Down in Dover – Tassie Part 1

So after arriving in Melbourne and spending the best part of a month partying, eating, meeting incredible people and exploring the beautiful city that is, I felt it time to take some time out of the easy-life and try and replenish my wonderfully empty bank account.

Myself and Leon, my new German friend, decided to hop on the ‘Spirit of Tasmania’ and cruise across to Tassie in search of work. What a sight; seeing the skyline of Melbourne, the skyscraper rooftops migrating from the hustle and bustle of the city floor below. The ferry was a grueling ten hour trip which wasn’t too bad, up until the ship decided it didn’t feel like gliding through the water, no no, instead it swayed side to side like a metronome, only neither of us were enjoying this rhythm! Sleep not looking too much like an option, I had no choice but to grin and bear it and after what i’m sure was passing out from nausea as apposed to falling sleep, I awoke to discover we had finally docked in Devonport. Devonport for those who don’t know is a small town in the central north of Tassie. Having not eaten since the afternoon before my eyes were drawn to the golden arches on the other side of the the docks. Stomach full of processed heaven and the Wi-Fi well and truly used up we headed, in our shiny rental, down to Dover for a job in apple picking. 4 hours later we had arrived at our destination. The population of Dover seemed to be around ten. I felt like the opening scene of 28 days later, just waking up in the passenger seat of the rental instead of a hospital gurney. Wouldn’t have minded wearing the gown though, was pretty damn hot!

So here we were, face to face with where we’d end up spending the next month, spending Christmas and at the time maybe even New Year. The accommodation was…undesirable at best. Probably wouldn’t have scored too highly on trip adviser, nor with The World Health Organisation but you know what, It would do. The TV, stolen from the 1990’s, Wi-Fi that worked  for a solid 30 seconds a day and a wall mounted heater as our only source of night time heat. No oven, just camping stoves. Hot water (as long as you showered first). Home sweet home.

The work was easy but boring, it was just apple thinning, so essentially just killing the clusters of apples to leave one or two, just room for the remaining apples to grow.

Some fun was had though, I mean come on, we had a quad bike!



The pay was pretty good, but thanks to the holiday season and some bad weather days our working weeks were cut short. But all of that needn’t matter when payday came around. Money is money at the end of the day. The first pay check helped Leon and I buy a car. A 1992 Ford Falcon. What a beauty! (Car on the left…our friends have the same car too…)




All was well and I even managed to get four of our French friends (Owners of the car on the right) from Melbourne work here too! Our own little Tassie family. This meant Christmas, both day and eve was all the better. Living room replaced by the beach, presents replaced by beers and BBQ. What a Christmas it turned out to be! We even found a canoe to use for some late night rowing.





It wasn’t all work mind you, we did plenty of exploring whilst down in Dover. We went into nature, Tasmania’s most southern point, one trip even was presented to us with a sign with bullet holes in it. In true Aussie style!


We attempted to summit Adamsons Peak, a mountain just behind our farm, being beaten however by the downpour of rain the night before making our path near impossible. Still 8 hours later, near the top, we still got an incredible view!



And of course we made the most of the completely dead roads with a bit of roof surfing! Being sensible and all that! Plus, with a full 360 view from the roof, we could see wildlife easier…that was the real reason for it…obviously.


Wasn’t dead, just sleeping.

Unfortunately for the six of us, like all inevitabilities in life, the fun hit a brick wall. As mentioned before, our not so 5* accommodation had only one source of heat for the nights and early morning starts. The heater was for some reason hated by the farmer. Despite our rent giving us a right to use it when cold he still hated it as it cost a bit of extra money (again, covered by our rent). The fateful morning came. 6am. Colder than you could imagine for a summer time Tassie. The heater, turned on by my cold German amigo. In walks the farmer, a rare visit  for this hour; It was almost as if he could sense the extra pennies being spent by our warmth. It was as if a murder had been committed in the accomoda…hell i’ll call it what it was, the SHED. Being the nearest target I became accountable for the sin of not wanting hypothermia. After a plea of nothing more than wanting to warm up before work the guillotine dropped with Leon and I’s head below. FIRED! Now to become the 7th and 8th persons to be fired in a month. Others for no reasons either.

After something I guess i’ll just call passion, others may call an argument, we, for what may be the most ridiculous dismissal found ourselves unemployed…on New Years Eve!! Not to worry though, our French friends decided to leave along side us and we were happy as Larry again as now we could spend NYE in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania! What a New Years story that day turned out to be!

Hey ho! Drinks in hand, camping in our cars, we made the most of the situation we had. Enjoyed the fireworks. Looked nervously as the thoughts of a new years kiss crept into our heads. No, none of the guys will be my first kiss of 2016.

Now in a fresh year, all that ‘new year new me’ bullshit aside, we set off once more as the Falcon Duo for another job; but first a few days getaway to Bruny Island. Goodbye Dover. Goodbye Hobart. It’s been emotional!




Heading To Hong Kong

With Dubai literally behind me, it was time to head over to Hong Kong. It’s a place i’ve always wanted to go. Not only as it has the worlds cheapest McDonalds but for the rich culture and stunning landscapes. After seven hours flying and zero hours sleeping the 737 kissed the tarmac. I fetched my bag and headed for the express train into the city. Mountain after mountain rushed past my window, reflecting off of the dark blue sea beneath. I was in awe of the beauty this unique and refreshing sight held. I guess Mulan was actually pretty accurate!


The mountains soon changed for skyscrapers as Kowloon Station fast approached. Row after row of buildings arose from Hong Kong Island up ahead in the distance. I’d reached my stop and like a fat kid in a candy store ran, ready to explore this new piece of earth. Right up until I realised my Hostel didn’t let anyone check in before 9am, and being only 6am, I found myself in a tad of a pickle. Stuck with the weight of two elephants I called my bags and stuck with what to do I did what I thought best, I sat in McDonalds, just to try something new, eating and drinking coffee until the clock struck 9!
I hunted down my hostel which was easier said than done. See property in Hong Kong is very small with a not so small price tag. Buildings are hidden within more buildings and on different levels. Some of the best advice I received was so true; If you’re looking for something, don’t forget to look up. After tracking down atleast the right building, I was able to find my destination. After releiving my achy back I decided to head out for a leisurely stroll. After what could be the population of a small city tried to sell me something on the street, ranging from sunglasses to cocaine, I ended up by the sea and was slightly unerved by the sight of two men staring at me for an extended period of time. Was I to be the storyline of Taken 4? Or was it simply as I was the only 6ft1, 182cm tall, white English guy amongst a sea of locals? Assuming the second I carried on with my journey.


The view was stunning. Boats, buildings and not a cloud in the sky, however the heat was unrelenting! Cracking a window for the dog you left in your car would probably not end too well for the pooch or your heart strings. Unless of course you enjoyed the ending of Marley and Me. Seeking refuge from the sun I dove into the nearest building only to be slapped in the face with a piano reading “play me” on top. Not to seem rude I politely agreed to the piece of papers invitation and began giving the people around a reason to head back into the blistering sun. Jet lagged and over heating I headed back to the hostel for some shut eye.

It was my first experience in a hostel and I was pleasantly surprised. Over the next few nights I quickly discovered hostel life was pretty damn great. In keeping with “trying something new” I stuck with an English guy. I’d never met one before…

I walked in on a naked chinese man. I’d never met one before…

Being greeted with nothing but a face full of asian arse. I’d never met one before…

After claiming my place of slumber and having left my valuables in a locker that could be opened simply by pushing the door downwards I was set. Feeling confident my stuff would not go walkies on the first day my new friends; English Guy, Asian Arse and I began discovering.

Like the changing of the seasons, Hong Kong transformed into a lively, vibrant place to wander. A heavy orange glow over head thanks to the constellations of building lights made the darkness less dramatic. I braved the night market, battering my way through crowds of people who like me had no interest in buying anything. Just seeing the random selection of goods on offer would suffice. Tent after tent was led out in front of me. If you could think of it then you probably could buy it here!


Not only was there plenty to see but also plenty to drink! With a bottle of beer costing less then 80p I had little excuse not to experience Hong Kong clubbing at least once. With my new acquaintances we again searched high and low for these mythical clubs. Success was on our side as our mission paid off, we were in. Be that as it may we didn’t stay too long after reading the clubs price list for drinks! It was from one extreme to the other, where 80p quickly turned into £8. It seemed like the prices of things were the wrong way round in a lot of ways. Public transport was cheap, a twenty minute taxi ride was cheaper than a drink in a Hong Kong bar and best of all the Star Ferry you can take to hop between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island taking roughly 5-10 minutes cost around 20p. Food was as you’d expect price wise and was pretty affordable compared to most cities world wide, perfect for backpackers on a tight budget, or as I like to call it, poor.

Waking up without a hangover seemed a success in itself and I was graced with another day of exploring. There really was something new to do everyday and today we headed once again over to Hong Kong Island to make the most of the FREE viewing deck in, If I remember correctly, one of the two towers of the World Trade buildings on the island. We entered a lift with only two buttons, Ground or Floor 55. Seeing as we were already on the ground little else presented itself as an option; apart from hitting the emergency assistance button. We rose to Floor 55 and I couldn’t believe my eyes! A sea of skyscrapers enveloped by a ring of mountains one side, followed by a view of the narrow straight of water keeping Kowloon at bay.

The night repeated itself as we drank and walked aimlessly around and before we knew it we could hear our beds screaming for us.

An early start came around quickly as my new English friend and I decided to grab a boat and head over to Maccau. Described to me as the Vegas of Asia and with pictures of Brad Pitt and Robert De’Niro everywhere, seriously, we had arrived. This place seemed like it was still waiting to be finished thanks to construction everywhere which only made me want to return in a few years time to see just how much it had grown. We took a free bus to one of the many casinos and from there walked in to the center of the touristy stuff. It was stunning.



Amongst shop after shop selling the exact same thing we found an pathway leading up to an old outpost, surrounded by cannon after cannon as its guardians. Looking down the barrel of one of the cannons, what would once have been an imposing threat had now been replaced by the tallest building in the city and what a building it was.


It looked near impossible to have built let alone remain standing. It widened more and more at the top almost like a flower blossoms and was completely gold in colour. Curious as to what it was we walked over to it, only to find out it was another casino. Now it would have been rude not to have gambled a little bit and as £1 was $11 I thought I could spare some money. $10 later I was done with gambling and was satisfied I could say I had gambled in Maccau.

Next stop, another casino. Honestly, the free buses here were a god send as the heat once again was killing us and after a short trip we we in another air conditioned casino. This one was different. It was set up like a street in hollywood with shops either side and restaurants a plenty. The main attraction, other than the slot machines was Maccaus version of the London Eye. $100 later we were in our on little pod being lifted higher and higher above the building on a ferris wheel in a figure of eight. Many more pictures were taken but we couldn’t help but laugh and agree that it would be much much better in a few years as although still beautiful, the views of cranes and construction sites had less appeal about them from above.


After a full day of roaming the streets and trying traditional Maccau quisine, another McDonalds, it was time to catch our boat back. This time however the sea was much choppier and my McDonalds nearly made a reappearance. Passport re-checked and new visa acquired we were home, ready to tell our tales to our hostel family who awaited.

My final day in Hong Kong was here and what a day to end it. After more people joining the Urban Pack family, and more English which was nice as I’d never met any before, we decided to check out the Tian Tan Buddha. Two train rides and a 3 HOUR QUEUE for the skyrail we had arrived. The skyrail is essentially a cable car over hills and water that takes you directly to the buddha, but it allows you a view like no other. Hong Kong completely out of sight you see only what nature truly intended. Unless you look behind you, then you’ll see Hong Kong International airport. Not so natural.
The buddha was incredible! Sat peacefully alone on a hill top, gazing down on an ocean of flashing lights as we disturbed its slumber with hundreds on cameras taking our own little piece of it back home with us.





The air full of incense as the locals paid their respects we too lit 3 sticks of incense and placed them into the sand next to hundreds alike, all fragrancing the air with the smell of local spices. After a solid few hours enjoying the views and taking in a once in a lifetime experience we decided to queue for a further two hours for the skyrail just to be able to take a fourty minute train ride back to the hostel. All in all, over five hours travelling and around two hours at the actual buddha. Great success.

With one last night in the hostel before having to head to the airport, my new English chums and I thought we would educate our fellow travelleres in the way of the Inbetweeners 2 movie. After and hour and a half on laughing like children whilst simultaneously seriously damaging Englands reputation it was bed time for the last time in Hong Kong and the first goodbye of my travelling career. The one bit people forget to mention when going travelling; you will meet many amazing people but one day have to say goodbye. Not so fun!

The sun awoke, as did I and it was time to head to the Airport for my last leg of the journey to Melbourne. It was great as 4 of the girls from the hostel had a flight at a similar time so I had some great company until boarding but once again the time for final goodbyes came and my new objective was trying to get some more sleep on the flight. Qantas, great. The food, pretty good. The person next to me snoring and falling asleep on me the entire way…not so good. After another sleepless flight and re-watching Dexter to the point where I didn’t want to leave the plane, I was where I will be for the next year…

Welcome to Australia.

Discovering Dubai

So It was finally time for me to set off on my journey to Melbourne, Australia and the first of my two stops was Dubai. I’ve only ever seen DXB (Dubai Airport) so I guess it would be nice to actually see the city in all of it’s glory.


The heat hit me instantly and it was 11pm! Night time! No place for heat at night! But I knew what was in store for me over the next two days. I headed over to my taxi and began the short drive to my hotel. Looking out of the window, all I could see was the glistening of lights bouncing off of building windows, a sea of red lights in front of me on the desperately busy roads and plane after plane cruising by overhead. But everything looked so fresh, like It had just been opened for business! The hotel was in Deira and was everything I needed for my two nights stop over. The first night I just sat on the bed; with too much time to think i started to feel slightly alone as I realised that this was it, this was the first day of over 365 days to come and the fact that I was away officially sank it.

After about 4 hours sleep it was time to get out and explore and after a quick free breakfast I was out on my was to the Burj Khalifa, in the blistering heat! The metro is SO easy to figure out as everything is so clearly sign posted. I really doubt you could get lost! As the stops passed, I was getting ever closer to the tallest building in the world. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. This 830 meters tall building was stunning, like something out of a Sci-Fi movie. I would say it was touching the clouds but there weren’t any!


I spent more time than planned in the Dubai Mall, partly because there was so much to see, like an aquarium?!


But also because I went round in circles about 5 times. Still, I can safely say that it is probably the BEST shopping mall to get lost in! After a quick bite to eat I raced back to the hotel as i didn’t want to miss my pick up for the evening desert safari. Around a 6 hour excursion meant I got to see just how talented these drivers were as they battled against the sand dunes and threw us every which way they could! This was an incredible experience; one I had never imagined. Such breathtaking views were outdone by the sight of the sun setting behind the mountains of sand in the distance. No pictures could do it justice!



All the desert exploring made me hungry. Perfect timing for us to head to the camp and experience some traditional local cuisine. I ate so many new foods and I would tell you what those foods were but I don’t know what It was I ate. Part of travelling is trying new things right?

Belly full I got to sit down, on the floor cushion things, and enjoy some shows, including a belly dancer and after all was finished I practically passed out in the car back to the hotel only to then NOT be able to sleep at all! Sods law!

A very short but sweet stop over In Dubai, but I feel I made the most of the time I had and I’m almost glad there is so much left to do…just means I have to come back!

Thank you for reading, see you in the next one.

World Trip – It’s Getting Close!

It is officially two weeks today before I catch my first flight en route to Australia! The first leg of the journey will take me as far as the spectacular city of Dubai. Landing in the evening of November 2nd through to the evening of November 4th. As I’m not in Dubai for the longest time, I have crammed in a few things I really want to do, such as a desert safari which takes you through the golden dunes via SUV and even on camel back! Followed by an evening of Arabic cuisine and stunning views of the sun set in the middle of a vast open plane! I can’t wait to conquer the worlds tallest building, even If it is by elevator, and take some jaw-droppingly (Yes that’s a word) beautiful shots of the city from above! Burj Khalifa,please don’t disappoint! Sight seeing is definitely in order as its not every day you can to gaze upon a sea of man made islands, representing perfectly our planet earth! I wonder if England is still for sale…

Next stop is Hong Kong. Jetting off on the 4th and touching down on the 5th I will be in one of the worlds most cultural cities! A perfect picture of East meets West, with architecture from centuries past brushed up against the modern era. The Peak, Hong Kong’s tallest viewing area is a must and maybe even a sneaky look around the shopping complex that accompanies it. The tram to and from, AND the Sky Terrace itself is only $80HKD, that’s just over £6!

The Tian Tan Buddha, the vibrant street markets, the view of the skyline from the Star Ferry as you drift out from the city centre. All of this combined and more is certainly a recipe for one trip I will never forget. I just hope 5 days Is enough to scratch the itch of seeing Hong Kong for now.

The 9th. Next stop Melbourne, Australia!! Taking off the evening of the 9th and arriving early morning on the 10th my trip will be complete. This is where my journey up the east coast will begin. I hope to work for some time, increase the funds to make sure I can jump out of planes, off bridges and sail around the Whitsunday Islands without worrying too much about money! But not only that, but to also really experience the every day life of Australia. I want to explore of course and do all kinds of crazy things; but I also want to take each day in, meet new people, get a real grasp of the Australian way of life and experience what it is to live in such a unique and amazing corner of the earth.

Of course there will be many, many more posts to come, especially when I am actually on the go, but for now I thought I’d just punch down some words and document what I’m doing in the early stages of the trip. It’s just SO close!

I’ve made a few videos and stuck them up on good old Youtube, so feel free to check out my First Leg/Check List video to get a visual insight in to what lies ahead!

Thanks you for reading guys, take care now.

At home with the Vikings

It was a very early start as I ventured out in to the black on my way to the coach station. The cold, fresh autumnal  air soon woke me up and I was ready for another little adventure. The coach arrived and after throwing my new backpack on board I hopped up the stairs and settled down for the next three hours. As I closed my eyes in the darkness I awoke in London to a beautiful day. Looking out of my window at the hectic morning rituals of so many locals. A quick swap of coaches and another hour and a half journey I was finally at Stansted Airport. With no hassle or delay It was board. This early start must’ve really taken its toll on me as again my eyes clamped shut, only to open moments before landing.


This was it, back at my home away from home. What an utterly stunning view! This country and it’s beauty never ceases to amaze me!
As I disembarked the aircraft I took a deep breath. Suddenly the fresh, revitalising morning air of Bournemouth was incomparable to that of my new home for the next ten days.
I did the duty of presenting the passport  (Like everyone, I hate my picture xD) and collected my bag, relieved to see it had passed its first test as containing my life for the next year and more to come. I made my way to the airport door, ready to see my Dad and ready to re-explore this incredible country. It was a further hours drive until we were home, but that didn’t come in to mind as I admired the landscape along the way


Home sweet home, we’d arrived and I was ready for a relaxing evening before the little adventure begins!

Thanks for reading everyone, hope you enjoyed it. I’ll see you in the next post 🙂

Osprey Farpoint 70 Review

Hey readers! Hope you’re well 🙂

Today my backpack came, the Osprey Farpoint 70 which I purchased from eBay for £107 only two days ago! I thought now is as good a time as any to buy it as MY VISA WAS ACCEPTED FOR AUSTRALIA!!! I can’t believe it, I’m so over the moon. So to help things feel a little more real, I’ve bought myself a nice, shiny new bag to try and get it to all sink in!


Check the link to me video review for a full look!

As I said, it’s from Osprey, a highly respected brand in the travelling world; a reason I felt I could trust in them. There are a couple of alternatives in regards to size and colours etc. But after reading plenty I decided on the 70 litre in charcoal grey. It comes with a handy detachable day pack which makes up 15 of the 70 litres. The day pack has a compartment for your laptop, along with a smaller section for and items you wanna grab quickly from the top of the bag. On the outside it has yet another zipped compartment along with two bottle holders. Leaving the remaining 55 litres as the main bag itself.


The bag opens like a suitcase as opposed to the top loaders, making it much much easier to get things in and out! Remember, when on the go you want to make your life as easy as possible so this is a huge selling point. On the inside of the bag, there are two compartments, of which i’ll probably use for any documents you might want to keep handy. The 55 litres in the main bag looks like more than enough space for all my clothes, shoes and other items, but for me a little extra space is welcome as I don’t want to be caught out and run out of space for things I might buy around the world. Another nice touch gives more peace of mind to the traveller as there are metal rings on each zip allowing a lock to be attached. Just to make you feel that little be happier about your lovely belongings whilst you’re away.


The size I bought is M/L and seems perfect for me as I am 6ft1 (185cm) tall. The bag itself seems incredibly durable and made of a strong material that I’m sure will last (If I take care of it that is) and I can’t wait to pack my life up into this bag and escape on a once in a lifetime adventure! 😀 I feel confident in this bag and would definitely recommend it so far to anyone wondering, like I was, about what bag to get.

I’d love to hear what bags you all use and why. Maybe you’ve even had this very same bag! Let me know, I’d love to hear from you 🙂 I hope this gives some insight for anyone looking for a good quality bag and narrows down the options a bit. Be sure to check out my video review for a more, in depth review 🙂

Thanks for reading as always,

I’ll catch you in the next one.

Amsterdam, You Did Not Disappoint!

August 13th, the day before my 21st, time to get up to Southampton Airport and hop on a Dash 8 for a quick 50 minute flight to Amsterdam. What’s a better way to spend the birthday weekend then a 4 day city break in the Dam?!

It was two friends and I, the first time the three of us had been away together since Italy in 2011 so we were all really looking forward to a great trip and boy were we amazed!

The weather when we landed couldn’t have been any better, not a cloud in the sky and blazing 30 degree heat!! Part of me wondered if we’d flown to the right place, but alas after probably the easiest transport system and double deckered trains we were at our hotel. The hotel was a Novotel and after a passing comment about it being my 21st we landed ourselves a free upgrade and free mini bar for the stay, RESULT! Without any delay we ditched our bags, jumped on the tram and headed out for some exploring.




It was so easy to get around and we certainly weren’t short of anywhere to grab a pint or two. We’d got our map just to make sure we looked adequately touristy and made the most of the blazing sun, sat out by the canals, beers in hand.

After a full day of exploring and getting a feel for the surroundings the sun began to set and with it took the heat and good weather; soon enough we were in the middle of one killer thunderstorm! The hours ticked by and we headed for home and some well deserved rest after what was a very long day. It was okay for the two others, who managed to sleep through what sounded like the beginning of the apocalypse just outside our window, whereas I had slightly more trouble as each clap of thunder woke me up. Not my kind of alarm.


We went for a feast of a breakfast and headed straight out for the Heineken Brewery tour. It may have been 12pm, but its 5pm somewhere right? Time for some beer! Another passing comment of how its my 21st year on this planet and the guys at Heineken plonked a birthday hat on my head quicker then you could say “Embarassing”



The tour was great fun, surprisingly interesting and 9 free pints later we found ourselves on the roof of the building at the bar to enjoy some more good weather with some great music, the smell of the BBQ in air and fresh pints, bliss! I would seriously recommend the tour to anyone looking for a great way to spend a good few hours. PLUS, It only cost £11 🙂

Now I’m not going to lie, the remainder of the birthday did include a lot of food and beers and the obligatory giggles you get walking through the Red Light District. And no, just no, that didn’t happen, but you have to see it for yourself! I didn’t know what to expect but whatever it was, this was different. It’s the only time you’re going to see dozens of women in underwear/bikinis at 1am I’ll tell you that much.


The food is amazing but there was one thing I didn’t want to leave! The best Ice-cream on the planet. Found it by accident and it was the best accident of my life haha! Nieuwendijk is the name of the shopping street and I can guarantee it’ll be the best euro spent! Nothing better then walking nonchalantly through the streets and crowds of people with the best vanilla ice-cream dripping all over the place! Per-fec-tion!



As I said, the food was great, cheese all over the place, Bitterbollen are little balls of deliciousness and Worst stands to help you refuel. May have come back with some excess baggage…only around my gut instead.

Due to a turn in the weather we didn’t get to fulfil our plans to get either bikes or mopeds and whiz around the streets but we weren’t to disheartened. I guess we have a reason to go back! Due to said weather we had to resort to more indoor adventures for the next day and a half and after a few museums and popping into the occasional coffee shop to see why a lot of people go to the Dam, our trip was virtually over. Now of course there is more that we did but this post would be far to long to include so I’m sticking to the conventional stuff, the stuff that I’d recommend to anyone who is going. But for us, some of the most fun hours were spent jumping aimlessly onto any tram and seeing where we ended up. Now that’s the best way to really see the city!

I hoped you’ve enjoyed this post as much as I’ve enjoyed reliving the experiences as I write!!

Now get out there and experience it all for yourselves! You won’t regret it!

Thanks for reading, until the next one!