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Falling water

February 6, 2010 | Australia, Travel | 0 Comments

This post is bought to you by the letter W, for water. There’s been no shortage of it lately, both falling from the sky and tumbling down a cliff. As I drove the fifty-something kilometres from Bicheno to St Helens with the windscreen wipers on, the local’s assurances that the weather was likely to clear seemed somehow a little optimistic. St Helens is near the start of the Bay of Fires, apparently rated one of the world’s greatest beach areas. Probably not that day, however …

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Good weather … if you are a penguin

February 6, 2010 | Australia, Travel | 1 Comment

The weather had been pretty average on the way to Swansea yesterday, and any hopes of an immediate improvement were dashed as soon as I woke up to hear the rain on the roof. Not really ideal conditions for hiking several hours around the Freycinet National Park, but why let the weather (or logic) get in the way of a good plan? Thankfully the drizzle did eventually clear somewhat – it was still far from the picture-perfect shots that you see on the tourist brochures, but at least I didn’t need water wings on the trail.

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Go east young man

February 6, 2010 | Australia, Travel | 1 Comment

Dropped the family out at the airport inappropriately early then headed out for a run and to explore Hobart. Battery Point and UTAS (University of Tasmania) were the first port of call – the former was particularly cool, with little streets heading every which way, old houses and commercial buildings everywhere and a very laid back vibe.

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Convicts and devils

February 2, 2010 | Australia, Travel | 2 Comments

After breakfast at Retro Cafe on Salamanca Place (good food, truly abysmal service – don’t reward it with your patronage) the happy family headed southeast down the Tasman Peninsula bound for the biggest drawcard in the area. Famous for over 150 years as a brutal penal station for those convicts who reoffended once in Van Diemen’s Land, and for the last fifteen as the site of an equally brutal massacre by a deranged gunman, the Port Arthur historic site always draws the crowds.

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Down to Hobart

February 2, 2010 | Australia, Travel | 0 Comments

The highlight of the next day in Launceston was … dinner. And not just because most of the rest of the day was spent either trying to find someone to serve us breakfast or lying in the park reading a book. “Lonnie” is a pretty sleepy town at the best of times, but on Sundays it seemed positively in a coma. Many of the shops were shut and foot traffic in the central city was light at best. A great excuse to do not much, so we took it. Fish ‘n’ Chips was the choice of evening meal location, and an inspired one it was. A truly excellent calamari salad, washed down by several bottles of cold Corona while shooting the breeze and sitting almost in the river.

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Tassie bound

January 31, 2010 | Australia, Travel | 0 Comments

After a far too early alarm and throwing a few final things in the back of the car, it was off to Station Pier in Port Melbourne to … wait. And then to … wait a bit longer. But it’s ok, because after that I got to … wait longer still. Apparently there were large numbers of passengers today. Now there’s a surprise, with the Spirit of Tasmania being a passenger ferry and all.

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Camino backpack

Travelling Light, and How I Haven’t Managed It

January 14, 2010 | Advice, Travel | 7 Comments

My old pack had finally given up the ghost after a decade of being dragged around the world, and as I laid my shiny new one on the bed to fill it up with the ‘essentials’ it suddenly occurred to me how just how much I was putting in. That third pair of trousers. Half a dozen travel guides and other books. A toiletries bag so full that I had to put a few items in a plastic bag. Here was me, supposedly an experienced traveller, fighting with the zips on my backpack. Every item had a perfectly good justification for why it was included – but unless I also planned to pack a donkey to carry it all for me, I just couldn’t take it all. And yet I still tried.

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Crowded room

Goodbye stuff, hello world

December 28, 2009 | Advice, Article, Travel | 24 Comments

I’ve been asked many times over the years why it is that I am able to travel and move countries as much as I do, and the answer invariably comes down to one simple fact. I don’t accumulate stuff. Keeping my life free of unnecessary junk – and being happy to dispose of what little there is – provides the mental and physical freedom to drop everything and travel on a whim.

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