May 06, 2002 GMT
Ahs eet gawwin?

Left touristy Byron Bay vowing not to bother with any more tourist towns, and here I am in Cairns! I need some stuff for the bike, and it's been chucking it down, and at least in a town there's things you can spend money on while hoping it will stop (like beer). Excuses aside I did pretty well on the way up, only kissing the coast in a few 'select' places.

Did a few days walking and camping on Frazier island nearly killing myself by taking way to much stuff, tent etc, cooking gear (like I really needed 4 pans!), loads of food. Wine is definately preferable to beer if you're going to carry it. A cask in one hand and a few litres of water in the other balances out nicely. Just remember which one to drop when you stumble over. Forgot to take plasters, though, and my feet were a mess by the time I got a lift back to Harvey Bay.

Lift was interesting - Charles Manson lookalike who was going on about how he's been abducted by aliens several times and they've performed operations on him (including a 3rd eye). Still, they're going to rescue him when we decide to blow up the world so that's nice.

Few day's later, Vladimir, a romany gypsy come's over to me and starts freaking out on me. Apparently I have the soul of a crow(?!) and my ancestors discovered Australia, and I've lost my respect for women (maybe a guess as I was on my own at the time) and I must remember not to use my brakes (I will know when the time comes.... probably just after the time 'comes') etc etc. Anyway....

Have managed to stay out of trouble with the cops for a few weeks, which is just as well as I opted to keep the speeding ticket as a souviner. Spent a bit of time fussing over the bike (ignoring my usual maintainance program of 'if it ain't broke don't fix it'), adjusting the valves etc and wondering whether that back wheelbearing wobble was there before, and where has all the tread gone on my tyres since I got to Australia. I notice in the handbook that Horse is due for a new poly-V belt. I have no idea what that is! Will pop into the dealers after the weekend to humiliate myself.

Posted by Jason Homewood at 04:35 AM GMT
May 31, 2002 GMT
Gone Troppo

Greetings from Darwin (no shoes, no shirt land).

It rained in Cairns, which was a real shame as I was
looking forward to going diving on the reef. I hung
around for a few days waiting to see if it would clear
(and who got the boot on Big Brother) but it didn't.
Boo. Did a one day trip out in 3 meter swell (i.e:
great big waves) and a couple of dives just to say I'd
done it. At least there was lots of fish as they were
feeding on the sick I was blowing through the
regulator.

As soon as I climbed the excellent road inland from
Cairns the skys cleared. I took an easy 5 days (and
another speeding ticket only 2 hours from no limits
NT) to go across the top to Darwin, staying in small
town pubs or camping in their gardens. The vibe on the
road up here is good. Everyone wants to chat in the
roadhouses, and although the countryside is pretty
bleak I really liked it. There was really heavy bush
fires on the last day, I think they start them to keep
the bush down, which added to the 'road to hell' theme
nicely.

I got into Darwin and found a shop with some lovely
new tyres, and then a backpackers with a pool to wash
the sweat off. Lovely! Met up with some great guys
from Melbourne as soon as I pulled up, and as Darwin
is the drinking capital of Australia, I decided to
take a week off and go with the flow. The second week
in Darwin was much the same, although we did manage a
trip out to one of the national parks and a bit of
fishing off of the pier. I really like Darwin!

The last 2 days have been pretty productive. I've done
a full service on the bike, and sorted out shipping to
Singapore. The cost for the shipping was a very
reasonable 316 Aussie dollars (about 120 pounds) and
no crate, so it was really easy.

Asia. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Posted by Jason Homewood at 09:05 AM GMT
 


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