In the Sticks

At first I was going to say in the bush, but learned that bush only applies to rural places with no buildings around whatsoever, and since I am in a house and there’s about 3 other houses nearby, my whereabouts qualifies as sticks. Australia I love your language.

Willy the koala
Willy the koala

I have been in the sticks, 26km from the town of Gympie, 2hrs north of Brisbane and an hour inland from Paradise Beach, for a week now. I returned from my New Zealand adventures a tad tired, and happy to be back in Oz. I have been taken good care of, fed well, and have just basically been taking it easy while contemplating my future, sorting out pictures, re-making my website and whatnot. The days have been filled with cooking and on the odd occasion we have ventured to the nearby creek to build a dam and side streams. Flashback to childhood.

Skilled fetcher
Skilled fetcher

One day we ventured out to the beach, which was amazing in the 30 degree heat. Swimming in rough waves, no sunburn and I drove a part of the drive out! What a lovely day, looking back on it. The only other occasion I’ve left the near vicinity of the house was yesterday, when I saw a real Aussie farm and met the lovely farmers (and their resident koala!).

King of the Hay
King of the Hay

It is always interesting to meet people from a completely different paths of life, and to learn about their lifestyle and motives behind their way of life. This couple was particularly friendly, and we got to do all the activities in few hours. Quad bike riding, climbing on haystacks, feeding piglets, shooting a revolver…now I can tick that Aussie experience off the list.

Billy the Kidd shootin' some balloons
Billy the Kidd shootin’ some balloons

Next destination: The Philippines sometime in March. Unless something crazy happens.

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Byron Bay

Before even leaving to Oz, I knew I wanted to set my base in either Melbourne or Byron Bay, the Canggu of Australia where high vibes and high fives are aplenty, organic food abundant and surfers and hippies happy together. I made my way to Byron from Brissie (Brisbane), and am now experiencing the similar unbearable lightness of being that I experienced in Bali a bit over half year ago.

Byron Bay is located north from Sydney, 2 hours south from Brisbane and an hour away from Gold Coast, making it the perfect stop for backpackers traveling the east coast. Since the 1980’s the number of visitors has roamed year after year, and I have to admit that I consider myself lucky visiting during the quietest time of year; there’s still plenty of people around.

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I have not surfed (yet), and to be honest it is a good question to think what the heck have I been doing with my time. I don’t have a good book to read, I have not got my tan on, and the only touristic thing I’ve done was kayaking with dolphins.

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Kayaking in the sea was great itself, but seeing heaps of dolphins playing around made the experience even better. I learned a bit of the history of this region and some mythology of dolphins, and it was good to know we were not disturbing the animals in their home.

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Besides dolphins, I’ve enjoyed the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen in a good while. I also saw a pretty damn good sunrise from the easternmost point of Australia.

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Besides great scenery and good food (in theory, I mostly make cheap meals at the hostel), Byron has somewhat of a nightlife scene going on. Still need to explore that beyond bonfires at the beach tho.