Due to a lack of time and places charge my laptop, I recorded my journal on my phone. I decided for now to post week per week instead of day by day. I will do my best to post one picture a day on Instagram though. You can find me on Instagram with this tag: @agphotofr
30/06/2016 – out of the city… or almost.
Trip dist: 71.41km
Total distance 2345km
Hard to wake up by knowing that i will have to ride through the hectic city today. Leaving the hostel around 10.30am after a good breakfast with Julien one of the crew member on the boat from New Cal to Asutralia. I cycled not even 1 hour and my front shifter broke down into pieces all over the ground. I started to look after each of them in order to put it back together when someone on a bicycle just stopped and offered me to stay at his place for the night if my shifter was taking too long to fix. I declined the offer as I must keep going out of the city. I cycled to the closest bike shop. Closed. To the second closest. Open. I showed to the mechanician the broken shifter and it looked like he knew as much as me about how to put it back together… which means nothing.
My first option is to let him guessing and paying him for that while I would have to stay there anyway or my second option is to find the solution myself for free. I obviously took the second solution. 1h30 later my shifter was working again. Well, I just get 2 speed available as I made a mistake by putting it back together but I know what is my mistake and I will fix it later. for now getting out of the city is my goal number one. The good thing is now, I know every detail of the shifter, how it works and how to fix it next time.
Then I followed my gps until it wanted me to go on the highway which is not allowed for bicycle at this stage. No other options to cross the river. I’ll have to make a 25km detour… I kept cycling until a town where i saw a show ground to camp. Unfortunately tents aren’t allowed, it’s dusk and the other closest spot is 25k away. I finished to ride around 7pm at dark night. But now I will sleep like a baby.
01/07/2016 – this is colder
Trip dist: 63.75km
Total distance 2409km
Woke up in the myst. It was really cold I would have loved to have gloves. I cycled a few hours and the weather was getting warmer. It’s a weird feeling to be alone again after more than two months with people everyday. I’m feeling mentally weak but I know it’s just a hard time and it will go away soon. The wind started to become stronger. It’s a westerly which is not good at all for me as I’m heading to the west. I checked Windity and it’s gonna be like this for a few days. Originally i planned to reach Toowoomba today but with this wind it won’t happen today. I stopped at a free campsite a bit before and rested instead of pushing too much and hurting myself.
Let’s see what’s tomorrow will offer.
02/07/2016 – Toowoomba hill!
Trip dist: 63.29km
Total distance 2472km
This morning I took the highway as it was my only option. It looks anyway that the bicycle are not forbidden on it anymore. A few kilometers after i started the day, there it was. Toowoomba hill. It’s been 3 days that everyone was warning me about it. Seriously guys, I started this trip in New Zealand so your hill won’t scare me. Well i have to admit it was long and tough but I’ve had way more difficult in New Zealand. I’ve almost been through my 3 liters of water though. Arrived in Toowoomba I’ve been to the library to finish to write my article for New Zealand Adventure Magazine. I kept going and cycled for 45 more km to stop at jondaryan and get a fresh beer at the hotel where everyone had thousands of questions about my trip. They were all speaking together. It was fun and a great mix of people from the old guy I can’t even understand to the young fella maybe young farmer. All of them were very friendly. After my beer I left to the campsite and cooked dinner, couscous then set up the camp near a playground where a cow is wondering around wrecked cars. Such a strange atmosphere but gypsy as I like it. Tomorrow, no wind. I’ll try to make the most of it and planned 3 options at different distances. 80km 120km and 170km… i bet on the 120km.
03/07/2016 – This is definitely winter
Trip dist: 126.87km
Total distance 2598km
This morning when I woke my tent and my bike were frozen. I checked the temperature on my bike computer and it said 1.6°C. I started to look for my jacket to stay warm and impossible to find it. How is it possible to lose something in 4 panniers… anyway I don’t have it anymore and this will compromise my nights riding sessions in the desert. I need to find gloves as well. Today I’ve been flying! 24km/h pace not too bad. Maybe hte best pace since I started this trip in Wanaka. When I stopped for shopping, a guy from the hotel that I met last night asked me about my freezing night… the more I go deeper and deeper inland, the more people are getting interested. Where do you go? From where? How heavy is the bike? So many questions. So many thumbs up as well from drivers coming opposite way. Now, on the road there is just big 4wd with huge bulls bar and road trains. The road trains are getting longer and longer. Now they have 3 trailers. Finally after this long day I’ve been cycling 126km! In the campgroung I’m staying tonight a guy came to me to say he saw me yesterday and horned at me. I don’t like when people horn because i never expect it but he seemed to be so happy that I thank him.
04/07/2016 – Aligning kilometers
Trip dist: 137.77km
Total distance 2736km
Such a long day. Started to cycle around 8am on the road there is a lot of dead kangaroos and it smells death a lot. My muscles are sore and the profile of the road is hilly i set my goal to a place near a lagoon. If i can reach it on time i will enjoy to swim. The earth starts to be red. I can feel that I’m getting in the outback. Now every single car is waving at me even the road trains. That’s encouraging! I’m listening some music and singing while riding. Luckily no one can hear me as I’m definitely not a singer but it helps me to keep going further.
I arrived at Miles for lunch and there is a free coffee stall to help drivers to stay awake. I’ve got a hot chocolate and a coffee plus some biscuits to be full of energy for the rest of the trip said the granny who was serving the beverages. She was with her 10 years old grandson, we had a chat. At the moment it’s school holidays, that’s why it’s full of kids everywhere. He is living in a farm 20km further and told me that in summer there is plenty of brown snakes. The venomous ones that can kill you in 15min. I’m lucky it’s winter and there is no snakes at this time of the year. Maybe further in the desert.
I kept going for a couple of hours and felt very weak suddenly. I stopped. Ate three cereals bars and a pear some apple sauce it was time to keep going. I felt better quite quickly and reached my goal 137km from my starting point. I finished in the dark night and it started to rain. I built a big shed with my tent, my tarp, my bike and a tree. Comfy to cook and eat while staying dry. Tomorrow, Roma. I saw there is free hot showers there… it’s gonna be awesome!
05/07/2016 – Need a rest
Trip dist: 71km
Total distance 2807 km
After a wet night due to heavy rain, I’m taking the time to pack everything. I slept by a lake where it’s allowed to stay overnight for free. Plenty of other campers stayed there as well but with big camper vans. In the morning a lot of them came to ask me if the night was not too wet with that rain. Australians are really friendly. I started to cycle at 10am and have been welcomed on the road by a group of ten kangaroos, they were maybe 250meters away but as I might make different noise then all the big campers they might have wanted to see closer who i was. They followed me on 200 meters then crossed the road just in front of me. It was really cool. Unfortunately no pictures of it but it will happen again.
The wind today was westerlies it means headwind again. Really bad to get a lot of km under my wheels. In addition my body was not working anymore. Too tired of the last 6 days of cycling and especially the last two days with more than 250km. I had to stop and relax / think about what to do. After a little while I found the energy to keep going until Roma. But it was hard. I think I need a day off for my muscles to recover. Depending on the winds I’ll get a day off when the winds are bad for me.
05/07/2016 – boring straight lines
Trip dist: 48,93km
Total distance 2856 km
At Roma I spent the night at the gun club. There is good showers and it’s only $10 the night. The wind is still Westerly and stronger than ever. Before to leave the city I absolutely needed to find more Shellite for the stove. It looks like it’s getting very hard to find some. None of the petrol station are selling it neither Repco. I’ve been lucky to find some in a hardware shop. What I could have done in 2 hours if no wind, I did it in almost 4 hours. At least I keep progressing even by small bits. The thing is that the scenery starts to get really flat and boring. At the beginning it was fun but now it makes it a bit hard. As well it’s the first time i’m filling up all my bottles of water because I won’t have access to drinkable water for the next couple of days. I drunk just 1 liter at the end of the day and still have 5,4 liters left. Good margin. Tonight I set up the hammock to keep my feets off the ground. It’s the first time in Australia. such a comfortable bed!
Tomorrow, my plan is to cycle to Mitchel where there is natural hot springs and I might take a day off cycling to let my muscles recovering.
Week 1 total progress: 583km
Total distance before Uluru: 2027km