Day 71 - Sunday 16th September (Millstream Chichester NP, Port Hedland, 80 Mile Beach, Goldwire Rest Area (150km South of Broome))
Meh! Today, I drove. Am now only an hour and a half from Broome.
I passed this asian dude on a push bike for the 4th time. He's been on the road travelling for less time than me and yet, he was in front of me again! We first saw him on the M1 just north of Carnarvon, then again somewhere, then on the way to Parabuerdoo and then in Tom Price where we spoke to him. He reckons he's gonna ride all the way to Darwin! In this heat? whoa, that's dedication.
Day 72 - Monday 17th September (Broome)
Exactly 30 years ago to the week, I was apparently conceived here in Broome (although born in South Australia but shhhh, don't tell anyone). At the age of 15, I left home in Perth and lived here for about 7 months. Another 15 years have passed and I'm back in Broome time!
Just had a much needed bathe and shower at Cable Beach and caught up with a mate (Sweeney) who works over the road. Will be out on the juice with him tonight. I've got more family here... my niece and her mother and my second cousins and their mother. Will try and catch up with them before flying out Wednesday night.
Ok, so 9pm and I'm minding my own business at Divers Tavern waiting for Sweeney to finish work when this dude the same age (and build?) as me comes up and starts yacking away. Unnecessarily introducing himself as Ben, he jokingly tells me to watch his pool opponent 'Reptile' as he's pretty shady and (joking again) how his life has spiralled downwards ever since they met. Apparently he had had a bad year... he got into trouble with the cops, his career turned to shit and he was in and out of rehab etc. Feeling sorry for the guy, I agreed to have a game of pool with them. So it was me n 'Reptile' versus Michelle and Brownlow Medalist, Ben Cousins. The highlight of my pool playing career... but not even Reptile putting some of our balls down his pants while they weren't looking could save us from losing to a professional athlete.
Day 73 - Tuesday 18th September (Broome)
Unlike my mate Ben Cousins, I was drinking something a bit stronger than soda water last night. Sweeney had driven the Akervan back to his joint where the drinking continued for a bit before I finally crashed at about 2am. Today was just a recovery session on the beach. Even at 6:30pm, I'm still feeling hungover. Am gonna watch Diehard 4 at the Sun Cinema tonight and that'll just about do me. Off to Brisvegas tomorrow night (via a very quick stop in Perth).
Day 74 - Wednesday 19th September (Broome, Perth, Brisvegas)
This morning, I again found myself parked outside Sweeney's unit. It was low tide so we went down to Gantheaume Point in search of these damn dinosaur footprints. I say damn footprints because we didn't damn well find them. I later figured from the map I had failed to take down with me that only one of the three footprints would have been exposed and it was a long way from where I was searching for the other two. There is casts of the footprints at the top of the rocks near the lighthouse and for my money (being an expert of course) they just look like like rather large emu prints.
So after Sweeney went to work, it was another tough day of sun baking on Titty Beach - known more widely as Cable Beach. I was bumming around there thinking geez, tough life I have... Cable Beach one day, Surfers Paradise the next. If that doesn't make the reader jealous, I'll inform you that my plans have changed yet again. After a week in Qld, I'll now be flying to my sisters town of Melbourne for Grand Final week (though, will probably not attend the match this year, since my buddy Ben Cousins isn't playing). So what you say? Well after a few days there, I'll then be flying with mates to NSW to attend Bathurst.
Late this arvo, I caught up with my niece and her mum who were kind enough to escort me to the Broome Airport after letting me dump the Akervan at their place. At the Perth Airport, I caught up with Snichy (remember her?) and then the Akerclan who were on the same red-eye flight as me to Brisvegas.
Sitting next to my older brother (Bobby Dazzla) and hearing him dribble on about this and that is enough to send anyone to sleep... and so I dozed off. When I came to, I wasn't feeling too well at all and had to make a quick dash to the bathroom. I won't give you the finer details of what happened in there but as I returned to my seat, the chief steward caught a wiff from the toilet and was immediately on the microphone asking passengers "if there is any medical doctors or nurses on the plane, would they please make themselves known to a crew member". I was thinking, geez, it didn't stink that bad did it? Turns out that besides my problems, there was another medical emergency on the plane. Some big lady several rows behind us was having serious troubles... they ended up having paramedics on the tarmac in Brisvegas awaiting our flight etc. But back to me, I don't know why I was so crook as I normally fly ok but by the end of this flight, I had just about filled up my spew bag. ewwww.
It's now actually the next day and we are in some hotel towards Ipswich and not in Surfers Paradise as I had imagined. We go to Surfers for a few days over the weekend, or something, where we are set up in the Q1 building.
I was gonna temporarily put the travel blog on hold since I have left the Akervan but the next couple of weeks may be somewhat more interesting than previous ones so I shall continue. After all, Akerz is still doing Australia. And in fine style, so stay tuned.
Day 75 - Thursday 20th September (Brisvegas)
Everytime I catch a red-eye, I think never again! It always puts me out of whack for days. This time I'm feeling worse since I spent half the flight with my head in a bag looking at what I had for dinner. Today was yet another day of recovery.
Our hotel was being rendered so workers on scafolding outside our rooms ensured we didn't get any decent sleep. We ended up relocating to another room after a certain someone whinged to reception. Meh. I've been living in a freaking Van for three months, I was happy with any ol' hotel bed.
For lunch, we visited a nearby prison where we bumped into my lil bro (Ninja) who's been hanging out in the slammer here for a couple of years. Bit of a family reunion of sorts. We'll be back there tomorrow in bigger Akernumbers (sis and sis-in-law fly in tonight).
Later that night, we picked sis up from the Airport (imported from Melbourne). She had a sore #?># and couldn't be bothered walking so we kinda 'borrowed' a wheelchair and I escorted her all the way to the car (crap photo below).
Day 76 - Friday 21st September (Brisvegas, Surfers Paradise)
I bummed around the hotel this morning, still recovering from recent travels and drinking binges. My bro's wife and son flew in on the red-eye over night so the family reunion was now complete... and chances of sleeping were obsolete.
Mrs A's Birthday today... which was the main reason for this trip. We took a birthday lunch back to the prison (or mental health centre, which is possibly more accurate) where Ninja had a special pass for a couple of hours to join us in the grounds outside his cell/room. This turned into a bit of a riot and I think Ninja struggled to believe why he was the only one in the looney bin since the rest of the family quite clearly lacked any signs of sanity.
During the birthday riot, I ended up for some reason, impersonating one of those clowns at side-show-alley (you know the ones with the open mouth, moving from side to side). I faced a barrage of party poppers being thrown at my face and to avoid choking on a winning throw, I put a plastic cup in my mouth giving them a safer target. This was all fun and games until an unnamed person threw a piece of leftover birthday cake at me... which I managed to catch with my forehead. Funny, funny, ha ha. This was apparently so hilarious that another unnamed person quickly followed suit and hit me on the chin sending birthday cake all down my shirt. I had a seriously sticky situation on my hands (and rest of body), it seems that Pavlova closely resembles clag glue. For my hair, it was 'Something about Mary' for the rest of the day. Video footage here.
After we left Ninja safely back behind his big green fence, it was then off to Surfers Paradise. I was sick of being a passenger (literally) so I managed to sneak my way into the drivers seat of one of our hire cars. Mayhem and traffic jams followed behind us at the toll ways as my sister (riding shotgun) threw coins out the passenger window over the top of the car into the coin catchment. Meanwhile Mr A was throwing coins out the back of the car and it was raining money. Eventually, the correct amount made it's way into the chute and we were let through.
Once at Surfers, I parked outside the place where we were picking up the key while my old man escaped from the back seat to go grab it. My sister and I then went to attend to some business down the road, thinking we'll just walk down to the Q1 and meet them there. This left my Nan in the back seat... alone... for quite some time. Turns out that my old man never returned to the car with the key, he had jumped into the other car and headed off to the Q1 with the others. Oopsy Daisies! Poor old Nan was left in the back of the car on her own until someone eventually went back to rescue her.
Our three bedroom apartment on the 32nd floor on the Q1 is pretty damn swanky. Bit of an upgrade from the Akervan. Awesome panoramic view across the ocean and north along the Gold Coast.
Birthday dinner ended up being at the nearby Pancake joint which was lucky as anywhere else, I'm sure we would have been kicked out. We've all now rolled our way back up to the apartment and have just watched Mick's Magpies go down to the Cats. Our day in Paradise is over.
Joke of the week: How do you get a fat chick into bed? (piece of cake!)
Day 77 - Saturday 22nd September (Surfers Paradise)
Meh. Have just bummed around all day. Sick.
Day 78 - Sunday 23rd September (Surfers Paradise)
Meh. Have just bummed around all day. Sicker.
Day 79 - Monday 24th September (Surfers Paradise, Brisvegas)
Last night I lay awake in bed feeling rotten and wondering what the hell I could do about it. I was in paradise but too darn crook to enjoy it. I thunk away and then it hit me like a litre of mucus... pseudoephedrine hydrochloride! I bolted upright out of bed and unbeknown to family, slipped out of the Q1 and went straight down the road to find a dealer (pharmacist). After scoring and dosing up, I was considerably better within hours, or at least my sinuses were finally clear of traffic.
We checked out of the Q1 this morning and headed for the slammer where we were to again meet Ninja in the grounds outside the high security section. This time, it was his birthday. His 27th. I was still recovering and on the gear so I mostly meandered in the background while the fireworks & party poppers took place. This time, I managed to come away without any cake on my face. At one point, we played russian roulette with those party popper guns which was fun... Nan, Sis & Ninja all blew their heads off. After taking another 500 photos or so, we got told off by a security guard who said photos within the grounds was a big no no. Meh.
In my sick state yesterday, I had wondered down to the shops and ordered Ninja a present... a photo of the family laser etched into crystal. At the time of ordering this gift, I didn't know where I was or what my name was, let alone what day it was... I had presumed Monday (Ninja's Birthday) was a long way off but obviously had forgotten I lost a couple of days in bed. So anyway, his present wasn't ready until after we had ditched Surfers, driven all the way back to Brisvegas and celebrated his birthday. Turns out that Mr A & Bobby Dazzla had both decided to present him the same bloody photo (the one taken on Friday) in different forms. Not only that, but we learnt that Ninja wasn't allowed glass into the rooms (although he could store it with his other valuables). So anyway, this stupid crystal thing that I decided not to give him, cost me an arm and a leg so Bobby Dazla & I drove back down to Surfers to pick it up.
Dinner! We went to Hog's Breath and the family snacked on pieces of dead animals while I munched on tasty rabbit food. They have a new item on their desert menu which is basically everything chucked into a huge fish bowl. It includes chocolate mud cake, six scoops of icecream, marshmallows, syrup, chocolate wafers etc. Not sure if it was because I was sick or because I was feeling better but I ordered one, just to check it out. Mr A ordered one as well. Sis wasn't at the table when we ordered desert but had said she didn't want any. When she returned, we jokingly told her that we'd ordered one of those huge deserts for her. Somehow, we ended up offering her money if she could eat it all. A total of $96 appeared on the table, most of which was happened to be mine since I deemed it either a sure bet or good value entertainment. This desert bowl was twice the size of her head but she was up for the challenge, even though she had just devoured half a cow. Mr A was left to order something else while Sis got stuck into his tower of sugar. She was intermittently coached from the sidelines by a passing waiter who seemed most impressed with her gluttony. The result? Well, technically she didn't actually finish it all but after waiting forever and a day for her to consume it, a self-appointed judge in the family called it done and she was now twice her normal weight and $96 richer. What happened to my desert? Well, I embarrassingly finished it easily and could have eaten another one.
Day 80 - Tuesday 25th September (Brisvegas, Melbourne)
Still crook and drugged up, this morning was spent on the Brisbane river where my sole focus was on keeping breakfast below my neck. We were on a 'City Cat', a large catamaran which hoons up and down the river. We stopped at Southbank for a coffee and then Riverside for lunch.
Was then back to the slammer yet again. This time we went inside the walls of the high security section with special visitor passes. We had to go through airport style security to ensure we weren't smuggling anything in. After going through a walk through metal detector, we were then panned down with a hand held one. For some reason, everytime the security guard panned over my arse, it started beeping like crazy. I was asked to empty my pockets etc but I had nothing in there... nothing at all. I thought oh crap, it's rubber glove time for sure. Again and again, he panned over my arse and it buzzed away. He let me through anyway, obviously he couldn't be bothered investigating further. We figured it must have been a smell detector.
I was flying out with sis tonight, or so I thought. A few days ago, I had figured if I'm sick, I'd best be alone rather than dampening everyone else's holiday and so I booked my ticked out of Brizvegas. I thought I was on the same flight to Melbourne with Sis and had a hotel booked for that night but nope, again I had my days mixed up. My hotel reservation was an imagination and my flight was for tomorrow night. Same flight as sis but a different day. Meh. There was still seats available on sis's flight so I paid for my error ($s) and changed flights. No hotel for tonight but sis kindly offered to put me up. I was outa there.
Dramas again at the airport. Not sure why but one of Virgin's planes was surrounded by fire engines and the like. Because of this, our plane couldn't get into the correct gate so it was moved elsewhere and for separate reasons, it was also delayed for almost an hour. We were finally on the tarmac and litterally about to take off when one of the passengers had a fit and we had go back to the gate and kick him out the door. He'd had a few too many drinks and apparently also been snorting something in the terminal. Meh. They set the in flight entertainment to free-mode to keep the passengers happy. I survived the flight unscaved! I'd had nothing to drink but because I was crook, I was half certain I would throw up. I was also dreading landing as I've previously flown with clogged sinuses and that time my head nearly exploded because of the changes in air pressure and my inability to deal with it (it's not that uncommon for someone to burst an eardrum or end up with a torn frontal sinus just from flying with a common cold). No doubt the pseudoephedrine hydrochloride saved me, along with the fact that it was approaching 1am when we descended and I was yawning enough to even out the pressure within.