A Poet’s Lesson

Everything was wet. Some things less than others, but my gear was all just damp. My poor shoes, my poor feet! I had basically camped in a puddle last night — talk about getting a soggy bottom! But at least it wasn’t raining again, at least not right now. I left the highway for the relative peace of the side road, heading to find a campsite in Murray Valley. Around a bend I noticed an entry into an apparent campground, and a sign that said “Poet’s Paradise.” This gave me pause. Earlier, in the midst of misery, when it was raining and hailing and then raining some more, I had fantasized briefly about buying a warm, dry motel room. But then the rain had stopped, and the sun came out a bit, and, escaping...

Armor Down & Live Strong

A town called Healesville. The tourist info center. Always a fount of useful knowledge. Just not so nice when it sprays you in the face. I walked in to an unattended room full of brochures and pamphlets. It is warm in there. Mmm heat. Soon a little woman comes from a back room, alerted by the tinkling of the bell mounted on the front door. She’s probably my mother’s age, but plump. Like most people who work at the tourist info center, she is enthusiastic! “G’day there, you alright?” This means, Can I help you? “Hello, yes, I am just cycling through town, and I was wondering if there is a supermarket here, perhaps an IGA?” She is very thorough.  “Yes, there are two grocery stores, and one of...

Tea in the Trees at Bilston Glen

28th-31st August, 2013 Since June 2002, a fluid community of people from around the world has occupied a small patch of woodland on the edge of Edinburgh, in opposition to plans for a bypass that will flatten the woods and cover the area in concrete. Bilston Glen, said to be the world’s longest tree-sit, is […]

Not bad for day one.

Leaving Crunchytown was not easy. I had so much fun there. I became such good friends with the whole crazy bunch: Sam and Shath and Charlene and Kenza and Matt and Mehdi and Jonathan. I could easily envision myself taking a spare room there and staying in Melbourne. It’s a pretty happening place. But of course, there’s a tour on. And no matter what excuses I can come up with, be it “not enough writings been done,” or “new bikes just arrived that need tune-ups,” or “the fellas need more instruction on the fine points of Dungeons & Dragons,” or “I’ve got the sniffles”… there comes a day when you’ve just got to leave, as painful as it may be. You know how it is...

Photos: Melbourne

Homemade pizzas at Crunchytown Some photos of my time in Melbourne. A great city!       Melbourne Botanical Gardens     St. Kilda     Melbourne   Melbourne Botanical Gardens, Fern Gully   Making spaghetti at Crunchytown   St. Kilda Botanical Gardens   That famous bridge in Melbourne     Melbourne Botanical Gardens, floating water purification   Melbourne   Melbourne   Melbourne harbour   Ceres bike kitchen in Melbourne   Melbourne   Melbourne      

Photos: East Coast of Tasmania

From Hobart, the weather did get better. Warmer, drier, sunnier! And there were no mountains. As I go North, the days get longer; things are looking up! It was an idyllic cruise up to the Northeast corner of Tasmania, then back west to Devonport, where I began. It was quite strange to actually be returning to somewhere I recognize! The trip was nice. No drama. So this time I will just let the photos tell the stories. Georges Bay     Hobart harbour & S/V “Southward Bound”     Australia’s oldest bridge in Richmond   The Richmond Bridge   Back on the seaside       Beach country   troll camping   Hiked up to the Wineglass Bay lookout   Wineglass Bay   beach camp...

On the road to Albania

If you are coming from western Europe and you are planning to go to the hitchgathering in Albania, you are lucky, you have plenty of cool stops to do on the way. German hitchhikers are organising a gathering in the Alps. They rented a house for some days and everyone is welcome to drink a […]

Pre-Gathering in Kupari 26 of July

One of the spot we were thinking for the hitchgathering this year is Kupari in southern Croatia. We decided to do the gathering in Albania, but Kupari still looks like a great place, even if it’s not sure how long we would be able to camp there. It is pretty. Southern Croatian coast alone is […]

Down time

I had never met Gillian and Matt. They were friends of Jes and Duncan, a fellow yachtie couple they met it Sydney. So can I consider them friends without even meeting them? Yes! But I did sort of invite myself to stay with them. Well, I said I’d be in the area.   They weren’t exactly set up to host guests, with a spare room or anything. They were staying for the moment in someone’s furnished – but uninsulated – shed. Pretty rough, simple living for a family with a four-year-old, but they’re getting their life in Tasmania set up, building their own shed to live in on their acreage down in Dover on their free time. And besides, it’s a matter of perspective, right? After years of living on a tiny...

SILK ROAD TRIP #21 - Living in Doğubeyazıt (III)

ENGLISH: I will add the English translation as soon as possible. Sorry for making you wait! PORTUGUÊS: Vivendo em Doğubeyazıt – Parte3 28.06.2014 - 24º dia de viagem O terceiro dia em Doğubeyazıt foi preenchido com vários encontros com membros do PKK, apoiantes do PKK e vítimas da destruição programa das vilas e cidades curdas por parte das forças militares turcas. O nosso amigo e anfitrião Mehmet, por exemplo, viu a sua casa arrasada por tanques turcos inúmeras vezes, até que abandonou o seu terreno na colina e construiu a sua casa actual no centro de Doğubeyazıt. Um irmão mais velho de Mehmet foi um de muitos curdos que morreram a combater pelo PKK contras as forças militares turcas, já lá vão 21 anos. O dia foi portanto em grande...

Good Reads: Bionic achievements, hitchhiking moms, and rapping Christians

This is part of a semi-weekly series recommending interesting and well-written longform/narrative nonfiction articles. This week’s picks: The Dream Kickoff by Danielle Elliot, Grantland Paralyzed. Not forever but long enough for walking to seem an eternal impossibility. Enter Miguel Nicolelis, a Brazilian neuroscientist with a passion to bring the paralyzed to their feet using an exoskeleton controlled by their brains. The goal: for one paralytic to kick off the 2014 World Cup. (Spoiler alert: They succeeded.) (Not) A Runner’s Story: Three Miles A Marathon by Rickey Gates, TrailRunner A half century ago, Rickey Gates’ mother hitchhiked from New York to Alaska and took second in a race running Mount Marathon. She was one...

Hitchhike to Arieseni, Apuseni Mountains

Marie Damman To travel to Romanians villages with a friend or two, hitch hiking remains the best way to move around. The road is mostly beautiful, with trees, mountains, some castles or monasteries hidden in the wood, and some springs. Nevertheless, it is never a good idea to start to move late on the afternoon even on the summer time, especially when you decide to take the shortest road. From Cluj-Napoca to Arieseni, the shortest way is to go through Gilau, Marisel, Albac. There, the roads aren’t finished. A driver told us workers started to build the asphalt years ago. They stopped before winter and the cold made the roads in a worse shape. Another contact told us we needed a carriage or tractor in order to be able to reach Albac. Once...

Grettir and the North

The afternoon of the same day I had toured Laxárdalur found me travelling eastwards across northern Iceland with the owner of the tour company IceAk. As you might expect, an experienced tour guide makes an excellent lift; once we had swapped stories of the Westfjords (he had also been to the magical Einhamar in Geirþjófsfjörður) he took care to point out other interesting places and saga sites. Hot streams along Hrútafjörður Grettir the Strong, you may remember, lived for a time in a cave in Hítardalur under the protection of the poet and champion Bjorn. But long before Grettir became a fearsome outlaw, murdering his enemies, robbing travellers and stealing sheep, he was a fearsome little boy who grew up in a valley we now drove across....

SILK ROAD TRIP #20 - Living in Doğubeyazıt (II)

  ENGLISH: I will add the English translation as soon as possible. Sorry for making you wait! PORTUGUÊS: Vivendo em Doğubeyazıt – Parte 2 27.06.2014 - 23º dia de viagem Na segunda manhã em Doğubeyazıt voltámos a tomar o pequeno-almoço no hotel Ararat, de graça claro está, oferecido desta vez pelo filho do dono do estabelecimento. De barriga cheia fomos dar uma volta pela cidade com Mehmet Arık, que conhece toda a gente nesta cidade de 80.000 habitantes em que, segundo ele, metade da população é da sua família. Exagera, sim, mas não fica longe da verdade! Ahaha! É quase claustrofóbico, “a raposa”, alcunha pela qual Mehmet é conhecido na cidade, cumprimenta ou é cumprimentado por alguém a cada 10 segundos. Que desafio tentar...

SILK ROAD TRIP #19 - Living in Doğubeyazıt (I)

  ENGLISH: I will add the English translation as soon as possible. Sorry for making you wait! PORTUGUÊS: Vivendo em Doğubeyazıt – Parte 1 26.06.2014 - 22º dia de viagem   No primeiro dia em Doğubeyazıt começámos por nada fazer, dormindo a manhã toda, para recuperar da viagem. Eram 2 da tarde quando ganhámos coragem para ir tomar o pequeno-almoço no restaurante a céu aberto do Hotel Ararat! Mehmet Arık, o amigo/2ºpai de Claire veio ter connosco enquanto comiamos, eufórico para ouvir novidades de Claire e saber se tínhamos dormido bem no quarto de hotel que nos pagou. Antes de irmos embora do restaurante tivemos a feliz oportunidade de encontrar o primeiro estrangeiro, um japonês muito viajado, muito interessante, com...

Pages