Mornington Glory

Round-Eye Scotty, Asian Scotty, and Your Drunken Hero were zooming down the Hume Highway in an overloaded VW Beetle, gazing in awe at the passing scenery and stopping at every scone and crumpet shop we passed. Our destination was Melbourne’s glorious Mornington Peninsula, but we couldn’t imagine what this paradisical scrap of coastline had in store for us. Little did any of us know that this trip would change us all forever, introduce us to the most incredible person to ever live – or that one of us wouldn’t survive.

Peeking through bushes comes naturally to me

Asian Scotty was behind the wheel, smoking his crack pipe as usual and abusing every granny he overtook. The blood from our brutal battle with the tuffs in Yackandandah clung to his face, clothes, and outrageous mullet-style haircut. Round-Eye was lazing around on the back seat, admiring the diamond-encrusted rings on his fingers. We were passing the Australian Alps, where I’d once flown my paraglider, but you wouldn’t know it. The entire landscape was blanketed with bushfire smoke, lending an eerie glow to everything. Our driver wasn’t in the mood to chat, so I turned around to talk to Round-Eye.

“So where are we going, mate?” I asked him. Scotty rolled his eyes, obviously annoyed that I’d dragged his attention away from picking his ring.
“We’ll be staying with my friend John. He has a shack by the beach.”
“Sounds nice. But will there be room for us?”
“If not, I’m sure there’s a dog house for our Asian friend here. Just as long as he doesn’t eat the dog!” As if on cue, Asian Scotty snarled.
“How do you know this… what did you say his name was? Jack?”
“Some people call him that. We met many years ago when we were both struggling musicians. Well, he was struggling more than I was, but I taught him how to sing. He went on to some manner of success.”
“Would I have heard anything of his?”
“Are you aware of The Voice?”
“That crappy singing show? Don’t watch it, but if that’s all he’s known for he must be rubbish. Hope he can keep his mouth shut.”

Topless chick! Topless chick! Topless chick!

The outskirts of Melbourne are a jumble of grotty factories and burnt-out kombis, but as Asian Scotty cruised onto the Mornington Peninsuala, the clouds parted and I was astonished by how beautiful it is. There were cliffs, bays, and thousands of trees. At Round-Eye’s direction, Asian Scotty pulled the car to a stop along a cliffline and we all got out. Below us sprawled the shimmering Mount Martha Beach, with crystal clear water and golden sand. Along the shore was a clutch of brightly-painted beach shacks, each accompanied by a set of happy people drinking and fucking around. The scene was so wonderful that we all went for a skinny dip (and the sea level rose worldwide when Round-Eye waded in above knee-height).

Even a dickhead like Ben Cummins could see how good this view is!

Paddling around in the wonderful water and oggling the local beauties in their barely-there bikinis helped us work up a thirst, so Round-Eye suggested the nearby Red Hill Brewery. It was 10:30 in the morning, which is later than I usually start drinking, so I told him to lead the way! It doesn’t take long to leave the Mornington Peninsula’s beaches and climb into the wilderness, and half an hour later our Beetle pulled into the quaint little brewery, surrounded by dense bush, with dozens of local birds heralding our arrival.

Another place to get thrown out of!

The rustic bar was packed with pissheads well-groomed ladies and gentlemen enjoying a sensible drink in a lovely setting. The three of us swaggered up to the bar and asked what the barman suggested, and he told us about their tasting paddle – basically, four small glasses of beer. “We’ll take three of those,” I smirked, “but make them pints instead of little glasses, and we’ll have all the beers on the menu instead of just four.”

“And a glass of metho,” added Asian Scotty, to which the barman shook his head.

This is what they looked like before I turned them into urine

The beers at Red Hill are bloody good! From a crisp, refreshing pilsner with floral aromas and a slight citrus tang, to a Kolsch golden ale that’s smooth yet surprisingly complex, they all went down well. I can’t really describe the pacific ale or the Christmas haze, because I was hammered by the time I got to them, but I’m sure they were awesome. Anyway, they all did the job, because I spewed on the way back to the car.

I’ll pay anyone $1000 if they can take a photo of Round-Eye without a beer in his hand

With litres of quality booze under our belts (and in Asian’s case, a bottle of liquid paper he pinched from the office) we decided to give paragliding a miss for the day and head straight back to Round-Eye’s mate’s shack. I’ve had my tetanus and yellow fever vaccinations, so I wasn’t too worried, but still not excited by the prospect of staying in a fuckin’ shanty. So when Round-Eye directed Asian Scotty into a tree-lined private lane, I was intrigued. It took us up the side of a hill, and after a few hundred metres we reached a lavish metal gate. Round-Eye said a few words, we were buzzed in, and the Beetle crept further up the hill. The further we went, the better the view looked behind us – I swear, I could see half of Victoria out the back window. Suddenly, the trees in front of us opened up to reveal the biggest house I’d ever seen. It was white and modern and four storeys tall, with dozens of balconies, and a giant pool out the front, surrounded by palm trees. A marble staircase that was 50 metres long rolled down towards us. The whole thing looked out over Port Phillip Bay, and I knew the owner had to have serious coin.

Aw yeah, beats sleeping in a shopping trolley I guess

“Bro, this no look like home of some fucker you meet in jail,” gawped Asian Scotty. “This bitch even have record?”
“Oh, he has plenty of records,” smirked Round-Eye, as we parked beneath the gargantuan building.
As I climbed out of the car and stood beneath the mansion, I felt smaller than the time I fucked Casey Donovan, and poorer than the time I took Casey Donovan to lunch. I was curious about who could own the house, because Round-Eye is a bit of a deadshit and I assumed he only hung around with hobos and drug addicts. The wooden doors at the top of the long, marble staircase swung open dramatically and a robed figure thrust himself into the sunshine. He stood still for what seemed like a minute, then a faint, hypnotising beat began to emenate from speakers dotted around us. I started tapping my foot to the familar tune, scarcely believing what I was hearing. Could it be him?

Scotty was confused, yet intrigued

“We have,” the robed figure warbled, with a voice that could make angels weep, “the chance to turn the pages over.”
Asian Scotty had dropped his tough-guy attitude and was wiggling his bum around. I was punching the air. The robed figure descended towards us. “We can write what we want to write! We gotta make ends meet, before we get much older.”
Closer, closer…
“We’re all someone’s daughter. We’re all someone’s soooooooooon.”
The figure was almost close enough to touch!
“How long can we look at each other, down the barrel of a guuuuuuun?”
The figure flipped off his hood to reveal rosy red cheeks and kind blue eyes. It was Johnny Farnham, in all his glory!
He took me under one muscular arm and Asian Scotty under the other, and we danced in unison with the man they call ‘Australia’s answer to Elvis Presley’.
“You’re the voice, try and understand it! Make a noise and make it clear! Oh-woah-woah-woah, oh woah woah woah.”

The legend himself, Whispering Jack

The four of us danced and sang happily, until the song finally reached it’s thrilling conclusion. I hugged Farnsey and, overcome by emotion, asked him to be my dad. He laughed, with the big, warm laugh of his, and said we should start with a beer and see where things go. He whipped a longneck of VB out from his robe, ripped the top off with his teeth, and started pouring the golden elixir down our throats. And that, my friends, is how I became best mates with the greatest rock star the world has ever known!

GOLF AND SAND

PARAGLIDING

WHISPERING JACKS HOUSE

Yackandandah Smackdown

You know you’ve had a good time when you wake up in a shopping trolley with an empty VB carton on your head and dried vomit on your shirt. It was Boxing Day, I was in the main street of Gosford with no idea how I got there, and from the looks on the faces of people passing me that bright Summer morning, I was a fucking mess – just the way I like it. I was trying to focus my bleary eyes on a young mother with big tits, when a very unusual man began strutting towards me. He had tight leather pants, a really cool jacket, and spiky hair. Bloody hell, it was my old mate Scotty!

They found me in the specials aisle at Aldi, between a three-pack of toilet seats and some weird Malaysian chocolates

This is also Scotty’s Tinder profile pic

“Hey arsehole, you look worse than sex slave I accidentally leave in car boot for one month,” Scotty sneared, before putting out his cigarette on an old lady’s arm.

“Bloody hell, Scotty, I thought you were in jail for drug dealing or murder or…”

“All of above. And kidnapping turtle.” Scotty plucked the hat off a passing child, spat a wad of bright green phlegm into it, and popped it back on the kiddy’s head. “No prison can contain me. I kill warden, steal he clothes, walk straight out front door. Then I go to warden’s house, fuck he wife, eat he dinner, take he son to football game. Turn out, I make great father.”

“Good to hear things are going alright for you Scotty, but I need to…”

“It lucky I see you, motherfucker,” Scotty interjected whilst scratching his balls. “You come with me to Victoria, I have job for you.”

“Mate, I’m kinda busy here with…”

“I no ask, I tell,” he snarled, waving around prison shiv. “Now get in car you fucking dickhead.”

With that, Scotty pushed me, my trolley and my empty box of Sovereign Point into his rape wagon, slammed the door, and the next thing I knew we were heading down the dusty Hume.

Australia’s drier than Caitlyn Jenner’s vadge at the moment

Yackandandah: nicer than Wyong

I wanted to stop at the Big Merino and the Dog on the Tucker Box, but Scotty refused because he’s no longer legally allowed to visit any of Australia’s famous roadside attractions. I dunno, something about sucking off the Big Prawn or something. Anyway, due to the bushfires we had a slow journey the ugly and dying outback, and ended up pulling into the rural village of Yackandandah for the night. It’s a delightful spot, and an oasis of green in sizzling country being destroyed by drought. The Yackandandah Holiday Park is quiet, leafy, and ringed by a gorgeous little creek. More importantly, it’s close to a really good pub, where me and my mischievous Mandarin-mouthing mate proceeded to get hammered beyond belief.

Not a bad spot to pitch a tent

Not a bad place to smash beers till you shit your pants

I was minding my own business over an icy cold schooner of Carlton Draught and Scotty was knocking back Cocksucking Cowboys, when a big bloke with no neck and a face uglier and hairier than Magda Szubanski’s sauntered over.

“Are you two a couple of pooftahs or something?” he sneered, whilst rubbing his nipples through his Geelong Cats singlet. “Yeah, you look like a couple of real pooftahs! I bet you like kissing each other right on the mouth. You bloody pooftahs! Both lookin’ at me like you wanna eat me for dessert. Probably wanna take turns sucking my dick. You’d be good at it, too. Couple of bloody pooftahs. I should let you both suck me off, just to prove what a couple of bloody pooftahs you are. Then I’ll fuckin’ smash youse both. Bloody pooftahs.”

Here’s my urine sample!

He’s probably a nice bloke when he’s not trying to kill people

The giant inbred barely had time to pull down his fly before Scotty lept up and smashed a schooner glass in his neck, sending a torrent of blood flying into the crisp night air. The hillbilly clutched at his neck, barely understanding what was going on, then screamed with what was left of his vocal chords. Scotty, covered from head to toe in blood, smiled maniacally, then knocked the deviant arse-first into a pot plant with a right fist.

“Don’t you know I no make sucky with white guy?” he smirked, then did a small celebratory dance. I slapped him a high five, then a shadow fell over us. I looked towards the door to see six of the toughest, roughest dickheads standing there, looking like we’d just walked dogshit through their living room. They peered from their mate’s crumpled body to me and Scotty. I grabbed my glass as a weapon, but mainly just prepared myself to have my nuts kicked off, as the thugs moved in. Scotty took a pair of nunchucks out of leather pants and waved them around out of desperation. We were fucked.

I closed my eyes tightly and waited for the pain, but it didn’t come. I peeked through my fingers to see something very strange indeed – the gang was parting like the Red Sea. Then, from the shadows, stepped a dashingly handsome man. Fuck me dead if it wasn’t Round-Eye Scotty, back from the dead!

Never ask Scotty to give you head

You don’t wanna know what Round-Eye did to the other six dwarfs

I thought you got raped to death in prison,” I stammered, and Round-Eye just giggled.

“Rumours of my prison rape-inflicted death have been greatly exaggerated,” he purred, and the gaggle of tough guys laughed enthusiastically. Round-Eye quietly told the boys to go inside, and they followed his instructions without hesitation. “Far from dying of massive rectal hemorrhaging, I prospered in prison. Became a king to these men… and to the Asian thug you are travelling with.”

Suddenly, the night was eerily silent. In the distance a kookaburra cackled, then was cut short. Asian Scotty stared at Round-Eye Scotty. Round-Eye Scotty stared at Asian Scotty. It was like watching a couple of pitbulls sizing each other up. Then, Asian Scotty fell to his knees, took his round-eyed rival’s hand, and kissed it.

“My king,” he gasped. “I sorry, I no know he with you. Please, I cut my balls off to show how sorry I am.”

“There’s no need for that,” sniffed Round-Eye. “I merely need you to take me to the Mornington Peninsula.”

“We make kill some dickhead? Maybe is for major drug run? Sex slavery?”

“No, something much wilder than that,” responded Round-Eye. “We shall go paragliding.”

And I’m not sure what happened after that because I found half a bottle of metho and got fuckin’ hammered. The local cops must used to that sort of thing, ‘cos there wasn’t an investigation or anything. Just other night in rural Victoria, I guess. But come back for the next blog post, when we finally get to the Mornington Peninsula, because it’ll be even wilder than this one. Which is saying something, ‘cos this one had a fuckin’ beheading in it!

A Goose in Turkey

Those half-Asian-half-European women are the hottest in the world, so when a bloke I met in a pub told me about a city that’s half in Asia, half in Europe, I knew I had to go there. Next thing I know, I’m in Istanbul, Turkey, marvelling at what is a bloody great city. The sprawling metropolis is divided between the two continents, and as a result the clash of cultures and ethnicities is truly dizzying (or maybe that was just the dozens of kebabs I’ve eaten over the past few days).

Istanbul is a bloody big place, with more than 15 million inhabitants (making it almost twice the size of Wyong), so there’s something interesting to see around every corner. The most popular tourist sites are in the Sultanahmet district, and include the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern and this really hot chick called Fatima who dispenses handies behind the local kebab shop. They’re spectacular and worth going to, but a word of warning – the Turks don’t allow alcohol inside the mosques and enforce a strict dress code. I had to guzzle my can of Efes and cover up my Bintang singlet and ripped Stubbies before going inside.

The mosques stand regally beside the Bosporus, which is the dividing line between the continents and where the locals go to swim on hot days. From the look of the water I reckon it’d be more sanitary to go down on Candice Falzon, but chubby little Turkish blokes don’t mind diving in. It was a bit of a freak show, and I saw some doodles flapping around in the breeze that would scare Elton John straight. There were no hot babes in bikinis swanning around, though, so I didn’t waste too much time hanging with the boys by the water.

If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to be a slice of meat crammed into a doner kebab, head along to the Grand Bazaar market. It’s the best place for pirate DVDs, snazzy suits, and Turkish confectionary that will rot your teeth out, but it’s also the most overcrowded market on the planet. The crowd doesn’t walk down the narrow alleys, it swarms, and there’s little choice but to push grannies and children out of the way as you flow along. After that, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m pregnant. Ahmet, call me!

Istanbul’s wild mixture of influences means there’s some areas that look like they’re straight out of Paris one of the non-shit Euro capitals, with delightful coffee shops and up-market restaurants. There are also parts that are third-world shitholes, with a surprising amount of people walking around without their full compliment of limbs. I even saw one poor bastard without nose! He was standing there by the Galata Köprüsü, drinking can of Coke, trying to look cool, with a gaping hole in the front of his face. How did he smell? Terrible!

If the sight of blokes with missing body parts doesn’t put you off your food, you’re in for a treat. The Turks love their tucker, so there’s shitloads of restaurants and they’re all cheap and good quality. A couple of dollars gets you a plate piled high with chicken, beef, rice and salad, with an icy cold can of Coke to wash it down (because they don’t sell beer in most restaurants for some dumb reason). Heart attacks, obesity and not being able to fit through doorways seem like minor inconveniences when eating your way through Istanbul.

As for the women, the divide is as big as anything else in this city. Around 15 per cent of them are beautiful and slim and dressed nicely, whilst the remaining 85 per cent are older than time itself, seem to have subsisted on kebabs and lard, and wear bags on their heads. I’m all for ending the oppression of women, but I have no desire for them to come out from under the burkhas.

A long day on Istanbul’s busy streets caused me to really work up a thirst, so I hit the bars around Taksim. There are plenty of them, they’re cheap, and the beer’s cold enough to freeze a platypus’s lips. I was enjoying my fifth schooner of Tuborg and watching the rain tumble down when a tubby, sweaty bloke sat next to me and wrapped his flabby arm around me. He smelled like he’d eaten a bad kebab the night before and not changed his shorts since.

“I came halfway round the world to get away from you pricks,” he slurred in a thick Kiwi accent. “Nah nah, jus’ kiddin’, I love youse Aussies. Well, at least when youse ain’t fuckin’ wombats! The name’s Derryn, but you can call me Derryn the Dude.”

And that’s how I met Derryn the Dickhead.

Derryn hung around like bad case of herpes. He kept trying to kiss the barmaids, and every time one of them walked past he slipped his cock out of his shorts to show them. Luckily, it was too small and shrivelled for them to notice.

I used every excuse in the book to get rid of him. I told him I had an early flight, my dog needed walking, and faked a heart attack, but he wouldn’t leave me alone. I even told him Split Enz are a pack of poofs and Sam Neill couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag, and he just giggled and ordered another round of beers. When I finally cracked the shits and walked out, Derryn the Dickhead was right behind me, with his ballsack hanging out the bottom of his shorts.

I was lurching through the bustling streets, trying to lose the Kiwi cockhead, when a big-titted Turkish woman leant out a window and tapped me on the shoulder.

“Güzel bir türk kadını becermek ister misin?” she asked, and I felt like I was getting sunburn from her breath. After seeing my confused face, she asked again. “Do you want to fuck a beautiful Turkish woman?”

I was about to say thanks, but no thanks for the kind offer, when a familiar arm draped around my neck. Derryn looked at the prostitute with love in his eyes, rifled around in his pockets for a handful of Lira, then held them up to the woman. Her moustache twitched when she saw the paltry number of coins.

“How much sex can I get for this?” Derryn asked.

“About two inches,” huffed the hooker.

“Alright, baby,” Derryn cheered as he swaggered in the brothel. “Can I get change?”

Portuguese Heavyweight Wrestling Champion of Portugal

For years I’ve dreamt of becoming a pro wrestling superstar, smashing chumps over the head with chairs and flexing my glistening muscles for my adoring fans. But I’m lazy and usually hungover, so I’ve never bothered to make my dream a reality. Fate, however, decided that hammering big, sweaty blokes in the ring pummeling idiots in the squared circle was my calling and so, by pure chance, I ended up as a wrestling legend. This is the epic story of how I became the Heavyweight Champion of Portugal.

I spotted a poster for Centro Treinos Wrestling taped to a pole while I was drinking in downtown Lisbon, and decided it’d be a laugh to rock up and see the show. I followed the directions on the poster, keeping an eye out for a grand arena fitting such a renowned organisation, but when I arrived at Maria Pia Sport Clube it was the size of a Polish shithouse. Loud gangasta rap music was playing inside, so I finished my beer and raced in.

The ring was set up in the middle of a run-down outdoor basketball court, with a dozen or so curious onlookers scattered around. When I swaggered in to take my seat, the fans rose to their feet and started cheering me, so I hammed it up and flexed my guns. With my chiseled physique they obviously thought I was one of the wrestlers, so I played along and slapped high-fives and took selfies with my new fans, until I felt a spirited tap on my shoulder.

I turned around to see a huge, scary-looking guy snarling at me. He had a shiny gold belt wrapped around his waist, fancy tights on his bottom, and was obviously furious that I was stealing his spotlight.

“Yo gringo,” he spat. “Why don’t you sit down before the Champ makes you sit down?”

When I didn’t do as I was told, the brute pushed me to the ground, leading to a round of furious boos from the audience. I was shocked, hurt, and angry, but knew there was no point in fighting back against such a monster. I grabbed a cheap cup of beer, sat back and dried my tears as the champ introduced himself as ‘Pai Grande’ Leo Rossi.

The first couple of matches weren’t too bad, and I actually had a great time sitting out in the sun and watching people fight. The first contest had some creepy masked dude named Symbiote punching on with a handsome, long-haired fella who the two ladies in the crowd (both morbidly obese and lacking in teeth) were going gaga for. After that was some weird intergender match where another masked duded named Red Eagle kicked the shit out of some sheila called Claudia Bradstone. It ended when Symbiote raced in to beat the crap out of them, setting up a tag team main event classic for the ages: Symbiote and Rossi vs Eagle and Bradstone!

Then some cunts came out and waved their Star Wars lightsabres around for 45 minutes. Their toys must’ve had flat batteries, because they didn’t light up and they had to make the noises with their mouths. I was hoping Darth Vader would rock up and behead hem, but ti wasn’t to be. They didn’t seem to know what they were doing and it had nothing to do with wrestling, so I drank heavily and ended up furiously banging on the club’s only toilet door. After what seemed like an eternity, it flung open and an obviously annoyed Rossi stumbled out, bringing a putrid stench with him.

“I thought I told you to sit down and shut up, amigo,” he snarled, before pushing me into the toilet and slamming the door, trapping me in there with the crawling smell of his diarrhea.

I finally busted out during a match between some big-titted stunna and a dweeb called Nelson, and when that was done Rossi and Symbiote sauntered back out. The bullies were talking shit and acting like tools, and when Rossi saw me he almost lost it. They had a hard-hitting encounter with their opponents that spilled out onto the basketball court, and when Rossi dragged his victim near me, he told me I was next. I wasn’t going to hang around and wait for that, so I grabbed my folding chair and brained the bastard with it.

Rossi was furious! With blood pouring down his head, he chucked me into the ring and screamed that he’d put his championship on the line against me. The crowd roared as I took him down with a brutal DDT, but he popped up and hit me with a wicked senton bomb. I gave him a blistering Samoan drop, but Rossi hit back with a sickening sidewalk slam. I wish I had photos of this, but as you can understand, I was a bit busy. After half an hour of blood and beatings, I chokeslammed him onto a pile of thumbtacks and then made him tap out with a Boston crab. The referee handed me the belt and I was chaired into the streets of Lisbon by my supporters while Rossi wept in the gutter. Finally, I had fulfilled my destiny.

I lost the belt in an armwrestle with a vagrant later that night, but I had become the most feared wrestler on the planet. Every man in Portugal wanted to shake my hand, every woman in Portugal wanted to shake my penis with her mouth, so I could no longer stay in Lisbon. I fled to the airport and hopped on the first place to my nearest safe house… a little shack in the south of Brazil, where I knew someone would be waiting to look after me…

LisVegas: The Six Coolest Things About Lisbon (Part II)

ORIGINAL SINTRA

The medieval town of Sintra is less than an hour from the heart of Lisbon by train, and is home to a really cool castle, so you’d have to be a complete Wally not to go out there. The town itself is situated in a lush valley, with the ancient monuments perched high up on the cliffs surrounding it. There are Thai tuk-tuks to take you to the top (but, sadly, no Thai ladyboys to take you to the brink of orgasmic bliss), or else it’s a pleasant walk up the hill. The trail winds along cobblestone streets and through centuries-old villages, all to the sounds of birds singing.

Castelo dos Mouros was built by the Moors (Dudley, Mandy, Roger and Billy) in the 10th century to defend the city against evil, bible-thumping Christians, but these days has been overrun by Chinese tourists. It costs eight Euros to visit, so I waited until the guard was looking the other way and snuck in. Shit, no wonder the bloody Christians conquered the place so easily!

IT’S HIP TO BE SQUARE

Portugal once suffered from the highest rate of drug abuse in Europe, so back in 2001 the government decriminalised Persian Rugs and saw a massive drop in the number of people wandering around with needles in their arms. You wouldn’t know it from walking around Lisbon’s many scenic town squares, though, because they’re absolutely crawling with crack-peddling cretins, deadshits and low-lifes.

It’s a shame, because the architecture surrounding the squares – Praça do Comércio being the most prominent – is stunning, with beautiful old buildings running up the surrounding hills and impressive statues gazing proudly over the city. It’s kinda hard to soak in the historic ambiance when some fuckwit in a fedora is trying to sell you a bag of cocaine. I’m always one to make the best of a bad situation, so I grabbed some magic mushrooms and a handful of Viagra tablets off a scummy-looking little bloke, and spent the night wanking myself off while watching episodes of Powerpuff Girls back at the hostel. Good times!

PUNK IN DRUBLIC

Grab a few dozen cheap cans of Super Bock from a shop, find a park without too many vagrants in it, quaff the booze, argue with a dog, pass out in the sun, shit yourself. It’s one of Lisbon’s greatest cultural experiences!

LisVegas: The Six Coolest Things About Lisbon

1. I FORTE THE LAW

Lisbon doesn’t have a spectacular harbour like Sydney, Hong Kong or Woy Woy, but it is on the water, and has a few things to offer those who are after a stroll along the agua. The 25 de Abril bridge looks a bit like that one in San Francisco, but hopefully not as many people commit suicide by jumping off it. Maybe it’s because the bridge is next to Santuário de Cristo Rei, a statue of Jesus that looks just like the one in Rio. I like to think the big fella has a quiet word with anyone feeling blue enough to end it all.

A short powerwalk along the Tagus River reveals the enormous Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a 52-metre-high monument to Portugal’s history of exploration. It was finished in 1960 and boasts 33 statues of famous Portuguese explorers, all of whom have funny names. It costs five Euros to climb to the top, but I didn’t because I got distracted by a chick with big tits and forgot to.

The best thing to see along the waterfront is the 500-year-old Belém Tower, which was originally built defend the city before being converted into a place to imprison homosexuals. Once it became obvious that the homosexuals quite enjoyed being locked up in a dungeon with dozens of like-minded individuals, they were all drowned in the river and it was converted into a regular prison, with only a three percent drop in the amount of gay sex.

2. BOUND FOR GLORIA

Lisbon is really hilly and the Portuguese only have little legs, so they built a bunch of funicular railways to carry them home after loading up on bacalhau and vinho verde. The most famous of the three remaining funiculars is the Elevador da Glória, which was handily located just around the corner from my hostel (which was very handy for getting home after drinking my body weight in cheap supermarket beer).

Gloria was opened in 1885 and rolls a few hundred metres from Baixa up to Bairro Alto. It costs three Euros to head up or down, so it’s best to buy a transport day pass for six Euros and ride the bloody thing all day long. The best part is that when you get off at the top, you can dance around like you’re in the opening of Full House.

3. BLISTER IN THE SUNSET

There are few things more enjoyable than smashing ice-cold beers while watching a glorious sunset in an exotic city. Alright, maybe watching the Raiders beat Manly 50-0 in the grand final with an endless supply of free beer and meat pies at hand would top it, but you get the point. Lisbon is an ace place for watching the sun go down because it faces west over the ocean and has heaps of stunning lookouts.

Miradouro de Santa Catarina and Miradouro Santa Luzia are great spots, but the best I found was the snappily-titled Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte. The name means ‘Our Lady of the Hill’, and it’s easily accessible by wandering through the Graca district’s labyrinthine alleyways until you either stumble upon it or die of starvation. Situated in the grounds of an ancient church, the view is tops, but the best thing is that there’s a bar serving nice big jugs of Sagres (and some overpriced food, so bring a bag of chips). By the time the sun finally disappears, you’ll be so smashed they’ll have to roll you back down the hill!

Livin’ la vida, LAGOS!

Lagos is a disgraceful Nigerian city where the kids walk around with AK-47S, the prostitutes are overflowing with AIDS, and every second person is an internet scam artist (hi, Prince Bobongi). So rather than risking my life by going to that Lagos, I went to the Portuguese version, which turned out to be a particularly pleasant place to spend a week.

Lagos is one of the major destinations in the world famous Algarve region, and more than 5 million sunseekers from around the world descend upon its glorious beaches every year (alright, I made that number up because I couldn’t find any figures on Wikipedia). Sun, sand, surf and sandwiches are all available in this Portuguese paradise.

I stayed a bit out of town at the Ocean View Hostel, which I liked because it’s cheap, has a nice pool, and serves cold drinks. It’s also located close to Praiha Porto de Mos’s blue waters and the spectacular cliff walk that leads up from the sand. Unless you’ve got money for a helicopter or something (and I barely have money to wipe my arse) this is the best way to see the Algarve’s rugged coast.

The town centre is grouse if you’re the sort of person who likes to drink good food and eat good beer while watching stunning Euro ladies saunter past wearing next to nothing. If you’re the sort of person who prefers to slam your cock in a mouse trap or lip sync to Milli Vanilla in front of the bathroom mirror, you might want to try somewhere else. Lots of the bars are aimed at visiting Poms (and priced as such), but there’s a great party vibe pretty much every night of the week. I got so hammered on Sagres and cheap Portuguese boxed wine that I stripped down to my boxer shorts and got caught drink driving. I’m a bloody idiot.

Being a seaside resort town, there’s a pleasant waterfront area that looks out over about a billion dollars worth of yachts. About the closest I’ve been to riding a yacht was when I dry humped a yak while I was in India (he never accepted my Facebook friend request, by the way) but the waterfront is still a cool place to stroll along. There’s even a little stretch of sand called Praiha Batata, which means Potato Beach, and is the best name this side of Eggs and Bacon Bay.

Forte da Ponta da Bandeira was built in the late 1600s to protect the city from sea snakes, and it’s still in pretty good shape. There’s a museum inside that has all sorts of information on Portugal’s marine history, but that sounds boring so I didn’t check it out. Apparently it’s still used to imprison local sex pests, perverts and rapists, so I made sure to go easy on the nude selfies whilst in Lagos (that noise you hear is about 50 girls from Tinder calling, “Bullshit!”).

Being a touristy sort of place, there are shitloads of activities to do, but I didn’t bother with any of them because I was either too drunk or too hungover all the time. But here are some delightful photos of other idiots having fun in Lagos. Look how much fun they’re having!

The fella in that last foto is Dewey, a loudmouthed Yank who I had the extreme misfortune to share a room with. As well as masturbating regularly and enthusiastically, he jabbered non-stop about shit I couldn’t care less about. The only thing I remember him saying is, “It’s funny they call this place Lagos, because I have the lagos dick in town!” I hope he ended his trip in the rape fort.

Balls-out in Setúbal

My girlfriend is Brazilian, so whenever I do something stupid and she starts yelling at me, I don’t have a clue what she’s saying because I don’t speak Portuguese. It’s always “small penis” this and “useless fucking dickhead” that, which makes no sense to me because I don’t understand the language. So, in an effort to strengthen the relationship, I left the epic mountains of Switzerland and headed to the home of the Portuguese language and Portuguese fried chicken – Portugal!

My first stop was the port(uguese) city of Setúbal, which is about an hour south of Lisbon by bus. The actual city is a bit rough and working class, and smells like a fisherman’s finger, but the plentiful coffee shops, seafood restaurants and bars scattered along the cobblestone streets give it a somewhat bohemian feel. Try the choco frito, it’s grouse!

Scattered throughout the streets are dozens of really weird statues, from dolphins to fat ladies and explorers to stuff I can’t even begin to explain. There’s even a gigantic squid escaping certain death in a searing hot frying pan, which I found kind of terrifying. If I’d known they possessed such emotions, I wouldn’t have eaten a bunch of the pricks for dinner.

There are some nice old buildings, and it can be pleasant along the waterfront, but you wouldn’t travel around the world to see it. The nearby national park, however, is absolutely glorious and well worth the trip.

The Parque Natural da Arrábida is home to golden beaches, blue waters, and steep, rocky cliffs. It’s not far from town by bus – I didn’t even have time to finish my can of Super Bock before climbing off at Figueirinha Beach. ‘Figgy’ isn’t the place to stay, because it’s pretty crowded and there are kids kicking soccer balls everywhere, so either jump on the free park shuttle to get further into the park, or get up off your fat arse and wander along the beautiful coast.

There are a few zesty tracks to wander along, but it’s best to just pick one of the quiet beaches and spread out by the water for a day in the sun. I like going naked, as is nature’s way, and nobody had a problem with that – I even received a few high-fives and a kind warning that “your sausage will sizzle if you don’t turn it over” from a local pervert. Just to be clear, I declined his kind offer to rub sunscreen on my old fella.

Honestly, these beaches are some of the best in Europe and it’s a top part of the world, with eagles soaring along the ridges and fish diving through the cool water. There are a handful of ancient ruins scattered around, and on a good day it offers some of the best coastal paragliding on the planet. It feels a lot like the Greek islands, which makes sense considering where it’s located, but it’s cheaper and quieter. Even better, this is Europe so there are chicks with their big tits out everywhere!

After a few days in Setúbal, I felt like I’d picked up enough of the local lingo to impress my girlfriend with my Portuguese skills, so I gave her a call while watching the blazing sunset.

“Ola, bebezinho,” I said smugly, looking around to see if anyone mistook me for a local. “Posso comer sua enguia? Faz um chapéu.”

“Are you sure you’re in Portugal? Because it sounds like you’re talking shit,” she replied, obviously using a regional dialect I was unfamiliar with. “Honestly, you’re as bad with languages as you are in bed.”

I’m pretty sure that means “I love you” in Portuguese 😍😍😍

I Love Lucerne: The 5 coolest things about Switzerland’s medieval metropolis

THE LION MONUMENT

When bloodthirsty revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace during the 10th of August Insurrection in 1792, more than 600 Swiss guards were slaughtered whilst bravely trying to defend the French royal family. In 1820, this truly moving statue was carved to commemorate their efforts. Whilst the throngs of Chinese tourists with selfie sticks take away from the atmosphere somewhat, it’s an important part of the city’s history. Plus, there are pubs nearby.

Moustachioed author/rhythmic gymnast Mark Twain is probably the only writer more revered by the literary community than myself, so it seems right for me to let him say a few words about this tragic beast. Plus, he’s dead, so there’s no chance of him suing me for plagiarism.

“The Lion lies in his lair in the perpendicular face of a low cliff — for he is carved from the living rock of the cliff. His size is colossal, his attitude is noble. His head is bowed, the broken spear is sticking in his shoulder, his protecting paw rests upon the lilies of France. Vines hang down the cliff and wave in the wind, and a clear stream trickles from above and empties into a pond at the base, and in the smooth surface of the pond the lion is mirrored, among the water-lilies.

“Around about are green trees and grass. The place is a sheltered, reposeful woodland nook, remote from noise and stir and confusion — and all this is fitting, for lions do die in such places, and not on granite pedestals in public squares fenced with fancy iron railings. The Lion of Lucerne would be impressive anywhere, but nowhere so impressive as where he is.”

I’m certainly not lion when I say it’s a must-see when visiting this wonderful city!

PILATUS

When a little Swiss bloke suggested that pilates is the number one thing to experience whilst in Lucerne, I assumed he was on the drugs. After all, I’ve been thrown out of pilates classes across the globe, so they’re nothing new to me. Then I realised he was actually talking about Mount Pilatus, and kind of regretted reporting the little bloke to the cops for heroin possession.

The big slab of rock is close to the centre of town and it’s a short bus ride from the main station to the base. There’s a cable car to the top that can save you an eight-hour round-trip hike, but it costs close to $100, so do what I did – wait till the attendants at the bottom aren’t looking and just hop on. Like beer, cable cars are even tastier when they’re free!

I’m not sure what the view from the top of 2118m Donkey Peak is like, because the weather was shithouse and it was draped in clouds, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had on the mountain. There are bars, ropes courses, and paragliding launches. On the way back down a crazy black man started chasing me and I had to hide in a small cave. Good times!

THE CHAPEL BRIDGE

I’ve been infatuated by old, wooden buildings ever since my nextdoor neighbour Mr Pringle took me to see
The Bridges of Madison County at the cinema when I was eight years old. It was difficult for me to see the film through my tears of shame, but it certainly left an impression on me.

Known to locals as Kapellbrücke, this structure is the oldest surviving wooden covered bridge in Europe, having been built in 1365, and is seen as the symbol of the city. It’s right in the middle of town, just a stone’s throw from the station, and can get really bloody busy. There are all sorts of fancy paintings in it, including a number depicting beheadings and lynchings and all that fun stuff, so psychos should be satisfied.

I would have liked to stroll along the bridge with my good friend Mr Pringle, but he’s currently enjoying his honeymoon with his seven-year-old Vietnamese husband, Tran, at Disneyland.

YE OLDE TOWNE

Lucerne is older than Hugh Jackman’s wife, and the historic heart of the city is really well preserved. I had fun pretending I’d found a time machine and had been transported back to medieval Europe, smugly swaggering around with iPhone in hand whilst the backwards peasants around me amused themselves with sharpened sticks and dried dog turds.

Then I started thinking about the black plague and what I could do to prevent it ever happening, so I raced around warning people not to fuck rats. I thought about World War II and started telling anyone with a little moustache that nobody’s impressed by mass genocide. I tried to warn the clueless Euros about the atrocities to come, but it didn’t work. Nobody appreciated my heartfelt pleas and eventually some locals threw me in the frigid Reuss River. Oh well, enjoy coughing up your intestintes and getting chucked in concentration camps, you ungrateful pricks.

THE LUCERNE GOLEM

Everyone knows that the Swiss have been involved in a brutal war with vampires for the past 4000 years, but what’s not so well known is the reason Lucerne has never been overrun by creatures of the night. It’s because of Plugg, who’s some sort of magical golem.

Legend has it that the vampires were about take over the city when the locals, out of sheer desperation, crafted Plugg out of mud and horse manure, danced around her a bit, and then sacrificed 683 virgins in order to bring her to life. Sounds like a waste of perfectly good virgins to me, but anyway, it worked. Plugg came to life, splattered the vamps, and has looked after Lucerne ever since.

I found Plugg beneath the ancient Musegg Wall and, magic vanquisher of demons or not, she wasn’t able to protect herself from my roving hands. I just hope no bloodsucking freaks snuck in whilst we were making out.

Interlaken: A paraglider’s paradise

There have been three perfect moments in my life; watching Paul Osborne’s around-the-corner offload to Dave Furner during the 1994 grand final, seeing my girlfriend for the first time, and soaring above the unreal azure waters of Interlaken. But they say the darkest night is before the dawn, and that was certainly the case during my first solo paragliding trip through Switzerland.

Interlaken has dozens of launches, but I decided to head to th 1060m-high Luegibrueggli (know as Eggs by the locals) for my first flight – mainly because it’s easy to get to by bus from the middle of Interlaken. After 20 minutes scraping up the hill from town, and a brisk walk through the woods, I found myself in a tiny clearing looking out over the most beautiful lake in the world. I set up my gear, took a deep breath, and cruised out into the clear Swiss air.

It took me about five seconds to realise something was wrong. Very, very wrong. After narrowly missing a tree after launching, I realised my left brakeline was tangled, meaning I couldn’t steer the bloody thing and was being dragged dangerously close to town by the swelling valley breeze. I was a kilometre above the Earth with barely any control over my glider, a thin stream of urine dribbling down my leg and regret on my mind. I needed to use all my experience as a pilot to somehow drag my glider down to the green valley floor, and drop into the tiny landing zone. When i finally landed safely, I took a moment to scrape the fright shite out of my pants and reflect on how close I’d come to disaster.

As I sucked on a frosty can of Tell that night whilst watching the sun set over the Alps, I was still thinking about what had happened. I’m so proud of myself for having reached a stage of my flying that I can travel to a foreign country alone, find flying spots, check out the conditions and take to the air by myself, but I always have more to learn. Today’s lesson was patience – and to wear dark-coloured undies when I fly a new spot. The next day, I promised myself, would be perfect.

With great conditions forecast, I took the bus all the way up to the 1280m-high Waldegg (known as Eggs by the locals) launch. After quadruple-checking my lines, I once again launched into the beautiful alpine valley, and this time everything was absolutely perfect. I hooked into a thermal and climbed up into the clear, blue sky, as the magical scenery shrank beneath me. Dozens of other gliders were dancing through the sky and heading off in all directions, and I managed to cross the valley and play above the monumental peaks of the Andes. Finally, I was able to see what all the fuss is about when it comes to Swiss flying – and I was doing it completely alone.

After a couple of hours of the best paragliding imaginable, the wind picked up and it was time for me to head down, down, down to the ground. I spiralled towards Lake Thun, watching its crystal clear water rush towards me as I ended my ride. And then, just like that, it was over. As I packed up my wing and graciously accepted an ice-cold Rugenbräu from fellow pilot Hans, I looked up at those indomitable mountains and smiled as I thought about cruising over them. Paragliding is all about ups and downs – both literally and figuratively – but the apex of this wonderful sport surely exists in the pristine skies above Interlaken.