A Travellerspoint blog

Back in Oz

sunny 55 °F

I am back in Australia's and in the country music capital called Tamworth in New South Wales. It is a small town 8 hours (driving) northwest of Sydney. Most Australians wouldn't be caught dead in this town and every single one laughed when I told them I was going. I am now going to set the record straight! Tamworth Australia might be small and not the trendiest place in the world but it has the biggest heart. Small towns are like big families, everyone knows everyone, they even knew me before I got here. Some of the big players are Frank who is the town handy man. He stopped by to do some work and after we all stopped for a cup of tea together. Then there is Bill who runs Big Bill's the town convenient store but also carries stock feed. He came to deliver hay and then we of course all stopped for a cup of tea. The pace is slower which makes the quality of life better. No one should be laughing at this town, these are the people who would be the first to show up if you needed someone.

And boy have I needed help since arriving. While I was connecting in Sydney I was debating to jump on the next flight to New York. I was sidetracked and a little depressed and accidentally picked up the wrong suitcase. I even managed to go through customs and check the bag into my next flight to Tamworth. I didn't realize till I arrived and the new family brought me back to the house. You know you are in a small town when there are only 2 gates at the airport and the employees are nice. Not only did the airport employees want to help me send my bag back they wanted to know every detail of my life. They even offered to call when it came in which entailed them calling every time a flight arrived and it didn't come in.

While I waited for the bag I started to get adjusted on the farm. The new couple I am living with are a retired couple and their names are Dawn and Peter. I would describe the environment like moving in with your grandparents....heaven. If you want to be reminded of the way life should be, hang out with retirees. We stop for at least 5 cups of tea a day and an afternoon nap happens everyday at 230. I barely get started with something before I hear to come inside because the tea is ready. Dawn is always baking something and they are both vegetarians! The house is on 50 acres with 5 horses, 2 birds and 1 dog. There is another house on the property which she runs a bed and breakfast. We spend the days tending to the horses, watering flowers and I even think that might be it.

Dawn and Peter did leave today for 9 days to visit their son in Cairns. I don't know why but every time I go to a new farm the family leaves me to run the place. There is not nearly as much work this time but a lot more land...and I am afraid of the dark....and the sun is going down, though you wouldn't notice with all the lights I have on. You will be able to see this house glowing from a satellite in space. No I am looking forward to a week alone. They left me their car so I will go exploring town, see some movies and hopefully make a friend, but if that doesn't work you will probably hear from me soon. xo.

Posted by Kegan00 21:23 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Happy/sad Father's Day

sunny 90 °F

Today is not a happy day. Andy left this morning for home, I am alone at the airport headed to Australia in the winter, it’s Father’s Day and also the week of my family’s yearly reunion in South Carolina. I am homesick.
I am headed off to Tamworth Australia in New South Wales. It is the “country music capital of Australia” so it should be an adventure. The family is picking me up from the airport when I arrive tomorrow night and they seem great. We have been emailing back and forth and I think it should be another good down under experience. As I know I will be happy to get back to work I am sad to leave Southeast Asia and more importantly Andy. We had the best time together and I could not have done it without him. He knows the ins and outs of Southeast Asia and taught me how to not get ripped off and where the great deals are. He would look far and wide for a great deal even if it meant walking another mile in 90 degree weather to save 50 cents. Oh and taxi’s? Forget about it. My patience was tested but my wallet was saved.
Since I last wrote we have been “on vacation” in south Cambodia and Hua Hin in Thailand where Andy studied for a semester during college. The Cambodia beach town was really great. They say it is like the Thailand beaches before they got too touristy. The town was small and the beers were cheap. The beach bars were huts on the beech that had lounge chairs during the day and turned into a BBQ at night. It was truly the best even with a death threat and an assault I received, the beach hagglers were a bit aggressive. Andy doesn’t like the beach much so I headed down on my own the first day. I hadn’t even sat down and had 5 beach venders around me. I thought it was kind of fun and I also enjoyed making some friends even if I had to pay for them but once you buy 1 thing the whole clan swarms. At one point I could barley fit on my chair I had so many children, homeless and women around me. Once I ran out of money and they noticed I was finally left to enjoy the day but had to pinky swear promise to each that I would buy something the next day. I knew I was in trouble and especially if Andy wanted to come with me the next day. Of course he found out how much I spent and decided to come with me the next day which was what I was afraid of. I guess I had promised more than I remembered and ran out of money again and that is when I was told that “Cambodia will kill me” and was hit on the head. Thank god Andy was there because at this point I was under my towel with my head phones on hiding. After that we found non beach things to do and went to the casino where I learned how to play roulette, but eventually everything comes to an end and that did abruptly. Last minute we decided to go see Andy’s old school and be close to Bangkok where we were both flying out. The bus ride from Cambodia to Bangkok was 13 hours then in the morning headed on a 4 hour bus ride to Hua Hin from Bangkok. Rough trip but totally worth it, awesome beach and saw all the spots where Andy hung out and lived when he was there. The town is only 3 hours from Bangkok and has wonderful resorts for anyone interested in a vacation in Thailand. We spent the last couple nights in Bangkok, went on our last date and now off we go.
I am looking forward to the comfort of toilets again but not the poisonous spiders that like to hide in them!
I am hoping my new family in Australia has good internet and I will write as soon as I can. Shoot me an email (egan.katie@gmail.com) if you get a chance, would love to hear from you. xo.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DAD - You make me smile

Posted by Kegan00 21:01 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)

Angkor Wat

sunny 90 °F

Cambodia is kicking my butt. It is corrupt, hot, sad and hopeful all in one. After arriving a week ago by train from Bangkok we settled in the city of Siem Reap where Angkor Wat resides 5 km away. Our hostel had free bicycles and of course not choosing the normal person way of doing things by hiring a taxi for the day we opt to bike the entire thing. There is a reason they are free to use. I had no idea how big it was. We end up biking 25 km that day after even making it there for the 5:30 am sunrise. We actually were the first ones there and paid off one of the guards to let us climb to the top to watch. It was awesome but only left us with $2 for the rest of the day for food and water. It was like an episode from Survivor.

That evening after a feast when we got back I came down with a stomach bug to say it lightly. After a couple days in bed and a day behind we head on our way to the capital city Phnom Penh. We opt to take the 4-8 hour (no one could tell us how long) scenic boat ride to Battombong then a 4 hour bus to Phnom Penh. Yesterday we took the 8 hour boat (2 pieces of wood) ride to Battombong. Yes it was super scenic and highly reccomend. It wasn't much of a boat and mom I would have worn a life jacket if they had them, but the scenery was to die for. It was village after village of houses/huts on the water. There were people floating their houses down the water, bathing in the water, drinking the water, peeing in the water, doing laundry in the water. The best part was the fact that no child under 5 wore clothes and when they saw a boat they would run after it and wave till you were out of site, it was so cute it hurt. Cambodian children are the cutest things I have ever seen in my entire life. Another thing they do in the water is fish...which reminded me of the fish tacos I had the night before I got sick. I mean the toilet on the boat consisted of four walls and a hole in the bottom of the boat...enough said.

SO today we leave Battombong in a couple hours to Phnom Penh. Nothing too hard and tomorrow I am sure we will start the site seeing which I am sure will lead to some more stories for me to write. Till then hugs and kisses and wish you were here. xo

Posted by Kegan00 08:13 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

My Chiang Mai

sunny 90 °F

Miss a day miss a lot. Since I last wrote Andy and I have left the island of Koh Tao. Andy decided the diving course wasn’t the right thing to do and he also swore the gecko in the bathroom was trying to kill him. So, we left and I will never forget it. We took the night ferry which is about a 7 hour boat ride to Chumphon. The boat has beds for you to sleep on, quite genius but the rule here is the more the merrier. If there is a toilet it is sold as a seat. So whatever we didn’t really care and there were these mats that you could use to sleep on the floor. The only problem is we were sleeping on the top deck and it started raining. Needless to say once we finally got to Bangkok (another 7 hour bus ride later) we splurged for a really nice hotel with a breakfast buffet and everything. It was AWESOME. I took such a hot bath that I was sweating for an hour after. After spending a few days and a few nights in Bangkok enjoying everything a big city had to offer we decided to head up north to Chang Mai where we are right now.
I thought Bangkok was amazing it has everything you could ever want plus komodo dragons and elephants. You think I am kidding, but I saw both walking down the street! But Chang Mai is my favorite city now! It is still pretty touristy but more on the hippy trail. I would describe it as a more spiritual, affordable and cultural city. It is really interesting since it is surrounded by a mote and wall that was used to protect it from Burmese during the war. There is also a fair going on this week and the streets are lined with booths of food and random crafts. There was even a booth of fried crickets, grasshoppers and beetles. Andy and I played a game of rummy today to see who had to eat a bug tonight. I of course lost and even after we played another hand of all or nothing I lost again. I told him he has to buy me a beer before we go.
Today we went to Tiger Kingdom. I should have mentioned this first because it was the most amazing thing I have ever done. It is a place where you can play with little baby tigers or even the big ones. I opted for the babies which were only a month old and they couldn't even meow yet it just sounded like a raspy squeal. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen in my life.
So...wish me luck tonight. I am thinking the grasshopper will be the least offensive....??

Posted by Kegan00 16:42 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Exotic

sunny 90 °F

One of my friends asked me to tell her an exotic story from Thailand. If exotic is man eating mosquitos then I have stories for you! Besides the flying ant eggs that hatched somewhere in our room I am enjoying the exotic fresh fruit and smoothies for under a dollar. Exotic could also be the water in our bungalow that only works a couple hours a day but never the same time. Andy has been in mid shower when it has gone off and I am always a little relieved when it isn't working and I get out of having to take a shower. I am still a believer that swimming on vacation counts as a shower:) So yes there are lots of bugs and food to make this trip exotic. I just need the olive skin and I think I would have the complete package.

On my spare time which I have a lot of I have been searching for the next place to go after Thailand. I have decided to head back to Australia to resume wwoofing again. I am ready to work and have a little more purpose in my days than yoga and the beach. I have been spending hours going through the wwoofing book where all the hosts are listed with a self description. I first go through and cross out all the beef cattle ranches, tent accomodations and building/painting work. When I finish that I screen for warning signs such as 'enjoy your free time folk dancing' or nudist colonies. I have emailed a few equestrian farms which I am hoping for, I can pretty much put up with anything if I can ride everyday!! I will either be in south Queensland or New South Wales. Hopefully in NSW since my mom just told me about a Queensland bird eating spider. I can just picture folk dancing nude with a tarantulas.

Posted by Kegan00 13:11 Archived in Thailand Comments (1)

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