Location: Dallas, USA
Hello. Well I made it to Dallas, and after a day, Im on the road again. This time heading up to Chicago (its my kind of town).
I had a bit of a giggle at Vancouver airport. It seems that just about every american customs worker thinks Im a terrorist so when I walked upto the counter I was waiting to have my bags searched. I walked up, told him that I'd been in the US and had only visited Vancouver for a day.
"So are you on some kind of holiday son"?
"Yea, Im trying to see a bit of the world"
"and you spent a day in Vancouver, where you flying to today son" (honest, put on a drawl and thats how he spoke)
"How long for"?
"Just a day"
"and what you doin in Dallas for a day"
"Just seeing the sights"
"and what are they"?
"No idea, (I was thinking whatever you do dont say your going to see where Kennedy was assasinated) Im going to see where Kennedy was shot (D'oh)"
"Your itinnery makes no sense to me. Can you just go through that door there, someone will want to ask you a few questions."
Thats another fine mess you got me into!
When I finally arrived here I have to admit I wasnt looking forward to it. I thought Id hate it because its Texas afterall and only Queers and Steers come from Texas (and you dont look much like a steer to me), so when I landed in a dingey airpport I thought here goes!
First off Dallas has no Hostels (well none that are within 20 miles of the city) so I had to book into a plush hotel for the night (I got to steal more soap and shampoo). After this was done I had a few hours to kill before bedtime so I went to Deally Plaza. It was really good (if a lot smaller than expected) a guy (who spoke exactly the same as Uncle Reamus from 'Song of the South') came over and started giving me the local history and a guided tour. Jackpot.
After about an hour getting told all about Kennedy and Oswald I had done all I wanted to do in Dallas so I went back to the hotel to abuse the facilities (swimming pool and gym). Its amazing how a decent nights kip and a shower changes your perspective on things. This morning I thought Dallas was super (when I arrived yesterday I was hot, sweaty and ready to bite someones head off. Parts looked a little ropey and when wandering around I didnt feel particularly safe) and although I had to catch 2 busses and a train to the airport found I quite liked Dallas.
I ho I ho its off to Chicago I go...
Location: San Francisco, USA
Coming soon to all good webpages...and some bad ones too.
Location: Viva Las Vegas, USA
Oh yes, Vegas.
Every bit as good as everyone says.
Location: Chicago, USA
Chicago is un-real. Its on the side of Lke michigan but I beg to differ, its a small sea in my book, its massive! Flying over it was quality, there were 'forests n trees n stuff'for ages then out jumped a bloody big pond with a city clinging to the side of it!
After I'd found my hostel and checked in with no problems at all (must be a first in America, it was nextddor to a halfway house for recovering drug addicts though) I set off for a dash 'round the city. it was about a 40 min train ride to the centre but it was worth it, I dont know why but it was just quality. Simmilar to other american cities but a little different. There was loads of public art on display, an open air gallery and a sculpture of ? it looked like a semi inflated big metallic ball, pushed up in the middle to make a dome. The subaway was good but apparently thats not good enough for chicago so theres a metro that runs above your head. its surreal, your walking along the main city street and theres a train running over your head, cars making do with the shaded road below.
In my dorm was a couple of Irish guys (Declan and Dave) who's band were playing in a club so I spent a night being a groupy and drinking Guinness as supplied by the bar (managerial fee). I cant remember much about the night but Im sure I had a good time, i better have because my head was banging the next morning.
I was wandering 'round the city and happened to be walking past a theatre as they were admitting a show. I decided to pop into the box office and see if they had any tickets (the show finished on Sat so it was sold out) but had no luck. Just as I was about to walk away a woman went to the counter saying she had two tickets that she wasnt going to use and could she get a refund.
She got no joy from the counter but yours truly got a ticket to see the Lion King for $20. How good is that!
It was class and Ive been singing songs from the Lion King all last night and today.
Location: Grand Canyon, USA
watch this space...
Location: Phoenix, USA
I arrived and checked into my hostel, which for some reason had a police car ouside and the owners were chatting to 2 armed 'bobbies', very nice. Slept uncomfortably and set off to meet Zig 'n' Co. at the Boulders resort on the way out of Phoenix.
Apparently it was about 4 miles outside the city. Good one. I jumped onto a bus and rode it till it came to the end of the line (about 45 mins) then jumped onto another bus for an hour till I got to the city limits (nutbush?). When I got here I flagged a taxi to take me the remainder of the way to the resort. 45 Dollars later I finally got there (the girl driving the taxi was entertaining though, she spent all the time telling me how bad Phoenix is).
When I got out of the Taxi a consierge came over to help with my luggage, he got a shock when a stinking backpack was pulled from the 'trunk'. While I went inside to find Claire, Nita, Zig n Dodge it was left outside, presumably he didnt want it to stink out reception, cheeky bugger!
After I'd popped into reception I was directed to the pool where I met up with Nita and Claire topping up their tans. It was fantastic to see some familiar faces and not start all conversations with one of the following:
how long have you been away for?
where are you from?
where have you been?
where are you going?
so, what did you do at home?
when I go travelling next I'm going to get a few t-shirts printed with:
Dave, 25, Hartlepool, in between Durham and Middlesbrough, OK- near Newcastle, the North East? a couple of hours south of Edinboro' and then a detailed ittinary on it and I reckon I wouldnt have to speak for at least 2 days when I get to a new place! Anyway, I digress. After about 20 mins of banter with Claire and Nita, Zig and Dodge turned up from golf bag shopping - and then buggered off for a round of Golf!
That evening we went out for a meal, the first lot of propper food I'd eaten since getting into America, up untill now I'd lived off slices of Pizza for $1.50 a pop and the occasional Hot Dawg although Im reliably informed that, unlike the Chinese hot dog, these contained no traces of Lassie.
So we spent the next couple of days playing Golf (in my case badly), looking for phantom restraunts (we drove 26 miles looking for an Indian that Claire insisted was 'Just down this road'), racing in the pool, whacking baseballs around (in a practice net, they were getting 'thrown' at 75mph) and being cheated out of a pole position on a go-cart track.
After this it was off to the Grand Canyon but, as a great man once said, thats a different story.
Location: L.A, USA
Howdy boys and girls, get yourself comfy while I regail you with tales of all things US. Right-e-o, here we go.
I got into LAX and realised that I had no clue where I was going to stay so I spent about 15 mins running backwards and forwards around the airport to find an internet terminal (supprisingly difficult to find and tucked into some foul smelling corner when you do find it) and managed to get myself a number for a hostel.
So I jumped onto a bus (a big blue one) and set off for Venice Beach. Got there, and went to check in. It was only full, all apart from a fold out bed that would be put up in the living room at midnight. It was far too hot to carry my pack around anymore so I settled for this and ended up going to sleep with an audience ( The bed was set up in front of the TV and I went to bed while there were people still watching).
So I woke up on the morining and set off for Venice Beach for a nosy around. It was Class. I sat and watched guy's play basketball (like white men cant jump) for ages and then had a look at the meat head's work out on Muscle Beach. Then it was off to a bar and listen to hippies play music before a sunset dip in the baywatch beach. Suitably merry I made my way back to the hostel, and went all posh and slept on a bunkbed (there will be no talking to me soon, Im a snob).
I met up with a group of Welsh guys the next day and we decided to hire out some bikes and peddle, along Venice to Santa Monica. Quality decision. We had a day of sillyness and showing off our (lack of) strength on the various work-y-out-y things along the beach. Had a game of crazy Golf on the Santa Monica pier (won by yours truley) and ended the day sat in an Irish bar drinking Newcastle Brown.
I left for Hollywood the next day and the curse of the full hostel struck again, I ended up lugging my backpack the length of hollywood way before finding a hostel I thought I stood a pretty good chance of waking up without stab wounds. I spent the next few days looking around Hollywood and getting excited when I found Dick Van-Dykes star. It is a bit of a wierd place, more tacky than I'd expected (although it still couldnt hold a candle to blackpool but where could) with the shops consisting of tatoo places, shoe shops and sex shops, with the odd tat shop thrown in for good measure.
After a couple of days I set off to Phoenix to meet team Martindale and Rogers. I'll fill you in later, everyone loves a cliff hanger...
Location: Venice Beach - L.A Baby, USA
Oh, Im only in America!
Right, just to bring you up to date with what I've been doing. I think the last diary entry I was rambling on about jumping out of an 'neroplane?
Well, the day came and it was cancelled. Shoddy weather was to balme so I set off for Rotorua. Got there and, after getting over the smell of sulphur, had a bit of an explore. Rotoura is a bit of a volcanic wonderland type of place with lorra lorra mud and steam bubbling up around the place. I went for a bit of a look around and went to a few geisers and spit-steam-up-and-look-angry type of places. All very nice.
Then I went Zorbing. A-may-zing Ack-tually. For those of you who dont know what this is let me paint a brief picture. You pay your money and are given a rather fetching set of shorts and a T-Shirt, you are then whisked to the top of a bloody big hill and deposited at the top. Now this is where the magic happens. At this point there is a bloody big inflatable ball (about 1.5m dia) that the guy puts hot water into. You then jump in, zip up the hole and roll down the hill. Easy.
Its unreal, for that do it yourself Zorbing experience simply turn the washing machine to heavilly soilled colours (or similar) jump in and enjoy the ride. Quality.
Then I jumped onto a big bus and made my way to Auckland. Im struggling to give you the impression that I did anything exciting or out of the ordinary here. I did the now customary wander around till I get lost then try to find my way back to the hostel, which was nice (if a little easy as the streets are in a grid system). Oh, I blagged myway into seeing a comedian in the 'classic comedy club (and it was classic, or at least his jokes were).
I met up with a few people in the hostel (Karen, Justin and Caroline) and we decided on a trip to the comedy club. When we arrived there was a private function sigh outside but we thought we'd have a look in anyway. So we went in and were stopped by a guy at the first bar (before the main hall) "are you with the 'Brave New World' Party, your a bit late"
This is where I should have said 'oops sorry, no' and left but the little devil on my shoulder was in fine fettle. "Yes, mix up with the taxi" and so it went, we put our drinks on the company tab and got into the main hall just in time for the speeches before the comedian came on. Much 'here here-ing' was partaken in, as was bottles of Stella. After a couple of drinks and before we were discovered as imposters and shot at dawn we quietly slipped out and into the night. Buggers I know but Im on a budget and it was an opportunity too good to pass up.
I'll repent on my deathbed and it'll all be forgiven.
So, after a couple of days in Auckland I jumped onto a aeroplane bound for L.A.X. I boarded the plane and we took off at about 5:55 pm on Sat 13th Aug for the 11 hour flight, and touched down at 10:45 am on Sat 13th Aug. and if that doesnt make your head hurt I dont know what will!
So your all caught up and were now in the US of A
Location: Taupo, New Zealand
Hello boys and Girls,
In prep for the trip to US (Ive noticed how Zig 'n' Dodge seem to playing a hell of a lot) I walked down to Lake Taupo and had a go at the par 3 challenge. You stand on the waters edge, grab a 9 iron and whack the ball at a green about 115 yards into the lake. There are 3 different holes of varying sizes and if you get a hole in one theres a prize. Anyway I baught 18 balls and bashed the hellout of them, 6 hit the green the rest went to a watery grave. It doesnt bode well for the US. Oh and...
If you're struggling to find things to do with your day tommorow, go down to blockbuster, rent a copy of Lord of the Rings 'Fellowship of the ring' and watch it.
Pay particular attention to a bit where the fellowship are walking through the 'misty mountains'. At about 12:30 tommorow I will be jumping on a small airoplane and enjoying a scenic over the top of said mountains.
Oh, yea, silly me I almost forgot to mention it. When I get up to 12,000 feet the door to the aircraft will be opened and I'm going to jump out of it (lets face it, Im getting pushed) as you do.
After about 45 seconds of freefall (and reaching speeds of about 120 mph, faster than my old car used to go) the plan is to open a parachute and float gently down taking in the views of mountains 'Tongariro', 'Ruapeehu' and 'Ngauruhoe' (aka misty moutains) I'll let you know how it goes.
If not, Id just like to say its been your pleasure and you can donate my underpants to medical research.
...so anyway, I said to this bloke with the long neck, giraffe to look like that?
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Hello from 'Lord of the Rings' land.
Im staying in the YHA and have been addopted into a group of people who've been staying here for months. Lastnight was a leaving do so a few drinks were partaken in - and we ended up in a Karioke bar. I have a new song, I knocked out the best 'Lets get it on' you could think of and finished with 'Rainy days and Mondays' by the legendry Karen Carpinter. A real crowd pleaser.
Ive spent a couple of days looking around wellington and am leaving for middle earth tommorow. I'll keep you posted if I find any rings.
NZ looks fantastic, very pretty and a lot like England (dont know if thats a good thing) pity I only have 13 days here, its on the list of places to come back to, along with every where else Ive been.
Ta Ta For now
Whilst enjoying all that Byron bay has to offer I have lost my camera, I'll buy a old 'film' type one but pics will be more sporadic. Sorry.
Zig n Claire, take a digital camera to the US and I'll keep the fans up to date.
Reespec in evry aspec
n peace in tha middle east
Location: Yep, you've guessed, Australia
Im still in brissy but dont worry, you'll be getting tales from Byron Bay and Sydney in a couple of days, I leaving on Wed! I leave Aus at the end of the month so reckon its about time I made a move south. Im going to dance over the sydney harbour bridge then its off to NZ to freeze before heading to the US to get fed up on super size Macky Dee's
So, on Friday night a bunch of us went out for dinner and a drink, yea good one! I fell under the influence of bloody students again and they conspired to get me completely plastered!
It was the usuall craic, few drinks, on for a meal, a few more drinks...and Karioke. Oh, yes. For a change a gang of us ended up in Dont tell Mama's (we now get loyalty points for regular attendance) knocking out hits and pulling shapes on the tables!
Anyway I was as rough as a badger the next morning so missed the train to Noosa, the day was wrote off to a hangover and making sure I was in prime condition for Sunday. I went to see big Steve, the crocodile hunter.
It was Quality (with a capital q). Im just putting the photo's up so you'll be able to have a butchers in about half an hour. Steve was there feeding the croc's, I watched a pair of Tigers have a scrap and got my photo took with a albino Kangaroo. The stuff dreams are made of.
I've got a bit of a Y-list celeb staying in the same Hostel as me (yes the one with bed bugs) its only Marco, the bald camp big brother bloke. It's all getting too much, Im going for a lie down!
Location: Bris-Vegas, Australia
I've put a couple of picture pages up. There is no battery left on my camera so you'll have to wait for Scenic Brisbane, Daves (lack of) Cookery Skills and some more shandied up shenanegans.
Oh bit of an update, this morning I was woken up by a crack team of Cleaning Pro's invading my dorm. I was kicked out of bed quick smart and they proceded to fumagate the dorm. I was given 4 dollars to put my clothes through the dryer, 'the only way to kill the bugs'. So now Im feeling a bit itchey.
just off for another shower...