2-play-on-earth


BACK TO MAIN PAGE

--- News and reports ---

 

Nr.V: Australia I

09.01.2008 (Perth) - 23.03.2008 (Melbourbe)

 

23.03.2008, Melbourne (Victoria): Adelaide is still “baking” in the heat wave (16 days above 40 degrees), when we get on our bikes after relaxing days (in air conditioned rooms). Sweat is dripping down as we climb up into the Adelaide Hills, but the surroundings are green and pleasant. It doesn’t take long and we are back in endless, dry and shade-less farmland. We make a detour to visit friends of friends on their steer-farm and head straight south afterwards. It is permanently windy. After so much headwinds since we started the Australian-lap more than two months ago, we have already given up our hope for tailwinds. But all of a sudden the wind-pattern is somehow changing. It is blowing from left, from right, of course also from the front, but suddenly and unexpected from the back! We can almost not believe it and happily push the pedals. As the head- and side-winds are not blowing the thousands of flies away from our faces, those bastards stay  exactly there and get on our nerves. The Aussies are calling those buzzers “sticky flies” – they are crawling into ears, noses and under our sunglasses. We are waving our arms like mad around our heads (what the Australians call “Australian saluting”), but since those flies are “sticky”, it doesn’t make them stop getting into our ears, eyes and under the sunglasses, until we have hit ourselves or almost punched off our sunglasses. The only thing that keeps us from getting completely crazy is wearing an all-your-head-in-cap made of fly-net. We visit the crater-lakes at Mt. Gambier, reach the coast again at Portland and wheel to Warrnambool. While Valeska is shopping food, I get to know a cyclist-family outside the supermarket. Father and sons have just finished a road-race and invite us to stay overnight. First we stay at one of their friends in Warrnambool and on the next day we are riding a detour of about 70 kilometers (against the wind and lots of flies, which keep up well even with headwinds) to visit our new friends, who are living between crater-lakes in the hills close to Camperdown. Here we get to know the Australian Cyclist-Legend Clyde Sefton – the far most famous biker who we have met so far (see bikers we met). After a fly-saturated ride back to the coast, we follow the “Great Ocean Road” towards Melbourne. The weather is fantastic and landscapes amazing. The road is winding along steep coastal cliffs, long sandy beaches and through fairytale-forests. We see koalas in the trees and meet up with Stefan and Christine, with whom we have been cycling together in Turkey about a year ago (see news and reports: SW-Asia. And bikers we met: old and new posting). They have been traveling in Asia in the last 12 months. Now they are about to finish their big trip in Australia with the luxury of a rental car for one month. It is great to see the two again and exchange stories from different continents. We are doing different routes during daytime, but meet up with them on three evenings in a row, in order to spend the night camping and chatting together. Finally they are heading northwards and we are trying to find our way - along an awfully badly signed bike-trail, which finally ends in the industrial area of Melbourne - into the Metropolis. Via the cyclists-meet-cyclists website www.warmshowers.org we get into contact with Craig and Nycole, where we are “house-sitting” during the Easter-holidays. We start planning our further route and enjoy a quiet and cosy Easter…

 

   

 


05.03.2008, Adelaide (South-Australia): From Ceduna we head eastwards. As we are leaving the coast, the wind is not as bad as in the last weeks, but still strong enough to slow us down. Farmland everywhere, back to the horizon. The corn has been harvested, so we are looking at barren earth or dusty plains. Sheep try to find some fodder there, while the land is waiting for rain. Almost no trees around, which makes it hard for us to find hidden places to camp. In Port Augusta we reach the coast of Eyre Peninsula and come into the biggest town, since we left the Southwest of Western Australia. From here on we are going south.  Of course the wind adjusts and mainly blows northwards! Across the nice Horrocks Pass – big trees in a gorge – we come to wide valleys. The land becomes greener and we pedal past vineyards, olive trees and fruit tree orchards. Eucalypt trees with big trunks grow beside the road, cockatoos make lots of noise in the tree tops. There are more and more small villages, which make it easy for us to get water and buy food. In the small town of Wirrabara we take a day off from cycling and stay with friends at their farm. In the morning we are invited to the local school in order to talk about our travels – 40 kids listen to us and have many questions to ask. A good experience for us! We spend the afternoon touring the big wheat farm. The big machinery amazes us, which is used for putting seeds in the ground and we are shown how everything works in a shearing shed.  Two days of cycling later we arrive in Adelaide – the first really big town since Perth. We stay with the Netting-family (nett = very nice in German!), enjoy being in a city and make plans, which way to go from here…

 

  

 

 


21.02.2008, Ceduna (South-Australia): We leave Esperance and cycle northwards. After two days we get to the small town of Norseman – the starting point of the long Nullarbor plains (nullus = no, arbor = tree) – 1.200 km directly eastwards – through plain treeless Nothing til the small town of Ceduna on the other side in South Australia. South-Easterly winds rage against us like crazy. We know that this time of the year those winds will never cease blowing into our faces. It takes 11 days to get through. 11 days of continuous fight against the element wind. It almost drives us mad! We often don’t go faster than 10 km/h. It should be hot here. Summer. But in the beginning we face rain. Its cold and uncomfortable. Then the weather changes and temperatures climb up to 50 degrees. Tree- and shade-less landscapes. Some road houses are on the way, where we can fill up water. The distances between those are sometimes more than 200 km (2 days of cycling), therefore we carry up to 30 liters of water. The wind is tiring. It stops at  night before it starts blowing again with sunrise. We start riding at night and enjoy those 3 first hours of the day in moonless night. Marvellous sunrises and we see lots of night active animals such as kangaroos, dingos, wombats, bunny-rabits,... Finally we got used to getting up in the middle of the night, as conditions change again: hot winds from north east (also head winds!) start blowing during the night from the dry inland, the usual south-easterlies still take over in the afternoons. In the last two days a cold front comes in and it is cold, wet and ... windy, right! We meet two other cyclists, Jordan and Anthony (look at bikers we met) – they are (like us) pretty desperate and cycle only at night-time. After 11 days we reach Ceduna on a rainy day – the end of the Nullarbor Plains. We move into a nice dry and warm small cabin on a campground – we have earned that! We meet Jordan and Anthony, who just came here two hours earlier than us and all together we celebrate the end of this so hostile stretch of road...

 

  

  


05.02.2008, Esperance (Australia): After we have finished fixing our bikes and got our new tent sent from Northland Professional, we are ready to start and ride southwards. For the first few hundred kilometers we follow the "Munda Biddi Trail", which is a cycling trail through the forests. Hard work! Sometimes the trail is nothing more than a sandy, gravelly and steep footpath and reminds us of the awful dirtroads in northern Sudan and northern Kenya (see news and reports: Africa North). The Eucalypt-forest is like out of a picture-book, full of kangaroos and parrots and our camping-spots are quiet and lonesome. After four days on the trail we get back to asphalt. Bushfires in the distance. Following small hilly roads down to the South Coast. Giant trees (more than 80 meters tall) and marvelous beaches wait for us there. We stop for two days in the small town of Denmark at Murray and Jill's place - friends of friends of friends. The Australians are extremely hospitable and easy going. Distances are getting longer. We are already often confronted with more than 100 kilometers between places, where we can get water. Sometimes cars stop and people ask if we need water or help. One time we have a real provision-stop when a dutch couple stops and we get coke, cookies and strawberries (see other vehicles). Every evening we find a nice spot to camp in the bush. The last roadhouse 70 kilometers behind and the next 60 kilometers ahead of us. Kakadus in the trees, flying and screaming until sunset. Kangaroos hopping around during the silent night. We take a good portion of sleep until the small birds get up with sunrise, start peeping and singing and work as a "natural alarm clock". Rainy days follow. Drizzling and heavy headwinds slow us down along the South Coast until we reach Esperance. A small town, which is known to have Australia's best beaches - they are really like out of a story-book! Again we are guests at a family and watch the stormy sea from their livingroom window... We take two days off from cycling: walking in the white sand on the beach, going on a boat cruise along the coast (seeing fur seals, sea lions, sea eagle), updating our website, doing laundry... Now we are fit for fight across the Nullarbor (nullus arbor = no tree), 1160km "just  barren landscape". The weather forecast is not on our side, promising South-Easterlies and more bad weather...

 

   

 

  

 


14.01.2008, Perth (Australia): After some relaxing days at the southernmost tip of Africa, we load our bicycles again and head towards Cape Town. Not long that we keep this direction, as at the parking area of a supermarket we are invited by a family to their holiday house in Arniston (into the opposite direction at the beach). We welcome that invitation and spend two days at their seaside place. A beautiful but stormy coastal road leads us to Betty’s Bay. There we stay for a few wonderful kitschy sunsets and a New Year’s Evening at the beach with new friends. We try surfing for the first time (Philipp still has pain in his back from crashing into the waves…) and hike in the mountainuous surroundings. Via Stellenbosch, the famous wine and university town we finally pedal into Cape Town. In the big city we are also staying with people, who we got to know on our way. Hospitality and blind trust in us is unbelieveable! House keys, Internet-Login and a brand new car is there for us to be used whenever we like. As our bicycles are already packed in boxes, ready to fly out of the country, we exceptionally take a trip by car and drive down the peninsula to the Cape of Good Hope. We leave Africa on the 9th of January and fly to Perth, Western Australia. Here we are cordially received by a 9!-headed family and get the change to catch up on our lack of sleep during two days in the air and at several airports, (making friends worldwide and staying for free: www.hospitalityclub.org, www.couchsurfing.com, www.warmshowers.org). We do some sightseeing in Perth and deal with our equipment: the bikes are upgraded with new parts and we arrange all our stuff, reduce and replace some things. We are slowly getting organised, finally beating the jet-lag and ready to start our journey around the “new” continent….

 

   

 

  

 


  

   

kostenlose Counter bei xcounter.ch