Hamilton Island and the Whitsundays

This post is about Hamilton Island, but first I want to talk about by travel buddy R and how we met.

Small insignificant moments can often make the biggest difference. In 2003 I was mid-way through my first year at university and not overly enjoying myself. My dorm-mates were a bunch of stoners, choosing to sit around smoking weed rather than socializing or experiencing Bristol. The one good friend I did have was a girl called Sarah, and she ended up dating one of the stoners, so I soon lost her to the black void of lethargy that marijuana seems to create.

Hamilton Island guests on the Balcony

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Byron, the first few days

Byron is exactly what I needed.

It’s 10.30pm on a Sunday night and I’m sat on the deck of a beautiful beach house. I can hear the waves rolling against the sand just beyond the trees and nothing else. I was locking up the house at the end of day three in Byron with the intention of going to bed, but when I walked out onto the decking I took a deep breath of fresh sea air and felt an overwhelming desire to keep this little dream going a bit longer, so I sat down to write.


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Gonorrhea, drugging your boyfriend and cruising

Let’s leave talk of gonorrhea till later. It’s far too early in the morning.

Sydney, that’s my first stop on this Christmas adventure, and that’s pretty much all I know. Work in Hong Kong has been pretty crazy in the run up to holidays. Everyone wants desperately to have a Christmas where they don’t read work emails or take a work call. Because of this the office is a frantic flurry of activity, stress, deadlines and meetings. I actually found myself in a meeting about how many meetings we are having. Seriously.

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The Chinese Bone Doctor

I have a habit of putting off problems. Yesterday after my eventful morning (see previous post) I went to the W Hotel for lunch, did a bit of work and then decided that I needed to address my shoulder pain. This decision was prompted by it hurting so much I had to bite my lip to stop myself screaming in the middle of Wan Chai.

I don’t know what triggered it, but roughly a week ago I had mild discomfort, which progressed to continual discomfort, and by yesterday afternoon had galloped to red hot agony status. For the past 3 days I have been self medicating, switching between paracetamol and ibuprofen at regular four hour intervals to manage the pain, but enough was enough, screaming in public is not a good look.


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Wednesday night at the Happy Valley racecourse

“You can be standing next to someone who looks like they are betting their last twenty dollars on earth, and next to that person is someone betting ten thousand on a race just for the hell of it”.

This was shouted at me in 2006 by my flatmate during our first ever visit to the Happy Valley Racecourse on a Wednesday night.

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When I stood on the edge of the old red dock at 6.35am I would always hesitate. Standing there shivering I would wonder why I left the warmth of my cabin and the luxury of an extra hour of sleep to put myself in such a stupid situation. The cold dark water of the lake contained snapping turtles, sharp toothed fish culled Musky and weeds that seemed to grasp at your feet.

The trick was to stand on the edge of the dock, with my toes round its peeling edge, and to gently lean in till my center of balance was just over the point of no return. At that moment it was too late, nothing to be done, ice cold water was hurtling towards me and all I could do was brace for the shock. Watch out turtles, here I come.
Life changes can also be a shock, but without them there can be no forward motion, no benefit, no reaching targets, no satisfying journey across the lake or good stories to tell at my wake. So I made an important decision last week, the decision was that I need to overbalance my center of gravity once again and leave the comfort of Hong Kong to set new challenges and adventures. It’s time for a change, and this blog is going to document the journey.