Going Bush in Nhulunbuy, Arnhem Land

The little, tin boat I’m in is starting to feel even smaller as I spot another giant tuna jumping through the water, chasing a school of bait fish. Hundreds of birds hover above taking turns to dive head first into the turquoise waters hoping to surface with a meal in their beak just as a dozen sea eagles swoop in and fly off with a tasty silver fish in their claws. The top of the waters bubble as the bait fish scramble to get away, but my eyes cannot see the larger fish below herding them towards the shallower waters.

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Machu Picchu Without The Tourists

Machu Picchu without the tourist crowds? It’s possible!

In a mountain jungle high above the clouds, I can look down upon a sprawling puzzle of stone, combined  like an ancient God’s lego stash. Most pieces resemble the walls of houses or terraces with loose stones lying in the emerald green grass waiting to find their place in the rocky mosaic.

The sound of fossicking llamas floats on the breeze, as they keep the lawns trim. On the ancient stairs there is the scurry of furry chinchillas enjoying an evening dust bath and then my mate yelling from a ledge above, “This is fucking awesome! I can’t believe we have the whole place to ourselves!”

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Bolivia’s Death Road

Nearly five kilometres above sea level, travelling 60 kmh+ down a highway in the Bolivian Andes, on a mountain bike competing with trucks, buses and cars, a solid rock cliff-face to my left and a 600m drop to certain death on my right, racing around hairpin turns and surrounded by the most beautiful scenery when I take the risk to look… I have never felt more exhilarated or had so much fun in all my life!

This is mind-blowing excitement at its best and I haven’t even hit the really dangerous section yet! Continue reading “Bolivia’s Death Road”

Palace-hopping in St.Petersburg

Russia is dodgy. Stunning architecture, fascinating history, but let’s get it out of the way first, it is dodgy. When a tour company has a budget for bribing officials at the borders, you know something is not quite right. Not even 20 minutes into the country and our Top Deck bus was pulled over by the Police, a pay-off amounting to AU$20 settled any potential prison visits and we were back on our way to St Petersburg.

Welcome to Russia!

That aside, Russia is absolutely beautiful. It is not like any other country in the world (besides the ex-Soviet States that have since claimed independence.) The bright colours of Cathedrals and Palaces provide a stark contrast against the grey concrete of the many communist apartments. When the sun peeks out, the gold highlights on buildings reflect the opulence of the country’s varied past.  Continue reading “Palace-hopping in St.Petersburg”

Video: Tokyo 2009

Video from my trip to Japan back in 2009…starting to see how my video making skills have become better over time haha…you don’t even want to imagine my first ones from 2003…enough to give you an epileptic fit!

Footage from Tokyo including, Asakusa, Ueno Park, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Harajuku, Yoyogi Park during the Children’s Day Festival etc

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How to Reduce your Crime Target Rating

So I had this pre-misconception about South America. Before leaving I told my mother not to worry when she gets the phone call or email saying that I had been mugged… it was inevitable, it would happen, she had to expect it… I was!

Well, it never happened and from my own personal experience after travelling for 2 months through Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Chile I realised it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
Of course people are mugged and pickpocketed all the time in South America, tourists are targeted, and there is the odd occasion of taxi drivers colluding with others to kidnap you, take you to an ATM and demand all your money.
Now the fact I had no problem doesn’t mean you won’t, but perhaps the simple precautions I took made a big difference to being targeted by thieves. Most criminals will do a quick risk calculation to see if they’re likely to get away with their crime before committing, so make it hard for them! Continue reading “How to Reduce your Crime Target Rating”

Moscow More Often

I had been in Russia for a few days now on a Top Deck ‘Red Star’ tour and was getting used to the language, over-presence of authority, tasteless hotel breakfasts and the imposing communist statues that dot the cities. I no longer felt intimidated by any dodgy looking local walking in my direction and I had even mastered public transport (which when written only in Cyrillic can be a nightmare!)

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