November 29th, 2004

Last night Ginco and myself were having a discussion on the last time we were physically sick. I told him that I think I’ve holded out for about 14 months. Ginco blew me away with his reply of ‘I have not been sick since 1996’. However, the was to change within 24 hours. Matt called and said if we wanted to come down the coast in a twin engine Piper PA-44-180 Seminole, there’s a really good picture of the exact same plane on airliners.net HERE and HERE.

We flew south to a place called Moruya, which is parallel to Canberra but on the coast so we could do some surfing while we were there. It is a five hour drive or one hour flight away from Sydney. Unfortunetly the waves were terrible so there wasn’t much surfing to be done. Here we are on final into Moruya airfield –

Ginco ate a packet of crisps on the way to the airport and was sick of them not long before this photo. I told him when he arrived he could not come to Australia and not live an extreme lifestyle with danger being a key factor.

Matt even let me fly the plane for a little bit. I did some straight and narrow flying on the way out and then brought it down to 5500 from 7000 (actually i ended up at 5400 but it was ok). Here I am at the controls of the bird passing 6700ft with vertical speed at around 6 –

After a successful landing (carried out by the real pilot not me) we took the surfboard out the back of the plane and went for a drink at ‘the high flyer’ pub around the corner. Here’s Matt taking the surfboard out of the plane –

A brilliant day out (although leg 1 of the journey was probably Ginco’s worst for 8 years)

November 27th, 2004

Back in Sydney and everything is relaxing, no more hours and hours of driving!! I met Karine and Mark (friends who lived around the corner from me in London) at the airport at 5am the other day. So now there are three friends in Sydney! Brilliant, it feels like I am back at home which is nice in some ways. After doing all the scenic touristy stuff with everyone we hit the Aquarium in Sydney, it’s really good but makes you feel a bit sick as all the glass bends strangely and make you feel like you are going to fall over. Especially when you are under the tanks and there’s sharks swimming above your head. Here is Karine, Mark and myself under one of the tanks –

We had a BBQ the other night at Rach and Mike’s. Gin was really pleased with this because he still doesn’t feel like he is in Australia until an ozzie cooked the BBQ. Here is Gin with Cooyee (Andrew) the Ozzie next to the BBQ (Andy is wearing some Indian invention to keep the mozzies off him, he doesn’t normally wear a dress I don’t think) –

Here’s the posse on the balcony enjoying some pre-BBQ snacks –

It was Michelle’s birthday the day before so we organized some Fireworks over the bridge, which we could see from the balcony (not really but the timing was prefect) –


KING-X Bad Boys

Some of us headed to Kings Cross for a few drinks the other night, but we ended up not going as we seemed to have walked into a melee of drunken revellers. I made a covert video of what was going on, it makes you wonder why the police here didn’t hand-cuff the two people they were trying to get into the back of the paddy wagon, it would have been a lot easier for them –

November 23rd, 2004

Met Gino at the airport at 20h00 in a terrific thunderstorm. A nice way to be introduced to Australia, it’s not sunny all the time!! I got Gin a donut which he turned down, I think in disappointment that it was not a better gift. After a few beers and very little sleep we were up at 06h00 the next day to meet Rach and Mike to start our trip up Australia. Our trip would cover close to 3000km of driving, one brush in with the smokies, 1 python and lots of spiders….

The car got us to Seal Rocks where we drank alcohol and played drums on the beach –

The beach was great but the waves were tiny!!! Which meant there wasn’t much surfing to be done, which was annoying as last time the waves were perfect and I didn’t bring the surf board 🙁 I did manage to get some waves though so I was happy.

There was loads of Kookaburra birds near our camp. These birds are very nice but when they make noises they sound like monkeys. Which is a bit strange!! Here are three that were above the camp –

We actually nearly almost killed one. It sat on the car door while it was open, I shook the car to see it move up and down and the door started to close. The Kookaburra didn’t notice and the door slammed. He was lucky not to lose any feathers!!!! Rach and Mike left for Sydney on Sunday afternoon, leaving Gin any myself, the unprepared campers to try and stay alive for the next ten days. R&M let us borrow some of their camping gear which was key to our survival. We hit the road in the searing heat for Coffs Harbour. The police pulled me over for doing 110km in a 100km area, I had budgeted for a speeding fine but did not get one in the end, I gave him my word as an English gentleman that would stick to the limit for here on it, which we did. As for Coffs Harbour, I can recommend not going to this place ever, it really is rubbish. We had dinner at this place called ‘Scoffs’ and my Barramundi was still raw in the middle. I was nearly sick. It had have a Motel Forumlae 1 which was $47 per night, so we stayed in this (we already had enough of tents).


Hicksville (Coffs Harbour)

We decided to go straight onto Brisbane from the terrible Coffs Harbour visit. We did some ‘scenic drives’ whiched required going on boats to cross rivers, this was great fun. After about 7 hours of driving we finally arrived at Brisbane. After searching for the Motel Formulae 1 again we passed a dead body on the street, someone who had jumped off the top floor of a car park. I managed to only see one body in six years of living in London, in Brisbane for no more than 2 hours and I had to witness a gruesome death.

We did a tour of Brisbane, a city of 1.6 million people. It seems to be waiting for something to happen, 2010 maybe. We ate Sushi pretty much exclusively in this city, which Gin say he really likes now.

After two nights in Brisbane we set off for the next long drive to Fraser Island. This was the real highlight of the tour. You can only drive on the Island in a 4WD. The Vitara is well and truly equipped for this task, although it is a 1989 model so I was also fairly concerned it might break down, and then we would be really stuck!


The black Vitara with all the other 4WDs heading over to the Island

When we first got onto the dirt tracks a vehicle was stuck up ahead of us. After recently becoming a 4WD expert (thanks to the problems I had last time) I let these guys use my tire pressure pen to work out their tyre pressure. Although in the end this wasn’t going to help as the car was an all-wheel-drive not a four-wheel-drive. A huge difference and not suitable for the Island. Here are the Canadians/French/Kiwi’s stuck in the sand –

We met up with the group a bit later and found out that it took them 3.5 hours to get the car off the Island and they had to spend one night in a hotel before they were able to find a more suitable vehicle. It must have cost them a fortune!!!

The roads were extremely treacherous but really good fun in the car. The trees were also amazing, here is Gin in the car with his ozzie hat on one of the tree enclosed roads –

We got to Central Station which is where we set up base camp for the next 3 nights. Mixed into the forest –

The camp site was cool but there were these annoying flies that when they landed on you wouldn’t get off and then injected there nose into your skin. The more annoying thing was they could bite through a t-shirt so covering up was not enough. We had to plan the hours we were at base camp very carefully to prevent getting bitten by one of those horrible creatures!!!

We set off on our first full day on Fraser Island to Lake Birrabeen. The entire island is sand and these fresh water lakes just rest on top of the sand. The sand was so white and the water was very warm it was absolutely beautiful. We spent most of the day here before heading to Lake McKenzie, which was full of tourists and not as good (nor was the water as warm).


Lake Birrabeen – the water was warm and the sand was white – a paradise

We headed back to base after a day of sunning and some serious off road driving (we would eventually get burns on the hips from seat belt chaffing going over all the bumps) and made chilli con-carne for dinner with rice. A delicious end to a nice day.

The next day it was time to do some beach driving. We were not given a tidal chart (they don’t give you one if you leave Australia from River Heads which seemed strange) so we drove to the tourist information center to get one. Most places on the Island are signposted, so, it would say ‘Eurong 6.6km’ although it would feel like it would take an age to get to those places because of the low speeds that the off roading required! We even met this fella on the road during the drive to the beach –


Python Danger

The beach is a proper road (providing the tide has not come in) and it also doubles as an airstrip. Here I am with the motor on the ‘hard shoulder’ –

And here is a Plane also on the Beach –

We visited some Creeks and looked at a boat wreckage and then headed back to the Lakes before the tide came in for an afternoon of relaxing in the water and Cheese and Crackers. Next day we were off the Island, the rain started to come in so we drove back to Sydney (staying a Motel Forumlae 1 once again) in 2 days. A good trip up the coast and out of NSW state for the first time. More touring coming soon!!!

November 9th, 2004

I just got an email from ‘sporting images’ I at last have some proof I did do the Nike 10km –


I am 6063 obviously.
November 8th, 2004

My new ‘local’ football team support goes to THC FC. This is the team that my flatemates play in. It is an Indoor 5s event that takes place at Sydney Uni. I am a pretty bad supporter of football so only actually made it down to see the final, which they sadly lost 7-3. Although the team did get some medals. This is them with their medals –

I eventually got some of the pictures that Hanna took of us surfing when we were at Manly (technically we were at North Steyne but I didn’t realise that one beach could be split into three sections and have three different names). This is Magnus and I in our early days of trying to stand up, we’ve come a long way since then…honest –

Gino arrives from England on Thursday and we are going up the coast!!! This will be cool. Expect lots of pictures and stuff providing I can find Internet Cafes!

November 4th, 2004

Anhdres my Argentinian friend has created a great little movie which feature him killing these little soot shaped creatures. After asking Anhdres what they ever did to him he decided to create a television style interview in flash that explained who these little guys were. To do this he used audio clips sampled by people all around the world, including myself as an English voice, along with a Canadian, German and a Lebanese.

If none of that made sense then don’t worry whatching the videos will, you will need flash and audio to get the full effect. The second video could be considered NSFW (not safe for work) as it contains one, rather strong, swear word –


Click image to watch the video that spawned the second

Click this image to watch the ‘live tonight’ DA interview with the little creatures!!

Anhdres has done a great job, visit his site at http://www.anhdres.com

November 4th, 2004

“I created this website because it seemed to me important that Americans said thank you to Prime Minister Tony Blair and the British people.

When the call came to stand and be counted, the United Kingdom came to our side.”

This little guy sums it all up for me –

ThankYouTony.com – I am surprised to see NoThankYouTony.com has not been registered.

November 1st, 2004

Rach, Mike and myself did the Nike 10k ‘You’re the run that I want’ on Sunday night. After an initial ‘what have I got myself in for’ shock the run was actually fairly pleasant. Here are our results –

NameGunNetRachel DAY1:04:581:00:25NAME REDACTED1:04:591:02:27Gary BREWERSTEWARDS ENQUIRY

It looks like the little transponder thing we had to wear around our ankles failed to work for me. I knew they couldn’t be trusted, so I took my watch and timed it myself –

0:54:57 is what my net time should be, I’m fairly proud of that as it was my first ever ‘proper run’ I’ve ever done. I’d like to do it again and try and get it down in the 40ies although that would be tough. The best time of the day was sub-30 minutes which is just amazing.