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I'm currently visiting a friend in Singapore on my way back to Europe – taking a 4 months break from my bike trip. After a few days in Denmark I’ll go backpacking around Israel for a month and then return to Denmark mid October to visit family and friends. I left Adelaide in May and spent 1 month biking 3,500k across the Nullarbor desert/plains to Margaret River and Perth where I spent 4 weeks recuperating at Ray’s before the last 4,500k long stretch 6 weeks up to Darwin. Nature was not very diverse – mostly very dry scrub and bush with scattered trees that could hardly be called forest, except when I went through Albany up to Margaret River in south western Australia. A few coastal views while the last 1,200k to Darwin offered the most beautiful nature with countless hills and large red rock formations, (flowing) rivers, dammed lakes, gorges and a few small waterfalls. Considering the distance, I encountered very limited wildlife – some kangaroos/wallabies and a few emus and foxes, while the birds more abundant especially cockatoos and buzzards/falcons, but also some eagles and pelicans. Lots of livestock – some sheep and (wild?) horses but mostly cattle which also dominated the roadkill.


The western half of Australia is very desolate and remote with very limited civilisation – on average 4-500k between towns and on the Nullarbor 1,200k. It meant a big challenge having to carry lots of food and water so the bike was more often around 100 kg. On the frequently very rough, bumpy, washing board roads, the weight implied a lot of strain on the bike and halfway across the Nullarbor my frame broke – fortunately I could fix it with cable ties and gorilla tape, which surprisingly lasted all 6,000k to Darwin. I spent 6 weeks until I left Perth, trying to get the Dutch manufacturer Koga to honour their lifetime warranty but arriving in Singapore the case is incredibly still not settled. North of Perth I struggled with double g’s (look like goat shit with 5-10 mm long thorns) causing countless flat and exploding tires. In general I had unprecedented equipment challenges amongst other my air mattress deflating every 3 hours preventing good nights’ sleep, a lot of clothes ripped or unable to zip, broken racks and panniers, a crushed odometer, a broken headlamp and my new tent not being able to zip as well as being ripped because it shrunk in the dry heat. Before I head out of Singapore, I need to rebuild the bike and more or less replace all my equipment.


Along the way, I survived a number of close calls mostly (but not only) with roadtrains – especially on the last 350k from Katherine to Darwin. Bad quality/non-existent shoulders often forced me to ride on the road, which created dangerous situations because of the drivers’ lack of tolerance and patience just squeezing by when there was no room due to of oncoming traffic – or even worse coming unnecessarily close without oncoming traffic. They hardly ever used their horns and most often, I wouldn’t have been able to hear it anyway in the howling winds.


The weather was fairly diverse – the first 4,500k to Carnarvon it was often just above freezing at night and 15-17C during the day with surprisingly many clouds and rainy days. The following 800k to Karratha in northwest Australia both night and day temperatures increased by 10C with a mix of sunny/cloudy and days of torrential rain, while the last 2,600k to Katherine offered clear skies with around 20C at night and hot 32-38C during the day. On the last 400k to Darwin it again became a mix of sunny/cloudy and while the temperature was unchanged it felt much warmer because the ever increasing humidity signalling the end of the dry season. On the Nullarbor the winds were (surprisingly) equally allocated from all directions, though the strongest were westernly headwinds of 40-60 k/h except for a couple of days where I rode straight into a storm with winds above 80 k/h. From Perth I had to battle a strong headwind every day (average 30-40 k/h but often over 50 k/h) reducing my average daily distance to less than 100k (many days only 80k). The physical exercise became more of a mental challenge also because of the remoteness - for that reason, I consider this ride one of the biggest achievements of my life.


With little civilisation I obviously wouldn’t stay with people but many had told me that people (especially the “grey nomads”) would help me in this desolate and remote part of the country. That was not my experience – I had countless bike problems and not a single time (out of 40-50) when the bike was upside down at the roadside did somebody stop to ask if I was okay. On the Nullarbor only a couple of people asked if I needed something while it was a little more on my way up to Darwin (often the same people stopping more times). However, on request most people were friendly to leave some of my water bottles down the road at a marker, which was a big help up north when it was hot and there was 300k between roadhouses and thereby water sources.

My general perception of the Australians as superficial, closed-minded, self-centred and indifferent is unchanged and maybe for that reason, I feel like highlighting the few people who made a big difference. Shona the highway angel who gave me food, water and even money as well as Jörn and Sharon who invited me to stay overnight in Karratha and took me out for dinner. However, most important were Ray who hosted me for a month and Sally (and family) who hosted me 11 days in Darwin, set me up to stay some days in Katherine and helped me in so many ways there’s not enough room to write it here.

You can read much more and enjoy countless pictures and videos on my homepage:

Navigate through my travel description “Australia 2014/15” at the top of the dark blue menu bar on the left. You're of course most welcome to write in my guestbook and/or send me a personal message as well as referring people you think might be interested to my website - see options at the bottom of this mail.

I wish you and your family all the best - may you be as happy and fortunate in life as I am.

Many greetings from Michael

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