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Mobile Boutique Hotel

Richard Oetker, an eccentric corporate executive who tried to compensate for his traumatising experience of being kidnapped for ransom with this hotel on wheels.

With this unique mobile accommodation, business partners were initially driven to selected locations, housed and fed. He made sure that all feasible wishes of his guests could be realised. He created a unique fleet based on solid and robust Mercedes lorries and specially designed trailers and semi-trailers.

All Mercedes lorries and trailers have been converted for many types of road and terrain and offer space for all 15 co-drivers in the cabs.

In this ‘oldie boutique motel’ there is accommodation for 15 people in 3 trailers, a lounge for get-togethers with old fashioned media, a ‘full gastro kitchen’ with 6-burner gas hob/oven, extractor bonnet, fridge and freezer compartments, dishwasher and much more.

The vehicles are all Mercedes trucks, trucks that were built to handle extreme circumstances and in themselves, have space for many people whilst in motion.

There are showers, double and single beds, wardrobes for clothes.

There is a restaurant section for people who would be eating the food cooked in the restaurant.

One of the best things though is the rather antique, green look of the hotel, which is why we think they would suit being on a festival site as they actually enhance, rather than detract from their surroundings.

Here is an image gallery for you to look through, with some videos after.

The Azores

We made a home here almost a year ago now. We made a home here because it’s in the middle of The Atlantic, it has green fields like Yorkshire has green fields, yet it doesn’t get much colder than 14 degrees in the winter, it has gorgeous soil that can grow most things except pineapples, so here they grow pineapples in glasshouses and bananas in the fields, or avocados, strange flowers that look like they’ve landed from another planet, but mostly grass for cows that we woo into making cheese. Lots of cheese.

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Sydney’s Ocean Pools from North Bondi to Coogee

Wally Weekes

Around the turn of the last century people built many seaside pools around Sydney, so I decided to visit a few and am now standing above the Wally Weekes pool which is at the north end of Bondi Beach.

The surf life saving club say that wally Weekes was one of their founding members, By account he also founded the Bondi life saving club, was a swimmer, boxer, publican and a life saver, quite a character who was important enough to name this pool after.

Iceberg

At the other end of the beach is a swimming club that dates back to 1929, when a local band of life savers trying to maintain their fitness in Winter formed the Bondi Icebergs Winter Swimming Club.

There is a membership rule called the “15B rule” that states that you must swim three out of four winter Sundays for five years.

The water temperature hovers around 16 degrees during winter.

Bronte baths

Bronte Baths was ppened back in 1887 so it’s one of Sydney’s oldest pools. It is best known for it’s regular swimmer Evelyn Whillier, who at 18 competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and at 20 won gold in the 1938 British Empire Games. In the 1990s — in her late 70s — she’d head to Bronte at 5am every day to squeeze in a few kilometres. You’ll meet all kinds of swimmers here — from similarly serious lappers to kids in floaties. There’s ample room on the surrounding rocks for lazing about. Consider a night swim on balmy evenings.

Walkway around past Waverly Cemetery, Clovelly Ocean Pool, Giles Baths

From Bronte baths there’s a wonderful walkway that takes us past waverly cemetery, then around Clovelly Beach and Clovelly Ocean Pool which wasn’t too clean when I walked past it, but at the end of the bay there are some wonderful places to swim in the rough sea.

Then we get to the Giles Baths at Dolphin’s Point before walking around to my favourite ocean pool in Sydney, which is Wylie’s Baths….

Wylie’s Baths

Wylie’s baths were built in 1907 by the father of Mina Wylie, who was one of Australia’s first female Olympic swimming representatives. In fact Mina Wylie and Fanny Durack were Australia’s first woman gold and silver medallists.

Putting history aside the thing I love about Wylie’s baths is the relaxed nature of the place. Like the Icebergs Pool it has facilities including a space for Yoga and Pilates as well as a great little cafe, but the best thing for me is the feeling of community that this place has.

Because the swimming section is a converted rockpool it also has many other inhabitants too, fish, nudibranch of you see them as well different species of octopus, including the little blue ring octopus that you must make sure you don’t touch if you are lucky to see it.

All in all I would say that the beach pools make sydney worth seeing alone.

Patpong, Nana plaza, dentist chairs and The Atlanta Hotel!

I’m on a stop-over in Thailand to get my teeth fixed and take a peek at Laos as I had never been there before. In Australia it was a hundred quid to simply get a filling, in Thailand you can buy a small village for the same cash so here I am typing this, teeth fixed, in Bangkok waiting for the train to go to Vientiane in Laos.

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Paragliding, Tragedy, New year and Refugios

I found a lovely bunch of people running a paragliding hostel a short half an hours walk from town. The welcome was wonderful at the house of Martin and Mariella, there were a few other paragliding folks and Martins’s brother Diego. We all got on well, talked of flying and the freedom it brings, we didn’t even begin to suspect what would happen the next day.

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