Australia part 6: found home in Dignams creek?

*pictures will follow*

 

I arrived at Nicks property at Dignams Creek. And I might have found my home here.. Let me tell you why:

The first thing I noticed though was the immense amount of birds around! Isnt it amazing how reptilians grew feathers and wings and turned to the sky to defy the force of gravity that had held them for million of years?! Ill do that one day!

So many beautiful songs are surrounding us every day, so many beautiful coloured wings gracefully roaring around. Especially the call of the Lewin honeyeater blew my mind. I sang with them: ‘ I’m in heaven, I’m in heaven’ and I couldn’t stop smiling. Shardae and me were ready for long days of hard work improving the already beautiful lush gardens around, but Nick had other plans. Everytime we wanted to do something he insisted on some chill time, a cup of tea, hanging in the hammock under the choko, enjoying the beautiful grey and pink galahs coming to quench their thirst every afternoon around five, while we played and sang. The first morning us three and neighbor Nick (there are five guys on this road, four of them called Nick and Garth calling himself not-Nick, his nickname so to say ;)), we all went to the coast for a dive; Nick diving for abalony and Nick spearfishing with his new speargun. Shardae and I snorkeled the waters and had fun trying to make a fire without matches and lack of good kindling. When the boys got out of the water we decided to go home though and prepare the first of many feasts to come on the open fire outside. Boy, did we feast. Every meal was more amazing than the last, taking our time to enjoy it together, thanking mother earth for providing us with such abundance. Accompanied by homebrewed beers and the occasional homegrown weed joint, we feasted on homebred, grown, nurtured and slaughtered chooks. I killed two roosters with an axe, a nice clean chop ‘off with his head!’, a good life and a quick death without pain. The chook went into the witches hat to bleed out, before dipping it shortly in a hot water bath to make it easier to pluck the bird. Note to self: don’t kill them when malting, it’s a bit hard to pluck the new growth of feathers. Killing the roosters was not only appreciated at night roasted on the fire (nice and crispy after rubbing the skin with salt and oil or honey), but also the next morning when we got to sleep in a bit more 😉 Rooster testikels for breakfast, I would highly recommend, they are delicious! Sounds aweful doesn’t it? And that coming from a longtime vegetarian. My biggest reason though always was that I didn’t want to support this horrible industry where most meat comes from. Animals are treated very very very bad and the industry is the main reason for all the problems concerning climate change. I’m slowly changing my mind though and am now convinced that animals are a necessary part of any sustainable homestead, weeding and fertilizing the soil, building healthy top soil, even moving earth to maken leveled contours and of course providing products like meat, eggs, milk, skin etc. Thanks guys! Nicks place is full of foodpens and chooktractors, in a system where the chooks do all the work and we just have to feed them and move them around. And the place is incredibly lush and vital, everything looks so alive and healthy! Fresh food pumping out of the soil everywhere! A very good example of the good life 😀

 

Besides the eggs and meat from the chooks, we also feasted on pork from pigs Nick and Nick raised themselves. I got to shoot one with a .22 rifle, while they were all having breakfast. It was a perfect shot in the head between the eyes and ears. It was a bit The other pigs didn’t even look up from their feed while we dragged the bleeding pig out of the pen. Again, we gave it a hot bath before clearing the skin and pulling out the guts. We let it hang overnight to bleed and dry out before very amateuristically cutting it up in pieces and feasting on it the next days.

 

Another feast was the banana icecream we made everyday, because it was just so good, yummie J frozen bananas and figs or persimmons straight in the blender, drizzled with honey which turned into caramel because of the cold, and topped with some muscat liquor. Yoghurt, lemon juice, cocaonibs or other goodies to be added to taste 😉 So good!!! And superhealthy 😀

 

Okay, so we did do a little bit of work as well. At one point I was pruning Nicks fruit trees, Shardae was reparing the trailer and Nick was building a beehive, we were such a perfect family, it truly was heaven. We were there just a couple days, but it felt like we were there for weeks and we completely belonged. We had to go though. I arranged with Peter Gow, another teacher from the course to make some money painting his house, which he wanted to sell to go and buy a bigger property to build a permaculture sanctuary. That’s a good cause I wanted to work for and I was in need of some money, perfect! Peter was working during the days and I worked hard, listening to audiobooks and music while painting. We played guitar together at nights or watched the river cottage show which was filmed just around the corner, starring lots of local heroes I had met through Peter, through the crossing and on the farmers market. Peter showed me the local beach, passing hundreds of kangaroos, tracking down kangaroo tracks on the beach, finding aboriginal relics in the bush and failing to find pipis in the sand. We did go night fishing one day though, with the most beautiful sunset accompanying us, everybody was talking about it the next days! My first experience beachfishing we caught a salmon and two sharks within half an hour, unbelievable! The shovelnose shark I killed turned out to be pregnant with two babies though… I always thought sharks layed eggs, but apparently these didn’t. The babies were alive and I set them free back in the sea, not sure whether they would survive :/ This was it, I turned vegetarian again for a couple of days. Too much killing for me. Great though to kill everything I eat myself, it really gives me perspective and understanding what it takes. No mindless meat consumption. I have turned from being vegetarian into an ethical omnivore: I only eat meat when I think it is ethically justifiable. I reckon there could me a market for catching and eating meat like rabbits, which are a feral pest in Australia.

Incorporating animals in your system is something I missed talking about in my permaculture course, but am learning a lot about now. One of the gurus on this subject is Alan Savory (just like Joel Salatin) with his holistic management approach, which really appeals to me. I wont tell you about the details, unless you’re interested, but be inspired to look them up!

I talked about this and many other things with my new permaculture friends John Champagne, Robyn Rosenfeldt and Nico (a WWOOFer from Argentina) who took me along on a little roadtrip to Wollogong to visit a permaculture convergence at Silk Farm. It was good to see this little hub of busy people doing great things like Permablitzes, designing and building school gardens and community gardens, running worm farm businesses in the city etc. We talked a lot about social permaculture, where is the right hybrid balance between the capitalist world and our permaculture way of living, involving community development, decision making, and how to spread the word to the world! We talked about the Chikukwa project in Africa (http://www.thechikukwaproject.com/), which is an absolutely incredible permaculture project in Zimbabwe, where African villagers managed to turn their lives around. Where once the people of the Chikukwa villages suffered hunger, malnutrition and high rates of disease, this community has turned its fortunes around using permaculture farming techniques. Complementing these strategies for food security, they have built their community strength through locally controlled and initiated programs for permaculture training, conflict resolution, women’s empowerment, primary education and HIV management. Now they have a surplus of food and the people in these villages are healthy and proud of their achievements. Their degraded landscape has been turned into a lush paradise. A very inspiring story.

Another very inspiring story I stumbled upon is what’s going on in Bhutan, I cant believe I never heared of it before! The country is not only absolutely stunningly located in the Himalayas between Tibet and India, but its politics are a prime example for the world! The country didn’t just promise to stay carbon neutral for eternity, but is it actually carbon negative, that’s amazing, we can learn from that. Also it offers free education and healthcare to its citizens. The sale of tobacco products is banned and the country imposed forest and wildlife care through their constitution. It is a democracy and the king officially declared their gross national happiness to be more important than economic growth, when he realised that mere economic success did not necessarily translate into a content and happy society. Watch this TEDtalk by their beautiful prime minister and get inspired J: https://youtu.be/7Lc_dlVrg5M.

 

We stayed at Aaron’s place with his lovely wife Sue. Sue and Robyn are both super strong but beautifully warm independent but caring women, I was happy to spend some time with. These kind of women are rare to find and I appreciate their beings a lot. It boosts me on my development of who I want to be: just the perfect balance between femininity and masculinity. May we always be fragile and innocent, delicate and sweet, may your beauty shine like the jewel in the lotus.

 

Back in Moruya, I worked a couple more days at Peters and after the house finished I returned to Nick’s place, I had fallen in love and wanted to spend more time there. Living on a property like this in the bush surrounded by green forests and abundant wildlife, without a mortgage, a house build by your own hands from natural materials, gardens full of the highest quality of food you can wish for, electricity coming from the sun and the most delicious water from the mountain spring, all incorporated in a system you have ample work on, it is inspiring to have the opportunity to actually experience this lifestyle and realize that it is a choice, an option, I can live like this too! I don’t need to go to a 40-hour job or live in a city, I need very little income to have the most enjoyable and abundant life, only doing things I really enjoy doing, spending lots of time in the hammock, in front off the fire, in the ocean, in the mountains, playing tabletennis and slacklining, playing music, feasting with friends etc. I can honoustly say Im doing fantastic, better than ever when anybody asks me how Im going. Im smiling more than ever and feel so much warmth inside. So happy to be alive every morning and grateful for the opportunity to spend another perfect day on this amazing planet!

The jobs around the place like taking care of the animals, moving them around, sowing seeds, building food tunnels, pruning fruit trees, building a cellar, harvesting wood for the fire are all a lot of fun, we do it stressfree and in slowmotion while singing songs and noticing the wildlife around. I just love doing the round around the garden feeding and moving the chooks, thanking them for their hard work, taking a bite here and there of the abundant food growing around the place, seeing everything growing and florishing, watching the first flowers to open up and receive the rays of the sun, slowly to transform into an explosion of color and scent.

Money comes in through a variety of enjoyable jobs like building beehives, trimming horses feet, selling eggs and some firewood etc. I would absolutely love to spend at least a year here to see all the seasons and thinking this my dreams seem to be coming true! Nick offered to employ me building beehives for him, yohoo! I love working with wood and these beehives are absolutely gorgeous, check m out: https://www.beekeepingnaturally.com.au/buy-kenyan-topbar-beehives-australia/

I need three months of specified work in specified areas to be able to apply for my second year visa and the immigration office just confirmed that building beehives will count! Yihaa. Lets start building 😀 So Im working on this job, I enjoy helping around the property, kickstarting projects like planting heaps of flowers and ornamenting the place, playing with the chooks and bees and still there is time for many adventures! We spend our hammock and fire time to think about how to get this message out there, to tell the world how beautiful rich abundant and enjoyable life can be and we started making youtube videos on the things we do. They’ll be coming out soon!

We’re a bit slow on our projects though because there are many and we spend a lot of time going on little adventures 🙂 Adventures change people’s lives, by giving inspiration and building confidence, creativity and a reconnection with nature. And Im an addict 🙂

One of the adventures we went on was a little horsebacktrip with Nick’s friend Tracye. With these beautiful horses and a beautiful woman, we just walked out of her backyard to ride a couple of hours around the bush. It felt so good to be back on a horse again, I had been thinking about it a lot lately and still dream about a longer horsebacktrip, possibly Mongolia ;), but anywhere will do :p They are such incredible animals and such a great sense to feel all their muscles moving underneath you, never completely in control, but trying to be in harmony with the beauty; confident and gentle. So beautiful. Anybody who can arrange horses to go on a trip, let me know, I’m in! 😀

 

Im starting to feel very much at home around Gulagah mountain. There is something very special about this area. Everybody I meet is wonderful, warm and kind. Strong and capable. And everybody is so happy to be alive, enjoying all the beauties this world has to offer. There seems to be a lot of awakening happening here. I feel so at home and welcome.

The next two weeks I got the opportunity to go on another couple of great adventures. First thing we did was climb Gulagah mountain, Nick and me. We stopped in Tilba to kill to chooks for friends of Nicks and went on to climb the mountain and spend the night at the tors: beautiful big rock formations. The mountain is very sacred for the aboriginals around and supposed to host a lot of female energy. Maybe that’s what Im feeling, the warmth of a mother womb, caressing and nurturing the area. Anyways, we stepped into this big timewarp. I was barefooted and we seemed to have been walking in slowmotion, easing our way up while enjoying every step. When we got there the clock told us we spend about 20 minutes on a hike which was supposed to be two hours. We checked the times with Nicks friends who dropped us of at the start. Very strange.. We did a little ceremony asking the spirits to let us enter and watched the sun set from the tors. The rainbow serpent tor, the wedding tor, the honeymoon tor, the mother tor, the healing tor, we payed our respects to all of them. We spend the night at the saddle and watched the sunrise over the mountain. Such a special night. After the sunrise we walked up to the summit. The energy of the mountain is absolutely incredible and I understand why it is such an important one. And so beautiful to experience it with such a wonderful person as Nick. Very awakened and aware, eyes wide open and brightly shining with love, we lift each other to the next level, hoping to contaminate everybody with our happiness 😉 We talk about the words we use in a lot of detail. Like: we don’t say ‘no worries’ as most Ozzies do, because it’s a double negative, we say ‘ my pleasure’; we respond with ‘fantastic mate’ when people ask how we’re going etc. etc. Words are so important! Nick and I have been picking Gaia cards, tarot cards the last days and it is incredible what they tell us. We picked the same card six time in a row, out of a pack of 50, that seems almost impossible! And the card tells us to relax and enjoy, to let go of fixed and rigid ideas, to take time out to just be. So that’s what we do 😉 It will revitalize you and give you a newfound sense of purpose and inspiration. Relaxation slows down your thoughts and opens your heart. And it sure does and feels good!

I picked a card for my dad as well one day, guiding me in this difficult relationship. Because I am so so attached to him and miss him so much every day, I keep crying when I think of him, but at the same time somehow I cant find myself flying back to Holland to be with him either.. And the card I picked was spot on, damn. This is what it said:

 

“Whether you realise it or not, you have become to emotionally attached or dependent on someone or something. Or, you have allowed or inadvertently caused someone to get too emotionally attached to you. What at first seemed like a healthy friendship or interest, now seems to be taking over your life or is creating too much co-dependence. For your sake and the sake of others you must do whatever it takes to break free from this negative emotional attachment. Initially this may cause some resentment and even a sense of panic, but the end result will be worth it. When you manage to emotionally detach yourself from this issue you will have learnt a valuable lesson and this will serve you well in the future.”

 

Isn’t it magical? Reading this I completely panicked, I don’t want to let go. But at the same time I realize I have to, it is better for the both us. And the more I thought about it the more I realized what this letting go meant. Im not letting go of my dad at all, but im letting go of the co-dependence (what a beautiful way to describe our relationship by the way) and let only room for love. The next day I had some sort of epiphany where I understood what I needed to do, and I felt a rush of warmth and love and happiness filling my body, as if God itself was passing through. I started to cry. From happiness. It was bizar and beautiful. I had a beautiful conversation with my dad shortly after, trying to explain all of this to him and I felt a big sigh of relieve through my body and mind. I have let go now. Finally the pull from behind has released its strain, I can go forward now. And what do you know? The next two cards I pick where the ‘Ocean of eternal love’, two in a row again, incredible! It tells me ‘something is resolved and healed through love’, the struggle is over, I am so full of love now, it is time to use the knowledge and experience I have gained to move forward, for the good of all. The forever changing seasons of eternity turned heir invisible wheel and a new cycle begins! One infused with my love and all the experience and wisdom I have gained through life to date. It is time 😀 And where better than to start the new cycle in such a magical area than where I am right now?

On this trip I have felt so many new emotions I never felt before and they keep getting better and better and I keep getting happier and happier and more balanced and stronger and I have more and more love to share and light to shine. It’s amazing! Im manic J I’m sending it out to you every night, I hope your door is open to receive it 😀

 

The gulagah mountain was a nice warm-up for us to get ready for the three day light to light walk we would enjoy with neighbor Nick and friend Matt for the River Rock café I wrote about earlier. We filled our backpacks and walked from Boyd lighthouse to Greencape lighthouse, camping and fishing along the way. It was a beautiful hike through ever changes landscapes and microclimates. Nick and Nick jumped in at what we thought was Leatherjacket bay, which we later renamed false leatherjacket bay when we found the real one :p Nick speared some fish and Nick caught a couple abalony, so tasty! (After having tried to cook them different ways at home without bashing them first I learned the bashing is really necessary though :p). Amaizng hunters J I de-gutted them and we carried them to our camp for the night. It was at Moworray point. We had planned to walk further that day but this place was just to good to pass. A beautifully protected pristine bay with a clearing on the top, where we build a fire and enjoyed a feast (after I had run down an jumped in the water of course, enjoying the sunset behind the mountains in the north.. wow!)! Before leaving we had all agreed to travel light and don’t take too much stuff. Hahahahaha.. you should have seen what everybody pulled out of their packs! We had a full ten course meal spread out over more than three hours cooking and eating besides the fire. There was corn with soy sauce, spuds with olive oil(that’s what they call potatoes here :p), pumpkin and blue cheese, homemade chili sauce, abalony with ginger, chili, garlic, lemon and parsley, fresh supersalad from the gardens, fish cooked on the ashes or in foil etc etc. To finish off with chai tea, honey and Lindt chili chocolate. Glamping for real! 😀

The next morning when we woke up to this beautiful bay fishermen were on the beach hawling in their net of fish, which they had rowed around the bay. Nick and I went down and had a talk with the superfirendly fishermen, who gave us a salmon, a whiting and a taylor to enjoy for breakfast, amazing! Goooooood morning Moworray point 😀 The next day we hiked along the beautiful coast when we saw a ground parrot rising up from the grass. They are very rare and we very excited to have spotted the bright green coloured bird, yoohoo! Further along the track Nick suddenly realized that he had left the car keys of the car we left behind at Green cape, our end destination, in the glove box of the car we left behind at Boyd tower, the starting point. Whahaha hilarious! From the start Nick had had trouble understanding what the deal was with which car would be left where. And he had even told other Nick he left the keys in the glove department to which Nick responded: Oh yeah, all right. Hihihi oopsie, we were in trouble. Nick and I managed to hitch a ride, well actually four rides back to the first car to get the key and drove the car to our next camping destination, where we would meet with Matt and Nick again. Everything happens for a reason and we had quite a little adventure, meeting amazing people on our trip. We just made it to Buttangabee and were drying off the cold water in the warm sun after a skinny dip on the secluded beach when Matt and Nick arrived, perfect timing 😉 Buttangabee was amazing. It was so incredibly abundant in food, the aboriginals would have lived like kings there. Abaloney everywhere and lots of fish to spear, we feasted again. This time we had the brilliant idea to put the shells of the first round of abalony on the next round, letting them steam inside their shells, yummieeeee 😀 At the camp we just had to keep an eye on the possums trying to feast with us.

The advantage of the car exchange trick Nick pulled on us, was that we got to walk the last leg of the journey without our packs. I just brought a pack carrying some water and snacks and the guys were free. The day was beautiful, the weather had been great along the trip and this last day we kept walking through many different kinds of landscape, beautiful! Untill we made it to Green Cape, a lighthouse at the tip with grand views along the coast, up till disaster bay where a major shipwreck had taken place in 1886. We rested a bit in the grass just two meters from the car when neighbor Nick realized he had lost his key of this car somewhere on the track. Hahahaha I was pissing my pants at this moment, it was all too hilarious. It must have fallen out of his pocket somewhere. We searched the grass until Nick pulled the key from behind Nick’s ear! Magic 😀 Nick had indeed dropped the key in the grass right there and Nick had picked it up to pull a little trick on him. So funny J Anyways, we made it, the light to light journey had come to an end, high five to the guys, it had been great!

We tumbled from the one adventure in the next. We arrived home at night, unpacked and repacked the next morning to head of west to the Gongi retreat (https://www.facebook.com/RetreatsatGongwana/), where Nick and me would help his friends Sol and Shanti erect their tipi and collect some firewood. Sol and Shanti have a beautiful retreat in the bush containing amongst others a hot bath, a sweat lodge, outdoor kitchen, hippie van, and tipi. The old tipi had collapsed (luckily not with anyone inside) and needed re-erection. New poles and painted canvas together with our perfect measuring and erection skills resulted in this beautiful golden tipi with the full moon shining through the smoke flaps right into it, amazing! That was a great place to sleep 🙂 We lit the fire inside, played music and sang before heading in to the sweat lodge, wow, amazing! Walking down to the river (singing Allison Krauses song ‘ down to the river to pray’) jumping in the cold water, screaming ‘Im alive!!!’ from the top of my lungs, getting back in and doing it again 🙂 before heading to the hot tub and feasting on more delicious goodness cooked on the open fire under the light of the full moon and the stars… Not enough words to describe this excitement 😀 I would highly recommend this place if you’re ever in the neighbourhood 😀 Magic is real, I believe my life to be a fairytale and manage to live like an angel, a bird, a mermaid and a bush fairy with flowers in my hair, adventures and beautiful dreams coming true. The opportunities in life are amazing and all opening up to me 😀 And you can do it! Listen to your heart, follow it, do what feels right and avoid what feels wrong, send out love and kindness, go on adventures (however big or little far or close), open up to the world, smile at it and it will smile back at you. I will do my best to support everyone i meet on this journey, for i wish everyone to feel the way i do: ultimate happiness and love every day again.. Live the life, feel the presence, the divine, be in love.

 

As Eckhardt Tolle states it in his book ‘A new earth’ we ‘defy the gravitational pull of materialism and awaken to a widespread flowering. […] Don’t search for the light, be the light! […] You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge.’

We focus on a positive revolution (read Edward de Bono’s book about that!), where we cut out all the negativity and focus on the good; not taking things too seriously at the same time though. Live in the moment you are in right now right here. Occasionally reflecting on the past is healthy, just as giving some thought to your future is wise, but be present as much as possible. You are here, right now. Appreciate it and thrive. Relax, for it will slow down your thoughts and open your heart. Relaxation is fuel for the soul that will have a positive flow-on effect for your entire being. Your wellbeing is of paramount importance, so do not take it for granted. Without it, nothing else really matters. Send out positive vibes, do the right thing and show the world. No fighting, no activism, no negativity in any sort or form. Love and contribute to a better world.

You see a street full of garbage. So you drop your coffeecup too, what difference does it make? Or you decide not to be part of this waste and keep your cup until you can discard of it properly. Or.. you keep your cup AND pick up a couple of others. Now you are contributing to a better world. What about a contribution diary? Superhero deeds :D, like helping someone in the streets, wishing someone a beautiful day, holding the door or rescuing an injured bird. Or feeding the homeless, making a donation, sharing your abundance, picking up a hitchhiker, teaching something, stopping environmental pollution, caring for the sick, preventing crime. You are giving a good example to others and you’re training yourself. You are encouraging a constructive attitude in others and devaluing negativity and passivity.

There is a useful place for negativity in changing values: in providing shaping pressures; in curbing excesses; in removing defects in order to improve an idea; and in forming the conscience of society. But the constructive and creative energies have to be there in order to get the steady, step by step progress that is the basis of the positive revolution. I want to be part of that revolution!

Focusing on the positive gives a great sense of joy and achievement. But I dont take it too seriously at the same time, I have let go of fixed and rigid ideas and opened up to the many opportunities life has to offer. I don’t expect myself to be a saint. That is nonsense. I start out by being a saint one minute each day, and some days I’ll be a saint for two minutes, that is improvement. If it feels good, I move forward. Maybe its even better not too even try to achieve this, just ‘be’ and follow your heart.

I smile at the world and it smiles back at me. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much, unable to wipe it of anymore. And its contagious, spiralling up with every smile i get back 😀 give it a shot 😉

I still want to travel, but for now I have found my place here. I feel like I can really boost my heart here. It’s a great basecamp. A beautiful part of the world. Thank you universe, for bringing me here 🙂

 

Australia part 5: adventures between Sydney to Dignams creek

 

I left Andy behind in Sydney, I needed to get to my appointment with my cartoon-figure-like surgeon Dr. Vickers.

 

In the hassle of getting up very very early in the big city to catch a train to Nowra I left my helmet and bikelock behind. Shit! Cycling without a helmet is dangerous, mostly because of the heavy fines. And the bike lock I needed if I was to go to the doctors office, not wanting to leave my bike and all my gear outside for anyone to grab. I usually do that anywhere, but not in city centres. I didn’t think about it too much, trusting the universe would work something out, as she always does. And again, bam! She sent me a man on the train who started to talk to me about my bike and the journey I was on. Alan happened to be a criminal lawyer, running a back forest retreat north of Nowra and invited me to come spend the night at one of his cottages for free, amazing! When he heared about my helmet he decided to drive me to the doctor and back to his place, lending me an old helmet for my onwards journey, so nice :D. There was no arguing. Wow, was I glad he invited me! He told me stories about the aboriginals around, and I discovered all the town along my way mean something in aboriginal language. For instance, Nowra means black cockatoo, which explains to me the huge amount of she-oaks I had seen around: it is their favourite tree 🙂 He showed me this beautiful painting on the side of the library and then took me home.
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He lives beautifully on the north side of the river with distant views over country and forest.
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Beautiful flowers in his yard! I helped him harvest feijoas (pineapple guavas) and strawberry guavas, delicious!! I was so caught up in the harvesting though that I didn’t see the redbelly black snake I stepped upon with my bare feet. I felt something wet crawling over my foot and when I looked down and lifted my foot it quickly moved away. It was more afraid of me then the other way around, I was just amazed by this beautiful creature! I had seen many of them around but never from this close 🙂 Again, privileged to be able to feel the animal on my skin. We fed the sheep and said hi to the alpaca, went on a little bikeride around the beautiful area and spend a lovely night with him and his wife Naomi, who was very kind and lovely. Very open-hearted warm people. What a pleasure to be there! The cottage I was staying in was build with passive solar design. The first of many I was to see in Australia. It is such an incredibly simple and smart concept, that it made me realize that besides the food industry the building industry is an area we went completely wrong and where there is much to gain in the world. The passive solar principle is a way of building to maximize sustainable design. The front window faces north to let in the winter sun and wide eaves block the summer heat. The cottages are constructed of mud brick and there is woolen insulation in the ceilings. Mud bricks provide a high thermal mass to store heat and smooth out the day-night temperature variation. The posts and beams were built out of termite-resistant native cypress and the ceiling was plantation pine. There are obviously other ways to build sustainably but this was a good start of my knowledge. It’s not just about building with natural materials, preferably from onsite (mud or rammed earth) and using native timbre but also about designing the house in such a way that you hardly need resources to sustain it: a clever design to let in winter sun and block summer heat, allow for natural ventilation and air conditioning and run the house on solar power, including solar heated water; water being harvested from the rooftop. Off-grid and very comfortable and beautiful. Grow your own food and be kind to the world and there you go, that’s all you need! Everything else is extra 🙂 Music for example.. He got me onto this beautiful song by Scott Cook, called Pass it along. He sings about how we don’t own anything in this world, we just borrow it and it will pass on to other hands after us. So better take good care of it. That’s what I’m trying to do 😉

 

The next day I was free as a bird again. No more appointments with doctors. I was declared healthy and dr. Vickers assured me my energy would slowly come back. I just had to take it easy. So after delicious feijoa and celery juice and an elaborate breakfast with smoked salmon and eggs on toast, I got on my heavy loaded bicycle to cycle down south to make it to the Crossing outdoor education centre to assist at their permaculture course :p I was so exhausted I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, but off I went. Adventure awaiting me again! Oh the wind in my hair and my feet on the pedals again out into the unknown, sooooooo nice 😀 😀

Even though I realize cycling in Australia is not quite as enjoyable as cycling in Europe: it’s much harder to keep off the highways, there’s less mountains, there are long stretches of similar surroundings (although I’m learning to see more and more detail and thus differences in microclimates) and always lots of cars on the roads. In this part of Australia that is of course, since I haven’t seen any other areas yet. But I enjoy the bicycle as a means of transport anyways and sing out loud and smile and wave 🙂 When I rest I play my guitar and sing, so happy I bought and brought it!

I arranged a warmshower host down at Conjola lake and was welcomed very warmly by Saul and his parents, after I had gotten excited when seeing the lake and rode past the house directly to the water to jump in, whoohoooooo I’m Aliiiiiivvveeee 😀 Beautiful pristine blue water with green forest surrounding it, no one on it. Well, that’s what I thought, until a fishermens boat came around the corner while I was just drying my naked body in the sun, ‘Hi guys’ :p Isnt it great to jump in the cold water naked? I ditched my swimmers and find myself still jumping in the ocean in winter, so reviving! Whoohoo!!

 

Anyways, after a bit of chilling there with PIP magazine (great stuff!)
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I cycled back to Saul’s house and rang the doorbell after admiring the beautiful flowers on his tree in the front yard, it’s the flower of new south wales, the waratah, what a beauty! A big man with bright shining blue eyes opened the door and we hugged. Some people are a bit distant when you meet them but some just have this incredible positive energy around them, ‘hug me’ written on their forehead. Saul was one of them. He was in the midst of rebuilding his house and working on a veggie patch in the backyard with his amazing parents. It was inspiring to see how well he got along with his parents, they love and respect each other so much. I felt privileged again to be part of this beautiful life for two days. Again it made me miss my dad. He is such a beautiful person and I have so much love to give him in ways I wasn’t able to before, distracted by life, I would like to make up for that and enjoy every second we could still be together. But then again, the universe directed me here and I have another path to follow right now. Im sending him my love through the stars every night though. Im on a journey travelling closer to the essence of life everyday, getting inspired by everyone I meet. Now it is Saul. He is a passionate mountainbiker and was just about to head off for an adventure taking a couple of kids on a couple day trip around Kangaroo Valley and getting paid for it, what a job! good on you, Saul 😀

Walking back after a nice dinner with Saul’s parents that night we strolled down this little warfh at the lake and put our feet in the water, and wow, magic, the water lit up! As I moved my feet all these little fluorescent glow in the dark spots appeared on the surface. I was flabbergasted and amazed. Never had I seen such beauty. It was like constellations in the water. I had seen stars in the sky, I had seen them in the glowwormtunnel and now in the water. Whoohoo! I think they are called Sylica (but Im not sure, if you know, tell me please ;)). I could have spent all night right there at that spot, it was beautiful 😀

Eventually we headed back though getting a good nights rest to get ready for another beautiful day, which started amazing. Sauls parents (in their seventies!) brought out the boat to go wakeboarding with us at the lake. Hahahahaha can you believe it? What a way to start the day! It had been a while since I had been on a wakeboard and I never did it behind a boat, I had a blast! Took me a bit to be able to stand up, but once I had that figured out it was absolutely incredible. My legs supersore and tired, but I didn’t want to stop 😀 It was amazing to see his parents enjoy it too and on the way back Saul and I each grabbed a rope and wakeboarded back home splashing each other and sometimes even holding hands.
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Whahahahaaaaaaaaaa screaming from the depths of my longs, life is gooooood 😀 There was no-one else on these beautiful waters except some pelicans coming to greet us: good morning fellows 😀

That day Saul showed me the beach,
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the cute little town of Milton (loved it) and took me hiking up Pigeonhouse mountain, wow! It was incredible, absolutely stunning.
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Enjoying the sunset on the way back, thank you grandfather son!
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I just love love love hiking , especially up mountains. Look at this view, almost unbelievable 😉 I should get rid of that word from my vocabulary though, because Im starting to believe more and more in the beauty of this planet, it is real and Im part of it and so very grateful for that! Or maybe it is not real, I don’t care, it would be a beautiful dream..

There is still lots of beautiful nature and adventure to discover around this area and to enjoy with bright-eyed Saul, but I had to move on. Ill be back 😀 I managed to squeeze in just one more little adventure the next morning though :p Sauls parents were besides wakeboarders also go-kart racers, travelling around the whole country with their little go kart in the trialer, amazing! But they also were part of the moruya dragonboat racers. I never heared of such a thing and they invited me to come along for the training the next morning. Of course I said Yes to that 🙂

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Wow, that was though! I was the youngest but had a hard time keeping up with the twenty people in the boat rowing their lungs out up and down the river. Hihi, it’s not something I aspire to do more often but it was a fun experience for sure! On the way back they dropped me at Batemans Bay so I could cycle along the coast down south. It was only ten o’clock in the morning but I was already exhausted so I decided to just take it slooowwwww like a slug and see how far my legs would carry me. The coastline was beautiful. Quiet roads and amazing beaches and forests all along the way.

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At some point, close to Broulee, I stopped to admire this beautiful old tree, gated and with a sign.
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A huge piece was taken out of the tree and I read that all along the coast you will find trees like this, for the aboriginals cut out the bark to make canoes. I started to notice them more and more, but never as big as this one, what a beauty! A black raven had landed right next to me while I was admiring the tree and it kept hopping around me for more than ten minutes, as if it was trying to tell me something. I tried to listen but couldn’t work it out. I started talking to my new flying friend when a car pulled over to ask me if I ask was allright. Hahaha I said yes, but opinions might differ 😉

 

I told the suited man in his old ute I was just admiring this amazing tree, which started a conversation. This ex-buddhist, now Jehova’s witness apparently just got back from the Kingdom hall and I was interested to hear what he had to tell. After talking for about ten minutes on the side of the road he invited me to this house to use his shower and maybe sleep in the garden if I wanted. I was exhausted and welcomed that offer. Marc was a bit reluctant at first (because of his religion) but we got along so well that I ended up staying another day. At home he got out of his suit and into his old wrecked working clothes and turned out to be a humble gardener into permaculture, building beautiful rustic design furniture, growing veggies, cooking all meals over the open fire outside,
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enjoying the stars and very much enjoying the simple life. We went for a walk to the beach
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and he took me on a daytrip through the beautiful mountains out west. It was amazing!
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imageEye to eye with a wombat

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and even a wild pig came to visit us! Ran off as soon as he saw us though :p

We had lots to talk about. I told him about the Back to Eden projects in the states (http://www.backtoedenfilm.com/): great permaculturist gardeners using bible verses to back up their believes, very inspiring: God is a gardener! One subject I always find very interesting and want to hear everybody’s opinion about is love. He showed me a beautiful verse from the bible:

 

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (Corithians 13:4-13:7)

This is what love is about. Unconditionally. Unlimited. It’s not easy to live by, but sure worth trying. No matter how dark things sometimes seem to be, there is hope always; as Leonard Cohen says: “There is a crack in everything….that’s how the light gets in.” And we’re spreading that light!

 

The next day we loaded up the kayaks and went for a paddle on Congo river. Haha I’d seen the victoria falls in the blue mountains, they were nothing like the ones I have seen in Zimbabwe! And now the Congo river.. what to expect? We arrived at a little campsite close to the beach, where we let the kayak enter the water. We paddled all the way upstream as far as we could go. It was beautiful.
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Seeing the forest around you from the water is a beautiful experience. We saw the landscape change and appreciated all microclimates we encountered. There were lots of gums, she-oaks, native cherries, ferns etc. Sometimes an eagle flew over our heads and all the way these incredibly beautiful bright blue kingfishers flew ahead of us, as if they were leading our way. They are pretty rare and absolutely stunning, it was the highlight of the trip for me 😉 Where we couldn’t go any further
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the kingfisher flew into a tree and I climbed it to get closer
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Paddling in these areas, with the occasional obstacle to overcome was very peaceful and joy filled my heart once again. Life is great! Such luck that this man stopped his car and shared this journey with me. And it kept getting better J When we finally made it back to the inlet we discovered the estuary was full of oysters. We harvested a couple and enjoyed them on the beach, while enjoying the sunset.

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Can a day be more perfect? Very magical. Marc dropped me off at my next host, a couchsurfer. I know I’m cheating but I was just too exhausted to cycle long distances so this help was welcomed very warmly. Seb, working for national parks and wanting to be a firefighter hosted me in his apartment in Narooma the next day although he was at work himself. I got to explore the surroundings by myself without luggage, yeay 😀 I cycled to the pier
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where I admired Australia rock
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and watched a couple seals dancing in the waters.
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The beautiful waters also hosted lots of pelicans, drawn to the fish guts and skins the fishermen threw back in the water.
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Lots of animal activity to watch and enjoy 😀 I cycled this amazing bridge and the boardwalk around the headland
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and the cyclepath all the way to Dalmeny, which just opened last year after begin completed solely by volunteers, incredible! Well done, guys. I enjoyed the headlands, the beaches, the eagles, the wannabe eagle (paramotor), the wetland birds, the kangaroo grass (never knew I could be attracted to a kind of grass :p), singing out loud and wishing everyone a wonderful day. I slowly made it back to Narooma and spend some time on the west side of town in the stunning Forsters bay.
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Clear blue waters as far as the eye can see. Peaceful serenity. I spent a bit of time at the shops where there was free wifi to catch up with some friends and family and discussed the practice of deliberate bush burnings with my host Seb. Im learning more and more about the way aboriginals were managing the forest, about what they once looked like and what is the best way to manage: thinning out the regrowth and letting the big mama trees florish, occasional controlled burning on cold days in mosaic patterns to reduce fire hazards (a big problem in this country!), ringbarking and using the wood for local practices (which strangly is not a habit at all at the moment). We humans have the power to improve these forests tremendously and I feel like we have the obligation to do just that. Let them thrive! It’s too beautiful J Im very much in love with all the treeferns around, they seem to me like guardians, like sisters, like warm guides on my journey. I take off my imaginary hat and greet them with poise and grace, as they deserve.

From the wonderful town of Narooma (great holiday destination) I started my last day on the bicycle to arrive at the Crossing outdoor education centre that night.
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Passing the cute little town of Tilba, which is absolutely worth a visit.

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I cycled into Bermagui and passed a hippie/regae kindof café which looked great, so I stepped in and had a little chat with the owner Matt. Not knowing we would become friends and go on great adventures later. He told me about the open mic nights on Fridays and invited me to come, I was looking forward to that! I cycled onwards to the visitor information centre when a lady came running out of the Gelato shop. Simone is a longdistance cyclist and saw me and just wanted to come and say hello J We chatted for a bit and she gave me her number to maybe go on cycling adventures after the course had finished. She told me how to get to the Crossing and I cycled up and down the dirtroads, into the forests, not sure I was on the right path, occasionally choking on the dirt after a car had passed. I arrived though and immediately fell in love. A beautiful permaculture property in the middle of the bush,
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vegetable gardens, orchards, pastures, a river, chooks and a goose (Henrietta, isn’t that a great name for a goose?!), a train carriage for the guests to sleep in, an old bus turned into the owners house
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and a big structure to host all events, including a big kitchen with everything you might need. Yeay! I like it 😀 Dean and Annette just came home when I was strawling around and welcomed me with a hug. Annette and I hit it off right away (she’s clearly a sagitarius too) and we had a great time cooking for the students. I got to sit in on a couple of the classes,
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went on a field day with the group
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and helped Dean prepare the things to make no dig gardening beds. The students were amazing, just like I remember my permaculture design course in Bulgaria, like a family and even though I had not been there for the first week I was part of the family right away. I learned so much again! And felt like I was redirected. This is the path I want to walk, this is the way I want to go, Together with beautiful people who all want to make the world an even better place through love and harmony, through working together and sharing, through appreciating the simple things in life and striving for the best. We are not just surviving, we are thriving and want everybody to thrive with us!

 

I learned heaps of practical stuff like how to collect water through building dams, collecting from rivers and rooftops, how to filter greywater through reedbeds, how to build houses with natural materials, how to improve soils, which plants acoompany which, how to save seeds, how to deal with weeds etc. etc. The list is endless. And I realize that I have been on the right path all along. I have no desire at the moment to run my own place, to build a self-sustainable living. I enjoy very much going around to peoples properties, helping out wehre I can. In a reciprocal relationship where I learn a lot and share my knowledge, my love and hard work where I can. Spreading the seeds I’d say. And through the reactions from all the people I met I know I’m doing the right thing, changing lives for the better. Better of the earth and better of themselves. Go organic, start growing food or support those who do it organically, live simpler, let go of possessions (they’ll posess you), be kind and loving always and to everyone, work together, build community, enjoy nature etc. It’s easy to have a fuller and richer life if you cut out the bullshit and find your way back to your essence, to your heart. And share that joy. Life is beautiful and I celebrate it everyday, being extremely grateful to be part of another perfect day 😀

At the crossing I met many interesting wonderful people I would go and visit in the next weeks. The first one would be Nick. I heared the students all being very impressed with his lush and abundant property, his exciting energized cheerful personality and his incredible Kenian topbar beehives. I was on a mission to get myself on top of the list to come WWOOF at his place. Well, it was a fairly easy mission, since Annette decided I would be perfect for the job and praised me to Nick 😉 I just had to bring my new dear beautiful half-Maori friend Shardae with me as well. A drink by the fire and Nick was convinced 🙂 We were off! I could write an entire book about the happenings at the crossing that one week I was there, but Ill leave it to this saying it was beautiful and incredible and mostly very inspiring. I would highly recommend everyone to do a permaculture course, it will change your life forever. Every step you take will be weighted on three ethics: earth care, people care, fair share. So important, and so often forgotten. There is so much love in it though, and positive energy. People are warm and welcoming and willing to share all to make everybodys life better. So beautiful ❤ I’m in!

 

So after the final party, representing all the permaculture gurus from the area Shardae and I were off to Nicks paradise. And wow, all the praise I had heared before was justified. I’ll tell you about it in the next post!

Australia part 4: kangaroo valley, aboriginals, surgery, folk festival and back to the blue mountains

 

I made it to the Kangaroo Valley, but I was sick, very sick. This infection kept getting worse and draining my energy. I really wanted to be involved in the farm and with the boys, but I couldn’t do it. Most of the days I stayed in bed, trying to pull myself together to contribute to the household. I was so privileged to be amongst Mark, Marcus, their grandmother and Peter, I felt terrible not being able to spend time with them. I could hardly open my mouth and even talking was very painful.

 

The twelve year old twins Mark and Marcus were here to go to school and learn things like English, maths and reading and writing and experience ‘our’ western culture, which they call the Bellanda world – the Hollander world! After all, the Dutch were the first to step foot in Arnhemland and stir things up.. The boys were far ahead of the other boys in their tribe and are soon to be leaders, they already had their initiations as men. Their grandma is a very strong and sincere woman with fantastic weaving skills and she came down to spend some time with her boys and set them on track. Which was necessary 😉 The boys got in trouble in their first week at school on a cross country run when they suddenly took off and caught a kangaroo, with their bare hands! Felt like I was in a movie. The boys made an absolute mess off the house and we talked about how to handle them, so we could all live together but obviously avoiding to make well-behaved white boys out of them. Never thought I would be in the position to think about these things! The boys were very musically talented and spent a lot of time in the treehouse playing the drums and my guitar.
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If I had felt better we would have formed a band together, it was great 😀 They’ll be famous one day, im sure..

 

I felt very sick and stayed in bed most of the time, only to come out and make myself some liquid food. Not being able to open my mouth, it was even hard to stuff a pill behind my teeth.. pfff.. Peter drove me to the doctor and the pharmacy a couple of times and all of them kept checking up on me. I felt well cared for. When I found some energy I cleaned and cooked, which is by the way not easy when you’re unable to taste :p. And to make things more funny, my first tries were not welcomed with a lot of applause at all! Apparently they never eat vegetarian up in Arnhemland and they hardly use any spices. A dish where I could hardly taste the chili made them all run to the tap to wash their mouths hahahahahaha yaka menmak (no good), but ok Im learning :p

Badunbil (grandma) is not much of a talker and had been driven crazy the past weeks by all these people who wanted to talk to her and asked her a lot of questions. Probably another reason why my body prevented me from talking, so I would just sit and be with them and listen to whatever was said.

I felt incredibly grateful to be there and Peter did his best to make me feel comfortable and able to just be sick. I couldnt wait to get better and help out on the farm, improve the treehouse, harvest the honey from the bees, go fishing and kayaking with the boys, ride the horse and find any way to make a contribution to these beautiful good-hearted people.

One day I did feel a little bit better and I pulled myself together to get on the quadbike and go and harvest the honey. Oh boy… When I opened that box.. It was the saddest beehive I had ever seen :/
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The bees had gone, the pests had taken over, the whole box was black and rotten.. I sure hope those bees found a better home..

 

One night we all went to dinner at Peter’s friends place elsewhere in the valley (they were hosting another aboriginal girl from the same tribe, she was so sweet..). We were welcomed in this absolutely stunning and well-built hexagonal shaped mudbrick house (very inspiring!), while they were cooking a traditional bushcamp meal in big cast iron pots around the fire, yeah baby! I still couldn’t eat any of it, but it looked so good 🙂

 

After having visited the local doctor and pharmacy a couple of times, and still not feeling better,
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the family drove me to Nowra to visit a dentist. He was so kind to advise me charge free, after having my xray taken across the street, to visit a dental surgeon as soon as possible. So I did. Back at the farm I contacted a couple of surgeons the dentist had recommended me and the next day I was driven to Nowra again. Dr Peter Vickers talked to me in a mix of English, German and Russian (it was a bit weird..) and concluded that it was necessary to perform surgery right away. Within two hours I was fully anesthetized and Dr Vickers and Dr Van Tran were draining the abcess and pulling out all four wisdom teeth. I was sound asleep dreaming a pretty nice dream and was disappointed to wake up. I was brought to a recovery room where I stayed all day, night and the next day with antibiotics dripping through the IV.
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Nobody could tell me how the surgery went, besides that it went well. Nobody told me it was quite normal that the wound would keep bleeding for a while, which freaked me out. The nurses gave me big cotton things I was supposed to put in my mouth against the wounds, but I still couldn’t open my mouth! There was no decent liquid food either, the only thing they could offer was custard and highly processed apple sauce and yoghurt with a lot of sugar. How was I supposed to regain my strength on such a bad diet? Crazy hospitals.. It was nice to lay in a bed though where people are payed to take care of me, so I didn’t have to feel so guilty. The next day I was discharged though and Peter drove all the way down to bring me back to the farm.

I am so grateful for the help in the valley, of people driving me to all these doctors and providing me a bed and food. Being sick while travelling on your own, on the other side of the world, is really fucked. I felt like a humongous burden on these generous people (and I was) and my previous excitement of being there soon turned into a wide arrange of negative feelings. I just couldn’t give back what they gave me and felt stuck, I had no place to go. There was no way I would be able to load up the bike and hit the road again.. For the first time I started to get a bit homesick, missing my friends and family more than ever. I realized how important it is to have a good network around you, to build deeper relationships so you can all care for each other. And I love taking care of people. It’s horrible to need care though.. The biketrip was so perfect for me, because as long as I have food and water I don’t need anybody, I have my home with me and am independent. Whenever someone offers to host me or asks me to spend time together I am free to say Yes, but don’t ‘need’ it, it is beautiful 😀 Getting sick was not on my to-do-list though and for the first time I was really dependent and not in the right spot for it. It got worse when Peter couldn’t manage all his projects anymore, when his close relative got very very ill (eventually died), when Badunbil went back home and Peter got very stressed. I decided to ask my friend Andy from the Blue Mountains for help. I really don’t like to ask for help.. I know he was going to be in the neighbourhood that weekend though, since he bought tickets for the National Folk Festival in Canberra. He bought those tickets only to be able to enjoy the festival with me, I was supposed to go volunteer there. I had to cancel that though and Andy wasn’t able to get a refund or sell his tickets. Messaging back and forth he offered to pick me up and take me along to Canberra, winging it, seeing how we would go. I felt bad about leaving the farm without having been able to contribute, but I was so happy to see Andy and I started to feel a bit better every day in the good care of him. We left the kangaroo valley through this beautiful bridge
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and camped in the bush, made some fire and just enjoyed the nature surrounding us.

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It felt liberating not be a burden on Peter anymore. And Andys love for everything about nature is very satisfying and invigorating. We rescued a bluetongue lizard,
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gazed upon some goannas,
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kangaroos, wallabis,
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identified heaps of different birds and enjoyed many other beauties of nature. It’s so good to be able to share this with someone who enjoys the pure nature just as much, if not more!

Andy drove me to Canberra where he would attend the festival on his own and dropped me of at Lauras place. I had met here sailing at Pittwater bay weeks ago and she was such a lovely girl. In my desperation I contacted her for a bed, so I could be sick, waiting for the festival to end and Andy taking me with him on his way back to the blue mountains. Laura was out of town herself but offered me her bed, isn’t that super super nice?! Her lovely roommates kindly hosted me. Meanwhile I was improving little by little and decided to buy a day-ticket for the festival to join Andy for as long as I could (to buy of my guilt). The security was set up in such a way that I could join him at the campsite easily and I stayed the night. The folk festival was great! Luckily there were chairs at all performances so I could stay seated and just enjoy the music (much better than laying in bed!). There were some very good acts. Miriam Lieberman for example, wow! Check her out, she’s amazing; playing this fantastic instrument the kora (a 21-stringed west African harp); and her voice is so so beautiful.
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Wood and Horse was another highlight: Turkish snares and Mongolian throatsinging combined, absolutely spectacular. Absolutely refueled my dream of a horsebackriding trip through mongolia, when the eagles are out and the music is playing 😀
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We saw many great musicians and enjoyed a couple delicious chais.
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No party hardy at this festival, but it was very enjoyable eitherways. I just love folk music and the atmosphere surrounding it 😀 I was drugged and zombified and running out of painkillers. I decided to experiment how long I could go without the painkillers and I ended up stopping cold turkey, giving me back a lot of energy! Enough energy to help Andy harvest the >20 kilos of wild apples and pears we found on the way back to the Blue Mountains! I managed to sell most of them to the local food co-op, isn’t that great?!
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We made some nice detours through the countryside and we visited the Wombeyan caves, beautiful!

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There were some strange monkeys living there 😉
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Back in the mountains, Andy went to Sydney a couple of days, working on felling down an enormous tree in someones backyard. I used that time to catch up with my old climbing buddy and I met great people again back up at the climbing community at Mount York. After just one climb I realized though that it was too soon after the surgery, I had no strength and my whole body was trembling, even though it was a very easy climb. The next day I hooked up with William, the aboriginal elder I had been in contact with. It was great spending a bit of time with him, including a little drive around the area, telling me dreamtime stories about how the aboriginals believe this area was formed, millions and millions of years ago. One of them being the eagle story, can you recognize its head?!
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He showed me the soupkitchen and accommodation for the homeless (dont mind the money in the picture, that was a project for Andy),

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and told me about more of these great projects he was involved with, including starting a completely self-sustained community in the country, where everybody – no matter what start budget- could join. This area is just full of environmental conscious people doing great things for the world and for each other. I keep discovering the one great project after the other! It was interesting to hear that uncle Bill agreed that us people are not really helping the world evolve, but he believed other way bigger forces are at work for the coming apocalypse, just like there was an icetime and the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Bill and I parted and agreed to go on our gold and gemstone fossiking trip next time I would visit the blue mountains, something I was highly looking forward to!

 

I still hadn’t quite found my mojo back and was super super tired. So I slowly moved around and visited one of the many great little art galleries around. This one had portrets of people who were prime examples for all of the acts in the declaration of human rights. Great pastime! On the way back though Andy’s 4WD started to act a bit weird on me, before finally breaking down completely on the start of a big hill with almost no space to pull over. I had to, though. It was already getting dark and with Andy in Sydney and me without a phone on me, I was a bit worried.. I tried to start the car again on gas, then on petrol then on gas again, nothing worked and I couldn’t find anything wrong under the hood. I had to ask for help. Very soon a car stopped and a fellow barefooted human being got out. He was great! Everything happens for a reason and this car breakdown happened so I could have the opportunity to meet this wonderful man, full of interesting stories and thoughts, giving us a lot to talk about (in raised exciting voices) and we were a bit sad to leave in the end. We drove a couple of times back and forth to the gasstation (first we bought the wrong fuel hahahaha classic, then we went back to get more of the right fuel, see if that would help..) but in the end we couldn’t get it to start again and I decided to go home and wait for Andy who was supposed to come home that night. My rescuer dropped me off (it was on his way) and we were both grateful to have met each other. He told me these stories of how he had been looking for people he could actually help, but they seemed to be hard to find. And he was happy to find this damsel in distress, haha the world turned upside down! I guess the least I could have done was to remember his name, but if forgot.. oopsie :p

Anyways, Andy came home we had another exciting midnight mission (one mission before we dressed up in black and entered someones backyard to pick the pears from a property that seemed to be quite abandoned and a tree nobody seemed to be harvesting; turned out not to be abandoned though and we had to abort the mission: Retreat! Retreat!). We towed the car to his friends place where he was able to fix it up later. Pfew..

 

Andy had to go back to the big job in double bay, Sydney and this time took me with him. I would catch a train from there into Nowra for my appointment with the strange Doctor Vickers about my surgery. I would help Andy as much as I could on the tree job, lowering down branches, playing with the chainsaw and carrying heavy logs up the hill. My energy was still very very drained though and after half a day of hard work I had to stop.. damn.. The next day it was raining so much that we couldn’t work so we went for a walk around town, heading towards the cinema. At first we felt very out of place, walking around in the big city but things got even worse when we entered the cinema! Grey hair everywhere. I wondered, was it because it was a Tuesday? Ah well, we found out a senior film festival was happening. But we didn’t let that stop us :p We even got student discount, the both of us hahaha. Still works.
We went to see this incredible inspiring movie called Back to the wild, where this beautiful young woman is on a mission to bring back the wild nature in people backyards, designing their gardens full of wild flowers and sacred geometry. I cried through the whole movie and so did Andy. A couple of scenes where shot in Ethiopia where a bunch of guys are planting lots of trees to rejuvenate the eroded bare earth into the beautiful lush forest it once was. It was incredible! That’s a very very good cause in life to spend your time on. Id love to be part of a project like that. We talked about this while walking back and looking at all the plants and tress around us, happy to see still so much nature in a horrible city like Sydney. Especially the streets full of fig trees (not edible) were very beautiful. We found a nice little sort of park where we read to each other from the books we found there. Beautiful 🙂

 

The next morning I had to say goodbye to Andy. It was time for me to head south for new adventures. I didn’t quite have my energy back yet, but Dr. Vickers was waiting for me!