12.07.2009 7 °C
Firstly an apology for not writing in the Blog for ages, we havent fallen off the edge of the earth, although it has felt like that at times... We have spent 2 months in London, and it hasnt really been exciting enough to warrant a blog entry... We managed to find some work courtesy of Sams friends Tim from home... He has carved out a career in the high flying world of selliog stuff to strangers on the street. Burstingtwith enthusiasm, we joined him a few days after we arrived and entered the crazy world of selling paintball packages to passers-by. Over 7 weeks we have honed our skills to the point where we can literally confuse unsuspecting random people into handing over thier cash with the ease of any master salesman... Brilliant. It has had its good days and bad, as it is all commission based, so there have been many days where 8 hours out in the bitter cold of British summer where we have actually finished the day with less money. great. We have met some crazy travellers though and had many drunken nights which has been fun, and earning a few pounds here and there has allowed us to do some pretty cool stuff.. We met up with Sams mate Glen, the capt of the Aussie Polo team, and went with him to watch some games at the royal polo grounds at Windsor castle (We were very underdressed), we have scored free tickets to the World 20\20 at both lords and the Oval (thanks Lippy), i somehow wrangled front row tickets for us to see Jude Law as Hamlet in the West end (Sams favourite moment... Óh my god Jude just spat on me... he really spat on me! Im never washing again!!) and have seen some shakespeare at the Globe Theatre. We even got a day in at Wimbeldon to see Lleyton and Andy Murray over a couple of jugs of Pimms.... We have caught up with heaps of friends and had far too much to drink and its been a blast, but soon enough it was time for Europe...
And so.... it was off to Brad and Laras place (sams friends) as we were travelling with them for a few weeks... They bought a big 1986 Fiat Swift - basically a big square 80s van that sleeps 6 (there are 9 of us)... awesome. We piled all our stuff in and headed for Dover, got the ferry across to Calais and drove to Dunkirk. Slept in the van (that becomes standard) and spent the next day touring the battlefiends and cemetaries of Ypres and Pascendaele... Its was great to see what it was really like and very moving, some of the guys dying the in the war were only 15-16. Heavy.
From the we drove to a little town called Werchter in Belgium, which i think is normally home to about 800 quiet reserved belgians, but for the next 4 days became home to about 100,000 (seriously) crazy rock fans... Rockwerchter is the biggest festival out... We set up our campsite and headed in for 3 crazy days... we saw Oasis, Placebo, Expatriate, Lily Allen, Prodigy, Jason Mraz, Katy Perry, the Streets, Bloc Party, The Killers, Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Lady Gaga (brrr), 2manydjs, Grace Jones, Metallica and more but i cant remember! We missed the last day though as we had to get to Spain, so after partying for three straight days we left Belgium at 3am and drove 17 straight hours to Pamplona for the opening ceremony of Running of the Bulls. Had a huge day on the Sangria and got about three hours sleep (again) before getting up at 530 to line up (very shakily) to run.... it was mental. Thousands of crazy drunken spaniards and us crammed into this tiny course.. the whole thing runs for about 800m, we were at Gate 1 which was the closest to the bulls when they let them go and therefore the most dangerous..oops... We stood there for half an hour waiting and feeling very sorry for ourselves before a gun went off somewhere and everyone just went ballistic. the first gun was to get ready, and when the second one went off the bulls were out! Crazy. Everyone just bolted through these tiny narrow cobbled streets toward the stadium... About halfway along, we were concentrating on jumping over all the fallen spaniards axing themsleves on the stones and then the bulls were upon us. They were HUGE and travelling at a rate of knots.. Guys were getting flung about and trampled all over the place.. We somehow made it to the staduim without getting crushed and then they sent more bulls in to pretty much gore anyone in their way. people were getting punished all over the place, and we had a few close shaves. We survived though and retreated back to the campsite to trade war stories over yet more sangria before getting up the next day and doing it all over again! Sadly two guys got killed while we were there, one Aussie guys by a truck (everyone was passed out on the streets the whole time they werent drinking - someone was bound to get crushed, and one local guy got gored to death by a bull. So sad but in the end its very dangerous and thats what you sign up for when you do it. Terrible though.
Anyways, after more drinking in rghe campsite we packed up and drove to Biarritz, which is spectacular... so nice but we were having serious problems with Swifty (our van)... His clutch decided to pack it in, and we were stuck. After getting towed to the local Fiat place we were told it would take a week to get the parts and get it done, so we left it with the French b*stards and headed to San Sebastian, which is possible the best place ever...Great beached, good tapas, cold beer and hot sun. Nice.... Not a bad place to break down... SO, now when swifty is fixed and back on his feet we are heading to Portugal for more of the same, before flying from Sienna to Barcelona for a few day, and then on to Milan for three weeks touring italy, before catching the ferry over to croatia to sail the islands for 10 days. Life is tough.