Hello again to all my friends and loved ones back there in sunny California. Here I am rapping up my time in Australia quickly, moving on early tomorrow to go to New Zealand. I have had a great few weeks since the last post, I mean I have been in the bush for a little while, but now I have really been deep. From Beechworth it was a ride to Sydney, then a train to the final stop, then 6 hours on a bus to its final stop. Then a truck ride 20k's out of town and 10 down a dirt road. My destination was Piliga Pottery, outside of Coonabarabran. This place was really a little slice of paradise if I have ever seen one. They started from scratch 26 years ago and built up a place to be proud of. Every building was built by them and they were all unique and very cool, as well as energy efficient. They were self contained with solar and a generator, they saved all their rain water to drink, and used the grey water for orchards. They built with mud brick and straw bail and trees they milled from their own property. This was all on 8,000 acres of the most authentic australian bush you could imagine, I know this because Johanas took me on a tour down a rode he and his brother,Bernard, built. The last people to have seen this land would have been the aboriginal tribes, I'm pretty sure we did this tour in a fried out kombie, but it wasn't on a hippie trail and we didn't smoke the zombie till later that night. So I spent the two weeks working on this killer barn style accommodation, made of Iron Bark, hebel block and brick. They needed some windows trimmed out and some other trim work as well. They were an awesome crew out there, Maria was the mom and owner of the place, her sons were Johanas and Bernard, there were two other wwoofers, Tina from Germany, and Anne from Ireland, Julie worked on the art in the pottery, then on the site there were Kingsley and Mitch. Quite the characters, all of them really. Aside from working out tails off everyday to meet a deadline, we spent our knights jamming around a fire, or drinking goon and beers over deep convos of those crazy people living in the cities. The birds and other wild life were something else as well. Hadn't seen one Kangaroo at all, I was beginning to think that the ozzies made up the creature all together, but then when I got out here there were heaps of them. One day on lumber run to a bush lumberyard we hit one of the poor fellas. There are like deer the way they spook and run, but one hop in the wrong direction and they are right in front of you, there is no dodging them. It was over instantly, but the guys stopped and checked to make sure it was dead, then took its legs and tail for food, rather than waste it. Its a rough but real life, and a few nights later Tina cooked it up in a traditional German meal, so I guess can tick eating road kill kangaroo German style off of my list of things to do. There was a great veggie garden, there were pigs, goats, sheep, cattle, horses, ducks, geese, chickens not to mention all the other wild birds. If you look at the pictures you'll find one horse with Australia on its forehead, pretty cool horse. It was like living at an awesome artists village for a while, with all the different ways to do art, aside from the pottery there was a blacksmiths and a wood workshop where they put out awesome pieces. Not only had Bernard and Johanas both build there own houses, they even make their own door hardware, and turn their own sinks, they really took build your own to an extreme. This was a great way to spend a few weeks. Now I am headed to the next Island, unaware of what I may find, but if my luck keeps up I just might find myself in another cool place. Thanks for reading and remember never ask to see anyones map of Tasmania, unless your in Tasmania and they have a map in their hands, its code for something else it turns out.
Matt OBannon and Nima Sinclair