Days 1,188-1,197: Placating Neptune

Mon 02.04.12 – Wed 11.04.12: It was an early start on Monday morning. Sam had to go into work, so I grabbed all my gear and tagged along with her towards the city centre from St. Lucia. After saying thanks and goodbye, I reached the city centre with half an hour to spare. Although only 8am, it was already shaping up to be another SCORCHING HOT Brisbane day. I really don’t know how people do it. It is nice once in every blue moon to go a whole 24 hours without sweating your teeth out. I reached the PAE shipping office just after half eight and was taken around the office to meet the staff. I had already spoken to James Kurz, the operations officer, on Saturday morning and I spoke Trish to on Friday afternoon while feverishly attempting to gain passage on the MV Kota…

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Days 1,186-1,187: Mount Coo-tha

Sat 31.03.12 – Sun 01.04.12: Literally woke up in the gutter. Well, it was sort of half in the gutter half in a bush. Man that was a big night. Gathering up my belongings like a common vagrant, I headed over to the Brisbane library to finalise everything for my departure on board the Kota Juta on Monday. Only problem was that I got there at 6am and the library didn’t open until 9. I’m thinking this kind of things happen to tramps all the time. I lay back on a concrete plinth in the atrium and fell back asleep. You can do that kind of thing in Australia and not get your things stolen. Nice! Woke up again at 9.15 and sorted what needed to be sorted in order for the sorting to be sorted. This included writing to Hartmann Reederei, a German shipping company…

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Day 1,185: The Man From Del Monte Says…

Fri 30.03.12: The coach arrived in Brisbane’s miserable concrete Roma Street Transport Terminal around noon and I was off like Usian Bolt off the blocks to the library. Air conditioning, free internet and still clinging to the possibility of a ship getting me to Taiwan before April 15, I had work to do. After an hour of scouring the internet, I came across the Holy Grail: A ship. On Monday. Going straight to Keelung in Taiwan. Arriving April 13. And it was owned by – oh joy of joys – PIL. The same owners as the Southern Lily 2, the ship that had happily taken me from Fiji to New Zealand in January. The KOTA JUTA, you are my saviour! Emails went out to everybody I could find who worked for the charterers, an Aussie company called PAE. Within 20 mins I had a call back…

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Day 1,184: Feeding The Crocodile

Thu 29.03.12: Not wanting my trip up to Townsville to be a complete waste of time, Eagle, Sera and Robbie ensured that I at least had some most excellent experiences while up north. Last night I got to feed a freshly killed chicken to a python (called Leia) and today Sera to took me to the Billabong Animal Sanctuary where they all work so I could feed a crocodile Irwin-style. A giant (and I mean GIANT) salty – the biggest and most aggressive crocodiles in the world vs. me with a piece of meat on the end of a stick. Needless to say, the magnificent beast won the day, but not after a couple of minor skirmishes in which I was the victor – teasing the great reptilian with my prowess on the lifty-stick and the fact there was a nice high fence between the two…

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Day 1,183: Nein!

Wed 28.03.12: I can see why they call these coaches ‘luxury’, I mean – the seats recline a whole TWO inches! Amazing!! And the vibration of the window glass no doubt cures no end of ailments. They’re so lush they even give the driver a special pair of cast iron boots on which to gently thump on the brakes whenever he feels like (usually when you’re in the loo). All I can say is that it cost me $184 and it was worth every penny. If pennies were made of rat droppings. When it’s cheaper to drive somewhere on your own in a Hummer than to take ‘public’ transport, the word ‘public’ is nothing more than a shitty lie. The coach of all sorrow arrived in Townsville at around 1pm. I hurried to the internet café – but still no word from the owners of the…

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