Last blog Mar 29-Apr 10

Casita Chronicles down under the last blog Mar 29-April 10


As you may have figured out the computer did crash after getting wet in the 3 day rain on the coast.  I shall endeavor to finish the saga from memory and some notes.  Here goes.



This campsite is very fine and I even inserted the $14 fee tho I do not think any of the busies did.  It is situated inland a short hike from the coast and has a rain water shower which surprisingly works.  We have just a few neighbors and quite a few vehicles that seem to come and go.  The big event of the day besides the beach walk was the visitation by the monitors or giant iguana lizards.  Almost 4 feet long and without any real fear they walk thru camp.  We also had a camp fire, one of the few and it allowed us to stay up late for once.  The darkness seems to be coming early.


A coffee on the beach,  a run and swim.  It is Moms birthday and I remember her and miss her. I always will.   We proceeded down the road to Seal rocks where there was a very old lighthouse one of the few that we visited .  Built in 1875 it is a very scenic place and a beautiful view.  From there we proceeded to Submarine beach where once again we found ourselves one of the few campers.  In fact we had the entire beach to ourselves to run, swim, and make love.  

31  Coffee on the viewpoint and in the distance Dolphins.  Mrs O took off cross country on a beeline to the shore.  Later I followed her tracks and following her were Dingo tracks!!  later that day we actually saw a Dingo.  Rajni was delighted with the dolphins playing along the shore, one of the things she wanted to see.  We decided to head inland now to explore what is called the great dividing range of mountains and the Bush.   There is trouble back home with the renters and it feels somewhat helpless so far away to deal with it.  Things rarely go smoothly and learning to flow even thru these things is a great lesson.  

We had a little car trouble but it turns out the intake tube is off and was rubbing on the fan belt an easy fix.   We stopped into a volunteer information stand to get our bearings.  The two gentlemen there were helpful but when we told them how we camp along the way they went into a long diatribe about some family that lured travelers in and killed them brutally.  It was alarming but I began to suspect it was the fear/paranoia of Australia so I asked how far away this happened and they told me some 200 Kilometers.  Then I asked when it happened and they told me 15 years ago???  Who remembers events 15 years ago?  And why is it still impacting them?   When I mentioned that people should arm themselves they were quick to not only say that it was illegal but that all the bad people, the gangs (motorcycle) and the weirdoes all not only had guns but can get them easily thru the black market.  The police are unable to defend and protect the populace on any scale.  These people live in abject fear!  FOOLS to voluntarily disarm themselves and become prey to those that are armed.  But of course it is happening in our own country.   Few people are aware due to the way information is selectively disseminated that there are mass shootings,  murder and mayhem  in Australia where they  are not allowed to have weapons just like in our own country.  So whats the point,  Making guns illegal only does so for honest good people. 

We proceeded on the back roads (which are very windy into the interior thru many small villas and towns.  They are wonderful little places.  One is Stroud,  This  village was very old and I stopped at the little church and graveyard.  It was built in 1838 for the convict work force that went there to start settlement.  I am wishing now that I had taken some time to learn the history of Australia much better before coming.  Perhaps I would understand these people better.  Of particular note I mean to learn more about the explorer James Cook and amazing  man with the little I have learned.  

We ended up for the night in Singleton, a nice town near the training center for the Australian Army.  At the campground I made the acquaintance of Scotty who was there along with many other men from around the country to work in the mines (mostly Coal) They come for the week and go home on the weekends.  The large scale of these mines as he describe it is profound.   I love visiting with people like him to get an idea of life in Australia.  

April 1

WE have to get some paperwork done to be on the ballot for County Commissioner and it has to be motorized.   We found everything at a local computer repair store.  The proprietor was named Ruth and she was also a Justice of the Peace  (notary in Australia) and also the local elected councilperson!  We discussed her election and she was very encouraging.  Having her name on my acceptance form was quite and honor!!  We had lunch in the park and encountered a strange and wondrous phenomenon.  The trees were full (in the thousands) of large bats the size of cats.  They are called grey headed fox bats.  The number and large size of these creatures was truly unique.  All hanging upside down.  Apparently they come with a smell and lots of guanno which the locals want them gone but they are endangered.    

The next segment thru the Blue Mountains was a very fine drive down to the town of Goulburn.  This town is the oldest settlement in the interior.  It has wonderful brick and stone buildings but curiously not much in the way of a museum.   We got a hotel there and went out on the town for pizza.  It actually frosts here but the weather is very pleasant.   


We had a moment of despair as when we were about to leave the only key to the car was missing.  After a lot of searching we retraced our steps to the restaurant and inquired there.  They found it as I must have dropped it out of my pocket while eating.   Wheew what a relief.   We made our way to the Capital of Canberra.   This is a brand new city just for the purpose of being the capital.   It was well organized and very modern.   I spent the afternoon at the famous War memorial there while Rajni enjoyed the weather outside.   It was a well done memorial/museum.  This is one thing about the aussies, is there honor of their veterans and life in general.  The SOM was heavy.  With such a small population any loss is regarded with sadness.  The exhibit on Galipoli was amazing.  Unlike my own country were we have lost so many in so many conflicts I am thinking we have become numb to our losses.   The vietnam exhibit was profound.  When I asked how many Australians were lost in that conflict they told me a little less than 600.????  When I told them that we lost 60,000 and we today barely remember it.  I am currently reading a great book I picked up in the Salvation Army called “The Cage”  It is appalling what we put our men thru in the Viet Nam war.   


WE headed down the road (this one comparable to an interstate)  towards Melbourne and the end of our journey.   We had been told over and over about the danger of driving at night with Kangaroos jumping out in front of cars etc.   WE pulled over onto a dirt road and made camp.  Curiously, I never saw but one kangaroo corpse by the road and the traffic that we could hear (and kept us up) on the highway was non stop all night.  So much for the that FEAR of the Kangaroos.   


We stopped at a rest stop and a man and his wife were also stopped. He was driving an old 1967 Mustang.  We visited and he let me take a look at it which was mostly stock.  I asked him how much he paid for it and he said 32.  Wow,  not bad for 3,200 I said.   He said no 32 thousand!!  I told him I had a mustang convertible back in high school I paid 500 for.  Value is so subjective.    We decided to take a break from the highway and pulled off into the small hamlet of Glen haven.  Turns out it is a very historical place.  It is the hang out and location of the final siege and shoot out with an Australian Icon  Ned Kelly.  He is akin to someone like Jesse James or Robyn Hood.   I went thru the museum and it is a bizarre story.   In a nutshell Ned  was a confirmed thief and killer but a nice guy in that he had a personal vendetta with the crown and authorities that apparently have mistreated the lower class.  The child of convict parents Ned championed the resistance to the striated caste system fostered by a monarchy.   In the end he and his gang were going to eliminate what they considered a corrupt police force.  They made armor out of old plough shares and had an intricate plan to derail the train full of police forces.   The whole thing went arry and they all went down in a hail of bullets despite their armor.  Ned only survived with multiple wounds.  Later to be publicly hung despite the cries of the populace.   


WE are in Melboune at Dave Lovci’s place.  Rajni and I explore the local Mall  and the cool little museum about the old Pipmaker factory and meat shipping factory on the Marabynong river by Daves house.   


I found a truck (ute) and buy it and beging the shipping process.  Also work on Daves house to pay our keep.  WE all Rajni, myself Dave and his two roommates Andrew (from England) and Carlos (from Columbia)  all go out to eat at the India restaurant.


Lords Day,   Rajni and I drive down to the beach in downtown Melbourne.  It is our last chance to walk on the sand before we head home.   Many are doing the same.    I do Yoga in the park and in the evening Rajni makes us all a Dinner of Kangaroo meat!!


I take BB over to Dave’s friend Tito  (a Philipino) who has a shop in his garage.  He helps me tear out the LPG (propane) dual fuel system to put on the truck heading home.  I intend to put it in my Ranger back home.  The saving to fuel and the decrease in pollution by using propane as a fuel is amazing.  I do not understand why we do not do it in the U.S on a larger scale.   Here in Australia it is common and even stock in some vehicles.  Just about all gas stations have an easy LPG fill just like petri or diesel.   I also believe it can be adapted for CNG (compressed Natural Gas) that I can get right off my meter on my house.  This would be even cheaper and even less polluting!!   Of course the answer to the why’s is the petrol industry like many other industry have infiltrated the government and doing this very simple and realistic and logical thing like use propane and natural gas in our vehicles is discouraged by regulation and ignored.  But not by me!!!


making final preps as we leave on the morrow.  It is quite amazing how everything is coming together particularly with the purchase of the ute and I am very excited about going to L>A> in a month or so and driving it home.  WE are both ready to go home.  We are aware of the problem that lay before us with the renters but it will be nice to back in our cozy little abode.  


Did some final work on Daves place.  He seems very grateful.  The cost of labor in this country is enormous.  The Tradies as they call them make a very good living as they should.  Dave took us out for dinner in exchange for the materials I purchased to fix his house.  


Goodbye Australia  Hello America

mar 27,28,29

Casita Chronicles Down Under

mar 27,28,29


At the gas station I struck up a conversation with a interesting bloke regarding his Toyota Land Cruiser.   Turns out he is a professional hunter.  Mostly the Greys  (kangaroos)  They are overpopulated in many areas although to date we have not seen a one.  He assured me that if we continue towards Canberra we would.  He also said that to see a Koala in the wild is unusual since they don’t move much and are so camouflaged and in the trees.  The best way is not during the day but at night with a spotlight as their eyes send back obvious sign in the dark.   He hunts with a 223 with a scope since he is required to only do head shots.  I asked him why a heart lung shot was not good enough?  His reply was that the “greenies”  have got it legislated that only the head shot was humane.  How someone knows how you shoot an animal and what is the quickest death is beyond me but this is Australia.   This gentleman also told me he used to take out ? an american whose name i forgot, but the first air force pilot  col Yeager to break the sound barrier.  Small world.  Our path today is one of great beauty despite the rain.    Another lesson relearned!!  When you get lemons, make lemonade.  When we thought how sad that its rainy we did not realize it was to our advantage.  Along the way to the Coast we stopped at Apsly Falls.  There seems to be a lot of waterfalls in the great divide range, this one is quite spectacular.  Heres the point.  Up until the rain came it has been very dry and the falls had no water, or no falls.  Because of the rain we got to witness a great spectacle of nature and on top of that we saw our first Kangaroos!!  Mrs O is overjoyed.  The remaining drive was just fine moving from the temperate open forest to the rain forrest of the eastern slope.  We made it to the coast and contacted the individual whose ute I wanted to buy and then made a very wet camp on the seashore beach called Lighthouse beach.  A late nite walk after dinner hand in hand all alone while the surf of the Tasman sea pounded away.  



We are soaked!!!  It has been three days of rain.  Coffee on the beach and a nice run and it was time to go look at the Ute.  It is a mitsubishsi triton 95 for $800  sounds good eh.  The truck if I could have driven away would have been worth it despite some maintenance items the worst being bad tires.  However, the registration has lapsed.  Back again to the government agency for answers which by the way are different in New South Wales than Queensland and just as confusing and exasperating.  In the end to make it legal to get to Melbourne it would become a $2500 car and still in need of some TLC.  The answer head on down the road as planned and in the meantime get a motel to dry out and resort!! Hopefully the weather will change back to sunshine.  They have a Kuala rescue center here so Mrs O can see them.  Another thing,  some kind of insect bit me on my feet and the blood wont coagulate,  I put it in the ocean and it has stopped bleeding. Another strange creature of Aussie land. 


The sun is out  and we take our caffene beverages to the park overlooking the coast.  We spent yesterday afternoon at the Koala Hospital looking and learning about these timid little creatures.  Very interesting.  Come to find out my computer got wet in the rain and it may be on its last legs if i get this blog out it may be my last untill we return just to let you know.     


mar 24,25,25

Casita Chronicles Down Under

mar 24,25,26

A banner day for the O’s. We now have wheels and the smell of freedom is sweeeeeet. The plans changed with the fact that almost every one we tried to deal with was dishonorable or just plain rude leading us on and making apts and then making up excuses. Couple that with the complex system of rules and it was beyond dealing with. Utes are common here but never cheap and the desire to bring home a ute complete with a dual fuel system petrol/lpg of any value and then ship it to the U.S. and then fly out to California and drive it home and then register it in Kansas began to seem long, arduous and expensive and what I really wanted was the kit to make a dual fuel in the minimum. The brilliant idea came upon me like a crystal bullet right between the eyes. find a dual fuel beater car that has a month on the registration here. It happened!! It is a true gem a 94 Ford Falcon 6 cylinder dual fuel which we will drive and sight see down to Melbourne and then rip out the components for the dual fuel and mail them back in a shoe box to the States. Picked one up for $300 far less than the cost to rent a crappy car from Wicked Vans!! Of course Mrs O is not real pleased as it needs some tiding up but we are on the road again. I have faith that it will make it the radiator tends to leak but i got some stop leak and will just have to watch the temp and keep it full with water containers in the trunk. The adventure continues.
We finally left Brisbane all good byes said and the radiator filled. The first hurdle was to get out of town which proved long and arduous using the phone GPS direction device that was intent on taking us thru the very heart of town in the midst of traffic. That accomplished I knew we were destined for Glory. We headed West to the Hinterland (the land beyond the coast and the city). After Ipswich it was heavenly. Rolling hills and farms and forrest. We stopped in a small town of Kalbar for a great lunch and conversation with the locals. The neighboring town of Nomba was as quaint as they come and we stopped at the Salvation Army to see if we could finish out our cooking gear. From there we basically got lost in the mountains on paved and dirt roads and a wonderful waterfall. Just what we like. By evening we found ourselves on the Western slope of the dividing range. It was evening and clouding up. Just at dark we found an old granite quarry south of Stanthorpe and set up the tent. It was the perfect camp spot out of the way and my kind of place. The new air mattress worked superbly and it rained all night. In the morning, we decided to just go to the next town for coffee which was Tenterfield . Here we realized that we had to recross the mountains to get back to our intended destination near Byron Bay and our work trade for some room and board. Unfortunately with no sun and rain we took a wrong turn and without the sun to guide me we went south instead of East to Glen Inn. The country is marvelous and I was captivated by it such that when we reached a major town and realized it was 60 miles in the wrong direction. We made contact with our intended host and the decision was made to abort that mission and move on towards the south and east coast instead of turning around. I have to say this is great country with open forrest of the some 700 species of Gum tree, meadows and outcrops of granite. It has been raining all day and the locals are ecstatic about the moisture. Turns out we spent the day in the library of Armidale. This happens to be the highest town in Australia somewhere around 3,000 ft. Apparently the no 3 best destination in Australia!! We went down the road a bit to Urella and we got a motel room and a great meal at the local truck stop. A reward to Mrs O for putting up with so much travail living with a drifter.

Now some observations. What Australians mean by National Park is not the same as we mean. In fact it is more akin to National Forrest or BLM land. It is non apportioned public land. There are many of them. On one walk to a waterfall there was no less than 5 signs in the space of half a mile explaining in detail “for your safety” why to stay on the concrete/asphalt trail and not to stay long near the waterfall as rocks could come loose – the last time it happened was in 1880!! On several occasions people have told me about or signs have notated events of disaster or injury from as far back as the 1950’s as if it had happened recently. Laws are made constantly to try and assure such things do not happen again. The overwhelming fear and paranoia of disaster and troubling events is pervasive. I have realized that Australians are not risk takers. Comfort and avoidance of any discomfort and confrontation is paramount. In fact, simply mention that something is “unsafe” and everything comes to a stand still. Nothing wrong with that but Australia will never have a Shackelton, never set foot on the Moon and it explains why their favorite shows involve competitive cooking.

In this area it actually is Fall with the leaves are turning and amazingly it does snow here once in awhile and definitely gets below freezing at night in the winter, or so the motel manager says. The Blue Beast as Rajni has named it is doing remarkably well, No longer leaking fluid from the radiator, burning LPG which by the way is the same price as regular gas in the U.S. If we were in the U.S. the LPG would be half that again. BB sports an inline 6 cylinder 4.0 lt engine. This also is amazing since being only 6 cylinders but as big as a 400V8 in the U.S!! Nothing like it in America. Yet it is a Ford, This is all part of the weird and somewhat disturbing fact that despite having the Ford motor company Based in the U.S. we do not have access to their 4 cylinder diesel pick ups and cars, or large 6 cylinder engines or dual fuel engines right off the assembly line? WHY? Henry whats going on? Just a few notes about the lpg burning. The emissions are clean with no hydrocarbons and very little carbon period CNG or compressed Natural Gas is even better. Not only that it makes your engine last longer. It is so clean that when you check the dipstick the oil looks like it did when you changed it clear and clean!! The downfall is a slight loss of power and MPG, I’ll take it for the advantages to the engine and to the environment. Here you can fill up with LPG right at the pump!! SOOOO, converting petroleum to LPG and making use of NG which is very abundant in the U.S. would be advantageous and easy— so why don’t we do it? We are currently fracking for more NG and sending it to China HMMMMM. Is ignorance bliss? I still want to send one of these babies home!!


mar 22,23

Casita Chronicles Down Under


Mar 22, 23



not much happened today, more waiting and such. Mrs O and i did a mile walk to the grocery store which was nice.  Along the way I noticed that  many of the mailboxes had the sign No Junk Mail.  Now the fact that it says mail would mean that it was delivered by the mail man.  I thought how strange that they would leave it up to the mail man to determine what was junk mail  (for everyone this can be different).   As a mail man i would not step into that realm and just deliver all mail as they do in our country.  Come to find out this is referred to leaflets and advertisements left by private individuals.  Okay that makes sense now.  Mrs O believes that the mail carriers in our country deliver unposted  flyers and advertisements in our country.  I assured her that they did not but now we have a bet and it means a nice massage for me.  I am noticing that the masonry work in this area is a fine quality and lots of it but to date I have not seen any masons working.  


The evening we went for a night hike on a mountain in the city called Cooustha  Along with us was her friend Shelly and her dog Harry.  Shery is a conservation officer with the government.  This was a fine treat as she pointed out all the various animals that come out at night.   We saw a possum and an owl and many frogs called Cane toads.  These are fairly large toads that are not indigenous.  Apparently when sugar cane was brought into  the country for agriculture it was accompanied by an insect that became a pest.  It was decided to bring this insect’s natural predator also from South America.  Here we go again.  The problem once again was this that this frog has poisonous glands such that when the local snakes ate it they died.  The die off was of great concern.  However what happened next confirms the process of evolution, that is to say adaptation over a long period.  What is interesting is this evolution has taken place quite rapidly!!  It went like this.  Since the toads are generally large only the large snakes could capture and eat them.  The large snakes died and those that were genetically small survived and bred passing on only their genes.  Now,  the snake of this species are coming back in numbers but  they are all small.  Another thing Sheri confirmed with me was my observation about the bird they call a Magpie here.  It is black and white like our own however it is quite remarkable in that no two birds have the same plumage pattern like Zebras.  You can literally identify a specific bird by its plumage!    The top of the mountain found us where many people actually drive up to look at the lights of the city.  A wonderful evening especially the hike up and down which was only two encounters with other people.   



The lords day and we went to the beach on the bay of Brisbane to watch Trin learn to para surf but not enough wind.  More spinning wheels on the truck affair and may have to give that up and rent a car.  Will give it one more day and then do so.  We need to head south and see some Australia rural now that we know the city pretty good.  Things seem to have calmed down on the home front.   For me the best part was Yoga in the park in the shade and a cool breeze.   The longer I live I realize the significance of indecision is a decision.   Eventually time will make decisions for us in whatever from that may be.  The mission to buy a dual fuel ute has officially failed.  This may not necessarily be a bad thing or a good thing.  Albeit, the new mission I am ready to embark on and finish out our experience in Australia is upon us and I look forward to it.   


mar 17,18,19,20,21

Casita Chronicles Down Under mar 17,18,19,20,21



What can I say,  this day was a frustration with wanting to get a vehicle and other items and getting hardly anything done due to people flaking and the system.  The amount of confusion, complexity and paranoia of the Australian system not just for me but for the australians as well is mind boggling.  The most intriguing is they have no such thing as a title of ownership that stays with that vehicle alone.  Between the fear of liability keeps everything in limbo.  Lets just say, I ended the day with rum and coke to forget it. 


Still no truck but getting closer,  We did accomplish getting the supplies to  work on Trins house.  Walking thru the Bunnings (like a Lowes) was very comforting and I felt right at home.  Take away the paranoia, suspicion, and submission issues the Australians and this society is very similar to our own.  Divide everything in half and you have U.S. wages and prices. 


Still no truck, but have another lead.  In the meantime, we worked diligently on Trins house getting a lot done.  I personally feel much better about staying here now as the work we have performed in terms of Australian cost is huge making for a win win as I like.  The homefront is getting weird with two of the renters refusing to pay their utility bills and with one more day in the 5 day to cure notice they are calling the city reporting things??  If they don’t want to stay there just leave but why make trouble?  Go figure. 


We worked around the house again,  The lead I had for a viable truck it seems is just leading me on making excuses?  This is very strange to me for someone to advertise a vehicle and then be offered full price and not make and effort to consummate the deal?  Welcome to Ausie land.  


Spending a lot of time dealing with troubles at home regarding drama issues and non payment of utilities.  The truck buying is difficult mostly because we do not have the ability to go look at them.  Our host has been kind but is not willing to take us around so we have to resort to public transport which is difficult at best but it could be an adventure!  It is a helpless feeling to problem solve issues via the internet, phone and hearsay and conjecture.   I find it truly interesting how even in small issues humans can become petty, small and vindictive.  I am trying my best not to get drawn into it.  Jesus, how did the human race ever make it this far????  Rajni and I visited with a neighbor who invited us into his house.  He is in his early 70’s and shared beers with us in his intoxicated state.  His rambling stories of his youth and troubles now were very curious.  Everyone has a story and every story is fascinating to me.  Our coffee meditation was very nice in the local park with a gentle rain falling and a very pointed conversation and discussion of our communication styles.  The evening we went into “the valley” also known as China town for a “genuine”  yang food meal.  It was and always is fun to people watch.  We stopped into a bar with some live music and a some dancing,  (we were the only ones).   Hopefully the morrow saturday will bring closure to the vehicle search.  On a side note to give you an idea of the cost of living–the best indicator is of course the cost of a glazed donut which here is @2.50 for one, get the picture.    


mar 13,14,15,16

Casita Chronicles Down Under

mar 13,14,15,16


This day was spent spinning wheels, trying to get cash, looking at one vehicle and mostly getting nothing done.  Got a line on a couple of good buys and getting the hang of the lingo and how things work here.   Our host Trin is so very gracious and generous and fun to be around.   Check this out. the one vehicle we did look at was a 84 toyota hilux dual fuel gas/LPG.  he wanted $2200 for it which I think is too much but this vehicle would have gotten us down to Melbourne no problem and I like the propane as it burns clean and the engine lasts longer and its cheaper.  Despite not buying it (no commitment)  this man Mal  after talking with him for awhile just gave us a stove fuel and light for camping!!  We continue to be blessed by things when we need them.   We are heading down with Trin to Byron bay a boulder type mecca to the south on the ocean.  We have also made contact with a woman there who is interested in giving us room and board for work on her property.  We shall see??


A little about Brisbane,  This is a large city with multiple smaller cities now infused like Denver.  They have a very long tunnel that goes under the river and city to facilitate traffic.  The weather is very temperate and mild and from what I can tell it never gets very cold or hot.  The buildings seem to have little insulation and no AC devices.  It is humid but not too bad.  The forrest where there is no city seems to be mostly deciduous and the trees of moderate size.  Without going deeper it seems like a very nice place to live.  



We looked at another vehicle on the way to Byron Beach where we will spend the weekend.  It was a grave disappointment .  From the pics on the net it looked like a reasonably good truck and I was almost ready to make the deal which included putting in a transmission which was missing.  So glad I had a look.  It was rough and in need of many small repairs and it was iffy that the engine was as good as i  was told.   We will look further.   Byron beach was originally a hippie hang out in the 60-70’s and has now become a family get away.  The beach is very nice and the water perfect for swimming.  The hipps have moved further up the coast to a place called Nimbus (sp)  which apparently is the “drug” marijuana (gateway drug) center.  The streets are patrolled by police with drug sniffing dogs or so I have been told.  I guess they have are still buying into the lies of the Drug war.  We won’t be going there.  The term hippie gets thrown around a lot.  Lets  be clear there are no more hippies.  The hippie era  was around the 60’s and 70’s.  It was a generational movement mostly in the United States and some European countries and their colonies to a lesser extent.  It can be characterized by the words rebellion and counter culture with phrases like “Peace and Love”  “Sex Drugs and Rock and Roll”  and “Free love and flower children”   It encompassed many facets and was spawned by a combination of many things including rejection of parental lifestyles, materialism and mora’s to protesting the Viet Nam War.  I was a child of the 60’s and 70’s and tho I did not partake in the movement I was a keen observer.  My religious and civil community that I was part of scrutinized and often berated the hippies calling them dirty and shiftless.  However I was always captivated by them, particularly the freedom.  That movement spawned much of what we are today things like civil rights,  the dawn of Yoga, Transcdental and other meditation sustainability, eco consciousness and believe it or not the Libertarian Party and lets not forget pitulli.  What most people refer to now as hippie is but a small piece of the pie and that is drugs and long hair.   We owe a lot to that generation and its courage to be different.  Grow that hair out and let your freak flag fly!!!!



Started the day out with my beloved watching the sun come up on the beach.  It is so pleasant here, warm, no wind and no misquitoes or sand flies.   What a day a long walk over 3 miles on the beach thru the National Park into Byron Bay to meet Maori Pearl who we plan on working for in a week or so.  Byron was congested with cars and the beach crowded with oil covered white people.   We went back to our beach only a few k’s away, nary a soul and spent the day swimming and sunning.  A gorgeous relaxing day and some great stone gathering to boot. 



Another watch the sunrise on the beach day.  Its the lords day and we spent it packing up and strolling the beach gathering treasures.  When Trin showed up in the late afternoon a storm was on the horizon.  The drive back to Brisbane was pleasant in the rain and evening light.  Tomorrow  Ute Shopping!!!!!!!


mar 11.12

Casita Chronicles Down Under

mar 11,12,


The last night in middle earth the O’s went all out  t bone steak, fish rum and coke and a lot of lovin.  Woke up with a small hangover and the rush for the red eye flight.  Rajni now has lost or should I say left her sunglasses,  bathing suit,  new jacket and god knows what else along the way.  If we did not have to keep replacing these things we could be in five star hotels!!  Just kidding.  however living in close proximity with anyone can bring out—-things.  When I first met Rajni she wrote the 108 things she loved about me,  thats right she actually came up with 108.  Now she is working on the 108 things that annoy her.  It may exceed 108.  


We made it across the pond to paranoidville.  The bus/train to Brisbane was very nice-electric, quiet and with internet!!  We spent some time walking downtown before Trin came and rescued us.  It is on the scale of Denver and the amount of SOM being processed and reprocessed is and can be overwhelming.  In the end its all a blur.  Trin has a nice home in a suburb.  She is 33 and a widow now for almost 2 years.  However in the interim she has had other very close people to her either die or almost die.  We are truly grateful to her for opening up her home in this difficult time.  Its nice to have a safe place to rest up and with the troubles at home have unlimited access to the internet to try and get it all sorted out.    I call it paranoidville because this is the land that believes it can make everything alright by law.  Almost immediately after getting off the plane we were told it is against the law to hitchike,  In the store they refrigerate eggs unlike NZ that does not and of course they throw out all leftovers.  This morning in the newspaper the issue was about the opening of a donut shop close to the high school, and the concern that it would contribute to child obesity.  This is community rights at its worst. 


We took out Trin, her sister Michelle and they’re other renter Collum out to eat.  It was a wonderful time.  Trin is the oldest daughter of 6 children. They’re parents met at the refugee camp for vietnamese boat people escaping the war.  The perils and stories of the time on the boats and the journey into being Australian is one of many.  Collum a young man of 24?  just finished his apprenticeship as and electrician specializing in commercial.  He is a bright and respectful young man.  The majority of the conversation circled around his folks who when first married built their own boat and sailed it around the world for some 15 years.  Their three boys were all born in different countries.  The stories of pirates, and being caught in civil wars were fascinating.  No book has been written just like so many adventures.  While this is not a common life story it is not unusual.  you just don’t hear about it.  It all makes casita chronicles seem so very tame!  As my son points out as a policeman there are the sheep and their are the sheepdogs (protectors).  There is also those content to be domestic and there are those that have wanderlust and a craving for adventure.  The O;s are half breeds.