Episode 20: That Time I Picked Up Hitchhikers In Peru

365 Dates of Travel Podcast

Transcript for Episode 20: That Time I Picked Up Hitchhikers In Peru

Hello and welcome to this week’s podcast. This week we’re talking about the June chapter of the book, 365 Dates of Travel: The SECOND six months. So this book will be coming out soon on the 23rd of July. 

It’s a funny month, June. At the outset it might seem not that exciting, but there’s all sorts of interesting things underneath the place names. The furthest story back is from London in 1993. I’ve got some tidbits from Denmark in 1996. Then we’ve got Las Vegas after the storm chasing tour in 2019, with a bit of a work theme. And then Peru in 2018, which is a source of so many stories. And we jump all the way forward to after the pandemic into travelling around Australia in 2022. 

Podcast titles

Where shall I start? There’s so many stories I’ve got to tell you. Seeing as I’ve entitled this episode, That Time I Picked Up Hitchhikers in Peru, maybe we should start in Peru. I do often feel a bad about the titles I come up with, because obviously I have the title based on something that’s kind of exciting that happens, but it’s not always the first topic I talk about. And some people might start listening and think, what has this title got to do with this story? 

So, apologies if that has happened to you, but it’s hard because there are so many different stories in each trip and I can’t make the title after all of them all in one. Although that is a good challenge. So maybe one day I will try and do that and who knows what I’ll come up with. 

Cancelled Peru tour

But Peru, wow. It was a big trip, but it was meant to be even bigger. One of the tours got cancelled. Originally, I had three tours and a few days to do some extra things that I wanted to do that were a bit more on the luxury side that aren’t always included in tours or not the tours that I take, anyway. And so it was a big kerfuffle because I had everything planned. I had tour one, tour two, and tour three. And of course, to be annoying, it was tour two that was cancelled. It would have been easier if it had been tour one or three. But no, it was tour two. I was able to condense the tours by changing the dates, but the tours weren’t back to back. They were different tour companies, and didn’t match up. 

Heater

Now, it’s at this point I realise I have had my heater on while recording. The plan is to turn it off just before I start recording because otherwise the room gets cold. It is about 12:30 am, my time. It’s a great time to record because there’s less background noises. But being winter in Melbourne, it is cold and I need the heater, so it’ll be interesting to see if you can’t hear any heating noise leading up to this little interlude. That’s the magic of podcast editing. It’s so exciting. I do not do that manually, I will admit that now, because that is way beyond my capabilities. But if the company I use gets rid of that noise, then well done. Thank you. Because I am likely to forget to turn the heater on, I mean, off. 

Peru planning

Now, where were we? We were talking about Peru and tours cancelled. So, unfortunately, the cancelled tour included the hardest places to get to. I tried to get to those places on my own, but it just didn’t appear safe enough. Like I’ve said previously, people think I’m brave, but I’m really not, and it didn’t seem safe to try on my own. 

A couple of sites were on a day tour, but a lot of them had minimum requirements and there was no guarantee that other people would book. Hence why the tour was cancelled, because no one else booked. There were two other people waiting to see if somebody else joined. I think we needed four people for the tour to go ahead. Even if those two people had joined, it still wasn’t a guaranteed departure. So they never got round to paying their deposit, whereas I’d paid my deposit, which they eventually gave back to me. 

But, it was part of Peru that the average tourist is not interested in. It included the oldest parts of Peru, pre-Incan, but never mind. One day, if I ever get a chance, I’ll go back. 

Travel philosophy and goals

At this stage of my travelling life, my philosophy was to do everything, because the chances were, well, I didn’t plan on ever going back. I don’t have time to go back if I want to see over 190 countries. I had to do everything while I was there, because that would be the only chance. 

That’s not always going to be the case. And I really doubt I’m going to make it to 190 countries anyway, seeing as my travel interest has changed over the last few years. With both the pandemic and, of course, writing my travel books. 

I’ve realised I’ve done so much more than the average person, and so much more than I ever thought I’d done. I no longer have that desperate need. Pre-pandemic… 

Tangent management

It seems today is all about tangents. I don’t know why I’ve gone off on so many tangents already. We’re only a few minutes into the podcast. Okay, I will try and rein it in and stick to the topic. And what was it? The topic we were talking about was Peru. 

Peru between tours

So I changed the tours, but I still had about a ten-day gap, maybe only eight. I don’t think it was as much as Rome, which I had last month. That was definitely the biggest. So it must have only been about eight days and I think I’m exaggerating. I arrived on the 2nd of June and left on the 8th of June. So it must have only been, let’s just say a week. 

Cusco 

So during that week it was relaxed yet productive. The story in the book starts in Cusco. I chose an upmarket hotel to help me feel safe. Being in South America has always been scary to me. I know people find that weird because they find Africa is scary to them, but South America is more scary for me. I have no exact reason why, it just makes me nervous. So I wanted to feel safe and secure. 

The hotel was an excellent choice except for the fact it was on a hill. Cusco has a lot of hills but not everything was high up. I had to go up and down the hill every day to reach town. But the hotel itself was amazing. It was an upside down hotel in that you entered on the ground floor, so to speak. And then the hotel went down the hill, so you went down in the lift to every other floor after reception. That led to views all over the place.

 I had a slight view from my room, but some of the views from the other lounge areas were just spectacular. And I utilised the extra areas, including the lounge, which I had to myself. 

Coca tea and oxygen

I partook in the unlimited coca tea at reception. Basically, coca tea helps you adjust to the altitude. You need to drink a lot of fluids. And coca tea is a really good fluid because the coca helps. There’s no high or anything. It’s from the same plant as cocaine, but you don’t get any effects like that. It’s hydrating. And helps you adjust.  

I didn’t pay for the extra, extra expensive hotels where they actually pipe oxygen into the rooms to help people acclimatise. 

If you were coming directly from sea level to Cusco and staying like two days trying to see everything and then leave, you wouldn’t have time to adjust to the altitude. So it’s not a bad idea to have that extra oxygen pumped into your room. It will help. But it’s still a bit weird. It was quite a lot of money to stay in those hotels. Can you tell the oxygen is there? Maybe they’re just saying there’s extra oxygen. 

Every hotel reception has oxygen tanks, little mini ones that you can buy, handheld ones you can take with you, and access to other oxygen in their medical centre because it’s a real thing.  

I could tell you lots of stories just from this trip. Most of the stories happened on the first tour, which unfortunately isn’t in this book. So at some point, one day, I will tell you more about Peru and my tour mates’ visits to hospitals during the trip. 

Hotel food

The hotel had a restaurant which held the included buffet breakfast. So I had a good breakfast every day. And there was a bar off the side, which had a food menu where I could get good meals and have it there on my own without feeling like everybody could see me sitting on my own while eating. 

There was also room service, so I could have it delivered to my room. But sometimes it’s nice to sit somewhere else and have it. And the hotel setting was just beautiful. So I made a good choice there. Very happy.

Peruvian trains

In trying to do everything, and doing things the more luxurious way, I did a bit of doubling up. On the first tour, we had a day in Machu Picchu and took the train, but not the fancy train. I wanted to take the fancy train. I mean, I’ve always heard of the Hiram Bingham train, so I did that in my extra time. So I went to Machu Picchu twice, but what is wrong with that? I enjoyed the second visit and the train. 

I did another train trip, which I talk about in the book, and it’s the Titicaca Train. And that was a perfect train for one, because they configured the train each day for the exact bookings. Me being a single booking; they made a special single spot just for me. It wasn’t a table for two sized down to one. It was a table and chair for one, which I really appreciated. 

Solo travel

Travel is geared towards people travelling in twos. It’s really frustrating. It has improved over the years, but as a solo traveller I appreciate the odd chance or situation where it was made specifically for one. 

Hitchhikers

The Peru trip ended up being the trip that kept on giving. Now, I talk in a later story in the book in July about a gorilla T-shirt and how that gorilla T-shirt may be in quarantine. 

***Spoiler alert here*** So be prepared.

I talk about being bitten by mosquitoes, but it wasn’t until later I discovered they weren’t mosquitoes biting us, but bedbugs. So the gorilla T-shirt was in quarantine from the bedbugs. Bedbugs’ little legs can’t handle slippery surfaces, so they can’t escape plastic boxes or bathtubs, which I also mention in a September story. So this Peru story keeps Peru-sing along. Sorry. 

I threw out a lot of stuff, including my wooden bed and my wooden dining table, and a wooden chest of drawers and shoes, some of my favourite pairs of shoes. I really should have put them in quarantine, and I don’t know why I didn’t, but it’s too late now. 

Quarantine

Everything that didn’t get thrown out and potentially contaminated was put in plastic boxes. The maximum lifespan of bedbugs is about twelve months or 18 months. So I went the 18 month route and locked everything away. I bought a new bed, new sheets, new travel bag, packing cubes, clothes. I spent thousands of dollars trying to get rid of, and ensure safety from, these Peruvian hitchhikers. 

In hindsight, it would have been cheaper to pay for the luxury boat version that I chose not to pay for. I think I would have been ahead. 

There are things still in quarantine because I haven’t got round to unpacking. Some of those things will never be used again, I’m assuming, because they’ve been locked away for too long. And I’ve obviously lived without them for all this time. It will be interesting once I do completely unpack. 

Empty boxes

I have a lot of empty plastic boxes around the house and the garage. Some of these boxes form the table legs of my second desk. I bought the tabletop from Ikea, and the boxes form the table legs because that was a great way to keep them out of the way and still be useful. 

A lot now house my Christmas Village collection, which I only started last Christmas. If I ever move house, I’m unlikely to need to buy or source packing boxes. 

Peru wrap-up and food

So I have thousands of stories from Peru, but I cannot tell them all in the book or today, but I highly recommend Peru. It has history, ruins, trains, vast scenery, mysteries in the Nazca Lines and animal safaris. Truly everything. 

You must go and you must eat lomo saltado and picarones every single day. Oh, and don’t forget the potatoes. Peru has more varieties of potatoes than anywhere in the world. So, as a potato lover myself, I was in heaven. You just cannot even imagine the shapes and colours that potatoes come in. So whether it’s seeing it in the market or you’re seeing it on your dinner plate. 

My favourite was these little yellow ones with sort of ridges on them, so they almost looked like bumblebees. Yum, yum, yum. 

After the storm chasing tour

But let’s change the topic now. The actual stories in the book start with the end of the storm chasing tour. I will admit, I was sad to see the end of the tour. We were a motley crew, but I was going to miss the motley crew that I spent two weeks with. 

The trip had already been booked, when a work workshop I’d always wanted to do came up a couple of days after I was meant to leave America. I ended up changing my flight from LA to Melbourne, to a couple of days later to add on the workshop.  

Qantas Gold/One World Sapphire status

I flew from Oklahoma to Los Angeles. And then from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Now, during the storm trip, I qualified for Qantas Gold status, which is equivalent to One World Sapphire status, which I was so happy about. So this was the first chance I had to use that status and I had no idea what I was doing or what I was eligible for. When I wasn’t charged for my baggage, I really thought I was getting away with something that I shouldn’t have been getting away with. And I still remember walking away from the desk expecting someone to chase after me and insist I pay. I’d planned on paying. I had the credit card in my hand, but no one charged me any money. I worked out later my Gold status gave me free luggage, which is quite useful in America. 

Arriving at Las Vegas hotel

So eventually I make it to Las Vegas to find a check-in line. I know Las Vegas never sleeps, but I was exhausted. With time changes and everything, it was late, and I stood in line for about an hour and a half. 

A couple of times I tried to skip out of line and use the computer check in, but nothing that I had in my emails seemed to fit what that machine needed. And that’s why I know nobody notified me about a change in my booking status. 

I was very surprised when, after an hour and a half standing in line, very tired, just wanting to go to bed, where I was told, no, you don’t have a booking with us. What? But no, I had a booking. They had just upgraded me. Very fancy. (June is a month for upgrades, it seems.) 

I was upgraded to a hotel inside a hotel called the Nobu. It was a beautiful hotel, a lovely upgrade, but it wasn’t what I want from Vegas. I like the vulgarity of Caesars and the over-the-topness. The Nobu was Japanese elegance, so there’s a big difference in expectations there. But very nice of you. Thank you for the upgrade. It would have been nice to have been told about it because the Nobu had no line, so I would have been in my hotel room roughly 2 hours earlier and pretty much as soon as I arrived. 

The joys of travel, it gives, and it takes.

Preemie for a day

I stayed at Caesars because the workshop that I was doing was held in one of their conference rooms, so it’s obviously easy just to stay. And America always starts early, like 8:00 in the morning. Why start workshops at 8:00 in the morning? It’s the same as schools, isn’t it? They start at eight? So in Australia, we start most things at 9:00 am, so anything that starts before 9:00 am generally includes breakfast, because you don’t start before 9:00 am, including school. All our schools start at 9:00, or maybe quarter to nine sometimes, or some year levels will start a little bit earlier, but 8:00 is always an early start for me. 

But it was such a fun thing to do. Even my work colleagues think it’s crazy, oops we’re not allowed to use the word crazy now, apologies, think it’s ridiculous. There you go, that’s a better word. Let’s use ridiculous. But I personally think everybody should do it. And if I was in charge of something, whether it was education, management, whatever, not that I’m ever going to be doing any of those things. I would want to create my own version of this and make it mandatory for everybody to do it. Not just the junior nurses when they first arrived, but even new staff who’ve come from other hospitals because it is such a unique way to learn. 

Basically, adult equipment, or adult sized equipment, is made by a medical company that makes equipment for babies. With your participants, one pretends to be the baby and the others are the nurses. And so when you’re actually getting to be the baby, you have no control, you just have to take whatever they’re doing. They’re moving your arms and their legs and obviously in real life, they’re sticking needles into you and sharp implements all over the place and uncomfortable tubes. And you can imagine, even as an adult, with adults over the top of me, it’s quite confronting. So as a baby who is small compared to all these adult faces that are looking at you, it is really scary and it changes how you do things if you actually look at it from the baby’s perspective. 

I’d heard lots about it and I really wanted to do it and I was so excited  I just happened to be nearby, anyway. 

And it was totally worth getting a spare day in Las Vegas. I love my life that just got a day off in Vegas, as you do. I did learn a lot from that workshop and it had bonuses. But don’t worry if you’re like, shaking your head, rolling your eyes, thinking, why would you want to do that? Or that’s just so weird, don’t worry, because all my work colleagues think exactly the same thing. 

London, 1993 (a prequel)

The June chapter has a single date in London in 1993 and it’s the prequel to the February the fourth date in The first six months where I’m visiting Heidelberg Castle. 

In that story, I intimate there’s more background and the month of June contains the full background story. And I have to admit I haven’t been able to replicate the scenario that happened. I have returned since and it hasn’t been the same. And I really would like to go back and see again. It was just how it all came about that was just amazing. And in that moment, I really believed the portrait on the wall was me. 

It led me to all sorts of research and interesting facts. So I have no regret for how it turned out. But I guess a little bit of a ***spoiler alert***, but you’re going to read the book, yes. But it was really interesting learning about the history and two family history stories. But from two different sides of the family, so one story from my dad’s family and one from my mum’s family. So that is highly unlikely to ever be the same story. But it was interesting I had those two family history stories and then I got myself into a situation where it looked like they both could be true. So that’s a little interesting little story there that you can have a read of. 

Australian travel post pandemic

June is the longest chapter in the second book, and a lot of that comes from the next couple of stories, all set in Australia in 2022. So Wilson’s Promontory, or we call it Wilson’s Prom, and Tasmania. Both road trips that I’ve done on my own, and two places I have never, ever been to, despite their proximity, and even in my childhood, I never went. And I always kind of knew, particularly Tasmania I would absolutely love, but still never made it there. So I was very excited. 

This was an early trip after the pandemic and the world was starting to open up, at least particularly for us Victorians who were locked down the most, though I’m hoping China has taken over from us, seeing as they’ve had lockdowns more recently. 

Wilson’s Promontory (Prom)

So Wilson’s Prom came first, but they were both within a week of each other. Wilson’s Prom was a warm-up, I guess, and a test run, which didn’t really help Tasmania, but anyway. But I was quite disappointed with a lot of the drive from Melbourne to Wilson’s Prom. It was just too built up. Too many industrial areas, it took forever, like right near the end, to get to country areas. I found that disappointing. 

Tasmania

Driving everywhere in Tasmania was spectacular. It completely blew me away from start to finish and I’m dying to go back. Like the coastline and the beaches and the orange lichen on the rocks. I love that orange hue that comes from that lichen. And there was the potential for whales and there was waterfalls and trains and so much to do. It’s this tiny little island. We always joke about it being the island away from mainland Australia, but it is absolutely spectacular. 

Booking mistake

But I made a booking mistake. I guess I was out of practice. I had everything mapped out, as in, I’m arriving on such-and-such a date, and then I have this many days until I come home. Which is all good, but I was forgetting that if I’m starting on this date, and I’m catching the overnight ferry, then I need to book the ferry the day before so that I arrive on the expected date. Which is where I stuffed up. When booking I had the day I was arriving in Tasmania in my head. And so I just booked that date on the ferry and it wasn’t until later that I realised, oops, I now have one less day in Tasmania. 

Maria Island booking change

Luckily I discovered that when I was starting to book the hotels and realised what I’d done. But it was also during that stage, when planning the itinerary, I was going to a place called Maria Island. I just wanted to see the wombats. They have one week a year where they close down the daily ferry for maintenance, and the winter timetable for the ferry and the date of this week of maintenance hadn’t come out before I’d booked my ferry and planned my trip. So unfortunately when I was booking all the hotels, after booking the ferry, the date for Maria Island was up and it was smack bang in the middle of my trip. There was no way around it, because it was a full week in the middle, giving me a half a week on either side. There was no way I could rearrange everything to fit in getting the ferry either before it closed down or after it reopened. So I had to cut that out of the trip. 

Freycinet upgrade

But in one sense, it gave me one of the highlights of the trip. To fit in the island, I only had one day to stay in a national park nearby, which was Freycinet. I booked one night in the hotel inside the national park, so that was easy. I could do walks on arrival and walks in the morning and all that sort of thing, but without going to Maria, I could have stayed an extra day. So when I went back to try and add a second day to the hotel, I discovered the hotel was completely sold out in the normal room options. 

So instead I stayed with the one night and booked at a town about a 40 minute drive away. I could spend the whole day in the park if I needed to, and then do the last little drive for the second night. 

I’m assuming there were people who arrived who wanted to pay for a cheap room and given mine. Again, I’m assuming they wanted to stay for maybe two or three days, therefore, a good booking. To keep three days even in the cheapest room is better than my one night in the cheapest room. Because of that, and this is all just made up in my head, because I’m good at that, I got the best upgrade you could possibly imagine. 

My original hotel price was around the 200 and something dollar mark. And I ended up, even the receptionist was in shock. Like, he struggled to check me in because he couldn’t believe the upgrade I’d received. So the room, I was upgraded to, is what they called a pavilion. I had no idea what that meant until I actually saw it, but a pavilion cost 600 and something dollars per night with a minimum of a two-night stay. So you’re looking at  $1200-1300 for a stay, whereas my stay was only costing me around the let’s say $230 mark. So we’re talking triple the price for one night, and then you had to stay or at least pay for two nights. 

So I kind of feel like they could have got a longer booking at a cheaper room, and they had a one night gap in between bookings of two nights, so well, of course, why not give the one night person the upgrade and make some money? But all the extras and everything that I got, seriously, I don’t know. It must work out in their favour. But even the staff were very confused because you get hand delivered chocolates, and the staff member who hand delivered the chocolates couldn’t believe I got the upgrade as well. 

So it was obviously not something that happens very often. I did indulge in a little fantasy of they’ve seen my blog. I hadn’t written the book yet, but I was writing weekly blogs on my web page, which obviously later became the book. And I imagined they’d seen my blog, and they were treating me like a travel influencer and that’s why they gave me the upgrade. So I’d write and advertise the hotel on my blog and that this would be my life from now on. All these magical upgrades that I didn’t have to pay for. 

I think the first scenario is the most likely. But like I said, I have absolutely no idea. And obviously the staff, even the one checking me in, there was obviously no note there saying why or how I got the upgrade. 

But this place, I’m so glad I arrived early enough in the day to enjoy it rather than arriving at like seven or eight o’clock at night. So I got to explore, then I got to see the full sunset. And every sunset was incredible in Tasmania. But this particular night, it was extra magical, with the sky red and against the trees and it was overlooking water. And the black of the pavilion, the pavilion walls were all black. It just really stood out. 

I’m sitting there, I’d made myself a hot chocolate. I’ve got like 10,000 layers on because it was freezing and the hot chocolate was keeping my hands warm. And I had this whole private deck area watching this glorious sunset. And then partway through, I got hand delivered chocolates. I mean, seriously, how is that not just amazing? 

We also got whiskey. We get free whiskey as part of the pavilion stay, but I don’t drink alcohol, so that didn’t really add anything for me. But it was just a magical building. Like on the inside, there was a lot of black, but there was also wood everywhere, so the walls were wood panelled. But I didn’t realise at first that they were cupboards and things built behind the wood. So I end up walking down the corridor, pushing every little piece of wood, looking for extra cubby holes. And there were cubby holes everywhere, with all sorts of things from yoga mats, board games, books on Tasmania, a flip chart of eucalyptus trees or gum trees. I had no idea there were over 200 varieties of gum trees. 

During this trip and the Wilson’s Prom trip, I really discovered a passion for the Australian gum tree. I don’t know, they just make my heart sing. I just love gum trees. And so they have this flip chart of all the different types, not all, but the main types of gum trees. And I took lots of photos so I could use them for future reference. I would have bought one if I’d found one, but I couldn’t find one. 

I found the poo flip chart, as in the animal scat flip chart, which I did buy, but I would have happily also paid for the eucalyptus flip chart because that would be amazing to have in the car. And I’ve always wondered, all the trees are ever so slightly different, but I just thought that was the uniqueness in the bark. But there are different varieties, so hence why everyone is different. And that’s one of the things I love about them. You never know exactly what colour range you’re going to get. 

The other thing about being in the pavilion is that you got room service, so there was no room service to any other hotel room classification. There are individual buildings around and you have to walk to the main building to get to where the restaurant and reception and places and little shops and stuff are. So I would have had to leave my warmth of my building, of my room, get all rugged up and then walk across or, I guess, potentially drive to the main building to have dinner and breakfast in the morning. 

The guy at reception really tried to convince me to come over for breakfast, saying it was a much better breakfast in the main dining room than anything that gets sent to my room. 

I was not leaving this pavilion. I had room service dinner and room service breakfast and I was perfectly happy with room service breakfast. You’ll hear all about the details in the book, but it’s funny, after all this luxury and everything, how I still had to use an old boarding school trick to melt the butter enough to spread it by putting it on the kettle. So luxury is one thing, but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of life smarts and stuff in there as well. You can’t always have luxury and you obviously occasionally want some luxury, but mixing the two is quite a good combination. 

Broken toe

But of course, the whole trip wasn’t luxurious and unfortunately, it wasn’t always comfortable. So not long before I went to Wilson’s Prom, I broke my toe. So, a combination of pandemic and also being upside down for night shift, I had this little course I’d made around the house to get my steps in. So at two in the morning I’m doing figure of eights in the lounge room and going walking around to the laundry and back into the spare bedroom and all sorts of things constantly round and round in this circuit. In order to get my steps up. And I used to get quite good speed up at times. 

But I’m not the neatest person in the world, and there’s often obstacles on the floor. And one of those obstacles, obviously, leading up to trips, is my suitcase. And my suitcase has chunky wheels and somehow, as I was walking very quickly around the house to get my steps up, I got my toe straight into the wheel of the suitcase. Oh, my goodness. There were swear words, there was silence, there was mouth gagging, there was everything. It hurt so much. 

I didn’t realise it was broken to start with and I’ve never had it confirmed, to be honest, but from the pain and the amount of time it took to heal, it was broken. But I know they don’t really do much for broken toes or broken fingers, for that matter, so I didn’t bother doing anything about it. Obviously I was going away as well in a few days’ time. So me and my broken toe, which I’ve never broken a toe before, I’ve broken potentially fingers and my ankle. But I’d never broken a toe. But I did know that they didn’t really do anything for it. But right before a walking holiday, the timing was just ridiculous. 

And I think I’m still suffering effects. My knee is playing up, and I think part of it was because of my so called good foot, because my left foot, which is where the broken toe was, has always been my good foot, which has supported my right foot. And with two bad feet, my knee has decided to take the strain. Or it could just be age, or both, who knows? But it hurt. So try not to break your toe before you go on a walking holiday. 

Prepping

But the other little thing about this trip is, and I don’t know why, I mean, I’m a bit of a closet prepper. I have seen every episode of that Preppers TV show. Some of those people are a little bit crazy. Oops not allowed to use that word, we’re not allowed to use the C word. There’s a new C word in town people. Prepping is a bit strange, but the underlying principle is a good idea. 

My style of prepping is to make sure I’ve always got cereal and UHT milk. So if all the electricity and power goes out, I can eat cereal. I have extra bottles of water around the house. So if the water is contaminated or again the water pump, because of no electricity, is gone, I still have plenty of water to drink and clean myself with and stuff like that. 

When I was packing for both Wilson’s Prom and then later Tasmania, I seemed to be absolutely positive that at some point during those trips I was going to be stuck somewhere without electricity. So again, I had the cereal and the UHT milk, but then I had tin spaghetti, which I’ll happily eat out of the tin cold. And I had fresh fruit, and I had fruit cups, and just things that I could eat that were on the healthy side of life. Not too healthy, but partly healthy that I could eat. 

Of course, I didn’t lose electricity at any point. I didn’t get stuck in the car anywhere and have no access to anywhere to buy food or anything like that. But for some reason, I had everything in case something happened. But I really would like to buy myself what van lifers and four-wheel-drive campers have, the power packs where you can plug all sorts of things into. 

I love my electric rug, which came with me to both Wilson’s Prom and Tasmania, and saved me multiple times. That lovely electric rug. But they have twelve volt electric rugs, so I could plug a twelve volt electric rug into a power pack. So if I was stuck in my car somewhere in snowy mountainous Tasmania, or in the middle of nowhere Wilson’s Prom, I could still be warm. And can you imagine me sitting there under my electric rug eating cold tin spaghetti straight out of the tin? Yeah, that’d be me and I’d be as happy as a pig in mud. Really. That’s just who I am. 

Are you laughing?

So seriously, if you haven’t laughed at me during this episode, then you’re never going to laugh at me because I’ve done some crazy things (there’s that word again) and I kept turning the heater on and off. Every time I stopped, I’d turn the heater on because it was cold and then I’d forget to turn it off again. So the audio cleaning up software that I use is going to be working overtime on this episode and I can’t wait to hear what it sounds like once it’s finished its job. [They did an excellent job – no hummm] 

Wrap-up

But that’s enough jabbering on from me for a week. It’s been a long one. Again, sorry about that. But like I said, the June chapter is one of the biggest in the book and there’s so many different stories. So next week I think I’m going to be back to the writing/self-publishing side of life where I’m going into all the AI stuff that’s out at the moment. All the artificial intelligence.

I don’t know if it’s as big in everyone else’s world at the moment. Because a lot of what I’m doing is writing based, all the targeted adds and things that Google and Facebook can make up for you these days is about things to do with writing and self-publishing. And the whole self- publishing world and writers are panicking about artificial intelligence taking their jobs. 

There has been some evidence people have lost their job because of it, and also some have been rehired. So AI is not a one stop shop, but it definitely can help in some areas and I can see how some businesses might be able to save money by using AI. 

There are a couple of programs I’ve been looking into and which I’ll talk about from a new writer’s perspective and just what they’re like. So that’ll be next week. 

If by some chance that isn’t what happens next week, next week or the week after, will be readings from the June chapter which I’ve been talking about today, so it’ll most likely be AI, but if it’s not, it could be the readings from the book. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to stories about the June chapter. Don’t forget you can buy The SECOND six months book starting from the 23rd July, but also don’t forget it’s not a bad idea to read The first six months first, which is available now. There’s direct links, to varying purchasing options on my website. 

Now I have a page for The first six months and a page for The SECOND six months, so you can go directly to one or the other. Obviously, The SECOND six months only has a picture of the cover and no purchasing links, but that will be updated over time. 

There are other things on the website, so don’t forget to have a look around. You’ve got the photos, which will go through a bit of an upgrade just before the second book comes out, because the new photos will be uploaded for you to see and I might get them out early so you can get a sneak peek into the photos. So listen out for when that might be happening. 

Thank you very much for listening. I do hope, and I am going to assume that something made you smile or laugh today, but that was the whole point. So please laugh at me. I’m definitely laughable, or I think so, or maybe I’m not laughable. I don’t know. But no, I think there’s some funny things going on in there and yes, I’m definitely a funny thing and I don’t mind calling myself crazy, but I will try and not use the crazy word for anyone else. But I’m perfectly happy to call myself crazy because I am a little bit crazy and there are multiple definitions for crazy in the dictionary. Trust me, I’ve looked them up. All right, for some reason, I’m on a real tangent today. So let’s end here because you never know what I’m going to say next. So thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you come back and listen to more next week. And besides all of that, I wish for you an interesting day. 

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