Shopping cart at K-mart
The day of days has come and passed. We are now officially living in our own unit in Redcliffe. And not only that, we have also multiplied as our friend Albin arrived at Brisbane airport Saturday the first of February.
This has changed things in several ways, especially I’d say it’s the fact that there are now two of us here who prefer not to spend our days doing yoga, lifting weights and eating alot. It has also given me a different perspective on how we, the original three act around eachother and which of our traits that are maybe not that big of a problem.
Upon moving into the unit, we realised that despite it being “furnished”, there was a complete lack of all things kitchen. This meant a trip to K-mart where we were more or less forced to spend a total of 250 AUD on fans, glasses, plates, cups, cuttlery, pots and pans, toilet paper, towels, sheets and so on. It was an unforseen expence but we have learned from it that furnished does not mean that everything is included.
The deal with the fans is this: air conditioning is expensive – fans are cheap (12 AUD each for a pedestal fan).
Another thing worth noting is that one of the conditions for us getting to rent the unit was that we pay six weeks rent up front as opposed to the two weeks that are custom. This, however does not mean that we don’t have to pay rent for the first six weeks, but rather that we have created a buffert for the future. A fact that made my semi-relaxed mindset towards getting a job alot less relaxed. From a landlord point of view, this is just perfect but for us, it is a bit less so.
I’ll have more entertaining news for you shortly. Peace out!
Spotify Song of the Day: Johnny Cash – I Walk The Line
Packed and ready!
View from Mount TamborineView from Lamington National Park
There were some Alpacas there as well
It has yet again been adventure time as Felix, David and I were asked to go and visit Matthews father to help him with some work in exchange for food and shelter for a couple of days.
The journey wasn’t much more than an hour from Redcliffe and John lives just next to Mount Tamborine, which in itself made the journey worthwhile for me on the bike as the road up is the bendiest I have ever seen and the views from up there were amazing as well!
After spending a few hours helping John take down a tree with a chainsaw, pulling a dead blacksnake out of a hole, moving a pile of bricks full of spiders and other fun activities, we spent the rest of the days playing pool, guitar and otherwise chillaxing.
The day before going back to Redcliffe I was recommended to go to O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat as there are several fantastic views and beautiful tracks in the rainforest environment. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go hiking as I didn’t have anywhere to put my bike-gear, but just the road in itself made it worthwhile. A video will be uploaded shortly!
That’ll be all for now!
Spotify Song of the Day: Tom Petty – It’s Good To Be King
It is time for yet another update regarding our status over here.
After spending last saturday pouring concrete into what would then become the new back yard, we were informed that the happy new tenants for the downstairs unit would indeed be us. This despite the fact there had been quite a few others placing bids, because that is how it works down here.
If you are interested in renting something and others are interested, people apparently do the following; offer to pay extra rent, offer to stay longer, offer to pay several weeks rent up front. What I’d recommend though is to get to know the landlord and help out with stuff.
Along with renting a place for a longer period of time however comes the need for a job and there are quite a few questions surrounding that subject, most of which are yet a mystery to me. I have so far applied to a few jobs on gumtree, and was at an interview this morning, which in itself was an experience as English is my second language. The interview being made in a group however, and the position apparently being as a phone salesman made it clear quite quickly that it wasn’t really the job for me.
A thought worth thinking is that I should perhaps pick up the hammer once again and resume carpentry for a while. To be eligeble for work in construction in Australia however, you need get yourself a white card. These are different in each state and costs between 50-100 dollars a pop, depending on if you do them online or in person. Doing one in person should have the benefit of possibly getting in contact with someone hiring.
That’s enough rambling for today!
P.S. The spiders in the picture are residing in the tree just outside our caravan and I believe the big one (to the left (about 10cm)) is some kind of Orb Spider, probably a female surrounded by a bunch of males as per usual.
Spotify Song of the Day: Imogen Heap – Hide And Seek
One thing I was quite worried about when thinking about the adventure in Australia.. It wasn’t the snakes, the spiders, the sharks or the drop bears, no it was the heat.
The daytime temperature in some (coastal!) cities around Australia right now is at 44 degrees celsius. In Brisbane today, we’ve only had 30 but that is quite enough. I started my day with a nice long walk along the beach where I saw these happy-old-couple-looking Blue Blubber Jellyfish – this was around 7AM and so it was still kind of comfortable, but later on I just ended up lying in the caravan feeling like I was going to melt through the floor.
Being a Swede, this is supposed to be considered a pleasant problem in early January but I’m not so sure I agree. I’m starting to miss the layers and layers of winter clothing, the wooly hats and fluffy socks. You see, the benefit of a cold climate is that you can always put on more clothes to make it more comfortable. When it get’s too hot, you can only undress to a certain point.
That being said, I can’t claim not to be enjoying the morning walks in the soft sand by the cuddly jellyfish. If you want to play with them, the trick to not being stung is to simply not touch the tentacles – especially the insides of the tentacles, because though they are not considered deadly to humans, they hurt quite a bit. Even after they’re dead. Because that’s what harmless animals are like in Australia – they will hurt you even after they are dead.
That’s all for now!
Spotify Song of the Day: John Mellencamp – Hurts So Good
We have now successfully arrived in Manly, just east of Brisbane after a couple of hours on the not so entertaining pacific highway. At least it isn’t if you’re on a motorbike.
Brisbane is famous for being the capital of Queensland, which in turn is a state famous for not applying daylight savings. This is quite weird. From what I hear it gets even worse when you travel to the Northern Territory, because in the rural areas, they haven’t really decided on what time zone is valid, so you just pick one and stick with it. I’m guessing meetings and schedules are not a big thing up there.
After spending some time on various beaches by the fantasticly hot water, we have decided that Brisbane is the place to stay, so we’re currently looking for a house or an apartment to rent and thereby possibly gaining a home away from home.
Some road information for bikers; The road from Nimbin and pretty much all the way down to the Pacific Highway is truly amazing, with thousands of curves and bends that will make you smile. It goes on for miles and miles!
Link to the route travelled
Spotify Song of the Day: The Box Tops – The Letter
As I got to spend the daytime hours of my new years eve alone I thought I’d give you guys a view of what kind of accomodation you get for $35 per week as well as some backpacker protips for those of you who are yearning for knowledge
If you are yearning for some tips I’ll make my rather short list down below;
1. Being a backpacker, it is good to save money. There will come a time when you will need to decide if you’re going to go shopping at Kathmandu or K-mart. We chose Kathmandu, not knowing about the quality nor prices at K-mart. Turns out K-mart was half price, if that.
2. Huntsman spiders are “harmless”, but huge by Swedish standards. I have chosen the rather careful approach to things with a few too many legs as it is easy to run into dangerous bugs and spiders if you live like we do, in a tent.
3. If you’re looking for manual work in NSW in December or February/March. Go to Orange and pick cherries (December) or Apples (February/March). The job is easy and if you know how to work your hands and follow instructions, you will get hired. If you need a place to stay – google ‘Hostel Orange NSW’ and you will find this place.
Spotify Song of the Day: Black Sabbath – Changes
It has come to my attention that we are no longer enjoying the year of 2013, but are instead sharing the brand new and unexplored 2014.
My new years eve was a rather quiet one as I decided not to join Felix and David in their adventure to Sydney and instead stay here in Orange for a quiet night with our hosts, Peter and Claire.
Being a “backpacker” if I can even call myself that means that you trade your normal life for a very special one that I believe it will be hard to relate to for a regular person with a home and a job, but I shall in this post try to do my best.
What happens when you strap on your backpack and follow the first track that may lead to a job is that you quickly get into quite weird environments and everything changes. You find yourself living not just nearby, but WITH people you would hardly even have spoken to in your normal environment, you remake your entire diet, your schedule, and in essence your entire way of thinking.
I have been away from home for over a month now, changing accommodation once a week until we found this place in Orange where we are going on three weeks this Saturday – living in a tent.
Basically what happens is that you get used to the fact that nothing is really permanent and changing your plans for the future may be quicker than making two minute noodles. Just yesterday we helped our hosts moving some horses and all of a sudden, both Felix and David decide that horses are their favorite things in the world and we should abandon everything and go woofing on a horse farm – or well, they both wanted to. I prefer things with engines to things with legs. These kinds of appifanies appear around twice a day and it’s hard to know which ones to follow and which ones not to.
My protip for backpacking would therefor be not to do what may seem the sensible thing beforehand – to plan everything in detail, but instead to have a general idea of what you want to do and be prepared for as many other things as possible instead. You may just get stuck in a vineyard in rural Australia instead of chilling with your surfboard on the east coast.
That’ll be enough advice for a while now I think.
Spotify Song of the Day: Darius Rucker – Alright
Today, we decided to take a morning walk to the Minni Ha-ha waterfall, which according to the information board at the hostel is located 2 kilometres from the hostel. This however was wrong, and the walk turned out to be around 5 kilometres to the waterfall and then obviously the same distance back. What disappointed me however is that everywhere else we’ve been walking, there has been awesome rainforest trails with a bunch of pretty sights, but on the way to Minni Ha-ha we walked on roads and sidewalks and it was.. not very entertaining.
When on site, the trail to the waterfall was absolutely great, with cool cliffs, big drops and steep stairs and to get to the little lagoon, you walk through a bunch of bushes. On the trail we ran into a bunch of people with camera equipment (far superior to my GoPro) who were apparently recording a tap dance session for So You Think You Can Dance (as seen in the picture above). All in all, it was a good workout.
If you’re in Katoomba and can spare the time, you should definitely pay the Minni Ha-ha’s a visit, but don’t walk there. Go by bus, car or bike, or the boots you wear for the hike down will be very hot.
Spotify Song of the Day: Monty Python – Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life
It is today Someday, the eighth of December and we have spent.. well, a number of days in Katoomba, Blue Mountains.
Finally, we have gotten ourselves a car (Jeep Cherokee) that we can load with camping equipment and rid ourselves of the hassle of carrying our bulky bags around. The ammount of stuff I have brought with me doesn’t feel like too much, but once it’s on my back – the opposite soon becomes obvious. Luckily, I got a few fancy panniers with the bike when I bought it and I am thinking of buying even more to put on the side so that I can carry all of my baggage by myself if the need should arise.
Up here in the “Blueies”, it is truly amazing. We live no more than two kilometres from some stupendous waterfalls with what we swedes cannot call anything other than cool life forms. Today, for instance we were introduced to a couple of loud cacadues who decided that the tree not three metres from us was the best place to sit for a while.
While in Katoomba, it should be obligatory to hike to both the Katoomba Falls, make a stop at Echo Point and take a stroll to the Leura Cascades, where we went this morning. The running water accompanied by the sounds of the forest make for a truly relaxing environment and the pathways are excellent. My top tips – wear boots and bring water!
I am currently waiting for the slowest WiFi in the world to let me upload the videos from our hikes as well as my little adventure ride by motorcycle, but that might be a while, so stay tuned!
Spotify Song of the Day: Creedence Clearwater – Looking Out My Back Door