Posted by: Michael Castlemountain | November 26, 2009

HOME SWEET HOME!

Oh Yes Home sweet home! Feels kinda funny over 30 hours.
Ahh.

Posted by: Michael Castlemountain | November 23, 2009

From Melbourne to Kempsey…(finally posted)

Berwick – Thank you Susanna & Chris!

We had a luxury place to stay this time. And thanks to Susanna & Chris for it. We stayed at Teemu`s cousin`s place for two nights and it was more than we needed. Fan-fucking-tastic. After first night, A slight headache. The reason was a horse race called Melbourne Cup, and Susie & Chris took us to watch from TV it at their friends place. Horse race = Holiday. At least this one. Apartment full of friends to bet and watch this race. And Barbeque, excellent! Thank you everyone.

Sydney – Sadistic Execution

K├Ąpykakku. That is the thing most of people know about Sydney. Well. Hell yeah, that was the thing we saw and thats about it. Big City. Big Bats. A band called Sadistic Execution among others in Australian Heavy Music Awards, Awesome lyrics! & nightlife! Thank you Melanie for that­čÖé

While Mikko and Teemu were enjoying the Sydney sights, Antti & Tuomas took the best out of Katoomba (where we stayed, at Katoomba Mountain Lodge) and the nearby Blue Mountains National Park. It was a place straight out of “The Lord Of The Rings”; dense forest, gorges and waterfalls all around. We could actually see a few of Treebeard`s pals greeting us as we hiked through the trails. Magical. And hellishly strenuous to climb 1025 steps back to the top of the cliff. Twice.
Definitely one of the highlights of the trip so far! Katoomba is a town we can warmly recommend to anybody who loves a laid-back hippie-atmosphere combined with a breathtaking natural scenery. And if you`re after some action, Sydney is only a short train-journey away.

Kempsey

Cup of coffee. It’s nice to wake up when you go out and see bunch of Kangaroos. This time i went closer and noticed that they had bags full of babies! Great! Few photos here. Funny lookin dudes.

From Kempsey we continued via The Waterfall Way to Woolgoolga, 30km north from Coff`s Harbour, and that`s where we are hailing from now. Nice little town with an awesome beaches. Once again.

Cheers,

Dudes

Posted by: Michael Castlemountain | November 15, 2009

Byron Bay – Just relaxing

Hola!

Mikko & Teemu Jumped of in Byron Bay, and we are still here. It’s awesome and chill place with very friendly people around the world. Ahhh. All you need to do is to sit on hammock all day.┬á And nice girls! and boys.

We might be leaving from here on wednesday to catch guys in Cairns.

Picture 003

Posted by: Michael Castlemountain | November 6, 2009

Port Lincoln to Melbourne

Thursday 29.10. was a long-expected day for us all. We had stayed 3 extra days in Port Lincoln for one major reason – The Great White Shark -cage diving experience. We got onboard Calypso Star with captain Andrew and the crew Nikki and Matt, and left for the Neptune Islands, appr. 70km south of Port Lincoln.

Calypso Star

As the shark-luring blood and seal guts were thrown to the surface of the sea everybody got onto the deck and followed closely what was about to happen beneath the surface.

Guts

Tuomas Odottaa

It took some time, but then somebody finally shouted “there she is, shark on the left!” The huge shadow of this fantastic creature closed on us and finally we saw the full of it, a Great White of maybe 5 meters long! We were spellbound, John Williams’ legendary Jaws-theme banging in our heads, adrenalin starting to rise from the thought of going into the cage to meet these fellas.

Shark in the water

We spent maybe 30 minutes in the cage, the sharks coming so close you could touch them (Mikko actually did). We had a few magnificent encounters, their tail-fins banging on the cage, seeing their jaws hit the seal-gut bait in close distance. We were all awestruck!!

Shark in the water 2

It actually took us a couple of days to realize the magnitude of the experience. It was such a thrilling, even poetic moment to be a total stranger in the kingdom of these doll-eyed predators so cold & scary, but utterly beautiful at the same time. South Australians have their Great White Sharks, we have our reindeer in Lapland. I wonder if the locals would get a similar kick out of reindeer-sledging? Equally exotic to them, no doubt.

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Check out also the video from the cage:

Shark Cage Diving in Port Lincoln

The next day we left for Adelaide to spend the Halloween there. We booked in Glenelg Beach Hostel, just by the ocean. Kinda cool place but Tuomas and Antti immediately started missing the good ole’ campingsites and the peace n’ quiet. Mikko and Teemu took the best out of the big city nights, which wasn’t that much. The amount of people and noise and turmoil was not what we came here for. Nor was the heartbroken sexual-minority-junkie who tried to share a room with us. And also the Hostel took our wines out and we couldn’t rate them. The hostel we gave our rate. Fuckers. About Adeleides Halloween we could only say that if we bring those costumes to Finland will you girls wear them?

After Halloween, we were happy to pack our stuff and leave for Melbourne, making pit stops at Portland and Apollo Bay. We drove the Great Ocean Road and saw London Bridge and 12 Apostoles includin Matteus, Markus, Luukas ja Pasi.

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IMG_7926IMG_7961On the way to Apollo Bay we saw some Koalas! Frightening creatures. Like Gremlins. Watch out. They Kill.

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IMG_8010In the latter we witnessed a huge thunder storm, which was a hypnotizing sight to look at. Mikko captured the moment with some cool album-cover-like photos.

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Good thing we had rented a cabin instead of sleeping in tents that night. Some work duties got also done. Wines Coming Up!

The Dudes

Posted by: Temez Palander | October 27, 2009

Great Nullarbor Crossing

GREAT NULLARBOR CROSSING

Nullarbor1

Probably the greatest, maybe not the easiest way, to discover the size of Australia is to cross some of its plains. Otherwise its very hard to get the real picture of the reality. We decided to do that famous crossing and face what will come.

Flat tire 1

Flat tire 2

We started our way from Esperance. Esko, our beloved friend and helpful companion was in full shape and in high spirits. Our only technical problems so far has been a flat front tire which we got fixed and repaired easily. Thank heavens it happened before we entered the desert as nothing is simple and easy there.

Night photo 1

From Esperance we drove to Cape Arid National Park to spend a night there.Immediately after arrival to miles long, white sanded beach with turquoise water crashing in, we spotted group of whales just some 20 meters from ashore. We spent a long time just watchin those magnificent creatures. First time for all of us to see whales.And they we┬┤re big………we estimated around 15 meters. Not really bad start for a day. Then it was time to enjoy the ocean, sun and great outdoors. We had no idea what was waitin us.

Whale 1

Whale 2

Then to desert…….Took us some time to locate the correct road to connect us with the Nullarbor highway. After some time we came contact to a sign saying that road is closed. For us that was a clear sign to keep going. 130 km of dry dirt road with nobody.Just sand, bushes and crippled trees. It took just one piss stop to realize that we we┬┤re not alone. We have no idea did we drove over a nest or something but suddenly air was filled with bees (or something like that) and they kept following our vehicle for several kilometers. Nice. Don┬┤t try that road without 4 WD.

No road 1

Nullarbor 2

The highway itself is something that feels everlasting. Anyway you look you can only see bush, bush, and some more bushes. And its flat and everlasting. Flora there is basically knee high weed, multidry green and silvery coloured bush and those crippled gray trees that look like corpses, but are flourishing in green. Soil is just dry red sand and continuous wind from Southern Ocean is sweeping over the whole plain.

Nullarbor 3
The plain itself is around 1200 km┬┤s. And there really is only few gas stations on a way through it. On our way we drove through Australian longest straight road which was 146, 6 km┬┤s. It really was straight.

Nullarbor straight

We reached our first destination just before sunset. A real outback caravan park in the middle of flat plain. Cold beers while watchin sunset with real local rednecks. Hot showers and howlin┬┤ desert wind as a lullaby. DROWSY DRIVERS DIE!!!

Cocklebiddy 1

 

Second day. Just flat and some more bushes. Only difference was that sometimes we we┬┤re that close to coast that we could see ocean on our right. Wind was really heavy and emerging trucks ( long as a metros) really we┬┤re giving Esko a good shake. Roadkill Kangaroos with flies having a fiesta we┬┤re a constant sight. Apart from that……just same flat and endless plain.
All drivers waving cheers when passing.Few really brave heros making their way with bikes. Nice.

Nullarbor 4

 

Arrival to Nundroo.We manage to get las available room. Bit of luxury on our voyage. Beds and showers. Life is so good that we decided to start our daily work and open some new wine bottles. Check our wine section foe new updates!!! Also check out our famous animal section with some new amazing creatures!

Nundroo 1
Sunny morning in Nundroo. Breakfast and on the road towards Cedena. We smuggled some honey to South Australia, shame on us!

Quarantine 1

We made through the famous Nullarbor in good time and according to our plans. If you┬┤re interested in dry vegetation, howlin winds and fresh roadkills…….it could be your place too.

Port Lincoln easy

Now in Port Lincoln……takin it easy and waitin for thursday. We have booked ourselves for day trip to go and observe the most feared creature in oceans from the cage………….Great White Shark. And yes….we have booked UW video and still cameras for that so stay tuned.

Teemu

Posted by: Tuomas | October 21, 2009

Stirling National Park & Esperance

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Waking up on the roof of Esko, 2 big black parakeets greeting us from the nearby tree, the vast OZ landscapes all around. Unreal, fantastic! We had been working quite hard on our Aussie Wine Experiment last night (check out the updates!) but the sleep was still excellent.

After putting the stuff together we drove appr. 8 km to the base of Mount Trio and did a 6km roundtrip to the peak. The view was definitely worth the climb. Saw a few snakes and lizards on the way up, still no signs of those man-eating spiders, though.

Mount Trio

Up in Mount Trio

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The drive to Esperance was about 420km, arriving there at  4pm. We camped at Crokers camping park, which was nice but touristic, and total opposite to Mt. Trio. The wine-testing wasn`t quite so strenuous this night, but we still did our duties. We always do. Peaceful night, surprisingly cold, and Chef Palander treated us with good ole`spaghetti & minced meat sauce with salad and Wild Oats.

Driving to Esperance

Wine Testing in Esperance, Crockers Park

Our next destination is the Great Nullabor Desert but we decided to stay one more night where it`s lush, blue and foamy, at Cape Le Grand Nat.Park, 50km from this highly communal and sympathetic city of Esperance. Time to go swimming and get ready for the dust!

Thomas Kookaburra

Posted by: Andy Hopeless | October 21, 2009

1st Driving Day & Glassed-out Stare

On The Road 1

1st actual driving day. Start the engines and let the diesel burn! After doing the shopping for all the necessary gear we began our journey toward Stirling National Park, a trip I mostly spent sleeping, just to wake up to see a big lizard on the desert road and some spectacular scenery.

On The Road 2

Arriving at Mount Trio Camping Area we began unveiling Esko┬┤s many secrets, including a tent on the roof! The camping area in itself was like Crystal Lake without the Lake and Jason Voorhees. Absolutely fantastic, and as remote as you can get.

Setting up tent 1

Setting up tent 2In the evening Teemu The Chef cooked us the best burgers ever, complimented with some fine Australian wines. After dark we did a short bushwalk in the nearby forest. The weirdest sounds under a starlit sky like nothing we`ve ever seen.

Teemu The Chef 1

After a few hours of sleep, a couple of hours before sunrise I woke up and took a little walk in the pitch-black. Kangaroos were already awake and one of them gave me quite a scare, jumping right in front of me in the dark. Later on I went on the bushwalk again, this time seeing more than 20 kangaroos, ending up with a close-by staring contest with one of them. My glassed-out stare won!

Glassed-Out Stare

Andy

Posted by: Tuomas | October 18, 2009

2nd day in Perth

2nd day in Perth. Mikko looks like he`s been somewhere last night. I`ve been awake since 6 am following the ordeals of my NHL fantasy hockey team, watching the Perthian (whatta cool word) sunrise and writing down some thoughts. After breakfast we picked up our vehicle / mobile home, Esko, for the next 5 1/2 weeks, supplemented by a GPS device, Lortto, and a carful of more or less needed stuff (camping stools, mattresses, sleeping bags, food, water, 10 boxes of specimens for The Great Aussie Wine Experiment). Already at the parking lot of Britz rental we had to play live tetris to get all the things stuffed in. And we still have all our luggage to put somewhere. Oh, and all the instruments we need for The Great Street Musician Experience. Either we need a trailer, or change the line-up into a mere 3 rhythm eggs and l├Ąpsy in F#-major.

The Dudes & Esko

The drive from the car rental to the hotel was an adventure in itself. Driving on the left side of the road in full traffic in an alien world, with a car the size of a small whale isn`t easy playing. Mikko and Andy did a great job, though, and tomorrow it`s my turn. Looking forward to the long roads ahead, the wondrous OZ landscapes, the beaches, the ocean, the desert, the Southern Cross. Even the spiders.

Our aim is to get to Stirling National Park for tomorrow night, from where our journey continues toward Esperance and Nullabor Plain. 2700km of hypnotic desert landscapes, vastness and void. I can`t wait. Also the Great White is waiting for me somewhere in the Great Barrier Reef. We`ll have our much awaited contact through the bars of a shark cage, and it`ll be a moment that`s been traveling billions of years, just to meet us. Getting poetic, the wine`s kicking in and Teemu is saying there are punk pigeons to be seen on the balcony, so gotta go now. Cheers!

Mount Bay Waters Hotel, 18.10.09

Tuomas

Posted by: Michael Castlemountain | October 17, 2009

Traveling and flying flying….

The Dudes in Helsinki

After 30 hours traveling and 22 hours of that time spent in an airplane. I must say that i feel bit tired.

Teemu already felt tired in plane and slept a bit. Anybody else didn’t.

Temez sleeping in plane.

Union Coffee Break and Breakfast in London.

Coffee Break in London

Antti is praying before going to plane.

Flying from London to Singapore

Big bird flying from London to Singapore. It was really hard to get this photo, we all needed to put a big effort to get up there.

Perth

So far. So Good. Hotel is nice and tomorrow we should get our car. And the day after we are gonna go on the road. We already figured out a new hobby, tasting wines. So wait for the coming up wine section in the blog. You know, we have to keep ourselves productive!

Posted by: Michael Castlemountain | October 15, 2009

So we are leaving soon!

Hey Ho! Let’s Go! I’m waiting. Plane leaves Friday morning 8am, first to London (where we are of course gonna lose all our luggage!) and then another flight to Singapore, and then finally from there to Perth. I don’t know how many hours it’s gonna take, but probably many many. Oh i love airplanes, good air conditioning and good seats and so much room for legs. But hey!

Australia, here we come!

Oh yeah, it should be 27┬░ Celsius in Perth B-)

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