The Daily Explorer

September 19, 2008

Kangaroos, Koalas and World Peace

Filed under: Australia,People — The Daily Explorer @ 3:55 am
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Australia: September 2008

MOZZIE BYTE (Editor): Welcome back to all our Daily Explorer readers and greetings to those of you who are joining us for the first time. Ray is now in Australia and I am delighted to announce that our favourite Aussie journo, Chuck Maboomerang (above) has agreed to re-join the team whilst Ray is here. Chuck made his first appearance in one of our publications in December 2006 and he is a firm favourite with our readers.

Before you hear from Chuck about what Ray has been up to since he arrived down under, you may want to take a look at our last issue, in which Ray visited a ground-breaking wildlife sanctuary for elephants near Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. The story of ‘Lek’ Chailert, the creator and founder, is really inspiring and you can read all about her in ‘Elephants and Lions

Above: “What a scrubber!” – Nikki Ashley (centre) takes a bath with one of the residents at The Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In case you missed it, you can read all about it in ‘Elephants and Lions (Photo: Anthony LoBaido)

In our latest issue, we continue with an animal theme as Chuck finds out more about Ray’s first visit to Brisbane, where he made a special trip to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary just outside the city. And he follows our intrepid explorer as he meets with a few business contacts in Sydney, to explore the possibility of some professional work in 2009 (in Australia). And finally, I would like to draw your attention to an event of global significance, which our publication is timed to co-incide with – ‘Peace One Day’, on 21st September.

After his ripper of an experience in Thailand, I was stoked to be asked by The Daily Explorer to follow Ray in the land down under and compile the journo during his trip. We met as he touched down at the airport early one Monday morning and I asked him what his initial plans were. “Well Chuck, the first thing I am going to do is make my way to where I am staying and recover from the trip down here” he told me. “I found a really cheap way of getting here from Chiang Mai (via Kuala Lumpur) but there was a long lay over in between flights so I am zonked” added our exhausted traveller. I asked Ray if he had come prepared for the Australian winter? “Based on my experience of being here this time last year, I know it gets pretty cold so I have come with my fleece, gloves and long trousers” said our well prepared nomad.

Above: When Ray is in Sydney, he is usually invited to stay with close cobbers, Elizabeth (left) and Matthew Taylor (right) and their young son Pete (centre), pictured here at one of Sydney’s many beach side cafe’s for some brekkie the day after Ray’s arrival – “They are such enduring, true friends who have always been very kind to me” said Ray. “We have known each other for over 20 years and the three of us shared a house together in England for a while when we all worked together. This is my fifth visit to Sydney and I always get really excited about seeing them, including Pete who is now eight!” added Ray

Below: As usual, Elizabeth (a.k.a Charlie) had beautifully prepared Ray’s room (left) prior to his arrival with Pete adding his own special touch with a notice on the door which he artistically crafted (read’s “Welcome back Baldy!”). Coming from the tropics, our traveller was shocked by the contrast in the weather and surprisingly had to put the gas fire on within minutes of arriving to comabt the ‘extreme’ cold! (right) – “I have no idea how I will survive in the Himalayas – it’s 10 degrees centigrade in Sydney and I am freezing to death!”

For our readers that don’t know Matthew and Charlie, I discovered they are no bludgers. They are both full time working parents with very busy schedules. “When I arrived, the timing was such that Matt and Charlie were both out of town on business for the first couple of days, which meant that I let myself into the house and had my own place for a couple of days until they returned” recalled Ray. “They have always treated me like one of the family and this is a great example of it” he added.

Elizabeth is Head of Business Process for Zurich General Insurance in Australia, which means that she is always flat out like a lizard drinking and under a lot of pressure to make sure that major ‘change’ programmes and business projects in her organisation get completed on time and within the budgets allocated. Anyone who has done this kind of work will know this is a very challenging job. “When I see Elizabeth and how hard she works, it always makes me feel slightly guilty, as I have enjoyed a considerable period of time without having to work under such pressure” said Ray. “She has now fully recovered from cancer and still gets as excited as she ever did about making a difference where she is working and does her best to ensure she contributes to her colleagues in a valuable way” observed Ray.

Above: Charlie was away when Ray arrived in Sydney – “She came back home at the end of my first week and was really excited to show us this certificate, which acknowledged that she had successfully completed a training course for Change Managers – people who do the type of work she does” explained Ray. “She has learnt how to adopt some new strategies and approaches at work, which means that she can be even more effective” he told me

Below: Charlie is also an incredibly talented artist – “At home, she has created a series of models in small wood and glass cases for children along the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme and is planning to stage an exhibition at some point” Ray told me. “The models (left) are painstakingly made by hand from materials typically used in dolls houses and model railways, to create strange, eye catching contrasts in size between people and objects (right)

Charlie’s husband Matt is arguably amongst the small percentage of the population who manage to find a place within the spectrum of paid work that really reflects what they are passionate about. “As long as I have known him, Matt was never really that passionate about mainstream business and the type of work we did together, although he was very competent” said Ray. “His real interest is and has always been nature and the environment, more latterly the preservation of both in the face of mounting global challenges” explained Ray. “So I was absolutely delighted to discover that he now has a job as General Manager of Oz Green – a non-profit organisation which educates, engages and empowers young people, adults, corporations and communities to tackle critical environmental sustainability challenges like climate change and water shortages” he told me. “Not only is Matt in precisely the ‘right’ place for his soul to be fulfilled whilst he earns a living, he is one of the few people already dedicated to tackling the issues which all of us at some point are going to have to face up to. Meeting and talking to people like Matt to become informed about and understand these challenges is a vital and valuable a part of the travel experience (for me)” said our global explorer.

Above: Good onya! Matthew Taylor (second from left, front row) educates a group of schoolkids from the Murray Darling river basin about the challenges we all face in preserving our environment – “I am so happy for him because he has found somewhere he can be truly authentic about who he is and what he loves doing” said Ray

Matthew and Charlie’s son Pete and our traveller are great friends too. “I first met Pete just after he was born in 2000” said Ray. “Because I have made several visits to Sydney since then, there has been some continuity in our relationship and we have lots of fun together when I stay with the family. He is now eight and we have some pretty interesting conversations too, as Pete likes to ask lots of questions. He is quite charming – I love the fact that he calls me ‘Baldy’ and has encouraged all of his friends to do the same” laughed Ray.

Above: Pete (left) enjoys playing ‘teacher’ as he shows ‘Baldy’ (right) the correct way to swing on a rope for maximum movement – they may be years apart in age but they are both kids at heart!

Below: Don’t worry – it’s stuffed! Pete also took Ray to the Australian Museum, one of his favourite places to go in Sydney – “The museum is housed in a beautiful building in the city centre and is chock-a-block with exhibits of animals, birds and all things natural. Pete really wanted me to see the dinosaurs and the skeletons” said Ray

Above: This was the centrepiece of the fascinating dinosuar exhibit (left), whilst we thought that Ray may have gone just a bit too far with his cleansing and fasting (right) when he sent us this picture!

Below: On leaving the museum, our observant traveller noticed the name of the street they were parked in – “Definitely not the place to have an argument!” joked Ray

One of the reasons for Ray’s visit to Sydney was to meet five or six business contacts and explore some professional work opportunities. “Having sold my consulting business earlier this year, it would be tempting to turn my back on the business world for good” said Ray, when I asked him where work fits into his life. “Having said that, I still feel like I have something to contribute in the business arena and would like to do it on my own terms – it would be great if I could establish some associate relationships with people who see me as a valuable addition to their team and do not mind me being available for limited periods of time” explained Ray. “Ideally, I would come back here 2-3 times a year for a month at a time, continuing to travel in between. The ”Impossible Dream” is the name I have given to this pursuit and I am not sure if it will work out exactly how I imagine it, but there is no harm in trying! At the very least, I will have made a few new friends and really enjoyed the time I have spent here” added our creative traveller.

Above: Ray arrives at the offices of 6 Degrees – a Sydney based coaching, training and consulting company – “Yet again, life has guided me towards the right people, having been introduced to them through a string of co-incidences and chance meetings with people that started right back in the UK over a year ago” said Ray. “They have a view to die for from their office windows” added Ray as he took in the view from the roof of their building

Around the Greater Sydney Area

From his base at Manly beach, our traveller decided to capitalise on his time here by getting out of the city and visiting some people a bit further afield. “My mum has a life long friend called Shirley who lives in Penrith – a small town to the west of the city” said Ray. “They went to school together, which means they must have known each other for well over sixty years. Mum had suggested that I visit Shirley on previous trips, but things never worked out and unfortunately, I never did. This time, I was determined to meet her and arranged to take the train out to Penrith after I had been in the country a few days” recalled Ray. “She and her husband Brian made me feel very welcome when I arrived at their home and my mum was over the moon that her best friend had finally got to meet her youngest son” he told me.

Above: Map showing the greater Sydney area, with Ray’s base near Manly Beach (circled, right) and Penrith which lies about 50 kilometres to the west (circled, left)

Above: Ray took one of the ‘double decker’ Sydney trains to Penrith (left), which he boarded at Circular Quay (right) – “The trains are really well designed and can carry twice as many people because of the two decks” said Ray. “And the view from the station platform at Circular Quay has got to be one of the best from any station in the world” he observed

Below: Ray arrives at Penrith station (left) and is very soon united with his mum’s lifelong friend, Shirley Gould – “She emigrated from England in the 60’s. Mum had sometimes spoken to me about her and I knew Shirley had been reading The Daily Explorer in the last few months, so it was lovely to actually meet her in person” said Ray, who was given a huge bowl of fresh mandarins grown in her garden to take away with him

Even further afield lies Newcastle, to the north of Sydney and about two hours by train. Ray spent the weekend there with Michael Cradock and his young family, who had recently swapped a basement flat in Barons Court, West London for a wonderful house overlooking the expansive and picturesque Lake Macquarie. I asked Ray how they knew each other. “My business used to be based in serviced offices in Chiswick (West London) and Michael’s company occupied the suite opposite mine. We started doing some work together and over time, became quite good friends. But I think we really bonded when my marriage came to an end and he split with his long term girlfriend shortly afterwards” recalled Ray. “He then met and fell in love with an Aussie girl living in London – they got married in 2007 and decided they would move to Australia, in time to have their first child together (see Sun, Sea and Songkran). Toni is from Lake Macquarie and Michael was able to get a job in nearby Newcastle” he explained.

Above: Map of New South Wales, showing where Newcastle is in relation to Sydney – “It’s quite amazing just how many places in Australia take their inspiration from their English namesakes. Michael and Toni actually live outside Newcastle, in a small town near Cardiff station” said Ray

Below: Michael stands outside his home with his back to the magnificent Lake Macquarie – “He does not seem to have any regrets about leaving London, and having been here for a weekend, I can understand why – great environment and climate, fantastic neighbourhood and lots of family support nearby” said Ray. “Unfortunately, the job which he agreed to do before leaving England did not really work out, although it is probably a blessing in disguise as Michael is very entrepreneurial and will inevitably create something much better, knowing him!”

Above: Madelaine Elizabeth, Michael and Toni’s first child (left) was born on 19th April this year – “Like all parents, they are very happy that they have been blessed with such a wonderful child” observed Ray. “I was able to see first hand just how much work is involved in looking after a new baby” added Ray. “When it was time to leave, Michael took a short break from his parental responsibilities to give me a lift back to the station and we stopped to take a view of the splendid Newcastle coastline along the way” (right)

Below: “I just love some of the real Aussie names for places” said our traveller as he passed though Wolli Creek station (left) on his way to see another friend, Chris Bogers (right) – “We met last year when I was in Christchurch, New Zealand” said Ray. “She has now moved to Australia to live with her new partner and I discovered that she recently got engaged” he told me. Congratulations from everyone at The Daily Explorer!

Last but not least, Ray ventured out to Glenfield, south west of Sydney, to meet someone who he had been put in touch with by another traveller, which is becoming a regular occurence. “More and more thesedays, I let people know where I am planning to go and someone will inevitably say to me “Oh, I have a friend who lives there – you really must meet them. I’ll give you their contact details and tell them I told you to call” said Ray. “Nine times out of ten, I will make the effort, as I have found from experience that the conversations are often quite fascinating, and this particular person was no exception” he told me. Intrigued, I asked Ray to tell me a bit more.

“My friend San-Bao, in Ko Samui (Thailand) is an avid reader of The Daily Explorer, so he knew I was headed to Australia. He sent me an email saying I ‘must’ meet his friend Gary, who like me, had an unusual story. So I replied to San-Bao and asked for a bit more information about Gary. “Oh, I met him in prison” said San-Bao. “This was a surprise to me, as I didn’t even know that San-Bao had been to prison, but I trusted him and so agreed I would call Gary when I got to Sydney” explained Ray. “We agreed to meet and I made my way to his home. I was dying to know what he had done that had led to him being sent to prison, although I was very nervous to ask” recalled our traveller. “Gary was an amazing, gentle man, open, curious and totally transformed from his eight and half year stretch. It was very hard to believe that he had been convicted of attempted murder” said Ray. “As he talked about himself and what he had been through, I realised that the inner journey he had been on, to find out who he really is, may not look like mine or anyone else’s, but is just as valid. Prison is still such a huge taboo subject in our culture, and people tend to hold quite strong prejudices about anyone who has been through the system. I was simply grateful to meet with someone whose life has been so different to mine and learn about it. It was also a chance to practise being present without making any judgements. Travel keeps giving me such wonderful opportunities to grow” said our global nomad.

Above: Gary Broderick, who Ray met on the recommendation of a fellow traveller from Thailand – “He spent five of his years in jail becoming a meditator and yoga master and has more mental discipline than just about anyone I have met on my travels” said Ray. “He is now free and is re-building his life. He is planning to set up a centre to teach martial arts to young, under-privileged kids” said Ray


Although Ray has been to Australia several times, he has never visited or explored Brisbane. “In 2000, I collected a car from Brisbane airport and immediately started drving north towards Cairns without stopping in the city, and in 2005, I departed from the airport after a two day stay in Byron Bay (to the south)” recalled Ray. “Now I have made friends with a couple of people that live in the city, it was the right time to go and spend a few days there” he told me. “Budget travel in Australia is still phenomenally good value, depsite rising oil prices and I was able to get a return flight from Sydney on Virgin Blue for less than one hundred pounds” added Ray.

Above: Map showing the major cities of Australia. Brisbane is the third largest city in the country and the capital of the State of Queensland, with a population of around two million people

Above: Ray boards his Virgin Blue flight at Sydney airport

Below: Brisbane from the air – the circled area is the CBD (Central Business District)

The host for Ray’s visit was Maree Symons, who he met in New Zealand in 2007. “I was staying in a guest house in Wanganui when Maree and a colleague stopped over one evening on a business trip. We hit it off immediately and she invited me to meet her again when I got to Wellington” recalled Ray. “She had just met a new partner and since then, they have had their first child together and moved to Brisbane which is where she grew up” he told me. “Andy is lucky to be alive, having sustained some serious injuries from a para-gliding accident a few months ago. He was in quite a bit of pain when I arrived and was wearing a body brace to support his spine as he has a couple of cracked vertebrae. He will not be able to work for about a year but is making great progress and should make a full recovery” added Ray.

Above: Pround mum Maree, who is a trained stunt woman and naturopath, holds her gorgeous son Louis (left). Her partner Andy is lucky to be alive after a serious accident and has decided to give up para-gliding for the time being

Below: The South Bank Parklands area within the Brisbane CBD – “The town planners came up with a really neat idea to create a ‘beach’ in the middle of the city by transforming the area that was created from hosting the World Expo in 1988

Sometimes in life, timing is everything and Ray’s visit to Brisbane was no exception. “Of all the weekends I could have picked, I unknowingly ended up coming whilst the QBE Riverfire Festival was on, which was just perfect” said our lucky traveller. “The festival features Brisbane’s biggest and most spectacular fireworks display and transforms the city into a massive celebration, as hundreds of thousands of people pack the banks of the Brisbane River and come together in backyards across the suburbs” Ray told me.

Visitors are in for a treat. Eyes are riveted to the sky, while feet are tapping on the ground during the stunning choreographed fireworks display, set to the pumping QBE Riverfire 2008 soundtrack. And then, the ultimate crowd pleaser as the RAAF F1-11 strike jets sweep low over the city before performing their ‘dump and burn’ manouver. “We decided to join the massive crowd for the celebrations and make ourselves a picnic so that we could spend the afternoon by the river” said Ray. “We met with a couple who are friends of Maree and Andy and nabbed a decent spot so that we could get a good view of the proceedings” he told me.

Above: An RAAF F1-11 performing a ‘dump-and-burn’ fuel dump, a procedure where the fuel is intentionally ignited using the aircraft’s afterburner

Below: With vantage point secured, Ray and his friends (left) enjoy a picnic beside the river and wait for the spectacular fireworks display a bit later. From left to right: Alina, daughter Maya, Haris (from Bosnia) and Maree. The crowd were entertained during the afternoon with showcase drills and live music, as well as a dazzling display by the gravity-defying Roulettes (right)

Above: Darkness falls as the crowd on the ‘beach’ at Brisbane’s South Bank patiently wait for the fireworks display to begin …..

Above and below: ….. and it is well worth waiting for as thirty minutes of heart-stopping, eye popping fireworks illuminate the night skies in a spectacular visual feast, accompanied by a terrific musical score

Having spent the week-end socialising with friends, it was time for our global traveller to explore the city in a bit more depth. “For a relatively young city, some of the architecture is stunning and their is a terrific blend of the traditional with the contemporary” observed Ray. “I spent a day walking around the central area, which is my favourite way of getting to know a city. If you do it on foot, you have a much greater exposure to the richness in the detail and the chance to talk to many different people to get a better experience of what the place is really like, plus you can stop whenever you want for a cuppa” said our experienced traveller.

Above: The old Treasury Building in the centre of the city ……..

Below: …. and the building as it looked on its completion in 1889 (left). Nowadays, it hosts a casino. And by contrast, the ultra – modern offices of the Brisbane City Council (right), which were completed in 2006

The Brisbane River also offers a fantastic option for seeing different parts and aspects of the city. “You can buy an all-day pass on the City Cat for about £4, which is really cheap when you consider that you can see the entire city from end to end in around two hours” said Ray. As well as being used by visitors, the City Cat is a preferred mode of transport for many people who work in the city. “There are numerous stops on both sides of the river and it is very easy to get around. The vessels are large and fast, easily able to cope with the twice daily peaks in passenger traffic as people come and go from work” observed Ray.

Above: The streamlined City Cat ferry is one of the best ways to see Brisbane and is very good value for money

Below: Another view of the Brisbane City Council offices from the water (left) and some of the high rise buildings in the heart of the CBD at Riverside (right). The tall building in the centre houses some of the most expensive apartments in Australia in the upper section above the offices

Above: Like London, Brisbane now has it’s own ‘Eye’. Made in the UK, it is 60 metres high (compared to the London Eye at 135 metres) and is the biggest observation wheel in Australia. It has been installed this year to mark the 20th anniversary of World Expo and the ride last about 15 minutes

Below: This old paddlesteamer (left) is a very popular tourist attraction, while art lovers can visit the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (right)

Whilst Ray’s visit to Brisbane was primarily to see the city as a traveller, there were a couple of people he had arranged to see while there. “Those readers who have seen the Man of a Thousand Days story may remember that I returned to the UK in 2005 having worked in theatre in Australia, to attend the wedding of a couple of friends” explained Ray. “I was one of the ushers, and the best woman was a lady called Carlie, from Brisbane. We had sat together at the wedding and had only met briefly once before that in Byron Bay” recalled Ray.

Above: The Brisbane Powerhouse is one of the newer, nicer places on the river for Brisbane socialites to hang out – “Carlie took me there when we met and it reminded me of the Tate Modern on the Thames, having been created out of a derelict power station

Below: Carlie is friends with a great couple who run a really innovative business called ‘Moving Canvas‘ – “it is a really cool business” said Ray. “Basically, Mike Banks (who is an artist) has teamed up with Kaye Fox (who is a marketeer) and they rent artworks to businesses all over Brisbane and some other cities in the country too” explained Ray. “Since they launched, Brisbane has been booming so there is plenty of demand. As well as Mike, they have created a pool of talented, local contemporary artists whose work is rented out to the many corporate clients they have acquired. Mike, who paints under the name of Banx, is pictured below beside one of his creations

Like all good businesses, there is a constant need to promote what you do and Ray was in town during the week that Moving Canvas had been invited to set up their annual exhibition in the foyer of a huge city skyscraper which house the offices of several clients. “Carlie and I arranged to have dinner with Mike and Kaye, but first said we would help them get their exhibition set up, which involved off loading several works of art and mounting them on carefully positioned easels in the lobby” recalled Ray. “it was great fun and gave me an insight into how this kind of business works, as well as meeting two great, very creative people” added our traveller.

Above: Banx (left) creates the art that hangs on the walls of Brisbane offices – “My favourites were ‘Corporate Ties’ (right) and ..

Below: ……. ‘River City’ which depicts Brisbane (left) and a ‘Drop in the Ocean’ (right)

About one hour from Brisbane by train, on the Gold Coast, is Surfers Paradise. “I had always wanted to go there for a day and see what it was like” said Ray. “People had told me that it was full of high rise blocks, casino’s and bars but having been to Las Vegas, that did not put me off and went to find out if the place had a special atmosphere” he told me. “Now that I have been, I would have to say ‘no’ and I would not rush to get back there” said our traveller. “The beach is marvellous but it’s basically a massive resort that is more like a constant building site as developers rush to cash in on the population boom that is fuelling the growth of nearby Brisbane. With the near 300 days a year sunshine and lower costs than Sydney and Melbourne, I can understand it but it’s not really my cup of tea” added Ray.

Above: The impressive beach and skyline at Surfers Paradise. The very tall building in the background is the ‘Q Deck’ which (at nearly 1,000 feet) is the world’s tallest residential tower – “I had thought I might ride the elevator to the observation deck at the top, until I got there and discovered that it cost nearly fifteen quid to do it” said Ray, “so I decided to skip it” said our budget conscious traveller

Below: Ray makes do with a close up view of the Q Deck from the ground (left) and discovers a restaurant nearby that makes him remember one of his favourite places to stay (right)

The last place on Ray’s itinerary before heading back to Sydney was the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. “A few months ago, I would have probably overlooked a place like this” said Ray, “but since my recent visit to the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, I have become much more interested in and connected to wild animals and was quite excited at the opportunity to get up close and personal and find out more about them” he told me. The sanctuary is about 15 kilometres outside Brisbane, and about half an hour by bus.

Above: According to the sign, London is just about one of the furthest places you can travel from to visit the sanctuary, which is the world’s first and largest for koala’s

Below: Ray gets his first sighting of one of the cute little things!

Above: The Lone Pine sanctuary also provides a home for a large number of Kangaroos – “Look Chippy – is that Chuck Maboomerang making his way over here towards us? I don’t know mate, but the other fella is Ray Martin, the global traveller”

Below: Ray very carefully and quietly approaches one of the Kangaroos – “I was quite surprised and very pleased they allowed me to get so close to them. I suppose having some food to offer really helps!”

Above: Our very own ‘Bird Man of Brisbane’ feeds a couple of Lorikeets (left) and then gets the opportunity he has been waiting for – a cuddle with a koala bear – “It’s the best hug I have had in weeks” said our animal lover

Editors Note: One of our readers, Adrianna Groenig, kindly sent us information about ‘Peace One Day‘ which is taking place on 21st September. Inspired by film-maker Jeremy Gilley, the seed for the idea was created in 1998, when (at the Womad music festival) he began to wonder what it would be like if there was one day when the world stopped fighting? A worldwide ceasefire – a non-violence day? A Peace Day?

So Jeremy began meeting with students, peace negotiators, NGOs, government representatives, heads of state, United Nations’ officials, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, Secretary General of the League of Arab States Amre Moussa, Peace Laureate and former Israeli President Shimon Peres, former Costa Rican President and Nobel Peace Laureate Oscar Arias Sanchez, Nelson Mandela and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. He learned that a UN resolution would be the best way to establish such a day. He filmed all of his travels and meetings and compiled them to create the documentary film Peace One Day.

After years of persistence and hard work, Jeremy’s dream came true. Just two days before 9/11, on 7th September 2001, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by the UK and Costa Rica, formally establishing an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on the UN International Day of Peace – Peace Day – which is now permanently fixed in the global calendar.

You can watch the short video clip below for more information, and better still, make sure that you find someone to make peace with on 21st September, which can even be yourself!

In our next issue, which be online in a couple of weeks, Chuck will be updating you on Ray’s journey through Australia. We understand he is heading for Adelaide via Melbourne when he leaves Sydney and intends to backpack from there to Darwin during the next 2-3 weeks. We will keep you posted!


Above: After a brief stopover in Melbourne, Ray’s travel plans take him from Adelaide to Darwin, a journey of some 3,000 kilometres. More in our next issue!



  1. Well the Taylor’s are now a legend in their own lunch time having appeared in your blog. It was very exciting having such an amazing traveller come and stay with us. You are such a dear friend. Keep up the writing …..the blog is a great way to discover what you are up to ….and for those of us glued to our corporate desks or family life it is a chance to escape and be somewhere else. All our love – The Taylors xxxx

    Comment by Charlie Taylor — September 20, 2008 @ 9:18 pm

  2. Oh and I forgot to say ….you look so damn cute with that koala 🙂

    Comment by Charlie Taylor — September 20, 2008 @ 9:21 pm

  3. Hello Ray, I’m Matt’s Mum, Pete’s Grandma and Charlie’s Ma-in-Law !!! I really loved reading about your stay with them – I am sad to say that I have learned things about them that I didn’t know already! But like you I rejoice that Matt has found a job which he can put his heart into.

    I wonder where it was that you shared a house with Matt and Charlie? – I think I visited most of them when they were with Merchants’. I might even have met you, though it’s no good my trying to remember now!

    Good luck to you, and thanks for being a good friend to my family.


    Comment by Judith Taylor — September 21, 2008 @ 12:53 pm

  4. Wow Ray, what beautiful photography. Brisbane looks fantastic! And Chuck Maboomerang…that’s hilarious. Keep up the great work man, All My Best!


    Comment by Stuart Campbell — September 21, 2008 @ 8:31 pm

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