“The Camino de Santiago known in English as The Way of Saint James among other names, is a network of pilgrims’ ways serving pilgrimage to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. It is also popular with hiking and cycling enthusiasts and organized tour groups” – from Wikipedia
For those who follow my Twitter account (@JohnOhOfSydney) you will know that I was lucky to be booked by a client to join her for a few days walking The Camino de Santiago from the South of France down into Northern Spain earlier this year.
It was a fabulous trip – filled with beautiful scenery, physical challenge, and the solitude of wild places.
I am not a religious or spiritual person, but you don’t need to be to enjoy this trek and to grow as a person from the experience. I had the opportunity to practice my photography skills along the way and I can say that the scenery was truly stunning – like nothing that I have ever experienced. I love Australia and the Australian landscape, but I have always had a strong reaction to the deep and vivid greens of European lands and forest.
Something that surprised me was discovering that there was very little animal life – other than domestic animals – as we walked over the French Pyrenees Mountains. There was some bird life (including golden eagles which were most impressive), but I literally didn’t see a wild animal until we reached Pamplona – and that was a solitary red squirrel.
The food in southern France and Northern Spain was surprising to me. It was probably the biggest cultural difference from Australia. The local food was very limited in its variety. A lot of bread, cured meat, and cheese – and quiche! I love all of those things, but you can have too much of a good thing…
It emphasised to me how much Australia has benefited from migrant culture. We have such diversity in the food available to us on any given day on in any place. There will always be Asian food, European food, American food – the list goes on. And our fresh produce is, I think, second to none in the world, and that makes a huge difference to the quality of dishes.
The walking itself was serious and requires preparation. The first day from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles is approximately 27kms. It would be a long walk just on flat ground, but this part of the trip climbs 1,200 meters over the French Pyrenees and down another 500 meters into northern Spain. It’s a walk that many people split over two days rather than one, but we did the whole thing in one go. It was quite an achievement and a spectacular experience.
For anyone contemplating this walk, I would definitely recommend that you take your time. Don’t rush to get to your next destination. Walk slowly. Stop often. Look around. Take lots of photographs.
There is always another days walk ahead, but taking the time to really enjoy where you are (and will likely never be again!) is invaluable.
If you are contemplating a trip and would like a companion for your travels, then please seem my Travel Page for rates and conditions.
In the spirit of urban exploration yesterday I visited Parsley Bay, a place I never even knew existed until recently. It’s a quiet little harbour side bay that is home to beautiful waters – and water dragons and stingrays!).
It’s still a little cold in the water, but it made for a pleasant hour or two sitting in the shade admiring the view and photographing the scenery – you can click on any of these images to see the full sized version.
As the weather warms up (and the water too!) I will definitely have to come back for a swim in this delightful little spot – and hopefully see some stingrays!
Well, it’s been a while! I realised today that I haven’t posted anything to my website since June is year (!).
So in the spirit of not being so slack, here is a photo that I took some time ago at the Brick Pit at Sydney Olympic Park. I’m have posted other images of the Ring Walk in the past, but this one showing the artificial lake that has become home to endangered golden bell frogs and much more wildlife is one of my favourite images.
It seems like only yesterday that it was January and I was having some time off – the year has truly flown by for me.
In recent times, I have been lucky enough to travel to France and Spain to walk the Camino Way with a client and to spend several days in Tasmania experiencing the best food, wine, art, and culture that Hobart has to offer. It has been an amazing time – if tiring!
I am still working to process the photos that I have been taking in my travels and I will post more about my trips in due course.
I received an email today with a lovely testimonial from a woman with cerebral palsy who I have been seeing regularly now for SIX years. It’s hard to believe that it has been that long.
I have been seeing John for six years, now.
John is the gentlest man who I have ever known and he’s really genuine. He’s a really beautiful man.
I always look forward to seeing John because he’s so sweet man and the sex if always tremendous and the oral.
He always makes me to feel comfortable in his presence, when I’m in his presence I feel that I’m only the woman on the earth. There is only one John on the earth.
Thank you, John, for your excellent service.
It’s moments like this that I try to stop and contemplate what it means to the women I see to have access to the services of a professional male escort. We are few and far between – compared to the many talented and caring women who also work in my industry. So it is even more important that we are available and do our job well.
Life without sex is a reality for many people. I am very lucky to live and work in a place and time where sex work is legal and so it is satisfying to be able make a difference – even if it is small – to women, young, old, with disabilities, or without.
In some ways I wish I had been a sex worker from earlier in my life, but I am here now and I am hoping that I still will be in another six years time.
My job as a male escort for women is never dull. I have said many times that I consider it the best job I have ever had. In large part this is because I regularly meet new and interesting people and often do things that I may not have the chance to otherwise.
A case in point is a trip that I have been asked to take with a client who is fulfilling a dream to walk the Camino Way in France and Spain. I am going along for the first few days of her odyssey then flying home while she continues on across the mountains.
It will be my first time in both France and Spain and I am looking forward to experiencing new places and cultures, not to mention the views of the Pyrenees Mountains – which we will be walking over.
To that end I need to be in good hill walking shape, because – while the Camino Way is a well worn route that thousands of people walk every year, it’s still a serious climb! So, in preparation I am varying my normal exercise routine – mostly riding my kickbike around the very flat Olympic Park and its surounds – and adding some serious hill walking.
My first walk was down to the Shoalhaven River in the Southern Highlands in New South Wales, a couple of hours south of Sydney. The Shoalhaven River sits in a very deep gorge that it has carved for itself over the millennia. And the walk in and out is steep. The views are beautiful, in that understated Australian landscape way and despite the cold and wind on the valley rim, it was calm and warm down by the river.
It made for an excellent walk that definitely taxed me! I will be doing similar walks again a few times before I go, and based on the challenge of the first walk it should stand me in good stead for walking the Camino Way!
One of the many things that I enjoy about my work as a males escort for women, is that you never know what’s around the corner.
I saw a lovely couple from Melbourne in Parramatta (Sydney) recently, and as I was heading home, navigating Parramatta’s somewhat mind bending one way streets, I discovered that I was passing Prince Alfred Square, where they hold Winterlight in recent years.
Winterlight is a little bit “European winter”, a little bit “Sydney Royal Easter Show” – and a little bit commercial non-sense, but it’s pretty, and fun for the kids, and who can object to ice skating really? I didn’t know anything about Winterlight at that point where I stopped for a look, but I parked the bike and threw caution to the wind and dove in.
You can see a short video compilation here:
I texted my partner some photos while I was walking around and was challenged to acquire a sideshow prize for her. So, $20 and ten darts later, Red The Penguin was acquired!
You can see my masterful dart throwing talents in the film above.
There was also plenty of food to be had – making an amusing if not wholly convincing attempt to be European – although I think that the two women making sausages-in-a-bun were in fact German, so full points there!
By the time my phone and camera battery were flat it was definitely time to go home especially since the cold was seeping in past my leather jacket. Thankfully I didn’t have far to go, but I was still frozen stiff by the time I got home to a hot shower and cup of tea.
It made a enjoyable night of work into a fun outing as well – and as Tallahassee said in Zombie Land: “You’ve got to enjoy the little things”.
If you missed Vivid this year, then here’s a 10 minute tour…
I received a lovely testimonial recently, written as a haiku.
Safe to surrender, receive
Orgasmic bliss Oh!
A, Northern NSW
Thank you A! It was my pleasure,
A former client sent me a link today to an article in the Canberra Times about a (UK) woman struggling with the lack of sex life and the sexuality of her autistic son (hi S – thank you!). You can see the article here:
I’m extremely sympathetic to the family. Autism is not something that I would wish on any one, and I am sure that it presents a unique challenge when it comes to dating and relationships.
I was however disappointed by the language and tone of conservatism of the article (written by the young man’s mother). It was a sharp reminder that prejudice against my industry – despite being variously decriminalised (as in NSW and NZ) or legal (as in many other parts of Australia and the UK, where the author lives), the average person’s opinions seem to be stuck in the ’50s.
“Kerb-crawling to pick up a prostitute was definitely not on my to-do list after “Buy hummus, sort sock drawer, do Pilates”
Come on – it’s 2017, you do Pilates, and have raised an autistic child (and no doubt dealt with issues of discrimination and disability phobia for much of his life). Street sex work (not prostitution please – it’s a pejorative term) is mostly a thing of the (certainly in Australia, although it does still happen in the UK) past in this country. The Internet and mobile phones have seen to that – and sex work is safer and easier because of it.
“Our female friends were furious that we could even consider condoning prostitution. I tried to rationalise it by saying that I thought of a lady of the night more as a “sex care provider who is presenting herself as a commodity allotment within a business doctrine”. But it didn’t convince them.”
For everyone out there still stuck in a time warp, let me say it loud and clear: “sex work is work”. The author actually has it right here. Yes, sex workers (and we aren’t all women and we even work during the day) like me are people engaged in a business that isn’t a criminal enterprise – and seriously you need to check your moral outrage.
The irrational discrimination against both sex worker’s and the people who choose to see them is never more clear than when you are dealing with disability. There are people out there (male, female et al) who find it very, very hard, or impossible to have a safe, consensual sexual experience because of their disability. Yet these moral authorities of the community would deny the opportunity for disable people to ever experience something that these moral arbiters take for granted? Shame on them. I thought that we had evolved socially past that kind of behaviour.
Who are these faceless “female friends” – and why do they get to determine whether a 21 year old autistic man (or anyone else) gets to have sex and under what conditions?
“all my 50-something, divorced female friends are chewing holes in the furniture with sexual frustration”
Yet, I’m guessing that many of those same women would join in the condemnation described above. It’s dysfunctional and it hurts all sorts of people – especially those with disabilities – for no good reason at all. We really, really need to grow up.
As to the author’s dilemma, I am saddened that she, nor any of her friends with autistic children, ever thought to type the following into Google…
“sex for disabled persons UK”
If she had, she would have seen these links at the top of the search results…
There are many, many people out there in the world working hard to give disabled people access to the sexual experiences that the rest of us take for granted. Organisations like Touching Base here in Australia do a fantastic job of giving people with disabilities access to safe, consensual sex.
Despite all of the (often valid) criticism of western culture, lets not forget that our various societies have done many, many good things. I have heard it said that you can measure the worth of a society by how it treats its most vulnerable members. I am proud to say that I live in a society that is beginning to tackle and resolve the issues of sex and disability.
There is a long way to go, but just being able to say that in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK among others, that a disabled person can choose to engage the services of a sex worker like myself – that’s a huge victory for acceptance, respect, and compassion.
I wish Kathy Lette and her son well, and hope her book is a success, but I would also like to see her educate herself further if she is going to be a public figure in the discussion of sex work and disability. There is a lot riding on these discussions for a lot of very disadvantaged people.