No worries is an expression widely used in Australia and represents a feeling of friendliness, good humor, optimism and “mateship” in Australian culture. The phrase has been referred to as the national motto of Australia. So when someone does something for you and you say thanks, the response often is “no worries.” What a great place.
My last push into Sydney was anticlimactic. Rain was forecast for a week so I played it conservative and made several short 30-40 km days and stayed in hotels. But it was great because I passed through some wonderful old small towns such as Goulburn, Marulan, Bundanoon, and Mittagong. On the way I saw this sign. Only in Australia. I mean, really, only here. Wombats do not exist anywhere else in the world.
One thing I forgot to talk about before is the Australian wave. This refers to the all those flies I wrote about earlier:
As I got closer to Sydney the traffic got pretty bad. Australia has few shoulders except on major highways and I was trying to take back roads. But even then there was constant traffic, and no shoulder. So at Mittagong I decided to end it. I took the train the last 100 km into Sydney. I have an internal alarm that goes off when I feel unsafe and it went off.
The train ride was great.
A shot of my Brooks B17 saddle. This is where my butt has rested for 17,000 miles.
One of the first things I did in Sydney was go to the opera house, of course. The Opera House is one of the 20th century’s most famous and distinctive buildings. I have seen pictures, and I am not particularly enamored with architecture, but I was amazed. The place is truly impressive. It is an architectural masterpiece. Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the building took 15 years to design and build and was opened in October 1973. Due to delays and cost overruns, Utzon resigned halfway through the project and never saw his vision completed, which is a shame. The original cost and scheduling estimates in 1957 projected a cost of $7 million and completion date of January 1963. In reality, the project was completed ten years late and cost $102 million. But I think it was worth it. It is Australia’s number one tourist destination, welcoming more than 8.2 million visitors a year.
Next to the opera house is the Sydney Harbor bridge. It’s a great place to hang out and watch the people, boats, and take in the sea breeze.
Then, following my brother in law Ira’s suggestion, I paid a visit to Fortune of War, Sydney’s oldest pub. Ira used to hang out there in the 1830s.
I spent part of a day at Bondi beach, a popular place in Summer and not far from downtown Sydney.
They have a good Contemporary Art Museum there. I found this piece interesting.
Skateboarding in Hyde Park.
The ANZAC Memorial. The acronym refers to Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought in World War 1. From a population of only 5 million, 416,000 Australian men enlisted in the war and 60,000 died, a 14.4% death rate. It was one of the highest percentages of young men in a population killed in WWI, including over 8,000 at Gallipoli and 12,000 at Passchendaele.
So that’s it for now. I leave tomorrow for Miami. Then I am taking a hiatus from bicycle touring for a bit. I just need to settle for a couple months then who knows. I may get back on the road, or…on the water.
Here’s the stats from my trip:
Start: April 2, 2017, finish: January 16, 2019. 655 days, or just over 22 months.
Distance pedaled: 17,256 miles (27,771 km).
Countries visited: USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Vietnam, Australia.
I probably won’t be posting much over the next few months, but if you want to stay tuned, click the box at the bottom of the page to be notified by email when I upload a new post. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my trip as much as I’ve had in keeping up this blog. Thanks for all your comments.