the Yoga Bum

I should be writing about my trip to Kangaroo Island, but I thought it’d be more interesting to describe my situation at this very moment.

It’s 16:35 on Friday afternoon. In about two and a quarter hours I arrive in Melbourne. I have nowhere to stay as yet. I was meant to be going down there to help set up the new Sivananda yoga centre, but thanks to some legal issues to do with licensing, it’s still in a state of flux at the moment. I had a text from the Swami in charge a few hours ago saying they won’t know if they’re going to take the premises or not until the end of today. Lord knows if that means I’d be able to stay there, even if they do. It’s probably just an empty shell at the moment.

I also had a call from my friend down there…

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the Yoga Bum

There’s these signs all over the Youth Hostel here: “So-and-so’s Week in (R)Adelaide!” – “Livin’ It Up In (R)Adelaide.” – “Thingy’s Week In The Liade Of Rad.” All designed to make you think Adelaide is the hip, happening place to be in South Australia. It isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, Adelaide’s nice, quite pleasant in fact, but that’s about it. Like Perth, it doesn’t leave much of an impression.

I didn’t plan on staying here as long as I have. I was meant to head down to Melbourne the day after I arrived. But the yoga centre I was heading down there to help set up hit a few legal snags, so I delayed my arrival by a few days, then by a week, and as it stands right now I’m not sure what’s happening. But anyway, I had a week to fill in Adelaide, including my 39th birthday, so…

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the Yoga Bum

The Indian Pacific is a train that runs between Perth and Sydney, via Adelaide, across the Nullabor Plain. It takes 4 days/3 nights to go all the way, and just 3 and 2 to go as far as Adelaide (from Perth).

the indian pacific

To be honest I’d never heard of the Indian Pacific until my brother told me about it. A quick, cursory check of ticket prices didn’t fill me with much enthusiasm. The most basic ticket cost about $850 for a day/nighter seat (like an airplane seat that reclines a bit further), with the top end sleeper tickets (which included a lounge car and free food) running into the thousands.

one big train

But only a fool pays full price for a ticket in this day and age, and a quick cursory search found a standby ticket for just $256. Much more manageable. However, I didn’t stop there! Delving a bit further I…

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the Yoga Bum

If you’re in Perth, and have the time, I thoroughly recommend a visit to Rottnest Island. You can get day trips, but to have a good look around do what I did and stay for a couple of nights.

rottnest 2

It’s a decent enough sized island. About 11km end to end. Used to be a gun emplacement during World War II but now it’s completely given over to the tourist industry. And let me tell you, of all the places I’ve been these guys have got it pretty much sorted.

the main harbour

geordie bay

I got the ferry from Perth, via Fremantle, and here was the first pleasant surprise. You just label your bags with where you’re staying, they load them on the ferry, and deliver them at the other end. Brilliant! No lugging big backpacks around. As I was staying 2km from the harbour, and would be renting a bike, that worked out great…

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the Yoga Bum

Believe it or not, since I started doing yoga in November 2010, I’ve never done any other type of yoga but Sivananda yoga. I mean I had a go at something at the Yoga Show in London, where I met the Sivananda lot, but since then I’ve been a Sivananda boy through and through. And let’s be honest, when you’ve found something that works, why would you try something else?

But, since there is no Sivananda yoga in Australia (yet – and even that statement that needs more qualification than you know), I’m going to have to have a go at other things. That’s why, while I was in Dunsborough, I thought I’d head over to Samudra and have a go at one of their yoga classes.

samudra, dunsborough

Samudra was interesting for me, because it not only is it a yoga studio, but a restaurant as well, very much the sort…

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the Yoga Bum

I had a lot of hope for Dunsborough. I was going to stay there nearly a week, in a single room at the Youth Hostel which is right on the beach. I was going to go scuba diving and do yoga every day, and maybe do a bit of writing after tea in one of the local coffee shops. How wrong I was.

A favourite saying of mine when I was cooking in the Sivananda Ahsram in Austria was “They can’t all be winners.” Every time I tried to make something new or different, completely winging it, I was always worried it might come out awful. So I used to tell people “I did this, this and this. That should do the trick. And if not, they can’t all be winners can they?” Thankfully most of my ventures in the kitchen came out better than I expected. Unfortunately, the same…

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