Between February 2002 and March 2003 I circumnavigated 12,504 miles around the Australian continent on my bicycle, or push bike as they say there. After that I went to New Zealand for three months and met up with a friend and ended up pushing the total mileage to 14,115.7 miles (22717.02 km). I spent 269 days on my bike, 272 days not on my bike, and getting 67 flat tires over those 17 months.
I started and ended my 13 month lap around Australia at Luna Park in St. Kilda/Melbourne.. The distance around Australia (including Tasmania) ended up being about 20,281km (12,600 miles).
One fun thing I did during my trip was to visit six "confluences", which is where a whole-numbered latitude/longitude mark intersects for The Degree Confluence Project.
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about 3am this morning the rain started. I was hoping it would just stop, but rain rain rain it did. I ended up getting up with half my clothes on and got the bike covered up. Somehow with all the noise I ended up falling asleep again. I woke up and the tent was pretty flooded. Despite all my preparations, the tent still got flooded due to the ill-designed rainfly. I met this guy Nick in Perth who said it best..."Y'know, I've never owned a tent I've been happy with". Amen brother.
Got up, MCQ was up already. It was raining pretty good but we decided to bike to Wanaka anyway. MCQ was ready to go and I wanted to go get food and do some email, so we made plans to just meet in Wanaka. I cruised into town and did some email:
Steve made a funny comment about a Silverchair song I put on his hard disk (the only one I remotely like BTW). I'll say this for the record. As much as Steve Taylor of Coburg, Victoria, Australia dislikes Silverchair, he does in fact own the (kinda lackluster) Clash Tribute album "Burning London". On this album is Silverchair.
I went by the backpackers where Carmella Canada was staying. I glanced into the lounge area and saw a girl in there but it wasn't her, so I walked away. The girl walked out towards me and said hello....it was her, she just had her hair pulled back. We talked travel stories and had toast. (two pieces each, with Vegemite and butter)
I ran into MCQ on the walk back to the store. He was heading out so I'd see him up the line. Didn't get out of the holiday park until 2:30 or so and not out of town until a bit after that.
It wasn't raining anymore, just this nice cloudy overcast all about. The fall colors were pretty and all that kinda stuff. Awhile later I reached the big switchbacks and started the two hour climb up the hill. When I got to the viewpoint about 3/4 of the way up there was a van there. As I started to pass the guy got out and asked if I'd like a ride. I felt bad for declining since I knew he'd waited there at the turnout for a few minutes. I dunno why I declined, especially since I told myself I'd accept rides in New Zealand. In Australia I turned down a zillion ride offers since I wanted to ride all the way around the continent. Here it is a different story, so I dunno.
I reached the top of the pass right at sunset. Right when I turned off to the parking area there was this van load of people all giving me the thumbs up and cheering sign. The sunset was really cool...guess that was my present for climbing the hill. I made a makeshift clock out of my map. The frisbee made a nice humanclock sign for the front of the site too. I loaded up on some food and put the warm clothes on.
The 40km ride to Wanaka was a lot of fun actually. It was a bit cold, but downhill most of the way. I put on the tunes and rocked and rolled. I had all the lights on since it was dark now. I'd forgotten how much I liked riding at night.
Rolled into Wanaka. Robin had the studio all done up, looks like he's been busy. MCQ had got here a little before I did. Robin came out and said hello. Turns out he was in Queenstown yesterday. He was playing ice hockey when we called him. Doh! Oh well, I'm glad I got to ride anyway.