Category Archives: Tales from the road

Things seen/done/eaten, numerous awkward moments, hellish public transport experiences and more.

Craptastic finds: The BIG things

I don’t know why, but Australia seems to have this fascination with BIG things… like really weird and slightly crap big icons. There are dozens of these big things around the country (although, a large concentration of them do seem to be in Queensland and New South Wales… go figure); the big banana, the big pineapple, the big merino… the list goes on.  We make them tourist destinations and they’re so Craptastic that people actually stop at them, or in my case, make quite large detours to seek them out. Continue reading

Honey, I’m home!

Hey there Roadies – long time no see! Blogging slackness duly noted – it’s been a busy few months! After 6 exhaustingly fun weeks of running about South Australia researching for the Rough Guide to Australia (more on that later), I returned home (sporting the trucker tan from hell) and chained myself to my desk for a few solid weeks of writing up.  Bad news is, I had to take a little break from These Roads to give myself enough brain power to get all my work done. Good news is that I’ve finally finished writing my chapter and blogging shall return to normal (well, as normal as it’s ever been around here). Continue reading

A change of plan on These (muddy) Roads

See that road closure sign up there? See all the red ‘closed’ signs? They’re the roads I was supposed to be spending the last 3 days driving on… however, it seems that mother nature had other ideas for my 4WD-ing buddy Phil, and I.  You see mother nature decided to wait until the precise moment that our car left the bitumen and hit the dirt tracks  until she unleashed  her best desert rain storm upon outback south Australia, giving much of this vast region a thorough soaking and causing road closures left right and centre. Continue reading

Frank ‘The Chook Bloke’ Turton: Jewel of the Murray

A lot of people have told me I’ll meet some pretty interesting characters during my 6 weeks in South Australia.  It’s not that South Australians are any more wacky than the rest of the country, it’s just that so many of the places I’ll be visiting are small towns, often quite remote, and if any of the accounts I’ve heard are to be believed, it’s places like these where those great Aussie characters are found.

So yes, I fully expected to meet some funny country folk. What I didn’t expect was that I’d meet one less than an hour after arriving in the state! Roadies, let me tell you about Frank ‘The Chook Bloke’ Turton, the man I consider to be the Jewel of the Murray. Continue reading

These Roads on the road

Hello Roadies!  FYI These Roads is currently on the road in South Australia, researching for the upcoming edition of the Rough Guide to Australia.

I was going to sit down and write a quick post about it, but the lovely folk over at World Nomads have just published a post on their site, which explains more or less what I was going to say, thus saving me the trouble! What am I on about? Check out  this link to find out.

I promise I’ll write when I can, but just in case, I’ve scheduled some Plain EngRish GOLD for the next few weeks.

Send any good South Aust tips/hints my way!  I’m looking forward to sharing my stories with you soon!

Craptastic finds: Ned Kelly Outlaw Mints

  

You know those things that are so bad they’re actually really good? I love those things! They’re what I call ‘Craptastic’ (that’s a mix between ‘crap’ and ‘fantastic’ if you’re a little slow off the mark).  

Well, I made quite the craptastic discovery last week when my brother-in-law and I stopped in a town called Tumut in New South Wales, en route to the Snowy Mountains.  Browsing the souvenir shelves in the tourist info centre (not much else going on in Tumut – the info centre was a highlight), my eyes were drawn to a shiny and very kitsch tin of mints bearing a well-known bearded face and the words ‘NED KELLY ~Such is Life~ OUTLAW MINTS’. Continue reading