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Sod Off Great Big Mission Round Oz

a travel blog by Koala Bear


My first foray into the world of backpacking; The big two year Australian road trip as seen through a haze of goon and a diet of cheap noodles and tins of baked beans.

ALL the photos from this trip can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ohfuckkit/collections/72157601753599384/
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The Last Australian Adventure: Part 2

Sydney, Australia


I've wanted to go to Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras for years, this was on my ever expanding list of Things To Do Before I Die and what better year to go than the 30th anniversary of the event? It's not something you can write about not least because the power of coherent communication leaves you after a few drinks and you end up hanging over the railings brandishing a rainbow flag in one hand and the remnants of a bourbon can in the other screaming "Happy Mardi Graaaaaas!" at the parade as it marches past.

The atmosphere was electric, I know I'm not even going to be able to write anything resembling a decent paragraph but it lived up to expectations, I got pissed and had fun and was part of one of the biggest pride events in the world.

It's so easy to get caught up in the moment but so hard to put into words.



permalink written by  Koala Bear on March 2, 2008 from Sydney, Australia
from the travel blog: Sod Off Great Big Mission Round Oz
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The Last Australian Adventure: Part 3

Sydney, Australia


Taronga Zoo - 03/03/08
Maybe it wasn't the wisest idea in the world to go to a place that smells of animals and their shit the day after a big weekend when your stomach is plotting revenge and your liver is advertising for a new place to live but this was the last day Loody would have a chance to go to the zoo before she flew back to Germany for three weeks and anyway, I'd been told this zoo was brilliant.
And it is. You get the ferry over from Circular Quay thus giving you even more Lets Take Photos Of The Opera House opportunities to torture your peers with then they take you by a cable car system they call Sky Safari into the zoo itself. I'm a huge fan of cable cars or indeed anything that'll get you up an incline with minimal leg movement. Tickets cost about $44 for return ferry, Sky Safari and zoo entry, buy them from the ferry terminal at Circular Quay.

So me, Loody, Hayley and Jaz (Loody's housemates) embarked on a magical mystery tour with Hayley in the lead brandishing a map. Taronga is definitely one of the best zoos I've been to, you can easily spend a day there and everything is really well displayed and thought out. Even the bird show is surpassed only by the kind of bird show you get in Kings Cross at the seedier clubs.

As well as things you'd expect to find in a zoo such as animals, keeper talks and the ever obligatory reptile show Taronga has all kinds of exciting things such as statues you can climb on but probably aren't meant to and cardboard with holes cut out that you can stick your head through for a comedy photo op. Weirdly though they also have them old style scales at every turn that you put a dollar in and stand on to weigh yourself.

So I did and the evil bastard piece of machinery told me I was 70kg.

Seventy! Can't they program these things to lie?

I vowed to cut down on them chicken shish things I'd gotten addicted to and jumped off the scales before the keepers threw me in the elephant enclosure.


Thunder Jet And The Minus 5 Bar - 05/03/08
There are a million things to do in Sydney that I never got round to doing for one reason or another but the things we did do fucking rocked. Today was my last full day in Sydney and Alan and Nat had spent some time the previous day looking on the internet for stuff to do and one of those things was Thunder Jet which is a very fast boat that quite literally gives you a taste of the harbour and beyond. We got there early, paid our $79 and were told that the front was the roughest ride on the boat so me and AJ made sure we got it.

It's. So. Cool! They give you the option at the beginning to wear a yellow poncho, we decided not to because at the end of the day you're gonna get a soaking whether you're covered in plastic or not then they speed around, getting into the wash of other boats, finding the biggest waves, spinning you round, stopping suddenly and nose diving into the water so that about 1000 litres of water hits you in the face and sloshes around your lungs. Its fucking awesome! And me and Nat were the only two of us four that didn't have bruising from holding on like pussies ;)

Afterwards we headed back to Alan's leaving half the harbour trickling off the train to get dry before we went back to Circular Quay and the Minus 5 ice bar. Now this is very very cool, pun fully intended because yes, I'm really that lame. Its a bar made entirely of ice complete with sculptures where they can only serve vodka cocktails because everything else would freeze which is Absolut-ly (ok, I promise I'll stop now) fine by me because vodka is the nectar of the gods.
It's $30 entry and they only give you half and hour in there but to be honest that's all you need, it's about -13 degrees in there. You'll never bitch about the heat again and thank the dear sweet god of insulation for the thick Eskimo coats or my nipples would have taken out half the ice sculptures every time I turned round.

I'd spent most of my time in Sydney with Alan, Matt, Nat and AJ which was awesome. Alan is a great tour guide and a top bloke and him and the others just made my time in Sydney what is was, it wouldn't have been the same without them, I had an amazing two weeks.

And as for the most hyped city in the country, Sydney is an awesome place to visit but I totally couldn't live there without selling a kidney and swapping a limb for a new liver.

And All The Debauchery Can Be Found In Glorious Technicolour Here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ohfuckkit/sets/72157604103523133/detail/

permalink written by  Koala Bear on March 7, 2008 from Sydney, Australia
from the travel blog: Sod Off Great Big Mission Round Oz
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Coping With Stress

Brisbane, Australia


So I noticed a white hair in with my own this morning and assuming it was a labrador hair (I live in John's house with two labs) I tried to pull it out and it hurt.

It hurt because it was ATTACHED TO MY FUCKING HEAD!!

It is a clinically proven fact that lesbians can't function without some small amount of crisis in their lives. The scientific term is Dramaticus Rugmunchus, or Lesbian Drama, and if we don't have this we go out and find something to give us cause for grief such as sleeping with the biggest bull dyke on the scenes ex girlfriend or dating a known psychopath. I like my face the shape it is so to get my stress fix I decided to send my goon damaged passport off for renewal at the last possible minute which means that with less than three weeks until I have to leave the country its still not back.

I still don't have a New Zealand working holiday visa but I do have flights to Fiji which should in theory relax me but I ain't going anywhere without this little book containing the worst photo of me ever taken apart from that time I passed out by the river in Perth and Raz sat on my head with his pants down and took pictures. Goon has alot to answer for.

Damn this genetic addiction to drama I have, if only I could live without some small amount of crisis in my life then maybe I wouldn't be turning slowly grey at the age of (coughs)27(coughs).

Give thanks for Loreal.

permalink written by  Koala Bear on April 20, 2008 from Brisbane, Australia
from the travel blog: Sod Off Great Big Mission Round Oz
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Look Mum, I'm In A Drag Show

Brisbane, Australia


I hate being on stage, I always have, I'll avoid it as much as possible but sometimes it can't be helped like that time I was sent on stage at Connections to pick the whips up or the time they put me on stage in front of about 15000 people to set up a prop at the Kylie gig in Perth. I know its only a big deal in my own head, no one else cares or is even paying much attention so it's doable with only minor psychological scarring and the nightmares go away after a few days.

I have vague recollections of being dragged onto stage on my birthday, sipping an Ella Va'Lay Surprise (surprise, you've lost the use of your basic motor functions) but again, being pissed helped and everything else was drowned out by the sound of liver caving in on itself.

Then there's the Sportsman Hotel Annual Drag show which this year happened to fall on my last night on the bar. This meant I would still be staff and with it being a staff drag show an all that I'd be expected to perform. On stage. In front of people that were actually looking at me!

I toyed with the idea of deportation or sustaining some sort of crippling injury during a freak accident but I kinda need a good track record in order to get into other countries and I generally don't move around enough to cause myself a mischief so I resigned myself to the fact and me and Chris decided we were going to do Kids by Kylie and Robbie and anyway, how hard could girl-to-boy drag be?

The hardest part was working out how to strap my tits down, they're c-cups, they don't just invert y'know so after extensive experimentation with bandages I ended up just wearing a sports top underneath a shirt. My package was easy enough, I stuffed enough socks in my knickers to make a donkey blush and now I get it, I finally realise why blokes adjust themselves so much. A bulge is a really convenient place to rest your hand during any other one handed task such as driving, drinking beer or flipping through TV channels, for the entire time I had it in I couldn't for the life of me remember what I usually did with the other hand during the aforementioned tasks but then this is why blokes cant multitask; "Can't do anything with the other hand right now, dear, I'm very busy holding my crotch."

Finally, Sasha drew a beard on me and darkened my eyebrows to complete the look and I spent the night trying to resist the urge to scratch my imaginary bollocks in front of a room full of people and wondering who I should start a fight with at the kebab van later on coz he looked at my bird funny ok?

Y'know I've never been so scared in my whole life, ever. I can't recall a time I felt that sick because I had to do something I was reluctant to do. I don't actually remember much of being on stage, I don't know if I remembered to mime or not, I remember bits and bobs and just wanting to get off stage at the end and Chris not letting me by the time I did get off I was a sweating, shaking wreck. Despite the date on the bottom of this post I was in Fiji by the time I got the bottle up to watch the video back.

It seems I have an abject inability to shimmy, one or both shoulders forget what they're meant to be doing resulting in something resembling a minor fit and there wasn't much dancing so much as wandering aimlessly round the stage waving my arms about occasionally but hey, I did remember to mime. Bella Chimes (Chris) was brilliant though, no way on this earth could I have gotten up there on my own and while she was dragging me back on stage against my will she said some awesome things that I wasn't expecting so thanks again :)

I had a top time working at the Sporties, everyone has been brilliant, both the staff and patrons. The boys (and some of the girls...) that drink there are some of the warmest, funniest people I've ever met and they made me welcome right from my first day. I love the atmosphere there, the look on the faces of the people who haven't worked out where they are when a 7' drag queen sashays past, watching the pool comps and whiling the day shifts away chatting to the regulars.

Yep, I'm gonna miss working at a place where at the mention of a boys vs girls pool comp where everyone has to wear a dress the girls groan in horror and the boys start picking out their outfit.

permalink written by  Koala Bear on May 6, 2008 from Brisbane, Australia
from the travel blog: Sod Off Great Big Mission Round Oz
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Bye Then, Australia

Brisbane, Australia


It's been an awesome 2 years in Australia and I leave tomorrow for a quick holiday in Fiji. I've seen and done some amazing things and met the best people to do them with. From the arid, red deserts of the centre to the laid back variety of the west and the bustling, busy east, we've done a lap and taken a drive to the middle. Some people are gonna be mates for life, we'll meet again somewhere around the world, maybe go on another adventure or just relive the hot days and messy goon nights. Other people I'll lose touch with as time goes by, we had fun and I'll never forget them but every single one of these people, these fleeting moments have made Australia the once in a lifetime adventure it was.

The places I've been and the things I've seen have been incredible but the people I've done them with made it special. Anyone can stand and gaze over a stunning lookout, relax in a naturally thermal pool, swim in a crystal clear waterfall plunge pool, watch a spectacular sunset or breathtaking moon rise but if you have your mates to share it with it somehow brings it to life. You have someone to laugh with, play with and someone to talk about the day with as you chill out in the garden at a backpackers with a cask of goon or as you kick back round a camp fire and stare at the unimaginable blanket of stars above you.

Backpackers on the same journey as you become your family and you become theirs, you see them day after day at the hostel or you head out on a road trip together and you quickly get to know and trust them like you've known them for years, you can't remember life without them. You cook together, eat together, drink together and sleep together. Not like that you filthy minded... oh ok sometimes yeah...

Even the people you meet when you settle in a town or city for a while, the locals all affect you and change the course of your life in some small way. Four months are like eight while you travel, its not a so-called normal life or situation, everything seems somehow intensified or speeded up. You sweep into the lives of locals, become their friends and they become part of who you are and affect the way you think then you're gone again just as quickly, an insignificant blip in time and you wonder if they'll remember you like you'll remember them, if you affected them like they touched you and added that bit extra to your life. Sometimes these are the hardest people to say goodbye to, I've said it before, its so hard to explain to someone why you have to leave when sometimes you don't want to, you just know its the best decision.

I think that sometimes I lose touch with whats important. Its not about how many mountains you can climb or rivers you can swim, how many places you can travel to or cultures you can absorb, its about who you do it with because that person or those people are the ones that are going to make your adventure everything it can be and so much more. It doesn't have to be the same people for every journey or road trip, it could be with someone you've known for a while or someone you met a week ago in the hostel and drunkenly agreed you were going to head to the next destination together (yep, that's happened). You might even think you'll be doing part of the journey alone them someone wanders up and asks if they can come too.

And the hardest part, the part I'll never get used to is letting go and saying goodbye. Starting afresh with a new country and a whole new set of people to get to know but then isn't that what its all about? Meeting people? Starting new friendships without letting the old ones fall by the wayside? Going on new and totally different adventures with new and totally different people?

Bring on the unknown.

permalink written by  Koala Bear on May 8, 2008 from Brisbane, Australia
from the travel blog: Sod Off Great Big Mission Round Oz
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I live life on the edge.

Provided I'm harnessed to a safety rope and there's a team of trained professionals on hand to make sure I don't fall off.

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