Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Since my last report Leana and I have cycled Eastwards along the Southern tip of the Australian mainland towards Melbourne. We've had some less fortunate weather along the way, which made the going a bit slow (about 10 degrees C below normal for this time of year - cold rain and wind). However, there were some beautiful places, especially along the famed Great Ocean Road (12 Apostles rock formations, and other scenic spots). Unfortunately along the way I recieved the news that my Mom had passed away, and this afternoon Leana left (she flew back to SA). Now I'm heading for Sydney, and I have to be out of the country no later than 10 Nov (my sister has offered to pay for my escape flight). Distances cycled since my last report have been:- Coorong Nat Park 83 km; Robe 112 km; Millicent 81 km; Mount Gambier 53 km; Portland 106 km; Warrnambool 104 km; Port Campbell 71 km; Lavers Hill 52 km; Kennet River 72 km; Anglesea 56 km; Rosebud 80 km; and Melbourne 79 km. Total distance cycled in Australia since leaving Darwin on 13 August is 4 851 km. Total distance cycled since leaving Cape Town at the start of this journey is 65 358 km.
Saturday, 9 October 2010
As I’ve previously mentioned, just South of the Coober Pedy opal mine dumps we crossed the Dog Fence. This fence, which stretches for thousands of k’s across Australia, is one of the measures discriminating against the dingo (they are also being shot and poisoned, and even have an unjust reputation as human “killers”). Since crossing the fence we’ve moved steadily South, reaching the coast and Adelaide along the way. Adelaide impressed me as a rather pleasant uncluttered city with lots of parks, and also recreational paths along the Torrents River. I even peeped in at the renowned “pretty” cricket oval – and I was disappointed to see that the stands have been modernised, in fact the building work is still in progress. As it was a long weekend at the time of our arrival, Leana and I stayed a few days at the caravan park on the river banks. When business resumed as usual Leana got a new rear hub for her bike (which I fitted), and she also bought a set of good tyres for Old Saartjie (my bike) – I’d been cycling on a tyre sewn up with fishing line for the previous 900 k’s. Over the past couple of days we’ve moved rather slowly through the picturesque Adelaide Hills region, where we met a South African family in the Mt Barker camp site who are in the process of immigrating (their furniture is still on the way over). After the hills we had to contend with a howling wind out on the plains along the Murray River, but we’ve dealt with that in the same way one would eat an elephant – a mouthful at a time. It seems that after the long trek across the centre of the country we’ve become a bit lazy, and today we’re resting at a very nice camp site in the small town of Meningie on the shore of Lake Albert. Tomorrow we intend to head SE from here along the Princess Highway towards Melbourne via the Coorong National Park, the Limestone Coast, and the Great Ocean Road. Although I made it over the Dog Fence, I’ve been in the “Dog Box” lately, and it seems that Leana intends to leave me (again), perhaps in Melbourne. In one month my Australian visa expires, and this is one country where one can’t just cycle off across the border. Whichever way things turn out, I hope to reach Sydney by that time – we’ll see. Daily distances cycled since Port Augusta have been:- Port Germein 74 km; Snowtown 98 km; Dublin 88 km; Adelaide 62 km; Mount Barker 39 km; Tailem Bend 79 km; and Meningie 63 km. The total distance cycled in Australia so far is 3 902 km since Darwin. Total so far this year is 11 672 km, and the total distance which I’ve cycled since leaving Cape Town on 27 March 2007 is 64 409 km.