What a great week. I dropped off my SUV in Adelaide and the next day met up with Ray, my warmshowers host. What a great guy. First, he and his friend Ian bought me breakfast, then we went to Ray’s fabulous apartment which is centrally located and has a great view of the city from the 7th floor. He gave me keys and let me hang out there for two days. We talked a lot about travel, cycling and business (he is a small business owner). Ray has cycled extensively in the USA, Australia and Vietnam.
I visited the art gallery one day and took these pics. I loved these tall skinny figures made by aboriginal artists.
One night Ray invited me to join him, his friend Vera, and their friend Christine to the Austrian Club, where ex-pats gather and socialize. They were celebrating the Christmas season with music, drinking and a performance by Saint Nicolas and Krampus.
In Central European folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure described as “half-goat, half-demon”, who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved with gifts. Krampus went around beating people while Saint Nic gave out candy.
Here are Ray, Vera and Christine at the Austrian Club.
The next day I went to my very first cricket match. India was in town for a five day test match against Australia at the Adelaide Oval and Ray’s apartment was near the stadium so we could hear the cheers from time to time. Curious about the sport, I learned a bit about it. It seems slow but there is a huge amount of strategy and tactics that go into it.
Beer and cricket just seem to go together.
Inside the Adelaide Oval.
I finally left Adelaide and headed east. After some tough hills and traffic I decided to change my plans again. Rather than going south to Melbourne I will follow the Murray River and meander into Sydney from the west. I almost got sideswiped a couple times by trucks so I don’t feel comfortable riding into a lot of traffic. Most roads here do not have shoulders so I am forced to ride on the road, and my new rear light fell off again (the third one!). Here is my current position:
The problem again has been the long distances between towns to get water. There are hundreds of kilometers of nothing but barley fields or scrub brush.
Then I came across this lake in the middle of the desert filled with dead trees. Very odd.
Ray told me that cycling in Australia without a helmet is a crime and you can be fined on the spot. So he lent me a spare helmet. Here I am dressed in the height of cycling fashion.
More Australian bar humor.
Need some horse poo? Only $2.50 a bag.
Yes, watch out for the cyclists, folks.
I’ve had mostly good weather the past week. It’s been windy but not as hot as earlier. In fact it was actually cold one night (50 deg F). But with clear skies and plenty of space I am able to camp out a lot. Here’s a typical spot in the bush. The only problem are the flies, as I mentioned last post. They are still around, tormenting me. Some nights I have to eat dinner in my tent to escape them. How do the aboriginal people abide them? I’ve even swallowed a couple when they flew into my mouth and I could not spit them out in time. Yuck.
Here’s the bike all packed up and ready to go. My panniers are looking pretty beat up. But they’ve held up well—over 16,000 miles so far. I’m using my collapsable cooler again too. I fill it with ice and have cold drinks all day. It’s heavy but worth it to have a cold beer at the end of a long hot day.
Well that’s it for now. I will be headed mostly east then north to be in Sydney by Jan. 10 or so. Stay tuned.