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 and asking (very nicely) if they’d let me board the Mell Sembawang, scheduled to depart Taiwan for MICRONESIA (196 out of 201) and PALAU (197 out of 201) on April 15. Hartmann are the owners and although the charterers, Mariana Express, have already said it would be groovy, I can’t expect to shimmy on board without the owner’s consent.

I can’t find any other cargo ships that call into Micronesia and Palau, so if they say no, I may well be sunk. The message is in the ether now, let’s hope it reaches a favourable destination.

I then took the wise decision to head back to the city and check into a backpackers and have a (much needed) shower. I may look like a hobo, but I certainly don’t want to smell like one.

On my way up to Townsville I got a message from an Odyssey follower called Sam, saying it was a shame that she missed me in Brisbane. Now we could meet up! After Sam and her boyfriend Chadd had finished watching some very important football match (real football for a change, Australia!) we met up for drinkies. After demolishing a pitcher or two in the backpacker bar, I was invited to crash on their couch so we headed off to the Brisbane suburb of St. Lucia (been there!) for some much needed pizza and beer, slightly peeved that the backpackers wouldn’t even give me a partial refund.

The next day Sam and I went out to visit Mt. Coo-tha, a bit of a tourist draw around these parts. Sam was good enough to drive me up to the summit, which offers sweet views of the Brisbane River as it snakes through the city. At the base of the Mt. Coo-tha is the Sir Thomas Brisbane Observatory, wonderfully enough, Brisbane is the only city in the world named after an astronomer. I’m beginning to like this place a lot more. Although it is still way too hot.

Unfortunately, Sam misplaced her wallet at the summit so after the observatory we headed back up the hill to look for it. Even worse, on the way up she was clocked by the police doing 10k over the speed limit – boom, big fine. BAH!

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

Leave a Reply