I jumped on the saddle again after a few months in Adelaide to go to Sydney for Christmas. To make it interesting, I passed by Mt. Koscuiszko – Australia’s highest mountain. Here is a video of this little escapade.


From a breakfast on the balcony with a multiculti crew, to cycling on a dirt track in the dense bush, to admiring the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge in the sun, to a record amount of bike-hate abuse hurled at me on the Pacific Highway. A day of differences.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge

It was peaceful and quiet in the Royal National Park. From a beautiful view on the cliff-faces above the coast, I plunged into the dense forest, leaving the main road for the little dirt track that followed a stream.

View from above

View from above

Royal National Park

Royal National Park

Dirt track

Dirt track

Road block

Road block

Then a long trip into the city, swapping between cycling on the main highway, to trying to navigate my way down small bike paths, when I could find them. The weather was beautiful for my arrival in Sydney.

Opera House

Opera House

Unfortunately the road-rage against cyclists continued. On the 20km stretch north from the city along the Pacific Highway, I had as much cyclist hate yelled at me (and tooted at me) than I have had on my whole 2-year trip from Europe (all of this hate has been in the last few months since I entered Australia).

Anyway, Sydney is a beautiful city, with lots of lovely family and friends living here. I’m looking forward to my time here to finish off an amazing 2016.


So there we sat – 3 Frenchmen, 2 Chinese women, 1 Chinese man, 1 Australian man, 1 Australian woman, and me. The Frenchies had cooked up a storm, and I had been enjoying myself all evening speaking French and Chinese. How different it is having lovely company, and a warm, dry place to stay. Thank you Kieran – my warm showers host!

The big group of dinner guests

The big group of dinner guests

Today technology was taken away from me. I cycled without a map – on just the day I needed to follow the intricate bike route that I had found on the internet. Avoiding the main roads is worthwhile, but also hard to do. My phone was unusable in the raini (I couldn’t unlock the screen), and so I had to go into dry places and dry the phone down with a tissue before I could proceed with looking at the maps.

The descent from the highlands was beautiful through dense forest, before cycling along beautiful beaches (unfortunately in the rain).

The forest

The forest

The beach

The beach

I am now one day from Sydney. My little cycle trip has almost come to an end.


Today it rained from when I woke up (and before) to when I finally stopped. I pulled the plug early – I was like a cold, drowned rat, and decided to bite the bullet and stay in a hotel.

Hotel in Robertson

Hotel in Robertson

This morning was a slow start as I moved my tent under a little roof to try to prevent it from getting wetter than it already was. I also wasn’t terribly fast in getting started, watching the rain get heavier and heavier. A woman from the village came and had a chat, which was a good reason not to move on.
Before long I found my way on the main road – the Hume Highway. I thought, well, as it is miserable and cold, I should at least get some kilometres done, so I stayed on the Hume for quite some time.
By the small town of Robertson, I decided to call it a day. It is no fun cycling in the cold rain.


He jumped in front across my path as I became aware of others on both my sides. I slammed on the brakes as the one next to me, surprised, was skidding on its tail to change direction. He jumped away as the others around me dispersed. Then, in the blink of the eye that it took to happen, it was over. I was further down the road, and the kangaroos were gone. Noone was hit.

Road

Road

Today I just didn’t stop cycling. With rain predicted, only getting worse in the coming days, I kept on going while it was dry. Lying, dry in Bungonia, I listen to the constant pitter-patter on the tent. The rain has really started, ending the few hot rest days I have had in Canberra and Batesman Bay with family and friends.

Family

Family


‘Get off the f*ing road!’
I was doing nothing wrong, cycling on a road that I was allowed to. This agro between cyclists and motorists in Australia is such a shame. Australia is the only country where I’ve seen it. Anyway, after this unpleasant start, I have had a lovely welcome to Canberra.

Entering the ACT

Entering the ACT

Today’s cycling was uneventful, scaling each 5km climb and descending the other side before starting on the next climb. I did a little circuit of parliament house before spending the rest of the afternoon with family. Nice to catch up with them!

Parliament House

Parliament House


Last evening the possums were out and about. This morning, it was the kangaroos. They hopped through the camping ground in hoards. And then there was the echidna waddling across the road. An animal rich day cycling through the undulating landscape south of Canberra.

Kangaroos at the camping ground

Kangaroos at the camping ground

The echidna was sweet. It tried to hide from me on the side of the road by scrunching itself into a tight ball. Slowly it got less nervous and started poking around with its snout.

Echidna

Echidna

Lake Jindabyne was beautiful in the warm sun, and there were many views of it to be had as the road rose and fell around its edge.

Lake Jindabyne

Lake Jindabyne

Tomorrow Canberra, and the end of the first (longest) leg of the trip to Sydney.