Posts Tagged ‘Australia’


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.


“A car can drive up,” he said, pointing up into the heavens from the Thredbo skiing village.
“If a car can do it, so can I!”
Well, I made it to the top of Koscuiszko but almost passed out from exhaustion on the way. Sitting in the camping ground down the other side, with food in my stomach, I am really content and happy.

The summit of Koscuiszko

The summit of Koscuiszko

Thredbo was a-buzz with a mountain biking event. People were scooting through the village on their mountain bikes, and discussing the different routes over dinner.

The weather forecast for Thredbo yesterday was for sun in the morning, and pouring rain in the afternoon and evening. Given that time is moving on, I decided to try to scale Koscuiszko in the morning by catching the chairlift to the top, and then walking. Well, I paid my $35, and the chairlift didn’t run. Winds of 120km/h saw to that, and so I had a complete rest day in Thredbo. The rest day included 4 hours sleep in the afternoon and 12 hours sleep at night. All ready for the ascent today.

Today’s forecast was for rain/snow in the morning (maybe) and then good weather, so I slept in, had a big breakfast, and started once the rain had stopped.

The road up the mountain was extremely steep – climbing 400m in 2 km. For the first time ever, I had to take the bike and luggage up separately which made for slow progress. I passed the mountain bikers regularly who crossed my road while doing ‘The Flow’. I staggered up to the top of one of the chairlifts to cheers from the mountain bikers.

Mountain bikers

Mountain bikers

Part of the way up the mountain

Part of the way up the mountain

Then, just in the final stretch up to the top of the highest chairlift, the mountain bikers were racing on my road, and not just crossing it. They were hurtling down at the rate of knots, and so I didn’t dare to push the bike up on the same road. Plan B was the walking path up steep stairs.

Foot path

Foot path

I got to the top, expecting an easy cycle on the footpath that goes to Mt Koscuiszko. The description of this path was ‘not steep, and a moderately easy walk.’ Well, I pushed the bike up multiple stairs, and through steep snow patches.

The top of the chairlift

The top of the chairlift

Snow over the path

Snow over the path

The last 1.5km was through some particularly steep snow.

Steep snow

Steep snow

The views from the top were spectacular. I felt like I was on the roof of the world.

View from the top

View from the top

The way down was not all down either. I read somewhere in the Internet that it is all down from Charlotte’s Pass. Well, it isn’t. I really hadn’t stopped much for food as I wanted to get down from the heights before nightfall. I was really running on empty as I descended into a valley, only to climb out the other side – over and over.

Hut

Hut

Road down to Charlotte's Pass

Road down to Charlotte’s Pass

The pristine road down

The pristine road down

I passed a camping ground as it was starting to get dark, and pulled in to call it a day. Today was fabulous – the best days are with an element of struggle. Today certainly fit that description.