The Domination of a Continent
Trip Start Nov 20, 2006
16Trip End Apr 10, 2009
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Where I stayed
We've been staying in a local inn known as 'Planet Inn Backpackers' and have smallish rooms with 4 to 6 people in them. They are hot and smelly but clean and they are home The staff is a blast. Party Paul is all right. He drinks till he sweats most nights. Or as he would say, alllll rawwww-ight. One of our first nights here was a ten dollar all you can drink beer party at a nearby rock bar. It was great, and having not drank heavily in a while I was soon falling-into-the-christmas-tree-floor-licking drunk. I will have to pawn some of this drink off on my good mule kyle. He likes falling into christmas trees. They are shiny.
Basically, during the days, we have been scouting the beach for a good spot to launch an amphibious invasion, D-Day style. The problem is right now there is basically only me and my good mule Kyle. Luckily the locals are backwards barbarians and we have already usurped most of their coast line simply by swimming around in circles with crazy eyes scaring the locals off. My good mule Kyle does an excellent job of drinking all of their courage giving elixir known as Bee-ah , rendering them incapable of standing up to thier new masters. What began as a journey of discovery has become a devestating conquest of devestation with the express purpose being to devestate and then conquer. For the past days we have been laying low though, lulling the locals into believeing we are here to sight see. Having purchased snorkel gear and boogey boards we spend most of our time chasing fish and picking up shiny things in the water or trying to ride waves and choke on salt water. My first snorkeling adventure was without my good mule kyle (he was giving welsh girls rides around the zoo) and it was fantastic. Walking out to the edge of a reef in knee deep water and trying to look like I knew what i was doing was the easy part. After this all the other guys from my hostel went back to snorkeling in the little bay where there was no current and only 4 feet of water. I decided, being the big man that I am, that I needed to swim out to where two locals were about 200 yards off shore. I had been told by two other locals in short sequence that the sharks were very active this time of year and had been spotted by spotter planes. Somehow the idea of being around locals made me more comfortable with this fact. I wont try to explain that, except to say this. You dont have to out-swim a shark, you just have to out-swim a local.
I hopped in the water and an old guy pointed out the shark behind me. I wiggled around like a drowning worm trying to both get a good look at it and get the local between me and the shark. After spitting all the water out of my tube and getting back in control I asked him about the big grey thing looking at me. Luckily it was a harmelss sucker shark and we watched it for a while as it swam circles around us and then took off as a huge school of salmon swam into our little nook in the reef.
After this I swam as hard as I could to escape the currents the waves make as they crash into the reef and then shoot down the narrow channel I was using to get out to the deep water. This was a bit hairy at points as the current trys to sweep you under rock ledges and other exciting things like that. Every rock in australia seems to be sharp leading me to beleive it is actually a poor barbarian from of coastal defense. Well, I thwarted the hell out of it and suddenly I was in 30 or so feet of water trying to swim slowly over to the locals I had chosen to be my shark decoys. I sidled up beside them and as soon as one had his head above the water i asked "mind if i pal around with you guys? My mates (local barbarian word for friends) all chickened out." to which one of them replied "yeah no problem". I asked them if they had been out here before to which one replied by snorting snot all over his top lip. I stared at him wondering if this was another slang term used by the locals but his buddy cleared things up. "He hasn't been out deep like this before but I've been out here heaps."
"Oh, I havent even really snorkeled before" I said hoping to get some advice.
His eyes went kinda wide and he raised his eyebrows and said "So what are you doing all the way out here?"
"Um, it looks funner out here" I replied.
"Ok stick around us" he shrugged and put his snorkel back in his mouth and dove to the bottom to look under a cliff. I figured I should stay close so I tried to follow but apparently somone had stabbed me in my eardrums because they really started hurting at about 10 feet. Being a smart guy i figured I should try again. Finally I asked for advice from my decoy. He explained you need to plug your nose and build pressure till your ears pop. I did this but didnt really plug my nose and only succeeded in blowing my goggels open at about 15 feet and blinding myself with salt water. Soon I figured it out though and managed to dive to what i reckoined to be 30 or 40 feet. We swam around diving through little rock arches and following the school of salmon and soon we saw a sting ray which was fantastic. I started swimming towards it like a moth to a flame and glanced back to see my decoys backing away. I quickly positioned myself so my decoy was between me and the ray. We also saw a reef shark which is apparently fairly harmless and a lot of other fish I didnt recognize. At this point i was shivering pretty hard since I dont have a wetsuit and the decoys did. I decided to head in as the cold can cause cramps. I was soon shooting over the reef with the current narrowly dodging sharp rocks and locals as I entered warmer water. At a depth of about 3 feet a 4 foot red fish swam out of the weeds and straight past my face.
"This fish looks sharky, i no like sharky fish" my brain said as I tried to swim vertically while staying horizontal so as to keep every part of my body away from the fish. It turns out it was a Wobigong (not sure on spelling) and some say they are very aggressive and dangerous. They can change colours to match their surroundings and this one was in bright red weeds. I was soon out of the water and shivering in the sun.
Every other day is generally made up of watching my mule consume Bee-ah and boogie boarding (at which I am useless but getting better). The problem with boogie boards is they rub your nipples off. I have no use for my nipples but I want to keep them. I couldnt live if my brother had 3 more nipples than me. We may need board wax.
I was deeply wounded at the beach yesterday when I saw an 80 year old man in a leopord skin thong.
My good mule Kyle said "Thats not right."
I said "AHHHHHHhrrhghghghhh hughh" and clawed at my eyes while slamming my boogie board into my head, or at least I should have. But the moose knuckle hypnotised me. I couldnt look away. It was filthy. I felt I must go pray. Instead I swam and punished my body by slowly destroying my nipples with a boogie board.
The only other notable stuff is the friends we've met, mostly british and aussie but also a couple very nice Israeli guys (one of who fought in Lebanon as a demolitionist). We sit around in the back yard of the hostel drinking beers and telling stories. Everyone wants to come shoot a moose in Canada now. Little do they know moose will soon range free here. Unlike the soon-to-be-slave locals.
I will post more pictures in the next travelog which i will write this weekend at Leslies.