I've been unable to keep the blog going, but yes, I am still traveling. Since leaving you suspended in Walpole I've moved on through Albany, Perth and Melbourne to Tasmania. Here I've hiked quite a bit to while away Christmas, and I just witnessed New Year's Eve in Hobart, which by the way translates to "female moustache" in Norwegian. I'm not entirely sure it's a fair description of the city, but at least the hostel I'm staying at (The Pickled Frog) is fairly hairy.
From here I'll soon be moving back to the mainland and Sydney. For now I'm not quite sure what I should blog about. A lot of things are happening, and the imp inside my camera is working hard on documenting it all. I'll just briefly give you some vital information, not necessarily facts:
* Near Albany I witnessed giant waves hitting the cliffs on the Flinders Peninsula. These waves push all of Australia northwards at a pace of 5 centimeters per year. This means that in 80 million years, Australia will be back where it is now, having traveled around the world!
* Unlike ravens in the rest of the world, Australian ravens like to inhale helium from balloons, which makes them sound like Smurf-Ravens. It's a lot of fun listening to them whining.
* There's a brand of beer here called XXXX, because no one knew how to spell "beer" when they were to market their new brew.
* Hostels in the countryside are often empty, so I've spent a few nights having dorms all to myself. Hostels in the cities are full of Asians who spend the nights fornicating in the bathrooms. This is much unlike the situation ten years ago, when all Asians were traveling on their own and being very intellectual about it.
* The Overland Track, a hiking trip that comes to about 100 kilometers of walking if you include all sidetrips you should do, is limited to allowing only 60 or so walkers onto it per day. This is because the hike is very popular because it's got a cool name AND all the strenuous parts of it are outfitted with boardwalks. I'm pretty sure that if they had called it "The Aboriginal Track" instead, hardly any Australians at all would have walked it, and they would not have had to limit the number of walkers. It seems that anything that has something to do with Aboriginals is largely ignored by most of the people in Godzone.
* On the cold beaches of the southern part of Western Australia there is often a larger contingent of rescue team members than there is of swimmers and sunbathers. And they're not even being paid to be there, as they are volunteers. They don't have to do much, since the water is so cold that I'm surprised there weren't more penguins around.
* Tasmania is STILL full of criminals, it seems. Wherever I go, stuff I put in the communal fridge seems to disappear into thin air. Oh well, mustn't grumble...
* Hiking in Freycinet includes a lot of climbing of rocks. The park receives 300 000 visitors annually, of which many are NOT experienced hikers, but they hike anyway. Because of this, I am happy to report that underwear seems to be rarely used in this country. I've seen an awful lot of people in awkward positions negotiating steep hills in ways that shows off large areas of buttcrack. There's hardly any sign of anyone wearing undies at all!
* I'm still alive.
And I'll be back. I promise.
Oh, and Happy New Year, everyone!