A friend convinced me to sign up for the London Triathlon. We were both active and knew the Olympic (1.5 km swim, 40 km bike, 10 km run) triathlon was the most challenging yet achievable distance. Neither of us could swim. We played football, so we could run. We biked to work, so we figured we could bike.
I started my swim training first, almost a year before the triathlon, because I’d never swam properly before. Not long after I’d started to feel comfortable in the pool and swimming 2 km in a training session, my friend dropped out of the triathlon. I had gone too far with the swimming to drop out so I continued solo.
The Actual Day of the London Triathlon
Transport to the ExCel Centre
I followed the official advice and tried to commute by public transport to ExCel London. As I waited for the tube to depart, a tannoy announcement informed the carriage that severe disruption was on the line. They guaranteed arrival at our destination, but couldn’t confirm how long it would take. My partner was coming to watch the event and was on the tube with me. She jumped in an Uber and I cycled to ExCel. It was a 10 km cycle and I got lost trying to navigate the roads of London with a failing GPS signal on my phone. I bumped into another participant, identified by the big number across his front, and we collectively arrived at ExCel. The unexpected commute was a good warm up.
The York parkrun is a 5km run, every Saturday at the York Racecourse. The run starts at 9.00am. Hundreds of runners attend each week varying in age and fitness levels – you don’t need to be a competitive runner to take part. You can walk the 5km too, there’s no pressure on running the distance as fast as you can.
After completing 88 days of farm work to secure a second-year visa, we had to put it to good use. We stayed on Australia’s east coast for the duration of our first-year visa and decided to explore the west coast with the second-year visa. We lived and worked in Perth for 9 months to fund a road trip from Perth to Cairns and a trip across South East Asia.
We lived in the car during our east coast road trip and planned to do the same on the west coast. There are plenty of Wikicamps along the west coast. We decided to upgrade our accommodation on wheels to a proper bed, rather than just throwing a mattress in the back as we did previously. A couple of hours graft and $70 at Bunnings Warehouse and our Nissan Pathfinder had an official bedroom.
A little bit of form filling and planning can make your trip to Australia a little easier and stress free. It’s boring and time consuming but it’s better in the long run.
You’re not getting into Australia without a visa. The majority of backpackers visit Australia on a 417 – Working Holiday Visa. There’s no special requirement, aside from being 18-31 years of age and the ability to cough up A$440 (currently £250). [continue reading…]
Back in 2015 I convinced 2 friends, Mike and Andy, to attempt a 550-mile bike ride across 4 countries in just 8 days. We carried our camping equipment on the back of our bikes and didn’t book a single night’s accommodation.
We weren’t cyclist enthusiasts or even recreational cyclists. We commuted to work on a bicycle and that was as far as our connection with cycling went.
We booked a ferry from Hull to Rotterdam to start the journey and a Eurostar ticket from Paris to London to return back to England. We just needed to fill the days in the middle with cycling. [continue reading…]
Work is constantly available picking cherry tomatoes.
The layout is very sociable compared to other hostels in Bundaberg
The TV room has 3 TVs, air conditioning and 2 Xbox 360s
Cheap compared to other hostels in Bundaberg
The reception staff are helpful.
The cleanliness is appalling
The Wi-Fi never works
No aircon in the rooms
The waiting list for work has no structure
Severe lack of hourly paid jobs
Not enough cooking facilities for the number of residents
Rules seem to be adjusted whenever it suits the owner
I arrived at North Bundy Backpackers with the promise of starting work the following day. I was hoping to save a lot of money whilst ticking off the required 88 days for my second year visa.
At North Bundy Backpackers everybody starts work on the cherry tomato farm until a “real” job becomes available. It took me 4 days to receive a better-paid job, some people waited over 2 weeks and others started a good-paying job on their first day. It all depends on the supply of workers and the demand of the farmers. It’s inevitable that you will spend some days picking cherry tomatoes. I completed 22 days on the cherry tomato farm and 66 days on my allocated farm.
“MicroAdventure” is a term coined by Alastair Humphreys. Alastair campaigns for everyone to embrace the outdoors and have an adventure regardless of their location, free time or financial situation. A Microadventure is just that; a small adventure that requires little planning or equipment.
“Adventure is a loose word, a spirit of trying something new, trying something difficult. Going somewhere different, leaving your comfort zone. Above all, adventure is about enthusiasm, ambition, open-mindedness and curiosity. If this is true then “adventure” is not only crossing deserts and climbing mountains. Adventure can be found everywhere, every day and it is up to us to seek it out. Adventure is a state of mind.” Alastair Humphreys
Alastair is running the MicroAdventure Challenge throughout June, 2016. The challenge encourages his audience to have a microadventure and submit a blog post, social media photograph or video. Alastair’s goal is for a microadventure to take place in every county of the UK.
My microadventure plan was simple: I wanted to catch a lobster, I wanted to go sea fishing and I wanted to wild camp. I wanted an adventure with a seafood feast as the finale. This isn’t an adventure to a fisherman. It’s a day job with a night of sleeping rough. To me, this is new and an adventure nonetheless.