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a wrap-up of the last three months

after the road trip along the westcoast, ben and myself jumped on an airplane in broome (this was at the end of may) which took us to brisbane where the remains of my bicycle were waiting for me to being put together again. it took me a while to gather the motivation for the task and then even more timeĀ  to organize the parts.

It’s not as if i didn’t want to write here for a while, everytime i was thinking about it, i didn’t feel like writing anything. maybe this is because this is a place with stories about travelling and i didn’t feel like travelling at that time. I felt again like before starting this trip, preparing. Internet research, building a bicycle and being impatient with the world.

we got picked up from ben’s girlfriend at the airport and spent the evening at his grandparent’s place. grandparents i guess are the same all over the world, having a good conversation as well as enough food on the table is all it takes for a nice evening. And there was good conversation and plenty of food…

the next days we went to ben’s parents place where the bike had been stored after being sent over from the westcoast together with ben’s boat. i hadn’t spent much thought about the repairs after the accident which now caught up with me. how much energy and money was going to be burnt to fix this? the first visits to bike shops weren’t brightning my mood. i couldn’t get the parts i wanted or at 3 times the price i had paid when i first built it. i was staying with people from warmshowers over that time and after several visits and tons of phonecalls simply ordered most parts overseas. thanks go out to stephen and aleta, dallas and adrian from warmshowers for helping me out during this time.

during the process of the repairs i built my first set of wheels which was quite an experience. now after over 1000km, they are holding up just fine. so i think we can count that as a success. i hope they last me through new zealand and my way back home. there was more problems coming up each day. bent parts, worn parts which is why i took a bit longer.

well, the bike is fixed now. i did a small tour through the glasshouse mountains up to noosa heads and back along the sunshine coast where i met ben, ian and emma again. A job in far north queenland got cancelled and so there was no use in going further north i thought and i ended up back in brisbane. i got another job offer in the north and bought a train ticket before hearing some days later that this job got canceled as well.

i took the train nonetheless and arrived in cairns some thirty hours later. i stayed for a couple of days in a backpackers where i luckily met some girls from chile which dragged me along to see some places. the botanical garden, palm cove beach, the lagoon in the city center and to a backpacker’s bar in the evening.

I was still looking for a job. my lack of experience on record kept me from getting a full-time bicycle mechanic job and so i just started cycling north towards one of the oldest rainforests on earth. On the way i met nyssa and velika from melboure and we cycled together to cape tribulation. a wonderful road with the rainforest so close can just stretch out your hand to touch the greenness forming a tunnel around you. the cape was where i first saw a salty. when there is no fence or wall between you and the croc you think twice about getting closer.

the girls took a bus back to cairns to catch their flight back home. the sealed road ends at cape trib and it would have been a piece of work to go further to cooktown. Not the only place connected with the name of the famous captain here on the east coast. i decided against cooktown, retraced my steps to mossman and started to climb towards the atherton tablelands instead. away from the coast and the tourist spots there are rest areas where camping is allowed for up to 2 or 3 days. Usually there is no camping allowed apart from campsites and caravan parks as not only many australians love camping but half of europe seems to be cruising around these parts in a van.

the tablelands are wonderful. at about 1000 meters altitude it is considerable cooler and the country is also very green but in a more european way and full of waterfalls, creeks and lakes. small dirt roads along the mountain ridge offer a superb view over this landscape. i arrived in time for the weekend market in yungaburra, visited the eacham crater lake and a diatreme, a volcanic vent, at mt hypipamee.

i went back to the coast where it was time for a stop at the laundromat and to charge the electric gear while enjoying a coffee. i hadn’t forgotten about getting a job and a couple of phonecalls later i had a meeting arranged in tully for the next day. On the way there i crossed path with a cassowary for the first time. a big flightless bird which seems almost misplaced in our time and it felt like watching a living artifact which is sadly close to reality as not many of these magnificent creatures are left.

ten minutes after meeting my prospect employers, me and the bike were already on the truck with craig, owner of a farm which cultivates banana plants. earlier this year their house was hit by a cyclone and was in need of some repair and paint. It is a nice piece of land in wonderful scenery, a creek is running through it, 4 dogs and several cats and lots of other animals, small turtles, cookabouras and even crocs are to be seen. i had my own room with kitchen next to the shed which was a good place to set up the recording equipment for a while. it was also time for a new hair cut after all that paint got into it. i wanted to shave it for some time and now at at least i understand all these people caressing their baldness.

after a month my work was done and i’m now on my way south again. i will see some people in brisbane again before cycling to sydney from where i might fly out of NZ or make it as far as melbourne if i have the time. today i have a rest day in rollingstone at a nice rest area with a bunch of lovely people around. that’s it for now. the blog is up to date again.

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cape leveque

the trip to cape leveque was a typical australian trip: a bunch of people with supplies for a couple of days in a four-wheel drive taking some dirt road away from civilization to camp in the bush. they have their fishing gear and a couple of cold drinks at hand. and enjoy that at the campfire at night.

this is where i caught my last fish. a giant trevally which went back into the water and i went back to being a vegetarian. the lagoon from our camping spot.

our second camping spot was at middle lagoon inclusive a nice shack with shower which we didn’t expect to find there. we enjoyed the last days of camping before heading back to broome to be in time to watch the state of origin rugby match between new south wales and queensland. a very popular match fired up through local rivalry. the next day we said our goodbyes to ian and emma at the airport. which is tiny and it feels like walking directly from a small garden cafe out to the runway. at least by plane i was visiting central australia as we were flying over alice springs and endless nothingness. after six month on the west caost it’s time to see what the east coast is like.

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broome

after a long day’s drive we checked into a hostel to wash off the dust from the road and to drift through the nightlife with a bed waiting at the end of the party. there is more or less just one club most people go to. the only club for hundreds of miles. some change after weeks of bush camping. we kind of enjoyed it…

the next day we took it easy and just made it to the sunset at cable beach. we were in time for a special event of the year which can be seen only around broome for 3 days: the stairway to the moon. the title promises a lot and they make quiet some advertising and a show out of the actual event. a didge player accompanies the rising of the moon which fits quite well. the timing has to be right. a receding tide exposes sandbanks which interrupt the reflections from the moon on the water and combine to a pattern which, if you focus on it for some time and want to see it, looks like a stairway.

as we had still some days before the flight to brisbane and we didn’t want to hang around the same club every night, we started for a trip to cape leveque in the north.