hitch out of Uxbridge nobody would stop. Frustration? Then remembering that I was free now, not when I got there. If I didn’t get a lift I could camp in the park and I’d still be free, even when it rains. I don’t have to worry about collecting glasses, what the housemates think of me or feeling guilty for choosing my laptop over my girlfriend. I changed spots.

A taxi driver picked me up. He drove taxis because he had no-one to answer to and could come and go as he pleased. I exclaimed. I’m petrified of not coming and going. I’d rather be beaten than employed. He said I’d made the right decision because London is a toilet. I told him about my girlfriend and how she has this special power where she actually forgives people. He said, I was better off without her and gave me five quid and his number.

I was at a complex intersection. Iron railings all around and tunnels underneath, nowhere to stand, peak hour traffic dark and raining in Birmingham. I considered breaking into the boarded up Ruxtin hall to sleep but tried a little longer. I was close to pitching my tent in the park when someone held up traffic calling out to me.

They say they can only take me a short way and laugh at everything I say. I seemed to start impersonating myself to entertain them, realising they probably weren’t used to picking up Australian hitch hikers and I had an edge because I was different. I could do no wrong, keep it simple and smile while they offer me jerky and cigarettes. You could say be myself whoever that is. I ended up at a Welsh hotel and they shouted me a room.

Kev reminded me of my dad. His voice whined like a Scouse’s and he used fast anecdotes that I didn’t understand. He valued wit in men and cackled like the intro in that Feel Good song in the Gorillaz. His teeth twisted and pointed straight out like a beaver.

He used to hitch hike 20 years ago and told a story of being picked up by a man in Dagenham. ‘He seemed alright to begin with and suggested I stay at his place. I soon realised he was a fookin gay and said nah I’ll be right. He kept insisting and luckily he pulled over to have a cup of tea, so I had one with him then went to the toilet and fooked off.” We all laughed.

I sat with Kev and his 2 sons at The Stanton Hotel in Chirk. They had about 3 pints each and for a moment I considered joining them. Kev chain smoked and repeatedly offered to buy me food and drink while getting money of his sons for the next round. All I had was £50 in the whole world but I still felt guilty for accepting the hotel.

I went upstairs to write, and Kev knocked on the door. “Aren’t you Australians meant to play guitar or something?” He kept shaking my hand and repeating himself, I thought he must be drunk.

He said goodnight and that his son would pick me up in the morning to take me to Manchester. “It’s been a pleasure,” I said. “I bet it fookin has!” he said nodding with a high brow.

I could hear the doors playing through the wall in his room and he called me 10 minutes later. “Do you have an alarm clock you drongo?”

Mitch picked me up out the front, I didn’t get a chance to look at him much but he had small brown eyes. It was a struggle to talk but I dug deep. He was kind and unsure. I don’t think his old man shouts him hotel rooms.

I got into a posh part of South Manchester and found myself ravaging a tray of McDonalds. I don’t look after myself anymore and I haven’t been meditating. I’m also having dreams about being Lou Reed.

I’m staying with someone I met in Mexico. He’s living at his uncles for nothing and gave me a top floor room overlooking a jungle where a fox lives.

I will over stay my welcome and think about it for years.

Flo is not happy but I’ve run out of sorrys.

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25 Oct 2013

Munich Central Train Station Day 4.

Still here – DIRTY RAT.

Slept on Balcony near Burger King. By morning 6 others were lined up along side me. Comfort in numbers.

1st guy Martin (German) came at 1220. We discussed the cancers of money, he bought me a big water, kept saying “fuck off the system!” And told me I was a cool man. I find broken english fucking hilarious. “You are laughing!” He’d say.

2nd guy came at 1am after watching us from the otherside. He’s Japanese and has a moustache. “Are you sleeping here?”
He sets up 2 metres away, bike locks his pack to the table and jumps in his sleeper.

2am I hear foot steps as I doze. It’s security guards looking at my socks over the rail that I washed in a bathroom yesterday. They peer over the 3 of us as I wait for them to lose it. They swap a genial glance and walk away.

At 4am I wake up and there is 4 others lined up on my left side, they’re from Croatia. They leave, so does Martin.

530am this bloated, orange dyed, apish beast woman starts thrashing the cafe tables around losing it in German about the japs bag locked to the table. He must have gone to the toilet.

“It’s not mine you monkey woman! Does it look like mine? I don’t speak monkey alright?”

She scorns me with red bulls eyes like I’m the matador.

I’ve been painfully and confusingly undecided about my next direction for 3 days. Life is never easy for the fragmented.

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20131025-084710.jpg the jap

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20131025-085320.jpg Security pounce in the waiting room I slept in the night before. This guy was talking to himself loudly in German for hours pissing everyone off. He then commenced rolling around on the floor.

I’ve been eating small cheese and tomato baguettes for £2.20, showering in the station wash and go room for £7 a pop and reading, writing and blogging in Starbucks. They play great music and are very friendly.

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20131025-090358.jpg Paul Klee. Munich is a good spot to learn about the German Expressionists movement.

07 Oct 2013

 

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First night in France – dinner with strangers, military haircut nightclubs, sleep in a Macdonalds playground.

I met Virgil on the Ferry to Calais.

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He invited me for dinner with his family

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Then we went here

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Where everybody has a buzz cut.

Virgil went home and I slept in here

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Employees started arriving at 6am so I slid out the slide like a reptile and moved under a motorway bridge until 9.44

I Might go to Paris.

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4 Oct 2013

London doesn’t look the same in the darkness of 3am, there’s no people anywhere and all the restaurants along the South Bank have their outdoor tables and chairs neatly stacked and chained to the wall.

I’m wearing everything in my backpack and I’m still cold, laying here on the Victoria Embankment on part of the Thames River Wall. It’s overlooking the downward ramp entrance to RNLT Tower Life Boat Station which is a stones throw north from Waterloo Bridge. I’m on a granite block elevated to about head height of the passing pedestrians, it’s dark enough for them not to notice me but anyone with street eyes would spot me.

There’s rats running around and I can’t really sleep because the slab is cold and I’m freightened of rolling over the edge. Surreal moment : Am I actually doing this? It’s a section of time when you are sort of detached from the reality of your geographic location, so far away from home in a situation your mother would never have wanted. I understand why people talk to themselves, it’s like your the centre of the universe, everybody else is frozen and your walking around looking at whatever you like in Murgatroyd’s Garden.

I moved heading north toward Blackfriars Bridge and saw a little round man walking toward me with a shopping bag. Anyone walking around this early is a nutter so I held a reserve of tense curiousity.
I could smell his cologne and he invited me to sit down. There was not much space on the part of the bench he suggested and he did not move over despite the contact of our legs. He was from Romania and I didn’t feel like talking but he said he was starting a company and had some big plans. He asked for my email address which I gave him, then he left.

I crossed the bridge after looking for a better spot by walking into the tiled subway entrance to Blackfriars London. It was drenched in tuscan light not a sound at all, there were some people under blankets just outside.

On the South Bank on the otherside of the river almost directly opposite my previous spot I found Bernie Spain Gardens. I was so tired, I hadn’t slept for 48 hours since hitching from Glasgow.
There’s a bunch of scattered green benches there, right up the back of the small park I can see a white face supine on a bench facing me asleep in an eskimo rimmed sleeping bag. About 30 metres away to my right a man is sitting on another bench slumped with a big hood over his head shadowed from the garden lights by trees. He has no blankets.
I lie down and pull my sleeping bag over me which is only half effective now since washing it in a machine (it’s duck feathers.)
I look at the back of my eyelids, wondering if those sounds I hear are people walking up behind me with a bat about to bludgeon me for assaulting this public space with my seemingly worthless presence.

I hear the sound of jogging feet. I peak out of my sleeping bag and the black has turned to pale colour as people run past with their headphones on and men in suits walk to work not even looking at me. Those other two guys have gone.

Bernie Spain Gardens

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Black Friars Bridge
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RNLT Tower Life Boat Station

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Mexico City.

The pictures throughout the post were developed off my film camera today for..:)

I read excerpts from a book in Huautla called Brilliant Perfect Stillness and decided that I was no longer an individual but merely an extension of natures connected system, like we are all one, leaves on a tree. With that, I decided all this writing and facebooking I was doing was feeding an ego I`ve been desperately trying to lose, so I quit. For 6 days. I simply can`t walk away right now from the love I get from people in all this, I love doing it, It comes dribbling out of my mouth when I`m sitting still, I just want to talk about it.

I also read about “The man who quit Money” and “The Peace pilgrim” who live and lived without money and decided that losing my bankcard was a sign that I could do it too.

I left Huautla, De Jimenez where my mate JOB, THE GREATEST had been sleeping me and feeding me at his families place, “It`s no problem, don`t worry about it” he kept saying, and he meant it, absolutely without any requirement of return, no black book. A living essence of giving.

I walked up the mountain towards TUXTEPEC, with amazing forest mountain vistas, I was bitten on the back of the leg by a crazed fucking dog and swore that I would carry a stick from then on and bash the jesus out of anything that came near me again.

This mungrel on the far left with it’s tail curled up ran off in accomplishment straight after biting me.

on the path to TUXTEPEC

on the path to TUXTEPEC

I slept in the concrete shell of a house on such a beautiful mountain. I crapped outside then had the owners show up while I was in the doorless front room looking out onto the road. I heard the car pullup and stopped breathing for 2 minutes until they discovered me. They froze with stunned looks on their faces which turned to smiles, “No problem” they said. They didn`t see the present I left outside for them though. Hahahah I actually did it on a flat piece of wood then flung it over the side of the mountain. hahahah.

When I was sleeping a dog had sniffed me out and was barking demonically out the front in the darkness, I was so fucking sick of the dogs man, so sick. It didn’t come in but I had to barricade the entry and sit up hoping it would come and peel my face off.

The View from the concrete shells back door

The View from the concrete shells back door

The next morning before daylight a mexicano picked me up and took me to Tuxtepec after shouting me super dry vegetarian quesaldias which constipated me for 5 days. Me and tortillas are finished.

I had no money and walked into town and sold my brand new Iphone 4 (which I got in New York 1 month ago) to some dudes for 1150 Pesos which is a FAMILY FISH AND CHIPS in Australia. I bata`d for a nights accomodation at their friend`s house Pablos, who made me food. I had a cold shower, washed my clothes and slept on his concrete floor and was terrorised by biting winged gnats all night which my blood is still poisoned from and has left my lower legs furiously itchy.  Mexicans seem to live in harmony with them, they have no flyscreens on their houses and sit well into the night with all their windows and doors open and don`t seem to be bitten by them.

Below is a photo of Pablito.

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Got a bus to Veracruz which is a shit hole. Was helped by some young legend called XON find my way to the highway where I started hitchiking to the Guatamalan border to fly to Beunos Aires because it was 600$ cheaper than Veracruz. The sticky, lollipop tropical jungle heat made me crazy OH MY GOD thats right. Something happened that I will NEVER forget.

While trying to get a ride, this chocolate 20 something kid comes cycling one of those jalopy things sweating incredulously, he greeted me and it would appear he had cerebral palsy, he was offering me a lift but I told him I had no money and I was going miles away anyway. He kept saying something to me which I couldn’t understand and staring right into my eyes. He was frowning and I started freaking and became defensive. “No deniro gway, Me noh Deniro amigo….AMIGO, ME NOH DENIRO, COMPRENDEZ??” (I have no money) I was getting pissed off. I looked away anticipating a possible strike from him noting the veins in his forehead and gritting teeth. I was confident I could defend myself and prepared. He reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a roll of bills and hands me a 50, he was saying “How much do you need.” I almost fucking cried. I hugged his sweaty shirt with tears in my eyes and declined. He peddled away in the heat haze.
What else am i wrong about?

This is obviously going to be a long post. Need a toilet break? You having fun? hahahahah. Ok.

TRANSMISSIONS!

Hitchiking to the border in the bullshit heat, a bunch of motor transmission workers take me in and fill my water bottle and feed me bloody quesaldias. I wasn`t going to knock them back, I was hungry and the dudes were awesome.

I got about 5 rides south fairly easily. On one horizon I saw a group of women with a kid trying to hitch. I could have easily stuck my thumb up from where I was and rode sweet, I was miles away but I knew this was the moment to do the right thing. I walked passed them and said “Beunos Suartes” (good Luck), they were picked up by a truck soon after.

Later on after many lifts About 2pm I was dropped off miles up the road from where I had asked, the dude just flew by the road I wanted even though I had shown him a map and was telling him to pull over. I just sat and wondered what was in store for me now. “Tranquilo” he said. (relax)

I got out and stepped on my brand new raybans (The John LENNONS). I walked to a toll booth, it was searing and swarming with insects. Their was a huge army presence there including barracks and a security check. They looked through my stuff and didn`t notice that I was actually there illegally without a tourist visa.

I stuck my thumb out and NOONE would stop, so I walked for 5 hours. I got a short ride with a family who were taking the matriach to the doctor. The father told me how hard it was to feed his kids here. Oh mate I didn`t doubt it, I wanted to get the hell out of there already, it was terribly muggy, swampy and jungly, with little scattered shacks in fields, donkey shit, wild dogs and shrouded in pessimism. (Maybe just mine).

A kid in the back of the short ride I got. His dog was trying to attack me before the ride. These dogs must just beinfuriated by white people. The Kid shouts "REGRESSO!" to the dog and I piss myself laughing and repeat it for the next 3 hours.

A kid in the back of the short ride I got. His dog was trying to attack me before the ride. These dogs must just beinfuriated by white people. The Kid shouts “REGRESSO!” to the dog and I piss myself laughing and repeat it for the next 3 hours.

I started to lose my mind about 7pm when the sun went down. Smashing the grass with my stick, singing –

“Everytime, I turnaround,

you break my heart,

I`ll keep walking,

won`t turn around no more.”

I`ve never been picked up by a truck, ever. Tthey don`t ever give a shit or even wave. It`s company policy not to pick up hitchers everywhere. Sometimes I signal them, sometimes I don`t, but now everytime I signal them they break me and to stop it hurting I decide I`m not going to signal them anymore.

There is nowhere to sleep, the mosquitoes are thick and flock to my white skin, either side of the road is dense tropical growth and swamp, I fucking hate this, why am I doing it! Please No! PLEASE I keep saying. I lay down on the side of the road and realise I`m going to have to power up and commit to walking allnight with my stick. I know it`s dangerous around here because they told me it was, “Hentai Mala`s” they said. Hentais is people and Mala means bad.

I was stretching my knees and could see a huge truck coming towards me in the sunless eve, at the last minute I threw my thumb up quickly in a half effort thinking “you never know”. For a split second I saw the drivers eyes look at me as he zoomed past. That`s it I said Youve got to shut them out to get through this, you can`t afford to get weak. I kept walking and That motherfucker stopped.

100 metres up THE ROAD! HE stopped! I could NOT BELIEVE IT!

I ran like hell towards his truck watching the red tail lights turn on and off expecting him to drive away any second, but he didn`t. I threw my stick in the weeds and jumped up to his window. “Guatamala” I said. He motioned me to jump in, he was going to Comitan which was apx 300 km’s from the Mexican Guatamalan border.

He started driving, and pointed into the back cabin where a little set of brown legs lay in the dark, his 5 year old son is riding with him.

I’m high up in that bouncing passenger seat like a king man, I`ve never been in a truck before and I can`t believe he has picked me up, I cannot fucking  believe it! I can`t  stop smiling, surely I must be doing something right in life to be rewarded like this. I rejoiced punching a clenched fist into my hand saying YES!!! and gritting my teeth. He looked at me and said “NO!” shaking his head in alarm. I explained to him, “Me Felis, TU, aventon.” (I`m so happy you gave me this ride.) He realised what I was saying and slapped my open palm with the most celebratous low five I`ve ever experienced.

We drove allnight, He was so enthusiastic, he would hold out both his hands pressing downwards, adjusting his position in his seat, saying Cmon please, OK wait, wait, as he quietened me and prepared to explain something profound which I couldn`t understand at all. He smiled the whole time, he told me “Me gusta” and something to the device of he was fucking happy I was in his truck. He told me in his 15 years he never picks up hitchikers but saw me walking down the road and saw “Hentai” and decided to pick me up. This is a special day man, I will never forget it.

His son Santiago wakes up and is very shy, he won`t look at me or talk to his dad. I have a feeling he is really upset because I`m sitting in his seat, there’s nowhere for him. I suggested he was timid to his father and his father agreed. Later on Santiago started crying and I apologised to his father who reassured me it was ok.

We made a make do seat in between both of us behind the gear stick. Little Santiago would not shut his mouth for the rest of the night, talking talking talking with a sweet little 5 year olds voice, I adored him. We broke for CAFE about 2am and I payed for the bill, I wanted him to know that although I had little money I didn`t give a shit and that I was so grateful of him.

We got to Comitan about 4 am and he invited me to sleep across the front seats in his truck while he and “Chago or Chagito” slept in the back. I smiled as I drifted off to sleep, this is why that dude dropped me off miles away from where I’d asked. Thankyou from the bottom of my heart.

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The next morning I hung with Chagito while Papa lined the truck up to deliver his goods at the supermarket. I took a photo of them then bailed on a series of sweaty buses to the Guatamalan border. The only reason I came down here with my mexican authorityless UNSTAMPED Passport was because I went to immigration in mexico city and they said it would be cool when I got to the border. Guatamala thought otherwise and wouldn`t stamp my shit. My blood boiled because I knew they wouldn`t let me on a plane out of the country and I would have to fucking go all the way back to Tijuana to leave and I had NO fucking money. Choclate people were in my face trying to sell me stuff, there was street stalls everywhere, flies, bugs, beggars, cripples, rotting fruit and stinking vultures everywhere and I was stuck. I hated everything and everyone and wanted to go home so I went to an internet cafe and made a pleading facebook post to my friends.

I was planning to enter Guatamala anyway and get to the airport.

I was inundated with offers and advice, and everyone of them helped me get through so thankyou EVERYONE.

In the end My mate TREMAYNE EAST wired me money and got my ass the hell out of there and it wasn`t without much stress.

I just got a 17 hour freezing bus ride back to Mexico City without a jumper, NEVER AGAIN. I went straight to the airport and was ABLE to sort out this visa mess for 295pesos. It didn`t seem like a big deal at all. But everything for a reason, RIGHT?

I`m flying to New York tomorrow thanks to my mate DILLON SOCMAS buying air tickets for me. I’m going somwhere else the day after AND IM NOT TELLING YOU YET WHERE IT IS HAHAHAHAH. It`s not Beunos Aires this time because the tickets are 1700$. Sorry Paula.

If my new york FAM wanna get with ME I`ll be there from Monday morning 1201am til 5pm that night.

It will all work out in the end, you know it, we both know (right Bassett?)

Unedited, unabridged, (what does that mean anyway?) un giving a fuck.

Love you,

Love me.

BEATNIK!! note the size of that backpack now, carry ON LUGGAGE ONLY BABY!!! xxxx

This is part 2 of The Pilgrimage to Champigñón, you can read part 1 here.

Highway 135 Mexico,

I left the construction site before the sun rose. I was pissed off that my sleeping bag didn’t protect me from the condensation.

On the side of the road I was preoccupied looking to the sky in random muse when a man in a rusty van stopped.
I couldn’t understand him at all but after telling him I was going to Oaxaca he kept saying “Serca, serca!” I tremored through my dictionary looking for the word the way it sounded. It means nearby. He was overjoyed when I finally understood him and we sat in a comfortable silence for the next 150km’s.

The next driver was equally as pleasant, wearing a refreshing menthol green shirt with a white vertical striped pattern. It was unbuttoned to the bottom of his chest with a shark tooth pennant resting against his sternum. He smiled alot.
A kind young priest also picked me up, I kept falling asleep and leaning on him, I laughed and he wasn’t bothered.

I walked along the highway for a couple of hours by choice. I’m wearing a psychedlic pair of purple boardshorts which finish an inch before my knee cap. My socks are burgundy, pulled up just beneath the peak of my calf muscle, their elasticity is excellent holding them in place. My shoes are a black pair of vans. I have a baggy teal coloured V neck tshirt on, and a golden yellow and blue flannelette long sleeve shirt over the top to shield my arms from the sun. My hat is a floppy wide brim Australian bush hat with a large flap on the back to cover the neck, it’s a horse skin colour and I call it the frill neck lizard. I’m wearing a pair of Ray Bans which I call the John Lennons.

On the right side of the road I notice a short brown lady tending to something atop a ridge, I was ambivalent about approaching her but pushed myself. On the ridge sits a view of the hills, foreground with red ploughed earth and sparse dwellings. The old women has ground yellow teeth and a white wide brimmed hat on. Behind a fence are 3 donkeys, two bulls, two smouldering fires and a bamboo straw hut. “Amigo!!” Says a little brown man. I tell him “Yo caminando, pedeer aventon, Oaxaca,” (I walk, hitch hike, Oaxaca.)
The sun is going down and he offers me a place to sleep in his straw hut where he keeps hay for his animals, “El Rancho!” he calls it. He points down the hill to a crater surrounded by shrub, “Water,” he tells me in spanish.
The hut is small and to the roof high with hay besides a narrow walkway down oneside, he throws a hair covered rug down for me on an ascending pile of straw. I thank him repeatedly then him and his mother dissapear.

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I washed the upper half of my body in the clear stream and accidentally slipped in ankle deep clay wearing my shoes. I clumsily traipsed back to the hut across the fields dragging my feet in the earth, soon realising I was ignorantly trampling Benito’s sprouting crop.

At dark after hearing the definitive movements of unidentified lifeforms between the hay, I abandon the hut for the stars.
I setup the blue tarpolin and sleeping bag on the hard ground, sprayed my skin with natural repellant and tried to sleep.
I heard a loud evinrude type buzzing sound and flung the lid of my tortilla open catching a glimpse of a chocolate bar sized dragonfly, its beating wings framed in the glow of the embers like a strobelight.
I kept thinking the donkey would lay ontop of me in the night and crush me to death or stomp the shit out of me in a confused frenzy, that a team of coyotes would tear my face off after tracking me through the crap I took in a hole behind Benito’s hut, or that the rats in the hay would come out and poison my blood by biting chunks out of my finger like a piece of cheese.
The tarpolin is covered in condensation in and out, my sleeping bag is damp, I do NOT appreciate it.

Next day I walk, I wait for the sun to rise over the eastern ranges to remove the frost from my breath, the dew from my sleeping bag slung across my shoulders and the squelch from my shoes. There it is, the instant warmth, I smile. I don’t feel like looking at the motorists yet, zooming by, mouths gaping wide, wondering why or from where I came with skin so white.
As I walk, I become aware of the sweat forming in my backside, it’s itchy and I’m not wearing underwear, the area hasn’t been washed for over two days.

Shortly later I reach a shallow canyon either side of the road with a thin stream running down the centre of it. As I begin the rocky descent down there, I think about my intentions to write of such observations like the former, and how I’ve tried to refine myself from vulgar jocularities in adulthood. But what for? Everything I’ve done before has prepared me for this moment, my speech and my thoughts in it. It’s not mean’t to be beautiful, it’s just meant to be real.

I bathe in the stream, entertaining myself at the thought of a coach driving by with it’s high windows and passengers looking down at my pale naked body.
I’m going to hang out here a while and write, do some pushups, then I’ll walk til my shoes dry.

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Down stream I see a bull on a rope with a tiny brown man looking at me waving, I smile and wave back then join him and his nephew at the top of the canyon. They invite me back to their house for something to eat, but not before they plough the field with a primitive wooden contraption harnessed to the necks of two bulls.

Juan is at the rear guiding the pick through the earth, jabbing the bull on the right in the hind quarters with a pointed object tied to a stick. “Sully! Ocho!” He shouts in a uvalial vibration reminiscent of Mongolian throat singing. The bulls lower leg is bleeding, it keeps dipping it’s head refusing to move, Emilio is up the front steering with a guide rope smiling under the incinerationg sun.
“SULLYY!!” Juan shouts as the whhoop of the stick cuts through the air thumping the flesh on the bulls ribcage with a hollow resound. It doesn’t move. Jaun prepares his footing to cane the bulls side once more, voicing a short laboured “ocho,” then **WHHOMP** SULLYYY!! The bull bucks into acceleration accross the field,
if it would only learn to move like the other bull it wouldn’t be bashed to death.
Juan takes to hitting the bull on it’s nose bone after repeateded non compliance, swinging the stick and breaking it on impact sending it’s other half flying 10metres away into the air. Is there a word to describe laughing helplessly when you know you shouldn’t?

I went back to their “casa” and met the family. They fed me pollo, frijoles, cheesy broccoli in soup with tortilla’s and cordial.

They kept pointing at the hammock and saying tranquilo but I didn’t understand. I was paranoid of outstaying my welcome and there was a storm coming.
I paused at the end of my stay to say “Gracias por la comida.” (thanks for the food) No problem, they said.
While leaving their property I wished I could think of a way to show my appreciation, anyway at all. Besides cleaning up and washing dishes.

I got on the road again and decided I was going to walk the rest of the 70km’s to Oaxaca, there will be shelter somewhere along the way.
I hear a beep behind me and raise my umbrella without looking, it beeps again and a man slows down offering me a ride in his four wheel drive, I’m not going to refuse.
I get in and try to look up some of the words my lunch hosts were saying to me earlier. I ascertain they were trying to warn me that it’s very dangerous to walk at night.

My first stop in the city is a bar to try Mezcal, then I will rest and continue the search for the magic mushroom.

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Somewhere in Mexico,

I sit back and grin while the people with the information I need to get to the next point roll in and out of my journey. I need to get to Santa Marta train station and I can’t understand help desk’s instructions across the network labyrinth. A little brown man with ground teeth and a childs smile motions me to follow him overhearing my failed comprehension. It was bustling and he kept looking out for me over his shoulder, we had to change trains 3 times and he used one of his tickets for me. Usually I don’t like to smile too much at males because I don’t want them to think I’m gay.

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I got off the train and walked over the overpass at Santa Marta with my fists clenched, gritting my teeth, tensing my chest. YESSS! I make a recording while the brown people turn around and watch me.

The highway out of this town leads to Oaxaca, the heart of Mexico I’ve been told. I don’t even feel like getting a ride, I just want to walk and talk to myself. I feel like Forest, Forest Gump.

Some guy told me he had the best experience in the Oaxaca Mountains after eating Mushrooms. I’ve thought about….Okay I won’t bullshit, I’m going to do it too. Then I’m going to write while I’m buckled and post it unedited.

I walked from 6pm til 2am through intermittent showers. It got dark and the highway shoulder was uneven, grassy, cavernous and at times non existent. I noticed the tyre marks and chips out of the stone kerb where I was walking within a metre to giant square metal beasts with robotic halogen eyes and teeth, harrowing towards me flicking blue metal stones at my oesophagus. I feel fuzzy and slightly deafened with fright. At times I had to cross lanes walking with my back to the traffic, in all black, one slip, one dozing driver….

As I walked on a parallel street watching the rain blemish puddles before me, I hear barking up ahead, they spotted me from 70 fucking metres away and I can see the silhoutte of their legs shuffling around their bastion. I approach without turning my head, monitoring a group of 4 gnaring wolves from the shadow of my umbrella. They circle me, throwing fake lunges and nipping at my jeans leg. These fucking cunts are going to rip me to shreds, my whole body is tingling like something murderous is about to happen. A hairy fiend on my right strikes my hip like a caveat shark, if he bites me I am going to destroy it’s face with the end of this umbrella. It launches again biting my cotton knit tied to my waist. I keep walking un responsive. The barking grows more distant. I actually like those holes in the jumper makes it look like I don’t give a shit.

My knee starts to ache. Do you think soldiers who traversed the jungles of Vietnam had time for sore lateral collateral ligaments!!!
I remember George Bush limping on television one day after a chronic running injury, he said “Listen to your body.”

I found a rogue concrete highway barrier at the end of a street resting partially diagonal to shield the rain. I brushed my teeth and layed my blue tarpolin under it, figuring only a friendly neighbourhood would suspend colourful decorations above the middle of their street.

Dribble had just started to seep from the side of my mouth as I heard a number of snarls behind me. I sat still looking at my blue plastic coccoon waiting for these bastards to rip into my back. They just kept barking for 15 minutes until I packed up and left.

An hour down the road was a partially built service station secured behind a barb wire fence. I procured a spot to sleep for 3 hours in the concrete shell of a building under construction. I kept thinking the workman would arrive while I was sleeping and beat the crap out of me. Mexican tradies obviously haven’t heard the saying ,”Get in early get out early.”

Venice Beach, California.

It would be easy to come here and live on the beach, lots of people do it. There’s sunshine, showers and pizza.
It doesn’t feel like the healthiest atmosphere however, mainly because it’s filled with marajuana smoke.

To support yourself you can sell your bob marley paintings, pirated internet banksy prints, you can busk, or, you can beg with a “need money for penis reduction sign.”

One guy asked me for money on the way to the shop. I told him no. He said “I’m rich,” in a sarcastic tone and walked away. He seemed peaceful and it pissed me off. Do you know how much money I’ve given away to beggars? Do you think what money I have fell from the sky? I knew I was losing my way when I felt angry at someone else who asked me for money. They didn’t say thankyou.

Bill Pettis hangs around on a park bench outside the famous Venice Beach Muscle Gym, he wears speedos. I assume he’s homeless. When tourists attempt to take photos of the carved bodies heaving weights within the perimeter Bill gets in their way flexing one of his biceps and holding a portable radio up to his ear. People screw their faces up and navigate around him, he mumbles to himself and shuffles back to the bench. He only has a couple of teeth left and is quite incomprehensible, but Bill used to be somebody. He was a famous body builder 35 years ago, friend of “Arnies” and apparently had the biggest arms in the world.

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I took a picture of him when he wasn’t looking and offered him a dollar, he accepted it and stuttered thankyou with a gentle gaze. Watching his primitive endeavours to reclaim the importance bodybuilding awarded him many years ago moved me at a deep empathetic level. I want to help him, but how? Money wont help. I can’t find his marbles for him, he’s the only one that can do that.

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Here’s some other photos of the area near my hostel.

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BC, Canada.

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I left Perth 37 days ago. I’ve spent $3,572.90. Life in Cranbrook for the last 3 weeks has been easy while house sitting a 3 story place close to town. The owners took a holiday to Mexico and gave me a V8 Dodge to drive, complete snowboard setup and unlimited Wifi to use. I’ve been to 2 ski resorts close by and have made encouraging progress on the board. By the 4th day I could switch from heel to toe and make turns but I did get angry learning. Surely there’s only so many times you can smash your coccyx on the ice before it will break. Seeing kids a quarter of my age slicing through the tracks encouraged me to keep going. If I can learn to snowboard what else can I do?

At home I’ve been meditating, eating and spending a lot of time on the internet. Somedays before I go to bed I say “That’s it, I’m not using face book at all tomorrow”. Some areas of my life have coveted self discipline. Not this area.

I went to an ice hockey game and watched the players fight and spit every 5 seconds into the rink and on their team mates from the bench.

I went out with my new Buddy DAZ last night. He’s what you want from a friend, human and ginger haired. He teared up talking to me about his father, I hugged him. The only time I can cry is when I’m pissed out of my brain.

“Why aren’t you drinking?” A pair of slurring gentlemen request in unison at the bar. “Life is better when I don’t drink” I reply. “Oh bullshit” they proclaim motioning toward the bar to shout me a shot of tequila. “No, I’m serious men”. They do not appreciate my decline.

Within walking distance there is another bar called “Shotguns”. I now understand what these Gangnam Style posts about are.

There’s something about being on a dance floor full of drunk people that make’s me uncomfortable. It’s like the place is full of people not being themselves and the only way to get rid of the feeling is to join them.

Outside, walking down a lane way in the direction of the car, this girl run’s up to my side. “Do you remember me?”

She has wet brown eyes and straight brown hair that swings by the side of her face as we walk. She attempts to confirm her identity by detailing my raiment the day of our introduction. Ahh, yes. I remember, she was with DAZ one day. She had a tattoo behind her ear and colourful leggings on. She’s trouble I thought, maybe I’ll see her around. Between words she tries to catch my mouth with her bottom lip, her nose brushing past mine. I look down her top at her flat chest, the street light dilineates the striations over her sternum, an adjacent black bra. I’m hesitant to respond to her as some guy is watching us and calling her name, he is agitated. “Let me take your photo” I say. We separate, and the agitated swoops in, but not before my flash freezes her image onto a white canvas.

Tomorrow morning I’m hitch hiking to Nelson. I’ve heard countless people say how beautiful it is, full of hippies with a great ski mountain (Yes probably weed too but I’m not doing that anymore. Shut UP!)

I’m worried about being stranded at night on the way, it has happened before in Australia and I had to sleep on the side of the road. The difference here is it’s below zero and I will die. I’ve just ruined my $500 sleeping bag by not following washing instructions properly. If I survive and make it there, I have at least one place to stay. A guy emailed me in response to my advert on ilovenelson.com for a couch to sleep on. He said I was welcome at his home in town but…He has an American Pit Bull terrior which is “a good dog” but is very protective and doesn’t like people with anxiety. HAHAHAHAHAH. Lucky I’m vaccinated!

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(Mum don’t read this)

Have you ever tried Cariboos? I saw a guy heading to the counter in the liquor store and this well illustrated orange can caught my eye in his hand. Were getting a haul of booze to drink for our Condo weekend a couple of towns away, and yes I guess I have started drinking again. I’m with that girl I spoke about in earlier posts. I’m not going to say her real name because I had sex with her and she has a boyfriend. I got the impression they hated each other and had some sort of open relationship going on. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. This was before I met the guy. We had dinner at her parents house where I’m staying and her boyfriend was respectful and smiled when I talked to him. It became obvious that they were a legit couple.

The Girl’s friend is with us too at the Condo, she’s lovely, shy but encouragable. We’re all sitting on a futon sofa feeling warm and enjoying each others company.

Well I didn’t have a threesome. I’m sharing a bed with Girl, we discussed it before I came, along with some other things. We had been getting progressively touchy over the night but now the lights are out I’m hesitant to start exploring her landscapes.

(Me) “I’m worried about you getting attached to me. You know I’ll be gone soon”.

She redirects her brown bottom in the other direction.

(Her) “Oh for fuck sake, I’m not some irrational 20 year old Bimbo who thinks were going to settle down and have a picket fence. Give me a break”.

I laugh out loud. Well alright then. I was only getting about 50% from her and kept wondering if she was enjoying herself. Maybe I should have made the speech after the match but that could be misleading, and I don’t want any bad publicity amongst her hot friends (providing they can’t read).

We have had a few opportunities to get dirty since then and it took every ounce of virtue in my body to resist the temptation. I wonder what my mates would do. We have obvious chemistry, and a similar sense of humour, I don’t know that many girls that can make me laugh. She also has great tits.

I feel like there is something going on around me that I can’t see which punishes me or rewards me for the things I do and reasons I do them. Wether anyone knows or finds out about these activities is irrelevant, because deep inside, beyond my ego telling me that to be a man I have to screw as many chicks as possible, I know what is right and wrong.

I’d say there’s a 100% chance she will read this so it’s lucky she’s such a good sport. I know other people aren’t always going to be so forgiving. I said to her “You know I’m going to write about this don’t you”. “I wouldn’t expect anything less”.

Revelstoke, BC, Canada 01/02/13

The Freezer

Me “Hi can I book a taxi from 9th St in Revelstoke to the Greyhound terminal please?”

I confirm the pickup address.

Taxi ” What time?”

Me “2AM”

Taxi “Ok we’ll see you at 2AM”

Me “Don’t you want a name or phone number or something?”

Taxi “No it’s ok well have a driver there at 2AM”

I’m writing a blog and watching Bridesmaids with Nick. The bride during rehearsal shits in the street. This is hilarious even when I haven’t been smoking weed. 130AM crept up unnoticed, I’m still dirty after snowboarding, dinner and “curling”. My pack is a “son of a bitch” to organise especially when it’s all over the lounge room floor. I’m going to be on the bus to Cranbrook for the next 8 hours so I want to be clean.

Being wasted and in a rush is not good for a Heem particularly in unfamiliar territory. I make it out the front at 205AM. “Did I miss it, did I miss it?” I don’t have a canada sim card yet so I can’t make any calls. My bus is at 300AM. It’s 225 and I’m flipping out. I have to go wake up Nick inside so I can plug my flat laptop into a power point to ring the taxi on Skype. They reassure me the taxi is on the way. “Is this what’s it’s like overseas? They say the driver is on it’s way, go back to watching CSI and the taxi never comes?”

He comes. I can talk to anyone when I’m bent. It does what a drug is supposed to do.

1. Makes me laugh

2. Makes me sociable

3. Dissolves my ego

4. Connects me with the law of nature. (Karma)

I attempt to embrace the “True Essence of Giving” in my life which embodies kindness to another without the need for any recognition. The purpose of my following recounts are to illustrate why my life is changing and enjoying new wholesome relationships. “Ok that’s $9.50”. I look for the biggest bill in my clip and tip the driver. His face changed shape, everything lifted upwards. He did not expect that.

There is no one at the bus stop. It’s 3AM. I pace up and down and take some photos, everything I shoot is incredible, all my thoughts are profound, I’m a genius! (Popular creative delusions of mine under the influence). Why isn’t this fucking bus here? I opened the email ticket on wifi before I left the house so I could get on the bus. It’s 4AM. As I scan through the email, I picture my Perth homie “Bassett” rolling his eyes and telling me how hopelessly disorganised I always am. He’s right, my bus was 330AM yesterday morning.

I’m sitting on a seat, the ground is at least 10cm deep in ice. There is no one around. I have my $500 sleeping bag and there is a toilet around the corner from which it’s basin I have been drinking. There’s no way of getting back to 9th St, I’m on my own. I love a challenge. I decide I’m going to sleep in the toilet and try get a ride in the morning. A french guy rocks up with his ski gear to wait for a bus, all he can say is “Yes” and “Calgary”.

It's where ya at

At 430AM a short man appears from a motel cabin door, he looks like a bus driver. “I wonder if he’s an arsehole”.

Me “Excuse me? are you a driver?”.

Man “I most certainly am”

I explain where I’m going and what I’ve done hoping he would know somewhere I could sleep for the night. He laughs and says don’t worry “Well get you there”. The bus he’s driving to Calgary is going to be late so he invites me to an all night cafe while we wait. His name is Dennis and when I insisted on paying for his food his soul lit up. One might say of course people smile if you give them money but it’s not the money that’s making them smile, it’s the fact you care about a stranger enough to share it. Sometimes I think about giving away all my savings. Wouldn’t that make things interesting?

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Jesse came back after couch surfing the other night and said “That’s it I’m going to Revelstoke, I’ve had enough of the city”.

I eschewed going out in Vancouver last night to stare at the wall and stress some more about my next gambit. I want to keep moving and I know Jesse is leaving for the snow at 12am. There was a very short girl on the top bunk across from me, she was reading a “Walking Dead” comic. I was really hoping she would just come down from there and start undressing to be honest.

I’m sitting in our room in Revelstoke after 12 hours on the bus. It costs $180 per night.  I’m sharing it with a couple from Perth we met on the way, the dude used to live around the corner from me in Eden Hill. They are here to work and snowboard over the next 6 months. Jesse is couch surfing somewhere else in town.

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(Me) “Show me a piece of music your into Andrew”.

(Andrew) *Plays a metal band called COG*

(Me) “That’s why I travel man coz you meet interesting people”.

Money is sliding through my hands very quickly, I’ve easily spent $1000 in 8 days. I don’t want to write this but I’m stoned again. I know, trust me, I know. I don’t have travel insurance yet and a girl on the bus told me how her friend just went home with an exploded upper torso from ambitious novice snowboarding. What if people are really clicky around here and hate beginners? I’m going to a 1 day Vipassana meditation course on Australia Day, an amazing gift. After that I’m going to Cranbrook to stay with a Canadian Girl (that I boned) who couch surfed at my house 8 years ago in Perth.

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The Log Cabin

I left my new family in Hobart and headed to the confluence in Sorrell where one direction leads to the Port Arthur Convict site, the other to Freycinet National Park where I’m going. A scientist named Craig picks me up, he’d just finished 4 weeks on foot in the Pilbara, he’s also into photography. I asked him why he picked me up, he replied “why not?” A truckie ride told me about the deterioration of Triabunna’s local economy since the wood chip mill closed down, forgot his name. A state housing contractor took me to the Coles Bay Road turnoff and it was here I struggled to hold a conversation. That’s the thing when your hitching, most people want to talk and I felt terrible that all I could say was “yeah” and “oh, that sounds cool”. Hopefully a thankyou was sufficient gratitude. I got a ride right through to Freycinet within a few minutes with Hannah, a local massage therapist, yoga teacher and contemporary hippie. I opened up to her on account of her credentials and found myself being corrected on the way I “phrase things”. I soon became reserved as the conversation was far too didactic for my liking. It did remind me of something I already know and that is “Be wiser than your peers if you can, but do not tell them so”.

Freycinet National Park is a 38km long, wild and mountainous peninsula on the East Coast of Tasmania. It is dead this time of year being the coldest winter month for the region. After a night in a YHA backpackers I dissapeared into the park for 3 days. After walking for 3 hours to the park and along the track, I spotted a monolith about 100 metres away on a steep incline. My inner child spoke to me and upon investigation I found a cavernous composition of rocks and evidence another hiker shared a similar sense of adventure to my own. I will stay in the cave tonight.

To the sky glance an eye

A sea eagle is graceful

A photograph it may be

Floating high on a blue canvas

The sun does show he looks at me

Long tinted wings like eyelashes.

I collected some firewood, despite the no camp fire instructions at the park entrance, “This is my park just as much as it is theirs” I say. On a west facing rock platform I setup and record a time lapse sunset, screaming, playing evocative sounds from my phone and dancing in the warmth of retreating suns rays. I think I understand the meaning of surreal. It was tight in the cave, I had enough room for my blow up mattress, my pack (just) and a fire in a rock recess. My eyes felt like they were bleeding and my clothes still smell like smoke, I was thinking about the weather, if I was going to be savaged by the predator and if I was going to freeze to death. It was super cool and another tick in the box. I did have a dream about a giant seagull coming towards me that made me jump, literally.

Cooks Beach the next day after 3 hours of walking, resting my aching back and chasing butterflies. The sky is a patchwork of black and grey as I leave the beach through a clearing in the bracken. This is a campsite? An eerieness lingers in the whistling air, a purple toy shovel snapped in half lays forgotten on the layer of brown pine needle beneath me. A track barely visible winds through a forest of decaying shrubland, fallen trees obstruct my path, twisting branches merge overhead creating shadowy arches. I can see the colours of a building filtering through the fauna, I get a small headspin and continue monitoring my peripherals reminding myself it’s safe here. After all, I haven’t seen a person in two days.

I enter a clearing with sparse rich wet grass, there is an old campfire, a wooden bench and a sandstone log cabin with the front door boarded in. I have to get in there I think, looking at the dusty floorboards through a missing shard in the window. I investigate the perimeter as night falls and find a rear access point with an inward opening picket door. I will stay here tonight. I started a fire in the vintage iron stove and read graffiti from as far back as the 70’s carved into the window frames. I started to get jumpy around 8pm, it was pitch black outside and I kept pointing my little LED torch out into the misty woods while filling up my billy. It reminded me of when I was a kid and had to put the rubbish out, “I’m not scared, I’m not scared” then when you turn your back on the darkness you sprint for the door. I was worried about the sanitation of that rainwater because I saw wallaby shit on the roof draining into the tank. How did a wallaby get up there? I saw 3 huntsmen, one of which I nearly put my hand on getting water, it was flaring it legs out to touch my finger, I whipped my hand away quickly, the torch light reflecting off its ebony fangs. Once again I’m being smoked alive but this is the best peppermint tea I’ve ever tasted, I’m eating Tinned kippers and rye bread with almond spread and strawberry jam. I’ve been waiting for years to have a campfire, diligently maintaining a healthy flame. I haven’t had phone reception for a week, nobody knows where I am, there’s not a thought in my mind. I wish it was my birthday. I’m in the peace zone.

The next morning I started heading for the exit via the Tourist Renown “Wineglass Bay”. I started rushing with an almost frantic pace with the plans to get out of Freycinet today and head back to Hobart. I was puffing and getting hot, there was a monkey on my back repeating songs over and over, rehashing passed relationships and I could have done betters with a pointless circumnavigation. Trying to relax, trying to breath, calm down it’s OK. Trying just turns the crank and powers the machine. I look up to the trees in my frustration and take a moment to observe my surroundings radiating my breath into my limbs. A cluster of lipstick red flowers shaped like gramophones sharpen in my focus, a cloudy blue sky backdrops 20 grass coloured birds chasing eachother around the tree tops in a noisy malarkey. “What’s the rush man?” “You don’t have to do anything or be anywhere.”

I’m so running behind schedule with my updates. Freycinet was at least 2 weeks ago. Right now I’m at a good samaratins house in Iron knob 88km’s from the halfway point Sydney to Perth. I got stranded here coz noone would even smile at me on the Eyre Highway let alone give me a lift.

spooky at night