Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Stranger

The Spencer Gulf, Port Agusta, South Australia

I know it's not right, but I have spoken to a stranger... I invited him to my place, took a safety risk overnight. But here I am now, filling a page of this blog.

The final month of the 54-day broiler chicken growth cycle is always very stressful; and during the last days of the batch, my responsibilities become more and more demanding not only because of the physical challenges but also because of the fact that a day after the six sheds get emptied, I am emotionally tortured and mentally pressured to know if my chickens have performed or not. My chickens’ growth performance would directly speak about my work performance.

Well, luckily, for the past three batches my birds have performed. ...and with the 7 to 10-day shed empty and rest period I always have the chance to escape from the poultry farm perimeter, roam in some parts of Australia to relieve all the tensions, and recharge. I actually have a little regret of not thoroughly documenting my travels and adventures in this blog, I hope I could find time in the future.

I was, actually, planning to visit Western Australia this time, but because I’ll be spending a 17-day holiday in the Philippines next month, I had deferred my W.A. trip and decided to visit the second largest city in South Australia, instead. It’s Port Augusta which, excitingly, is pronounced as Port Agata by the indigenous Australians... it is 209 kilometres away from my place. With this trip I believed that I could relax and enjoy without spending a bag of Australian dollars, only a pinch.

My trip to Port Augusta was very educational and entertaining! Through the Wadlatta Outback Centre, I have seen how the Australian continent has metamorphosed for the past 15 million years! I will not promise, but I hope I could share some of these interesting stories in my next entries.

Andrew's map, he purchased it from Indonesia.

I had the chance to visit the tip of the Spencer Gulf and have seen the Great Western Bridge of Port Augusta. And while I was on my way to Woolworth’s supermarket (which was located close to the gulf) to buy some drinks, I saw this not so skinny, long-haired white guy juggling his 3 or 4 coloured balls beside the walkway. With my desire to take photos of some exciting people I see in the place, I immediately headed towards him. I then saw his backpack and camping gears beside him, and a relatively huge map of the world on the ground which was ‘anchored’ to the ground by a book, a compass, etc., and an up-side down hat with some coins in it. I picked and dropped a two-dollar coin in his cap and thought that it would be a little or enough act of kindness before asking if I could take a photo of him.

Then I asked, and he permitted. After the shot, the guy immediately asked a favour if I could send him the photo to his email. I expressed my agreement so he wrote down his email ad on a piece of paper and gave it to me. His name was Andrew Sable from Lithuania.

I then stayed for a little chat, while Andrew continued juggling, and realized that he had been hitch-hiking from his country, to Russia, China, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia! And for that journey, he only had to spend money for his airfare from Indonesia to Perth, Australia and all the rest were free! Just hitch-hiking— stopping truck, private cars, motorcycles along the road and ferries for a free ride! He had been doing it since March and he survived! He has seen almost half of the world for free!

It’s been my desire to see the world, and I thought it was very expensive! Not until I heard the story of Andrew. I have met Bertrand before- a backpacker from France, and Phil from Denmark but they were not doing the same risky adventure like what this Lithuanian guy had been doing.

During our chat, Andrew said he will be heading to Adelaide the next day; of course he will be passing by Port Wakefield—where I live and work. Because I am very interested to know more about his adventure, I told him that he could drop by my place.

I was driving to Adelaide yesterday to go to the Asian grocer and supermarket for my tinola-cooking assignment for the KaBlogs Journal, when a blocked number phoned my mobile. It was illegal when driving, but I answered my phone, and it was Andrew on the line! He was in a camping area in Port Wakefield, and was asking if I’m going to pick him up there. I did a U-turn and drove back to where he was.

I took him to my place, offered a meal, a drink, an internet connection, a washing machine, a shower a warm room (it’s late winter in the southern hemisphere) and a comfortable bed.

Before he went to bed, we chatted and he showed me all the photos he had taken during his journey. He said that, so far, Indonesia, and Australia were number one on his list as the best countries he had ever been! ...Indonesia because people are very friendly despite their limited English-speaking skills, and Australia because of its diversity.

After Australia, Andrew will find ways to proceed to New Zealand; then continue his adventure to the Pacific Islands, parts of the USA, South America and North Africa, Western Europe and then back home. The Philippines was not included on his list, but I will let him experience the Philippines under my roof. We will be going to the Barossa Wine Region later for the Barossa Gourmet Weekend... He was still sleeping in the guest room while I was writing this entry.

I accommodated a stranger. Yes, Andrew was a stranger, but only until I have started to speak to him. After that, he was no longer a stranger, but a friend I believe.

Andrew Sable- the hitch-hiker from Lithuania.
You can visit Andrew's blog and follow him as he discover the world.


Reena said...

ang galing naman niya. may nga tao talagang adventurous eh. though i've never heard of such a story. :) will read his blog. hehe

Kosa said...

i ngat parin doc!
ang stranger eh stranger pa rin! hehe..joke

pasyal pasyal in the future? good luck doc! aabangan ko yan!

ishna said...

Andrew is interesting! I can't believe he was able to travel the world and he did not even spend so much. I want to do that too!

And how brave of you to accommodate a stranger, its a good thing that he is a nice person no? :D

And you're going home for a vacation? Have fun! :D

Anonymous said...

I always like when people come up while I juggle on the streets of Australia and get interesting in what the hell I am doing with those balls or the world map at my feet. Realy helps with meeting some interesting people a lot as well as hitchhiking itself does :)

Meeting you and staying at your place was also more than a welcome thing and a nice change of pace since I as well got to wander around with you and your Philipine buddies in Borossa Valley. I'll try to keep up with your blog to the best of my ability while hitchhiking out there, mate ;)

YanaH said...

ang astig naman nya doc! nakkabilib..
i love to travel din kaya lang i dont think i have the gutts to do wat he's doing.. :D

ingat poh jan.. at adbans hapi vacay hahaha

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

I like how you showed the Philippines under your roof - that's Pinoy hospitality that we are so proud of.

If only I have the time, I'll do an Andrew. *sigh*

Redlan said...


I like this line: The Philippines was not included on his list, but I will let him experience the Philippines under my roof.

Anyways, advance happy birthday sau para bukas.

Anonymous said...

ang galing naman nito! hehehe.. sana makapagtravel din ako ng ganyan pero ayoko ng may risk.. lolz

watson said...

What an interesting story! I couldn't help but smile as I read your post. Like you, I had also dreamt of visiting other countries. It must have been surreal to meet someone who is living it!