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Antarctica/Australia/New Zealand Tour



12/15/90: Told Bill Clair and Jerry Mayhead that I'd be 1/26-2/2 in Sydney and Melbourne. They're at 29 Cheeseman Ave., E. Brighton 3187, Melbourne, phone 011-613 578-5355. 7PM Saturday here is 11AM Sunday there. I call THEM next, stay WITH them. Mid-January OK for one week---they'll pick me up at airport!

When I talked with them in June, I noted: 5 days Sydney, 3 days Melbourne, 16-hour bus between them. Canberra has the National Gallery and the War Memorial. Get a Qantas-United package including Cairns. Taxi tip 10%, and 10% only in a GOOD restaurant. Pubs are private hotels with rooms. Hotel $35/day. In Hobart see the Theatre Royal.

11/20/90: Aussies recommend Tasmanian drinks: Piper's Brook and Heemskirk. SEE the Magnetic Island off Townsville north of Brisbane. Then I check that Puerto Montt at 41E 28'S was previous farthest south, and Launceston is at 41E 26'S and Hobart is 42E 53'S, and 360E is 24,000 miles, so 3E is 200 miles, so one MINUTE is 1.111 miles, or precisely (by definition) a NAUTICAL mile! So I PASS my southernmost record PRECISELY two nautical miles south of Launceston!

Laird recommends his New Zealand graduate school friend, now married with two daughters, Graeme Claridge, 33 Kotari Rd, Day's Bay, near Wellington, phone 62-8492; he's a laid-off chemist and Laird sent him my Christmas letter.

Laird recommends in Auckland: tall, slender, intense, gay, our age, John Foot, 178 Onewa Rd., Birkenhead, Auckland 10, home phone (09) 480-7990, work (09) 390-325. If I'm IN Rotarua, John Ward, his brother, is at 303 Spencer Rd., RD5 in Lake Tarawera, 12 miles out of Rotarua. Gave John Foot's name to Don Maloof in case he CAN'T meet me in Los Angeles. In Christchurch: Alan Noonan, 8 Crichton Terr., Cashmere (bus ride) 332-7058, and ALAN tells me to call Barry Curry at 899-923. Near Auckland Laird also recommends David Heggie and Harry Gower, 64 Opanuku Rd., RD1, Henderson, home phone 837-0548. And guy in Dunedin!
On BACK, I note Jock's brother, Tom & Ruth Clougher, in Tauronga (075) 480-693.

1/2/91: Carlyle Morris, MA4-5397, recommends places to stay in Christchurch and Auckland.

12/18/90: Pope on my chart: stimulating time for travel 2/18-2/25. 1/14-2/4 Jupiter trines sun: travel, expansion, reaching out and exploring. EASY condition for travel 1/28/91 on. 2/11 (2-3 days either side) Venus return: romantic/social condition. "Older more mature person, good natural feelings." Moon governs MOODS: lunar HIGHS: 1/21-22, 2/16-18, "together." Lunar LOWS: 1/5-6, 2/2-3, 3/2-3, "feel anxious." 1/15-7/11 "PROFOUNDLY transforming time. 1/15 solar eclipse visible in Australia!"

Envelope from Laird from Jock Clougher (and wife Margi and son Matt), J. Clougher, 41 Flinders Esplanade, Taroona, 7053 Hobart, Australia 7006. From USA, phone 011-61-02-278-510. I told Lindblad this 12/26/90.

On bookmark I noted from Flo at Cadman Travel that I should remind Arnie of Melvin Deitchman, Tour Director of Parker. AND I noted the details of the flight to Melbourne: Leave Los Angeles 7:05PM, Arrive Honolulu 10:45PM, Leave Honolulu 12:15AM, Arrive Auckland 8:10AM, Leave Auckland 9:40AM, Melbourne 11:30.

LIST: "Before Fri" 1) Hip late-pay OK?, 2) IRS checks out, 3) Rent and bills out, 4) Feb rent to DS, 5) Fred Knoerzer: leaving till 3/8, 6) Tony: Sandburg schedule 3/8 OK?, 7) Krell (Spr) going to 3/1/91, 8) Nina, leaving 1/4, 9) Lindblad, leaving 1/4!, 10) Get library books and xerox them, 11) Get Rolf's sleeping pills, 12) Spectrum checks, and add LOTS more, leaving PACK till last!

The line drawn across the wave by the wingtip of the sooty shearwater was so surprising that, startled, it took two seconds to close to sea-surface smoothness.

Ad: It was gem(jam)-packed.

Ross and Helen Drew (that I met at the winery lunch), 9 Cowling Rd, New Plymouth 34236, drew me a map of their location in New Plymouth, also indicating the city of Hastings in the area of Hawkes Bay for me to see.

1/27/91, in Stockade Hotel in Sydney, I breakfasted and talked with Andrew Williams, The Firs, Woolstone, Oxon 5N7 7RD, England, tel (0)367820 618, which I gave to Spartacus 3/12/91. He lives near Oxford, loves touring, will be in Canada in mid-April, NYC in May, and Mexico in November, 1991.

On the Ayers Rock tour I flew with and afterwards got the card of Joy Vogelgesang, Director of Human Resources for Honeywell in Albuquerque, NM.

In Christchurch Lady Mary Downer gave me her personal card and address in Martinsell, Williamstown, South Australia 5351, tel 085-246228.

I recorded the start of the Panorama shots: 1) 2/14 sunset at 11PM, 2) 2/15 Mt. Discovery at 10AM, and 3-6) 2/17 Ross Ice Shelf.

From Rolf through Cazenove I got two capsules of the powerful sleeping pill cum tranquilizer Rohypnol, 2mg, which I'd like to get for flight-use again.

From Miles Murphy, on the boat, I took some experimental anti-seasick tablets that MIGHT have worked, named Ancolan brand of Meclozyne Hydrochloride.

On my return on 3/6, I jotted down the times I spent on the telephone with people I first got in touch with: 1) Tony Davis, LW, 2) John Vinton, LW, 3) Spartacus 10-10:40AM, 4) Pope 10:40-11:15AM, 5) Dennis 11:15-11:40AM, 6) Tony Davis 11:40-11:48AM, 7) Alice, NA, 8) Susan, busy, 9) Joe, busy, 10) Mary Vilaboa, not there, 11) Lunch at China Chili with Spartacus, 12) Susan 4:35-5PM, 13) Mary 5-5:05PM, 14) Joe called back, 15) Barbara, LW, 16) Joe 5:05-5:35PM, 17) Vicki, LW, 18) Sherryl 5:40-6:10PM, 19) Dennis 6:10-6:15, 20) Alice, NA home, 21) Paul B, 6:20-7:10 (HAS opera ticket refund), 22) Rolf 7:10-7:30PM, 23) Alice, NA 7:10, talked 3/9, 24) Dinner at Palenque with Dennis, 25) Barbara 10-10:30PM, and 26) bed at 11:25PM, up at 10AM! 3/7: 27) Alice 10-10:30AM, 28) Shelley, LW, 29) Laird is back on Monday, 30) Carolyn eventually, 31) Maya, and Laird phoned back later in the week, and Terry Kornak called, and others after.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 5, 1991: To Spartacus' at 11:50AM, and lines at the bank take long, and back 12:25PM, beginning to speed. Mail's there, but NO checks. No letter from Tasmania. Pack, phone Laird and Paul Bosten, eat lunch, and my phone-message tape breaks! John HAS no spares, so I phone Dennis and say, "Check on John to FIX it please." Plane is announced at 12:30 to be ON time at 3:15PM, so I call car for 1:30. No TIME to tend teeth, so push ALL stuff into shoulder bag: I have 25 air-hours to do it! Buzzed at 1:30: he says the Brooklyn Bridge is closed! I insist that it isn't, since cars are moving over it. It's slow, but it gets me to Olympia bus at 1:50, paying $7 for cab and $7 for bus. Finish this at 1:58, not left World Trade Center yet. Get to Continental at 2:15 and flight at 3:15?? Bus leaves at 2PM, long way around to tunnel, and gets to Continental about 2:35. ALL flights in SAME line. To gate 78 at 2:45 and no one's BOARDED yet. We board around 3:10, but long wait while EVERY seat is filled, delighting the standbys but depressing me, since my "front-of-wing" seat 17K is PRECISELY on CENTER of wing! Guy next to me obviously frightened. Take off, after long wait, at 4:10, saying flight will be 5:40, but that Honolulu flight will be HELD for us. Flight out goes north with Manhattan grim below clouds. Up through first layer to fly BETWEEN layers then above second layer at 28,000 feet in only twenty minutes. I'm very calm. But then more clouds raise, it gets dark about 4PM (I put watch back to 1PM when we take off) and seat-belt sign comes on TWICE as we bump and dip. "Beef" is two knuckles of SAUSAGE and ONE mouthful of chop-suey meat. Fibrous carrots and cold noodles complete dish with tiny salad and piece of cake. FIRST vodka orange gives me a glow, but SECOND vodka-soda is dulling. Guy talks a BIT, then reads. I go to crowded john (4 for ALL non-first-class on airbus-300) and watch parts of "Ghost." Really POOR Continental class! Lots of jewels of towns, at last, LAST light leaving sky at 5PM and WORST bumps coming in TOTAL dark, UG! At 6:15 they SAY they'll land within thirty minutes, but they make it at 6:50, with DISTINCT smog-layer lit like gas-soaked cotton from below. LOTS of city, but I can tell NONE of it. GOOD views on landing, bright-lit hotels and ropes of LOW clouds making air seem CLEAR in contrast. Land at gate 68A and Honolulu is at 68B, and FIVE people insist luggage WILL be transferred. To desk at DOT of 7PM and find 37K in EMPTY row, but window is so far forward that if guy reclines seat in front, all I see is WING. AND big hot-pants bleached blonde takes 37H! Damn, hope she gets off at Honolulu! Got "Natural History" magazine and we're STILL waiting at 7:22! "Flight attendant" call at 7:27. 5:37 flight, SAME as NYC-LA! Let's hope it's SMOOTHER. Move at 7:25. LONG flight in TOTAL dark until spectacular lights of Waikiki at 11:15 (set watch AHEAD 10 hours, now in AM of 1/6).

SUNDAY, JANUARY 6. Out to pee, buy Grand Marnier house gift, and enjoy STANDING looking at cute guys. Plane MORE full now. Board 12:25, booze and bag above, only notebook and Rama II below---oops, get SLEEPING pill! Long-limbed guy in 37J, and I find that 22A is not QUITE in front of wing---19A and FORWARD would be, just as 38 and BACK is rear. 12:35AM: 8:15 to Auckland---must be only ONE zone away? So "only" about 23:35 flying! 1/2 pill at 2 with snack and ZONK out by 2:10 and wake 5:30!

MONDAY, JANUARY 7. 6:30AM Honolulu time: ONE problem with long flights (in addition to FATIGUE and need to fly in DARK) is that I can't be on best side ALL the time. The LEFT side's enjoying first glow [see back of Rama II: LA flight #1 off at 7:45: 5:36 flight, dinner at 9:30, I read and doze. Honolulu flight #1 off at 1:30 for 8:16 flight, due in Auckland 8:46 local time] of southern-hemisphere dawn-colors while I on right can see only the dimming of stars. The slow sky-color changes from ink to velvet to pale silk, and the dawn clouds shaking the plane's wings and passengers. Water went down sink essentially STRAIGHT at 6AM, ROUGHLY equator---not marked clearly on "Navigational" map. Passed 16 of 22 hours, 2/3 my hours. First PINK on my side at 7AM, 6AM local time. Pilot really flies AROUND turbulent areas, bouncing us a bit anyway. Clouds above, below, and below THOSE. We go from black to midnight blue to gray to cerulean, but I'm not so sure of terms. Passengers starting to wake up. Stars obscured by clouds, now they're gone. Light reveals ugly oil-streaks swept by wind back from wing-flap hinges. FEAST my eyes as sun comes out on pale blue waters at 6:50AM local time (watch back one more hour) and smell of microwaving breakfast is APPETIZING. But COOLEST hot towel yet! Recall BRIGHT must-be-magnesium flare south of Honolulu last night, and square fishing fleet to east. Seat-belt sign on for hours, but now by 6:55 the bumping is WORST and NOW pilot comes on to apologize for "clear air turbulence" as white clouds tropic-fluffy below, with LONG-rayed cloud-shadows flowing AWAY from my view: NOW I'm on the right side. 3814 miles Honolulu to Auckland, 35,000 feet, 500 miles per hour. GREAT layout to Auckland from air, and I take four pictures. Land at 8:45, Melbourne flight DELAYED to 10:10 (1/2 hour delay). Get maps and brochures and find Grand Marnier $36 New Zealand = $23 US. Back to lounge 9:45AM. Baby crying and guitarist strumming. Board 9:55. 166 NZ Pathfinders joining 5000 others near Melbourne. Take off at 10:30, 1,344 miles. See FIRST of Australia at 12:15PM. Flat, wooded, farmed, dirt-roaded southland, GREAT crescent vacant beaches, then TOTAL cloud cover and 17EC in Melbourne, or 63EF as I land at NOON, watch back ANOTHER (2 in all) hour, so we're only 1/2 hour late! At desk at 12:05--FAST! Most people are Australian, so I have short wait for passport checker who asks what an indexer is. Long wait for luggage, as I worry if it didn't transfer at LAX, and finally it comes out TAPED solidly. "Nothing to declare" green exit is instant and I exit to see NO sign for me. Out and stand, see a white-bearded guy who's POSSIBLE, but HE'S waiting for two PRIESTS. THEN Jerry and I spot each other and Kevin's there and Bill's home sick recovering from pleurisy. Out to their caramel Mercedes, where I aim for drive-side right door! And right turns are a far-swinging US driver's nightmare. Town is clean combination of old and new (the tall buildings, Jerry says, will be empty a LONG time in their recession), the old Victorian (as in Victoria Hotel) particularly charming and "authentic." South along bay at CLOSED Luna Park (for ride-death last year) and prosperous Brighton to Cheesman St. Bill greets us on lawn and we look at 6-room, 2-wing house and large fan-shaped garden with kumquats and lovely sweet plums of green and rose. In for omelette and toast lunch at 2, talk and unpack, and tea (Twining's Ceylon) and biscuits at 4. Ask about sightseeing and decide a WEEK for Melbourne and two weeks outside for Australia and Sydney would fit well. Shower and find I forgot my SHAMPOO, AND when I brushed my teeth, somehow forgot blue stimulator-handle. Weather says today was 17EC (63EF) and tomorrow will be 22EC (72EF), so I decide to take Kevin's offer to go to zoo to show me tram system. They'll cash dollars for me. Select two tours and go with good "overall" free 1/2 day tour after. I'm beginning to flag and stumble over words at vodka-tonic time 7:30PM, amazed it's still LIGHT. Dinner of fluffy apricot chicken, home fries, and vegetables at 8:30-10:30, and port and WHAT happened to Kevin's CAKE? Talk feelingly and intimately, Kevin goes off to bed, and I'm amazed it's 11:15. To bed and off to sleep INSTANTLY.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 8. Wake at 3:55, about NOON in NYC!, to crap rather loosely, then doze on and off to get up at 7 to pee, almost 8 hours sleep. Put more things away and sort out luggage more and distribute a ten-day pill supply and write list for today: money-change, laundry-out, travel agent, zoo, and maybe 1/2 price ticket tonight. They're sleeping peacefully with open door as I retrieve phone number to Hobart I forgot to make last night. Complete this to 8AM, they're moving around at last. How do I have TWO combs? We talk around the apartment, making plans, having oatmeal for breakfast, nice with brown sugar and milk, and tea, and toast and jam, and chat with various guys about various aspects---they seem to have me in shifts. THEY will take in my laundry for me, and before we leave we sit down for tea at 11s. Then out about 11:30 by car to the Australian Pacific Office, where my brochure is no good for pricing. We try to convince, but no good. Buy Great Ocean Road tour for tomorrow, and I can buy Ballarat tour by phone. Into car about 12:30 to their friend Robin, who books me PLANES to Alice Springs and Sydney, and then I cash $400 into $507 and pay $30 for lunch at Figgie's, fruit shake good shared with Kevin, and my quiche and salad good. They seem to eat FAST. Then by 2:30 it's clear the zoo is no good, so Kevin and I TRAIN to Flinders, check half-price ticket place to find they have NOTHING, wander streets, down to Arts Center for photos and ODD hidden gardens behind the Art Gallery. It DOES get warm and Kevin begins to limp a bit, so I'm sorry when we just miss a number 64. About fifteen minutes later I'm relieved we get seats, and the ride is through VERY prosperous office districts. Get told that the "big wall" is signal to get off, and chat about neighborhood. Have vodka tonic before dinner, good steak and potato and veggies and port. End talking and to bed about 10:55PM.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9. Wake 2:20 to pee, then at 5:30. Shower to 6, Kevin offered me breakfast, squeezes three oranges and makes two slices of toast with HIS kumquat marmalade. Out at dot of 6:30 and get to Station Street at 6:45. Talk of travel, my tour-guide experience, and writers: Stapledon, Lem, Barth, and finally Updike. At 7:18 he spots bus BEHIND. To St. Kilda for two Malaysians and to Flinders 7:55. City is comprised of MANY new glass-walled buildings; restored and colorfully painted Victorian two-story buildings with fences below and on balconies, and gingerbread abounding; clunky old office buildings and hotels; jazzy marqueed shopping blocks under old-fashioned signs; the trams that go everywhere, trees on most streets---many of which have treed central malls, and lots of cute male legs in shorts and short-shorts, as well as bicyclists and joggers in skin-tight body suits. Most in tour (two Malaysians, two oriental men, one old woman speaking Spanish with two other women). For Ocean Road we transfer to another bus, and they can leave me off at St. Kilda to take 64, rather than following around to all the hotel drop-offs. Every so often (Monday in shower, today (Wednesday) in the bus), I get the GREAT grinning thrill: I'm in AUSTRALIA, my SIXTH continent! Really! 8:15AM. Hotel Windsor (1887) an Oberoi Hotel, VERY Victorian British Raj, across from dirty-brownstone Parliament. GREAT Princess Theatre, Masonic Center and Freemason's Hospital. Lots of buildings dated, many in 1880s. Lots of graffiti. They recycle, too. Most "native" trees and flowers, but some imports, too. Many hotels, parks, monuments---a CIVIL city. Hilton Hotel has no name visible from street. Some GLORIOUS legs and crotches in blue jeans. Wellington Parade by park. Off at 8:35 to string of six busses, most Pioneer Tours, and the Australian Pacific bus 52 is FULL, so we must wait for SECOND bus. LOTS of confusion. I wait for AAT 13 (or 14) at 8:50, by which time I check that 14 is Puffing Billy, I'm first in line to board AAT 13, getting front-left seat on (only) top level, NOT double-deck like my pickup bus. Guy in cutoff exercise pants RATHER like Brad Klein takes seat NEXT to me. Most all of about 38 seats filled by 8:52. Twenty people. Good, not jammed. Super -loud and bossy driver---bottles, no CANS of soda. MAY need SEASICK pills! Off at 9:02AM. Flinders cruiser navigated Australia in 1800s, NAMED Terra Australis. We travel 580 km! 243 miles. Sixty stories NOW highest, NEW one will be HIGHER. 300 ships and 3000 people LOST on Coast Road. "Mad Max" police station. Harry Houdini flew first plane in Australia in 1910. Cattle, horses, goats and sheep CLOSE in to city. "Jump-buck" means "White Cloud," what aboriginals called SHEEP! Australian volcanoes USED to be 6000 meters high!, 40 millions of years ago. All worn down now. 75 types of eucalyptus, passing about 25 today. Nomads (US Customs jets) can take off and land in 200 meters! QANTAS = Queensland And Northern Territory Airlines Services. Ron (driver) tells dead rabbit (his dog killed a dead rabbit) AND dead cat ("It was dead to START") stories. 9000 kilos of gold from Ballarat. Shell supplies 75% of Australian oil across Bass Strait. 1912 FORD Model-T factory in Geelong as PORT in 1912. Utility TRUCK idea started HERE. Ship with HELICOPTER fuel bound for GULF. Wool port. Moorabool St. main street at 10AM. Torquay Tapas Cafe Stop 10:22-10:50 for lunch, tide-pools, kids getting shrimp, coolish waters. Back ABOUT last to have WATER in bus. Torquay holiday homes $80-150,000. Bell's Beach first surfing reserve in world. Point Addis is NUDE beach. New catamaran goes from Welshpool, two hours from Melbourne, to north tip of Tasmania. 1983 bush fires killed 50 people and destroyed over 2000 homes. Twelve years to build Ocean Road after WWI. Personable driver and I debate tipping him. At Apollo Bay Hotel I get 1/2 carafe red wine, mixed grill, salad, and apple pie for $24, or LESS than $20US! You order at counter, get a slip, and they call your number when your order's ready; TWICE if by soup. Lunch 12:55-1:55. FANTASTIC amount of food. I DE-order apple pie. See a red-bodied Crimson Roselle! Port Campbell piss stop at 4:45. Driver had teeth knocked out by lifeboat oar. Blue-green waves lashing into white cream on yellow-red rocks. GREAT surf-spray from under rock in bay to LEFT of Grotto. Leave 5:30. Two EMUS on farm! 6PM into Otway State Forest. 6:23: a van-Gogh-flight of crows over a wheat field. Dine at Trocadero Cafe in Colac 6:30-7:24PM. DREARY town! Chlamydia affecting koalas. Off bus at 9:05 and tram 64 JUST pulls away! Back about 10 and they'd gone to Flinders to pick me up and I'd gotten off at St. Kilda! Pick me up on Cheesman in car and back for a drink and bed exhausted at 11.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 10. Breakfast and Kevin drives me and Jerry to train, and Jerry overrides HIS stop to get me to the tram for the zoo, telling me what street to get off. Very train-yard ride out to back gate by 10:20, open though they say it doesn't open until 10:30. Buy a $3 map to guide and $7.50 entry makes $10.50. Past large animals and around to center eventually, taking pictures as I go for "itinerary." Love the bush-land section with wandering kangaroos with joeys' heads and feet popping in and out and emus stalking proudly about. Day gets hotter and crowds get larger as I get to Butterfly Kiosk and have lovely ham and cheese croissant and huge fruit salad with a VERY tasty wine cooler, all for about $7. Feels good to sit in air-conditioned quiet place, while dik-diks cross road and peacock squawks from trees. GREAT butterfly house! Then arboreal monkeys! Lots of pleased and astounded notes in photo list of golden colubus baby, first-day orang-with-baby, baby kangaroos, and pet echidna that raised its mid-snoot nostrils to scent my sweat, and pet a lazy wombat. The sole platypus in the elegant platypussary was probably swimming too fast in the dimness to get a good shot of, but the weekly foliage-replacement of the koalas gave GREAT shots not available when they're ensconced and hidden. VERY hot and dry and KIDS complain. Bears tumble and swim, elephants bumble from foot to foot, and I stop off for two MORE drinks just to rest about 3PM, tee-shirted Russian sexy. Bird walkway enormous, a truly great zoo. I wonder why things are still open at 5:30 and find Thursdays and Saturdays open to 9 for "Sounds of the Wild." Revisit bird roadway and butterfly house, getting one on camera, one on fingers, and one on BACK when I went through first exit. Very tired and get confused walking, enjoying birds and goanas second time around, and end up at MAIN exit at 6:15. Walk long hot way for tram---just miss one, and next is over 15 minutes away. Different way back to Flinders, and train back is long, back at 7:30, and share Kevin's tasty macaroni and cheese, after dishes, and out to garden for plums and chat and get tired at 10PM, not really "there" yet. To sleep instantly.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 11. Into park at 9:15AM to 10:25AM, parks LOVELY. Strong wind brought down HUGE tree branches over path in from Lych Gate last night. White- reflecting color-dotted Gray Garden had traffic-highway noise. Stop at kiosk for Solo, Schweppes Lemon Crush for $1.20, not as bright as yesterday's Lemon- Lime. Chirpy sparrows, scolding gulls, demanding black swans (over 30) demanding bread on limed steps. Feather-legged pigeon pursuing the tropical pink-stockings. Cool waters from sprinklers give way to heat of the late morning. Lots of people, lots of beauty. 18-inch EELS in swan-pond! Smells: Polygonium odoratum (Vietnamese Hot Mint), Crithmum maritimum (Samphire), and leaf sample. Pink four-lobed red-heart white-veined plant. Into Museum 1PM. TIRED at 2, so I have a quiche with lettuce, 1/2 red wine, and fruit salad for $20 in the restaurant on the waters Kevin and I saw three days ago. Asian art moved to "Decorative" as "they're redoing the spaces." Lots of STORY with the Australian Bark Paintings. Leave after a SECOND look at those at 4:45 and decide that since they announced a friend for dinner TOMORROW, I'd get a half-price ticket for tonight. The place only has "Venetian Twins" for $18, on the side, he says a good seat. Get tram quickly and get back at 5:45, seeing on lamppost-schedule that tram leaves at 6:35PM. Back and tell them my plans and Bill keeps insisting I try Club 80, so I take directory and get off to 6:35 tram, off at Flinders at 7:05, but pass up Hungry Jacks and there's no real PLACE to eat, so I debate turning back but pass "Food Plaza" in a Coles-Myers arcade and pass pizza, health, sandwiches, and Chinese, and get a tough deluxe hamburg and a soda (orange/passion fruit, not very good) for about $4.50. Loud Chinese group near. Some nice passersby, a guy with dad or older lover who keeps looking accusingly at me. Out at 7:40 and down to crowded theatre for funny slapstick play I miss a few lines of that locals love. Debate $6 for program, find someone gave me a two-cent piece, I HOPE not for $2!, and get one because I'll NEVER be back to THIS. Out at 10:20 and feel too TIRED to go north to Latrobe, so stand waiting long time for tram, watching seagulls wheeling about lit spire of Arts Center, VERY tired, and get on tram about 10:35 and home maybe 11:15 to everyone asleep. Fall into bed exhausted.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 12. Wake 6:05 and up 7:05. Fuss around and NO one's stirring, so I phone for tour to Ballarat and get out at 8:05 to find next tram at 8:14, and they said to get there 8:30, but I'm more like 8:45 at BEST. Take this notebook out to realize I've been VERY lax on it. To "Venetian Twins" last night, having got ticket at 5:15 and home at 5:30 and out to get 6:35 tram to town and eat in Food Court, awful hamburg. Here comes tram AT 8:14! The guys are SO obliging: making my morning oatmeal with brown sugar and kumquat and grapefruit/ginger (GREAT!) marmalade on toast, and washing my shirts and pants and underwear, and picking up my plane tickets and taking me (and Jerry) to train station in morning and making dinners. Fuss through the tram-trip to Flinders, getting off at 8:48, then to WRONG (AAT) 181 building and told to go next door, where there's a MOB of people at Pioneer. But the line moves fast and they HAVE forms for me and VISA goes well and I'm onto bus at 8:56, 6th row back, window on left, about 20th on a bus holding 34, bus #52, for $59. CLOCK under front TV now says 9AM. Is this BETTER company than Australia-Pacific? The PRESSURE to see Melbourne is a bit off. So I've truly VISITED my sixth continent, only ONE left, and that in less than a month. We seem to wait for last-minute pickups and introductory talk at 9:04 and leave at 9:07. 24S forecast. Melbourne started in 1835. 9:20AM leave highway to Geelong to Ballarat. August 1851 found gold in Ballarat, 2000 diggers by November. 1863: Welcome Nugget, 63 kilograms! 1969: 65 kg in Denali, 100 km N. of Ballarat. Off at Wildlife Exhibit 10:35, have chicken roll and caramel ice-milk for $4.70 for "breakfast" with pills. They say there's a tour, but I wander about and it's not STARTED by 10:57. Koalas sleep 14.5 hours, 4.8 hours awake and resting, 4.7 hours feeding, and 4 minutes traveling! TAIPAN, venomous snake, can poison 35,000 mice with one bite. Back to bus at 12, but one's missing? Driver not QUITE sure. Leave 12:05, THEN driver strays up to Park (what?)! Pass Eureka Stockade, where 35 miners were killed protesting their having to buy licenses. Sovereign Hill: 1) BUY digging pan, 2) Main Street and shops, 3) Mine of quartz, 4) Gold Museum. Bus leaves at 3PM. To 1PM in Gold Museum: 47,000 miners at height. Gold Museum jam-packed with coins, cards, production pieces, Chinese stuff, etc. Through ENTRY exhibits at Sovereign Hill, and get to 6-minute TV and 12-minutes slides and to 1:45 mine tour, at bottom at 1:50. Mines 3500 feet down, and if elevators failed they took about five hours to climb out, and we rush through. LOVELY Ballarat Botanic Gardens 3:15-3:35: fern house, glasshouse, plantings, statues, and then scenic lake and a tasteless soda called LIFT, which I drink quickly to get to bus at 3:45. I feel lucky that tours have been so GOOD. Pass airport and doze a bit, getting off at 5:30 exactly. Tram back becoming a bit of a bore, home 6:15. They're amazed I'd come in last night and gone out this morning without waking them. All shower before Manuel arrives at 7:30---and TV says that Bush got CONGRESS to OK a WAR call for the first time in the US since 12/7/41! Manuel bright and talky. We drink, sit down to chicken and potatoes and veggies and rice, and I talk of my LSD experiences. Lots of jokes and tall tales of gay Queen Mary and James I, and actors and actresses, and Kevin bows out about 10:50 and I leave them at 11:10, fatigued.


SUNDAY, JANUARY 13. Wake at 6 and read gay-bashing article, which DEPRESSES me mightily. I lay, depressed, till 8, when others stir. Read the Saturday "Age," their big day's paper, and not much in it for me except Gulf Crisis, which NOW seems headed for WAR! Everyone VERY slow---Bill had a GOOD day yesterday, slept lots, and TODAY he's in pain and snappy. Breakfast of hotcakes by Kevin at 10AM, very filling, and they phone the Coonara Lodge to postpone lunch from 12:30 to 1. We leave about noon. I'm leisurely chatting about lots of things, and Bill really feels poor, but wants to go with us. Through Toorak and nice suburbs, including Vermont, then up hilly road to picturesque villas and shops and views over valleys. Lunch is good, my broiled grapefruit with rum and ginger good, and steak, and peach on lettuce and cream cheese good, and hot fudge over ice cream. Out to garden for coffee about 3:30, and we walk paths and get pictures taken, by a passing hunk, over hazy valleys, and I pay the $137 bill over their protests. Home about 4:15, totally stuffed. Then I nap 5-6, flip through TV 6-7:30, have Queen Mary tea and two cookies about 9:30, watch "Tucker," (Bill got five tapes for $10 for a WEEK!) and Bill leaves, Kevin falls asleep, and Jerry watches on and off to 11:45. Bed at 11:50PM and sleep instantly.

MONDAY, JANUARY 14. Wake AGAIN at 6AM, Jerry showers, and I shower about 6:30. Oatmeal about 7, Kevin drives Jerry to train, I sew button on white jeans and put other pants and shirt into laundry. They're SO good. Bill feels better today. I write largely-up-to-date by 9:10, when Bill's appointment with doctor made for 11:15 and Kevin drives me to Robyn to make a three-day Ayers Rock tour for $215, get phone number for Terrace Restaurant, and get Sea Cat information, leaving voucher blank to fill IF I need bus connection to Hobart. GREAT! Kevin back to say he'll pick up stuff tomorrow, and she'll MAIL Sea Cat ticket to house. Fabulous! Out at 10AM, train comes at 10:06, and I finish this at 10:15, NOT on City Loop train, so off at Richmond! Out at 10:28, going to "City Loop train on Platform 4 in 4 minutes." Every so often there's a VERY tall, 6'3"-6'5" guy, PERFECTLY built, slouching along on long legs, like the forerunners of a new species. Usually PAINFULLY good-looking. Reminds me I've had ONE erection on waking, perhaps Friday, and NO real urge for sex. Train on track five in three minutes. I dash, AND note the neon-bright-GREEN mympths one night, late, maybe Friday, tired, after play? Somewhat green last night, but more-normal amount of dazzle. Ozone hole effect? Bill's lung problems seem attributable to poisonous closed air-conditioning in his building! To Museum at 10:45, rather grotty. IBM-fun games. 12:50 Koories (Aborigines) had a ten-meter-long dead Bunyip trail, near Challrium Creek near Arout. Looks VERY plesiosaur-Loch Ness-like! OLDEST human cremation at Lake Mungo in NSW 26,000 years ago, before Lascaux, Tower Hill near Warrnambool, excavated not more than 1000 years ago. Antarctica: 14.3 million square km, only 8000 square km free from snow and ice. Key-ring pistol and 2mm cartridges! Lunch at "Good Loaf" of spring roll and fruit salad for $3.60 from 2:35 to 2:55. Flagstaff Park at 3:20PM, named for the flagstaff that dropped a black ball at noon for ships in Port Phillip Bay in 1840. Fitzroy Gardens cruisy at 4:30. Captain Cook sighted New Zealand 10/7/1769, and Australia 4/20/1770. Cook visited Easter, Marquesas, Tahiti, Fiji, New Hebrides, and discovered New Caledonia and Norfolk Island and Cook Islands and 1/1778 Hawaii. Original map-names MOROTOI (Molokai), Ranai (Lanai), Mowhe (Maui), and OWHYHEE! House built in 1755, moved in 1934 in 253 cases and 40 barrels. Conservatory for $1 from 5 to 5:15. DEFINITIVE hydrangeas! And sign HERE re "People's Tilled Path" at North gate. Chinatown's computer books include a CHINESE dBASE IV, Lotus, etc! Movies cost $11.50! Students $8! Wybrovka vodka $26! Peaches 'n' Cream $6.95 tempting, but not---but I DO buy it, at 6:05. Wait for #64 from 6:10. On at 6:18. Home 7PM. Drink mild Peaches and have chicken, FABULOUS creamy potato salad by Kevin and superb plum tart from Kevin's tree. Talk of rebirth and life after death with Bill till 10:45 and bed 10:50 after attacking a mosquito in my room. Look up Hobart's gay telephone number. Bed at 11.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 15. Wake at 5:05 with false "buzzer" almost like on Hicks Street, then again at 6:15, and up at 6:45, Jerry showering at 6:15 already. Breakfast 7:05 and Bill's going to work! I sort out stuff and pills for trip and pack from 8 to 8:45, mistaking 8:28PM news for 8:28AM. Wear SWEATER in 17S temperature (about 63S) and Robyn adds $140 Melbourne-Hobart fee. To train at 9:15, due at 9:25, to Old Jail at 10 and Performing Arts Museum at 11 and Wizard of Oz at 2, getting MOST done of what's left. Into Library when it opens at 10 for view of dome, reading rooms, take a souvenir request slip, and a painting/woodcut/etching/drawing/photo exhibit of Backyards and Beyond. Worker says I shouldn't have camera in bag in library and I thank him and say I'm leaving. Out at 10:25 to jail: Exhibit of leather gloves to "prevent self-abuse." Leave 11:15. Buy Ballard's "Running Wild" for $1.50 at discount books to 11:30! Lunch at Hungry Jacks, inferior McDonald's rip-off for Bacon double cheeseburger deluxe ($2.90) and regular vanilla thick shake ($1.10) for $4. Place starts to fill at noon, and guy with Cleveland Indians T-shirt is here! Performing Arts Museum describes Tom Thumb's "made of honor" at his wedding. PAM has "Destination Fantasy" of Circus, TV, Plays, through "wardrobe," and "100 Years of Carnegie Hall" with ten vocal and one piano (Rubenstein) excerpt from 1955-1978. To State Theatre at 1:50 and LOADS of SCREAMING kids. Good duplicate production of "Wizard of Oz" movie from 2:05-3:05 and 3:30-4:30, and I look at exhibit of "Making of Oz" to 4:50. Tired and starting to fret about flight, so decide to just tram home. Write this to 4:55, no tram yet. Tram by 4:58, usual number of sexy guys, home 5:45 to find Jerry on the phone with Manuel: his new 19-year-old lover, Michael, left a suicide note, passport, and funds, saying "I'm happy," and vanished. So much for my idea of eating out tonight. Kevin makes sausages and Bill steamed julienned green beans and broccoli. Kevin makes my first vodka tonic, Jerry my second. They SEEM to agree "I take YOU out 1/21, you take ME to dinner 1/27. Kevin says eclipse may be 1/16! We talk and Jerry phones for cab at 6AM. I finish packing and try to sleep at 10:30, but it doesn't work.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16. Check clock at 1:05, 2:10, 3:10, 4AM, and get up wearily at 5:25. Jerry's up by 5:45, get his phone number AGAIN and taxi buzzes at 5:55. Sky dim, then lightens to piece of rainbow in northwest---over Ayers Rock? Driver pleasant and chatty, saying "I could get you there in twenty minutes." $31.90 fare and 60-cent phone charge for $32.50, for which I give him $35 and he thanks me very much. Glad THEY'RE picking me up on my way BACK. Arrive 6:30, find we STOP at Adelaide, and get seat 16A without having asked for seat assignment. Gate 11 at 6:40 almost empty, like a hallway, and deluxe lounge is for SPECIAL flyers, while MOST of us in "hall" can't see out and won't have SEATS. Check for "Information" and there's none THERE. Go to Service Desk and guy says I SHOULD be BEHIND wing, and there's no other window seats left anyway. Got to ask at Alice Springs airport to CONFIRM return flight and get a GOOD window seat BACK as soon as I can---though I guess only "Golden Wing" passengers rate THAT. Sit at 7:05 and write, having been told "boarding at 7:20 for 7:40 flight." Nerves last night were just GENERAL, not PARTICULARLY plane panic. First "non tranquilized" flight since 1986? Lots of carryon luggage about---this should be CROWDED flight since it was FULL the day before I GOT confirmed. 10-12 females of flight crew arrive in covey. My palms begin to sweat at 7:08. An hour to Adelaide? Roar of takeoff through walls---nothing at all of outside visible. Crowds of people arrive and boarding appears to start WITHOUT announcement at 7:15. People stroll right in. Tiny INNER lounge is jammed, all seats taken, and people standing in aisles, baby starts to cry and smokers begin to fill air. Now 7:23 and no sign of actually BOARDING, just getting security checks to enter VERY airplane-like lounge of rows of four seats facing, divided by center aisle. Paper says that Bush says "Iraq now on borrowed time." Boarding announced at 7:24, board 7:30 and I'm PRECISELY in MIDDLE of wing! Start moving at 7:55. Flight time to Adelaide 54 minutes. I should GET OFF to try to change seat in Adelaide, says stewardess. Off at 8:02, into and above clouds. She SAYS she'll check for a seat-change, but I bet she DOESN'T. Breakfast at 8:25-8:40 as clouds clear to farmland. Adelaide HUGE and quite undistinguished. Land 8:58 after bumping about a bit. I get out tranquilizers and take one BEFORE breakfast. Hope it STARTS. Might try transit lounge for seat-change. 1/2 hour time back already, now 8:33. NEXT leg is full too. Gate 8 departure at 9:05. Sydney paper talks of eclipse at 9:23AM TODAY in Sydney, and woman says it would be about 9AM HERE. Rig sunglasses over camera-lens-as-mirror at 9:05 and there's about 50% bite gone from the sun. Bite gets larger toward 9:10AM---having had NO noticeable change in lighting in the perfectly cloudless-blue sky. LESS bitten out by 9:24AM, takeoff at 9:25. At 10:10, snack done, I'm moved to second-last row! GREAT! The views are hazy until COVERED with clouds. Land THROUGH LOW clouds at 11:18, setting watch back one hour to 10:18, a 1:50 flight, 1 1/2 hours time difference. Off plane at BACK by 10:22, into TINY airport to hear that rain clouds now WELCOME because they wash away the DUSTSTORMS that obscured everything in previous dry spell and water shortage! Ask for a room and get Whitegum for $35 for one night, five minute walk from Mall, and SHE tells me to be sure to phone Sahara. And she says the shuttle bus for $7 to town will drop me AT my hotel! How EASY they make it! Bus fills totally by 10:37; I look through brochures and Sahara Tour looks great. 25,000 people take 300,000 visitors/year. 22EC or 72EF today, first rain since Easter 1989, BEFORE temperature in high 30s and low 40s. Charles Todd's wife ALICE gave her name to Springs. Stop at Four Seasons at 10:52, Sheraton (the only five-star hotel) at 10:55. Oasis 11AM, Whitegum room 17 at 11:04! Visiting Doctors: rounded peaks are granite, sharp peaks are quartzite, flat is sandstone. Royal Flying Doctor Service 12:10-12:50. Panorama Guth 1-1:30, buying $2 card, entrance $2. Anzac Hill to 2:10, then PATHETIC dog rock, and to Goat Hill WHILE getting my GLASSES tightened by cute wedding-ringed guy. Sit atop Billy Goat Hill 2:45-3:25, clouds coming, and sun too. Back to room, tired, and lay down 3:50-4:50, then read Rama II till 6:15 and go out to dinner. Overlander Steakhouse is ALMOST a disaster, kangaroo soup great: hearty and peppery, but barramundi, trout-like fish, is SCALY and bony. Bread (damper) for $2.50 is ludicrous, but I at least have BREAKFAST. No dessert but bill is $32.50 with a bottle of wine. Poor good guitarist gets only MY clap, though by 8PM every table is tour-full. Back at 8:20 to shower in humid dampness. Aborigines are AWFUL, shouting in streets and mostly drunk and VERY UGLY. Finish showering and brushing teeth and fussing by 9:09, to read until 9:30.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 17. Sleep quickly but wake at 1, 2, 4, 5, and up at 5:40 to shit the good shit. IMPARJA TV starts at 6AM. There's one dim FM radio station and 2-3 AM boob-music bands. Quiet place. Northern Territory is so MUCH like the Northwest Territories: remote, desertified, out-of-the-way, wild, unknown, enormous. News is all about Bush's plans to heavily bomb Iraqi military forces---everything's ready for war. Toast and tea for breakfast, using all the milk, leaving two butters, taking two slices of bread and five bits of toilet paper "in case." AAT bus drives up at 6:55AM. Clouds drizzling but also breaking into patches of blue. All set by 7AM news. 86EF is predicted for Alice Springs' high today (31EC). Pickup 7:12, 25 people in all! Leave Gap 7:30 and get to Noel Fullerton's Camel Ranch at 8:29, still blissfully cloudy. LOTS of busses in and LONG line for camel rides. I'm back at bus at 8:46 and no one's on YET. Lazy slow-moving crowd who DON'T listen to spiel---later I'll hear "I didn't know." Ants and flies ALL over, constantly! Leave by 9:30, and we've seen a white dingo at a road kill, a wedge-tailed eagle being pursued by a smaller bird, and a pair of displaying Australian buzzards. Optical-fibre telegraph system powered by solar-cell arrays. We go 460 km, having done 200 by 10AM as we turn onto Lassiter Highway at Erldunda, 260 km to go. Stop at Mt. Ebenezer for a $1.80 Lomington: chocolate-coconut roll and $3 for a Witchety Grub in wood. Off at 10:39 "for ten minutes." 11AM news "Started bombing 9AM our time." Leave 11:02 (23 minutes), Mt. Conners stop 11:50-12:05, and it's HOT! Trees: baby oak, branchless and leaves on trunk; oak is branched; acacias and eucalypts around "Olgas" or "Molgas." Acacia "oak" is really casuarina. 1:10 driver goes to "log in" his bus to Yulara, MOVED for the Aborigines who moved to two old motel areas NEAR rock, so Yulara Aborigine huts became campground for bus-tours. To area at 1:15, I put up my OWN tent and get thumb-blister, and have sandwich lunch at 2:10PM. News comes that the US has downed whole Iraqi Air Force. That's OUR news; on bus at 2:20, Brownie gets MORE ice and returns it to campground. Then to liquor shop to fill ice chest to 3PM! Ayers Rock: 348 meters high, 3.6 km long, 2.4 km wide, 8.8 km around, or 1143 feet high. Weight? 14 pounds per stone (JOKE). Kata Tajuta (Head-Many)-secret SACRED. Dreamtime=Creation. Wide-leafed acacia (Acacia campeana) is Witchety tree; narrow-leaved is mulga. 3:30PM. Fires that kill PARENTS germinates SEEDS. Blue Malleg is Eucalyptus gamafila is blue-green leaved. OLD deserts like Australia are GROWN on---so South America's Amazon is VERY old DESERT?? Area from 600 million years ago. HIGHEST on left is Mt. Olga. 350 million years ago Devonian mountains broke and tilted stone 15E. Ayers Rock tilted 89E. Rocks being laid bare, NOT pushed up. 3:15 to Olga Viewpoint. Off at 4:05, JAMMED with busses, SWARMING with dust devils. 4:20 to Mt. Olga Gap: BLAZING hot! At limit of trail we see two hikers WAY beyond. Out to pee and drink LOTS of water till 5:15. To 5:30 to Katajuda Lookout, dying red kangaroo. Lizard lady leaning against dying red kangaroo. Aborigines believed life CAME from the ground, as great spiritual ancestors---clearing these ROCKS were the NEXT generation BEING BORN. OR they died and TURNED INTO rocks. FIFTY dreamings on Katajuda and THIRTY dreamings on Uluru. LERU, King Brown Snake, west-most Olga: name from grand-daughter of Tsar Nicholas! Mt. Olga, 650 feet higher than Ayers Rock. Left to right: Leru, Olga, Walpa, Gay (REAL potent force)(when I ask him what the fourth name was, he simply said "You had to hear it right; I can't repeat it.") Stop again and again for photos to 6:15.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 18. 8:17AM: "Mala Puta---Pouch of female hare-wallaby. It is very important spiritually. Do not enter or photograph it!" 8:26: "Anangu (traditional owners) would prefer you not to climb Uluru." Mala (hare-wallaby) side. WHITE streaks are feldspar. ARCOSE rock. Blacker water-lichen, green is lichen, red is iron oxide. In SOME rituals (SECRET) young men drink blood of older men. LAST gatherings in 30s, then DIES AFTER moved Aborigines into missions. 1920s: 75,000 Aborigines in census, NOW 260,000. NATURAL diet (low fat/low sugar) replaced by REFINED flour and sugars, making lots of diabetes. OLDEST painting around Ayers about 1000 years, last in 1920s. Kakadu paintings 20,000 years old. To 9:50 at Motitjulu, eat three tart/tasty plums, get bloodwood eucalypt seedpod, WOODEN. "Skull" seen as CHEST scars and LOTS of circumcision bits: L-R: Skull, circumcision cutting-watchers, OLD men. Two boys playing in mud CREATED Ayers Rock. And CURRENT men VERIFY creation-time stories because they're living today. Mt. Conners (Atala), 3rd, connected TOO. Tjukurpa (Chook-coo-pa): dreamtime. At Makutu 10:45 for 15 minutes, I get map, "Dreaming," and slides. Out at 11:10! Back to campsite and it turns out they need a minimum of THREE to fly to Kings Creek and I'm the ONLY one who wants to go, so I find they take a credit card for the $43 for a half-hour tour of the Olgas and Ayers. Get picked up at 12:05 and to airport with gal from Arizona and go up at 12:30 for VERY bumpy, twisty, teeth-clenching ride circling Oglas and Ayers Rock and "Panorama" distances, taking 34 slides. Back to shop at 1:30 to get Gin and Tonic, Bunderburg Rum and Cola, Vodka and Orange, and Vodka and Passion fruit for $7.20. To road at 2 and drive out to Curtin Springs at 2:40, terrible place with mutterings in the bar, aborigines lurking all around, ugly and grubby. Get an iced coffee for $1.50 and piss in HOT john. Out at 3PM and long bumpy sandy dusty road, and in at 5:30, exhausted, ALL sleeping but man that I photograph. Shit and EVERYONE decides to sleep in the OPEN. A pair of cockatoos forage at edge of camp. A flight of 40-50 parrots fly over as the sun forms parentheses of rainbows. Lots of us talk of trips and jobs and work. People start dinner at 7PM. Gal recommended Fuji-50 film. Shower nicely, eat hamburg and peas and carrots and talk with Yamamoto interestingly. Drink and get to bed but can't sleep at 10:15. People talk and talk, I roll in bedroll under soughing casuarina tree. Brownie holds forth with Germans, then leaves and FINALLY they stop about 1AM.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 19. Wake and doze, feeling good, and at FIRST light, at 5:30, Brownie wakes us and I get up and have corn flakes and fruit, put on sunscreen, and gal gives me BugOff, which I've got to GET! Onto bus at 6:30 and write this, people complaining. To turnoff at 7:10AM, start up at 7:20. Photo #1: Mud blob on rock, hole in it? Thank GOD it's not hot and sunny! Around from point to point, starting with the worst climb but getting "crazy- footed" when my sore THIGHS and weak ankles threaten to do me in. Think those who swan in "waterhole" were FOLLOWING me, but German blond told me they went BACK the 1/3 way they CAME rather than CIRCLING it as we did! Bus drives away from last five unarrived hikers at 10:45 and then back to pick them up at 11AM. To campground at 11:30 to finish packing up and to food kiosk for beef sandwich "with salad" for $2.60 and weak Swan lager to 12:30. Off on dusty bumpy road to 3PM, AGAIN happy it's not HOT. Stop at Blivey's for RABBIT satay and sarsaparilla for $3.80, exact change, and she says "Spot on!" Till 3:30, and then to Jim's Place (who finally was kicked out of his 30-year Yullara Ranch Camp only last October or November) for bacon and egg sandwich for $2.60, quite good, Brownie announcing delay in returning by their planned 4-4:30. Back to Alice Springs as I AGONIZE for return at 5:30 to room 9 of Whitegum to shit and undress and wash face after presenting Brownie with group-bought hot case of beer, regretting not having given my New York address to Yamamoto and JUST as happy to say goodbye to ALL the rest. LAY until 7, then up to piss and sort out ALL my stuff by 8:20 at last catching up with THIS since my ACTUALISM pen is obviously lost on the rim of Kings Canyon somewhere! Thank god THIS Bic still WORKS on sweat-limp pages! Phone to confirm Ansett front office is closed at 8:40PM. Try going to sleep at 8:48, and at 9:47 shut off air conditioner as I cough.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 20. Wake at 12:47, coughing. Wake at 2:46, SURE I heard THIS alarm BUZZ, and piss. Wake again at 4, and 5, and up at 5:45 to take tranquilizer #2 and shower and put on TV for videos on ABC and Imparja isn't on (on Sunday) till 8:30. Dress and finish up and leave room at 7:20 to see an AAT Kings bus just leaving. Ask woman to book me (she says she's late and lazy today, but DOES get a cut for booking tours, thank you) and ANOTHER bus pulls up outside. Dash out to say "I'm booking," and he says "Another will be past," and I'm back in to ask for bus to plane and he's back saying "Radio said I'd save a trip if I took you in now." So I'm on bus at 7:30AM directly! To a pickup and there's Joy Vogelgesang, who tells me not to miss the Saturday Market in Hobart. She hands me her card as I hand her MY card. Four Americans were on the tour: us and two "wicked" girls behind Stephen; two British, the redhead and the blond guy behind her; two Australians, the guy in the front seat and the Malayan in front of me, and the rest German and Canadian, plus Yamamoto. She had it cold in Hobart. Into MY bus at 8 and pull out at 8:01! Alice Springs 19,000, about 20% Aborigine, and Northern Territory 170,000, maybe 1/3 Aborigine. We'll PASS the Tropic of Capricorn!! Sixteen-Mile Creek had water ALL ALONG what I saw of it! A first! Driver makes about 120 km/hr, or 72 mph on unlimited-speed highways. Mulga tree is an Acacia. 40,000BC boomerang found in POLAND. Instinct says, "Pick up stick---defend yourself." Eat black seeds (after I ate fragmented FUZZY ones) like wheat from Ruby Sittweed (sp?). Each PERSON needs 9 square miles, tribe of 18 needs 200 square miles. Largest aborigine group WAS 34; largest group on EARTH was 50, to survive. Mud daub on rock was WASP nest, maybe mother and 6-8 babies. Aborigines never wash, an excuse to keep them out of society. Fat is applied to skin to keep water in. They don't perspire, so they're HOT in the heat. Big gray-spider hole, wooly-butt grass, to tufts on body for design, for tampons. Witchety grubs become moths. Gritty fern seed, end-poor, but tasty. Cut tuber root---woody taste. Maggots from galls---tree grows GROWTH around insect, and GALL closes around SEXUAL parts. Insect pupates IN gall, leaving through hole; FEMALE leaves as she dries. Snakes dive with woodbugs. Maggots taste like carrot-gratings. Dreams were ALSO laws---references to all story and history and habit and culture. Corroborees held to 1) refresh memory, 2) recall how to live, 3) teach youth about cycle of 12 months, 50 hours/week. Plus 50 hours/wk to gather food. This is SNAKE-dreaming Corroboree. Brownsnake gives TOTEM of snake. Snake tribes from here to Darwin, and man gives digging stick (which gets 70% of their food) and traps to woman, and woman gives boomerang and spears (which gets 30% of their food) to men. 70-90% of spirit life left to MEN. Corroboree is BETWEEN respect and sacred. Corroboree 10-10:15, lackluster and making no sense. No clapping DURING performances, but we "clap to show appreciation" afterwards. Kitty Kilgariff sells me an Emu dreaming: left to right is spear, boomerang, "rock hole" (waterhole?). The "energy, life, and spirit" you "spend" through life is THERE, REMAINING, after your BODY dies. That REMNANT is the DREAMING. Still-born babies meant women never got a SPIRIT for the child, by crawling over an earth-slot and INVOKING a spirit---and the woman was killed. Aranda and Walpiri about 1200 people, being divided into 8 marriage groups. Girls ALWAYS married at puberty. LAST birth at 24! HUSBAND is always 28, to give him time for spirit-life and HUNTING. Need mating via initiation stages---to be married and called a man. Circumcision on a NAKED body is like a policeman's stripes. Subincision cuts into penis, makes it necessary to SQUAT to pee, "he sprays." Sperm is carried BY vaginal fluids INTO uterus. Conception can ONLY take place when woman is INTERESTED and oozing fluids! Fire ceremonies proved manhood by feats of strength and endurance. Male name prefixes: Jaka, Joba, Jaba, and Chem; female prefixes Nuba, Nun, and Naka, while suffixes are Bula, Mara, Nunga, Jari, Nari, Jimba, Gari, and Nardi. Paul Steinert (guide) says, "Kakadu paintings NOT 40,000 years old; they were last COPIED 100 years ago, that's how they FADED so much in recent past." 220,000 aboriginal people, COULD be 1/1024 aborigine! Aborigine is RECESSIVE, 1/4 abo-white child is ABO. To Abo, an Abo is ANYONE who believes their law, rather like Christianity. Takes 17 years of training (ONLY verbal) to BECOME an aborigine. Concentric circles indicate PLACES, NOT waterholes. Rod has wife and three kids. Pity. Alice Springs was "N'Mbunktua." Rod talks on, too long, to 11:40. Kitty won't say anything about painting, telling "Jari" to tell me there's no emus here at the station, only in distant hills, but they get them and hunt them for meat to cook and eat. To bus, still hot, at 11:45---full of flies. "Station" is NOT AT ALL MARKED dirt road off northwest corner of "Tropic of Capricorn" area. At 11:56 a HAWK slams into driver's window, right about his right elbow, cracking the glass and forcing him to slow down to run into wind without shattering! Mostly Germans, 2 French, 3-4 Americans in 18 on this AM tour. I tour museum 1-1:40: emus hunted by putting crosshatched leaves of Pinturi (Duboisia hopwoodii) into waterholes, stupefying it so it can be killed. Witchetty grubs are larvae of Cossid moth. Witchetty bush is Acacia kempeana; up to 50 grubs in roots of one bush. Rich in protein and fat: "rich egg and nut-like flavor." Pituri is "tobacco-like." Back on HOT road, shit a bit, and get out at 2 for bus that finally arrives at 2:15. To airport at 2:30, stupidly ask for AISLE seat not over wing, and only when he obligingly says 30E do I say, "I meant WINDOW," and end up with a lovely 7A! Crowded airport that's NOT cooled at this time. Larger building BEING built. I write this to 2:37 and try not to feel nervous. Malaysian from tour is on bus at 2. Young German workers wait in airport. I decide to read. Tall German and his girl departing too. Then into boarding lounge and they board at 3:25. We may even be on time! Seat 7A is GLORIOUS! Still boarding at 3:50, 96 minute flying time announced. More at 3:58. Off at 4:02, decent lunch, I take another tranquilizer after clutching during bumpy ascent, and good views through scattered clouds to Adelaide at 6:50---we'll be late since we all have to get off for refueling and they're using only one door. Off quickly, checking seats with SAME guy, who REMEMBERS me, and says flight to Sydney is on a 737, "half the size of the 767," and he's got seat request for a good seat. GREAT. On board 7:10, due off at 7:20. Flying time 45 minutes! Move watch ahead to 7:55, leaving 8:01. Cloudy flight, landing in near-dark at 8:55, almost to the minute. I get out to find three of them waiting for me, stop at Foods Plus for stuff, and home to chat and eat melon while they have egg sandwiches, and we reserve for dinner at the Windsor for 8PM tomorrow. Tired to bed at 11.

MONDAY, JANUARY 21. Zonk until Jerry calls me 2-3 times at 6AM. Shower and give clothes to Bill to wash, spray shoes with deodorant, and oatmeal and toast for breakfast, then wait for Bill till 7:30 to drive Jerry and me to near station. Jerry insists on buying my last $2.90 one-day train-pass. Around City Loop to Flinders at 8:37 and to Pioneer to book the Blue Dandenong plus lunch tour 399 for $69. Board 8:48 and write this, also first DREAM I remember in ages: a woman agent is ALMOST pleased with my writing, VERY supportive, and she finally suggests I write a computerized letter of referral for "almost-good writing." I'm pleased and think of a check-list that gives stock paragraphs for characters, description, plot, etc, plus "fill-in" data like type of story, names of main characters (remember puzzling and deciding on choices of he/she/ it), and other checklist items so that a VERY literate response could be typed at length from the most SIMPLE entry items. At 8:52 driver counts us up (I was 18, there's at least 32 by 8:53, SUPPOSED to leave at 8:50; I'm 4th window to rear on right side. THIS tour seemed better than waiting to 11:30 for River tour and then $33 for 3 1/2 hour tour NOT as good as $69 for 9 hour-tour AND lunch! Off at 8:57 after announcement. Red-light cameras FILM cars crashing red lights, fining them $130! Great income! Trams owned by CHINESE consortium, which LEASES them back to city. Driver CONDEMNS trams in suburbs: can't PASS on right, cars PARK on left, so you can't ever pass trams! Off for tea at 9:40: awful crowd of kids and old farts on bus. Worst group yet. Calmest tour? Back at 9:58. THIS Lamington thin, dry and thinly filled with strawberry jam, as against the lush, moist, custard-filled LARGE one BEFORE. Tea FLAVORED with eucalyptus leaves. BLUE hills because sun VAPORIZES eucalypt gum and forms a real BLUE haze over trees. One guy reads NEWSPAPER on tour as another woman takes hours applying eight kinds of makeup, then reads a book on Australia. I WRITE, of course. Total-fire days PREVENT wood-burning steam Puffing Billy, so they have a spare Diesel to Menzies Creek. Puffing Billy is $5.20 one way to Menzies Creek, to $11.50 round-trip to Emerald Lake. To train at 10:10, piss, photo, old-style cars (glad it's not RAINING) with roll-down OPAQUE rain-shutters. Smoke and steam killing the trees overhead, of course, and noise is horrendous. I stand near door (most seats gone in our reserved car) and window comes DOWN enabling me to lean out for good shot of trestle, about the only thing to see beside tree ferns and cloudy vistas of hillsides. To next station at 11, driver saying the train is 50% longer on Sundays, the only day the Steam Museum is open. Three trains today, five trains Sunday. Pull out on bus at 11:05. 11:30 Observatory: Melbourne under CLOUDS. Unemployment 8% and increasing 10,000/week. Homes for $2.25 million two years ago are now $1.75 million, down half-million. Stop at tacky Gumnut Village and interesting flower-sales area 11:55-12:22. Melbourne 650,000 acres, largest city area in Australia. To Fergusson's Winery 12:45 (BURNT two years ago). Leave 2PM, totally sozzled, buying $11.60 bottle of port. LENGTH of Central Range beaten ONLY by Himalayas and Andes! Cypress added for windbreaks! 2:15 to Healesville. Albino Kookaburra. Leave 4:15. 4:35 TOTALLY STONED from Healesville male lyrebird on my ARM (how I HOPE the slides come out!) and Nellie Melba's Cwm Cottage passed (privet fence) second time. To guy: "I wish you had MY camera." He took pictures and, with the bird at my wrist, I could remove my camera strap from around my neck and hand it to him. He assured me he DID focus! I'm ABSOLUTELY BLOWN AWAY! At 4:38 I'm STILL aghast! AGAIN the name Richard Kleyderman on the tape: GOT TO GET. THIS tape has "Now Is the Hour," though driver says "It's a mix of things." So trip two years ago comes sweeping back---and we pass the Oban Road, and THAT trip sweeps over me. Plus glorious glowing golden-leafed lindens! Off at 5:40, "home" by 6:20, talk, dress, leave for Florentino's by 7:20, eat till 10:50, home stuffed and drunk.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 22. Wake at 3:35 to piss, again at 5:35, and lights on at 6AM, feeling ALMOST OK, but bowels feel loose and gurgly. Figure I have pages 71-97, or 27 pages for next six days enough. Put rest of papers away and sit down to two slices of toast at 6:45: all three are there but none are eating--- they actually got UP to see me OFF, and will pick me up at airport on Sunday. I'm feeling a bit tired and hung-over from yesterday. Cab comes on dot of 7, a Turk who listens to 1/2 hour news in Maltese. Quiet ride to airport at 7:40 for $29.50 and he cheerfully gives me $20 back, saying "Thank you" for the 50-cent tip. Long line today (just WALKED UP last time) and lots of flights before Ansett flight 22. News report of STORM damage to Northern Sydney last night. Hope it doesn't affect airport or sightseeing. Added drama? Catch up by 8:45, roughly one hour to flight and one hour OF flight. I'm nervous because I'm tired? Bag seems lighter now than before. To Gate 8 with seat 8A at 8AM, hmm. Board 8:30, 8A BLOCKED by engine! 8:50: flight time 50 minutes. Security rule: if passengers don't show up, they check to make sure they hadn't checked any LUGGAGE aboard! Captain "hopes they'll show up soon." Whole day an absolute TRIP: Land at 9:58AM, off fast, pick up, brochure for "$4 bus to city" and other travel stuff. Get to HOT street (roll up flannel shirtsleeves) and busses #400 and 450 both say "Take #350." Get on, get $6 change for $10, and get told "Railroad Station is first stop, best for you." Industry-used-car section to mostly closed rail terminal. Into information office and find NO real bus to hotel (not knowing cross street for 493 Icrus(?)), but buy $35 (from MASTERCARD) Sydney Pass and get LOTS of tour brochures. Out to cab for $4.60 and he's OK with 40-cent tip. Into dowdy Stockade and Barry, the owner, greets me, takes a Visa imprint, says I can stay but may have to change rooms, and I dump stuff on bed and dump stuff out of bag and get bus directions and get out at 11:30 for 1PM day-tour. Bus comes after "Limited Stop" bus passes me by, and I take down numbers of RETURN buses that list the required "Anzac Parade." Talk to helpful old-timer on bus. Spectacular brand new city and floral Hyde Park. Driver sneers at me when I ask if he goes closer to Circular KEY (not kway). Across to HUGE ferry complex, and find my PASS gets me on WITHOUT standing on line for ticket. Find Opera schedule and "Clemenza di Tito" is tonight! Dash up to get seat E8 for $52 at 7:30 and reserve for dinner in Bennelong Restaurant for 5:30. Then to APT office (ask at Info FOR this) to schedule THOSE tours, paying attention to the PASS tours for the next three days. Also check out the IBM Festival information board. Get $4 LARGE fruit and ice cream (when "cream" turns out "whipped cream" and they have to pull down stairway to "get new one.") Eat near to 12:50 and WALK to Cruise Line finishing food. On at 12:58 and it leaves at 1:05, and harbor is SPECTACULAR, from lovely houses to ocean waves outside headlands. GREAT photos, good narration, sexy tourists, and dock at dot of 3:30. I'm tired, walk up to information for sexy botanical garden statue, so turn in there for "Tropical Section," pay $5 for Arc and Pyramid and get INCREASINGLY stoned with LAVISH plant-names, blossoms out of EVERY cactus, palm, succulent, plant, and weed, and then PROVENANCES get me: Norfolk Island, New Guinea, Taiwan, Queensland, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, etc. The colors! The outlandish shapes! The new species discovered this year and HERE! I take souvenir of leaf of Pittosporum sinuatum. Lepidozamia peroffskyana has two cones 20 inches long and 9 inches across! MANY succulents and palms are FLOWERING and fruity. Colors mad! Weeping Billy-Billy. Dragon's Blood Tree from Canary Islands and Madeira. Archontophoenix Cunninghamiana---Bangalore Palm from Queensland and New South Wales---Lord Howe Island Palm, and Bishopwood. State Theatre Market Street recd (?) Piss at OLD station, gape at colors, fuss about lens-dirt (only NEXT AM do I wake with thought that ALL of this is NOT on the lens, only on the eyepiece!), try to rest before long evening. Views out over harbor from gardens are great! Climb wall for front-on view of Opera House and get to john to wash and comb. Into large room and they DON'T have half-bottles of red wine, so I cancel my kir and order a bottle of 1989 Coriole Chemin Blanc, quite good for $16, and $32 three-course dinner of confit of duck (cold and fatty, ugh, more like a cold salad), loin lamb chops, good but four TINY ones, but a nice assortment of zucchini, peppers, beans, one asparagus, and other crisp goodies. Chocolate cake for dessert is good, but by that time I've become entranced with a VERY old lady who butters her bread and chews it off and sips her wine and pushes at her gnarled fingers with GREAT tenacity. Who I take to be her daughter (IS her daughter-in-law) is guiding her, looking around fiercely for service. Then a mid-old (70?) woman joins and maybe SHE'S the daughter between 90-year-old grandma and 50-year-old grand-daughter. LOVELY wrinkles and interest in life. Then a gray-haired foxy MAN joins them and at end of my meal, after paying with Visa and talking twice to nice hostess Claudia, I go and say "You know how rude Americans are," "Some of then," he says brightly. I thought meaning NOT me, but OUT of my alcohol haze I think he MEANS me, and I ask if I can take photo, and DO! Feel JUST GREAT after food and wine, and at 7:15 into Opera House. Take ONE photo as usher's hand whips out to block it, but I MAY have it. Large, uniform, fan-shaped, BLACK interior, upper balcony swallowed in distance. GREAT seat in front of devotee in wheelchair, who keeps moving FORWARD while usher pushes her BACK. Hogewood is METICULOUS with his small crew, and handsome Paul Dyer jokes with his cello continuo player and at intermission-end I ask if he might "personalize my program" and he smiles and signs! Not-lead singers good, but Titus tends to over scream and emote, while other male is a bit TOO loud. But GREAT performance. I fantasize flying around to Salzburg and Bayreuth to hear BEST eventually. LOTS of photos in balmy 9PM evening, loads of lovely lights and forms. Out at 10:10 and catch a bus back by 10:50 and bed at 11:20PM!

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23. Wake at 4:30, then 5:30, then up at 6:35. Awful breakfast and atmosphere, not helped by fact that it RAINED last night and looks like rain TODAY. Shower and get ready to go, then decide to shit and THAT goes fine. Out at 7:36 to find Oxford Koala Hotel pickup walk-time. PASS Pelican Street because I'd concentrated on "Police" at that corner, and double back when I get to Brisbane at 7:51, so it's 15 minutes, not bad. Sit and write in hotel lobby at 7:58, but clearly hostess from the bus doesn't come in and announce, so I'd better go OUT. Bus comes about 8:10, but I'm not really worried as THIS tour leaves at 9:15AM. Ride to lots of hotels, and almost run over LOTS of people in busy streets, and arrive at Circular Quay at 8:40 to write up YESTERDAY. Now standing RIGHT at bus #3 door as it pulls up at 8:55, LOTS of people waiting RIGHT behind me, including jabbering Chinese family of 4. WHY can't they restrict most of these tours to 12 years or older? Even take BABIES! This says "City Tour/Zoo/Oceanarium," so I may drop off at LAST stop rather than returning and then going BACK. Lots of hostesses fuss under my nose as hostess announces that SOME have to wear BADGES and some NOT. It's now 8:58 and we're all RARING to go. On at 8:59 and I DON'T get a badge. Write to 9:06, Chinese kid kicking my seat from behind! Leave 9:17, 34 of 54 capacity aboard. In 9/92 a four-lane $400 million tunnel will be done. Kirrigilli is LOW north shore. Kingsford-Smith (Guinness Book of Records, p. 314) FIRST flew Pacific in 1928. 17 million people in Australia. ALL native Australian trees are EVERGREEN. Yellow fragrant frangipani and oleanders and others in BLOOM. 180 miles AROUND harbor, head to head! 9:50-10, long useless stop for smokers to get their fix. LOTS of burnt areas---BLACK. Dee Why (NO one knows why) one of Sydney's 27 surf beaches. Box gum wood used INSIDE Opera House. 1902 DAYLIGHT bathing legalized! 1980 Topless bathing south side of Bondi Beach legalized. Australian SKIN cancer HIGHEST in world. 10:35-11:05 bus stop! Hunt for Camera Shop: OPTICIAN directs me: he insists I need a TECHNICIAN--don't let a clerk take top off: water got BEHIND view-plate. Then I spot Fuji film and he says color is supposed to be more NATURAL. "If you like bright colors, stay with Kodachrome." BUT he'll sell me TWENTY Fuji 100s and 50s for $8.99 each (no processing) NOT on Amex, but WILL on Visa! Let's HOPE I didn't get rooked, but at $7.20 (no tax on Fuji, he says) I'm not BAD off. Off at 11:15 at Manly Oceanarium! Fuji price THERE was $7.60 for 24, or $11.40, like the other guy. Seals CLOSELY related to DOGS and BEARS. They LOOK it. Seal show 11:35. They support balls with WHISKERS. To 11:45. 4.6 million liters in pool, largest in southern hemisphere. Really SMALLISH place for $10, out at 12:15---until audiovisual on nautilus and statement that DIVERS go in to feed the fish at 1---extraordinary---to 1:38! Get to ferry to find 1/2-hour one goes at 1:45 while 15-minute jet-cat goes at 1:50. Buy chicken burger with lettuce and tomato and get on jet-cat at 1:45. Dock at 2:07, very wet and clouded and gray, like Sydney IS? Get "Mikado" ticket for $62 for tomorrow. But tonight's "Little Night Music" only chance is STANDBY at 7PM at Box Office. Board Explorer Bus and get to Mrs. Maquarie's Chair at 2:45 and then to Art Museum at 2:50 to 3:55. Pretty awful. Find Claudine's restaurant just before 5, and when I read that one of the chefs came from L'Esperance, I talk to Marty Florian and he says I should talk to Demoot (or the other way around) of Mon Chere Tonton in NYC (68 E.56th; 223-7575, L:M-F;D:M-Sat, Visa, Expensive per New York Magazine), who made the CARAMELS that I loved so much! Have a good kir and Rhine Riesling bottle, GREAT scampi under potato lattice with avocado coulis, and good turkey slices with salad and vegetables. Leave at 6:45 and dash in drizzle to Drama Theatre JUST before it opens at 7, and there's ONE seat which I get for $32! Sit to write and there's Joy! Tell her about my day, buy a program for $3.50 and PLAY is great but CAST isn't quite up to it, though star is better than the British TV one. Out at 10:35 to see end of "On the Beach" from a derricked screen facing the steps of the Opera Complex. Over at 11:15 and I shake hands with limping Joy and bus back at 11:50 and bed.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 24. Wake at 5 with SORE right throat. Take four vitamin C and stuff Vaseline up nose and back to sleep to 7. Doze comfortably and up at 8 to drizzle and breakfast is BETTER on back patio--at least I see 5-6 other guests. Out at 9:10 after asking for wakeup call at 7 tomorrow and three more days' stay. Fussing Robert says all is OK. I hope so. Buy a ten-ticket red bus-pass for $12.80, hoping to use it enough, but it's OK for CONVENIENCE. Information counter says 10AM History tour leaves from Quay 9, but at 9:45 the only sign I see is for a work stoppage this AM. Hope tour's not affected. Brought long-sleeved shirt to avoid yesterday's chill. Everything's DAMP, but not chilly enough to NEED to protect bare arms. At 9:53 I ask "No tour?" "No tour." "Rain check?" "Fill out this form." "No, who can I TALK to?" "Quay 2." "Sure, fine, here's ticket for Sunday!" "Thank you very much!" To Opera House to see Paul Dyer is Artistic Director of the Brandenburg Orchestra. To Explorer Bus at 10:20AM. St. Mary's Cathedral (saw yesterday) is the sixth largest in the world! 11:10 off at Powerhouse Museum---jammed! Stay till 1, exhausted, looking at ABOUT everything, and out at 1:10 to find it CLEARING and SUNNY (and WARMER!) and steps full of people waiting for the next bus! On bus at 1:22, off at 1:50, to Pier 5 and find Toronga Zoo ferry leaves at 2:15. Get ham and cheese pastry, awful spring roll, and a large tasty Fruitee for $10, probably cheated. Over at 2:05 and sit at edge of pier and listen to amplified Chinese flutist from Opera Quay. To Zoo by 2:30. Great birds, $1.30 Schweppes lemon, go and see and photo and love it till 6:15, and next-last ferry leaves at 6:30. Lots of jellyfish and fish in waters. Off at 6:35, in at 6:50, dash up to Mozart Cafe for two glasses of wine @ $3.50, salmon and asparagus for $9.50, and great strawberries and blackberries and cream for $4.50, for $21, only cash, so I'm down to $20 cash. "Mikado" isn't bad, but not "Tito," with LOTS of local jokes and fun. Appreciative audience. Over at 10:20 and home by bus and bed by 11, very tired---is cold coming? Two aspirin.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25. Wake at 5 and take vitamin C, but feel good, lazing in bed. Robert knocks at 6:45 and I shower and eat breakfast with pleasant math-teacher from England. Leave 7:55 and take hot bus to Circular Quay at 8:15, and can't find busses! Finally find map to Quay WEST, and get to HEAD of line at 8:30, hoping Canberra one-day is listed as Canberra two-day. People FUSS behind me as I finish this to 8:38. After much talk, onto cool bus at 8:45, couples jabbering in. I grab front-left seat, hoping to remain single. Bus goes at 8:55AM. Awful Indian comes to sit next to me to see his drop-off point tonight. Bright sun, but clouds on horizon? 10AM it's 247 to Canberra, 833 to Melbourne, and 589 Canberra-Melbourne, so 360 Sydney-Canberra? Bus stops at 10:45 and I dash out and get $125.99 for $100 US and Cepacol for $5.50 and Vitamin C (chewable) 100 500mg tablets for $4.95, so I now feel GOOD. Have a glass of water in Mittagong "Old Bank Cafe," set for bus at 11:15. Dead WOMBAT on road! Canberra at 1:10, now 250,000 people, heading for 550,000. Most of it built since 1954, plan-contest won by Griffin from Chicago. Captain Cook waterspout and $1.1 billion Parliament Building. High Court lunch from 1:35 to 2:20. Main impression is of emptiness, courts mere pendants to a huge ornamental building. Great dull old white Old Parliament House below it. Parliament guide 2:30-3:40, lots of photos. Embassies mostly undistinguished to 4. War Memorial $3, no go, but outside OK. 4:10-4:40, when I go back to bus and find GUY sitting there and NO books. He shows me books on shelf and goes AWAY though I didn't complain DIRECTLY to him. To Mount Ainslie 4:45-5:05. Sunny ride back to Wienerwald in Gordbaum (?) for AWFUL ribs (like ferocious bacon) and climb the Merino sheep and ask to be left off at Oxford Koala and leave at 7:03, only 200 km to go! Out at 9:45 and back at 10, being shouted at once by a gang of four drinking on the grounds of a church. I didn't answer. Sorry group of 5-6 are downstairs, and I'm up and undress in dripping heat. Brush teeth, maybe first time in Sydney COMPLETE, and put stuff away & bed at 10:30PM! Ignore pressure to celebrate "cause it's Friday night."

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26. 5:35 odd dream: I get to a different apartment, home EARLY, and hear "our" vibrator going. John comes out of his bedroom with an erection and says "You're home early," matter-of-factly. I dismiss it, and he asks about his "personal playgroup" I'd met. "Oh," I said, tears coming to my eyes, "We got together, but nothing really happened," meaning I NEVER got hard and we NEVER had sex. Up at knock at 6:45 and to breakfast at 7:15. NO one up, including Robert, sleepily saying he's not up early TOMORROW. Leave 7:40 and onto AAT Kings bus at Koala at 7:58. Annoy two Spanish kids who took four front seats on top. Bumble through south side picking up passengers until 8:30, when our coach goes to Blue Mountains. I have front seat AGAIN! Leave at 8:58, stop in Windsor 10-10:33, small and quaint streets. Stop 12:20-1:35, paying $6 for BOTH Aerial Skyway (12:25-12:35) and inclined railway at 12:35, and then walk to see old coal mines one way (and not 6 km to Golden Stairs) and to UNDER waterfall and Tramway to ride back up at 1:05PM. Awful $2.60 chicken burger and Schweppes for $1.10, some cute legs around. Leave 1:32! At last GOOD lookout point 1:35-1:50. Then drive till 3 through darkening skies to Featherdale Zoo, and just after I get my koala shot, the rain POURS down. I try taking some photos, but then it FLOODS. Buy 12 koalas and a book for $16.50, then BACK, as rain stops, for Quakka (or Potaroo) and birds and wombats. Out at 4 [Raznjici--chargrilled pork on skewers, and Cevapcici, mixed veal and beef half and half in Pola-Pola for $13.50. AWFUL red wine for $6.50 a half-carafe, and triple-ice crepes for $7.50, and my Visa is good! This is in the Restaurant Don at Harborside. Dishes are Yugoslavian! "All tables booked for 4." "What do you suggest I do?" He pulls menu off DISPLAY table and seats me! [He walked easily, practicing to be a God: a passerby outside restaurant as wine WORKS on me! Food, wine, fireworks, dessert, lasers, boats docking, horns blowing, people flowing, lights glowing, flashes passing, amusement park zapping, monorails flying, flags yawing, people shouting and moving, me writing. Plus rock music, sky-sweeping spotlights, and excitement. 35 500-mg vitamin C gone, for 17 1/2 grams in 2 days!] Out on Macquarie at 5:40 and Claudine's is CLOSED! Walk to and through Rocks, then down to Darling Harbor by 6:30, Aquarium to 7:30, Don to 8:40 and fireworks GO! Pay $30.30 bill without checking it and out to FLOW until 9:30. Walk across to a Kiosk on Elizabeth that I recognize and catch bus to hotel by 10! Tea and two vitamin C and wash face and Vicks nose and bed by 10:20!

SUNDAY, JANUARY 27. Wake at 3:15, throat sore again, and take two vitamin C, two aspirin, and one tranquilizer for flight today. Dream of having sex with a muscle-bodied JACK BENNY and wake at 5:03 to decide THIS is my jack-off time, and spray the WALL with first of 3-4 LARGE sprays by 5:22. Check film-dates (all 1992, either 7th or 9th month) and take second tranquilizer (CLEAR sky at dawn) at 5:40. Up at 7:50, shower, breakfast 8:15-9, getting Andrew Williams' name and address. Pack and brush teeth and get bus at 9:30, to Circular Quay at 9:45, and Morning Tour NOT announced, just THERE. Lunch "up" high? Super- blond fuzzy legs to right, now 9:57, on boat. Cruise 10:10-12:30, interesting but no prize-winner. Am I getting jaded? Not so, since my $27.50 meal (with $6.50 wine for $34, or US $27) seems quite good with veal pate, ribs (dry) with carrots and green beans, and Kiwi Pavlova (angel-food cake with tangy sauce) seems pretty good, and the VIEWS are great since I RECOGNIZE all the museums, parks, buildings, and streets and harbor fronts where I've BEEN! In at 12:55 and out at 2:15, taking FIFTEEN photos! Bus to hotel at 2:30 and out to wait for taxi (leaving six red bus tickets, or about $12, for Robert as a tip) after taking a shit. To Ansett at 3 and see flight 33 delayed from 4:20 to 6:30 (in at 7:45). Get (03) prefix for Melbourne and there's NO ANSWER. Back onto line and it changes from gate 1 to gate 4, then from 6:30 to 6:10, and then to 4:20!! Gabble to clerk and he says they're putting on a bigger plane and I'll get my requested window seat if I get seated AT gate, which changes BACK to gate 1. Write this at 3:30 and get out Rama II. Took third tranquilizer at hotel. Check in at 3:55 and given 10B! I complain and get 19G, last window, he says. Bumpy trip? Less than an hour to wait, less than an hour to fly! AND less than a page to WRITE on! Boarding call at 4:05, pee, now 4:18PM. Plane seems FULL! Plane moves at 4:24. Off at 4:40, saying a 62-minute flight. Lots of nice photos, but too directly OVER Canberra to be good. Bumpy slow descent and touch down at 5:55, FORTY minutes late SO far. But at least this is my LAST flight until March 5! Red star on tail of high-wing jet. Russian? As in bus yesterday: Last seat in is last seat out! Plane stops at 6PM. They meet me, they'd CHECKED that the plane was SOMEWHAT late, and they have reservations at 8PM at The Sharkhouse(?). I throw things into washer, put on heavy clothes in the 68E temperature, and start repacking, first by using methylated spirits to remove the tape-gum from my suitcase. Out at 7:45 to St. Kilda via Fitzroy Road, the local sleaze-hangout. GREAT sunset and fabulous beer-batter fish and mediocre chips and beer and good olive pate with asparagus "entree." Not so good fruit in soaked bread dessert. Tired at 10 and VERY tired at 11, clothes still wet, and FINISH this book at 11:05PM, ready for bed on this Sunday evening. [END OF BOOK I] [START OF BOOK II]

MONDAY, JANUARY 28. Up at 5:05 to pee, then lay thinking until 6:05, when I sort out pills. Jerry's into shower at 6:30 and I continue to repack and write this, starting ANOTHER new book! Eat hotcakes (4) at 7:15, after shower, and phone Jock at 8:05. Pack by 8:10 and say goodbye to Kevin, who IRONED my shirts and trousers to DRY them. Off by car at 8:15 under VERY gray, drizzly skies. To Spenser St. Station at 8:50, Roadcat waiting for us. My ticket is acceptable, bag goes under, other atop, shoulder bag on seat. Leave a bit BEFORE 9:30. Stop at Chadstone Mall 9:55-10:05 for two girls. Woman on bus was on NEXT-LAST plane-tour of Antarctica! Stop at Dandenong Railroad Station 10:25-10:35. Pee. Lovely rolling hills, cattle, and pine windbreaks. Stop in Lorumburra 11:40-12:05 for ham-cheese-tomato sandwich, carmello shake and cookies for $4.40. Chat with vegetarian woman about expenses of take-out food. Back to rolling hills followed by flat sand-spit of Port Welshpool, jammed with people as enormous Seacat comes around the bend at 1:15. Exchange my ticket, ensure a forward-facing window-seat, and photo ship until taking off sweater (for the 5th time) and waiting for boarding at 1:40. Board 1:50 and sail at 2, past shallows, then up to 37 knots (crossing 2900 nautical-mile mid-Atlantic in 80 hours), waves REGULARLY washing UP to my WINDOW! At least upstairs windows clean! Sit in sun and curse tumbling, screaming kids. Scopolamine seems to be working? Lots of rattles and jangles on board. At the end I'm VERY pleased to have felt NO discomfort, and ride is REPORTED NOT the smoothest. Some photos, finally Tasmania as I shit at 6:45. Spot my suitcase on airlines-type mover and it's almost rainy and quite chilly. Bus leaves 7:10. Crushed WALLABY legs sprawled out from bloody road-mess. Seacat only STARTED on 12/22/90! Wallaby TAIL only distinguishing mark of ANOTHER kill. Launceston has lots of handsome old buildings, in at 7:45 to tiniest possible bus station (one out of rain, ours IN rain). Leave at 7:55 to a PROLONGED sunset of oranges and grays, then a video on Tasmania and the Irish comic I'd last heard in TURKEY. Lots of buildings lit up after dark, very pleasant. Into Hobart at 10:15 after Margi PHONES as driver is asked for her number to meet "the American." Pee and Jocko is there to meet me, short and feisty, at 10:30. He drives me ALL around town, talking a mile a minute, and out to his comfortable home in Taroona, where I'm given a HUGE room and a spate of instruction about bath water, lighting torches, doors, and habits. Exhausted to warm duvet at 11:20. Slightly ear-buzzy from patch?


TUESDAY, JANUARY 29. Wake at 5 and up at 6:25 to shower in COLD bathroom. Out to Jock fussing about breakfast and I make toast and have apricots and greengage plums from their canning. Margi comes in, gelid from swimming, and cute Matt says he'll talk after he awakens. Jock volunteers to cart me around and we're out about 7:30 for shot tower and ferry to Birney Island, which we cover from lighthouse to overlook to beach to forest. He picks up Lara in ferry waiting-office and she's with us till 10PM. He talks her up and I can stay fairly quiet. His intensity is starting to wear on me as we take every possible road to every possible point, he chattering on about every possible detail. Sandwiches good for lunch outside Captain Cook's landing spot, but then it starts raining, and it stormed FURIOUSLY as we climbed hill to lighthouse. Rocks, surf, and history, but she'd BEEN to Port Arthur and HAD a room in North Hobart, so she could only accept invitation to dinner. On line for 3:30 ferry back from Birney and they use BOTH floors this time, so we all get on, putting front dangerously low in waves that wash up under the tires of the first line of cars. Sun and shade as we take photos and get back about 5:30PM. I suspect he naps as Margi gets dinner and Lara and I look at photo albums that are mainly clippings and brochure photos and blurbs. Brandy, lime, and soda is light but good, and 7:30 dinner is "Nasi goreng:" bits of beef, peppers, zucchini, strips of lettuce in lieu of cabbage, and lots of snail-shell macaroni-pasta. White wine from a bottle that I have lots of, then talk of travel and visitor-Marie's trip to the Opera in Sydney next week. Parents vanish and I chat with Lara and Matt (SO cute) about schooling and changing jobs and this "terrible time to be growing up." I'm VERY tired by 10:30 and go to bed and sleep instantly.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30. Up at 6:15 and shower and miss sunrise that Jock says was at 5:30. He's making sandwiches and I stoke up on cereal and juice and we're out at 8:30 toward Port Arthur, having left pants with Margi to dry clean. North over Tasman Bridge, and Causeway to Midpoint and pine plantings and rich chocolate earth. Tasman Arch and Devil's Kitchen and Remarkable Cave by noon, and it's hot enough to roll up sleeves. Lots of photos and stop on road outside Port Arthur at 12:30 for lunch that he pushes most at me. $15 for two I pay for entry and feel vaguely irritated throughout. The hollow church is fun, fountain small, tour-guide voice grating, prison hot and cottage tiny. Lofts empty, lots of people, 1934 video film over-romantic, and slide show from 2:15 to 2:30 sketchy. Debate buying book, but I don't. Out to shop and he finishes tea by picking up two hitchhikers to their bikes in Taroona. Long fast drive to Hobart Tours at 4:30 and pay $75 for bus-hotel-bus Queenstown tomorrow: me out of his hair and he out of mine. He dropped a worn $5 at Tasman Arch and said he had $15, so it would have broken him to pay for the $15 gas I INSISTED I pay with Visa, even though guy asked for my PIN number! THEN he suggests top of Mt. Wellington at 5 and up and around we go, stopping for photos while we may, and at top clouds FLOW over with ICY rains and my poncho is torn to TATTERS the first time out! He says I need to spend about $200 at Salamanca Market on Saturday. She reserved for Upper Deck at 7PM Friday. Observation Deck closes at 6PM and we sit in car waiting for breaks in clouds for all distant points. Down about 6:30 and home by 7:15, to find Clifton Beach Muttonbird Tour is at 8:15 ("1/2 hour before dusk"), so we decide there's not enough time. Take orange juice before lasagna dinner with carrot-raisin salad (forgot Matt's chocolate-oatmeal CAKE for dessert LAST night), veggies, and nice home-grown lettuce-zucchini salad with homemade mayonnaise. Lots of Claret from a box, which they joke about and I praise, and sun goes behind hill and INCREDIBLE full moon raises while we talk about UFOs. Matt's out for evening and they clean up, so I look at moon through binoculars and bed at 10:10, brushing teeth looking at moon. Tired.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 31. 5:52AM: Got up at 5:25 for sunrise, but as I pull drapes to see cloudless sky, I see MOON, so sunrise could NOT be THAT close! At 5:52, last trace of moon vanishes through TREES on HILL behind house, as sunrise STILL distant, though east horizon is pink. Had TWO dreams, first at 3:30, when I woke: Rozanne Silverwood is shaking her head, saying, "If you don't sign up for a series of TWO classes, you can't take ANY class." Other parts I forget. Then before 5:25AM, an incredible sequence with me at an Actualism party, being asked by Jackie Kennedy to buy HER ticket. I got eight tickets with two badges, rather like Port Arthur tickets yesterday, and as I pull them out, PARTS go flying over to a FIELD where BIRDS are digging about, and I'm fascinated by CLUMPS of tiny platypus-like moles and green frogs burrowing in and out of soft mud in CLUMPS. I look for awhile and then remember lost ticket and try to look for it but can't find it. Back to Dance and try to PROVE I'd bought tickets, but entrance person like Dorothy Kent says I MUST present stub with NUMBERS for her accurate RECORDS. Then I think "This is probably a dream, as I CAN control it," and DO find tickets. Jackie hurries in late and grabs my arms and says, "You must eat with me, too." As we enter dining hall I'm amazed by how AFFABLE she is, and I think, "She's improved a lot, she's no longer a cold and icy woman." Then she sits in a separate area and I "get lost" somehow and return to find she's LEFT. Go to "ticket desk" and find that everyone's clambering for course tickets: a Hell's Angel group is VERY gentle, contrary to what I would think, and clerk like Sheila Andron says to woman next to me, like Margi Clougher, "Miss Prosit, I have your request right here," and Mrs. Prosit turns to me and smiles pleasantly. I'm amazed at how well things are going. Now at 6:04AM I hear Jock's heavy sleep-breathing as sky brightens in east and I hear soughing of what I think MUST be rain but I can't see it. Dark clouds begin to close off east horizon so I may miss actual sunrise. Very melodic crow bounces across lawn and chirps and sings long lines of song, and occasional cars whiz past on highway above. More birds join in, one with a bell-like Hi-HEEE! Light-blue sky TOTALLY banishes stars and cloud-tapes coming from west are day-white on top. My nose drips and I feel chilly even in my "jumper" (sweater). East horizon takes on a YELLOWY peach at 6:08, sun not up YET! But suddenly there's a FLAME-orange cloud above horizon---sun could already be a DIAMETER above hills. MORE birds join in as band VISIBLY broadens. Top of low cloud is now PINK, and bright spots imply sun's presence in lava-orange glow. At least it picked almost LOWEST defile between eastern hills. Jock still gently snores as I start to determine sunrise point. Clouds brighten to incandescence at 6:11, flocks of birds flying across pinkening-all-through clouds, and at 6:14 it MUST be up as clouds crowd sun-point, even DIMMING first-flame orange. Clouds overhead are warm pink on top. Vee-beams brush from undoubted point, and glitter forms less than a diameter above hill at 6:16 as first point of sun breaks through clouds and widens as I go for camera. Take #16 at 6:18AM as FLASHES from left to right and sun FINALLY dazzles OVER a diameter above hills at 6:19AM. Family not up YET. Rising into another cloud, it's mid-diameter dazzles my writing at 6:20. At 6:22 there are beams from TOP of dazzle into which it's being absorbed. At 6:24 last blinding bit of lower rim vanishes into passing cloud. At 6:26 dazzle flashes back, clouds whiten to right as they move left across the sun-face. WHITE rays from cloud-top at 6:28 as sun is truly up, obscured by a bank of low clouds, and family still sleeps. Their ALARM goes at 6:30? I go back into room and come out as if I'd never been up. Pour milk for tea but he hadn't made it. Listen to 7AM news and have toast and cereal breakfast and repack and SHE drives me to station by 8:15, letting me get SECOND seat on right with plastic-bag-crinkly passengers. It fills more than half full as we stop in town and outskirts many times. This COULD be a boring trip on chuggy bus and stops at the WRONG places. 10:28-10:50 for "15-minute" stop at Ouse. Dead sheep in field. Cross Dee River---and into Dee trees??? PASS pleasant-looking Tarraleah Chalet for a TINY kiosk at 11:48, saying "Other driver leaving at noon." Obviously the two MEET and SWITCH to return to their homes! I go over to retail shop and get 250g Kraft light cheese slices for $1.95, just to fill stomach. It starts RAINING as I climb inside at 12 and finish this to date, no SIGN of "other driver" till 12:08, old grayhead replacing fairly cute young blond. Derwent Bridge 12:59-1:05. Nod off a LOT on the bus. HORRIFIC ride over narrow Victoria Pass while driver INSISTS on taking EXTREME left edge. Queenstown at 2:35 is bigger than two streets, as it had been described to me! Out and go NORTH on Orr to War Statue, but still no Diffield St. All way back SOUTH and ask someone, and she say I should go North and LEFT. Go VERY left and ask again and find I'd PASSED the Commercial Hotel. NO entry-desk in BAR, filled with REAL low-life guys. To CLOSET of room 11, and then to Lyell tour office for 4:30 tour, "leaving at 4:25." Across to Information Office and could spend a DAY watching their free VIDEOS. Across for $2 for Galley Museum from 3:35-4:20, and back to sit till 4:35 for five of us (ONE tall square-jawed long-legged boy touching heads with who MAY be his older less-sexy brother) for ANOTHER sorry ride right at edges of cliffs. Open cut is about .7% copper, the underground mine is 2% copper, and they HOPE the new find will be 2-4% copper. 480 workers now; 120 underground miners @ $60,000 per year, 90 maintenance guys, 27 million tonnes mined with 1.46% copper, and .38g gold and 2.8g silver PER tonne. DINNER in the Empire is a SCREAM! Order Garlic Prawns for $6, Scotch Fillet with mushrooms and vegetables for $10, and a bottle of wine. Oh, pay for it. No, I want to use Visa. Can't. SURELY can. Go to bar. Go to BOTTLE store. $8.66 for bottle + $2 corkage fee. Jacob's Creek Claret, 12.4% alcohol, FINE wine! OK photos and back at 6:15. AWFUL motel dining room was recommended, then picturesque Empire Hotel with two screaming kids with too-hot fries and four smokers! Out at 7:15, giddy with wine, and climb Lewis Lookout for wide-ranging rainy views. Rains as I come down and return to hotel to warm up room, jerk off, and read Rama till 9:30. Instantly asleep, heater off, sunset light gone.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1. Wake at 5:45 and read 6-8, then to breakfast of orange juice, Rice Krispies, sausages and POWDERED eggs, toast and butter and jam and Choco-Malt drink. To room to brush teeth and pack one bag and get out at 8:50 to walk in rain to bus depot and get SAME seat in DIFFERENT bus for trip back. Leaves on dot of 9, rainy and cloudy all the way to Derwent Bridge, where we stop 10:35-10:50. WHAT a rained-out burnt-out eroded-out acid-rained-out bleak depressed damp cold place! Old couple on bus, "It'd save a lot of lives if the Dirty Tricks Gang dropped The Bomb on Baghdad." 11:37 to 12:15 lunch. Up to Chalet for pictures. Dolph Lundgren in "Dark Angel" on video ad. People wait patiently on bus. Off on time and make a beeline for the city, not stopping as before. FUCHSIA give purple "blooms"(?) Black swans a-swimming. Hot almost, bright sun as we enter Hobart station at 2:35. I get directions to museum, leave bag at desk, and look at art, pottery, women artists, old "masters" from Australia, Aboriginal beads, money, old computers, stuffed kangaroos, a Thylacine photo exhibit, minerals, meteorites, symmetry in crystals, birds, enlarged insects, and mostly squally kids and poor art except for George Phillips Fox. Old Hobart etchings and lots of watercolors. Out at 4:40, tired, and get 5:05 Taroona Express. Home at 5:30, shower, wash out underwear and socks and hang them to dry, shine shoes, and out at 6:45 to drive through old town, and into Theatre Royale to be surprised by sound girl as Jock sings from stage. To Mure's Upper Deck and three-salmon (including Boronia oil cured) appetizer, good salmon pasta from Matt, braised scallops for Jock, and mixed cocktail for Margi. She has soda, Matt white wine and Jock a Guinness. I get a strawberry sour after they have no cassis for kir and no apricot for sour. My Singapore-style Moreton Bay Bugs are good, shrimp-crab combo, and good cucumber mousse to cool. Jock has stuffed velonta (fish) and we get THREE bottles of their special Riesling at $11 each. LOTS of laughs and LOTS of food, to end in my chocolate decadence and apple ice cream for Matt and others for $189 bill so I make it $200 even. Happy ride back and fall into bed stuffed at 11:10.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2. Wake at 6 but lay till 7, then up to ONE slice of toast and pack and get clothes back and Matt drives me into town at 8:45 to shop for rainsuit for $150 on HIS recommendations, and get clip-on sunglasses for $10. Then to Sheraton at 10 and my room's not ready yet. To Salamanca Market at 12:30, having awful vienna (sausage) and bacon and onion cheese on roll for $1.80, as I'm running out of cash. Back to bookseller and leave card for my book (oh, also FLORAL Festival in St. David's cathedral, by sheer chance!) and walk hot streets to hotel at 2 to find Frontier Spirit desk woman saying there IS an open Chemists at Harrington and Macquarie. Spent $20.10 on vitamin C, anesthetic lozenges, Nyquil, and Dristan-like medicines. All ready and have only $2.10 LEFT. Decide to cash $20 for only $23.60 at hotel desk, what a PAIN, and get to room 1906 (on 9th floor) and wash and get brochures and out at 2:45 (paying 85 cents x 7 for stamps for postcards---which aren't delivered until after I RETURN in MARCH!) to $3.90 taxi to Botanical Gardens, seeing EVERYTHING by 5PM and TIRED. Sit and write this, getting hungry. Jacaranda is LIGHT PURPLE flowers. Back to see the Easy Access Garden (last sight) and out at 5:15 and hitchhike and FIRST car takes me RIGHT to Sheraton where I buy a card for 50 cents for Laird from all of us to sign and get to bus stop at 5:37 to find next bus at 6! Should I go back for book? Check return-times to find bus departs Taroona 7:20, 8:10, and 9:40. Bus leaves at 5:50, so much for their SCHEDULES! There at 6:15, drink orange juice with Jock, then KIR with Margi and Jock and Matt, then Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon, vegetables, and Matt's chocolate cake and ice cream. I tell them of my LSD book, we finish at 9, and after two photos Matt drives me to Sheraton where I give him brochures I'd collected for their family, DEMAND my luggage from the luggage room which they hadn't delivered to my room yet, and phone Bernadette who says it seems I'm ALONE on the trip! Shower at 10:15. Matt said his girlfriend in Louisiana is taking therapy because she had too many LSDs! Bed at 10:55 elated about being ALONE!

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3. Wake at 6AM and dress to watch sunrise at 6:20AM, thinking to keep a CHART of DATA and sunrise/sunset times and LATITUDES, so I set it up (but never fill it in!). Paper has LOVELY long puzzle that engrosses me to 9:30, when I check that breakfast in the Gazebo stops at 10. Down to sign for the check and have poached and scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage (unfinished), fruit and yogurt and hot chocolate---I hope enough until dinner! Up at 10:10 and read MORE papers and work more puzzles and change to COOL uniform ONE LAST time, and put bags out (after getting out ear patches) at 11AM, and it's picked up at 11:30. Hands sweaty as I finish this at 11:35. Checkout by noon and tour at 1PM, they say. What are we to do BETWEEN? Look through Tasmania and Australia books, supplied for enormous cost by the hotel, till 12, check out instantly, and sit and read till 12:25, when I decide to join "the group." Gay couple, some women trying to look VERY young, others content to be old, and later a male trio, one of whom has the crutches of multiple sclerosis. THEY wander off down street. Then Mike says "Bus on left," and front seats are ALREADY taken, so I get second on left, up step, good but not best at 1PM as the couples board with LOADS of luggage. Thirty-three on bus, leaves at 1:07. Stop 1:12-1:47 at Penitentiary (under) Chapel and (adjoining) Criminal Court from 1828-1960. I find it boring, so I'm glad to be going somewhere NEW today. Lots of DODDERERS in groups and women glance at me in speculation. YOUNGISH nerd-type with girl surnamed Fernandez with Puerto Rico shirt. 1:53-2:45 "45 minutes" at Runnymede, GOOD tea with 6-8 sandwiches and two slices of fruitcake for LUNCH at 2. Pleasant house, helpful people, short couple returns my HAT. Margaret the hostess does NOT offer me seconds. Basements and stables intriguing, lots of DEAF people too. AND we're going to Bonorong! IDEAL! People are VERY slow. 3:07-3:52 at Bonorong: Devils! And albino kangaroo LICKED my forearm and hand! And wombat chewed on my beard! To Richmond 4:10-4:30 for shopping, then back to Hobart for rapid ride through Battey Point streets. Off at about 5:10 and take front-on picture and hand in passport and ticket and $10 departure tax sticker given us, and tea and strawberry tart and sandwich and down to 404 to see Dr. Murphy's bags and a bottle of champagne. Unpack and he comes in and we chat nicely and go to orientation lounge on 7 Forward. Close to heaven at 6:20, and HE takes out notebook now also at 6:30. Lounge full at 6:37. $46 million ship, started January 29, 1990, and October 29 finished with "highest ice rating." 350 feet long, 6500 horsepower twin diesels. More stable than Explorer and Discoverer. Last trip: 50 foot seas south of Macquarie Island. Heinz Aye's 61st Antarctic voyage. They make 100 tons of water per DAY. Dining room deck 4 aft. Channel 38 for music on TV. Leave laundry on bed. Do your OWN on deck 3. Drying room there. Satellite phone $15/minute! Bridge OPEN. Dinner about 7:15. Three days to Macquarie, 850 miles, 2-3 days there for Zodiac landings from deck 3. I dash out to get photos of Hobart as dinner is starting, AFTER Jock comes aboard, insisting I find his gold pen with an opal inset. I pull things apart and it's not there and get to dinner at 7:50PM. Then out for Taroona photo before dessert. Out to look at Birney Island but put off by talky fatty. Pitch dark by 10, so I go to bed to toss and turn as boat movement increases, not get to sleep.