Tuesday, 19 May 2015

trip to Cairns

May 10th till May 14th 2015

by rental car (982km)

Yes, sometimes I am very lazy and I do not want to cycle all side trips, especially when I have to go the same way twice. I want to come to Darwin as soon as possible so I make a quick trip to Cairns by rental car.

One highlight was to meet Tilmann Waldthaler. Originally he comes from South Tyrol/Italy but he is now an Australian Citizen, living with his wife Renate and his dog close to Cairns. He has been cycling for over 40 years and over 450.000km ! what an achievement ! Some months ago, we got in touch via Facebook, and when I told him, that I will come to Cairns, we made an appointement for lunch and then he invited me for the next day for breakfast at their home. It was so great ! both so friendly and we had great conversations, not only about travelling by pushbike :-)

there is a community for voluntary work, called "helpX". I am a registered helper but did not work, because I try to finish my loop around Australia in September i
Some months ago, Petra from "K9 Riverretreat" contacted me, so I took the chance to visit them. If I had a dog I would bring my fluffy friend here !! Awesome pet boarding house :-)

Petra and Chris with their fluffy dogs

so much space !  Wuff Wuff :-)

quite remoted area :-)

Davis on the left, a cyclist from Canada and Les with his awesome family , who hosted me for two nights ! thank you so much !

the main reason to go to Cairns: scuba diving !

I did it with the same divecenter  (TUSA Dive) as in 2007 and it was terrific !!!

a short video : cut "quick and dirty" ;-)

with stinger-suit .

and some impressions from the trip !

time to say "Good-Bye" to the East Coast !

since May 17th on the way to Mount Isa, Darwin, Kununurra, Broome and final destination Perth, where I started my trip around Australia. It is still a long way !

Friday, 15 May 2015

Brisbane - Townsville

April 2nd til May 10, and May 16th/

kilometer: 1.507
bike days: 17

Brisbane - Beerwah - Noosaville - Pomona - Gympie - Maryborough - Bundaberg - Miriam Vale - Gladstone - Rockhampton - Marlborough - Clearview - Mackay - Broombury - Airlie Beach - Bowen - Ayr - Townsville

After an awesome time in New Zealand and my great hosts in Brisbane, Keith and Suzie, it was time to hit the road again. there are still 9000km to cycle and I want to be in Perth in September.
Due to my bad experience with the traffic in bigger cities I took a  train from to Beerwah, which is close to the Australia Zoo, founded by the unforgetable crocodile hunter, Steve Irvine. www.australiazoo.com.au

I already visited this zoo in 2007, so no reason to go there again. usually the Glass House Mountains are beautiful, but it was bucketing and I did not see anything.

Well, the days were not so exciting, cycling, eating, sleeping.....  I used to stay on the Bruce Highway, (A1) which is quite good to cycle. a lot traffic, but the pavement is not as bad as in the hinterland and there is more shoulder.

In Rockhampton I tried to stay at a host from "warmshowers.org", but this went to my first bad experience (after 20 terrific good ) . I always keep my hosts updated about my time of arrival. when I arrived in Rockhampton I sent him a textmessage. he told me that he is currently in a meeting and after over exhausting 100 km, I had been been waiting for over one hour, not to know , when and where to stay. this is one of my few principles and a matter of well-behaved:  no one waits for me (uninformed) and if someone let me wait for such a long time (uninformed) , I do not want to have a contact anymore. I decided to go to a caravan park.

My next hosts in Mackay were awesome. Peter and Jacki hosted me for three nights and we had a lot of fun together. Peter is very busy to improve cycling in and around Mackay and has excellent information.

In Airlie Beach I got an invitation to spend two nights in an appartement at the marina....  the biggest luxury I ever had :-) I had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, balcony , kitchen all with equipment from "Miele" for my own. a swimming pool in the courtyard. during my stay there was no reason to leave this accommodation, because in 2007 I already had a sailing and divetrip to the Whitsunday Islands.

I tried to get a dive trip in Bowen, but it did not wok, so I was heading off to Alva Beach.

The divetrip to the S.S. Yongala was awesome ! two dives and so many fish, turtels, stingray...pics below.    really breathtaking, but the divecenter www.yongaladive.com.au is one of the worst dive-companies, I ever had been diving with.  the check-in was a desaster, because the dive-instructor wanted to see a medical certificate from me, but did not accepted my current one and told me wrong things about law in Queensland:  my medical certificate must not be older than one year and I should go to a special dive doctor, who is 16km away....  I was totally pissed off, because the cancellation policy of this company says, that you have to pay the full amount (270 AUD) if you make mistakes with your documents....  the next morning, her collegue told me that I do not need anything. two signatures on a PADI-form, that was all.  the briefing by the dive instructor on the speed boat, in front of insane loud engines, was the next issue, and third,  a grumpy skipper who made stupid comments about my nationality; after the second bloody comment, I was fed up with his behaviour and stopped him).

I arrived in Townsville at the bike shop,(www.thebicyclepedlar.com)from my hosts, Mick and Jenny. I spent six nights at their quite new home, had my own bathroom and we had so much fun together.
My Rohloff was leaking and the importer in Australia, Paul Moir (Pure Sports Ltd.) whom I already met in NSW,  send all parts and tools to Mick. All perfectly organized, when I arrived...  wow, what a big help. I hope, Mick will become the official Rohloff-Partner in Townsville :-)
Thank you both for your  terrific hospitality and hope to see you again !

I decided, not to cycle to Cairns, because it is quite a circuitous tour and my motivation, to cycle 700km to Cairns and back to Townsville (where the highway to Darwin starts) through boring sugarcane fields, was very low.
I stored my bike and luggage at my hosts and took a rental car to Cairns. more about this trip in the next post !

Black Mountains

Ned Kelly

olive plantations

ISIS ??? 

ginger beer brewery in Bundaberg

coal transport in Gladstone

power station in Gladstone

aluminium factory from Rio Tinto

no, I did not go there....

since I have this sign on my rear, car-drivers are more friendly and respectful ;-)

big load :-)

fellow cyclist from Scotland

so long distances

sunrise in Clearview

good to know! honestly I considered to put sugarcane on my bike ;-)

not only for the kids ;-)

Karsten & Carina from Germany, which supported me with two cans of coke and juice :-) thanky, mates !

Welcome to "Croc-Land" :-)

my luxury accommodation in Airlie Beach...  WOW !

view from the balcony

early bird...  on the road again.

old railway track along the sugarcane fields

Big Mango

was not so bad.  lucky guy

gravel pressed into bitumen, very rough. and on the right sight of the white line much smoother, but more dangerous.

I am the "Dyson-devil" ;-)  housework at my hosts in Townsville

awesome evening with my hosts Mick and Jenny (sitting, left to right), Steph and Alex from "tandem-down-under", who I met the fourth time in Australia and Ian, a friend of Mick and Jenny and cyclist as well.   so much fun !
Bildunterschrift hinzufügen

Good Bye Jenny  and Mick and 1000thanks for your great hospitality !!

Diving at the wreck.




the most dangerous animal in Australia: Oppossum  ;-)