Resume

my last post was more than a month ago.
Wow, and i promised my family to write at least one per month…tsktsk OleOleOle…
I really do not enjoy writing blog on my phone though, so please forgive me 🙂

I wanted to hitchhike from the farm to Cairns, to find a job there.
But on my last day we went to the river nearby and i fell in love.
I decided to stay there for 3 days on my own in stead. It was delightful, the occasional pickup or quad driving by (it was the weekend) was little disturbance to the serenity.
It was good to be on my own again, after almost a year constantly together with other people this was the first time i was really on my own again, just for 3 days but still.
First the ship and then Ludo.
After 3 days we had a big goodbye dinner with everybody from the farm, and me and ludo left for Cairns.
Ludo also had a little disagreement with the owner of the farm about how to treat workers so we kind of had to leave 🙂

We stopped on the way to meet 2 German friends of ours and swam in a jellyfish proof ocean net. It felt like going into a swimming pool (20m by 20m), the whole benefit of the ocean was suddenly gone…well at least there was no poisonous stingers.

Next stop Cairns, camping is not allowed in the whole of Queensland (the state we are now in) so to sleep we always drove way out of town to find a hiding spot.
We did not make the mistake to park in a driveway anymore.
Our first night was abruptly ended when the farmer honked and asked us what we were doing, me still half asleep told him some story that we were lost on our way to look for a banana farm which settled him. I even asked him for a job 😉
So we found another great sleeping spot past the airport (-16.871436, 145.731880 google maps)
Once again we were hunting for jobs, and most of you already know what followed, we became Ricksha drivers, or how they call them here Pedicabs.
Also i took my first nickname ever “Red”.
It was pretty amazing, i dressed up as the pirate “Red Ryder”, and played my favorite music all night. I had a party, listed to music, worked my body and got money for that. Great!
I mean the disadvantages were that i started work at 6pm and stopped at 6am so i kind of became a vampire, i did not know what the weather during the day was because i slept at least till 4pm. Also i did not see anything in Cairns, that you could not see during the night. I enjoyed it anyhow.
But people in Cairns now know me only as Red, which was a pretty trippy feeling.
Even Ludo started calling me Red, i did not call him Blue.
I made a relatively good amount of money, enough to afford a flight to Sydney to see Rose again.
That’s where i am right now.
I let ludo travel alone for a while. I really enjoyed the time with somebody from home, but it was weird too. Both of us kind of associated the other with the person from our memories, but it seems people change over time.
I wonder how people are going to see me when i come home, should i keep the nickname?
I think i am going to stay with Olé.
I love you guys, thank you for all the comments.

 

So now i am in Sydney again and am planning to make my way back north again, with Rose this time.
And i will try to write more regularly.
So Long
Your Ole

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the Men from Snowy River

Hey there,
as i promised, here comes a picturesce post from the red continent.
We are in sydney by now, and i will slowly catch up with writing.
So enjoy.

After Warburton we took the bus to Mansfield where Ron (one of the horseback riding guys) took us in his BMW and with his freshly amputated leg 3 hours in rollercoaster style to the horse hut.
The hut is right near to where the movie “The Man from Snowy River” was filmed, and the customers rode to see some of the movie sets.

We hitchiked to sydney from canberra.
Had a unfortunate WWOOFing experience and bought a car for 1/4th of the reasonable price.
but that is a story for the next post 🙂

So Long Ole

p.s.
If you are interested in a tour go >HERE<

p.p.s.
The song for today is: Look at my horse

Crossing Boarders, how not to fast and shifting baselines

Dear reader, my last few days in Cambodia i spent reading, laying around and preparing to fast at the Beaches of Phu Quoc (Vietnam)
I enjoyed doing nothing, but i felt alone in a crowd…anyhow, that was about to change when i started to live on the beach.
But first things first.

Crossing the Vietnam boarder.
The road was not paved, a bumpy dirt road in fact, saline fields on both sides, the sea recognizable in a little distance.
The Cambodian border patrol cared little for us, we were leaving their country after all.
But it also made the impression, they don’t really care for the Vietnam side as much as for the Thailand side.
I guess they are just low on cash.
In the 500m in between the boarders one could see one lonely casino, but the huge building side behind it were showing the arrival of a bigtime investor.
The Vietnamese boarder was as pompous as one would expect from a proper communist country 😉
It was the first time in 10 boarder crossings that i have been asked for my vaccination passport, or should i say nobody asked, but it saved me paying 1$ because i am vaccinated against yellow fever.
And then i was in Vietnam.

By Coincidence i had heard of the Island Phu Qouc, which is situated near Cambodia and i thought it would be the perfect spot to camp at the beach.
I took the bus from the ferry port to the other side of the isle, but it was so full of guest houses and resorts, i couldn’t enter the beach without standing on somebody’s private property.
So i hitchhiked back to Ham Nien, the local fishing town, where i saw a nice beach from the ferry.
Turned out it was full of trash…but that doesn’t matter i am used to trash by now.

(before that the restaurant where i desperately tried to eat soup WITHOUT noodles, thought i must be dirt poor and gave me 2 free noodle soups with vegetables and crab..thank you but that is not what i wanted 🙂 i ate it anyways as i was to hungry to say no to this temptation 😉 )

So i set up a camp, and bought a 21l canister of drinking water.
Very well i thought, i was satisfied with my work.
A camp in a lost house ruin, save of winds and rain (thx to my tarp)
The next day i cleaned out the floor as i wanted to stay here for a week, only drinking water and eating coconuts as a detox before going to the phillipines…and then it happened
A group of cheerful Vietnamese guys arrived, with bags of rice wine, a plate of fried squid and some fruits.
No english being spoken they invited me to them and to eat squid with them….and to go to the waterfall with them…and they bought lunch for me…and they tried to find a place to sleep for me…and..hey hey hey stop! I am not a beggar i just wanted to stay on the beach! don’t do that!
Well it is hard to communicate that if i don’t speak vietnamese and they don’t speak english.

So i “had” to go with one of the guys which turned out to be a good decision, it rained and thundered terribly in the night!

I found out what i did “wrong”, in the big group of drinking people one of them asked me “money?”
i said “little” and made gesture with thumb and indexfinger (i didn’t want to look out for my stuff like a hawk for the week..i wanted to relax a little)
So from there, the one guy with the little english vocabulary declared me a beggar to the others…done!


I ate all different kinds of food, from fresh springrolls over different kinds of snails to barbecue Cat (starting at cutting the head off, skinning it and chopping it into pieces…it tasted good but it felt very weird!)
And experienced, that vietnamese culture is about eating food, drinking and talking…well to bad i don’t drink and don’t speak vietnamese…so i broke my fast and at least ate.
I ate a lot…
Partly because everybody wanted to feed the whiteman, because i didn’t know what else to do with a table full of food and because of the way i was raised:
when you get something to eat, you eat up. The people here, take a bite leave it for an hour or so and take the second bite…i tried, but my conditioning just goes to deep.
But i had a lot of fun and experienced as much as earthly possible in these 7days.
One thing though was not nice.

Shifting Baselines (i will call them SB)
What are these?
It means that people have after a certain time in a special condition a different feeling for what is normal. A survival trait which is really handy if you go off to new environments.
BUT
And here i go again, it is also dangerous. Its the boiling frog principle.
There are plastic bags everywhere. 50 years ago there was one, and with time the amount increased, but nobody seemed to notice, because it went so “slow”.

We can see SB in Climate Change, SPF of sunscreen, Prices of Gasoline, the amount of fish in the ocean or in the rights facebook has over your creative property ( 😉 )

We are not made to detect longterm changes :/

Anyways
So long
Ole

Nong Kiaw+Muang Noi – Welcome to the Jungle

After PeeMai (thai: Songkran) I found some travel companions other than my backpack. A Kiwi couple Sanji and Catelyn (People from New Zealand), One Italian girl (Gemma) and one Dutch girl(Roos). So we were a colorful mix 🙂 We made our way by bus to Nong Kiaw. It is a beautiful “city” in midst of huge limestone walls, the Nam Ou river and Jungle where ever you look. We decided to camp near the river, which was a nice thing to do, if it wasn’t for the rain in the night…but my huge backpack includes a big tarp, so we got out dry after all 😉

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After 2 nights we went on to Muang Noi, a serene place that is only reachable by boat and was supposed not to have any electricity…but we arrived one week late.
Chinese money and a mass of seasonal tourists slowly modernize the country.
At least there was no Internet…yet.
One night and two all you can eat buffets later we started a supposedly easy one-day-trek to the next small village Ban HoySien , that really did not have electricity yet (at least only self produced)
On our way there we got to know about a tribal village that was “only” 3h trek after HoySien.
There we asked the guest house owner for the way and got a really confusing description that got us almost killed… am i exagerating? A little maybe. But if we did not have a guardian angel in the form of a local hunter appear to us, we would have walked straight into…..Damn, i almost took away the suspension.
We only saw what was coming after one more hour of walking, but i cannot make you read for one hour, can i?
The Hunter told us with an relieved face (relieved that he found us) , that the Village we were looking for was the other direction.
When we were asking what was in the way we were going he made a motion with his hands and said something like “Fire-fire” and “No-No”
We just trusted his directions and walked back, almost lost our path again and then we saw the other side of the valley lit up in flames.
It was the biggest fire i have ever seen…by far. I think the flames were about 7-8 meters high, and covered a huge area!

After we recovered from this shock, we went on…to find ourselves in the next tricky situation.
You probably know how the Lonly Planet advertises it can get you “off the beaten track” well we were literally looking for it…there was just no pathway anymore. Leeches were everywhere, crawling through the holes made for shoe laces…brrr
but we found a promising path after wading through 50m of creek…and it seemed to be the right.
We were so relieved when a Tribe couple came along this path to tell us we were back on track.
But soon our water reserves, which were not planned for a 5h but for a 3h trek, were exausted. That’s when our second guardian angel appeared, he brought us all the way to the Kamu-village showed us a small creek to refill the water (no i did not get sick from it…and it was better than dying of thirst 😉 )

The Village Ban KiuKaan is a barren, a little bit depressing place.
Everything is done for survival, the men are hunters, the women collect bamboo.
It is self-sufficient, but its not an easy life on top of the mountain.
But the children develop games anyways, with what ever they have, in this case two big flat round seeds…for a game at which i am not very good at 😀
I tried my best.
The next day we walked to Ban Hatsepui, a long but easy trek, we were really relieved after all this walking in the sun with about 39 degrees to see the Nam Ou.
Ban Hatsepui is a much more happy place, the grounds seem to be fertile, the river is directly adjacent and the children have an open smile on their faces. In short it was way easier to get integrated in the children’s activities, then in the Kamu-village. They actually invited us to play their games.
Finding a stone on the rocky riverbed, that is thrown in again and again (wow these kiddies are fabulous swimmers…butterfly, freestyle etc. with 8 years) or shooting slingshots at supposedly impossible targets.
Games i guess, that will help in later life…but so easygoing.
I really enjoyed this village. Teaching them cardgames, juggling, getting shown around in town, painting fingernails, running around etc. just having a lot of fun together.
And the Adults watched happily somebody is finally powering out their children 😀
Then we took the morning boat back to Muang Noi, and relaxed there for a few days.
And the rainy season started….but thats stuff for the next entry 😛
Enjoy:

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Now our group splitt, me and Roos have a hitchhiking competition with the other three. Who can reach Tachek first…bad only that it seems to be raining every day 😕
we will see
So long Ole