Yellow light … 3 minutes

Red light … 1 minute

Green light … GO! OH s*** … I’m falling … and it’s a bloody long way down!

Just got back from my sky dive, fecking amazing!! 14,000ft, 8000 of that was free fall and I even got to steer for a while, so cool! Much better than last time, although it seemed to be over a lot quicker.

The last 3-4 weeks have been pretty hectic, slowly rapping things up in Sydney though, leaving for the east coast on Thursday, can’t wait for Fraiser Island and the Whitsunday’s! Lots of good memories from Sydney though, a fully recommended place to visit!

So carrying on from Oz day, we never did quite make it out that day due to our now mid-grey plague. In the evening we staggered out to see the fireworks down darling harbour, they were pretty spectacular, absolutely rammed down there, much to the dismay of the little girl next to me who had been seated in here pram In the fountain, what a caring farther. She did not like getting wet! The next day I managed to catch the streets gig in town, awesome show. Saw them at Reading but it was much better in a small, enclosed venue … no sight of the chav army either, bit of a result. Went with Marcus and a couple of the Finish girls from my old room, and Cheryl who’s a friend of a friend of a friend … kinda thing. Skinner didn’t seem too of his nut on narcotics and put on a quality show, obviously culminating in everyone singing ‘fit but you know it’ at the end, legendary!

Made it to side bar afterwards to have a drink with Pete and Karen who were both suitably intoxicated by this point, Pete came out with a classic one liner on seeing some k*** pull a rather attractive young lady … “Sometimes I wish I was still a twat”, had the rest of us in stitches. Pete went back up to Brisbane on the Monday but hopefully I’ll see him when I head up there. Karen still had a couple more days in Sydney so we used our free passes to go up the viewing deck in one of the harbour bridge supports, Mike also made it back to Sydney and just in time for Karen’s last night too. His stories of driving around Tazzy have definitely got me thinking I might like to do the same, funny & inspiring stuff.

Karen left for Vietnam the next day but Mike hung around for a couple of days so that was cool, we hit Bondi and watched England win a cricket game on the big screen down darling, was a nice couple of chilled days. Mikes now in Thailand I think.

Ayers Rock

On Sunday the 4th I finally made it out of Sydney, even if it was only for a sort time. I caught my morning flight to Ayers Rock where I joined a 3 day tour of the red centre. The tour was amazing, just the right amount of time and I got to see everything I wanted to see. On the first day we walked the valley of the winds and watched the sunset of Uluru with champagne in hand (if only I liked the stuff). We visited the aboriginal culture centre and learnt stories, hunting methods, food sources and loads of other cool stuff. That night we slept out under the stars in ‘swags’. Cool experience, the moon acted liked a floodlight it was that bright and if you listened hard you could hear the dingo’s in the surrounding areas. We were up at 4.25 the next day so we could see the sunrise over Uluru which was just as spectacular as sunset. The locals don’t like you climbing the rock as it’s sacred to their way of life and beliefs. I was in two minds as it would be quite cool to do it but strong winds meant the climb was shut, made the decision easy, we did the 9km base walk instead. Even at stupid o’clock in the morning it hit near 40, incredibly hot, and the flies were unbearable. About as annoying as an Uxbridge clipboard worker, they would not b***** off. My hands were like constant wipers, clearing the little scallywags from eyes, nose, mouth, ears …. Why do they want to go in your ears?? So so annoying, should have taken a net. That afternoon we drove to king’s canyon and had the luxury of an hour in a swimming pool, where if you went underwater the flies couldn’t get to you. Around the camp fire that night our guide Magic (cool name eh!) played the dige for us and told us stories of tours gone wrong, including the tour where some English lass had a vision and told Magic she would see out the night and that if any of the other travelers got on the bus the next day they’d all die … sounds like she’d be great fun at a party!

On our last day we were up again early doors after another night of swaging. We spent to morning doing a 6km canyon trek around king’s canyon, visiting the Garden of Eden on route, a really nice trek. Took about 3 hours which is why we needed to start it so early.

The rest of the day was spent driving back to Alice Springs where we all stayed the night before catching our various flights. We did all meet up for dinner at a local bar where we got an awesome buffet. I ate crocodile in raspberry source, sweet eh! Tastes like chicken actually. Had a couple of drinks and played pool with the British contingent who were all really sound.

Useless fact alert: Kangaroo in aboriginal actually means ‘I don’t understand’ … you’ll thank me one day when that comes up in a pub quiz and you win a packet of flaming hot monster munch.

Meet the parents

I arrived back in Sydney on the Wednesday evening and set about meeting up with the rents who had finally made it to Sydney to see their favorite son. I have since been spoiled rotten which is obviously quite nice (mum paid for my sky dive … and surf camp, cheers mum). Obviously been meeting up with them nearly every day since they arrived, eating in nice restaurants rather than cooking 79 cents pasta meals which always seem to end up as some kind of congealed pasta like lump, tasty! Could be worse I could have been eating McD’s.

By now Alexia had returned from Melbourne which rocked as shes wicked fun and i’d missed her whilst she was away! – even if most of her humour was based around the fact i’m pretty usless at most things, but still we had a couple of really good days together … lucky girl! We spent one night at Govindas cinema (a night out of wake up and side bar was in order as the previous night we’d watched in horror as one of her roommate’s vom’d off the top bunk. Not pretty … although ever so slightly funny in a sick kinda way). I went to Govindas previously with Karen, where we ate an awesome buffet and watched the prestige which was an outstanding film. This time Alexia and I just went for the film which was bond, not bad either. The best bit about the cinema is the fact that it doesn’t have seats, but beds. Pure luxury, it’s actually a lot more comfortable than my bunk in wake up.

Surf Camp

The next day (mon 12th) Alexia left for the east coast, my parents for surfers paradise on the gold coast and I left for surf camp, bit of a mass exodus. There were a good 30 people on the bus for camp and most of them were sound. We drove for 6 hours before arriving at our home for the next week, a place called Crescent Head. Home included numerous hammocks, a couple of Leeds lads who got naked at any given moment and mattresses atop of milk crates for our beds, sweet dig! We actually managed to fit in 3 hours surfing that day. We all started on those crappy foam boards, but by Wednesday a few of us were on hard boards and surfing out the back where the waves were a little bigger and unbroken, this meant we could actually catch green water … or try at least, more often than not it all just resorted in a rather uncomfortable and sizable consumption of salt water through the nose, all whilst dodging the jellys.

We’d surf everyday from 8-11 and again in the afternoon from 4-7. That was plenty as my feeble arms couldn’t take anymore. We’d use the rip to get out the back but then paddling into position could take a while, and in that time more often than not you’d get battered by the big waves you couldn’t eskimo roll under and be sent flying back towards the beach and having to start all over again, hassle or what!? The surf was big at times and much better than Palm Beach, sometimes I reckon it reached 5ft ish, which might not sound much but by the beard of Zeus, when you get out there its bloody massive! I did manage a few waves I was more than happy with, a couple of green water waves and twice I managed to ride the lip before dropping in. Blinding skill or sheer luck … let you decide that one.

The routine was the same everyday, even the routine games to see who would be doing the washing up, I got away without doing it for the whole week, score! A couple of nights we had bonfires up at ‘Humpy’ – our beer drinking, drug smoking venue (no I did not partake). It was (I’m running out of adjectives, everything is either cool, amazing or awesome) an astonishing sight (ha! didn’t see that coming did ya) at night, the stars were so clear, it just looked as if someone had taken a black canvas and flicked white paint all over it, the milky way was clearly visible, jaw dropping viewing – especially when in that semi pissed and therfore everythings wonderful state.

On the Friday we packed up after our morning surf and endured another 6 hour drive, this time to Byron Bay. Byron’s an awesome looking place, a sort of hippy surfer town. Can’t wait to get back there this coming weekend. Although why we went there I don’t quite understand, all we did was go on the piss. 12 hours on a bus for a night out, hhhmmmm. I paid $30 for a bed and didn’t use it, money well spent. We went to a bar called Cheek Monkeys which is somewhat notorious amongst backpackers as being a bit of a meat market … obviously I loved it! Just kidding, not really. The place did remind me of Greece a bit, not the film though, the country. It wasnt like all the lads were dressed up as John Travolta singing summer loving (although i’m pretty sure the DJ played that). The only place to dance was on tables, it was that kind of ‘fun’ type bar where pretty much anything goes … when in Rome. I went on it with a few people from surf camp, Jens from Denmark was pretty cool & Jarni from Finland. Also managed to meet up with Alexia again which was a major result and oddly bumped into Tom & Ryan from my Ayers rock trip. Ended up on walking along the beach front with Alexia at something o’clock in the morning, heading towards the light house … but then I realized I was a band geek who just never joined the band and that I fancied the girl from band camp and ran off to be with her … if you don’t get it just think American Pie, and what i really mean by all that random, useless and probably not very funny rambling is that my bus back to Sydney was soon to leave and I thought it best to be on it.

Sydney … again

At 6am I boarded the bus back to Sydney, only 12 hours – joy! I wouldn’t have minded if it was our 5 star coach ‘big red’, but he’d jacked it in Sydney so we had to make do with rent-a-bus, cue 15 numb asses and aching necks.

And that brings us to this week, Met up with the folks again, been side bar again. Visited the rocks market and did a tour of the opera house. That was a lot better than i thought it’d be. We got to hear an orchestra practicing for a show later in the day. Some famous violinist (Tom … something … narrows it down doesnt it) was doing his thing on stage, it was so impressive, the hall too. Last night I went with the rents to the 360 restaurant at the top of the Sydney tower for a nice meal, the views at night were pretty spectacular and it looked awesome all lit up. Tried kangaroo, bad idea! The stuff mings, had to wash it down with butter chicken. Croc meat good, roo meat bad!

Sky Dive with Mum

Today as I mentioned already I jumped out of a plane putting my faith in a guy I’ve never met before (and who also looked like someone out of right said fred) and a rather large piece of material, still alive though and loved every minute of the experience, mum done it aswell which I think was pretty cool! She was a little nervous, as we all were I think, but we all jumped, and mum got a DVD which I think I snuck into on occasions, family viewing night when I get back I think. Must admit its slightly unnerving watching ya mum fall out the open door of a plane 14000 ft up strapped to some random guy. Nothing can prepare you for the initial two seconds oh acceleration and the feeling that your pulmiting towards certain death. Once you hit terminal velocity though it feels just like a rollercoaster ride. Floating down after pulling the cord is actually very relaxing.

Conclusion: Sky dives are awesome, bring on New Zealand!

I’m back at wake up for my final stint before heading up the east coast. I imagine I’ll spend my last night downstairs listening to Dan & Dave for the umpteenth time. Tonight I’m taking the rents to comedy night, letting them pay though as all good sons and daughters do (they love it!).

Hope your all well and enjoyed your ½ hour skiving … now get back to work!!!