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Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Final Leg



Fully loaded with bananas, well rested, and psyched for what lay ahead; I left Townsville and set off on the final leg.

As always, the road was paved with awesome people and heaps of encouragers.



I was so enjoying the ride that by the time I reached Innesfail (a mere stone's throw - 95 km - away from Cairns), I decided I was far too close and rerouted my trip a little




It's weird how 2 months earlier I could barely ride a bike, hills made my stomach churn, and 80 kilometers took me a whole day.
Now  I was that person who willfully chose to ride up to the Atherton Tablelands (a 1400 meter climb) just to prolong my trip and a few 100 km detours were termed "small"

The detour didn't disappoint one bit!








I timed my arrival perfectly to be the very first customer at the Millaa Millaa Caravan Park


And for the first time on the trip I became an actual cycle tourist spending my days exploring wonders rather than just covering distance.





As always, I gave the serious cyclists a laugh.


But the sense of accomplishment from conquering a mountain was awesome!


From the Tablelands I pushed North and took the ferry across to the Daintree





And pushed on from there to Cape Tribulation


Where I found rainforrests, and pristine beaches and creeks and assortments of delicious fruit


I pushed on further and eventually decided to stop pedaling at Emmagen Creek - the very end of the tarred roads



Cape Tribulation and it's beauty sucked me in for a few days
(even with all the crocodile warnings)







Although it doesn't look it, I was actually quite sad to have conquered the last significant hill of the trip.


And the ferry back south felt rather wrong


But there were a few more minor detours to be made



And then finally, after 2 months of barefoot pedaling with my exceptionally dirty teddy bear.
After 3678 Km of mud, rain, mountains, forests, highways and dirt tracks, breakdowns, smiles, waves, yells of encouragement...
After meeting more amazing people than I thought Australia could hold...
I did what I had thought was impossible - I arrived in Cairns and crossed the finish line.



It's amazing how one gyspy, who knew nothing about bikes, could clamber on an old recycled bicycle and just keep going.


But with the amazing charity that is Bikes 4 Life behind me, I had that Umph I needed to keep pushing - It just shows you that all things really are possible (If I could do it anyone can).
One little cycle trip transformed my life and reminded me how much the human body is capable of and showed me how far a bicycle can take you.

It's quite sad to be at the end of the trip, but new adventures (whatever they may be) lie ahead.
Ninja, my faithful steed, is being added to a container of bikes in Cairns and is on his way up to Cape York to help transform a community up there. 
(it's not too late to donate - go to www.bikes4life.com.au)


I know I have many a cycle tour ahead
 of me in the future and I hope I've inspired some of you to do the same!
It might be difficult at the start - but the best things in life are always worth working for!

 

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Road to Townsville

It was hard work dragging myself out of the serenity of Agnes Water and 1770, but new adventures lay ahead!


In Rockhampton I finally returned to the tropics which made me so happy that I even closed my eyes for the celebratory picture.
Sadly the tropics also came with a cold front and I found myself facing more freezing cold tenty nights.

It didn´t take long though before I made some new friends to share breakfast with.


And then I met the first cycle tourer I´ve seen in Australia.
Peter just so happened to be going in the same direction and despite being a real cyclist (he even wears lycra), on a circum-cycligation, even (believe it or not) did the same daily averages as me 


It was awesome having a few days of cycle camaraderie, especially when my carrier broke and Austrian ingenuity (and wire and cable ties) saved the day.


The kilometers pedaled kept increasing and Cairns kept getting closer


Too close in fact, I had to start taking detours (and start stopping for more selfies)





The first sights and sounds of Airlie Beach made me feel quite at home




Outside Bowen I found (and licked) the Big Mango


And while the terrain turned harsh and arid, it was extraordinarily beautiful!


And then quite suddenly the road made me run into these too crazy souls: Joe and Josh are walking, yes, WALKING from Cairns to Melbourne. 
It´s always good to find people on a crazier mission than your own!
(find their ´`walk the Line`` facebook page)

  

No, I think cycling is about as slow as it gets for this Part Time Professional Gypsy!


I like having time to put my feet down


...or up


And even if there is that occasional (or frequent as it´s been of late) breakdown, it´s all part of the adventure!


Townsville has greeted me so warmly that I´ve delayed departure substantially!


Taking time off to explore (thanks to the excellent services of Fantasea) Magnetic Island.


There are a few more hills than my gears like on the island (I'm finally fit enough to tackle them, but I fear my gears - like my wheels - might be on their last legs)




No, bicycle gypsying is amazing.
Everyone should give it a try.

The last leg begins tomorrow and I hope the craziest adventures are yet to come@

 It´s the last leg and the final push, and if you haven´t done so already please don´t forget to get involved, donate and support www.bikes4life.com.au

And then get out of the house and off your computer and go ride your bicycle!!!