The drugs have cured me, despite my forgetting to not drink, and I am much better now. Thank you for your many e-mails of sympathy and get well wishes – I’d like to think that each and every one contributed towards my recovery – but in reality in was a few grammes of fludoxycillian type stuff 🙂 Picture of my then bumpy face can be seen here
I have completed my week long trip around the SW tip of Australia, where I saw dolphins, walked amongst Kauri tree forests and climbed the famous 60m tall Gloucester tree, a fire-lookout tree with pegged climbing struts all the way up. Short of the NZ bungee jumps, it was the scariest thing I’ve done all trip – by the time I was only halfway up my legs were almost jelly ! Didn’t see any whales on my trip, beginning to suspect they arn’t actually real infact.
Final treat of the week was the RMax cinema, a failed IMax cinema in Perth that was brought by Regent cinemas and used to screen normal releases. Not sure why they don’t do this elsewhere, but I saw the biggest and loudest screening of Hellboy I think anyone has ever seen, and it was fantastic.
Thinking of shortening my time on the West Coast of Oz to spend a little more time in Taiwan at the moment – whilst Oz is a wonderful place, I’m not feeling the culture shock and wonder much anymore, and think more time in Asia would be much more fun.
Update – My flight out of Sydney and back home is now booked ! I have given myself just over two weeks to see Taiwan, and should arrive back in the UK on the 19th November, almost 17 months after I left !!! Full details can be view here
The train journey passed without too many hitches. I managed to bag two sets of double seats facing each other which made for a reasonable comfy bed. Also, the meats, fruits, breads and cheeses I brought along from Adeliade market was a really nice treat after months of pasta and sauce ! As the journey came to an end, I quickly devored the last of the fruit to avoid quarentine control getting pissed off with me, and checked into a nice cheap backpackers in Perth.
It was here I started nursing a swelling around my ear which I aquired on the second day of the train journey, like a glandular ear-ache type thing. I hoped it would go away, but it turns out 2 days later that it is NOT going away, hence I am up at 6am writing this ! I don’t feel totally awful, but I have been getting a little feverish and the swelling isn’t going away. I am guessing I just need some anti-biotics, hopefully the medical system over here is good enough for me to pick some up today ! Not sure exactly HOW I get hold of medicine, I am guessing I go to the hospital first and they will either sort me out or telling me some GP to go and see… A quick search on the Yellowpages online map-based search revealed nothing of use anyway 😦
So needless to say, I am not a happy camper right now, but I hope to be drugged up and back in the game by tonight !
Update (11am) :- the doctors have checked me for a variety of scary sounding illnesses, but finding not enough evidence to back up the scary illnesses have decided I have something like Cellulitus – e.g. some sort of basic skin infection. As hoped and predicted, they have given me a course of anti-biotics and some more painkillers, as well as an anti-biotic drip to get things started. Hopefully this should clear it all up anyway !
Adelaide is still farily quiet, and offers to travel across the Nullarbor plain to Perth are few. Whilst I could wait 4 more days for a lift over to Perth, I am figuring that 6 days of driving through nothing sounds a bit too similar to my journey up to Uluru. So I am skipping whatever delights there were and taking the train tonight to Perth, which should arrive 39 hours later on Saturday morning (!)
Needless to say that means I am stocking up on food, drink and entertainment for this long slog across the wastes of Australia. I figure from Perth I can get a van to explore the SW region of Australia that I would overwise miss out on, and then head up the West Coast to Darwin – a classic traveller route that I hope to find some travel companions for ! The difference with this travel period compared to others is that time is more of a constraint than money now – I am pretty much aiming to be out of Australia by start Nov and back in the UK by Mid-late Nov (stopping via Taiwan).
10 days later, and my bold adventure is complete. A group of eight of us drove in a 4WD out to the Flinders ranges where we had a couple of short hikes. Then a few days later we drove through Williams Creek (pop 12) and Coober Pedy, an opal mining town built mostly underground and used in many sci-fi films, including Pitch Black. From there we drove up through Oodanatta and past Dahausie hot springs, where I experienced the only hot water of the trip so far, and then onto Uluru (Ayres rock) itself. We spent one day hiking around the base – I didn’t climb the rock in deference to the Aboriginals wishes – and then a couple more days seeing the other interesting geological areas nearby – the Olgas, Kings Canyon and the Western MacDonald ranges. Finallu we drove into Alice Springs yesterday, and celebrated with lots of aussie beer and a nice long lie-in ! All the photos for this trip can be found in the Adelaide / Uluru photo album.
It was nice to meet new travellers again, and many of the people on the tour had interesting stories and opinions to share over a Coopers beer or two ! But ten days was enough time to spend as a group, and everyone is now heading there seperate ways – much to my dissapointment as I still need to find a way to get to Perth ! I am due to take a shuttle bus back to Adelaide in a couple of days, and from there try and get a lift Westwards, although if nothing comes up again then I guess another tour could be the quick, but again expensive, option.