Category Archives: Space

“Aside from the Punic Wars, which I was too young for, I have been blamed for everything.”

Casinos: everyone looses – Cuba 1959.
Mingling through the pulsating catacombs, lost in the labyrinth. It appears I will be here till the money machine coughs me up as a defective coin. I walk around; the aisles are reminiscent of the Styx with the dead littering its banks. Falling off my life raft, coming face to face with the gatekeeper, is a strong possibility; inevitable. I’m not sure what would occur when he opens my featherweight wallet, revealing I do not hold enough to pay the ferryman. Though diminutive funds do not seem to hold back the impoverished from gambling their lives away. All these souls, their eyes glazed over as they dunk coin after coin into the luminous, animate machines that fill the foreseeable horizon. The clanging of currency and the buzz of these machines, laughing at their penetrater’s loss, fills my ears. My head spins with despair. Humanities failings laid out all too clear. Nauseous and intoxicating, the audible terror of the casino is all too much. Sports stars grace the screens whilst convertible cars stand, lit up, ready for auction. Finally I catch up to those I entered with, already casualties to the Styx: “$10 more, just $10 more” the horror, the horror.

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Attempted rape in a toilet…

…for all I know his sole intention was merely a handshake in a public urinal. Is that common practice?

So, where should I start, I suppose not at the very beginning, as little happened for a while. No, I’ll start with the day my – our – journey, adventure, began.

Well, It’s approximately 9am in Sydney, Australia – I discovered that there’s a Sydney in Canada to which I was completely oblivious. We’ve been milling around in Balgowlah on Sydney’s northern beaches, just up from Manly, for a few weeks now. It’s February 1st. A few days ago myself and my travel companion – for the purposes of this blog he shall be known as Paul – decided we’d done Sydney. Sydney was over with and it was time to push on. So, opting to lessen our carbon footprint, we’ve decided to cycle to Melbourne; We’re not particularly prepared. I think, food wise, we’ve just got a lot of pasta and weetabix…and some raisins. Though I left that bit to Paul, I have got us a map, but I’ve not quite worked out which roads we can cycle on yet.

The other day, the day after we got our bikes we cycled from Balgowlah into the city – Sydney. Our purpose was to pick up a tent; never happened. We did cycle across Harbour Bridge, the view was astounding, really quite something. It didn’t cross either of our minds that there’s a cycle path, we just opted to follow the cars. It resulted in a lot of people hollering “DICK HEADS” at us, one even flew off the phrase “Out of towner”, to my particular delight.

We’re going to take a route which will encompass 1500miles of terrain; we’re not entirely sure what that terrain’s made up of; we’re not sure if there are any uphills involved. In all honesty we are completely oblivious to what we are facing. A lot of the people – locals – that we have met in Sydney are telling us we wont make it, that we’ll die of dehydration, etc. etc. These are the same locals that are petrified of the sun to such an extent that they rarely venture out of the shade, and when they do you can see a childish sense of rebelliousness pulsing through their bodies, as though they’re sending a big “fuck you” to the sun. To reach a conclusion, Paul and myself are ignoring those people. I’ve checked the web, seems a fairly common practice ride. I asked a man in a bike shop he said “yeah mate, doable, though that fella out there smoking might find it ‘ard”. That “fella” out there was Paul. I’m optimistic.

Well, it’s just after 2am. First day is over. Our target was a pleasant campsite in Royal National Park; we’re actually camped in a small piece of woodland just off the Princess Highway. Our target was 80miles; We’ve done 30miles. Paul’s described our ramshackle camp spot: “Blair Witch territory”. I’d say today has been forgettable, definitely forgettable. Oh yes, we realised about 4hours ago we haven’t got anything to sleep on, we’ve got the tent to sleep in, but that’s it.

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