Currently traveling

Hash-Packing the World

June 2018 - May 2019
Whether you know me as Nancy Webb or Pat Bonetar, come with me as I travel through Southeast Asia, Australasia, South America, and Europe for the next 17 months.
  • Day351

    Hitchhiking to Mission Beach

    Yesterday in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 72 °F

    I met up with McTaf and Mixo last night for a short while. I'm so very glad I got to meet up with them while I was here.

    This morning, I met up with Dribbles, the Stray tour guide, who walked me and some others over to the train station to begin our southbound journey. I jumped off in Tully and walked about 800 meters (about 8 American football fields with end zones) to the outdoor bus terminal. But the bus to Mission Beach doesn't come until 18:00. I really don't want to sit here that long, so I chained my big bag and food bag to a bolted down metal bench and walked to a nearby backpacker hostel. No ride shares, but the very lovely lady gave me a sheet of bright yellow card stock and a heavy black marker. So, now I'm in the side of the road trying to hitch a lift to Mission Beach. Fingers crossed!

    So long [for now] and thanks for all the fish. ✌️

    P.S.: I was too busy, so the selfie is at the hostel. My sign worked in only 5 minutes! Shout out to a very nice fitter man Shannon!!
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  • Day350

    Hot Air Ballooning!

    May 19 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 66 °F

    All I did to finish up yesterday was have a very inexpensive and bland but filling dinner at the hostel and buy some groceries. Except...when I went to check out at the grocery store, I didn't have my wallet. Don't panic. I left my items with the young clerk and backtracked to the hostel. To get in the bar/pool/pokies area where I had dinner, I had to show i.d.*, but the guy let me in after I explained. No luck. Now panic is building. To reception. Several lost items had been turned in, including a couple of wallets which was reassuring to my dwindling faith in humanity, but not my wallet. One more place--my room. New key from the desk and a trot up to the second floor as I continued to push down the growing nausea. Not on my bed! Not on the floor! I am in serious panic mode now. Probably moaning out loud to my Irish roommates. Then, there it was! On the bench/table thing by the electrical sockets where I charge my phone. Whoosh! Key back to reception, friendly hoorah wave at the bar bouncer, and a jaunt back to the store, where I found my items waiting at the register. I. Am. So. Lucky.

    This morning, I was up at 03:30 for the hot air balloon operator to collect me. At just before 04:00, the hostel tweens were still partying, which is probably why the hostel locks up all the food pantries and refrigerators from 22:00-05:00. 😉

    We had just over an hour drive to the launch site. The ride was breathtaking! Kangaroos bolting out from under us while we were low. A hawk matching pace with us while we were high. We hit just over 2,300 feet at our highest, and we were airborne a bit longer than the scheduled 30 minutes. So peaceful, so quiet...except the very loud, very hot quadruple burners. The only downside was that I paid $80 AUD more than I thought I would and am fighting to get $50 of it back. But whatever. Still a terrific outing.

    I got back to the hotel around 09:30. Finished my book, took a shower, and am now packing to leave tomorrow.

    So long [for now] and thanks for all the fish. ✌️

    * You must have a photo i.d. to enter nightclubs, discos, etc. Your i.d. is scanned at entry so that if there are any problems, the culprits are easily identified and can be banned from the establishment.
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  • Day349

    Lazy Day

    May 18 in Australia ⋅ 🌬 82 °F

    Yesterday afternoon, I continued reading my book, then went to dinner with McTaf, a friend of his, and Mixo. Afterwards, his friend went home and the three of us went to a nearby Irish pub. Kilkenny!!!! And a great band to boot. Great evening.

    Today, I'm just reading and playing games on my phone. Have to get up early in the morning. You'll find out why on tomorrow's post. 😀

    So long [for now] and thanks for all the fish. ✌️

    P.S.: My debit card is on its way.
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  • Day348

    Maintenance Day & Aarrgghhh Continues

    May 17 in Australia ⋅ 🌬 79 °F

    Yesterday afternoon, I met up with my dear friend Sniffer Dog from Sydney, her friend, and a Cairns hasher Layback. They all dropped by the hostel on their way to the airport. Hugs for me!

    Then later I met up with McTaf, Mixo, and Layback at Hemingway's Brewery (there was one of these in Port Douglas as well, but I still haven't figured out if they have anything to do with Ernest). Then Layback and I went for Salsa, Cha Cha Cha, etc. dancing. He's about 55 years old and has been dancing since he was a kid. Needless to say, I watched a lot and danced a little. But what a great band and really good time.

    This morning, I chatted with my bank to get the FedEx tracking number for my corrected name debit card. I ordered it at 14:00 on Wednesday and my chat was at 09:00 on Friday, Australia time. They haven't sent it yet. It won't get picked up for another 23 hours. My new favorite curse phrase is "For Frick's [sic] Sake," a.k.a. FFS. These idiots. Luckily--I am really really trying to be positive about this--my friends in Townsville are going to let me stay with them for a few days while my card and glasses get sorted.

    After that chat, I had a nice feed (Aussie for "meal") before going to the shopping center for some much needed maintenance. First, I broke my newest glasses, so I had the local store contact a counterpart further south to order a new frame I can pick up in Townsville next week. Second, I went for a haircut to clean up the sides and back. And third, I finally had a pedicure, for which the whole world is grateful (I wear nothing but jandals/flip-flops/thongs/sandals...whatever you call those shoes with the thing between your toes).

    I'm at the mall now. No selfie today. I look the same as yesterday, including the clothes. 😉

    So long [for now] and thanks for all the fish. ✌️
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  • Day347

    Back in Cairns

    May 16 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 77 °F

    After yesterday's amazing trip to Wildlife Habitat, I spent the afternoon and evening back in the hotel wrapping up my Port Douglas trip and sorting out what was next.

    Next, apparently, is Cairns, which is where I've just arrived. I'm waiting to check into the hostel around 14:00. There is a huge tree in the middle of the bar. Cool.

    So long [for now] and thanks for all the fish. ✌️

    P.S.: Pics are from 4-Mile Beach in Port Douglas this morning, just before the rain came bucketing down.
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  • Day346

    Wildlife Habitat & Breakfast w/Birds

    May 15 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 79 °F

    What an incredible day.

    Lorakeet and Eclectus female
    Yellowtailed black cocky Jacko

    Blacktailed black cocky (female has yellow spots)

    Tia Northern or Tropical Koala, 5yo 4kg about 2/3ds full size
    Monty Carpet python
    Sunshine 14mo freshy twice body size since when born

    Female (Cass 26yo) bigger than male (Airlie 24yo)
    Magpie goose
    Blackneck stork (Aussie's only stork)
    Pukeko (kiwi invader)

    Australian darter Brittany (she spears her food) big long neck golden
    Curlews
    Laughing and bluewing kookaburras
    Black beaked SB is the royal spoonbill
    Tawny frogmouth (not an owl, related to kookaburra)
    Pied herons

    Eastern grey roo 2d largest
    Agile wallaby largest
    Swamp wallaby reddish Stumpy with short tail

    5-6 flying foxes. Gorgeous!

    Attacked by pelican. Drew blood like a papercut. 😂😂😂

    The beast! A person isn't even as big as his tail!

    So long [for now] and thanks for all the fish. ✌️

    P.S.: My debit card arrived yesterday. But wait. It has my ex-husband's last name on it, a name I haven't used in over four years and for which I have no i.d. Now they have to send me another one without killing this one. I'll have to find a friend further south to whom they can mail it since I'm leaving here tomorrow. FFS, idiotic dipshits, why is this so difficult for you?! Aarrgghhh!!
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  • Day344

    Ugh, My Head

    May 13 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 79 °F

    Still fighting the sinuses, although I do feel a bit better. Maybe. Stayed in all yesterday and plan to do the same today. My debit card is scheduled to get here today.

    So long [for now] and thanks for all the fish. ✌️

  • Day343

    Daintree Day 2.5

    May 12 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 75 °F

    HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, MOM!! LOVE YOU!!!

    Once the driver collected me from the Ferntree Lodge, we went back to the boardwalk. It was nicer with his guidance. Although I had already walked by everything, he was able to point out specifics. We even ate the abdomens of tiny lemon ants, which taste like, you guessed it, very sour lemons. Not bad.

    After that walk, we stopped at the Daintree Ice Cream Co. for a cup four flavors, Davidson's Plum, Yellow Sapota, Coconut, and something similar to hazelnut, all of which are grown on the farm. The gelato has no added sugar, and it was wonderful!

    Then it was back to my hotel in Port Douglas, where I stayed the rest of the night.

    This morning I walked to the grocery store, then right back to the hotel. I'm fighting sinus congestion and decided to stay in bed today, which is where I am now.

    So long [for now] and thanks for all the fish. ✌️
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  • Day342

    Daintree Rainforest Day 2

    May 11 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 81 °F

    What a beautiful place is the Daintree. "Where the rainforest meets the reef" is its slogan. So true!

    I took a long walk yesterday afternoon on the Dubuji Boardwalk, winding up on Myall Beach (don't get close to the water!). I saw loads of orange-footed scrubfowl (no picture). They're about the size of the guineas my grandfather had, but brown with a greenish iridescent breast and bright orange legs and feet.

    After the walk, I stopped by the local store for an ice cream and ran into their pet peacock Eugene guarding the entry. He finally let me in.

    As I was walking back to the lodge, the bats began to come out. They're almost as big as the ones in Okinawa. What a racket they make!

    Walking back to the cabin after dinner, I almost stepped on several cane toads. I'm hoping they were what was making all the rustling noise in the undergrowth. I walked back pretty quickly and didn't stop to investigate.

    This morning, I had breakfast and checked out, then I took another walk. I popped out on Cape Tribulation Beach where the high tide comes right up to the trees. Luckily, the tide was out leaving a huge swathe of flat sand that appeared croc free. I definitely didn't get close enough to the water to find out.

    I also walked around the boardwalk again in one last attempt to see a cassowary. I found scat, but no bird. Poop. (Pun intended 😉.)

    Now, I'm walking to the lodge's cafe for lunch before the van picks me up to go back to Port Douglas.

    So long [for now] and thanks for all the fish. ✌️

    (I forgot to take a selfie.)
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