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Feral Postcards

Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2018

From: Bob

Round Two with Trumpie

        Trip 2: How to Beat Trumpies Censorship Squad - The Postcard was posted at Sydney Airport
        Just returned from the United States of Trumpia where we celebrated Thanksgiving with our Trumpian family who live in Fort Wayne (F troop country, and yes, Fort Wayne does have a replica of its fort). As it was early Autumn there were a number of runs organised before their snow season begins, and we had been entered into two of them, Fort4Fitness (10k and  5k runs.  As I was on holidays I entered the 5k run) and the 'Fort Wayne Thanksgiving Turkey Trot'. The Fort4Fitness run was a twilight run which runs through the riverside parks.  As the lead runners (not me, maybe I was slowed by jet lag) pass different points the town's Christmas lights are turned on for the first time, very impressive. The Turkey Trot is run early on Thanksgiving Day and is very social with lucky draws,etc..
        The Griffith Feral Joggers shirt was a bit of a conversation starter with the locals, some thought I came from Griffith, Illinois (south east of Chicago).
        All in all two very interesting trips to a country that is truly blessed with natural beauty and wealth, and many, many of their people are also very welcoming and pleasant ... it's just the others that are a worry!

Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2018

From: Bob

Battle with Trumpie

Trip 1 : The "Lost" Postcard:
        My last postcard from the United States of Trumpia seems to have been lost in the post, perhaps it was deemed to have contained only fake news and Donald's media police intercepted it. Anyway on that trip we decided to run around a couple of National Parks in an attempt to spread the philosophy of and demonstrate what it is to be truly Feral. So collected our family in Fort Wayne before flying to Las Vagas, no doubt the ultimate example of what Trumpia is striving to become, and what all its excess is all about. As they say 'God blessed Trumpia' but its good citizens are doing their darndest to overdevelop it into 'the Trumpian Dream' by digging up, shooting up and generally stuffing up, and burying all its natural beauty under tons of concrete and high rise, and wrapping them in neon lights and other garish excesses, after all this is 'the Trumpian way'. And then there is its people, while many are very nice and even informed about about what's making news in their country (and even some in what's going on in the rest of the world) , all too many are way over weight (seems like a wheel chair for the obese is a fashion item in airports and casinos in LV, and many other parts of the country for that matter), and alarmingly ill informed, truly believing that the solution to every serious, and not so serious, issue is to use deadly force; even being pulled over for speeding, can see you looking down the barrel of a 'politely spoken officer of the law who seems scared s--tless that you too may have a gun', so hands on the steering wheel in clear view of the officer, NOW ! Everyone seems to be mindful that citizens of Trumpia have the right to bear arms and to store an arsenal in their homes, and this has a negative affect on their disposition. No one seems to be totally at ease and it certainly has an impact on their sense of humour! No wonder John Wayne was such a Trumpian hero figure as he seems to have modelled the way Trumpians problem solve. Needless to say this concern about your good neighbour has given rise to the belief that everyone needs to have a house full of guns and 'pack iron' when out and about (we even saw some Trumpians wearing holstered guns as they vacated in LV, I guess that's the Trumpian take on packing for holidays) to protect themselves and their family. On the up-side it does seem to encourage polite conversations and has eradicated anti-social behaviours like road rage.  Finally what do Trumpians think of Trump? Answer: While there are those (and there are more then you would expect who think he's the best thing since Hugh Heffner, many, most, express their dismay that out of 280 million people, this was the best they could come up with. Even saw a bumper sticker that said 'I'm Republican but I didn't vote for Trump', it appears the majority disliked Hillary and the Clintons even more than Trump and took a punt,  and are now seeing themselves as the laughing stock of the world. 
        So not impressed with Las Vegas and the type of holiday it offers, our decision was to 'head for the hills' or at least the National Parks as quick as we could. And what magnificent places these parks are: first stop stop Paige(Arizona) to raft down the Colorado River in Glen Canyon (including going around Horseshoe Bend) and then to 'track' through Slot Canyon which has been sculptured by rushing water and wind (a real highlight), then it was off to Bryce Canyon (Utah) for a gentle jog to the bottom of the canyon and back up again in the snow, truly beautiful !!  Our last port of call was Zion National Park , completely different, where sheer rock faces and rocky tracks (not dissimilar to the Hill tracks) contrasted to the other places we 'jogged' around. Plenty of wildlife and magnificent scenery; a must see and for Ferals, a must jog!

Date: Thursday, October 12, 2017

From: Werner from Karlsruhe

Birdseye of Berlin

The card from Werner on Postcrossing of the Berlin Marathon of 1991.  This was Werner's first marathon.  It's enough to give a person goosebumps, hey Teresa.

Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2017

From: the winners

Greetings from Nericon

Wish you were here.

Date: Saturday, August 5, 2017

From: Tom

"slowest ever 5km"

Ferals Steve, Judy, Matt and Tom, were among a group of trekkers from Griffith, Forbes and Scone to recently travel to Africa to scale Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest free standing mountain in the world.

We arrived in Arusha, Tanzania, after a couple of long flights and met up with our team of guides, porters & cooks.  We headed off from Mechame Gate after lunch, in a drizzle suitable for the rain forest we were walking through.  The first night was at 2835m above sea level,  higher than Mt Kosciuszko and at the point where the vegetation changed from rain forest to more open forest and vegetation.

The following day was spent climbing up a single ridge, moving onto more open vegetation until finally it became small shrubs and bushes and alpine flowers.  After about an hour, the porters started overtaking us.  Each porter carried their own back pack and a further load of 20kg which may have comprised of our main pack, food, gas bottles, chairs, tables, tents and anything else needed by the whole party for the trek.  These guys are well acclimatised to the conditions and trot past quite happily with their load perched on their head.  By the time we got to the next camp, it was already set up.

On the other hand, we we going "pole pole", that is, slowly slowly, at a pace set by the guides.  No rush for us, we needed to travel slowly and drink plenty of water to make sure we acclimatised to the altitude and didn't get sick.

Camp on day 2 was at 3750m.  The following morning we climbed to 4600m by lunchtime and this is where the altitude started to take hold.  Breathing started to become harder in the last half hour or so and everyone knows what I sound like when I am breathing heavily.  By this point, a couple of the group were starting to feel the effects of the altitude.  We had a hot lunch in the meal tent under a tower of lava and with a magnificent view of the summit that we were to get to.  The afternoon's walk down to our camp at 3900m was one of great pleasure.  Magnificent scenery and unusual vegetation.

The next morning, we faced The Wall, a steep section which was mainly rock hopping that took us up another 400m in under 2 hours.  From my point of view, it was great fun, paid for by the rest of the day, climbing up & down a few ridges.  After lunch, we had a long slog up to the Barafu camp at 4673m.  We arrived there about 4:00pm, had an early dinner & a rest before we headed off at 11:00pm that night to climb to the top.

What a superbly clear night it was for the climb, with the waning moon rising after a couple of hours.  Unfortunately, that made it very cold.  Water bottles were freezing up, even though they were put in warm socks.  Even the muesli bars and chocolate bars froze up.  Toes and fingers were getting cold and being wiggles constantly, despite double socking and gloving.  All the time, we climbed slowly and every time you looked up, you could see lights ahead of you.  It became a matter of one making it from one corner to the next as we zigzagged out way up.  Would we ever get there.  Finally, we reached the rim at Stellar Point as the light of day was starting to make itself felt.  By this time, the group were getting strung out and my guide had taken my day pack from me, and was carrying it with 2 others he had taken from other members of the group early in the night.

We witnessed a magnificent sunrise over Africa!  Matt & Steve caught me on the final walk to the peak of the mountain, 5895m above sea level, and we walked to the top together.  All of us were absolutely spent and emotional at the top.  A quick photo (with the Ferals T-shirt) and back down to camp, a walk of 4 hours!  Unfortunately, in the confusion at the top, we didn't get a full group photo and I only have an individual one, maybe Steve has one with more of us in it.  Judy reached Stella Point and decided she had done enough and returned to camp.  Still a great job by her, and enough to get a certificate for reaching the top.  Unfortunately, 2 members of the party didn't get to the top.

By the end of the day, we were most of the way back down the mountain and were off it by lunchtime the following day.

What a great achievement by all.  Now, the question arises, do we get credited for the slowest ever 5kms that we have completed on the last climb to the top?  It was on a Saturday, after all........