Busily trying to prepare for our next adventure in Vietnam but not wanting to lose the glow of achievement after completing our 7000 km cycling tour across Australia we thought we’d try and do a best of pics collection. Not going to happen. Just too many to choose from…so now we’ll try and give you the top ten memories for each state we crossed into. They might not be the best of our photography but they bring back the best memories (good and bad) for us.
Number 1 – Minute 1, Day 1. Do you think there was a bit of trepidation…Tim’s longest ride ever before this day had been 15km. He had exactly 113km of training under his belt and that was on an unladen bike. He had ridden around the block with all the panniers on just the day before. I had ridden for 180km plus before but that was 7 years ago on an unladen road bike and I was super fit at the time (as an Ironman Triathlete). I had done exactly 178km of training in 4 years and that was the 2 weeks before we set off and on an unladen bike. I had just ridden the bike around the block once to experience the load. YEP. We were a bit nervous!!!
Number 2. Our first Camp in Rockingham. What a mess it looks. It took about 2 hours to set everything up and another two to get it packed up again the next day. I can assure you we did get rid of a fair bit of stuff along the way and got a whole lot more organised.
Number 3 – The first time we’d had a combination of great weather, great scenery and were off the main roads. The ride out of Bunbury had us both on a natural high.
Number 4 Torrential day the day before and then a detour off the muddy rail trail between Cowaramup and Margaret River had us walking the bikes down a slippery slope. It took us around 3 hours to clean the bikes up afterwards!!
Number 5: Our first real Bushcamp (Although there was a loo). No way we could make the 160km all the way to Pemberton so we pulled up in a parking bay for our first stealth camp. The vango tent blended in well right up the back in the scrub and we were so knackered we were in bed before it was dark. There were a few nervous moments when we were joined by a car but it turned out to be three young Germans who were just trying to save some cash on accommodation. PS the instant rice meal was terrible!!!! But we were too tired to care.
Number 7. With Western Australia experiencing its wettest September in 90 years it was a a very welcome surprise to find a hut at Fernhook Falls that we could take shelter in and, even better that, Tim could find enough dry matter to get the fire going.
Number 8. The first familiar faces we’ve seen in 18 months, our friends Helen and David picked us up in Walpole and DROVE us to see the Giant Treewalk and other great sights in the area.Really nice not to get soaked when it started pouring and ticked off numerous sites we would have either missed because they were too difficult to access or taken days to get to. Spoilt!
Number 9. Our first 100 km day. Tim absolutely refused to believe he would ever ride 100km and just 3 weeks in I was delighted to see him proved wrong.
Number 10. Ooops we pulled up in the wrong parking bay. It seemed a little strange that it didn’t resemble the description on Wikicamps. Still we were out of sight. Unfortunately our new Snowgum waterbottles had cracked and some of the sleeping gear was wet. It was freezing cold, a fox came and raided the camp in the middle of the night and I managed to get a tick!!! All part of the cycle touring experience I guess.
OK…So there’s no way I can even cut 1 state down to 10 so it’s now the top 20!! Here we go…
Number 11. So knackered, a rest was required. Nowhere to park up but the side of the road. Obviously we were still getting our legs BUT it was an extremely tough day.
Number 12 A true blue Aussie lunch. Lost count of how many times we had this one. Vegemite and Kraft slices on Vita Wheat Biscuits. Ticks all the boxes for taste and nutrition.
Number 13. The sheer size of Australia and the massive wide open spaces had us feeling quite miniscule in the whole scheme of things
Number 14: All the food we parcelled up and had dropped off by our friends at road houses along the Nullarbor. In the end we were over prepared but far better than being under. What we didn’t use we gave away to other cyclists and campers so nothing went to waste.
Number 15. The only other cyclist we met on the Nullarbor. Our Korean friend joined us for a few days on and off between Balladonia and Eucla
Number 16 The start of the 90mile straight betwen Balladonia and Caiguna. May the wind be with us and thankfully they were MOST of the way.
Number 17. And you thought we were mad. These guys in their mid sixties were running a marathon a day for a whole year. They hadn’t long to go to reach their destination in Melbourne on New Years Eve. Not far of course if you think another 70 or so marathons is chicken feed. Definitely feeling humble that day.
Number 18. Another crazy sign on The Nullarbor. With so much distance wide open space between stops it didn’t take much to keep us amused.
Number 19. How quickly did our 2000 km mark come around. And no, we weren’t about to rob a bank…the flies were just toooo damn friendly!!!
Number 20 First he didn’t believe he’d ever ride 100km and then less than 2 weeks later we were riding 165!!! Learning quite a lot about the difference between a head wind and a tail wind!!
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