Brisbane saw me staying in a hostel with a dorm of around 50 people. I recall these days as some of the most sleepless in my entire journey. I was placed near the door and I saw people coming going at all hours of the day and night. There were workmen leaving at five and six and 7 o’clock and revellers coming and going returning at 11, 12, 1, 2, 3 to 4 o’clock in the morning. Brisbane itself was a beautiful city and I spend my time wondering to galleries and the Central Plaza. Unfortunately, an an old friend of mine who lived in a city was out of town at the time and so I was unable to get the local’s tour.
A few days later I journey down to Byron Bay, In fact to staying in Lenox Bay which is a few miles down the coast. During the day I went for walks and pondered my increasingly light wallet and how far that might get me. As chance would have two school friends, Spike and Ali who are on their own way to Australia travelling north met me at Byron. Having been away from all of these sixth form recollections for so long I found the boyish banter curious and kept myself close. They raced on the beach, we shared fish and chips and a beer perhaps before and I hitched back to Lennox bay. The next day I waited back in Byron, writing and pondering voyage onwards before my next Greyhound bus to the south – hunger high on my mental preoccupation list.
Seb, London 7 September 2015
My week in Perth and Freemantle back saw me being taken in by old family friends of my dad’s. Whilst waiting to meet them on the first day I dropped my camera and thus spent the week without any capturing capacity as it went into repair immediately (and was luckily repaired before my departure). A week with a borrowed camera took me through the sights and sounds of Freemantle, a day on Rottnest island with the mysterious Quokkas and wandering around in the national parks and musing on a sense of home-from-home. The evenings passed with pleasant glasses of wine and the mornings with attempts at body boarding in the WA surf.
Perth is a beautiful place but unfathomably remote from the rest of the world. I marvelled at the sun dipping into the ocean and lighting up the sky every night but just as I did my eyes tracked out the vast emptiness of open ocean extending all the way to South Africa. My next destination, Cairns was over over 3400 km away to the north – a long flight or an even longer drive (5500 km). Who knows if I’ll be able to return someday?
Several days that live long in my memory as some of the happiest that I spent in Japan in 2006. In Nagasaki I met with Noe and Hugo and we three travelled and hiked the Aso Caldera. Trips to the local supermarket for Waribiki hour (discount hour – 11pm in Most Japanese supermarkets) and a bizarre drunk man on top of the caldera. As I look back I see the day as scenes from a Miyazaki film, a rolling Landscape with a gentle wind and a warm summer’s glow as we undertake our hike. Hugo and Noe went south into Kyushu and I returned North to Nagasaki to fly back to Tokyo (almost not making it as I mistakenly tried to pack my main bag onto the flight complete with a full set of chef knives and was hauled up by Japanese Airport staff for interrogation).
By this stage in Japan I was beginning to feel the pinch on the pocket book. The 10,000 Notes seemed to be falling through my fingers in an uncontrollable fashion -with travel, food and boarding mounting to approximately £50 a day! I eventually made it to Nagasaki and stole out to the supermarket to get some food – I chose a box of fried tofu as a means o staving off of hunger at a supposedly sensible price only to discover that the tofu fry was an empty shell of nutrition-less husk! I made it to the youth hostel were I met with Noe and Hugo, a travelling duo (then couple) who I was to spend the next few days with. I was very jealous to discover that they were spending a full 5 months in the country travelling around.
We went out to Yoshinoya together and another restaurant on a later night where I hungrily devoured the husks of Edamame beans. A growing lad in Japan with not much money is hard pressed to adapt to the small Japanese portion sizes!
My time in Nagasaki was not very eventful. I wandered the city and took a few shots – getting lost for a time in Chuigomachi – a small zone of the city near the river with a large graveyard complex overlooking the river. I missed out on both the peace museum and the dutch island “Dejima” – famously the only place in Japan to accept foreign nationals throughout the entirely of the “Shut down” that occurred early into the Tokugawa Shogunate period.
The two photos here demonstrate another curious thing of how dirty my sensor was during this time. There is one particularly onerous hair that can be seen in the right of the picture. Compare the two versions. This has made my subsequent edits something of a repetitive challenge to clean!
I did manage to find my way to the monument for the Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan – a group who were burned alive in the 1600s for refusing to recant their christian protestations, having been converted by Jesuit missionaries looking to subvert Japan under the sway of Western Powers. The serial subterfuges of these ages where what eventually lead to the expulsion of foreigners from the islands – – – apart from the aforementioned dutch who distanced themselves on religious and political grounds from the catholic camp and were thus able to maintain a unique and lucrative trade foothold in the country for over 200 years.
I was a pleasure meeting Noe and Hugo – a welcome relief from the loneliness of the previous week’s travel through the center of Honshu. We would go on to travel together to Aso-san, climbing the mountain before our paths diverged with the pair moving on south and the call for me to return to Tokyo before I boosted from Japan.
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Seb 28-02-2014 London
Cat Fed Tofu
Children and the biker
Old man lighting up
Nagasaki city Hawks
Mail man of Peace
Noe and Hugo
Seb 2006 Selfie
Noe and Hugo II
Nagasaki: Chikugomachi Buddha III
Nagasaki: 26 Martyrs of Japan
Nagasaki: Chikugomachi Buddha
Nagasaki: Chikugomachi Buddha II
Nagasaki: View across the bay
Yoshinoya Old man
Hugo and Noe III
Nagasaki Bay Fisherman