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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.


Morning push-ups, and it was the first time I have listened to it since I arrived. Infecteded Mushrooms. The music had been on for 5 seconds and I started to sob. I was instantly transported back to Borneo. And to Sulawesi. And so many other places. Rocketing through the landscape. And now it is all over. I couldn’t continue the push-ups, so shaking I was with tears.

‘You need to try meditation,’ said friend Tim a week earlier.
I looked at him.
‘Your mind is turning around and around like a mouse on a treadmill. You need to come to rest. You need to stop.’
My mind alternates from thinking about the trip, and how it is over, and how I don’t know what happens now. And then I think about the trip again.

Three days after arriving in Brighton I went to Sydney to visit my German friend Tim who was there with his partner, and to visit my family. Then a few days in Adelaide before a houseboat trip on the Murray River with family and friends. In between the moving my brain attempts to process all this. I haven’t got far with this process yet.

Murray River

Murray River


Clement and I are planning quite a bit of off road legs heading south from Alice Springs, and so our arrival in Adelaide will be delayed by 2 weeks. We are planning to meet anyone interested in joining us at Wilpena Pound on the 14th of September, and arriving in Adelaide on the 27th of September.
I will keep this page updated, so bookmark it if you are interested in joining us on the final stretch to Adelaide.

Jetty Road, Brighton, Adelaide

Jetty Road, Brighton, Adelaide


Jetty Road, Brighton, Adelaide

Jetty Road, Brighton, Adelaide

Exactly two years after leaving Eindhoven on my bike, I will be standing on Brighton Jetty in the suburbs of Adelaide, Australia. You are welcome to join me there to celebrate the end of this life-changing world cycle trip. Furthermore, you are invited to join me cycling, driving or motorcycling through beautiful areas north of Adelaide in the two weeks before my final arrival in Adelaide. This will be a slow meander through some of the most beautiful parts of Australia at a pace that everyone can keep up with, and enjoy!

More keen travellers are welcome to join me earlier, travelling at a faster pace.

Dates:
August 31, 2016: Start meander to Adelaide at Wilpena Pound.
September 13, 2016: Arrival at Brighton Jetty, Adelaide, Australia.

Accommodation:
On the way, we can stay in local pubs and wineries. I will probably try camping everywhere, or other interesting options – more fun and interesting – and also cheaper.. 🙂

Rough itinerary:
Aug 31, Sep 1: Wilpena Pound.
Sep 2: Wilpena Pound – Hawker (55km)
Sep 3: Hawker – Quorn (66km)
Sep 4: Quorn (Devil’s Peak, Mt. Brown) (My grandma was born here)
Sep 5: Quorn – Melrose (62km)
Sep 6: Melrose (Mt. Remarkable, Alligator Gorge)
Sep 7, Sep 8: Melrose – Clare (131km)
Sep 9: Clare (Clare Valley wineries)
Sep 10: Clare – Tanunda (97km)
Sep 11: Tanunda (Barossa Valley Wineries)
Sep 12: Tanunda – Balhannah (68km) This leg is not flat. Flat alternatives are possible.
Sep 13: Balhannah – Jetty Road, Brighton. (37km) Via Mt. Lofty with view over Adelaide.

Please let me know if you can join. It will be fun!

For those keen on joining me for some desert cycling, here is my planned route through Australia up to the meeting point in Wilpena Pound. The last part involves some bad road cycling (Oodnadatta Track). I will see if I want to do that or not nearer the time.. 🙂


‘Is there jungle there?’ he asked pointing to the centre of Australia on the map.
A big space with nothing on the map must be jungle.
‘No.’
‘Is there snow?’
‘No. It is hot, and there is nothing.’
I showed some photos of the centre of Australia. No. The centre of Australia is definitely not Borneo.

The heart of the palm

The heart of the palm

We were shown the jungle out the back of the house. It was fascinating – and so rich with food and fascinating plants – most of which I had never seen before. A kind of jelly fruit – a bit like duku. An orange deformed shape that tasted like apricot. A red sphere that, when cracked open, was a lolly to be sucked but not eaten. Another green sphere which tasted like nothing and was hollow on the inside. All this was in the back yard next to the paddy fields. The family chopped off a heart of the palm for us, and the mother prepared it while we swam in the river flowing past.

Squishy fruit

Squishy fruit

Unknown fruit

Unknown fruit

Before leaving the village, we had another movie star photo shoot. Clement walked down the road to the place for the photo like the Pied Piper of Hamlyn.

The pied piper of Hamlyn

The pied piper of Hamlyn

Today we took a long-cut through the hills, past lots of little villages. It was beautiful and very rural. What a beautiful, huge tropical island.

The country road

The country road

We had a nice evening stop with 3 girls Clement met when he was last here, and are sleeping in a huge, empty house. Really cool.


Sitting on the stone surface of the temple, I looked out over the tropical fields with the steep, forested mountains as a backdrop, and tried to imagine how it must have looked over 1000 years ago when the temple was built.
‘Photo, mister.’
I failed.

Borobodur temple

Borobodur temple

It must have been in dense tropical forest, teething with life. The buzzing of insects, the calls of birds flying overhead, the smothering humid heat. The temple was for communication with the god – a mother earth and giver of sustainance. It must have been peaceful.
Cycling along a road I respond ‘Hello Mister,’ and cycle on. Sitting in a meditative pose on the temple – stationary – a ‘hello Mister’ is followed by a ‘photo, mister’, and then smiling for the camera, flanked by a stranger on either side. Today all that attention got to me. I jumped down from my perch to the level below to escape. Another time, I just said ‘Saya mau sendiri. Foto tidak bisa.’ – ‘I want to be alone. You can’t take a photo of me.’ Thankfully it started to rain, and I could take in the moment in peace.

The longer I cycle alone, the more I realise I like being alone. There is nothing better than pedalling along a quiet road in the mountains, or along the beach – just me and nature. I hope this trip is not making me unsuitable for a ‘normal’ life. I do want to return to one at the end of the trip.

Selfie

Selfie

My climb between the volcanoes was a bit of a fizzer. I took some photos of them on the way, but, when I reached the top of the pass, they promptly disappeared into cloud. A panoramic view was not to be had.

Sumbing

Sumbing

Sindoro

Sindoro

Thanks Raditya from Warmshowers Indonesia for dropping by in the evening. It was good to catch even though I am not cycling through Yogyakarta!


Indonesian language lesson – the numbers. Exercise number one: count the number of ‘Hello mister’ in 30 minutes. Answer: 62 ‘Hello mister’ in 30 minutes. Also 34 ‘Hello mister’ in 17 minutes before Clement got a flat tyre. Exercise number two – people counting: I counted 27 people watching Clement fixing the tyre – all in Indonesian!

Some spectators

Some spectators

Today we descended on a bumpy road through the dense forest to the sound of tropical birds hooting and monkeys screaming. It was beautiful and so peaceful.

Rainforest

Rainforest

Rainforest

Rainforest

Our quest of reaching 100km each day to make it to Jakarta in time will be difficult. In the mountains we had constant steep roads. On the eastern plains we had heat. Today we had a torrential downpour for a few hours, which I think is quite normal on the west coast.

Shower

Shower

Our strategy from now on is to cycle when it’s dry, only stopping for water and thrusting some food down our throats with great haste. We will cycle until the torrential downpour actually starts (not just when the sky turns black – we may still be able to cycle another 15 minutes) and stop at the next restaurant (which is invariably within 500 metres). Our days will consist of an early start with a two hour torrential downpour break sometime in the afternoon. The elements will dictate our day – the ultimate in going with the flow.

We stopped at a school today to camp, and were invited in by the headmaster to eat and stay at his house. Again, such lovely people!