Archive for November, 2007
I spent most of the day trying to catch up with the outside world. Seems like I didn’t really miss any big headlines during the last month or so. Oh, yes, the Danish Prince Joachim is getting married again. To a French girl this time (it’s gotta be exotic, it’s gotta be exotic is the mantra in the Royal Danish Family. It was always like that). Big headline stuff is all relative, right…
Carolyne, my host, has got some great stuff in her CD collection, and I happily scavenge through it from A-Z today. I can now honestly say that I have the most fantastic iPod on Earth. True. 11.000 songs of gold. My darling. I can’t wait to get back on the road, with the head phones plugged…dreaming, thinking.
In town today, I met Joseph, the good Irish (cum Australian) cyclist that appears on some of my outback photos and that I cycled with for about 10 days south of Alice Springs. Small world.
The girls, Carolyne and her US friend Lauren take me out tonight for a bit of live music in the cool Adelaide Crown & Sceptre Bar. It’s been a while since my last live music gig, and – combined with a moderate row of Coopers Pale Ale – it was a smooth night out.
Tune of the Day: Fade Into You – Mazzy Star
Today was sightseeing day in Adelaide.
Visiting all these cultural institutions is great, and it’s such a big contrast to cycling in the outback. I feel human again!
Just strolling up and down the busy pedestianized Rundle Mall is a pleasure. So many people in the sun, so many smiles, so many short skirts. Life’s not always easy round here…
In the Japanese Himeji Garden I had a break from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, with news from home…
Tune of the Day: Headache – Frank Black
I guess I’m a sort of an amphibian human being. Not that I’m cold-blooded or have 4 legs. But I tend to find comfort and joy in most environments, from the empty and isolated Aussie outback with no modern luxuries around, to here, at Carolyne’s place!
It feels like heaven here – the bed is huge and firm, the internet is fast, Suzy (the Cat) is adorable, the kettle gives me hot water (coffee!) with no fuss and fumbling with the multifuel burner, the fridge is cold, the sun’s warm. Life can be so sweet & simple.
In fact, the cosyness of just fooling around in the house – slightly pretending it’s all mine, while Carolyne’s at work in town at the Forensic Science Department – prevented me from doing any sightseeing at all today. So much for planning. Instead Carolyne and I went to the movies to see a cute little French move, Conversations with my Gardener - or as the French would have undoubtedly put it, Dialogue avec mon jardinier.
In most Australian states (incl. SA) you have to wear a helmet when cycling. I find that stupid. Downright.
Partly because I don’t have one and don’t intent on buying one ‘cos I feel quite claustrophobic (and geeky) with to much crap attached to my head (no sunnies either), and partly because I think the Australian urge to control its citizens went too far here. So far I’ve managed to cross the continent with just a few warnings from the police (a firm “Put your helmet on!”) , and I believe I’ll be able to continue that way…Time will tell.
Quote of the Day: With our thoughts we create the World – Buddha.
Nuriootpa -> Adelaide (private acc.)
Distance (km) : 96
Time on bike : 5h 45m
Brutto time: 10.00 – 18.45
Avg : 16.6 km/h
Total (km) : 24.394
All good things come to an end.
It was time for me to leave the lovely Jones Family in Nuriootpa and go for the last 100 km to Adelaide. Granny Ginny made a huge breakfast for me that virtually boosted me with energy all the way to the South Australian capital city.
The kindness of the family knows no end, so before I left the Barossa Valley, I got myself a quick & free haircut in the Tanunda Salon. Thanks, Kirby!
Everyone’s safe in the Barossa Valley…
Through Hospitality Club I already had a contact (a few, to be honest) in Adelaide and was happy that Carolyne, my great host for the next days, was there to meet me in West Hindmarsh, an Adelaide suburb just 5 km NW of the city centre.
I felt like leaving one El Dorado (Nuriootpa) in the morning, only to arrive at the next one (here!) in the evening. Australia is like that. Such a likeable place…
Please excuse my recent silence and take it as a proof that no news is good news.
I’ve been having some seriously lovely days here in Nuriootpa in the Barossa Valley. The last days have been super compact and it feels like my mind and memo is struggling to keep up with the experiences that just keep rolling in. Through the website Hospitality Club I was warmly invited by the Jones Family right in the centre of the Barossa. And what a great family that is!
I’ve been spoilt in a way that’s just unheard of in Camp WT, thanks to mom Ginny, dad Ian, their daughters Kinny and Amber + husband Adam and their kids Aiden (2) and Ava (4), all the dogs and birds and all the other folks I’ve met during the last 3 days.
A few hours after my arrival here (Saturday) I found myself at a private Princess & Commando theme party with lots of new, happy faces, great music, chilled ambience and heaps of Coopers Pale Ale. It was a full on introduction for me…
On Sunday (25NOV) Ian took me for a ride in his flashy vintage 1974 Holden Monaro around the lush & lovely Barossa Valley. It’s a fantastic car and we got a lot of attention (my Koga bicycle would’ve been jealous) driving around in that V8 powerhouse.
I felt like I was in some road movie or – when Ian pushed down the pedal which, fortunately, he likes a lot – like in a Nintendo car race game. We went to one of the many wineries that are scattered around the area and obviously I couldn’t help myself at the wine tasting counter…
Today (Monday), Ginny, Amber, her kids and I went sightseeing around and outside the Valley, to The Chocolate Factory, The Cheese Factory and The Toy Factory, and the biggest rocking horse in the world! Now how’s that! I’ve been trying to keep my feet on the ground here, but I have to say that I’ve lost my heart to the Barossa Valley – feel confident that I could actually settle down here.
I might not do that for 2 reasons:
1) The bicycle would be quite discontent with that, and
2) I still haven’t found my missus yet
3) I’ve decided to continue down the road. Open eyes and all…
My stomac is full of roast lamb, steaks, huge English breakfasts, beer and other delicacies and I’m sure it’ll be hard for me to leave the happiness and warmth that seems like the most natural thing in and around this family. I’m utterly overwhelmed and until now I didn’t know that revitalization can feel that revitalizing…
A huge thanks to The Jones’ for everything, and for being who you are.
I expect to reach Adelaide tomorrow, Tuesday. New adventures in Hi-FI…
Speak to you later…
This little log update includes a record breaking PB….226 km in a very long 10h 22m day the day before yesterday… Just couldn’t stop myself out there…Having crossed another continent feels immensely satisfying. 2650 km since I left the Darwin area a month or so ago, a lot of bush, huh?
Great to be back in civilization, though
Have a look at the first photo set from my Australian adventures.
They do say that pictures can say more than a 1000 words, right…
Internet is insanely expensive here in Australia, compared to Southeast Asia’s 0.50 USD/hour. That’s part of the reason why silence prevails here from Camp WT but I can assure you that all is very, very fine. Really. Am loving it here in the wilderness. Hard to find time (and bucks) to keep up with the site though. I know you all understand. Love ya’ nonetheless
For the few of us who might find it slightly interesting (I certainly do) to follow the whereabouts of the WT progress across the vast and isolated Australian continent, here is what I’ve been doing lately. There’s been a lot of km for the last two weeks, incl. 2 super long days around the 200 km mark. Proud, that I am…
Cheers from The Red Centre