Archive | October, 2008

Hard day at work!

24 Oct

At work currently they have been doing mapping work of the regional sites out of the mine area, so the helicopter has been on site for the last couple of weeks.  I went up today, quite funny, the pilot, the Geologist and myself all kiwis – flying kiwi’s.

Getting hot up here, I got put off work yesterday due to dehydration.  It is not much fun being severely dehydrated. I had drunk 7 litres of water by midday but I had woken up quite dehydrated and couldn’t process the water in time. You just get clumsy (more so), head aches, feel like vomiting etc. I just came right this afternoon. For example one of the photos below was taken just after 7am and it was already up to 34 degrees Celsius, and it just keeps getting warmer, a lot warmer from there!

Off tomorrow with the mine Emergency Response Team to train with a neighbouring mine on fire-fighting training, so really looking forward to that, I may put some photos up if I get a chance to snap any.

Anyway heres some photos as me posing as usual.

Coral Bay & Exmouth Roadie

21 Oct

On my last break Mandy and I took ‘Wario’ on a 3,300km 8 day round trip roadie up to the beautiful beaches of Coral Bay and Exmouth on the Central Coast of Western Australia. (click on Western Australia Map above if you want). 

Wario was the name of our ‘wicked’ campervan that we hired.  You would of seen the wicked campervans littering the highways over Australia and New Zealand. They are painted up with pictures and quotes and have usually seen better days.  But it was great, passing other wicked campers on the road with a wave, starting up conversations with wicked drivers, usually starting with “do you think she’s going to make it back to Perth”?.  The funniest one was 3 Irish guys pushing their van backwards out of a car park and the Irish driver hanging out the window as his mates pushed and shouting “she only goes forwards, theres no reverse”! 

Luckily for us Wario had reverse, but lacked in other areas. Major failings of our valiant Wario were firstly no air conditioning (pretty big factor in 40 degree heats), the noise of Wario’s motor constantly competing with the ipod for the sound title and winning and Wario seemed to have a hole in his petrol tank when you went over 80km/hr.  “So why not hire a normal van”? “hey man its all about the journey not the destination dude……….rock on Wario”

So enough of Wario, the road trip. To sum it up, amazing weather, beautiful golden beaches, turquoise water, good food, no work, diving, wildlife, sea-life and bright yellow pants all made for a memorable trip.

The first leg of the journey was 1200km from Perth to Coral Bay. We spent the first night on the side of the road sleeping beside a wheat field and getting attacked by Bull ants – they bloody sting as well.

After stopping in Kalbarri for Breakfast, and meandering up the straight desert highway avoiding the dead kangaroos we stopped in Carnarvon to have lunch and stock up with supplies. 24 pack of Stienies (for the uneducated Steinlager is the flagship of New Zealand export beer) was only $44 – SWEET!

Then we straight-shooted it through to Idyllic Coral Bay where we set up camp for 4 nights. We did two dives and basically relaxed on the tranquil beach.  That was until school mates Jamie, Jared and wife Lauren turned up and we did some catching up on old times – good times.

Then we left to head up to the tip on the peninsula for more diving on the renown Ningaloo reef, where we set up at Exmouth.  The diving was great, with heaps of sealife; sharks, bull rays, sea snakes, turtles, tropical fish etc.

We spent our evenings at Exmouth by the lighthouse on the hill watching the whales pass on there pilgrimage to far away waters as the sunset over the Indian Ocean whilst we lay in Wario with a refreshing beverage – ahhhhh life was a bitch.

Then like a prick in a cherry the bubble burst, and it was time to make the 1400km return voyage to Perth.  But not before a bit of my Hap luck rubbed off on the car side of things. Deciding to go off road (theres a strict policy with wicked campers to stay on sealed roads – for obvious reasons) to explore an isolated beach for lunch-and wash ourselves. It all went sweet getting in, I carefully choose a firm track avoiding the sand on the way in. But after a tummy full of freshly cooked pasta I was in dreamland and straight-lined it to the road forgetting about the sand. And literally I had a “sinking” feeling. Yep, stuck. 

But luckily good people attract good people (luckily Mandy was with me). So after 40 mins of me putting to practice my vehicle recovery course skills I had recently learnt (digging the wheels out with a frying pan weren’t actually taught on the course) a lovely elderly couple arrived in there more off-road appropriate campervan and towed us out.

Then after sleeping a night under yet another light house in Geraldon is was up early and back to Perth to clean the campervan (cheeky buggers charge you $100 if you don’t bring the van back washed inside and out – I hope they didn’t check the roof). Then it was off on the plane back to work, feeling exhausted and ready for another holiday!

Oh and before I forget, with every little journey there is always a lesson learnt.  The lesson learnt on this journey was that when using public showers, you do not put your toothbrush with paste already on it (I forgot my toothpaste so I pre-applied Mandy’s paste before going to the shower) on the shower bench. Because after the shower when you are brushing your teeth and you pull out a short curly hair, theres a pretty good chance that its not yours, and it certainly isn’t Martha’s from Sweden, but more likely the overweight bald guy that used the shower before you!

So don’t put your pre-pasted toothbrush on the communal shower bench! oh, and I totally recommend a roadie to the western coast of Australia, we can’t wait to do the same this coming summer, except on the south west coast.

Nuthin but love Hap

Twists, turns and falls

19 Oct


I was just thinking it was a year ago that I was air-lifted to hospitable after my fall from the rope swing where I fractured my vertebra. 

 Looking at the above picture just hits home and reminds me how lucky I am to be where I am and be able to do what I can.  I remember lying there, I had just fallen 5m impacting on the top of my spine, having pain in my neck and having lost my vision (temporarily).  

At that time I wasn’t thinking “I wish I had sat on my arse more and watched more TV or played more play station” I was thinking “I will do anything to come out of this normal” and lying there you realise how capable you were of doing amazing things.

Luckily one year on, I’m doing all that I could do before and more.  The accident encouraged me to increase my first aid skills, and so I joined my mines Emergency Response Team (we train to do what the volunteer firefighters do back home) where I have received great training and experiences.  Since the accident I’ve run a 1/2 marathon and gained my open-water dive cert in which I want to keep progressing. The upcoming summer I want to do more rock climbing and I will definitely be getting some sailing experience under my belt as my crystal ball tells me there will be some sailing in my future journeys -ummmm the coast of Africa would be amazing, who knows?

A big thank you to Mum, Dad, Family and friends who helped me through that little fall.

I’m sorry if it sounds like one of those “send this to 10 people on your email list to gain good luck” emails.  But I just want you all to be happy with what you have and if your aren’t happy with what you’ve got, be happy for what you don’t have.

Nuthin But Love Hap

Newspaper article on hap working the world.

4 Oct

Howdy folks,

If your interested, the legendary reporter AJ from the local rag back home in Nelson did an article on my little goal, CLICK HERE if you want to have a read.

If you want to get email updates from my blog -as I will no longer be sending out emails- you can click on the link to the right under “GET EMAIL UPDATES”. Enter your email address into it. When I update my blog you will get the blog post sent to your email.

Currently I’m up at work and have worked a long swing (duration of time at work).  But on Tuesday Mandy and I are hiring a campervan and are off for 8 days to explore the Western Coast of Australia. So quite excited about that.  When I get back I will post some photos.

Alright, hope you are all well.