Australia

unfinished blogs – no. 5 – Reflections on a three week trip through Australia

I’ve been writing this blog for three years this month, and have accumulated many partially written blogs that remain unpublished. I may as well just publish them as is, and if I ever feel inspired to finish any, do so later.

June 12, 2012

——————

It was a great trip.

First the negative things…

You will be radiated

I wasn’t planning to go to Australia at all, but around March the Australian government announced they would be introducing full body scanners in all International terminals, and everybody, with no exceptions, would be forced to be scanned (except presumably politicians who voted them in), if they wanted to fly.  This was to start from July.

Having previously avoided London Heathrow for the same reason, I thought now was my last chance to visit Australia, until such time as the scanners are scrapped – however long that will take.

From the reading I had previously done, these scanners either rip apart your DNA, or give you cancer.  And all radiation is cumulative, so all the CAT scans I have had, dental X-rays, now Fukushima radiation which has spread around the world, mean I do not want any more that I cannot avoid.  In the US, which is infested with these scanners, the attendents are coming down with cancer.  Here are a few articles I read when I was looking into this.

DNA Breathing Dynamics in the Presence of a Terahertz Field
Radiation from airport scanners may increase cancer risk
How the New British Body Scanners Tear Apart DNA and Increase Cancer Risk
TSA Scanners Shred Human DNA
The Body Scanner Scam

The government, of course, says they are safe.  But The US Homeland Security ex-chief, Cheney’s company makes money from the sales of these machines. What more do I need to say?

The people I talked to in Australia seemed appalled  by the Prime Minister and the way she lies and broke promises.  State election results recently show her party decimated, so no one expects her to be PM after the next election.

Australia – Penalties Apply

Because everywhere you went there were signs telling you not to do something, or alternatively, to do something, and if you did not comply, penalties apply.  I think it also makes it easy for them to increase the fines exponentially every time they feel like it, as they do not need to change the signs. Before the signs used to read, “$10 fine” – now it’s probably “$300 fine”. I saw these signs in every part of Australia I went.

Penalties Apply

Cost of living

Travelling you find the costs different from those expressed in surveys on expat living costs in major cities.  In these surveys, Australian cities’ costs are high on the lists, but as a traveller, I found Australia more expensive than anywhere I’ve been in recent years, excepting Finland.

Travelling

Big – KL-Perth cf syd

Without exception, the tourist offices I visited were great. The staff were friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Usually I would just quickly read some tourist literature on my next destination while on the plane, and note what sounds interesting. Then I’d visit the tourist office with my list, and they’d sort out accommodation, the route I should take, where I should visit, any tours I was interested in, where to get anything I wanted, and give me maps and brochures.

Domestically I flew on Qantas, and found the staff helpful and polite.

 

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A trip to evaluate retirement in subtropical Queensland

In April / May 2014 we made a trip to south-east Queensland in order to decide whether this area of Australia might be a good area in which to live in retirement. Fortuitously we knew several people living in the area, so we could get several different opinions. One person had been living retired in Penang, another was our neighbour in London in the past, and other friends had relocated from other parts of Australia and abroad.

We had a great time, partly because we could enjoy being with friends. We spent some time staying overlooking Brisbane River near the city centre and enjoying perfect BBQ weather, then on a farm in the Sunshine coast hinterland, later on a vineyard inland near the Queensland-NSW border, and finally staying in a campervan in a campground right next to the beach.  The water was refreshing but not cold, and the sun was hot. One day I even took part in a sports car rally in the Gold Coast hinterland.

car rally

car rally

I was concerned about a couple of things before going.

One is that in most parts of Australia the public water supply is poisoned with added fluoride.  will be.  Harvard University recently examined about 40 studies of fluoridation and about 35 studies showed that it decreased IQ by about 5 points. Of course, they are many other symptoms, too, such as fluoride blocking the body’s uptake of minerals from food. I wrote to Tourism Australia:

I will be soon making a trip to Australia. As far as I can gather, most water in Australia is fluoridated. Most of the rest of the world regards fluoride as a poison, as does the UN, and it is forbidden. How can I avoid washing in fluoridated water and drinking it, or ingesting any products with it? I will be in the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast area.

Response? None.

The other was that Australia is the only country in the world that forces people who they select at airports to be irradiated by full body scanners.  In 2012 people who refused  were threatened with arrest, imprisonment and a criminal record.  It seems that now people who refuse are blocked from flying for 24 hours. Still, a very expensive matter for most people.  The airport enforcers of body scanners in the US are dying young from cancer, if that is any consolation. With only a couple of years use in Australia that trend has probably not yet become obvious.

We avoided fluoride as much as possible by staying on farms which had their own water supply.  And at Brisbane Airport few people were picked out to be irradiated.

What did we notice in Australia? First what was not good.

Most noticeable is how expensive it is.  Finding a cup of coffee for less than $4 was pretty well impossible where we went.  Eating out was too expensive in most cases – even a sandwich was $9. A 20 minute bus ride in Brisbane cost $6.10. We heard the cost of utilities was very high.  And what wasn’t expensive? Cars are reasonably priced, wine can be cheaper than Asia, and our rental campervan was only $21.00 per day.  That’s cheaper than both of us riding the bus into Brisbane and back! And real estate?  Prices are very high. http://www.realestate.com.au/buy

The government seems very authoritarian, with signs everywhere telling you either what you must do, or must not do, and how much money they will take from you if you do not obey.  Having said which, we really didn’t see any police, who are the enforcement arm of the rulers.

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People told us violent crime is high – especially in the Gold Coast.  For this reason we didn’t even go there, although we had planned to.

Finally, there was a backdrop for the trip of government budgets.  With signboards and the media this topic was in the forefront. The Federal Government was about to reveal its budget for the coming year.  And in Queensland the government was warning the people it had – meaning the people had – to deal with a massive debt, and wanted to hear from the people. “The choices are clear, we can massively increase fees, taxes and charges like car registration or stamp duty on the family home, we can reduce much-needed services or we can investigate the lease or sale of some government businesses.”  If you had another other ideas the government wasn’t interested.  So, after a massive mining boom, which fueled inflation but not pay for most, almost everyone is far worse off.  If Norway was in charge there’d be a huge sovereign wealth fund for the people, and all social payments would be funded for the next few decades.

There were plenty of good things:

Driving was far safer and easier than Asia.

You can buy anything you want or need, warranties are upheld, and you have consumer protection if there are any problems. In shops, sales staff are knowledgeable and helpful and friendly.

There is a big range of food, too, and it is fresh.  Plus there are a lot of markets around.

The sea water was  clear and the beaches clean. If fact, there was almost no litter around. Of course, you can swim in the sea.

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Nature is easily accessible, and thus there are a lot of free activities.

We were surprised that there were not as many mosquitos and flies as we thought – in fact, mostly none.

Being sub-tropical, the weather was easier to live with than the tropical weather we normally have.

We heard that now enough solar electricity can be generated by rooftop collectors to power on’s house, and with a solar rooftop water heater you can be off-grid if you want.  In fact, if you are in the country and disconnected from the water and sewerage you can save $4,000 per year! Plus, of course, you avoid fluoride.  And your electricity and hot water are free, once you have bought the solar generators / collectors.  I do not know how long it takes to repay the capital cost from your savings.

One way you can live cheaper in Australia is to live in a campervan.  Where we asked you could no longer buy permanent sites in a camping ground, but possibly a long-term rate is $30 per night.  If you stayed long-term in camping grounds, gradually moving around the country when you tire of one place, then you could keep costs down.  Your housework is minimal, too. There seem to be plenty of people who do this, at least part of the time.

We concluded that it is just too expensive to live there at the moment, and difficult to avoid fluoride.  Even travelling outside of Australia is a potential hazard due to their use of scanners.

Things change – people in Australia are fighting fluoride now, exchange rates vary, and in the future we may find it easier there. I hope so.

http://penangmonthly.com/migrate-for-what/ gives another view.

Ant the antidote to fluoride? Tumeric, according to this article –  http://www.naturalnews.com/045433_turmeric_fluoride_poisoning_brain_health.html

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Signs of Queensland 2014 – 5/5

Gee - I hope they open early, then - but they appear to

Gee – I hope they open early, then – but they appear to

the council owned camping grounds

the council owned camping grounds

birds just wander around - it's nice

birds just wander around – it’s nice

very very sweet chocolate frogs

very very sweet chocolate frogs

moo

moo

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steep

steep

and who would ride a horse on a footpath?

and who would ride a horse on a footpath?

no idea what that sign means

no idea what that sign means

railway crossing

railway crossing

Glass House Mountains Tourist Drive - with no signs telling you how to get to the Glass House Mountains

Glass House Mountains Tourist Drive – with no signs telling you how to get to the Glass House Mountains

This guy was a famous TV wildlife presenter. He wasn't eaten by a crocodile - but stung by a stingray

This guy was a famous TV wildlife presenter. He wasn’t eaten by a crocodile – but stung by a stingray

the big chainsaw

the big chainsaw

beer prices - they have increased a lot

beer prices – they have increased a lot

In the UK they make such signs fun - in Australia it's imposing authority with no sense of humour

In the UK they make such signs fun – in Australia it’s imposing authority with no sense of humour

the big lawnmower - not something you see every day

the big lawnmower – not something you see every day

don't believe it - we never found them

don’t believe it – we never found them

well, we did, but we had to use a detailed map

well, we did, but we had to use a detailed map

a mountain

a mountain

mountain

mountain

mountain

mountain

hmm - a big pineapple and banana

hmm – a big pineapple and banana

the big lawnmower again

the big lawnmower again

the big lawnmower again

the big lawnmower again

and we passed the big chainsaw for the last time

and we passed the big chainsaw for the last time

sunset in Maloolabar

sunset in Maloolabar

sunset in Maloolabar

sunset in Maloolabar

our last moon in Australia

our last moon in Australia

Jucy Lucy - they rent campervans - they call them campas.

Jucy Lucy – they rent campervans – they call them campas.

Signs of Queensland 2014 – 4/5

Sydney is close-ish

Sydney is close-ish

we're on the New England Highway

we’re on the New England Highway

they have hundreds of signs naggin you to stop for a rest - and if you do tell you you can only rest for 30 minutes

they have hundreds of signs naggin you to stop for a rest – and if you do tell you you can only rest for 30 minutes

you can't rest long

you can’t rest long

we had no time to explore these

we had no time to explore these

cute graphic

cute graphic

ah, the Big Apple

ah, the Big Apple

not all that big

not all that big

but still, big

but still, big

and this way to Texas

and this way to Texas

they are joking now

they are joking now

more nagging signs

more nagging signs

the big raspberry?

the big raspberry?

at the winery

at the winery

at the winery

at the winery

driveway

driveway

a wild kangaroo

a wild kangaroo

more nagging about having a rest

more nagging about having a rest

and more

and more

This town is Warwick.  This building looks like a castle. So, this should be Warwick Castle

This town is Warwick. This building looks like a castle. So, this should be Warwick Castle

the open road

the open road

seems to be a theme in this part of the world - wash your dog and car...

seems to be a theme in this part of the world – wash your dog and car…

more nagging about having a rest

more nagging about having a rest

still more nagging about having a rest

still more nagging about having a rest

and more nagging about having a rest

and more nagging about having a rest

and more nagging about having a rest

and more nagging about having a rest

roadworks

roadworks

a town called Blackbutt

a town called Blackbutt

a bush turkey at a campground

a bush turkey at a campground

at Mooloolaba Beach

at Mooloolaba Beach

at Mooloolaba Beach

at Mooloolaba Beach

at Mooloolaba Beach

at Mooloolaba Beach

Signs of Queensland 2014 – 3/5

Back in Queensland

Back in Queensland

I saw no koalas

I saw no koalas

man on penny farhting bicycle

man on penny farhting bicycle

man on penny farhting bicycle

man on penny farthing bicycle

man on penny farhting bicycle

man on penny farhting bicycle

school zone

school zone

prizes for rally

prizes for rally

we won a prize

we won a prize

no freedom for dogs

no freedom for dogs

passing Surfers Paradise

passing Surfers Paradise

and passing Movie World

and passing Movie World

and passing Dreamland

and passing Dreamland

heading north

heading north

approaching Gateway Bridge

approaching Gateway Bridge

Brisbane Skyline

Brisbane Skyline

end of holiday traffic jam heading south to Brisbane

end of holiday traffic jam heading south to Brisbane

spped cameras that time how long you take to cover a certain distance

spped cameras that time how long you take to cover a certain distance

more threatening signs

more threatening signs

and now threatening you about texting

and now threatening you about texting

3434 to Darwin

3434 to Darwin

more animal signs than animals

more animal signs than animals

Rustys?

Rustys?

Darwin

Darwin

a rare sign

a rare sign

a small  big orange

a small big orange

big orange

big orange

just about everywhere

just about everywhere

as the crow flies?

as the crow flies?

like a London Underground sign

like a London Underground sign

heading for Stanthorpe now

heading for Stanthorpe now

a typical sign

a typical sign

Signs of Queensland 2014 – 2/5

OK - we know who owns that car then

OK – we know who owns that car then

campground

campground

not much left, then

not much left, then

smile

smile

can't stop eating...

can’t stop eating…

is thatthe brand of petrol?

is that the brand of petrol?

on the way to Mooloolaba

on the way to Mooloolaba

I like scary steep bridges

I like scary steep bridges

platypus

platypus

only 1,000 KM to Sydney

only 1,000 KM to Sydney

near the Gold Coast

near the Gold Coast

we're going straight

we’re going straight

didn't see any koalas

the only koala I saw was on this sign

saw lots of MX5's

saw lots of MX5’s

beacause it was an MX5 rally

beacause it was an MX5 rally

people apparently miss the rain

people apparently miss the rain

still  going straight

still going straight

Dreamworld

Dreamworld

this idea has legs - Waterworld?

this idea has legs – Waterworld?

waterslide?

waterslide?

Happiness can be found at Dreamworld

Happiness can be found at Dreamworld

Happiness can be found at Dreamworld

Happiness can be found at Dreamworld

but we are moving on

but we are moving on

a herd of MX5's

a herd of MX5’s

on the back roads

on the back roads

on the back roads

on the back roads

OK

OK

crazy bikers overtaking

crazy bikers overtaking

about to cross the border

about to cross the border

NSW

NSW

welcome to NSW - we have just photographed you, run your number plates, and know who you are, where you are, and you know we know

welcome to NSW – we have just photographed you, run your number plates, and know who you are, where you are, and you know we know

yes, it was windy

yes, it was windy

time for a break in this village

time for a break in this village

congratulations

congratulations

Signs of Queensland 2014 – 1/5

Driving around even the south-east corner of Queensland you see many strange and interesting things.

I think smoking is banned in Australia

I think smoking is banned in Australia

on the Brisbane ferry

on the Brisbane ferry

Ferry route

Ferry route

bikes to rent - but helmets are compulsory, so mostly you can't rent the bikes anyway

bikes to rent – but helmets are compulsory, so mostly you can’t rent the bikes anyway

how to rent a bike

how to rent a bike

the rental machine

the rental machine

car parking meter

car parking meter

beware of ducks

beware of ducks

the most photographed pub in Australia

the most photographed pub in Australia

the most photographed pub in Australia's toilets

the most photographed pub in Australia’s toilets

the most photographed pub in Australia's toilets

the most photographed pub in Australia’s toilets

another pub

another pub

a post office

a post office

the Big Pineapple - one of many BIG things

the Big Pineapple – one of many BIG things

organic is popular

organic is popular

Saturday markets are popular

Saturday markets are popular

you can find lots of ethnic food

you can find lots of ethnic food

you can find lots of ethnic food

you can find lots of ethnic food

and bikes

and bikes

you can find lots of ethnic food

you can find lots of ethnic food

a pub

a pub

you can find lots of ethnic food

you can find lots of ethnic food

Paleo seems popular

Paleo seems popular

nice old car

nice old car

common on the coast

common on the coast

the beaches are great

the beaches are great

I did see a Kangaroo

I did see a Kangaroo

Who comes up with these names? Murdering Creek Road?

Who comes up with these names? Murdering Creek Road?

A surf lifesaving club - and typical girls' fashion

A surf lifesaving club – and typical girls’ fashion

signs, signs...

signs, signs…

snakes - yikes

snakes – yikes

another beach

another beach

dunes

dunes

beach shower

beach shower