The Best Way To Wake Up


The sweet harmony of crashing waves slowly ease their way through into my consciousness. I spin on the bed, trying to coax another half an hour’s rest from the already stifling hot day. The early sun’s rays have heated the canvas annex to the point of a sauna and beads of sweat are starting to run off my body.

“Just a little more…” I think to myself casting off even the smallest corner of the sheet which had been touching me in the vain hope that it would cool me off.

Ten minutes later, after tossing and turning and trying to force myself back into the bliss of sleep, the war against the ever increasing heat off the sun is lost.

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New Years at Mooloolaba

Somehow, this part of the beach has earned a reputation for being the party area. As such, every year they celebrate the New Year with lots of fireworks, bands, and activities along the main street which is closed and fenced off.

The evening is divided into two sections, with family friendly events and activities running from early afternoon until the culmination of their day with fireworks at 8pm. Just after this the main events for the evening started to gear up, with concerts, buskers, and roving acts throughout the night until midnight when the largest of the fireworks celebrates the New Year.

My old year ended at about 11pm when I crawled into my bed, and my new year began at 12.01am when everybody on the beach started screaming and shouting “Happy New Year” for the next ten minutes.

So Happy 2009 to all of you. I trust that this year brings you closer to your dreams, nearer to your loved ones, deeper in your convictions, and stronger in your faith. Have a great one!


The fireworks at 8pm

The 8pm fireworks for New Year’s Eve. The main crowd can be seen standing on the lit beach to the right of the fireworks, while this was taken from a distance at the entrance to the river harbour.

More photos after the break…

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Christmas by the Beach

Only one week after arriving in Australia I have been living at the beach in a caravan with my family. Time here goes both slowly and quickly at the same time. Each day is filled with nothing, and nothing is one of the best things you can do. A sleep here or there, reading the paper or a book, watching the waves roll in to the shore or the people on the beach, diving into the water to cool off and ride a wave, catching up with some emails, and wandering around the shops.

It is a life of nothing, a very relaxing few weeks set aside amongst a busy schedule to help remind me that it really is possible to live this way… at least for a little while.

Taking up the van Waves

Towing the van up to the coast… A wave rolling in toward the shore.

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New Years Day in Miraflores, Lima

The first part of our new year was spent sleeping to recover from the night. Then we headed out in the afternoon with the girls to visit Miraflores, a richer part of Lima. Walking along the coastline gave us fantastic views of the beaches below and of almost a dozen paragliders that were soaring above.

Our hosts in Lima
Our wonderful hosts in Lima who made us feel completely welcome in their home… the Ausejos.

Our walk took us through the park of love, where a Peruvian Chinese couple that had just been married were getting their photos taken. All along the walls of the park were love hearts and love messages from unknown people to their beloveds, and couples talking, embracing and kissing were littered all around the grounds.

Cliffs of Miraflores
The cliffs of Miraflores in Lima and many paragliders.

We ended up at a food mall, below some very expensive shops in a complex that sat on top of the edges of the cliffs and offered some spectacular views. It was extremely busy and loaded with security guards, but smelled strongly of money. After a quick bite we emerged from the lower floors and caught a cab back to the house. Tonight we were heading out to the airport to pick up Darlene. Tomorrow we leave Lima.

Paraglider overhead
A paraglider overhead soars past using the winds of the cliffs to give him more height.

Landing pad for paragliders
All of the paragliders were taking off and landing on this patch of grass on top of the cliffs, and giving people rides. The guy with the camera took photos of the people while the paraglider hung there in the same spot only metres above the ground.

Park of Love
The Park of Love, with a huge statue of a couple kissing. It is said that you are allowed to kiss anybody if you drag them under the shadow of this statue. While we were there I never saw anybody trying to drag someone down there, so maybe this is just a tale.

Looking back over to the lighthouse, the point where we had come from.

Rich food area
This section of Miraflores was the richest part that I have seen in Lima. Filled with security guards and very expensive shops, it also sported many of the typical America fast-food joints (Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC, Starbucks, etc).

The Marriot Hotel
On the other side of the road to this rich complex was the very elaborate Marriott Hotel. We were in an upper-class area of Lima, although Paul informs me that there are richer areas in Lima than this.

Lazy Day at the Beach

Today was a lazy day at the beach. Nothing much to do except watch the little sailing boats in their regatta and find dead soccerballs in the sand.


It’s a hard life here some days.

Old soccerball in the sand

Russians and Boat Wrecks

Now that I have my bike, there are places to go that I have not yet been. This means jumping on the bike and picking a new place just to see what it is like. Today I headed out to find the old boat wrecks that lay somewhere along the beach north of Madryn.

The boats from a distance

The ride started off on the sand, but before long I was riding along a sandstone rock that covered the entire beach area. Some parts were covered in a green algie and were very slippery, other parts were bare and dry but filled with deep ruts that made riding really difficult and slow.

Riding over the rocky section

Continuing onward, the wrecks could be seen in the distance, and like all things that can be seen in the distance, they did not look too far away. They were however, and it took more than an hour of riding over some really rough rocks before I started to get near them.

Lots of bumps along the way

On the left hand side a cliff rose up beside me, with a strong wind whipping the sand and dirt into my eyes when I was not careful. Unfortunately my ride was against the wind, which made things just that much harder and slower. It did not deter me from the goal however, and after much effort I finally reached the boats in their final resting place along the beachfront.

Nearing the boats

The newest of all boats present was one that looked like a Russian whaling boat. At least that is what it looked like to me. A rope hung from a lowerable stairway which gave access to climb aboard, something that I would like to do with some friends later on.

The Russian boat

The size of this ship was amazing when I compared it to my bicycle, found in the middle of the photo below. Each ship was pretty big but this one seemed even bigger. Perhaps that was just because it was the one that I got closest to.

My bicycle is in the middle of the hull

After lots of riding against the wind it was a joy to turn around and head back along the roads. The wind provided so much assistance that there were times when I was overtaking the cars. With such a great push, it was easy to get back just before the sun set and darkness obscured the long unlit road back home.

Far from home

Old boat wreck along the way

Sunset on the way home