Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Noosa - Paradise in Australia

1: Alexandrina bay seen from Noosa Nat. Park
2: Pandana trees, rocks, sand and surf - typical of the sunshine coast.
3: myself on top of Mt Cooroororah
(click on a photo to get a large version)
Theres only so much you can learn in one place -
The more that I wait, The more time that I waste

I haven’t got much time to waste, its time to make my way
I’m not afraid of what I’ll face , but Im afraid to stay
Are you ready to Jump ?
Get ready to Jump,
Don’t ever look back, Oh Baby

…From Jump by Madonna.
Used In “The Devil Wears Prada” movie – one of my cult films. Shows the energy of New York and the business world in general.

It may be the Devil, or it may be the Lord, but
You gonna have to ssserve somebody

(Female singer I forget her name)

Yep, 6 months in the tropics in Malaysia, fourteen 5-day courses with kids, and now Noosa and new types of work in more temperate climes.

Been discovering Noosa and environs – which I had only seen briefly before. Also catching up with my mother, and helping her with some technical computer stuff. She has a dial-up connection to internet, which I may upgrade to broadband in the near future.

Went to Mt Timbeewah, good views and some 1 pitch bolted climbs. You need a National Park permit to climb there… probably to sign a waiver absolving them of responsibility. When I think that France has thousands of bolted climbs, mostly put up by volunteers, and you never need a permit… Australia is over-regulated in some aspects – regulatory creep is something to watch out for, because it Kills life and initiative and employement. We were there on a Saturday – and I was surprised to see no climbers. (update - Nat. Parks apparently gave up trying to enforce permits for climbers. Also I met some climbers there recently).

Also went, or scrambled up the very steep path on Mt Cooroororah – a volcanic stump that dominates everything around it.

I run uphill in the Noosa National Park trails 5 minutes from The main Noosa drag –Hastings street. Have been a bit random lately – a tendency of mine when not fully taken up by a task or work. But I’m pulled forward by my inner drives: I’m here to serve and inspire kids and adults in the outdoors – that I confirmed in Malaysia. And I’m an athlete… I never really thought of myself as one until recently, but it’s true – I have an inner drive to run cross country, to climb rocks, to work out … A French backpacker I met on Perentian Kecil island (Malaysia) said to me after seeing me run on the beach: “you’re an athlete”.
Indeed I looked at myself in a full length mirror after taking a hot shower here (the first in 6 months…) and saw that the job has really flattened my belly and toned my shoulders. Gotta be careful not to overeat now…

It’s good to be back in Aus. And the milder climate in this part of Aus. The country is truly blessed with natural beauty and vastness. Politicians and world conflicts will come and go, but this land will stay as a Great Southern Land of red earth and dry eucalypts, of mountain jungles and limitless clean beaches.

A tour of Kuala Lumpur

1: Chinatown by night
2: the Petronas Towers. a dashing landmark of modernity
3: The monorail - fast and with good views.
(click on a photo for a large version)

Been off the net for a week or more – unusual for me. Well, time to update my blog with photos on amazing KL – which I visited for 2.5 days , flying to Aus on the 9th and meeting the chill and dryness and sun of Noosa… first time I haven’t felt humidity in ages. A good feeling! I’m really not a tropics person, though I can take it for a while, I like to feel invigorating cold once and a while. 6 degrees in the morning here sometimes… cold for me. But quite sunny most days

KL…. A mix of Malay, Indian and Chinese quarters, great hi-tech transportation, old buildings right next to supermodern hi-rised ones. I walked around, sampled the night life t the beach club, bought and MP4 (small video) player at Imbi plaza, the electronics shopping center. I stayed in Chinatown, with food stalls on the street, steam rising from them, chinese signing and so on.

I feel a certain affinity or admiration with the hardworking, thrifty, sharp-minded, business-savvy, slightly hard-edged chinese - In another life, I was born in Hong Kong, my father a white Jardine executive (Jardine Matheson corporation – see James Clavell’s Taipan), my mother a beautiful Chinese escort lady. I grew up in Chinatown, practised martial arts at a rusty old gym with local Chinese and a wizened old master who always seemed to beat me, spoke Cantonese and navigated fluently from white culture to Chinese culture, though never fully Chinese. As I grew older, I went into business and went beyond my modest origins as an international businessman, with my base in Hong Kong, and an edge over the over-pampered Harvard graduates who I did business with, who were not always very street-savvy. Once in a whil, I would return to the quarter where I was born and sip green tea with old friends.
Mmmm gotta visit Hong Kong sooner or later – the land of laissez-faire capitalism, with a flat tax for everyone of 15%. One that even Kerry Packer couldn’t slip out of.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Thailand - Magical scenery and Heavenly Women

(click on a photo to enlarge)
1: Ton Sai bay, near Railay East where I was staying. Note the overhanging climbs.
2: View of Railay east from my multi-pitch climb
3: A stalactite on the climb.
4: An 11 yr old girl from Chile, climbing. Yes - you can climb early.
5: Goy (right), the heavenly bar manageress and Bung, a waitress. Isn't that the sweetest smile ?
Great Holiday in Thailand. Rather entranced by the place.

was there a week, mainly in Railay peninsula, near Krabi town. It's only accessible by boat, has no power (generators), but has mobile coverage, and internet - by satellite dish of all things. (expensive). Did 2 half days with a climb guide, a multi-pitch climb, lead climbed 5c and 6a grades. 800 baht for 4 hours with guide = 26 dollars australian....
it was low season, too. which means no crazy crowds and very cheap accomodation. I had a great bungalow with en-suite bathroom for 250 baht = 8 dollars aus. and you can get as lot cheaper if you want.

The place is world-renowned as a climbers haunt. Live very cheaply in entrancing surroundings, hire climbing guides cheaply, meet people from around the world climbing on wondrous limestone walls with stalactites and caves. Oh, and there's nice beaches too.
mmm... and Thai girls have "drawing power" as a bar manageress from the UK put it. It's easy to get under their spell. I rather fell in love with Goy, the bar Manageress at the "Last Bar" in Railay Beach - pictured above. She fed me reduced priced cocktails and we talked a lot. Very sweet lady. it is said that when we are entranced by a woman. we are seeing her channel the "divine feminine" - an archetype if you like, that exists out there as an entity, and radiates down into women to different degrees. All women are "only human" but it's no illusion that they radiate the devine from time to time.