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  SAFARI OZ DIARY
Pictures, video and things...

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Video from the road

Safari Oz in Brisbane... Photo: Sammy Lovejoy of BUMS
2#SAFARI OZ DIARY
 

  SAFARI OZ BEGINS!!!! see more 1 posts
Picking up the Safari Wheels, sightseeing with with Yalego and Gensblue, and the Safari OZ Launch at the Salt House in Cairns...

PHOTOS HERE

Kuranda range lookout




 
  TOWNSVILLE to the SUNSHINE COAST see more 1 posts
On the road... with lashings of rain!
The Safari Crew head to Townsville for an intimate house-concert, then on to the Sunshine Coast via the cattle country of Rockhampton...

PHOTOS HERE

...AND HERE

A roadside stop...


 
  SUNSHINE COAST! see more 1 posts
We hit the Sunshine Coast to stay with Trevor and Lynne Dand of the Sunshine Coast Ukulele Masters for lots of music, merriment, jamming and a gig at the Kawana Waters Surf Club...

Sunshine Coast, at the home of SUPER WONDERFUL hosts, Trevor and Lynne

PHOTOS HERE


 
  TO BRISBANE... see more 1 posts
The Safari Crew head to "BrisneyLand" via the BIG PINEAPPLE, receive the Ukulele Safari CDs, do an interview for ABC Radio, meet Sammy Lovejoy and do a show hosted by the Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society (BUMS)...

PHOTOS HERE and HERE

BIG PINEAPPLE!!!!!!


 
  MORE BRISBANE
Photos from our time in Brisneyland, where we stayed with Angus and Lisa, whose generosity in hosting, helping and befriending us was just so amazing! We played and screened Mighty Uke at the BUMS (Brisbane Ukulele Musicians' Society) at a wonderful photographic studio... The event was organised by Sammy Lovejoy, who we also visited and interviewed.
We also met some YouTube and Ukulele Underground friends, including Michelle (aka fourteentwelve) and Terry (aka Terryukes)... and also visited/interviewed Michael Madden (aka LStrachey and ReyalpEleluku)... we had a really great time...
Oh and we also changed vehicles... TWICE!
An indicator light stoped working and ended up being a computer problem... so Kea swapped the vehicle for us at the Brisbane depot... but then they realised they'd given us the wrong one! So we swappeds again... for a brand new one with only 3000kms on the clock ;) Thanks for the help Angus!!!

Oh, we also did an ABC Radio interview for the Gold Coast from the Brisbane Studios - and we got to meet BANANAS IN PAJAMAS!!!! B1 & B2 rock :) :)

Angus, Lisa, Jack and the Safari Crew...
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  PIMPAMA, GOLD COAST

PHOTOS HERE

We turned off the highway to take a break and ended up in a little place called PIMPAMA... where we met Malcolm...
The "Broken Spoke Saloon" is his dream-come-true... a blokes' "Shed from Hell"... the ultimate Shed, filled with stuff; beers always in the fridge and a bottle-shop next door.
A community service of sorts, Mal's Shed is a gathering-place for locals and strangers like us - he jammed with us on harmonica, and was delighted with the Safari concept... Drop into the Broken Spoke next time you're in Pimpama and say G'day to Mal!

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  MICHEAL CONNOR WOODWORKS
PHOTOS

We stayed in the hills South-West of Byron near Corndale NSW... at the home of Michael and Sue.
These lovely people put us all up on their beautiful property, from which Michael runs hid woodworking business...
He makes wooden surfboards and ukuleles - under the brands "BUSH PIG" and "LOCALELE" respectively - and he and Sue frequent the Markets around Byron selling them...
We particularly liked the camphor-laurel ukes... smell SO GOOD!
Jo Bangles got a couple of surfs in with Michael as well...
Thank you Sue, thank you Micheal!!!

VISIT MICHEAL CONNOR WOODWORKS HERE

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VIDEO:

 
  Byron Bay performance and Screening of MIGHTY UKE...
PHOTOS
Hosted by the North Coast Ukulele Collective, organised by Catherine... at THE SHED, a wonderful performance space at the end of Yaegers Lane, Skinner's Shoot, Byron... Thank you all, and especially Catherine, Mikaila and Robert :) :)
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  GOLD COAST UKULELE PLAYERS... (G-CUP)
PHOTOS HERE
We drove back to the Gold Coast from Byron to stay with STEVE DAVIS and his wife Sheila, in the hills behind the Gold Coast...
They live in an incredible rammed-earth home in the rainforest, where the barrier between inside and outside is very subtle...

Steve is a corporate comedian and clown doctor, whose enthusiasm for the uke led him to start G-CUP.
We performed at the Treetops Tavern in Burleigh Waters to a good turn-out of ukers, and quite a few people turned up as a result of the interview we did in Brisbane about the Gold-Coast gig for ABC Radio...
We had a lovely time, though Steve was a bit sore when Honey THRASHED him at Backgammon! :) ;)
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  Bosko's Bung Eye and Back to Byron...
Bosko got a stye in his eye (from Yan probably!) because of lack of sleep over the last 6 months, and it really blew up, and isn't getting any better... going to the doctor soon!
HERE ARE SOME PHOTOS of the trip back to Byron...
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  BYRON BAY
PHOTOS

Back in Byron we visited the lovely Renee Searles and her musical partner Oles (Olesh)... to record one of Renee's gorgeous songs and for tea, cake and good company...

We also interviewed Dan Roman, student of Michelle Kiba and founder of the NCUC.

Another highlight was catching up with Azo Bell, and we've got the photos to prove it !

Then we went to the Byron lighthouse and the most Easterly point of Australia for some great pics...

That night we stayed with a friend of Yan's from France who is living in Byron for a few months...
We had a lovely meal and the next day enjoyed a leisurely morning before we set off again...
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  Heading South - to Corindi Beach
Plus, the Big Prawn... PHOTOS
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  To the Blue Mountains...
Unfortunately, Gensblue found the Big Banana :)

PHOTOS

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  The Blue Mountains...
After spending the night in Hawk's Nest we arrived at Janice and Malcolm's place in Springwood, and from there we went on to play at the fabulous Gearin Hotel in Katoomba. One of the best gigs so far, and the room was packed!

PHOTOS

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  Hanging out with Janice and Malcolm
In the Blue Mountains we were hosted by Janice and Malcolm, and their hospitality, friendliness and openness was just wonderful. We really had a chance to chill out...
We screened Mighty Uke to a good little audience at their place, did some sightseeing and jammed well into the night!

PHOTOS

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  Callie Darling, Katoomba, NSW
At the gig at The Gearin we met Callie Darling of the uke-band The Three Sisters, and she invited us to come and stay at her place in Katoomba, so we did...
Callie is a circus performer whose skills include uking and hula-hooping simultaneously.
She also lives in a beautiful home in Katoomba, and we feel very lucky to know her :)

PHOTOS

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  Jeff Mercer, Sydney
The day of the Balmain Ukulele Klub gig we went to visit Jeff Mercer who is a wonderful and interesting chap who collects vintage Hawaiian Koa ukuleles.
He is also a professional Country musician and a great bloke.

PHOTOS

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  BALMAIN UKULELE KLUB!
After visiting Jeff it was straight to The Gladstone Park Bowling Club where we met Jim D'Ville for the first time and he officially joined us on Safari!
The gig was part of the BUK monthly meet, and along with performing we were treated to some great music from the house band, group songs and open mic... it was great to meet so many lovely people including MissZooey and Helen:) :)

PHOTOS

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  ILLAWARRA UKULELES - Simon & Bulli Beach, NSW
We met Simon of the Illawarra Ukulele Club at Balmain and he invited us to play at their regular meet... so off we went, and a great night was had by all :)

PHOTOS

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  Farewell to Mark, the best driver ever!
We went to our driver Mark Riley's Mum's place in Sydney, where we ceremoniously changed over Safari members. Mark did some driver training with Yan, Gensblue and Jim D'Ville (who will be with us until Melbourne). Although it was sad to part company we were all happy for him and his plans for South America...

PHOTOS

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  To Canberra, the Big Merino and Orana School...
Off we went to Canberra, Australia's capital and seat of government.
We were off to play a gig organised by Ukuleles Canberra, but before that we visited the kids at Orana School in Canberra. Beverly from Orana teaches a sizeable group of kids the uke, and it was so wonderful to see them play and to play for them.
They answered our questions with intelligence and enthusiasm, and we were all energised by their good vibes (and their requests for autographs).

PHOTOS

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  Canberra Ukuleles
A lovely gig and workshop with Jim D'Ville at St James' Church Hall in Curtin, ACT

PHOTOS

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  To Griffith, NSW
Some pics from the road... on our way to visit Pete Taylor of MUGS, and a performance at Yarran Wines :)

PHOTOS

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  Our hosts Peter and Lucy and a visit to Griffith High School
Pete and Lucy are wonderful people and it was a fantastic experience hanging out with them and staying on their lovely ranch.
They invited us to the launch of the Arts Theatre season, and went out for pizza afterwards...
The next day we visited Griffith High School to play and they also watched Mighty Uke...
It was an early start for us, but it was great to meet the kids and they all enjoyed the visit, as did we!
Pete also sang us a surprise tribute song to the Safari that he'd whipped up without telling us :) :)

PHOTOS

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PHOTOS
 
  YARRAN WINES gig, Griffith NSW
PHOTOS

Pete Taylor had organised a lovely event at a beautiful winery not far from his house.
The Griffith City Band played (with Pete on drums!) as well as Kari and some lovely guys from the Cook Islander community. They sang beautifully and played their "Ukaleles" - some with resonator bodies similar to Tahitian ukes... and a coconut one too. Tuned low re-entrant, they are strung with fishing line, mostly with doubled strings...
The grapes were being harvested as the afternoon progressed, and the delicious wine flowed well into the night.
There was a great turnout, and we really enjoyed the Murrumbidgee Ukulele Group (MUGs) performance too...
And mmm... the homemade Salami!
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  Griffith to Wangaratta - A Ukulele Convoy!
Pete and Lucy, our hosts from Griffith decided to join us on the road to Wang... in their motorhome!
So it was that we drove together straight to The Vine Hotel... great fun and quite a scene!
Before departing we gave the van a wash, and on the way we dealt with some prickly stuff!

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PHOTOS
 
  The Vine Hotel, Wangaratta, VIC
Having crossed the Murray River into Victoria from NSW with Pete and Lucy from Griffith, we arrived at The Vine Hotel in Wang, just in time to set up for our gig, organised by Trisha and Bill from the Wangaratta Ukulele Showband.
The Vine is a beautiful and very old hotel, with links to Ned Kelly... it also possesses a very spooky cellar!
It was a lovely gig, and people turned up from all over the region - including Euroa, Violet Town and Wodonga...
Jim D'Vile led a great jam session afterwards!

PHOTOS

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  An eventful day...
The day after our gig in Wang, we prepared to say goodbye to Pete and Lucy and to visit Trisha and Bill at their property just outside Wangaratta town when the van's air-con started smoking... we thought it was on fire and Bosko jumped up on top with extinguisher in hand...
There was oil leaking from the unit, and we all kept our cool and called the hire company.
Being Sunday there wasn't much they could do, and told us that it would be ok if we kept it turned off.
So we said our goodbyes and went on to Bill and Trisha's place.
However, as we navigated a low bridge we noticed more smoke, and became very worried.
Bosko was on top of the van again, and Bill got some tools to take the cover off the air-con unit to see where the smoke was coming from.
It turns out it was gas - coming from a ruptured pipe, and we were all relieved.

Later, at Bill and Trishas we al went fort a swim in their magnificent Billabong, where Jim promptly dislocated his finger on a rope swing, and Gensblue lost his camera somewhere in the water, mud and sticks!
An hour of looking, and rthe waterproof (!) camera was found again in working order!

PHOTOS

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  Trisha and Bill's Place, Wangaratta and some sightseeing
We had a wonderful time at Trisha and Bill's... they are both wonderful people with a real and infectious love for music and the uke.
Their property is amazing, and their work in the community with ukulele is admirable.
Bill makes ukes from native timbers and they have also written a great instructional book for beginners.
Their generosity, fun and helpfulness will never be forgotten.

Another wonderful thing that happened during our stay there is that David Beckingham from NZ, who entered our video contest, joined the Safari with his mate Selwyn.
They had arrived early for the Melbourne Uke Fest, and drove out to meet us to spend a couple of days following the Safari.
It was really great, and they spent their first night in Oz by a campfire and slept in a shack by Bill and Trisha's billabong!

PHOTOS

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  Violet Town
At the Wangaratta gig we met Robbie Rae fro the Violet Town String Busters, and she introduced us to Georgina who invited us to her Merino Sheep farm.
So, a few days later we were there, along with
Dave ans Selwyn from NZ, and the Safari crew rounded up sheep and there was an informal get-together with the Violet Town folk.

Georgina and her husband were very generous and welcoming, and our stay was very enjoyable... though poignant because soon we would hit Melbourne and Jim D'Ville would leave the Safari bus...

PHOTOS

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  Melbourne!
We finally hit Melbourne, and after a bit of uncertainty about where we would stay and park the van, we ended up at Bosko's Mum's place - very close to the CBD and not far from the festival action.
Jim D'Ville spent his last night with us before we handed him over to Bernard from MUK, who was to host him during the MUF.
The next day he was back 'cos he missed us all so much and we all went out for a bit of the urban experience with Rose Turtle Ertler...

The next day MR JAYNICKEL - winner of Bosko & Honey's Ukulele Video Contest - arrived (at 6.30am!)... and Bosko and his brother Matty picked him up from the airport and went for som COFFEE!

Later that day Yan and Bosko went to the van hire company depot to get that air-con fixed!

PHOTOS

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  Melbourne Ukulele Festival DAY 1
Sold out Show at Wesley Anne... it was PACKED and So great to see folk from all over the country there...

PHOTOS

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  Ukulele Picnic and MUF Fringe Safari Event @ Uptown Jazz Cafe
After the Ukulele Picnic we had a special Safari Show at Uptown Jazz Cafe in Brunswick Street Fitzroy.
Bosko had to organise the Film Screening of MIGHTY UKE at 303 that evening so he couldn't make it to the picnic, but the rest of the crew went, and we all met up later at Uptown, where plenty of folk turned out to see the show.
A lot of people had missed out on the Wesley Anne gig because the room was so full, and it was great that word got around to those who missed out.
It was a really nice intimate show, and it was wonderful to have Ben Abraham and Rose Turtle Ertler perform as well!

PHOTOS

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  MUF @ 303
That evening we headed to 303 in High Street Northcote for the 2nd Night of the Fest after the screening of MIGHTY UKE which was well attended and received.
It was quite a night!

PHOTOS

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  MUF Day 3 @ The Edinburgh Castle Hotel
Tired though we were, and having temporarily lost Gensblue (more about this story another time...)and Yannick's bag, we headed on down to the EC with Rose Turtle Ertler...
Things were swinging when we got there, and B&H mustered up just enough energy to take a bit of footage... one highlight was getting Azo Bell to play a song for the Safari in the carpark...

It was great to hang out with AJ Leonard too, and we'll be visiting him for the Safari on Tuesday...

The uke "Mobs" from round the country were a blast, and everyone seemed to have a great time.

Azo and The Old Spice Boys played again to everyone's delight...

PHOTOS

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  MUF Day 4 @ Open Studio
Well we were getting pretty exhausted by this stage, and didn't even take the video camera... it was a great night though, and good to see NAM from UU again (no photo!), and Azo Bell performed solo (wow!)... some of us went back to his place afterwards, and were treated to some late night playing and some timid jamming from the rest of us :)

PHOTOS

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  A visit to AJ Leonard and after MUF Closing Party @ 303
We spent the afternoon at AJ Leonard's place in the suburban countryside of Melbourne, and what a great afternoon it was!
Jim D'Ville came too - on the bus for the last time - and the poignancy of his last day in Melbourne was raw and beautiful.

AJ made us lunch and we all enjoyed hanging out and getting to know one another.
Jim did an interview with Yan, and then we all did a shared song: "Travelling North", an AJ original.
Only Jim had to sit out because his finger was still too sore...

That night we performed onstage with AJ during the open mic.
No pics of the closing party of MUF because we forgot the camera, and we were too teary saying goodbye to Jim....

PHOTOS

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  Safari interview and song with Betty and Ben Abraham...
On our last full day in Melbourne we visited the fabulous Betty at work in Brunswick Street for a Safari chat and song from her...
Bosko and Yan went souvenir shopping before heading back to Mumbo's for an interview and song with Ben Abraham!

PHOTOS

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  Sailing to Devonport - Tassie!
So the time came to take the Spirit of Tasmania all the way to Devonport...
It was a 10 hour day sail, and Jo Bangles rejoined us after a week off as well as Rose Turtle Ertler and Mr Jaynickel...
Bosko was exhausted, and his mood started turning so much he took a cabin and slept.
Once we reached Devonport (Rose's home-town!) we realised we'd come to a very magical place indeed!

PHOTOS

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  Devonport to Cygnet!
After a bit of a sleep we headed to Hobart to pick up Uni and Her Ukelele and Meredith Axelrod... who made up the 7th performing members of the Ukulele Safari Tasmanian Super-Tour!
Half way there Bosko got a call from Hobart ABC reminding him we had a live radio spot scheduled for 2pm... after a big panic we made it by 3.30 for the Sunday Arts program... a little stressful, but we got through it.
Then it was straight to Cygnet, where Jennifer from HUG and Bradfield Dumpleton had organised a night at the Cygnet Town Hall.
We all played and screened MIGHTY UKE - it was lovely, but Bosko was pretty stressed out by this stage...

PHOTOS

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  Uni, Meredith and Bradfield Dumpleton... Bosko and Jo...
That evening we stayed in Egg and Bacon Bay, at Bradfield's place (thanks for everything, man!)...
Uni & Meredith were now officially on Safari, and the next day there was a gig at Orford Bowling Club (no photos)... everyone went except Bosko, who stayed at a hotel in Hobart on official stress-leave...
During this time Jo Bangles, our intrepid cameraperson decided she would leave the Safari bus... changes, changes...

PHOTOS

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  Brookfield Vineyards and after-party!
After a good sleep and night off, Bosko was back, and we all went to Margate for a Safari Mega-Show (3 and a half hours!) at Brookfield Vineyards in Margate...
It's a beautiful indoor venue, and the weather was unusually humid (for Tassie!).

The guys were mixing it up, with different combos including Uni, Meredith and Honey! :) :)

HUG/CHUM also played asd everyone had a roaring good time... thank you to everyone at Brookfield!

It was a really enjoyable evening, and afterwards we all went back to Jan and John's place, where a whole mob of ukers were waiting for us - a wonderful evening and after-party ensued...

PHOTOS

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  HUG at the Republic Bar, and a visit to Bellerieve Primary School...
On the Monday morning we said goodbye to Uni and Meredith and our hosts Jan and John and went to Hobart again to Hook up with the Hobart Ukulele Group at their regular meet...
It was great fun, and we took hepas of footage and jammed, before going back to Wendy and Hamish's pad for the night.
They fed us, entertained and looked after us, and we also did an interview with Jennifer (Ginger Nutt) of HUG.

The next morning it was off to School at Bellerieve Primary. Vanessa of HUG had organised our visit, and we performed and took questions from the whole school before having a chat with the BUGs uke group :) :) Great fun !

PHOTOS

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  A night off! Visiting Bruce in Oakwood...
Well after Bellerieve Primary School we had nothing to do, so we accepted Bruce from HUG's invitation to go visit him in Oakwood, near Port Arthur.
It was Jaynickel's last night so we had bought ingredients for sushi...
Arriving at Bruce's pad we were surprised to see Jo, who had taken the opportunity to go surfing and was staying at the caravan park down the road.
She joined us for dinner before saying farewell... good luck back in Melbourne, Jo, and MANY MANY THANKS for all your hard work on Safari!
being
We had a great old jam at Bruce's... a highlight was Goodnight Irene, in the oldest of old-timey ways...
Thanks Bruce , and thanks for the interview too!

The next day we we off to Launceston to put Jaynickel on a flight back to Melbourne in order to make his homeward flight in time...

PHOTOS

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  Bye-bye Mr Jaynickel...
Thanks Mr. Jaynickel, for all the fun and music - you are a legend, and a deserving winner of the Join-the-Safari Video Contest!

The honour was ours....

PHOTOS

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  A night in Deloraine...
After saying Bon Voyage to Jaynickel, the remaing Safarians drove to Deloraine just in time to set up for a Mighty Uke film screening and performance...
Deloraine is a lovely town, and we really enjoyed meeting everyone there. Thanks Niecy and everyone else wo helped organise this wonderful event... and the venue (the local primary shool hall, was just fantastic - with a great PA and projection system...

PHOTOS

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  A Day Sail to Melbourne
Finally it was time to hit the mainland again...

PHOTOS

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  Back to Mumbo's and Bye-bye Rose...
We hit Melbourne on Thursday evening, did the laundry, had some yummy food and cake and beer supplied by Soyla :) and re-set the van ready for the next Safari Leg... Adelaide-bound!

PHOTOS

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  Guildford, Victoria and a visit to Tex and Fi of Big Tree Tees!
On the road again... first stop Guildford to visit Tex and Fi who we met at MUF.... they print T-Shirts and stuff, and as we had run very low on Safari shirts we ordered some from them.
We dropped in on the way to Kaniva Caravan Park to pick them up, and what a lovely visit it was.
Tex and Fi are wonderful folk, and we're just disappointed we didn't have time before Adelaide to spend a night or two in the area...
Next Safari!

PHOTOS

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  Adelaide and the AUAS!
And so we hit Adelaide.. Richard G had organised a caravan park for us, and picked us up to take us to the performance/barbeque/Mighty Uke film screening and Adelaide Ukulele Appreciation Society get-together.

It was held at Phil's place in his beautiful grassy back-yard.
It felt like a festival (it's Adelaide after all, and festival season at that!) and we had such a fun time and met so many lovely, enthusiastic and supportive people!

There were even fireworks :)

PHOTOS

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  Salt, Sand & Shave...
On the road to Port Augusta before heading to the Nullabor, we stopped off in Crystal Brook and stayed the night at an out-of-the-way caravan park... Lots of salt along the way...
Gens-san wanted a haircut and as it progressed his instructions kept changing... he's lucky he doesn't quite look like Yan and Bosko!

PHOTOS

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  Headin' West!
Our first serious day of driving got us to a wheat-belt town called POOCHERA, whose claim to fame is a local pre-historic ant... there were plenty of modern ones too, and mozzies... and flies and all kinds of critters!
Gen-san tried out the Western look...

PHOTOS

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  To the Nullarbor...
A day's driving took us through the wheat-belt into the Nullarbor... spending the night at the Nullarbor Hotel/Motel and caravan park... bizarre and beautiful, with dingos and all...

PHOTOS

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  Across the Nullarbor...
We visited the Head of Bight, where the sand dunes meet the Bunda Cliffs and a little further down the Eyre Highway we saw the edge up close and uncomfortable - spectacular stuff...
Yan and Gensblue drove with fortitude, and we even spent one night completely OFFLINE - Yan, Honey & Bosko played pool and shot bears while Gensblue did some recording in the van.

PHOTOS
VIDEO #1
VIDEO #2

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  Esperance to Denmark
After spending a night "back in civilization" (at a caravan park with water, trees and grass) we set off on a long drive to Denmark...
Gensblue and Yan drove steadily as the landscape changed yet again...
Then we hit Denmark in the early evening, where John and Sylvia and Co had stew and red wine on the table for us!
... and bed-time stories!
Poor Gen-san was feeling poorly, though.

PHOTOS

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  DENMARK...
What a wonderful experience it's been here!
Firstly we got to stay with the lovely John and Sylvia... and their marvelous children Emil (who is a ferociously good ukulele player at 8 years old!), Maya and Benjamin.
John had been in contact about a visit to Denmark even before we thought of Safari Oz, and it was great to finally meet in the flesh.
We started witha workshop at Denmark's Centre for Sustainable Living, and it was a really great turnout and we met lots of fantastic folk.

That same evening we performed at a house concert in the bush, hosted by Robyn - whose birthday it also was, and whose house concerts are legendary in Denmark...
It was a marvelous venue... almost like an indoor amphitheatre!
Thank you John and Sylvia and Robyn - and all the other wonderful people we met - we'll never forget our visit... we must return!

PHOTOS

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  ALBANY
In Albany we're lucky enough to be staying with John Maddison, who is a wonderful ukulele maker, and his instruments sound lovely indeed... he's also a great bloke, and we'll do a little interview with him before we leave. Pics of his work in the next set of photos...

We also visited Flinders Park Primary School and music teacher Mike Staude (who we met in Denmark and whose energy, enthusiasm and teaching skills are inspiring...).
The kids were wonderful, and the entire school uses uke in their curriculum... thanks to Mike!

Afterwards we visited Eric Ward of Wards Music Centre, who tells us he will soon be supplying every school in Albany with ukes!

PHOTOS

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  ALBANY - evening concert, jam and Mighty Uke film screening
A really wonderful night with Albany's new uke group... they've only had 4 meetings and there's 40 people already! We really enjoyed ourselves - as did everybody it seemed...
Thank you so much - and especially Mike and John!

PHOTOS

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  An announcement in Augusta...
After a drive from Albany - just missing the massive storms hitting the region - and thanks to the lovely and generous Jenny, we were able to stay at a beautiful house in Augusta right on the Blackwood river and reflect on a few things...

PHOTOS

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IMPORTANT SAFARI ANNOUNCEMENT:

Hello all,

Well the Safari has finally reached Western Australia, having managed to safely cross the expanses of the Nullarbor.
Bosko, Honey, Yan Yalego and Gensblue are now in Augusta at a beautiful holiday house belonging to a lovely and generous lady from Perth who we met for the first time during our visit to the Sunshine Coast.
Already we have visited Denmark and Albany, where we were shown some of the wonders of the West, and have met some truly amazing people including many ukulele players, groups, clubs and an inspiring school program.

It is morning now, and all our clothes are washed and we are well rested.
Today we will drive to Margaret River and visit local legend, musician and luthier Scott Wise.
On Thursday it's off to the Perth area for the last of our scheduled gigs.

Looking through all the photos from the Safari so far we are amazed at all the places we have been to, the experiences we have had and the incredible people we have met.
It has definitely been a Big Trip, and we feel very lucky that the Safari has made it this far.

It has recently become apparent that our original plan to continue right around the country after Perth has unfortunately become untenable.

The hire on our mobile home runs out the day after our gig at Kulcha on the 29th of March, and we have not been able to generate enough money to re-hire it or get another vehicle.
Another factor is that if we were to continue on to Broome, Darwin, Alice Springs and home to Kuranda by road we would be driving another 10,000kms or so - basically where we are would represent the half-way point.

As the distances are huge and gigs sparse, we may not be able to afford the fuel, food and accommodations required to make a round-trip possible.

While this is disappointing to us, it may also have some positive repercussions.
It will allow us to stay Out West a little longer, and catch up with some people and groups we did not have time to schedule.
It may even give us the opportunity also to take a little holiday before we fly Gens and Yan back to Cairns for their return flights home.

Perhaps we will find a fitting way to officially end Ukulele Safari Oz in terms of the video project, and maybe even begin editing the footage for your viewing pleasure sooner than we thought!

Regardless of what form the end of the Safari takes, we are ultimately very happy with how things have gone, and although we are unsure of a few things (how long we will stay in WA, how we will get our gear back home to Kuranda, how much money we will have and what else may happen in the meantime) we feel very fortunate to have done what we have - and hopefully that the people the Safari has touched along the way have gained something also.

Thank you to everyone who helped and continue to help us on this journey, and in our belief that music (and especially the ukulele) makes the world a smaller and friendlier place.

Love and Peace,
Bosko and Honey.

 
  Scott Wise, Margaret River
After a lazy morning we drove to Margaret River to visit Scott Wise, who is a wonderful musician and instrument maker...
It was a lovely afternoon spent doing a casual interview, exchanging gifts, looking at ukuleles and drinking tea...
Afterwards we drove back to Augusta to enjoy another Honey-cooked meal and the end of another day...

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  Sunrise in Augusta...
After another Honey-cooked meal and a good old sleep, Bosko woke up early...
Off to Perth today.

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  Augusta to Forrestfield...
We went to the beach in Augusta, and stopped off in Bunbury for a swim too... and in both places there were dolphins galore (not that they posed long enough for a photograph)...
We were heading for our host Pat's place near the Hills of Perth, and upon arrival enjoyed a lovely meal together with extraordinary views...

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  Yule Brook College, Hills Folk Club & Shaun aka Slapstick!
A big day...

It was a big cooked brekkie at Pat's place, and in the afternoon we went to Yule Brook College to perform for the entire school...

Back at Pat's we had a huge roast dinner (with crackling!) that he bled in order to prepare (he's ok now) before heading to the wonderful Hills Folk Club in Lesmurdie...

It was a sold-out show, and one of the loveliest evenings we've had so far on Safari!

The group Pat plays with, The Black Chooks, also played. It was riotous fun, and thanks so much to Pat again and to Pauline of the Hills Folk Club for organising such a great night!

Also that evening we were joined by Shaun Chandran aka Slapslick... who became the newest, latest and last Safari Oz Hitch-hiker!

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  PLUCKers, Zenith & Shaun
Shaun joins the Safari for the weekend... sharing the final moments of Ukulele Safari Oz.
His good energy, soulful voice and vibe has made these poignant times even more memorable... thank you Shaun for your help, understanding, company, humour, music, friendship... and roadie skills ;).

We started the morning at Pat's place with cereal before heading off to The Blue Duck in Cottelsloe for the weekly PLUcKers Jam... thank you to everyone there, and especially Coosje!

Next it was straight to Zenith Music for a Performance and workshop...
It was a wonderful turnout, and our thanks again to Coosje and Erin, and also everyone at Zenith - who supported the Safari by donating the staff and premises!!

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  Brunch, Uke-lyptus and Final Safari Oz Performance @ KULCHA
Shaun and his Uke Group Uke-lyptus organised a lovely brunch for us all hosted at Alan & Monica's house near Freo...

It was a wonderful afternoon - thank you SO much for the wonderful food, music and company! We especially enjoyed the rendition of "Ukulele Safari" by John Pak with an extra verse added!! :) :)

Then it was off to KULCHA in Freo for the FINAL SAFARI OZ GIG :( :(
We also screened MIGHTY UKE to a delighted audience...

It was a lovely night, and yes, there were a few tears...

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  Pinakarri & Bye-bye Safari Van, Hello Land Cruiser!
With the Official Safari gigs finished we went to stay at Pinakarri in Hamilton Hill, where Ginny had kindly invited us to experience life in this housing co-op and community near Freo...

But first we needed to drop of our mobile-home of 2 months at the hire depot in Perth!

Luckily, Bosko's cousin in Darwin put us in touch with a friend who has a Land Cruiser that needed some running around as she is in Darwin... who put us in touch with another friend who was looking after it, and after lots of phone calls and messages we were able to pick it up in the Hills and return the Safari Van - all in good time!

The best thing is, the owner of the wheels flies back to Perth the same day we fly out, so we'll be able to hand the car keys over at the airport!!
Amazing....

That evening we went into Freo to get a bite to eat and a bit of a walk around.

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  Life at Pinakarri...
So far the days at Pinakarri have been lovely - community dinners, hanging out with the WWoOFers, relaxing, playing with Bryn and a visit from Shaun...

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  The final PACK and a Pinakarri Concert...
Well we managed to pack all the gear and stuff that was in the Safari mobile-home and send it off to Kuranda... all 280kgs of it!

That evening Ginny and Shaun played a song each during a lovely common-house-concert at Pinakarri...
Thank you all!

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  Lazy Days...
Special thanks to Dave for his incredible hospitality and music...

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  Bon Scott & The End of Safari Oz...
Before flying out of Perth to Cairns, we paid our respects...

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  Last Day Out West...
Goodbye Fremantle & Pinakarri!

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  And Home Again...
A gentle end to Safari Oz...

Back to Kuranda for a day... a visit to Barron Falls, dumplings, a jam session, packing and goodbye Yan & Gens....

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  Post-Safari Oz updates...
For news on our progress back home in Kuranda, and for news on the upcoming Safari Oz Videos, please see BOSKO'S BLOG
 
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  AUSTRALIA-WIDE UKE GATHERINGS