Goodbye Convict Country


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  The 1st several weeks felt like ages, but as trips always do, time accelerated as we settled in.  I surfed a ton, we worked a little, and we were lucky enough to enjoy lots of time with friends and family.  In the last week or two we begrudgingly broke out of our routine and worked through the process of selling our things or giving them away to friends.  I nearly cried as I sold the 1st board I ever had a hand in shaping.  It was a tear jerker to sell our campervan, “Schmelly” too, even with the love/ hate relationship we had.

We also had to sort out visas for China and Russia and set an outline for our SE Asia journey.  We land in Siem Reap, Cambodia on July 18 and have to be in Hanoi, Vietnam just over a month later.  The guts of the trip will be determined along the way.

On the Saturday of our final weekend in Kirra we had a long day of cleaning our apartment and packing our bags.  We planned a big night out to celebrate our buddy’s birthday as well as our last weekend in Australia.  We had passed on lunch and for dinner figured the liquid diet would suffice.  We made some vodka drinks and made the 3 minute walk to Sam’s house.  After several intense games of foosball and some solid brew drinking the bullshit was flowing.  Out of the blue Nug asked me, “Are you ready to go?”  Confused, I asked what she meant as it was only 10:30.  We walked outside where she admitted, “I’ve had too much to drink.”  I have to concede that I will have too much booze 10x to every 1x that Nug does so I was a bit surprised.  It was obvious that the blue moon had arrived as I struggled to hold a 5’6” piece of human jello.  “I don’t feel good,” Nug said.  “Do you want to walk home?” I inquired.  Her head bobbled affirmatively and on the 2nd shake a strange gurgling sound came from deep within her belly.  She lurched forward and liberally glazed my shins and shoes with regurgitated vodka.  I was aghast and Nug looked up at me with a crooked smile while she stammered “Yes, I want to go home.”  Asia here we come.



After a great trip to New Zealand my parents came to Australia to visit us as an afterthought.  Haha…just kidding Mom and Dad!  Anyways, they had several days to spend with us on the Gold Coast.  We planned a day trip to the “hinterland” to walk the Twin Falls Track.

Mom and Dad





It was a chilly but sunny day and we were on the lookout for some Australian critters.  “Do we have to watch out for snakes?” my mom wondered aloud.  “There are no snakes in Australia except zoos,” I joked.  We encountered very few trampers on the trail and found several great caves and waterfalls.  I led the group and kept running ahead and looking back like an anxious puppy while I waited for everyone to catch up.  Each time I turned around I would needle Nug to hurry up or bother her in some way that only a husband has the power to do.  On one of these exchanges I watched her face change expression and her mouth gape open as she attempted to speak.  I didn’t hear a word but instinctively wheeled to face an unseen foe.  Covering the entire path and directly below the sole of my oafish foot was the giant body of an 8ft carpet python (which at that moment looked to be an anaconda).  I immediately broke into an impromptu break dance that I hope no one saw and is never repeated again.  At the same time a strange guttural scream betrayed my fear.  Fate smiled on me at that moment because although my erratic stomping feet tried, I missed the snake and retreated to safety.  The serpent had apparently just dined as there was a massive lump in his gut.

It was scarier in real life!







Nug laughed once I was out of danger and my Dad proceeded to further wound my dignity by stepping on the snake’s tail as it slithered away “so we could get better pictures.”  The rest of the walk was amazing with cascading waterfalls and caves, yet behind every tangle of roots I saw more pythons lurking.

Behind the curtain

Twin Falls




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