Kombi’s in Adelaide. The Ethical Road Trip

The Kombi Crew have not been able to use the sliding door of our Kombi for a week now. We have been climbing through the front door. Its been a little awkward, specially now that there are 3 of us living in the van. However we are approaching a major city and a local VW shop believes he may have the parts to repair the hinge.

South Australia and Adelaide has completely blown we me away, the city centre has some amazing buildings and is right next to the lush green rolling hills.

tattered passport

Playing with shining things

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Reeds at Sunset

On The Ethical Road Trip, we are supporting Headspace  and the work that they do in Youth Mental Health. You can support headspace by simply sharing this post or by donating via our Everyday hero page.

Thank you for stopping by TatteredPassport, If you have enjoyed this post please LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE with your friends. I love hearing about all your amazing adventures and stories, so please feel free to comment below.

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Crazy Underground Mine Tour: Coober Pedy South Australia

G’Day, today we leave the Northern Territory crossing the state border into South Australia with a rough plan to make Coober Pedy. Coober Pedy is a famous outback town in the middle of absolute no where. Why is it famous? Well the town is a Opal mining town and its hot, so hot that some of the residents actually live in underground homes, yep real underground homes called “Dug Outs”.

Tattered Passport

The Ethical Road Trip

As we arrive in Coober Pedy you start to see this strange looking scenery, there are little mounds of dirt scattered across the country side, these are piles of dirt that have been sifted looking for Opals. We see a sign for “Toms Working Opal Mine Tours” and we just had to see this. We had no idea about opal mining or what we were getting ourselves into.

Tattered Passport

Kombi at the State Border

The first thing we noticed as we entered the mine that it was nice and cool. In the Kombi it has been getting super hot and you have no escape from the heat or the flies. Down here, underground it was like it had air conditioning and there were no flies!!! We meet our tour guide Georgen a german opal miner and Coober Pedy character. We donned our hardhats and started the walk into the mine.

The tour is in a underground opal mine, that is still working to this day, Georgen works there as a miner and even showed us some opal he was mining at the time. He showed us the technique that he has worked out for him self. He even gave us a go at mining. It was hilarious to see a YouTuber attempt to use power tools. I don’t think there would be any tour any where else in Australia that would be like this one.

After we finished the tour Georgen actually invited us back to his house to have a look at a real Underground home. It was incredible to see a “real” underground home, not something prepared for tourist, a real home. Georgen explained how he dug the house out using mining equipment. The home is completely “Off The Grid” as well which is pretty cool. They have a small Diesel Generator out the front with some solar panels. They charge batteries around the house which they use to power the house appliences. The less appliences they have the less power they need to produce, its a very interesting way of life. A very “back to basic’s” way of living. Very unique to Coober Pedy.

Thank you so much for visiting Tattered Passport and for being a part of this adventure. You can follow Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and BEME. You can also help us support headspace and their great work in Youth Mental Health, simply sharing this post or you can donate via our Everyday Hero Page.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out

Shane.

Tony’s Travels in Kombi Confessions

Welcome to the very first episode of Kombi Confessions.
Where I interview a bunch of amazing people all across Australia in my 1976 Kombi.

Today we have my good mate and fellow Travel YouTuber Tony from Tony’s Travels.

Tony is an inspirational person. He has chosen a life of travel and really lives for adventure. His YouTube Channel is incredible and a must visit.

Go check him out and Subscribe!!!
YouTube
Twitter
Instagram

You can help us raise awareness and much needed funds for headspace by sharing this posts with your friends and by donating at our Everyday Hero page.

Thank you for watching TatteredPassport, If you have enjoyed this post please LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE with your friends. I love hearing about all your amazing adventures and stories, so please feel free to comment below.

You can also follow Tattered Passport on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, and BEME

Exploring an Abandoned Antarctic Station: Wilks Station

Today a few of us are lucky enough to head “Off Station” on what we call a Jolly, (recreation tie off station). We jump in the IRB’s and head across the bay to the abandoned Wilks Station. Wilks was originally established by the U.S. on the on the 29th of January 1957 then handed over to Australia on the 7th of February 1959. Australia used the station until 1969 when the new Casey Station was occupied.

Wilks Station

Public Transport Antarctica style.

Once at Wilks we make the walk through the ruins of this unique part of Australia’s Antarctic heritage. You can see so many buildings completely buried in ice and snow, with just their roofs peaking through the surface. It was amazing to think that there used to be a complete working station here, now hidden below years of snow. We make it the hut that will be our home for the night, the famous Wilks Hilton. Its an old Transmitter hut and now acts as one of the favourite recreation huts for expeditioner’s from Casey. The hut oozes character and charm of yesteryear. We settle in and head out to explore the station.

Wilks Hilton

The lads at the Wilks Hilton

Wilks Station, Tattered Passport,

Abandoned Buildings

I could easily spends days walking around these old remains, it was just incredible to see parts of buildings that used to house expeditions back in the early days of Antarctic Research. It gave me a little insight into what it might have been like here back in the 60’s. Now days we have WiFi, phones, Radio comms back to Australia, ducted heating, we even have a spa. These expeditions back in the 60’s were made of much tougher fibre then any of us.

Wilks Station.

Supplies from a lifetime ago.

Wilks Station

Old Machinery left Behind

After many hours of exploring and deep discussions with my mates about how it might have been like to be here we sit down to watch the sunset over Casey. I had another Antarctic moment on that rocky outcrop. I am sitting here at an Abandoned Research Station in Antarctica, watching the sunset. How did I get here? How did a this bloke from the Girrawheen end up working as an Electrician in Antarctica?

Thank you for stopping by Tattered Passport. If you have enjoyed this post please hit the Like button, you can follow my adventures by simply clicking on the Follow button at the bottom of your screen. You can also find Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Wilks Station

The Sunset i have ever seen.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

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Tashi Palkhiel Tibetan Refugee Settlement.

I leave the chaos that is Kathmandu, jump on a plane and head to the most incredible place, Pokhara. I had heard about a very special settlement just a 30min drive from the town centre so we decided to grab a cab and head out see what it was all about.

Tattered Passport Pokhara

A gift from the Dalai Lama

We arrive at the Tashi Palkhiel Tibetan Refugee Settlement and were greeted by a beautiful gateway and a very unique script written on it. Through out my time in Tibet we had not seen any reference to his holiness the Dalai Lama. This left a huge gap through out Tibet, as the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism the Dalai Lama is held in the highest of regard, however it is illegal to even talk about him in Tibet. So it was so beautiful to see his name right there in big letters, inviting you into the settlement. “Given by his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama”, I new instantly this was a special place.

Tattered Passport, Pokhara

Tashi Palkhiel Tibetan Refugee Settlement

Tattered Passport, Pokhara

om mani padme hum

I dropped a “tashi Delek” and was instantly welcomed with open arms into their settlement. We were shown around by a beautiful Tibetan lady. Then I was invited into the Butter Lamp, prayer room and shown how to pray. This was a magical moment for me, I was able to give something back to these beautiful people, I purchased a butter lamp, said a prayer and was blessed.

Tattered Passport, Pokhara

Prayers and Butter Lamps

There are estimated 13000 Tibetan People living in exile in Nepal according to the The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). I am unsure of the number at this settlement. The people living at the settlement are kind of stuck between to worlds, it is very difficult for them. I do not pretend to understand how it all works for them, but from what I gather is that they are not allowed to work in Nepal. The only way that they can earn money is by selling some souvenirs. They have a small gift shop which sells hand made crafts, and as you walk out from the settlement you pass through a make shift market. Here you will find some amazing jewellery I am a big fan of beaded bracelets and necklaces and I was in heaven here. They are all hand made and you purchase them from the person who made them. In attempt to spread my money around I tried my hardest to by something small from all the stalls. 

https://youtu.be/7XB8nN0pR7g

Thank you for stopping by Tattered Passport. If you have liked this post please Like, Share and Follow. Simple click on the follow button at the bottom of your screen. You can also find Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Have you visited Pokhara, Nepal? What did you think about the Tibetan refugee settlement?

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

Inside Tibet: The Dreadlocked Tibetan Mastiff.

Daily Vlog: 40

One of the things that I love about travelling is you never know what or who you will meet. Every time I travel I meet new and inspirational people, I see beautiful places and I experiences magical things. Today I met my first Dreadlocked Tibetan Mastiff and its entrepreneurial Tibetan owner.

https://instagram.com/p/z3i95ag5qE/?modal=true

On our way to Gyatse we stopped off at this incredible lookout and there was a local Tibetan man with his giant Tibetan Mastiff. You could pose for photo’s with the dog, a unique business venture, for these now stranded Tibet people. The man was so intrigued with my hair and I seemed to hit it off with the dog as well, I even got a bit of a kiss from the giant Tibetan Mastiff.

https://instagram.com/p/z3jFvsA5qX/?modal=true

The Tibetan Mastiff is not a true mastiff, early western visitors misnamed it along with several other local breeds, a better name for the dog would be Tibetan Mountain dog. The Tibetan Mastiff also known as Dok-Khyi which roughly translates to “nomad dog’” and “dog which may be kept”. It was traditionally a guardian dog to keep watch over the nomadic villages flock. This giant dog almost looked like he was standing guard over Tibet, grasping to what was left of his nomadic lifestyle. He was caring for his owner and his family, yes he was no longer keeping a watchful eye over his flock, he was now putting food on the tables of his Tibetan family.

Tattered Passport

yamdrok lake

https://instagram.com/p/ooG1blg5hB/?modal=true

https://instagram.com/p/z3kCxBg5r8/?modal=true

Tattered Passport

New friends at Yamdrok Lake

http://youtu.be/cC65TgByckw

Thank you for visiting Tattered Passport. If you have liked this post please Like, Share and Follow. Simple click on the follow button at the bottom of your screen. You can also find Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

Inside Tibet: Dalai Lama Summer Palace, Paranoia.

Daily Vlog: 38

Since being in Tibet I have been struggling with the amount of Chinese military control over the local Tibetan People. This suppression extends so far into daily life it affects everyone. Little things like signs for shops are written in large Chinese characters with tiny Tibetan characters underneath, to young tibetan people not allowed to visit and worship at temples. The constant reminder that China has taken over Tibet is depressing. Today I get a little annoyed and suddenly very aware that I am being watched almost 24hrs a day.

Tattered Passport Tibet

Norbulingka UNSECO

We visit the summer palace of the Dalai Lama and I am instantly shocked. As you walk up to this once spiritual home of the Tibetan Buddhist leader you are confronted by huge LCD screen pumping out loud Chinese music. Once inside I feel calm mixed with a sense I am being watched. Every where i look i see a camera, they are everywhere and I mean everywhere, on every corner of the main wall, every walkway even in the gardens. I can see our guide feeling uneasy here, she is aware that her every move is bing watched and anything she does can be used against her and her family.

https://instagram.com/p/zykl3rg5n-/?modal=true

We arrive at the Dalai Lama’s Palace, the last place that the current 14th Dalai Lama lived before he fled to India. There was no surprise here, plenty of cameras outside, but what shocked me and made me nervous was waiting inside. We were in one of the rooms, completely aware that we were getting watched by cameras every step, but what shocked me was one specific camera. I spotted this camera that would move about, it was looking around the room, this was not odd, what was odd was when it spotted me. I remember nudging my friend and whispered to him, do you think that camera is following me? I may sound a little paranoid but it was looking straight at me, with these two eyes. So I walked around a little to look at another painting in the room. I look up and again it was looking straight at me, almost trying to read my mind, looking straight at me. I looked back at my friends and they all had seen it as well. I thought to myself, surely not, so I tried again, I walked around the room a few times and every time this camera followed me. I was certain that I was being watched and that I had been picked out of the crowed of tourist in the room to keep an eye on. I couldn’t stop thinking that there was someone in a room somewhere controlling that camera, some one was watching me. This is only one time, I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to the Tibetan people to be watched like they are, to know that there is someone watching your every move, controlling what you see and what you do, we could never understand how this affects your well being.

https://instagram.com/p/zylEgig5ov/?modal=true

Tattered Passport

Canggu Nuns

https://instagram.com/p/zylK6QA5o8/?modal=true

http://youtu.be/sAtmgtWC8Z8

Thank you for visiting Tattered Passport, if you have liked this post please Like, Share and FOLLOW. You can follow Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and via email, simple click on the FOLLOW button at the bottom of the screen.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the Tibet situation. What have you heard, have you been to Tibet? Have you experienced these same situations?

Inside Lhasa. Daily Vlog: 36

Daily Vlog: 36

Today is my first full day in Tibet and some of our tour groups first day at altitude, which at 3800m was showing on a few of them. We were scheduled to stay in Lhasa for 2 days to acclimatise to the altitude. I was lucky as I have just returned from hiking in Nepal so I have already been at altitude so I could get straight into exploring Lhasa.

Tattered Passport Tibet

Preparing your dinner

We wondered the streets and found our way to the Barkhor  Square where one of the most important temples in Tibet is located, The Jokhang. We were instantly confronted by the large Chinese military presence. As we walked around the corner into Barkhor Square the first thing that I saw were two very large and scary looking military vehicles. They kind of looked liked the bullet proof vehicle from Fast and Furious. There was some sort of very big gun mounted to the roof, next to them were a bunch of Chinese military personnel all holding machine guns. To enter into the Barkhor Square we had to go through a X-Ray scanner controlled by Chinese military. I was a little nervous as I put my bag on the conveyor belt. I new that I didn’t have anything that was illegal, but I had no idea how I would be treated here. Turns out I was very surprised as they hardly even looked at our stuff and just waved us through.

Tattered Passport, Tibet

New and Old motorbikes in Tibet

As we walked around this spiritual place you could feel the energy of the local people. There was incense burning and flooding the area with a smell of peace, you had old tibetan people prostrating, chanting prayers, tibetan flags draped over the walk. It was beautiful, it was peaceful, then 6 Chinese military come marching through the crowd, in the opposite direction to all the Tibetans, all dressed in full black riot gear, complete with helmets and face masks and holding what looked like AK47’s. Traditionally Tibetans walk clockwise around the temple, however the Chinese military walk in an anticlockwise direction, seemingly in attempt the disrupt the local people. The Tibetans stand strong in the face of this, however you can see the pain in there eyes, they are not free. A small group of us stopped to talk to an old Tibetan lady, which one of our group took a photo of her. As we were showing her the photo we almost immediately had a group of military personnel surrounding us and moving us on. I was rather shocked by how confronting it was to walk around the Jokhang.

https://instagram.com/p/ztzkpjg5vH/?modal=true

Tattered Passport, Tibet

Barkhor Square Prayer Flags

https://instagram.com/p/zt0RFcg5v1/

That night we found a bar that had some live music so we wandered in and had a great night. The music was great and the atmosphere in the bar was great. The guy was singing a huge mix of songs all acoustic, including what sounded like a Tibetan pop song. We were even treated to local dialect version of an Eminem rap.

http://youtu.be/v6EbCpI_66Y

Thank you for stopping by Tattered Passport, if you have liked this post please Like, Share and FOLLOW. You can also find Tattered Passport on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. You can also follow via email, simple click on the FOLLOW button at the bottom of your screen.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out.

Shane

Inside Tibet: Daily Vlog 35

Inside Tibet

Today I realise one of my lifelong dreams, today I reach a destination that has held my dreams, a place that has intrigued me for so long, today I reach Tibet.

I have no idea what awaits me, as a westerner I can only read articles about what is going on there, but how much of that can I really believe? How much of the stories that make headlines back here in Australia can I actually believe? What have the journalist from around the world been allowed to see and talk about?  My plan was to go and see this country for myself. See it with my own eyes and make my own mind up. What I saw amazed me, I didn’t know what to expect, but what I got, well please watch the next two weeks of my Tibet Vlogs to see what I saw, to see Inside Tibet.

Thanks for stopping by Tattered Passport. If you have liked this post please like, share and FOLLOW.

You can follow Tattered Passport on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TatteredPassport
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And via email, simple click on the FOLLOW button on the bottom of your screen.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out.

Shane.

Pinnacles and Sandboarding Tour: Tours With A Twist, Western Australia

I am so proud of my home state WA, the beaches are beautiful, the rivers are amazing, the bush is uniquely West Australian and the weather is perfect, well most of the time. So when I had the chance to showcase WA to my mate Lukey D on his trip to WA for the WA YouTube meet up I was pretty stoked and organised a day out with my sister Suzan on her “Tours With A Twist” Pinnacles and Sand Boarding tour. Luke and I filmed the epic day of Kangaroo and Koala spotting, swimming, Sand Boarding and visiting the famous Pinnacles, there even was a running back flip thrown in for good measure.

My sister Suzan runs Tours With A Twist, a budget tour company running a bunch of great day trips out off Perth WA. See all the best spots in and around Perth such as The Swan Valley’s winery’s, breweries and even chocolate factory, the epic Perth Coastline, the famous Scarborough and Cottesloe beaches, visit Kings Park, the most popular destination in Western Australia and one of the largest inner city parks in the world, its even bigger than New York Central Park, you can even see Penguins on their Penguin Island Tour.

Click here to check out the Tours With A Twist Website:

http://www.tourswithatwist.com.au

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ToursWithATwist

Thank you to Luke from Lukey D for making the trip over to WA, make sure you all go and check him out:

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/lukeydisme

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/lukeydisme
Instagram:

http://instagram.com/lukeydtravel

Thank You for stopping by Tattered Passport, If you have liked this post please LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE. You can find Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and simply by clicking the “Follow” button at the bottom of your screen.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out.

Shane