the Yoga Bum

‘Only’ is a beguiling word. When someone tells you something is “…only nine kilometres away.” a little voice inside your head goes ‘That doesn’t sound that far.’ And it doesn’t, especially when you’re used to dealing in miles, and you know kilometres always sound like more than they actually are. And when that person seems supremely confident that you could easily cycle there and back in a day, your little voice pipes up once more with ‘What the hell, I’ll give it a go!’

That was how I found myself huffing and puffing down a baked West Australian highway on a bike that had seen better days (and was in dire need of some WD40!) on my way to the Jewel Cave.

my new chariot

Jewel Cave is one of several open to the public in Margaret River, and according to those in the know (ie: my brother and a few random strangers)…

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the Yoga Bum

I’ve been staying in HI Youth Hostels (aka, YHAs) for this leg of the trip, and in every one I kept hearing people saying they were “…off to Denmark next.” Oft times these were just snippets of strangers conversations, and I just assumed there were an awful lot of Danish people in Australia whose visas were about to run out. I was wrong.

I decided to cut my time short in Pemberton, and add another stop off to my journey, the town of Walpole. I was going there because I wanted to do the Treetop Walk in the Valley Of The Giants, and there’s just no way you can go there and do that in a day from Pemberton.

a long run

As it turns out, doing it from Walpole is a bit of a pain as well. West Australia (W.A.) is pretty poorly served by public transport when you get out…

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the Yoga Bum

The Italians have a saying: “He was born with two sheds.” It basically means the same as “He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth,” but unless someone tells you that how would you know? So when I told my German girlfriend that I was “Off to climb a big tree,” she didn’t know if I was being literal or if this was some English figure of speech she’d never heard before. And if so, what on Earth could it mean???

Well in this case I wasn’t being cryptic, I was indeed on my way to climb a big tree. The Gloucester Tree in fact, one of only two tourist attractions (unless you’re into timber mills) within walking distance of Pemberton. And even that one is 3km out of town.

climbing, without a net

The Gloucester Tree is an old fire lookout point; just a really tall tree with iron spikes stuck…

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the Yoga Bum

Once more my friends I find myself woefully behind in my blogging, and for that I apologise. Would that I had a good excuse, but I’ve just been a bit lazy. Christmas will do that to you. 😉

Thankfully though I have actually been out and about doing stuff, and better than that I have taken many photos, and since a picture paints a thousand words I’ll probably be relying on them later to show what I’ve been up to. But first, a quick re-cap.

australia skies
feeding time
vegan xmas dinner 2012
the goose-neck

I spent Christmas and New Year on my brother’s farm, and apparently, according to them, I got the genuine aussie experience, which as far as I can tell involves lots of animals, red dust, and a multitude of creepy crawlies. I slept in a horse trailer, sweating cobbs from the 40 degree heat, sick as a dog for the first few days from some mystery…

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the Yoga Bum

Y’know what I’m discovering as I travel round? That every Sivananda run centre and ashram is unique in it’s own special way, and yet somehow upon entering they all seem as familiar as whichever one you may call ‘home’.

There are 3 Sivananda run organisations in California – the San Francisco Centre, the Los Angeles Centre, and Grass Valley Yoga Farm – but I only got to visit the two city centres while I was there.


The San Francisco Centre was in one of the city’s many old fashioned, tall, town houses. I was curious how the layout was going to be, as you had to go up some stairs to the first floor to reach the reception (I have no idea what was on the ground floor). It was… snug, shall we say. A small room at the front of the house was the reception/shop. You left…

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the Yoga Bum

Well, I think it’s safe to say that 2012 was a landmark year in the life of the Yoga Bum.

For one thing, the Yoga Bum was invented. I started off the year working at a satellite broadcasting company, doing 12 hour night shifts in a sealed, windowless, air-conditioned room full of TVs, and I ended it in 40 degree heat in the west of Australia (at a rodeo, which I’ll go into detail about later). I’m now a qualified yoga teacher, I spent 2 months working at an ashram in the Austrian Alps, I’ve been to San Francisco, Sacramento, the Santa Cruz Mountains and Los Angeles, doing all kinds of interesting stuff, some of which I was fortunate enough to be able share with someone special, and most of which I didn’t know I’d be doing when the year started. With that in mind, I wonder what delights 2013…

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