The Bipolar Bum

Backpacking and Bipolar II. Taking Manic Depression on tour.

Travel Journal – Arrived in Australia – 12/11/2013

Original entry from 12/11/2013


So I arrived.


The first thing that hit me getting off of the plane was the heat and absolutely oppressive humidity.  I smelt like a hobo entering a stink competition by this point and I was running on vapours to get to my destination.


Customs was an absolute NIGHTMARE!  8 whole minutes of pure hell, dear reader.  Hell!  First I had to sign declaration.  I live in Yorkshire and have recently visited the moors with a friend, I had a leather man multitool in my case and the shoes I’d been wearing to walk.  My declaration boxes that were ticked looked like this:


Are you carrying any firearms, explosives, ammunition, steroids, knives or other prohibited items?  Tick


Are you carrying any plant matter or soil?  (this can include clinging to sportswear/boots) Tick


Have you been in contact with any farm animals/livestock or freshwater streams or rivers within the last 30 days? Tick


So I’ve ticked boxes that could potentially read as I’m a 27 year old man who often ‘has contact’ with farm animals trying to enter the country with a suitcase full of bombs and mud.  I certainly smelled the type by the time I arrived, so I was expecting a full cavity search.


“I see you’ve indicated X, Y and Z sir.  Can you tell me about them please?” Said a lady who had a jawline like Charlton Heston’s more masculine twin.  I’d survived the sniffer dog and now I was done for.  It only took a moment but I decided to try the novel approach of telling the absolute truth.  “They’ll not expect that” I thought.


Does your knife flick out automatically or like a butterfly knife?  I shook my head. P for “pass” (but also many words such as ‘Pork’, ‘Peckham’ and  ‘Proselytism’) was put next to the top column.


I was then ushered to an area with yet more bagscanners, presumably for the inspection of my hydroponic vat I’d declared was in my trainers to make sure I was treating the bacteria growing therein up to Australian standards.  The gent asked me to show him my soil after the scan.  I laid my bag on the floor showing my dusty trainers.  He just nodded and said “Ah wish they were all loike thet”.


Do you want to look through the rest of my case?


“Neh.  Gaow on.” And with a disinterested nod I was in Australia.  Visa well worth its money – no one even asked if I had one.


My host was waiting in the heat and we were glad to get loaded up and straight off.  We went up something called the Gillie highway, passing mountains thickly carpeted with rainforest and showing the odd bit of dark red mud,  like giant, buxxom Victorian prostitute showing a bit of leg.


The roads here are PERFECT for riding and driving.  More than a trillion twists (go on, fucking count them, clever bollocks) in eighteen kilometres of road apparently.  Follow this road southwest on street view and tell me you wouldn’t want to get on it:


Click for road porn:

near Little Mulgrave QLD 4865



When we arrived at the house I met Steve’s cats.  Two love me and one must work for customs and have heard I ‘interact with animals’.  Indeed one loved me so much that it had chased a poisonous Cane Toad into the bath as a welcome home gift.  These toads were introduced seventy years ago by the government to eat beetles that ravage the sugar canes here. There are two problems with this:


1:  The cane toad doesn’t like to eat the cane beetles.

2:  It will eat just about everything else.  What it doesn’t eat, tries to eat it and dies of poisoning.

I’ve attached some panoramic shots from the patio and a picture of the toad.  It’s a good job too.  He decided not to stick around till morning and made his own way home.


Sleep well…

The weather up here is cooler and the humidity doesn’t feel as bad because of the constant breeze.  We are up in the tablelands just outside Malanda.  It is a paradise.


9 comments on “Travel Journal – Arrived in Australia – 12/11/2013

  1. aeramoure

    Oh man do I love customs. Especially when you’re coming back to America from a place in South America notorious for cocaine….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. aeramoure

    Disclaimer: I was not carrying cocaine

    Also, despite being half way through undergrad, I still look like a fourteen year old girl. That, that is my first line of protection with airport security.


    • drheckleandmrjibe

      Back when I looked like a fourteen year old girl my appearance bequeathed to me absolutely no advantage. How the times change 😛

      All the best,

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Cal

    ALWAYS tell the truth with Aussie customs, and if you have something to declare, declare it. As you’ve seen, they’re just as likely to wave you through without even checking the rest of your stuff if they’ve seen what you have to declare isn’t a big deal.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Laughing out loud in a cafe reading this, nice work! Though you have us sounding like New Zealanders,…
    Thanks too for Following my Blog, if there are any particular Health and Fitness topics you’d like to see, let me know!


    Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe

      Hey Rich,

      Thanks a lot for the kind words mate, glad to entertain! I was a bit tentative about uploading these posts at first but thanks to comments like yours my confidence is renewed.

      All the best,


  5. destroythequeen

    Welcome to Australia! I hope you enjoy your stay. We might seem like a laid back, easy going people (the word ‘ignorant’ might also be tossed in for a few select people amongst us)….. And that’s exactly what we are. Enjoy your stay!

    Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe

      I’m loving it so far. Going to live in Hope Vale soon, so I’ll be getting the ‘real’ aboriginal experience while I’m up there, for better or worse 🙂

      Thanks a lot for taking the time to come and comment, thanks too for the well wishes 🙂

      All the best,


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This entry was posted on 13/06/2014 by in Travel Journal and tagged , , , , .
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