Tag Archives: sunset

The Marvelous Mountain Man of Malawi


With the stunning-to-look-at-yet-infested-with-parasites Lake Malawi threatening to kill me, today I decide to head for higher ground where I might be a bit safer. There are some awesome mountains around Cape Maclear, so I put on my walkin’ boots and went for a strut. Little did I know that I would’ve had less trouble drinking utant snails straight out of the river.

The main hiking track starts just out of town, next to the graves of the long-dead missionaries who founded the village. Thankfully, they didn’t come back from the dead and tear out my throat. It quickly climbs up the side of one of the monoliths and just keeps on ascending, proving to be a tough hike that offers enough peeks back over the bay to make every step worthwhile.

It takes about 90 minutes to reach the main lookout, and the view over the town is monumental. I could see far out into the massive body of water that is Lake Malawi, all the way to the imposing cliffs on the far side. The vista is bodacious (what? It’s still a word!) but I wasn’t really able to enjoy it because of the massive swarm of flies that decided to assault me. And I thought the hawkers on the beach were annoying!

If you decide to take this walk, be smart and turn around once you hit the lookout. The path to that point is easy to follow and makes for a top day out. Don’t be an absolute fuckin’ gronk like me and scramble further up the mountain in a pointless attempt to find the summit. There’s no real track, only a series of ambiguous symbols spray painted here and there on rocks and trees, and it wasn’t long before I was exploring uncharted territory crawling up boulders to get to the top. I made it and for some reason my clothes fell off!

Not for the first time, the point where I took off my shorts was where the fun stopped. I did my best to retrace my steps to the lookout, but I soon got turned around and ended up in the middle of the rugged bush with no idea where the path was. With the sun setting I knew I couldn’t mess around, so I faced the village far below and bush bashed down the mountain, knowing that I had to get out of there one way or another. It was a bloody steep trip and I slid down half the way, cutting myself on rocks and slamming into trees. I was starting to think about my options if I had to spend the night out there in the wild, when I heard the sweet sound of a woman singing.

I crashed through the thorny thicket towards the sound, praying it wasn’t my imagination. Eventually I stumbled into a clearing where a woman was collecting sticks, and she just looked at me like I was some sort of monster. I was sweaty and bleeding and close to tears, so maybe that’s exactly what I looked like. I did my best to communicate my desire to return to civilisation, and after a while she pointed towards the beautiful, wonderful, glorious path. I was so stoked to see it that I wouldn’t have been happier if it was lined with naked women and free beer.

Alright, that’s a lie. Once back at the beach I cracked open a brew and sat back to watch another mesmerising Malawian sunset. The going down of the sun was a terrifying prospect when I was lost on the mountain, but something soul-enriching whilst relaxing with a cold one in my hand (but enough about my penis!).

Sunsets in Bali-dise

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I love a good sunset. They’re pretty, they don’t take much effort to enjoy, and they perfectly compliment an icy cold beer. If I found a woman with all those qualities, I’d be sorted for a long and happy life.

Bali is a great place to watch the sun sink below the horizon while sinking a Bintang, so that’s how I’ve spent a lot of my time. Here’s a bunch of photos (and a really awesome video that should win an award) so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out. Aren’t I a nice guy? Set me up with your hot sister, won’t ya?

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You son of a beach!

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Sri Lanka doesn’t have a whole lot of Olympic gold medal-winning racewalkers. Alright, there’s Surav Fingabang and Karu Sukadingdong, and Anil Pushapooalong probably would’ve won in 2012 if he hadn’t been bitten by a dog during his warm up, but the fact is these people don’t like walking. There’s a reason for that – it’s really fucking hot.

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Don’t have a cow, man [polite chuckles]

That didn’t stop me pointing at a spot on the map six kilometres from my hotel and saying, “I can bloody well walk there!” That’s because I’m a complete dickhead. I toodled out the door with a smile on my face and a song in my heart, aiming to get to the end of Batticaloa’s famous Dutch Bar, so that I could catch a glimpse of the legendary Batticaloa Lighthouse. After a couple of kilometres of I was huffing and puffing in the 37 degree heat, so I stopped off for a swim.

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Can you spot the mermaid?

Kallady Beach is wide and sandy, and the water is warm and clear, but it’s not one of the world’s best beaches. It’s very Asian, in the sense that there’s rubbish everywhere. If you’re after a broken pen and couple of hundred bottles full of seawater, this is your place. In saying that, it’s still a beaut place for a swim on a bloody hot day, and it has some waves. which sets it apart from every beach I’ve been to since leaving Aussieland.

I made it another couple of kilometres along dusty, abandoned roads, before calling it quits. I was dehydrated and overheated to the point where I seriously considered sucking the milk out of a passing cow’s teat (even worse, it was a male cow), so I turned around and started back along the road, without ever seeing the lighthouse.

Oh, and I stopped to ride a merry-go-round. Weeeeeeeeeee!

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I don’t have to stay 200m away from playgrounds in Sri Lanka

When I finally made it back to m hotel I was half-mad from exhaustion and dehydration, and brought myself back to life by swimming in the pool in my undies and doing bombs to impress some big-titted Norwegian sheilas who were hanging out there. They weren’t impressed at all and asked me to stop, which leads me to believe they’re probably lesbians – gay lesbians. happens all the time.

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Havin’ a pool…

To make up for that disappointment, the sun put on a fantastic performance as it went down (I’ve described my ex-girlfriend in similar terms). The sky burned orange as I said goodbye to another brilliant day in Sri Lanka, and turned my sights towards the long, difficult journey back to Australia…

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Drunk in Dubrovnik

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My first full day in Dubrovnik, Croatia started out wetter than Mikey Robbins’ arse-crack at a Zumba lesson, but the rain soon pissed off and allowed me to explore this interesting, if very touristy city.

It’s not a big place, with only 40,000 permanent residents, so walking all over the shop isn’t tough at all. I just set out and swaggered over to the Old Town, which would’ve really made me feel like I was back in Medieval times if there weren’t so many fat fuckers standing around stuffing their faces with ice cream. I’m pretty sure ice cream didn’t exist back then, and fat people were probably fingered as witches and burnt at the stake.

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I can see my burek from up here!

It is a lovely town though, even if most of it was destroyed and rebuilt after being smashed by the Yugoslace Army back in 1991 (honestly, what’s up with these Euros? Always fighting someone! Explains why every European girl I’ve been with has fucking hated me and wanted to kick my head in). There are tiny alleyways overgrown with exotic plants, coffee shops hidden in weird corners, and all sorts of weird stuff to check out. Bear in mind that it’s crawling with people – it’s a Monday here, and out of the main tourist season, and there are people everywhere. It kinda takes away from the feeling of exploring something ancient.

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Fuckwits everywhere!

Apparently the popular television show Game of Thrones is shot in Dubrovnic, with the city standing in for Camelot or Gotham City or whatever place it is the show’s set in. I dunno, I don’t watch it, and if I wanted to see a dragon being slain I’d just chuck on that sex tape I made with my last girlfriend. You know, in the three weeks were together before she went to Hawaii and fucked some bloke called Jeff.

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One of the quieter alleyways

Of course, being a touristic place, there are lots of dickheads who do the wrong thing. Drinking in public, urinating in places that are obviously not toilets, that sort of thing. Of course, I was very respectful of this ancient place and did nothing like that.

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Did you see that one coming?

As I rounded a corner of the citadel and passed a small harbour, I saw some people splashing around in the water. I thought that looked alright, chucked off my shirt and shorts and powered my way into the Adriatic Sea wearing nothing but my undies and a smile. Unfortunately, undies aren’t really made for swimming, and the detached themselves from my body the moment I entered the water.

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Better form than gay diving man Matthew Mitcham

I was in a good mood and the water wasn’t too cold, so I just splashed around for a while, did a bit of backstroke while people sitting on the rocks oohed and ahhed. I felt a tap on the shoulder and turned around to see a good-looking brunette smiling at me. I assumed she wanted a root, but instead she held up my underpants.
“You can keep those, luv,” I said, “as a souvenir.”
“No thanks,” she replied in an American accent, “they’ve got skidmarks.” With that, she threw them onto my head while the people on the rocks broke into laughter. You can’t win ’em all.

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Not a bad spot for a dip

After being laughed out of the place, I decided to walk up Mount Srd behind Dubrovnik, which is 500m tall and has a fortress at the top. Yeah, 500m metres, no biggie. It’s not a bad walk walk, actually, and the way to see the mystical Old Town from above. The Adriatic shimmered below me as I hoofed it uphill, stopping time after time to check out th view (and not because I’ve been eating too many kebabs and felt like shitting myself halfway up).

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If you’re gunna make the trip, bring your own cans!

If you’re a fat cunt, there’s an expensive cable car to the top, but it’s a waste of time and money. The top of the mountain has rubbish views of the city, while the walk up provides heaps of places to stop off and take photos. It was also a decent counter-balance to the three beers I sank while making the two-hour round trip. And then I went home and fell asleep, because that’s apparently what happens now that I’m thirty-three.

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A koala in Lumpur

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The good people of Langkawi, Malaysia were thoroughly sick of me by the time I left. But, just as one should never count one’s chickens before they hatch, one should also not breathe a sigh of relief before the drunken Aussie is safely packed away on a plane to somewhere else.

I woke up early feeling fantastic, and headed down to the beach for a final swim at this island paradise before heading to the airport for my 1:30pm flight to Kuala Lumpur. When I got there, the sun was shining, the water was sparkling and delightful, and my waitress friend and her dopey husband were still in a foul mood.

After drying off and spending a very pleasant half hour sitting on a sun lounge reading a Joe Lansdale book, I went back to my room, packed my shit, dropped my bags at the front desk and then took one last stroll up the street to buy another bottle of vodka before leaving. I wouldn’t wanna get thirsty.

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Bustling downtown Langkawi

On the way back I was enjoying the sunshine and the peaceful ways of the little island, when I heard someone shouting and saw Sonjay running out of his shop and straight towards me. I couldn’t understand what he was saying, and from the look on his face he could’ve wanted to either shoot me or root me, so I piss-bolted back to my resort, grabbed my bags and tossed them into the back of a taxi, slammed the door and ordered the driver to gun it just as Sonjay reached the car. Despite being a fat little bloke who looked like he’d work up a sweat just thinking about going to the fridge for another can of Kingfisher, he kept up with the taxi for a good 100m, banging on my window and yelling at me. As we finally pulled away he fell to his knees in the dirt and I heart him scream, ““I love yooooouuuuu!””

Sorry, Sonj.

A few minutes later I was at the shed optimistically known as Langkawi International Airport, and ready to check in. Tragically, my suitcase was slightly over the weight limit, requiring a repack. So I stepped to the side and started moving stuff from my suitcase to my backpack, while a bunch of burqa-wearing hardcore muslims stood around glaring at me. When I finally had it in order, I picked up my suitcase –and immediately realised I hadn’t zipped it up, causing all my shit to fall out on the ground. But that’s not the worst bit. For the last few days I’d been collecting some of my beer cans because they look cool and are a great reminder of the monumental amount of piss I’ve been sinking. So about 20 empty beer cans spilled out along with my dirty undies, clanging on the floor right in front of about 50 people who reckon alcohol is the devil’s drink. Fuck. Me.

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Kuala Lumpur from the air. Dunno what that river’s called. Kevin?

The flight to KL was uneventful enough, and soon I was at the shed that’s known as Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Terminal. Bloody hell, what a shithole of a place. I got on a bus that took me to the middle of nowhere, where I caught a fast train that wasn’t very fast at all to KL Sentral station and, after seeing a big sign for some fancy new Burger King vain-clogger, stopped in for a bite. I love traditional Asian cousine!

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Someone get the whipper snipper!

A short taxi ride through scenic downtown Kuala Lumpur – – and it really is a nice place, with palms everywhere and snazzy buildings and lots of pretty girls -– and I was at my home for the next three days, the Pacific Regency Suites. And it was bloody fantastic! My room was damn near the size of my house, with a gigantic king bed, kitchen, huge TV and absolutely massive bedroom. It made the place in Shanghai look like the place in Penang.

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Check me digs, homie!

I took a quick stroll around town and it was pleasant, if a little sterile and surprisingly quiet. After travelling through a bunch of Chinese cities that were as busy as Penny Wong in a roomful of dildos, it was nice to have a little bit of space. It was getting a bit late, though, and I wanted to have a swim in the hotel’s rooftop pool, so I just grabbed some mixers for my vodka and headed back.

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Alright, who stole the other half of the Petronas Towers?

The pool was pretty cool, with an incredibly decent view over the city. At seven it shuts down and the whole place converts into what is supposedly a very nice nightclub, which I intended to check out later on, so I dried off and went back to my room for a quick drinkie.

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Gimme an umbrella!

Alright, so it was more like a half-litre bottle of vodka drinkie, and by the time I went back up to the club I was primed for a good night. Unfortunately, the Luna Bar was absolutely shithouse. There was thumping techno music, but no dancefloor. In fact, there was nowhere for anyone to congregate, forcing people to sit in individual booths in the darkness, meaning that chatting to strangers was completely out of the question. Good news for any single women in the place, bad news for me. I had a couple of overpriced cocktails (in beautiful plastic glasses!) and fiddled about with my phone (that’s not a euphemis for masturbation), then got the fuck out of there and back to my room. And when I paid, old mate cracked the shits ‘cos I didn’t leave a tip! They’re lucky I didn’t take a dump in their pool.

After that, it took me about 14 seconds to fall asleep, which is a good thing because I had a trek ahead of me the next day. Oh, bloody hell, did I have a trek in store!

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Obligatory sunset shot

I originally wrote this back in May, 2012. If I wasn’t so drunk right now, I’d remember the exact date. Giz a beer?

Back where I belong

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You can tell this is an old photo by my short, almost military-style haircut

After a 32 hour trip back from India that involved a taxi, a flight, another taxi (and nearly a mugging), another flight, another another flight, a train, another train, and a walk through the mud, I’m finally back home. Alright, so I’ve been back a few days, but I’ve been a busy boy, so forgive me for being a bit late on the blogging.

Having been away for a while, I’ve been taking the time to appreciate everything I have here at home, in Gosford, NSW. It’s not hard, because it’s a pretty awesome place. There are beaches, bush… the Settlers Tavern, where I regularly get pissed. I’ve been to a lot of incredible places around the world (I’ve also been to Huddersfield), but few match Gosford and the Central Coast when it comes to jaw-dropping natural beauty.

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This is my home. It’s where I first played football, where I first got drunk and where I first saw Johnny Farnham play. Deadset, I’m sitting on my balcony and I can see where Johnny Farnham played 25 years ago, back when he still had the mullet and the popularity. Everywhere I go, there are memories from my time here, but there are always new places to explore just around the corner. Most people here haven’t been to most of the cool places.

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I’ve lived in Gosford for 28 of the past 29 years, and of course I sometimes feel like I’ve limited my experiences by staying in the one spot. I know people who have lived in England, Thailand, Indonesia, America, and they’ve all grown and benefited from their experiences. I’ve thought of getting a job overseas, but you know what? I like it here. It has great beaches, a thousand bush tracks I’ve yet to discover, quiet roads for me to drive sensibly down with the roof off, and cliffs for me to jump off if there’s ever enough wind for me to actually go paragliding. More importantly, it also has my family friends, and I wouldn’t have too many of either if I moved to Anus, France or Wetwang, Yorkshire.

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I spent the weekend at a buck’s night, where we first went go karting (I came first, my brother came a lowly eighth – if he tells you any different, call him a fucking liar, even if he does produce multiple sources of evidence in an attempt to prove it was the other way around. He’s a fancy pants graphic designer, so he can fake stuff like that) before getting on the piss around a bonfire, underneath a glorious canopy of stars.

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Don’t trust this man. He lies about important issues like who finished in what position (but enough about his sex life!)

It was so good to be out on that farm with a bunch of good blokes, seemingly so far from civilisation, especially after recently escaping the unrelenting madness that is India. It was also great just to have people to talk to, people who know about football and gliding and whatever, people I have history with and who I could feel comfortable about. It’s so good to come home from overseas, where everything is strange, and just feel comfortable for a while. It’s like taking off a pair of arseless leather chaps and putting on a nice pair of trackie daks… or something like that.

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I’m looking forward to checking out more of the Central Coast and other places around here as the Drunk and Jobless World Tour rolls on. There’ll be photos, there’ll be spelling errors, there’ll be drunken ranting at people I don’t like (especially that fuckwit Josh Thomas), all the good stuff. What, I can’t keep calling it the World Tour if I’m going home every night to play PlayStation and snuggle up with my ALF doll? Piss off, I do what I want!

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Denpasar, so fuckin’ far

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For someone who’s supposedly not retarded, I do some stupid things. Today I decided to escape the tourists and check out Denpasar City. After looking it up on the map, I started strolling towards it – even though the centre of the joint was about 13km away and the temperature was in the mid-30s. I’m a fucking idiot, I look at a map and think, “It’s only 3cm away” and just start walking. Shit, if I zoom out far enough, Perth is only 3cm away from Gosford, so maybe I should try to walk that one arvo when I don’t have much to do.

It was good to get away from the tattooed fatties for a while, but there’s a reason not many visitors to Bali bother going into Denpasar, and that’s because it’s really not that interesting. There’s kilometres of shops, thousands of motorbikes, and not much else. I could’ve swaggered through the outskirts and not wasted my time going any further, because it was pretty much the same scenery over and over again. I also almost got run over by about 50,000 motorbikes, because the Balinese don’t believe in footpaths, meaning I had to stroll along main roads.

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Still, it was the first time since I’ve been over here that I’ve felt as if I was actually in another country, rather than in Western Sydney. The locals were staring at me and following me around and nobody could speak English, meaning it was the most authentic experience of the trip. I also got to eat a kebab that I think was filled with fruit rather than meat, maintaining my tradiion of pretty much living on the little packages of wrapped awesomeness while away.

Oh, and I saw a monkey, and a monkey-man!

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After a journey that would have Cliff Young throwing in the towel, I sat back and relaxed in front of the sunset with a cold beer in my hand. Next stop, Ubud. It doesn’t look too far on the map, reckon I can walk it?

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