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.

Fools Rush In


After nearly a week of consistent rain with fleeting reprieves it looks like the sunshine is finally ready to reemerge. It is our final day in Cooly before trekking to Brisbane for a few days to catch some concerts (Lenny Kravitz, The Cranberries, and Wolfmother one night followed by Xavier Rudd the next) and pick up our great buddy Ted so he can spend several weeks with us. We are nearing our halfway point in Australia as we recently purchased one way tickets to Cambodia in July. Ted’s arrival marks the launch of a steady stream of visitors over the next months which will undoubtedly hasten the passage of time. We pass the day by packing, reading and playing in the front yard (Kirra Beach) where Nug snaps a few pics of me surfing. To put a feather in the cap of the day we hike to the top of Kirra Hill with some wine to catch the sunset and enjoy the first rain free evening in days. At the top I suggest we sit on the steep grassy knoll overlooking Coolangatta. “It will be to damp,” Nug responds. I spy a bench in the middle of the grassy area and bolt across the greenery while needling Nug to follow. Halfway to the seat the soggy grass comes to life. It feels as if a rug is being rudely swiped from beneath me to the left and I am suddenly airborne. My feet start churning like the road runner cartoon and both hands strain to roll up imaginary windows. My plight is hopeless. My flailing arms fling sheets of wine into my face. I wince at the burning of wine in my eyes a split second before my entire freshly showered frame Pete Rose slides into the sludge. I look up at Nug with pitiful eyes and am met with the most uncontrollable, disturbing laughter I have ever encountered. I fully expect her to choke on her own chortles. After no less than a minute the witch cackles die down and with tears in her eyes she works out a half-hearted, “Are you hurt?” All I can muster is a pathetic, “Does my pride count?” as I lower my face back into the muck.

Surfer's Paradise

Front Yard Barrel

Budgie Smugglers

Kirra Hill Sunset

Nug and the Sea Eagle

Nug and the Sea Eagle






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