Category Archives: New South Wales

Byron Bay Blues

Byron Bay was once the land of hippies and burnouts, but these days it’s better known for multi-million-dollar properties and overpriced drinks. Despite this drastic change it remains a beautiful place, and the gang and I thought it would be the perfect place to party after a week spent in sleepy ol’ Rainbow, where everything closes before 8pm. Little did I know that our detour into the popular beachside village would lead to rivers of blood and unspeakable violence. And some people reckon that flying is the most dangerous part of a paragliding trip!

Dunno who the prick in the middle is

It was getting late by the time we rocked up, so Hamster, Phil, Asian Scotty, Round-Eye Scotty and I raced up to the Beach Hotel to glug back some uber-expensive beers while checking out the totty on offer. If you’re not wearing a three-piece suit there you’re underdressed, so we wobbled up to the nearby Rails Hotel, which was overflowing with backpackers, tradies, surfers and other troublemakers. My memory gets a bit fuzzy at this point, because we were throwing down Coopers Red as if our guts were on fire, but I think we went to the Great Northern Hotel, and ended up at Woodies Surf Shack, which is located in the Woolies carpark. Top place, Byron – where else could you get a good deal on Tim Tams and a lapdance off a 21-year-old Canadian in the same place?

Can you spot Hamster chundering in the corner?

I was waiting for a big-titted French maiden to return from the bar with my pina colada when I heard a commotion outside and, fearing the worst, raced out to the carpark.
“What’s going on?” I asked Phil.

“It’s Scotty,” he gasped. “He’s punching on with the bouncers.”

“Big deal. He’s a career criminal and one of the most violent people I know. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t having a fight.”

“No, not the Asian Scotty – I mean Round-Eye Scotty. Y’know, the bloke who’s spent the whole trip reading books on Spanish history and learning the moves to the Macarena. Apparently they caught him pissing in the corner of the club and he flipped out when the bouncers told him to stop. He started slapping their faces, so now they’re kicking the crap out of him. I think I just saw one of his eyeballs pop out of kiss skull.”

“They might I have to call him One-Eye Scotty from now on,” I smirked, and someone slapped me a high five.

Round-Eye Scotty (left) gets knocked the fuck out by an enraged bouncer (right) as Hamster (centre) looks on in horror

The bouncers eventually scraped what was left of Round-Eye Scotty off the concrete and handed him over to the police, who didn’t know whether to arrest him or bury him. As the broken shell of a man was taken away in the cop car, we all joined together for a hearty rendition of, ‘You’re going home in the back of a divvy van’ and then returned to the bar for more beers.

I swear I took this photo, and didn’t just download it off the internets

I woke up behind an Otto bin a few hours later, and when I finally made it back to the hostel the others were ready to leave. Hamster sheepishly told me that he’d pissed his last pair of clean shorts and would have to go home, so he gave me a soppy hug and started walking back to Perth. That just left me, Phil and Asian Scotty to continue on to Laurieton, with dreams of epic paragliding spinning around in our minds. But on the way, there was something big that we just couldn’t miss…

Look at all that potassium!

That’s right, the most a-PEEL-ing roadside attraction in the world, and one that promises a whole BUNCH of fun, the Big Fuckin’ Banana! Built in 1964 and longer than Mandingo’s meat rocket, the Banana is undoubtedly the most famous Big Thing around. More than one million fascinated tourists gape in awe at it every year, and I’m happy to say that the freakish fruit is looking better than ever (unlike the poor bloody Big Cow). There are new attractions there, such as a water park and a giant slippery dip, making it the perfect place for a fun day out.

He was asking for it

Our afternoon was set to become decidedly un-PG, however. Phil, Scotty and I were enjoying banana smoothies and banana jam sandwiches when a group of attractive blonde backpackers walked over to stare in wonder at the banana. In turn, I stared in wonder at the blonde backpackers. Scotty, however, took things a step too far.
“Hey lady, if you want big banana, I have one in my pant,” he crooned, whilst thrusting his groin at them. “OK, it no so big, but it yellow and taste funny, so why you no give it a try?” We left before there were any further arrests.

Being able to see where you’re flying is for pooftahs

We finally made it to Laurieton at dusk, and raced off to Southeast Bonnie Hills to see if we could get a fly in. The sun was down and it was getting dark quick, but the wind was good, so we set off. After a week of frustration, it was incredible to get back up in the air. In fact, it was so good that, after landing in the pitch dark and drinking ourselves stupid, we got back into it the next day. Beautly, it was even better when I could see where I was going! SE Bonnies was the first site I ever flew back when I was on my course, and it was ace to get another crack at it now that I’m (slightly) more experienced.

Mr Handsome 😍

That night, we were enjoying some well-earned beers while watching the sunset, when we received the news that Round-Eye Scotty had been brutally raped in prison and had died of extensive rectal haemorhaging. Asian Scotty started pissing himself; “He no even the one who was pissing in nightclub!” he guffawed. “It was me, but I blame him so that bouncer bash him. My plan work so well, I so smart. Please hand me party pie.” But in more important news, I beat Phil in a game of Jenga! All in all, it was a fantastic week, and my condolences go out to Round-Eye Scotty’s family.

Advertisements

Barnstorming through Bouddi

boudi1

I’ve had as many long walks as Stephen Hawking lately, and I’ve been missing the hiking, so today I strapped on my walking boots and hiked from Killcare, NSW to Little Beach… erm, which is also in NSW. I didn’t walk interstate or anything, because I had to be back in time to watch the cricket.

It’s a delightful 15km round-trip through Bouddi National Park on the Central Coast, and is an enjoyable journey for anyone looking to see the sights and have the delights of this awesome part of the world. Just watch out for the long-haired weirdos who hang around there…

boudi8
Killcare Beach… right next to Kill Bill Beach

After traipsing north along the wide, open Killcare Beach, the path took me along some countryside as rugged as farmer’s wife pubic region. Steep cliffs dropped down to wild oceans as the path weedled its way along the coast.

There’s a lovely boardwalk that hangs out over the cliffs, making for both an easy and spectacular walk. A lot of effort has been put into this place, and I was oohing and ahhing like a woman on her wedding night as I made my way through heaven, under an endless blue sky.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I missed out on seeing Tasmania’s tessellated pavement a few months ago (my brother was having Dagwood Dog withdrawals and was threatening to drive to the nearest fast food van without me), so I was astounded and delighted to see a similar set-up right here on the Central Coast. I’d like to have a similar design for my bathroom, but I don’t have 10,000 years to wait for it.

boudi3
It is, indeed, hip to be square

The second beach on my epic journey was Bullimah, which is a little bit small and a little bit rough, which is also an adequate way of describing a number of women I’ve been with over the years. The last time I was at this beach, I was on a nude photo shoot with an 18-year-old blonde girl. Things weren’t quite as exciting this time, because all I did was sit down and stuff my face with cheese and bacon balls – which, to be fair, is pretty much what the 18-year-old blonde girl did.

boudi2
More cheese on my face than a Bangkok hooker

The journey continued through thick bush and steep climbs, never venturing too far from the ocean and offering some astounding views out over Maitland Bay. It’s a well-made and preserved track that’s easy to walk and the equal of many more famous tracks around the world. It’s peaceful and challenging, wild and wonderful, and takes in some of the best views you’ll ever see.

boudi5
This is where dreams live

After sweating in the sun for an hour or so, I was happy to hit Maitland Bay, which is my favourite place on the planet and one of the most gorgeous beaches you could ever hope to visit. I’ll do a full entry (ooh!) on it at some point, covering the colourful history of this place, so for now I’ll just say I had a grouse time clowning around in the delightful water. In underpants, too, so have a good look, ladies!

DCIM100GOPROG1006926.
I’m too sexy for my board shorts, too sexy for my board shorts…

I would’ve liked to stay all day, but I had a legendary journey to finish, so I pushed on north towards Little Beach. This section of track is up and down like a wino’s moods, taking in the remote Caves Bay before cresting a steep hill on the way to Little Beach. It was bloody hot and I saw sweating like a vegetable in a wok (that’s my second disabled person joke for this blog!) as I swaggered along, but the remarkable visuals made it all worthwhile. Just as remarkable was the fact I kept my trousers on the whole time!

Sorry, Nobby.

boudi7
Little Beach…Possibly named after Kevin Rudd’s penis

Finally, with my legs weary and my supply of ice-cold beer a distant memory, I stumbled upon Little Beach. The moniker suits it, because it is quite little, so thumbs up to whoever spent all of 30 seconds naming it. There’s a really nice camp ground right next to the beach, but no big-titted bisexual Swedish girls invited me into their tents, so I took the track back to the main road.

The 7.5km back was a slog but, like returning to your work desk to find someone has left a fun-sized Mars bar there while you were having a wee, there was something brilliant to break up the monotony. Hi, God, it’s me, Row-Row. Thanks for the sunset!

boudi6

Booti call

DCIM100GOPROG0546739.
Your Drunken Hero

All good things have to come to an end (otherwise, Hey Day! would still be on TV), so with the winds misbehaving like a child on red cordial, I packed the Del Sol with my gear, said a sad goodbye to my Cloudbase homies, and headed home.

bootilakeDSC08261
It might not be paradise, but it’s close

On the way I stopped at the wonderfully-named Booti Booti National Park, just south of Forster, where I stripped off and had a delightful swim in Wallis Lake. I splished and splashed, enjoying an hour or so in an unspoiled paradise.

Unspoiled, that is, except for Ian.

ian
If this man tries to kiss you on the mouth, say no

When I got out of the water, a fat man with glasses was taking a good, hard look at my car. When he saw me approaching, my six pack glistening and my hair hanging down to my shoulders like some sort of ancient god, he stood up straight, smile, and stuck out his hand.

“Hi, I’m Ian,” said Ian. “Nice car! I bet you could fit a body or two in the boot!”

And, with that, I stepped into my Del Sol and left Ian eating dust.

DCIM100GOPROG0666755.
I was probably doing a wee-wee right here

The last week hasn’t seen the best of conditions, but I’ve had a bodacious time. I’ve explored childhood memories, looked for new places to lived, had flying failures and glorious success high above the ground.

I started paragliding because I was disappointed with how small and unadventurous my life had become. Through it I have excitement and challenge and new friends, I’ve become a more excellent dude, and more in tune with this brilliant world around us.

And that, to me, is what life’s about. Seeing new shit and doing new shit and meeting new people (who, hopefully, aren’t shit), and pushing the envelope. Get out there, get amongst it, and have a fucking good time.

Praise be to the Wind Gods

valleyDSC08248
Seriously, how good is this!

Yesterday was supposed to be a great day for flying. Unfortunately, the Wind Gods didn’t get the memo, and when we got to the bottom of Middle Brother, the conditions were as flat as a disappointing girlfriend’s chest. As a result, me and the Cloudbase crew spent the day waiting at the bottom of Middle Brother:

bottomIMG_20160109_125834853
Extreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeme!

Waiting at the top of Middle Brother:

 

topDSC08241
It’s wetter than a fish’s hat!

And waiting in the park at Laurieton:

park12
Laurieton, NSW: Where dildos double as play equipment

The day wasn’t a wash, though. With our paragliding dreams in tatters, we headed back to Cloudbase HQ for an absolutely brilliant BBQ (thanks to Ricardo’s Tomatoes), a bellyful of beer, and lots of shit talk. The weather might’ve been dodgy, but the company certainly wasn’t.

But, like a sexual drought being broken by a prostitute moving in next door, the tough times simply made the good times better. The Wind Gods must’ve heard our overnight prayers, because they were certainly smiling on us today. The weather was incredible and the flying was, in a word, phenomenal.

DCIM100GOPROG0426615.
Kenny!

We piled into a convoy of cars and headed out to Long Flat, where a 225m-tall mountain would serve as our launch zone. I’ve flown at Long Flat once before and loved it, so I was as excited as a kiddie with a new box of Lego as we drove up the hill.

The wind was light as we started out, and the students who are wrapping up their course with Cloudbase did awesomely to get away and have sleddies down to the landing zone far below. I was one of the last to leave the hill, which worked out well because I found myself in a monstrous thermal out in the middle of the valley. I climbed, and climbed, and climbed, until I was higher than Charlie Sheen and more than double launch height. It was an incredible flight, and really helped with my confidence after some patchy flights in recent times.

duncDSC08256
“Dashing” Duncan has no problems getting it up

My journey to the heavens had nothing on the adventures of Mark, one of the legends who’s been flying with us the last few days. He hit the same thermal as me and took it all the way to 3800ft, or more than 1200m. I’m glad I didn’t make it quite that high, because I would’ve shat my pants, squealed, passed out, and probably ended up somewhere in Tasmania.

DCIM100GOPROG0426635.
View from the top of the world

I had a further two flights that were plenty of fun but not quite as good with themals, and when I made it back to terra firma I was hotter than an Indian bloke’s lunch. There’s a beautiful river that runs through the valley, so I stripped off and jumped in, splashing around like some sort of demented eel.

DCIM100GOPROG0476694.
Yes, I was skinny dipping

Days like this are why were paraglide. Smashing weather, awe-inspiring views, good company and the opportunity to push ourselves to do things we never thought possible. It doesn’t get better than this!

Chasing the Wind

I haven’t had something hairy and goofy-looking wake me up since my last girlfriend left me, so it was comforting to be woken up by the goats again this morning.

goats2IMG_20160107_120434629
Don’t you just wanna milk ’em?

Once that intimate rendezvous was out of the way, it was time to get into some paragliding. Well, more like time to wait around for some paragliding. I watched a genuinely interesting infomercial on a blunder, and a news item about an obsession with Instagram indicating a propensity to cheat. I was nodding my head so much it almost fell off, but that’s a story for a much-anticipated future entry.

aboveIMG_20160108_141922006
You can see my handbag down there

The wind finally rocked up, and me and the Cloudbase Paramagliding crew made our way to beautiful Indian Head, so named because one of the blokes from the Village People was caught sucking the salami there. It’s a great spot and really pretty, but the wind was a bit intense, so it was time for some more para-waiting. And more para-waiting. And more…

chrisIMG_20160108_120006921
Cool Chris heads for the skies

When things finally settled down, I was able to get up for a tandem flight with my homeboy Mark. He’s known as the Grand Poobah of Paragliding, so I relished the opportunity to strap myself in close to him and sail off into the endless skies. While Mark knocked back my sexual advances, we enjoyed a memorable flight above the New South Wales coastline.

mbvmmarkIMG_20160108_141216889
Hunks of the sky… form an orderly line, seagulls!

We waited for the winds to die down, and when they didn’t, I decided to go for a flap on my own in a smaller wing. I’ve had one flight in the last seven months, so I was as rusty as a Mormon robot’s cock, and I wasn’t happy with my performance, even under difficult conditions (I’ve said that after a few sexual encounters, trust me). My take-off was awful, I kicked a tree mid-flight, and I never felt completely comfortable. The wind was a bit too strong for me to have a fun flight, and I ended up having to land earlier than I wanted to, but it was great to get a flight out of the way as I build my hours and my confidence. And even if I was disappointed with today, there’s always tomorrow.

shoesIMG_20160108_141227772
Is it the shoes?

My struggles with the wind convinced Mark and Chris that it wad time to head home, and I spent the night cracking beers and enjoying the company of good people. the paragliding community is a wonderful and inclusive bunch, and I’m loving my time up in Port Macquarie.

All up, it was a brilliant day, and proved that perfect conditions aren’t required for a great day of paragliding. Good mates, a few laughs, and having a crack are what it’s all about. It looks like Middle Brother might be on tomorrow, and if it is…. yeah, there’ll be stories.

Big Things (and not so big things)

While in Lake Innes on my paramagliding adventure, I’m staying at a petting zoo. there are llamas and alpacas and other stupid-looking beasties wandering around, and this morning I was awoken by the insane bleating of a herd of horny billy goats. I won’t tell my mate Dean* about it, or the dirty bastard will be up here in a shot.

goatIMG_20160107_120428419
Goat fuck yourself, mate!

I like big things (so do all of my ex-girlfriends, which is probably why none of them liked me too much), so I headed down to Kew, to see the Big Axe. They’re not bullshitting with the name, either, because it’s fucking huge – far too large to be put into practical usage by the timber-cutting industry, but impressive nonetheless.

axe333
I’ve got an axe to grind with you!

From there I headed east towards one of my favourite towns in the world, Laurieton. I’ve been in love with this joint since I came here to get my paragliding license a year ago. It was, without hyperbole, the best week-and-a-half of my life, so I’ll always have a place in my heart for Laurieton.

glipa10403808_10153049568557741_5534334068821922166_o
I wanna flyyyyyy sky hiiiiigh!

Today I decided to tackle the formidable Queenslake Track. Alright, it’s not that formidable – it’s a 3.2km amble along the lake’s edge, and it’s really quite lovely. With a smile on my face and a song in my heart, I trotted along the track, marvelling at the water views and enjoying the handsome boardwalk.

riverIMG_20160107_175709482_HDR
Delicious!

It’s an easy and peaceful journey, and illustrates the beauty of this place. I’ve been thinking of moving up this way for a while, and this afternoon simply reinforced those thoughts. If you’re up this way, dont think twice about stopping in Laurieton and having a walk along this picturesque lake.

bbqIMG_20160107_181401950
Not a bad place to eat some meat

Unfortunately, while trotting along my shorts became quite loose and fell off. As I was attempting to pull them up, I was startled by a possum and had to seek refuge in a tree. I was terrified! To make matters worse, my phone somehow took a photo of me during my darkest moment and, in the interests of journalistic integrity, I’m putting that photo up to illustrate my pain.

swingzzz33333
Yep… I’m still single!

As I was climbing up, a senior gentleman came ambling round the corner, and when he saw me he had a chuckle to himself. “We never used to do that in my day, but it looks like plenty of fun,” he smirked. “Of course, if I was hanging out of a tree with my daks off like that, my dick would be dragging in the dirt.” And with a spring in his step, he disappeared down the track.

Wasted in the Watagans

Watagansbeer

I love getting pissed. Give me a cask of cheap wine, a bag of chips and some good music, and I’m sorted. I could do it all the time – and I do, in fact. But sometimes I get sick of stumbling around the house by myself, crying over lost loves and passing out in the spa in a pool of my own sick, so I go other places to drink.

It also works as lawnmower petrol

Tonight, I’m hitting the turps in the beautiful Watagan Mountains, at a peaceful place called The Pines. As the name suggests, my campsite is within a large pine plantation, that is at once pretty and bizarre amongst the thick bush. Instead of trekking in, I drove the Del Sol all the way up the mountain, in conditions it was never designed for, but which it handled admirably.

I’m always looking for cute birds…

Despite my best efforts, I haven’t been able to locate the helicopter that crashed in the Watagans a few days ago, but I did find a wishing well, where I wished for an end to world hunger.

Something, something, world peace, something, something, Bill Shorten finally fucks off…

Nah, just kidding, I wished that I was drunk, and now it looks like that’s coming true. Moral of the story, wishing wells fucking work, as long as you don’t try to use them to feed hungry African kids.

The tent’s big enough for two, ladies…

And now, with the sun setting and birds calling, I’m listening to The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band and getting quietly sloshed on [brand] wine (at $10 for five litres, I can ignore the fact it tastes like sweat wrung out of a hobo’s sock and burns the back of my throat as if I’ve been swallowing coals). I reckon it’s only a few more glasses until that possum over there starts to look pretty damn good. Ah, it’s a good life…

Paramagliding from the mountain of death

If I was to make a list of ways I’d like to spend a Saturday morning, climbing up a 600m cliff with a 15km pack on my back probably wouldn’t make it on there. But that’s just what I did a couple of days ago, when I travelled to Lake St. Clair, north of Singleton, and spent close to two hours clambering through bush and caves on my way to the top.

20150530_110258 20150530_113158

The view from the peak was beautiful, but I wasn’t there to just look out over the water while willing my heart not to pack it in. I was there to fly off the top while strapped to my paraglider, Kenny, and in the face of worsening conditions I wasted no time and just did that. And when I was up in the air, well, the struggle up to the launch area paled in comparison.

20150530_123318 launch2

The best things in life aren’t easily achieved. Like spending months chasing a pretty girl, or years saving up for a Lamborghini, it’s all worth the effort because the end result is absolutely brilliant. I’d walk up that mountain a thousand times if I got a decent flight at the end of it. But, y’know, if they want to build an escalator to the top, that’d be be cool.

vlcsnap-2015-05-30-23h16m01s946 vlcsnap-2015-06-01-18h28m08s989

I managed to stay airborne for nearly half an hour, which was a record for me (just ask any of my ex-girlfriends). After I launched, another seven or eight pilots joined me in the air (alright, they were a bit more experienced, so they were maybe 150m higher than me), and it was a great sight to see so many paragliders dancing through the cold air. For the first time I felt comfortable up there, and was able to relax, enjoy the flight and mess around with my glider, rather than attempting to stop frite shite from oozing out of my shorts.

vlcsnap-2015-06-01-18h27m34s514 vlcsnap-2015-06-01-18h36m09s601

I played around in the sky, looking down at cows and dams far below, before gliding down to the water’s edge for a perfect landing. Come on, no-one actually saw me land, so let’s just forget the fact that I almost ended up on top of a cow (but enough about my sex life! [that joke never gets old {and how good are multiple brackets!}]).

vlcsnap-2015-06-01-18h28m55s838

Alright, maybe my landing wasn’t that good.