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Australia

a travel blog by Jason Kester




The Australia leg of this trip was done with my buddy Paul in tow. We rented a panelvan, and drove up and down the east coast, stopping wherever it looked like there would be good surf. The East Australia backpacker's circuit is pretty cool. Since everybody is either traveling north or south along the same route, and since everybody hits pretty much the same stops, you end up seeing a lot of the same people from place to place. Pretty soon, you end up with this loosely affiliated traveling posse of a dozen folks that always seem to turn up everyplace you go. All sorts of fun!

For Leg Two, it was off to Bangkok to meet Jay, and later, Hannah for some rockclimbing on the beaches near Krabi. I put together about two hundred pages of trip reports below, so I won't go into detail. Rest assured, it was amazing!
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Bailing from trailworks

Portland, United States


Friday will be my last day here. I'm skipping the country for a few months in search of rocks and waves.

Along the way I'll be able to check this address a few times:
radboy2@yahoo.com

See you in February!

Jason

permalink written by  Jason Kester on October 25, 2000 from Portland, United States
from the travel blog: Australia
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Australia and Thailand

Portland, United States


So you are all officially in the loop to receive random emails from me as I tour about in Australia and SE Asia over the next few months. I doubt
I'll be able to get onto the internet all that often, but if I ever do, you'll all get to be amazed and delighted by every mundane detail of my trip. You'll also be first to hear when I am macheted to death in the burmese jungle by angry villagers.

If you want off this list, speak up quick because I'm heading out within the week. See ya!

Jason

permalink written by  Jason Kester on October 25, 2000 from Portland, United States
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Re: Overseas

Bangkok, Thailand


--- Michael Garner wrote:
> I'm glad to hear that you arrived in Asia unscathed and got a full belly of
> curried rodent as well. Two cancled flight is par for the course in these
> days of overseas travels. Did they manage to loose your luggage as well? ...

I opted out of the luggage equation this time around. I've crammed three months provisions into a little carryon pack. It's cool because I never have to think about what I'm going to wear. Let's see... I've got one pair of shorts and a shirt. I guess I'll wear that!

So yeah, the austrialia leg is all about the jellyfish, with not much in the way of tall rocks to be found. I have the shoes along just in case, but for
the most part I'll be surfing.

permalink written by  Jason Kester on November 2, 2000 from Bangkok, Thailand
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Overseas

Bangkok, Thailand


Just a quick note to let you know I made it as far as Bangkok unscathed. Only took 23 hours, two canceled flights and a bonus stop in Seattle.

Bangkok is full on strange. It's nothing but street markets and back alleys and littls stalls selling vats of curried squirell. If you've seen that leonardo dicaprio beach movie, and you probably should if only for the first half, you'll be happy to know that the Bangkok scenes are not embellished whatsoever. In fact, I'm convinced that they shot part of it in my room.

Anyway, assuming I'm not knifed to death by pirates tonight, I'll be flying to Sydney tomorrow evening. I think I enjoy third world cities best in small doses.

permalink written by  Jason Kester on November 2, 2000 from Bangkok, Thailand
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Overseas

Bangkok, Thailand


Just a quick note to let you know I made it as far as Bangkok unscathed. Only took 23 hours, two canceled flights and a bonus stop in Seattle.

Bangkok is full on strange. It's nothing but street markets and back alleys and littls stalls selling vats of curried squirell. If you've seen
that leonardo dicaprio beach movie, and you probably should if only for the first half, you'll be happy to know that the Bangkok scenes are not
embellished whatsoever. In fact, I'm convinced that they shot part of it in my room.

Anyway, assuming I'm not knifed to death by pirates tonight, I'll be flying to Sydney tomorrow evening. I think I enjoy the third world best in small
doses.

permalink written by  Jason Kester on November 2, 2000 from Bangkok, Thailand
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Oi!

Surfers Paradise, Australia


Made it out of Thailand, and I'm now kicking it safely in the tourist trap of Surfer's Paradise. I spent a couple nights in Sydney, driving on the
wrong side of the road and working the jetlag out of the system.

Along the way up the coast I bought the most beat up shortboard I could find. I've only had it in the water once, and got thoroughly worked as a
reward. It's cool not having to wear ten pounds of neoprene to avoid hypothermia, but I sure don't float to the surface as quickly without it.

And for the record, the toilets do indeed flush in the other direction, and the moon is oriented entirely the wrong way. All in all, good times are
being had.

permalink written by  Jason Kester on November 7, 2000 from Surfers Paradise, Australia
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Re: Sharks

Surfers Paradise, Australia


--- Diane Kester wrote:
> Yesterday on the news they said that two surfers had been attacked by sharks
> in Australia. Then they said it happened in Perth. A quick check verified
> that that's the other side of the continent from Surfer's Paradise.
> ...

Yeah, it's good to hear that the sharks are keeping to their side of the country. We had a strange experience today though. We checked out this semi-crowded break just south of town & decided to go rent a longer board for the small surf. In the twenty minutes it took to find a surf shop and come back, the whole beach had emptied. Nobody was in the water (there were maybe 30 surfers and a crowd of swimmers) and there was a big no swimming sign. I have no idea what happened, but can only assume that somebody saw a shark. Spooky!

Anyway, the good news is that we went a few miles further down & found some great waves. Best of all, no wetsuit! Just trunks and a thin spandex shirt callled a rashguard. Things are definately looking up.

permalink written by  Jason Kester on November 8, 2000 from Surfers Paradise, Australia
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still alive

Noosa Heads, Australia


I'm up in Noosa Heads now. It's plenty hot, and the water is warm with perfect waves. No more rashguard. I'm just surfing in a pair of shorts now. That was half the goal for the trip, so now I've just got to make it up to Arlie Beach and get certified to dive. That may be the next stop, or we may spend a few days on Fraser island along the way.

permalink written by  Jason Kester on November 12, 2000 from Noosa Heads, Australia
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Fraser Island

Torquay, Australia


So I'm in the town of Hervey Bay at the moment, having just returned from a few days on Fraser island. We were pretty much going to give the place a miss, but everybody we ran into kept insisting that we absolutely had to go. They were right.

Basically, you fork over some money and they pile you together into a group of nine strangers and hand you the keys to a big ol' Toyota Landcruiser. Then they toss in about sixty pounds of steak, 30 gallons of beer, and a couple beat up tents. The rest is up to you, and the ferry leaves in an hour.

Fraser is really cool. It's just a giant pile of sand, with a rainforest covering most of it. It has some amazing lakes with white sand bottoms and
incredibly clear, pure water. So pure in fact that you can drink it.

Apart from the beach (which is actually designated as an Australian highway), there are no roads, just a series of rough tracks through the jungle.
Now when I say rough, I dont mean just rough, but rough enough that they manage to consistantly bog vehicles designed specifically to never bog down in sand. Loads of fun! Even better with eight nervous passengers screaming in the back.

In short, the best time I've had in Australia thus far. Good times, good company, beautiful place. It's all good.

permalink written by  Jason Kester on November 17, 2000 from Torquay, Australia
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Re: Photos from the road

Mackay, Australia


Fraser island is maybe 500k North of Brisbane, next to the town of Hervey Bay. It's tall & skinny, you can't miss it.

I'm in Airlie Beach right now. It's a bit southeast of Townsville, and it's the point where the barrier reef is closest to shore. I'll be in the pool for the next couple days, then living on and diving from a boat out at the reef. Pretty cool!

permalink written by  Jason Kester on November 18, 2000 from Mackay, Australia
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Jason Kester Jason Kester
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Hey! I wrote Blogabond so I guess that makes me your host. Welcome!

I spend about 9 months a year on the road, chasing the sun around the world in search of good climbing and surfing. I carry a laptop along with me, and take on small programming contracts to take care of expenses.
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