Monday, December 24, 2007

London Photo Walk

On Saturday I caught up with Toni Louise for a wander around London to take some quick snaps of the place.

We decided to meet at St Pauls and I was disappointed to find the apostrophe cafe had closed down for good. This was the cafe that I spent about 3 hours every day for a few weeks surfing the internet and sipping coffee while gazing out the window at the passers by and St Pauls.

It's where Jusso and I made the plans for the reunion, booked flights and train tickets and secured couches to stay on.

It's where Lana and I sent out numerous emails for modelling jobs, and where I found my job at Squiz on Gumtree.

Oh well, all good things must come to an end.

We met up just before sunset and raced to Millennium Bridge in just enough time to catch what was a pretty amazing sunset....... for anyones standards.

From there we just roamed around and took photos where we saw the occasion. We eventually found ourselves at and had a glass each of house (big spenders). A couple was kind enough to let us sit at the end of the table, and when the waiter came to take away their left over platter they offered it to us.

4 whole pieces of cheese and a french loaf. Hmmmm, should we be posh and let it go, or backpackerish and eat the lot.

All I can say is that was some damn fine cheese.

The Thames from Millennium Bridge at Sunset

Moon through the winter shredded tree's down by Embankment on the water

"Don't leave the path" from An American Warewolf in London came to mind while I was walking through thick fog in the park on the way home.

Candle lit Wine and Cheese at Gordon's Wine Bar

Just looked kind of cool

Friday, December 21, 2007

Best laid plans of mice and men................

I swear this time I didn't even utter the words "nothing could possibly go wrong".

I suppose when you look at it nothing actually went wrong, it just never happened.

Today started really well too. I was up late putting a project plan together to send a client first thing this morning. I probably could have got away with an bit of an earlier night, but I filled the work in with quick chit chat with Maddy as we shared stories about our past.

And when I woke up this morning! You know those mornings when you wake up before your alarm and you're already wide awake and ready to tackle the world, well it was one of those mornings.

All my clothes had dried over night and were ready to stuff into my bag, the camera battery was charged and I remembered to put it back in the camera before packing it, I even remembered to pack my toothbrush and passport. (although I left my england to aussie electric convertor for the laptop, lucky there's 3 other aussies at work).

I got to work and had a great breakfast, the client was really happy with the project plan and things were going great guns. I had a great lunch and an offsite meeting went quickly and with purpose.

The boss put on christmas carrols, food, champe's and beer for everyone and I got my train in time to the City Airport (my favourite airport in the UK).

I got off the train at the right stop and saw the line of people with luggage coming out of the doors. I looked to see airline tags on the bags and realised that the luggage carriage was broken again (last time I had to line up for 40 minutes to put my luggage on the flight).

Fortunately this time I only had a carry on bag! No line for ME!!!!!

I touched the screen to start the automated ticketing system and entered all the details, but it said it couldn't process the ticket at that time and to line up. Pigs arse, you should see the line!!!! I tried again with the same result....... As I went to attempt it a 3rd time I started listening to the very cute French girl explaining that a flight was cancelled.

Hope it wasn't my flight she was talking about.

Fortunately it was the flight to Berlin.

When I glanced up to the monitors I could certainly see that Berlin was cancelled. As was Frankfurt, Belfast, Munich, and every single other flight that was departing City Airport.

Due to bad weather they had grounded all the planes. Bad weather! It was a bit of fog. I'd have flown. Todd would have flown.

I made my few phone calls to tell Chani and Phil the bad news then worked out that I couldn't get a refund, but I could book another ticket for another time.

I'm now on the way back to work where there's still beers in the fridge to post this, have a few beers and head back to have a few quiet bevies an a bit more of a catch up with my new house mates.

Dublin for the Weekend

It's on again. I'm flying out tonight via the best airport in the UK, city airport, and getting into Dublin around 9.30

This is not a filming weekend though, my partners in crime are Miss Chani Mortimer and Mr Phillip O'Donnell.

There's sure to be many a pint past my lips and many an old story retold in the pubs or Ireland. I'm sure one or two new stories will be cropping up as well.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My first football game

Yep, I did it.

I called it football, not soccer. Un-Australian maybe, but both teams had aussies playing for them and by the end of the night rol's and I were insistent on standing up for West Ham rather then turning cheek.

The night started off as well as I could have hoped. Dave and his girlfriend Susan organised some Carling Cup tickets for myself and Rol's, West Ham United Vs Everton in the Quarter Final at West Ham's home ground of Upton Park.

We met at the Upton Park tube stop and wandered up the road in the freezing cold winter wind in search of some Hammers merchandise, a warm pub and dare I say it, a warm beer! (it was that cold).

I picked up a beanie and a scarf and we all picked up a couple of beers around the corner from the ground. We tried to get into the popular Hammers bar, but it was popular and 6 deep at the bar so we ducked around the corner to somewhere less busy.

It wasn't long before we were through the first two beers and looking to head over to the ground to watch the game, but not before the was a bit of a scuffle in one of the other rooms in the bar which saw a bunch of young fella's come running into our section and quickly removing scarfs and beanies to, I guess, become less recognisable. The police told them to cross the road and keep there heads down and they should be fine.

I'd hate it if a police officer told me I "should" be fine.

That's right, I'm a card holder now

We wandered over to the ground, found our enterance and seats just in time to cheer the hammers running out onto the pitch and to start my first rendition of "Blowing Bulles", which pretty much consisted of me singing "Blowing bubbles in the air" at the end.

Upton Park

The beginning of the game couldn't have started any better with Cole taking random lob into the box on his chest, turning to beat the keeper and slotting it into the back of the net. That saw me jump to my feet and scream out with nearly as much passion as I would for a Glen McGrath LBW shout to remove Tendulkar for a duck.

Celebrations after Cole's Goal

That was it. West Ham seemed to just give up as Everton out played them for the remainder of the half and were unlucky to only get an equaliser.

Half time saw me desperately lining up in the loo's to relieve a pint of water and two pints of beer........ and then desperately trying to race the girl in the line next to me to order the last two pies.

There were ups and downs in those races, and in the end if I had to lose one of them I'm glad it was for the pie.

Roland and I settled for a couple of hot dogs and half a pizza each, and of course a beer to wash it down. We looked around and couldn't help but smile at the........ lets call it the variety of fans that flooded the outer halls at half time.

Now I've been in the outer at the MCG on Day 1 of the Boxing Day Ashes test, but it wasn't as mad packed as the isles during half time at this game.

We made it back to the seats, and fortunately West Ham made it back into the game even though the Ref was doing everything in his power to keep them well out of it.

Unfortunately a simple mistake by the keeper and defender allowed Everton to put away the easiest of winning goals in the 88th minute which then lead to half the crowed leaving the ground.

We walked out on the losing side, but it was an awesome experience to be cheering on the home team in such a great stadium, with such great seats.

We were going to head straight back to the tube, but seeing as there was a pub right outside the tube stop it would have been stupid for us not to at least stop for one beer. While we were in the pub there were a couple of girls walking around trying to flog off pirate dvd's for £2 a piece. We laughed as the guys next to us bought a couple, and then jokingly said where are the stick flicks.

Well apparently they weren't joking as the girls reached into their bags to produce twice as many dvd's with such great titles as "Cliff Banger" "Butt Bandits VII" and numerous others. After much, much laughing at the situation, and at the guys saying if they had a DVD player they would have bought the lot, we wandered onto the tube for the trip home.

Normally stories would do well to end here, but fortunately Roland and I decided to make more of night for it.

We sat on the train with plans to head back to London Bridge and then onto the Norther Line back SW. We sat near three other guys and one of them soon brought up West Ham (we were still wearing West Ham Beanie's and Scarfs) and how Lukas Neil wasn't as good as Tim Cahill.

Initially we thought they were West Ham fans and were saying as Australian's Cahill was better, but we soon found out that they were in fact Everton fans hell bent on stirring up trouble. They pinched the beanies off our head and made a quick game of keep it off us before we took them back off them.

It would have been wise to put them away, but at that stage I'd be damned if I was going to hide the team I supported (having seen all of one live game..... idiot).

Most of it was banter, with the 3 of them trying to chant us off the train at each stop, but it could have gone pear shaped on a couple of occasions..... like when we found out that they were Everton supporters and Roland told them they were a long way from Liverpool, they pointed out we were a long way from Australia. Fair call really.

Another time may have been when one of the guys said my west ham gear would look better laid out on the ground at the next tube station, and I mentioned that he would look better in a similar situation.

And finally, when we suggested that they were either too poor to afford, or too scared to show their true support for their team by not wearing anything that represented Everton.

Seems silly now, but at the time we may as well have been life long West Ham supporters and weren't budging a bit.

I had to laugh though, we'd actually got onto the wrong tube and weren't heading for London Bridge at all, so we wouldn't have been in the situation to begin with. And to compound my laughter we could have got off at Moorgate but it was during one of their chants to get us off the train, and even though it was our stop we didn't want to give them the satisfaction of thinking they'd won (they'd already beaten us at the game, couldn't give it to them twice).

All in all it was an awesome night, especially seeing as we stayed out of trouble and got to cheer west ham for 88 minutes of the game.

Come on you Hammers!!!!!

Surfing Vs Working

It doesn't seem like much of a contest but the last few weeks Surfing has been give a huge touch up.

I draw the line today though, after I got an email from Mum asking why I haven't been keeping this updated. I thought I moved out of home 7 years ago to stop the nagging (only joking mum).

I do have a bit of tale to tell, but unfortunately long hours spent in front of the computer for work make me less inclined to spend much time in front of it out of hours. However, I do believe last wednesday's nights trip out to Upton Park to watch the Hammers is more then worth a few minutes of key stroking.

So don't loose hart, that story and more (a trip to Ireland this weekend included) will be coming up shortly.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ireland gets big waves again

Or at least so I'm hoping.

I'm on a waiting call at the moment to book another trip over to Ireland to add to my collection of surf footage, although it's going to be tough to beat the last session.

While the swell doesn't look to be anywhere near what hit on 1st December, it is decent size and the right direction for a few spots. If the wind can hold off for the weekend we might luck out and get something special again.

But if that fails, I can always turn to plan B. Get drunk on guinness in the pub! Fortunately a good mate of mine from Darwin is going to be around the place over the weekend so it'll be a good chance to catch up on the past 6 months and get a few bevies under our belts.

Of course, I'd rather do that after a days filming in the cold, but if I have to drink all day then who am I to argue!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

No more Couch or Floor Surfing

Over the past few months of travelling I've been blessed with a mixture of a great bunch of old friends, new friends, and strangers.

Since I moved out of the famous Margaret Street just after Easter of this year I haven't had a permanent place of residence, and instead of the usual story of having to stay in Hostels around the world I was taken in to the home of both old friends and strangers.

I've now moved into my own room in Clapham and I'm looking forward to being able to repay the favours that were so generously bestowed upon me.

So here's a HUGE thank you to the following friends who gave me a roof over my head

Darwin - Phil

Darwin - Kylie and Paul
Brisbane - Reanna
Hawaii - Myles

San Francisco - Chip/Sean
Santa Barbara - Sara & Billy
San Diego - James

Nicaragua - Sherri

London - Roland, Rich, Cres, Mel
Dublin - Jusso
Munich - Larissa
Munich - Kita and Lana

London - Roland, Rich, Cres, Mel
London - Michaela, Toni-Louise, Danni, Lana and Kita

London - Rachael
London - Michaela, Toni-Louise, Danni, Lana and Kita

London - Michaela, Toni-Louise, Danni, Lana and Kita

....... and finally my new flat mates Sarah, Gary, Maddy and Lauren!

Again, thanks to everyone that took me in and looked after me, you've helped me travel for longer and have better experiences then I ever though was possible.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Surfline pick up XXL Ireland footage

A big thanks to Surfline for picking up and posting the preview footage from the huge swell in Ireland last weekend.

The full clip will be available in a few days.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Big Wave Surfing in Ireland - the end

Well it's come to the end of my weekend adventure away.

Today there was no surf footage, which is a little disappointing. On the other hand I was able to catch a couple of different breaks and met a couple of locals that I'll come back to have a surf with, and it also gave me an opportunity to soak in both the country and what this weekend was all about.

Spending time with friends and family is special, but at 5 am this morning when I had a message through from a mate saying that he had beers with the members of The Cat Empire, the concert that I forgo to come over for this trip, I realised that I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else in the world.

I had on 3 pairs of socks, pants, jeans, singlet, thermal long sleeve top, tshirt, zip up jumper, hooded jumper and the sleeping bag, all the while the car was shaking because of the wind and I could here the pitter patter of the rain on the car roof............. and I was loving living every minute of it.

Sometimes you just need to have an incling to want to do something, and you should grab on to that incling and live the shit out of it!!!!

Live it, love it, always remember it.

Big Wave Surfing Ireland - Kilcummin, Mullaghmore, Easkeys

Update: The crazy Irish West Coast has now unleashed a new beast, Prowlers.

Prowlers is the latest uncovered big wave spot, watch the guys surfing Prowlers here

The past 24 hours have been awesome!

I finally got onto the flight a few minutes after it was supposed to be arriving in Dublin, which is actually the best way to take a bunch of normal people, put them in a room together and watch the bitchy and sniediness take control.

The flight was pretty quick. I was asleep before the demonstration, work up briefly for a snack and some water, and again when the plane was losing alittude (or we were flying through a storm, I was tired and can't recall which one) and just in time to look out the window and see the lights of Dublin before we landed.

I grabbed the car without any hassels at all and managed to find my way to Mullaghmore just after 3am. Not bad going seeing as I got to the car desk just after 11pm. I drove around the headland trying to work out where the wave was going to be breaking, and it turned out I was pretty spot on.

It was a pretty tiring drive, definitely should have grabbed an IPOD tuner, but the Ireland radio was good enough o keep me awake.

I stopped off at a Tesco's on the way to get supplies (and had de ja vu of our wicked camper adventure), bread, banana's, water and a few dc's to break up the drive a bit.

In the morning I woke up and was FREEZING!!!!

I was told that the tow in surfing guys would be there at dawn, and silly me thought dawn was about 6am...... but seeing as the sun doesn't rise forever here it's actually quite late (could have used some more kip too)
Houses upon the hill looking over Mullaghmore

I met a surf teacher who was looking on at the waves before anyone went out there and I was filled in with the good local areas that would hold a good size swell like this.

After a bit of time the jet ski's came out with the tow in surfers and they begin to check out the waves.

I was slightly disappointed about the size of the waves from where I was standing, after all I'd flown over especially to check out HUGE surf in Ireland, and now I was getting slightly above standard.

Of course, when one of the surfers actually got towed in to one of the huge waves I was able to see just how big the swell was....... and while it can ALWAYS be bigger this was a good size.

I spent a couple of hours trying to get feeling back in my fingers and toes......and somewhere in that time I think I pressed record once or twice to get some footage.

After the jet ski's radio in to get more fuel I decided to get 15 minutes kip, and when I awoke the film crew that was there and all the surfers were gone.


So I head on further up the coast and checked out Bundoran - The Peak, which was maxed out and no one was there.

I decided to head back to Mullaghmore to see if they were heading back out and stopped off at Tullaghan but with no luck. I missed the turn off to Mullaghmore so decided to head on down to Black Rock Light House at Rosses Point but that wasn't doing much at all.

The guy I had called the day before said that Easkey's might be 15ft so I stopped in there to yet again find no one surfing.

I was beginning to think that all the warnings on the radio for big waves and the dangers of being near the beach had got to the Irish, but they refilled my belief in them when I got to Kilcummin.

The waves were beautiful and of good size, and there were some really good surfers out there surfing the shit out of the waves.
Irish Surfer's carving up Kilcummin

I stayed there for an hour and got some really good shots (or so I think) until it got dark and I headed back to Kilala for a couple pints of Guinness and some warm food.

I've driven back to Kilcummin and am going to sleep in the carpark where the surf break is so I can sleep right the way through to 7am before getting up, grabbing the camera, and catching some more great footage before I begin my long drive back to Dublin and flight back to London.

..... woops, I nearly wrote "flight back home" instead of London then.

Finger crossed the swell will still be good size tomorrow and the surfers can put on a show for me.......... and once I get the footage cut a show for you all.

Big Wave Surfing in Ireland - flying there

Stage one is complete......... I managed to get out of work without having too many beers that I ended up missing my plane (I only had one).

I braved the peak hour tube service and have made it out to City Airport without too many problems.

The plane is delayed about 45 minutes so I'll fight off my tiredness for now and make sure that I get on the plane. The good news is that I just heard the speaker calling a couple of people to get on the flight was was leaving soon, if only they had done that on some of my previous flights.

I found a guy through a few google searches that is trying to run a "Tow in" jet ski safety course and called him this afternoon. He's given me the name of a couple of spots for big waves and the best time to catch them.

After filming in the morning I'll be driving down to where they are surfing/towing and meet up, hopefully I might even get out on the water to get some footage (in a boat though, not on the back of a jetski).

Before I go I have to do a quick apology to Holly. She's a legend and got me a ticket to the Cat Empire tomorrow night and we were supposed to be hanging out this weekend with the rest of the rowdy bunch.

Unfortunately she also mentioned there was a huge swell hitting Ireland and the rest of the UK...... so here I am, two days later sitting at the airport ready to embark on an adventure to get some epic footage. Sorry Holly, but thanks Holly.

Oh and a quick thank you to Kristian as well. He was the one that suggested that I take a camera travelling with me around the world, and without that slight nudge I wouldn't have filmed killer barrel's at Puerto Escondido (Mex Pipe), the awesome surfers at the magical Barra De La Cruz, the magnificant Mayan Ruins and surf adventure through Mexico, the Edinburgh Wicked Camper road trip and now this, hopefully the best footage yet.........

Friday, November 30, 2007

Big Wave Surfing in Ireland

I'm heading over to Dublin tonight from the City Airport in London.

From there I'm getting a hire car and driving over to the West Coast of Ireland with the camera in the hope to catch some of the 35 - 95ft swell hitting the region this weekend.

Fingers crossed I'm going to get it sweet. I'll post photo's and film as soon as I can.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Surfing Morocco

That's right! I'm heading out of the freezing cold climate of England and am heading to the slightly less freezing climate of Agadir and Taghazoute.

I'm flying in to Agadir, spending a couple of days around the surrounding surf beaches before heading inland through the mountains and up to Marrakesh before flying back to London get back to work.

I'm booking everything today, so fingers crossed there's still going to be some flights around that time or you could see a very disappointed follow up post.

If anyone is keen to come along for a surf trip post a comment and I'll get back to you with more details.

Fingers crossed............

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Night out at the Daaaags

Tonight was one of my new work mates farewells.

We had talked about a few options earlier in the week, all revolving around the pub, but ended up deciding to make it just a little bit more special and head out to Walthamstow greyhounds.

Now I have to say that I've been to the dog's a few times in my life time, but this was some thing different.

For those in Australia, going from the Winnellie Greyhounds to the Walthamstow is like going from the Tennant Creek races to the Melbourne Cup.

There were 14 races between 7:45 an 10:30, and I didn't back a single winner. I wanted to do my normal trick and just back the pink for the night, but of course there were no pink dogs running. In fact, there are only 6 dogs in each race which greatly reduced the different colours I could back, but didn't make my winning ways any better.

The night was great........ as the pictures will show, but at the moment I've been sitting on the train for nearly an hour stopped waiting for another train to clear the tracks.

Grear night.............. bloody ordinary trip home.

The good thing is that I've decided, due to the sheer cold of the track, that I need to get out of the UK for christmas. I'm planning to head over to Morocco for a surfing 10 days in the near warm waters.

Tonnes of stuff to do at work tomorrow, but loving every minute of it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend Surfing in Bath

I've literally just stepped back into the house after a surfing weekend trip to Bath with Rol's.

I won't go into detail now, but Bath is a fantastic place and is easily my favourite city so far in the UK.

I'll post photo's and write about the adventures, but for now I'll just say a quick thanks to Carrol and Jules for having us in their fantastic house, and to Holly, Ness and Elly for making our stay extra special.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wicked Camper Adventure to Edinburgh - The Film

Edingburgh Wicked Camper Adventure - Intro

Edinburgh Wicked Camper Adventure - Movie

Edinburgh Wicked Camper Adventure - Pictures

Edinburgh Wicked Camper Adventure - Credits

Monday, November 05, 2007

Surf Trip to Portugal

This is the starting post in what is going to be a great weeks holiday in Portugal.

For all those that stumble across this post are keen to join in on the fun, make sure you add a comment to this blog and let me know how to get in contact with you. For all my friends reading my updates, now is your chance to start planning a holiday and catch up an unforgettable week away (James, there is no sharks here at all...... promise).

Now there are no excuses for you not to come along on this surf trip. It's not going to be until next year after winter so you have plenty of time to save money, apply for leave, and to hit the gym so you're ready to get into your surf wear and show off your hot body. Of course, those of us coming from the UK will be showing off our white-if-not-see-through bodies, but once they get some sun you'll be impressed.

For those that don't like surfing.............. well what are you doing reading this blog. Go away!

Only kidding. If you don't like surfing you are still going to enjoy camping on the beach and listening to the waves crash at night, still enjoy sitting around a campfire while Tod, Tyson and myself woo you with our acoustic pop hits (by the way Tod and Tyson, you're already penned in for this one), and love the scenery, good food and cheap beer!

Dates are still very much in the air, but I am keeping in mind that the week of Anzac day is OUT, however we could do it a week either side of it to coincide it with our Aussie and Kiwi travellers. I was going to plan to have it over the Easter weekend, but that is going to fall in March this year and from what I've heard that is still going to be too cold to be enjoyable in the water.

The camp will last for 7 days, including the pick up and drop off days from Porto airport.

The cost is, at the moment for off season, 280 euro's for camping, and a little more for caravans and again more for the beach house. I'm only going to be organising tents for now, but if it turns out that we can get everyone into a beach house for the same price or cheaper then I'll go with that.

There are discounts for groups, but again that will depend on the number of people coming along.

The price will include your airport transfers, breakfast, accommodation, surf lessons, equipment (surfboards, rash guards, wet suits etc), all you need to do is cover lunch/dinner, beers and flights in and out of Porto.

Oh, and it doesn't matter if you've surfed for 15 years or 15 seconds, everyone will get what they are after from this week.

Let me know if your interested!

Edinburgh Wicked Adventures - Part 3

We found a park next to the castle and piled out of the wicked vans.

When I say next to the castle I'm technically correct, it was indeed next to the castle. It was also about 50 meters below the entrance to the castle, which made for a breathtaking walk (not scenic breath taking, just 9 unfit campers).

We reached the front gates amongst a heap of tourists and took in the great castle before us. We also took in the £11 entry fee and had a quick team meeting about what we were going to do. Actually, change that. We had a lengthy team meeting which resulted in a lot of "I'm not really keen, but I'll go if your keen" for every possible idea that was put forward.

Eventually we decided that the £11 would be better served sampling the fine scotch in Edinburgh as opposed to rushing through a tour of a bunch of old rooms in the castle. We will be back one day, by train, and that's when we'll do the castle tour.

We headed off down the main street and found the best pub serving the best Scotch in Edinburgh. Actually, we just walked until we found the first pub down the road and each ordered a drink.

We sat outside and, although I'd like to say enjoyed our Scotch, reluctantly downed our drinks. Fortunately we had some beer chases to go with the straight scotch, and had we stayed there I'm pretty sure you know the direction we would have been heading.

Everyone split up and checked out some cheesey tourist shops and got our blankets and bagpipes and hats and key rings and whatever else reminded us of Scotland.

After an hour and a half, and well past our car tickets, we headed back to the cars and went in search of a place to spend the night.

Unfortunately Edinburgh, while not as big as London, doesn't have readily available fields for us to pitch our tents and make our own. Instead we headed out of town in search of a caravan park or a nice patch of grass in the woods.

When we came across the only available caravan park in Edinburgh two of the girls went inside to organise prices and exactly where we were going to park up. Unfortunately one of our crew had forgotten to hit the bathroom prior to leaving the pub and decided that the caravan grounds was the only option.

So not to incriminate anyone I'll change the name. There was Rob Tobinson behind one of the hedges reliving himself in what he thought was a great spot, while one of the elderly gentlemen around the place walked past and stopping to say "That's not on mate, that's not on".

A minute later, and while the girls were organising a place inside the office, the guy walked in yelling about not letting the two vans stay at the campground overnight because of the vulgar display of Mr Google.

Well that was one decision made on our behalf.

It was a good thing though, because we ended up down the road a few minutes staying in a warm bed in the Globe Trotters Hostel, complete with bar and pool table.

Most of the crew began to play some drinking games while I excused myself to the bar to watch the Rugby Union World Cup final with the Essex boys.

At half time we made a made dash into the city and found the first pub that was playing the game, and fortunately it was right next door to the kickingest (yes, it is a word) bar in Edinburgh, the Whistle Binkies. They had on a cover band that played all the rock hits of the 80's, the cure, acdc etc and had an awesome female lead singer with a sparkling gun belt buckle.

We rocked out there for an hour or so before heading off to find a better pub. Unfortunately, and as we soon learned, that was the best pub in Edinburgh and everything else just paled in comparison.

Two by two we headed back to the hostel and into the bar for a few more drinks and a couple of games of pool, and then slowly but surely we all ended up crashing out in the rooms after what was a fairly long and exciting day.

We had to be at breakfast in the morning before 9am and had to check out at 10am, and one of us was going to set the alarm. At 9.50 I got out of bed and checked my phone....... and the excitement started again for the third day on the road.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wicked Camper Adventure to Edinburgh - Part 2

I awoke on the Saturday morning to the sounds of a car driving past the field.

Our apparent out of the way place to set up our tents was in fact on quite a heavily used country road. We were still a way off the beaten track, seeing as there was no one to usher us on right even when we left at 10am, but each time a truck drove past the wind would ripple the tents.

I got out of bed and grabbed the camera to get a bit of scenic footage on a beautiful Scottish morning and noticed that we did indeed have the field to ourselves.

Our set up in the field

Off to the right was another field full of sheep, and further on was a factory billowing smoke into the air. Behind the tents was the road, and over the road was a farm house with an old leaf barren tree. To the left of the house was another field, with several cows and a couple of bulls. Thankfully we didn't end up in that field otherwise one of two things would have happened.
  1. We would have gone cow tipping
  2. The bulls would have gone tent slaying
One by one the rest of the crew slowly got out of bed, except for Sam who rushed out of bed as Tyson and myself started to collapse his tent around him.

We all huddled around the tents and campers while we set up the 7 digital cameras and 1 polaroid camera to get a photo of our first night destination on the road trip. Of course, it took us 5 minutes to get everyone into frame and then it was a mad dash by Tod and myself to get back into the photo...... but I think you'll agree they worked out well.

From here, low on fuel, we headed straight back to the petrol station and filled up before heading to Tesco's to get some breakfast. After 30 minutes of aimlessly walking around the store we had what we needed for breaky and got back to the car.

Now we were faced with another problem, where were we going to have our breakfast? Would we go to the park down the road, back to the field where we slept, head further along to the next town, head back to the brook (yes brook, not stream or river or creek or anything else you can come up with) and have it there.

Decisions decisions decisions.

It was all too hard, so we just opened the back of the wicked campers, took out the tables, chairs, plates and kettle and ate our breakfast in the middle of the Tesco car park.

I won't say that we didn't get any weird looks from the umpteen people that walked past us on the way to do their shopping, but no one suggested that we move on, and most importantly no one suggested "That's not on mate, that's not on!"

Forget Breakfast at Tiffany's, the new craze is Breakfast at Tesco's

After breakfast we piled into the car and headed off via the scenic route on the way up to Edinburgh.

We pulled over part of the way into the journey to soak in the serenity............. ahhhhh, how's the serenity..... bloody beautiful.

When we reached Edinburgh we had DJ Lana in full swing with the ipod and was pumping some crazy tunes through the wicked camper radio. We kind of got carried away with the craziness and pretty soon we decided that the van couldn't stop moving.

Of course, we HAD to stop for traffic lights (just for the benefit of mums and dads and wicked camper staff reading this), but the back seat took liberty in ensuring that once the forward or backward motion stopped that the side to side motion started.

I'm not sure if all of the weird looks and stares we got through the centre of Edinburgh was a result of the vans paint job or of the crazy occupants of both vehicles.

At one stage we drove past a bear, yes a real life bear. They had somehow trained the bear to carry a bucked around the town and ask for donations for a worthy charity. Seriously!!!!! Who wouldn't tip a bear. It's a freaking bear!!!!!

We on the other hand couldn't stop and get out to donate, so we just shouted, tooted and cheered the bear on. About 50 meters up the road we pulled up at the lights and the Essex boys started out left to right movement before...... BANG!

Something had hit the side of the Wicked Camper Van causing Lana shart ever so slightly. The next thing I knew there was a bear leaning through my window with a bucket asking for a donation.

Did I donate?

Did I mention it was a freaking BEAR!!!!!!
The Bear out fund raising

I gave some money and we headed off to find a park and wander up to Edinburgh Castle.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wicked Camper Adventure to Edinburgh - Part 1

Weekend at Edinburgh

So do you like................ stuff?

One thing I definitely like is road trips and this one definitely did not disappoint.

The weekend got off to a mixed start. I managed to land my job at around 3pm and then had to rush off to pack my bags not just for the trip but also so I could move out of the place that I had been staying at.

30 minutes later and I was heading up to Colliers Wood to get on the tube out to Kilburn Park where we were picking up with Wicked Campers.

As I reached the front of the train station the gate was slammed in front of me, and the bellowing announcement that someone had jumped in front of the train came over the loud speakers.

As people poured out of the station there was a mixture of emotions. On one hand there were young children crying to their mothers, grown women crying over the phone to their significant other, while there were others that we're vocally shitty about the fact that this had slowed their progress home on a Friday afternoon.

I jumped in a minibus and headed for Stockwell station where I could still get to my destination. It takes about 10 minutes on the tube, but 25 minutes later we arrived and I was now running late.

Once I got on the tube one of the passengers rang the emergency bell which slowed us for another 10 minutes............ was I even supposed to go on this road trip? Was all this telling me that there was going to be a accident while we were away?

I got to the Wicked Camper offices just after 6 to find the Scoville's sitting on the couch waiting for the 7 other road trippers.

We all turned up in drips and drabs and after payment and paperwork we were ready to hit the road.

There were 9 of us on the road trip, Kita, Lana, Andy, Sam and myself in the Clockwork Orange van and Tod, Tyson, Toni-Louise and Michaela in the Marvin the Martian van.

It took us a little while to get out of London, but with Sam's trusty Tom Tom wedged into the back seat and the Ipod pumping tunes through the radio we had everything we needed to get just about anywhere.

The further we got into the night the easier the drive seemed to get. Both Tod and I nailed coffee's while everyone else nailed the beers, but thanks to some very weak bladders (Andy, I'm not naming any names) we got plenty of opportunities to stop along the way (and maybe "borrow" some salt, pepper, facewipes, milk, sugar and knives and forks).

Although we were able to make it we decided to pull up about 80 miles outside of Edinburgh in a small town. We thought it would be nice to camp in a field in the country before hitting another city.

Oh, and we were also both out of fuel and the station wasn't open until the next morning.

So there we were, 3am with rapidly dropping fuel gauges, pitch black country side and no idea where we were. We drove around a few back road farms until we came across a paddock with the gate open. ahhhhhh, bed for the night.

We unloaded the eskies, chairs, tents and guitars and sat around for a few hours while we soaked up the cold country lifestyle. Tyson and Tod strummed away at the guitars while Andy played solo on the bongo's (see the movie to find out just how solo it was).

One by one we faded off to the cars or the tents for some shut eye, and when we woke up in the morning........... well that's for part 2.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Road Trip Butterflies

As I sit at uk branch I can't help but feel butterflies in my stomach.

Is it nervousness about the interview?


Is it anxiousness about getting out to pick up a lens for my HV20 35mm adapter?

Could be.

But more likely is it's the excitement about heading off on a road trip from London to Edinburgh with 9 other new friends.

Some of the best times of my life have been spent on road trips. In fact, I'd say the top 7 of the top 10 best times we're part of road trips.

I'm always big on not building things up too much, trying not to expect too much from a situation because when you do you're often faced with disappointment.

Well bollocks to that (bollocks? have I been in the UK for that long???). Every single road trip, no matter whether it's 2 hours down the road or 14 days around the east of Australia, every single one has had nothing but the fondness of memories cast back over them.

Of course if the interview goes well and I get the lens for the camera things are going to be even better, but it's hard to top better when you're looking at spending 72 hours with 3 guitars, 10 people, 2 wicked vans and a new country to explore.

by the way, I got the job.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wicked Van to Edinburgh

I've just finished my second shift with the Revolution Bar.

Well actually you can't really call it a shift.

I got in there 40 minutes early for my training shift in a poor effort to try and make up for the fact that I was going to miss my 2nd and 3rd shift this weekend. Not much of an effort, but a token effort none the less.

Why wasn't I going to my shifts? Well that all came about a few days ago.

On the way back from Munich I spent 18 hours on a bus with Lana, Michaela, and Toni-Louise talking about music, food and poo......... and not necessarily in that order.

Every now and then the conversation strayed away from those topics, and one such time we strayed onto the topic of wicked vans. I explained How to get from Brisbane to Melbourne in 14 Days and they seemed to like the idea of road trips....... but who doesn't.

I suggested a trip through Europe in one of the vans and the girls were all over the idea like a fat kid on a smarty. I did some research on the cost for a trip over 40 days and came up with a plan, but travelling through Europe during winter is probably not a good an idea....... kind of like trying to invade Russia at the same time.

So a few days ago, after a fairly big night catching up with the girls on Saturday, the girls decided that a trip to Edinburgh in a wicked van would be a good idea. They booked 2 cars and organised 10 people, all of which could only go this weekend.... which of course meant that if I was going to go I'd have to give up my shifts at the pub.

Thankfully, the pub is an awesome bunch and said no problems to me having this weekend off. Of course it means that I'm going to be working most Friday and Saturday nights for the rest of the year, but I'm sure this weekend will make it all worth it.

Thankfully I've got a weekend to take off to go and see the Cat Empire in early December so that's going to be pretty cool (I might even try to get a filming gig there).

For now though, I'm off to bed to get some rest up for my second interview tomorrow afternoon. Which company? Where abouts? What am I doing? We'll see how the interview goes tomorrow before I answer those questions.

Look out for the "trip to Edinburgh" short clips to see how the trip went, they're sure to be a larf.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Getting into the swing of surfing the London Tube

Things are beginning to look further and further up in terms of me spending a bit more time in London.

I started a job at the Revolution Bars and had my trial on Friday night. Started at 6pm with no clue about any of the cocktails they had on the menu and finished at 3am, still with no idea about any of the cocktails on the list.

Alright, well maybe I knew a few of them after a few hours, but I'm still studying the cheat sheet every time someone orders one. And, they've got over 100 vodka's there, how the hell are you supposed to find the vodka on the back shelf??? I know Smirnoff and, um, Finland?

It was a great night though, and the staff there are very cool. Managed to make a few new friends, even met a girl from Australia who went to school with the girls that I met randomly in a pub during the Oktoberfest.

Speaking of the Oktoberfest, I finally got to catch up with them all again on Saturday afternoon and we sat back at the Oktoberfest bar in Fulham and tried to piece together the blur that was Oktoberfest.

It was great seeing them all again, and as usual I ended up following them back from an Oktoberfest party.... but this time we went to a house warming party.

I walked out the back and caught up with some of the other motely crew, and who else did I bump into but Tommy Ralph!

Tommy is a mate of mine from Darwin, neither of us knew that we were going to be in London, neither of us knew the people having the house warming, yet some how, some way we ended up catching up.

Small world.

Today was another great day. I worked as a freelance cameraman for the "Turn the Tables" lunch for cancer research. The lunch was at the prestigious Savoy Hotel and the room was filled with MP's, OBE's, QC's and one Clive Anderson.

There was a lot of standing around twiddling thumbs, but when it came to the job I managed to keep the stars in frame and in focus.

I'm hoping to pick up a little more freelance videography work, and hoping even more that a backpackers show goes ahead and I can get some freelance work there.

What a life that would be. Traveling, filming, and making money doing it. Can you spell D.R.E.A.M J.O.B?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Surfing during Oktoberfest

Deep sent me a message while I was in Munich and asked if I'd brought my surf boards.

Why on earth would I bring surfboards to Germany, the country doesn't even border the ocean!

Well on my way back to the Oktoberfest campsite I saw a young guy waiting at the bus stop with a surf board. Surely not. Surely there's no surf.

I wandered down to the river next to the campsite, and this is what I found.......

Surfing during Oktoberfest

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Surfing at a cross roads

I've come to a bit of a cross roads.

Actually, that sounds a little bit dramatic doesn't it.

I've come to a point where I've got lots of options on the table to pursue, but I'm not entirely sure which way to go.

Life has become a little stagnant since getting back to London. It seems funny, but it's always the way, that the grass is always greener on the other side.

While I was in Munich in the midst of drunken travel I would have given anything to get back to London for some normality, just resting, nothing on, spending time at home.

Now that I'm here I'm itching to get away again, go and experience the road yet to be travelled, meet the people that we're destined to meet and have some of the best times in my 27 year life.

Unfortunately I also need to fund that trip.

It's a lot easier to travel with too much money and be comfortable then travel with "maybe" enough money and risk running out with no cash at all. Of course, there's always the credit card, and I'm sure that I could hang out for some clinical trials of some new drug to get a bit of coin to continue, but still it's better sometimes to relax knowing that you've got the cash there just in case, even through you're never going to need it.

A problem yes. The crossroads I'm at? No.

I've decided that I'm going to use this time to do a bit of work, but in what?

Do I go back to the familiar territory of Information Management, Records Management, Project Management, or do I branch out a little further and try something new?

On one hand my familiar work pays really well in London, but it takes a week or so to line up interviews and then you're never guaranteed that they're going to turn into jobs.

On the other hand I could, hopefully, walk into most bars in the area and get a job behind the bar. Of course it'll be a bit more fun, loving barmaids the way I do, but not quite as mentally or financially stimulating.

The other option I have is to go in a totally different direction.

Look for work in film or editing, or both.

Although it's not the best paid profession, I think that's the direction that I'm beginning to lean towards.

I somehow came across someone online looking for people to film backpacking around the world for a new show, and the pilot episode is going to be filmed in Mexico City next month.

I've been in touch and, all things going well, I'm going to restart my travels either through Europe or most likely though South America with Rolly and help fund the trek making episodes for the new show.

Who knows, if things work out the way that I'm planning the next time you'll all see me will be on some obscure television program with Rol's hanging out at Machu Pichu...........

That's the thing that I enjoy about travelling the most. It makes it difficult for you to get comfortable in any one spot for any length of time and continually challenges you to find new places, things, people and ways to enjoy life.

Travel is about experience, and experience is about enriching your life.

I love Lamp. I love Travel!

Surf the Dream goes clean shaven

Well it had to happen eventually.

I put the razor down last year in late October and two days ago, nearly a year later, I picked it up again to shave off what will go down as possibly the worse beard ever grown by a man or woman in the history of facial hair.

Seriously, I saw some old women in my travels that could sport a a better beard then I could muster.

I suppose my only saving grace was that I actually took scissors out to trim it every now and then, try and get an even growth that resembled a kept beard as opposed to looking like a middle eastern terrorist. What makes it worse was that I always had a heap of stuff with me. Surf boards, computers, cameras, chargers, external hard drives..... why would a bearded hippy surfer need all these things.... unless he was plotting something.

It's no surprise then that at every stop in America I had AAA printed on the bottom of my ticket.

By the last stop I had to know. I had to ask the security officer as she put on her glove with that familiar rubber latex *snap* that I had grown accustomed to, what did those three a's on the ticket mean.

Of course, it means that you are to be taken aside, searched, swabbed and patted down (which on lonely flights wasn't all bad). BUT, it's totally random.

Random my latex probed arse it's random.

Okay, that's not entirely true. I was never "searched" like that, but I was pulled aside each time "randomly". Think it had anything to do with my appearance? Surely not.

But now it's gone.

From this............

To this...........

It took a good 20 - 30 minutes to trim and shave it off. Like I said I'd trimmed it every now and then, right up until we crossed the border into Mexico in early July. Since then it's grown like weeds in different lengths, with rogue hairs that defy gravity.

It was something to behold.

But for now, I'm back to clean shaven and am looking for work.

I can either go with the easy option of bar work and not earn much money, or wait it out for a good contracting job and earn REAL £'s. I'm hoping to get something in film/video and editing, but that's for the next post.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Colliers Wood

This is the area that I'm staying at the moment. I'm staying with Roland, Cres, Rich and Mel in a three bedroom flat.

Colliers Wood

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Oh, and the less said about the Rugby the better.....

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Oktoberfest Day 3

Well today we were a little bit sore.

On the way home, apparently, I said that we HAD to be back at the same tent by 10am the next day. Jusso argued, so I thought we could push it back and be there at 11am at the latest.

Anyway, we woke up at 10.30am and felt pretty worse for wear. We took a while getting ready and had some breakfast with Larissa and then headed into the city. We didn't go straight into the Oktoberfest today though, instead we walked around and did some sightseeing while Larissa pointed out the famous places of Munich. We saw the English Garten, a beautiful old Church, another garden, an old famous delicatescent, the parliament quarters, the opera house and a few more.
Jusso and I in the church

Munich Gardens

They were pretty amazing and it was good to do something other then drink beer...................for now.

From there we drank beer.

But first we went to a restaurant so I could try the, up until then, fabled pork knuckles. It was pretty awesome except for the, what looks like two scoops of mash potato but was actually rubber.

We went back to the Ofbrah house but it was WAY to packed to get a table. We grabbed our mas and stood back in the isles and looked on at the madness. The next thing we had a group around us and we'd made another bunch of friends. We even met a kiwi bloke called Justin as well.

During the night I was stopped twice so people could get a picture with Jesus, and Jusso got his guns out while carrying 4 beer (not as easy as it sounds).

Get two tickets to the Gun's show

I'm pretty sure this girl is coming to Australia to work for Shenannignas now

Jusso was happy that we were having a quiet night because he doesn't like to fly when he's a bit hung, stupid stupid man. After the adventures that we've had so far you'd think that he would have learned no to jinx himself.

We left the Oktoberfest at close and decided to head to a bar for one before we went home. Hahahahahahaha.

I vaguely remember sitting at the bar ordering Vodka Redbull with a Jamesons on the rocks chaser, and I remember doing it at least twice.

I'm sure we made a rule about not doing that again in Dublin.

No matter, I'm sure we had a good time, if only I had some memory of it. The cab ride home consisted of me giving my phone with the address in it to the cabbie and hoping for the best. When we woke up in the morning, fairly broken, we noticed that on the way home we either stopped off at the shops to get bread, water, and two beers or we robbed someone on the way home. Based on our condition I'd say it was the earlier.

Jusso got away alright though, albeit as hung as a really well hung donkey and Larissa and her boyfriend took me out for "coffee"............. which of course leads us into Oktoberfest for day 4.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Oktoberfest Day 2

On Day 2 Jusso and I braved the Oktoberfest on our own with the aim of not getting too drunk....... bwahhhhahahahahaha.

We started off at the Hofbrah House at the Oktoberfest itself with the thought of having one or two and then moving on to another tent.

Jusso and I at the Hofbra House

6 mas later we were amongst the aussies, kiwis and pom's..... still in the Hofbrah House and singing again.

We managed to head out the door around 10.30 but we walked straight across to the we saw the dodgem cars. Now I don't think of myself as a genius (well not all the time), but usually I'm smart enough to find the slot to put the token in so the car would work.

On this occasion................. not smart.

So there I was, sat in the middle of the dodgem cars with no power to the car at all with 10 other very drunk drivers. Luckily they took pity on me and steered clear of me for the 3 minute ride.

Pigs Arse!

It was as if everyone got into a line at one end to build up speed and smash into my car, only for it to happen from the other end a moment later.

Eventually the guy showed me that the slot was in the front end of the car, instead of next to the wheel like Australia.

As I leaned over to put the token in someone hit me causing my forehead to test the solidity of the steering wheel. To make matters worse as I got power and put my foot down the ride ended. SPEEEEEWWWWWWING.

Luckily we had a few tokens, so now it was payback.

I managed to nail a few people that got me, but it was all a hell of a lot of fun. At the end of that ride Jusso came running up to my car only to slip and go sliding past it again. I had an extra token so myself and another aussie decided to spend the rest of the ride driving backwards, which is no easy task after a few beers.

From there, and after a few more Jusso tumbles, we did what we promised we wouldn't do after 6 beers.


And to be precise....... my first ever roller coaster.

Jusso's got some footage of it, but it's pretty much sky, ground, sky ground, me going woooooo, f%$k yeeeeaaaaaaahhhhhh and repeat.

Somehow we weren't sick but I think it disorientated us a fair bit because it took us another 2 hours to get home to a place only 40 minutes away.

I got lost at the tube station trying to find the WC, while Jusso was cursing me for leaving him alone on the platform. We got off at the wrong bus stop and took the wrong road back to Larissa's, but we lucked out because when we called her she was at a friends house only 20 meters away.

The main thing is we got back alright..........

Mates share umbrella......only after lots of beers

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Oktoberfest Day 1

Well there's broken and then there's broken.

I thought that after a few big nights in Dublin that I was a broken man and it couldn't get much worse.

I am now a shell of a broken man.

I'd love to say that I have Cory, Rol's, Lambo or Jusso to blame for it, but I've got nudding!!!

I did this all to myself.

Actually I can't be all to blame, where's the fun in that. Jusso got some explaining to do, after all it was his idea to come over to Germany after the reunion...... and if shag's wasn't such a cool pub with such a great bunch of staff I wouldn't have gone to that either.

But of course, without these things I wouldn't have met the wonderful people that now litter the memory chip of my camera. I wouldn't have been able to see my bank account drop so dramatically over a period of just 2 weeks (seriously, it dropped quicker then shares in Peptech).

We met up with my friend Larissa after arriving on the train from Frankfurt and headed off by train to her place. At first we were a bit dubious at how far she lived from the Oktoberfest, but we thought we'd give it a go and if it was too hard we'd hit hotels.

The first night out, Tuesday, Larissa took us to the Hofbrah House (not part of Oktoberfest) and we enjoyed a good feed and a Mas (or as we refer to it, stein). I didn't want to say anything, but after one I actually felt a little bit pissy eyed, but I'm sure that was just residual alcohol from Dublin.

We headed into the Oktoberfest from there with Larissa and she took us to a beer hall to meet some of her friends.

When we arrived at the grounds I was stunned. For those that haven't been, it is something to behold, and for those that have, you know exactly what I mean.

Rollercoasters, Ferris Wheels, Dodgem cars, whole chickens, pork knuckles and silly hats, it had everything. But that was nothing compared to the size of, and contents of the beer halls.

We met her friends, but unfortunately they were sat in a "exclusive" area so Jusso and I hit the tables on our own. After pushing through the mass of crowds we found a table with a few spare seats and parked our asses.

We had two more mas that night but had a great time standing on the chairs and singing our voices off to the live music.

We headed back early that night and got home without too many dramas thanks to Larissa being with us.

The next day Jusso and I braved the Oktoberfest on our own with the aim of not getting too drunk....... bwahhhhahahahahaha.

Escape from Munich

I've managed to get out of munich after 6 days of oktoberfesting and I'm happy to say that I'm safely back in London, albeit a little stupider and only one functioning kidney.

Thank you thank you thank you to Michaela, Toni-Louise and Lana for making the the 18 hour bus ride home a strangely fun experience.

Here's some pictures of what's been happening over the past 2 weeks.

Shag's Reunion
Oktoberfest Day 1 - 4
Oktoberfest Day 5 - 6

Friday, September 28, 2007


3 days

Litre beers

Two Justins


Train bound for Munich

Die Bahn train number01 805 194 195

If I've learned anything in life I should have known not to say it.

When your AFL team is 23 points up with 3 minutes to go, do you say you've got a certain win?

When South Africa has to score over 400 runs to win a One Day game do you say "it can't be done" and head to bed?

When you're out for a few beers on a sunday afternoon do you turn to your friend and say for the amount of beer you've drunk you feel pretty sober?

When you're driving the ball well in golf do you say "geez I haven't sliced/hooked a single ball today"?


You don't say a single word. Why? Because your team goes down by a point, South Africa do it with easy, you end up blind drunk and you couldn't throw the ball down the fairway straight.

So why oh why did I say to Jusso this morning that we've got nothing to worry about for this trip to Germany.

We managed to get up on time, catch the cab with no problems, pass through security without any beeps, boarded the plane on time for a change, and the plane arrived in Frankfurt without any problems............. Frankfurt Ham.

We estimated that it would take about 30 minutes to get through customs and get to the train station, and I was even carefull and booked the train a full hour after we arrived in Frankfurt.

Unfortunately Frankfurt is not Frankfurt Ham. Frankfurt Ham is no where near Franfurt.

Which means it's no where near the train station.

Which means we've got nothing to worry about actually translates to being an hour and a half late for the train bound for Munich.

It's not all bad though. We can get on any train for the day, and my couch surfer Larissa has sent her numbers and has borrow a car to come and collect us from the train station.

We've also managed to back up (finally) from the thursday, friday, saturday, sunday night session in Dublin. But as usual, that's for another post.

Guinness, Shags staff and more guinness

I haven't had much time to write about Dublin, mainly due to the fact that I've either been in the pub drinking guinness, or too drunk to see the keys on the laptop.

Jusso, Prue and myself arrived in Dublin on Thursday afternoon and headed to the Regency to check in and get sorted. We met another girl from Australia, Leanne, on the plane and shared a cab from the airport.

We exchanged details and organised a place to catch up for our first Guinness. After a couple of touristy photo's we got the pour, the sit, and the settle over and done with.

For all those that like a guinness but haven't made it to Ireland, it's something to behold. For all those that told me how much better the Guinness tastes in Ireland, you were right.

We had a few beers that night but didn't really let it get too out of hand, we had to try and save ourselves for the reunion on the Saturday night.

After some breaky in the morning Jusso and I headed in to the city to catch the final between Geelong and Collingwood, and I have to say it's the first time I can remember that I actually cheered for Collingwood.

AFter a few beers and one hell of a game we decided it was time to head off and do the Guinness Brewery tour.

The tour was awesome, but because we got there a little bit late I had to rush through the upstairs area (and through the ad's) to make sure we made the roof top bar for a pint of the greatest Guinness of all.

After the beer we had to head off to a pub quickly to make sure that we caught the Ireland game. We headed up to the Barge and quickly found a spot to watch the rugby directly under a telly.

From here everything goes a little bit fuzzy. Prue left us at the pub, and I have vague memories of ordering 2 Guinness and 2 neat Jamesons each round, and how many rounds there were I'm not 100% sure.......... but I don't think you could count them on two hands.

I lost Jusso on the way home, we stopped off at a kebab shop for some food and while I was inside talking to some friends we made back at the pub (it seemed this kebab shop was a bit of a popular hangout), and when I came back outside he was gone, along with my food.

I set off down the road to get back to the Hotel, turned up the road that our hotel was on and walked for about 10 minutes........ except when you turn on to the road our hotel is on you only have to walk about 30 seconds.

Hmmmm, could I be on the wrong road at 4.15am after starting drinking with Jusso at 11am for the footy? Surely not.

After walking back 10 minutes to the main road it turns out, and don't be too amazed here, but I was actually on the wrong road. Not only that but when I left the Kebab shop I started walking in the wrong direction.


When I got back to the Regency (10 minute cab ride, no chance of walking) I went past Jusso's room to get my food.



The next morning was slow, but because this is a long post already I'll leave the story of the reunion until tomorrow.

Thursday night, Fitzgeralds, Temple Bar, the Quays (AFL), The Barge (Rugby), Messrs McGuires (lunch and reunion)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Must See in Mexico - Part 2

I've decided that my second must see entry will be all about Surfing thanks to one of my videos making it up on surfline. Thanks to Surfline for putting it up there, and please make sure you check it out (link is at the bottom of this post).

I've made very short notes on each of them, but if you want to know more click on the titles to head to a previous post with a bit more detail.

Oh, and don't forget to check out the previous part, Must See in Mexico - Part 1.

  1. San Juanico - Scorpion Bay
    Scorpion Bay was the first place that we managed to get a surf in Mexico. As we travelled down the Pacific Coast we were greeted by flat condition after flat condition.

    When we arrived here (after a long drive over graded road) and was happy to see a wave breaking, albeit a very small wave and ideal for the longboard.

    This is a must stop place, and if you're after a good coffee and internet don't forget to head up to see Dustin Smith at Point Surf Baja

  2. Puerto Escondido
    This place is awesome, so very very relaxing and a great wave.......... to watch from the beach. The wave here is called the Mexican Pipeline, and for good reason. There are several breaks nearby which are more for the beginners like myself, but I had a lot more fun catching these guy's on film. To check out the film head over to Surfline

  3. Barra De La Cruz
    This hosted the "Somewhere in Mexico" tour last year as part of the WCT. The wave is consistant and the place is beautiful, but be warned that if you sit on the shoulder and wait for someone to let you have a wave you're just not going to get one.
    The guys and gals that surf here are good!

  4. Sayulita
    Sayulita is growing bigger and bigger each year, but the roads are still dirt and it's off the beaten track a little. The wave there is small but very consistent, I'm sure it gets much bigger but at least you're nearly always guaranteed a wave.

  5. Playa Bruja
    This place is about 15 minutes north of Mazatlan. The break, while not really big, is consistent and there isn't that many people out there first thing in the morning.

    The restaurant do great meals and reasonable priced drinks, makes it a great place to surf a few sessions and chill out for a day.
For those of you that scrolled straight to the bottom, here is the link to the Surfline video that I filmed in Puerto Escondido

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Heading to Ireleand

As usual the start to the trip has been quite entertaining.

I packed up my things from Walpole road and said goodbye to Rol's and my new friends and head off to meet Jusso and Prue at Clapham Junction.

Once I got there a lady walked up and through her bag onto the ground next to me. Doesn't seem very weird, but here's a few pointers to get your mind on what this girl was like.

Firstly, she had a flat bottle of vodka that cost 2 pound which she was swigging, she was smoking even through there was a strict no smoking rule on the platform, as she approached her jeans were hanging halfway down her thighs (her tracky dacks must've been in the wash) and she randomly swore at the train for being late.

I just smiled as she made eye contact, she smiled back, and that was the last time I looked in her direction.

Jusso and Prue turned up as more and more people arrived at the platform. Apparently there was a security scare at one of the terminals, so none of the regular trains were arriving at Clapham.

Eventually, 45 minutes late and looking much like the train trip for Cardiff, the train arrived and we squeezed on board.

The next issue was when we got to the checkout counter at Gatwick. I was of the understanding that the 10 pound extra I paid for having the guitar allowed me to take it on the plane. WRONG! I had to check the guitar on as luggage. No problems, but it's the first time I've ever done it with that guitar, so as I write this 30000 feet above the ground I've got my toes crossed that it gets there alright (I had my fingers crossed but it made it a bitch to type).

Next up was Jusso. Bag on the scale, 19 kg. Thanks for coming, that'll be 40 pound for excess weight, 10 for each kilo. So Jusso went through his bag, put one pair of shoes in my bag (I had to take mine around to oversize checkin because of the guitar) and another pair in his carry on.

Actually, I'm only just realising this now, but he's wearing a pair of shoes, one pair in my bag and another in his day pack. Who needs 3 pairs of shoes? I'm not even wearing shoes.

But I digress.

Jusso put the bag back on the scale and the guy let it go at 16kg.

Next up was Prue.

When she booked her flight she wasn't going to take a bag. I don't know too many 20 year old girls that can travel to another country with just a carry on bag, but I was impressed with her effort.

Of course, she ended up bringing a bag so she had to line up at another counter to pay for the luggage, then head back to check in before they would issue her with a ticket.

But after 3 small issues we had our boarding passes an headed off to security and get a coffee.

Jusso grabbed us some coffee's and we sat down and talked about the trip, what we were going to do, some new ideas for Shag's back home, whether we were bum or boob guys, usual small chit chat.

All of a sudden Jusso realised the time, it was 1515 and our plane departed at 1525.


We ran down the stairs, through the corridors for about 800 meters to check in just as the doors were closing and for them to tell us the obvious, that we were the last passengers on the plane.

I don't mind running 800 meters, just not with a 15 kg backpack on.

I should have learned that I need to get out the front of the gate as soon as I get my boarding pass, this is becoming a regular occurrence.

For now, we're all on the plane and have a spare seat next to each of us. I even got one in the emergency exit.......... which kind of makes me think that there's a good chance that I'll have to do something. Oh well, at least I'm the first one out of the plane (once I push the older lady sitting by the window to one side...... kidding).

I'm a bit excited now. My first Guinness in Ireland is just hours away. Minutes even if they have a tap at the airport.