Thanks for Keeping me on the Road

Fact is, it costs money to ramble around Tasmania interviewing folks about leeches and orchids and crayfish. Unlike the mysteriously financed Indiana Jones, who never broke off a good sword fight to earn a few bucks, my trips are all self-funded. If the money runs out, so does the action.

Travel costs: even on wet days, the money meter keeps turning. (south of Puzzler Mountain, Tasmania)

When I’m not on the road, you might spot me pedaling around Oriental, North Carolina on my bike – a sure sign a freelance article is in the making. Or we might bump into each other at a book signing. I’m mighty lucky I get to earn a living doing what I love.

So while I’m out here on the road, where does the money come from?


That’s right, every time you, the reader shops at the General Store or hits the yellow “Donate” button, your purchase goes toward defraying my field expenses – which lets me keep the updates coming. So a hearty “Thank You!” to everyone who’s ordered a bit of adventure.

Because with travel come expenses.

Like last week, when the charger on my laptop exploded in sparks, releasing that charry electrical smell that says, “buddy, this is going to cost you…”. It did. Tasmania is expensive. The bus ticket into Hobart, where I could find a replacement charger, cost $90. The charger put me back another $100. Poof! Up in smoke went almost 200 clams.

Then there’s the internet.

Back home in the ‘states, wireless internet for my laptop is free and easy to find. Not in Tasmania. Here, it ranges from $5 to $8 per hour. It sure encourages quick typing. And though I only spend about 10 hours per month online, over the course of 6 months, well, you get the picture. It adds up to hundreds of dollars. Free internet hotspots? Forget it. In the past 3 months, I’ve found one.

Then there’s food. Thanks to a weak US dollar, a pound of cheese costs more than my ten-dollar bike. Suffice to say I live off rice and fish I catch on a hand line.

When a pound of cheddar costs more than your bike, you learn to fish. Here, I’m feeding a fire to smoke some local cockie salmon and mullet Joel Buckwell photo (Dora Point, Tasmania)

Smoking fish on the campfire (Dora Point, Tasmania)

Parching rice: for traveling food, I parch rice instead of relying on expensive fast food. The recipe is coming in a future update.
(Dora Point, Tasmania)

So, again, thanks to everyone who’s shopped at the General Store, ordered a Postcard from Tasmania or hit the donate button. If it weren’t for you, I’d have to turn to smuggling coffee and tobacco into Tasmania ($3.50 a cup / $20.00 per ounce – it’s illegal to grow tobacco in Tasmania) to stay solvent. Instead, with your help, I’m able keep the updates flowing through legal means.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a log boat to catch. I missed the cow boat – and Flinders Island is calling.

(to be continued…..)

(Map note: the map below shows the location of Flinders Island. I’ll be writing more on it shortly..).

butterbean carpenter
2011-02-06 22:55:19

Howdy Bernie,
I really enjoy your blogs and wish I could help you, but all I can do is pray that you stay healthy and enjoy the adventure.. Did you come out f the leeches without any problems??
Joyce said those were bigger than the ones in Nepal, she had to contend with in 1976.. God bless and be careful…


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