The Territory

Location: Lawn Hill, Queensland – Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
Distance: 1318km

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) had been a good home for a few days but doesn’t take me long to miss the open road. Adam made me another of his delicious coffees (going to miss those) while I loaded up the trucker including 16L of water. It was 140km to Doomadgee, nothing in between and road conditions were questionable at best. Quickly backtracked 20km past Adel’s Grove and a few sun baking snakes to the Lawn Hill Station turn off. “Just follow the signs to KFC” a passing station hand had said, “the road’s not too bad.” That made me laugh while I mentally applied a liberal amount salt to his advice. A few gates later, another snake and a herd of horses the station hand was right but that’s about as far as the “road” went. I crossed Lawn Hill Creek passing a funky smelling dingo and was greeted by a rough track on the other side.

A more accurate description would be a continuous, overlapping string of potholes created by cattle hooves; bumpy as hell. My progress slowed to a meager 10km/h or so playing a never ending game of dodge the worst of the pot holes even if that mean going off road, riding through the grass. The bumps managed to shake lose a couple of water bottles at some point before lunch which I walked back a couple of kilometres looking for but without success. By day’s end I had covered about 50km of the cattle track, passed a single ute, experienced my hottest temp so far, 43°C and worked up some impressive blisters on my palms (hard work steering with so much water on the front rack). At least there was a nice sunset and I had a lovely bunch of flies for company.

It was more of the same the next morning, including a murky 3′ deep crossing at Elizabeth Creek with a couple of dingos watching on curiously. After an hour or so things looked up and I was riding on something that resembled a road and it stayed that way all the way to Doomadgee where I made a beeline for the impressively well stocked supermarket where I briefly ran into Luke who had given me a ride to Gregory Downs a few days earlier. Before heading on I checked in at the roadhouse to ask about the road ahead, learnt nothing useful but did get a look from the lade there that said “You gonna die!” That put a smile on my face but it would have been nice to know about the 10km sand dune inspired road I had to trudge through. Eventually made camp some 2 hours later, hot and sandy.

Passed a whopping 2 cars on the way to Hell’s Gate, the last dot on the map before the border. No sooner than I had scoffed down a pie and coke Adam and Tamsin pulled up having left Lawn Hill that morning following my tyre tracks the whole way here. Over a quick catch chat up I was offered a ride to which I could hardly say no. The lady at Hell’s Gate was far more positive about the road ahead but did say we were the first tourists for the season. We made good time – a quick photo stop at the NT border – before making out way through some amazing rocky outcrops and a small range. The mighty Calvert River appeared and Adam and I, each with a big stick in hand and some keen eyes made a crossing on foot to scout the safest route. Some big rocks and a couple of holes over 1m deep but no crocs. The Landcruiser took it in its stride and we motored on to arrive at Robinson River on dusk.

The crossing could wait till morning. A big fire, baked bean jaffles and cold beer. Good finish to the day. We woke to a heavy fog, glowing soft pink and purple in the early light but was burnt off slowly by the rising sun. Although much swifter flowing the Robinson was an easy crossing with a smooth bed of sand and half the depth of the Calvert. Tall leafy paperbarks, pandanus and palms would make it a lovely swimming hole if not for the ever present but invisible salties. A quick blast up the road and it was time for me to move under my own power again. A hot and sticky ride into Borroloola with a couple of deepish river crossing and more corrugations than I care to remember made for slow going but I found myself a mascot, blind Elmo and ticked over the 5000km milestone. Ignoring all the usual signs I set up camp in a park next to the airfield where my mate Bill used to be based as a pilot.

Another bank of eerie purple fog greeted me at the dawn of a long day to the Heartbreak Hotel at Cape Crawford. Little of note along the way apart from the gargantuan mine trucks. Each nearly 100m long, towing 4 trailers with 130 tyres. A brief shower arrived on dusk – the first rain I’d seen in nearly a month – heralding the start of some cooler weather and after temps notching into the early 40′s since Undara it was a welcome change indeed. The clouds hung low on the lonely stretch of road to the Stuart Highway; 270km of nothing but savannah. Some impressively close bolts of lightning sparked small fires but none lingered long in the constant drizzle. On a 60km stretch of dead straight road, Bob from the Heartbreak Hotel pulled up and offered a ride. An easy decision allowing me to reach the Daly Water Pub for lunch on ANZAC Day. Two-up, ten-pin bowling, a live band, a hearty parmigiana and cold beer.

I took a ride with Rob and Bev to Katherine where I found my first fully fledged supermarket since Atherton, 6 weeks earlier. Freshly baked bread, salami, cheese, yoghurt, chocolate and more, I was in food heaven.  The landscape changed little over the final 3 days to Darwin but I did manage to find one of my best camp sites so far. Far enough off the highway to avoid traffic noise, no mosquitoes and plenty of wood for a big camp fire. Watched the sun paint the horizon orange and pink before the stars came out and the milky way drifted across the sky.

It took me a week to finally leave Darwin, solely because I couldn’t book an earlier flight. Luckily it was a nice enough place to relax and sort our some housekeeping; final hep b shot, insurance and sent some unneeded gear home. Relaxed in Bicentennial Park, cruised around town, ate at the Mindil Beach night market and sorted many a photo. Finally on the 5th May it was time to leave and on the way to the airport I ticked over the 6000km milestone, some 1500km than more I had originally planned.

Besides watching the top of a an overly active thundercloud somewhere above the Arafura Sea it was an uneventful flight from Darwin to Denpasar. 30 day VOA (Visa On Arrival) are issued without question for US$25. I’ll have to extend it somewhere down the road (a process I’ve heard all sorts of stories about) as 30 days for such a sprawling country is never going to be enough.

A tip for those who ever arrive at Denpasar airport and need a cab. Walk a few minutes out through the car park and jump in a cab on the street, the price will fraction of that from the airport itself. Unfortunately with 2 large panniers and an oversized bike box that wasn’t an option for me and I ended up paying an exorbitant Rp250,000 (about $27) for the 20 minute ride to my hostel.  I didn’t care though. I was glad to finally be in a new country, with a language I didn’t understand, a smörgåsbord of new foods to try and that strangely familiar, funky Asian city smell. Humidity is through the roof and there are more scooters/mopeds/motorbikes that I’ve seen anywhere else before. Selamat malang.

Posted by Aaron K Hall in Australia, Cycle Touring, 0 comments

To The Gulf and Gorge

Location: Undara – Lawn Hill, Queensland, Australia
Distance: 1021km

Back on the road again it was good to know it would be downhill almost all the way to Normanton; the road losing some 700m in elevation over the next 400km. Despite this, I only managed to make it to the Einasleigh River – one of the few in this part of the country that doesn’t flood the road due to a fancy new bridge built a couple of years ago – about 80km along the Savannah Way. The old highway and remains of the original bridge made for a nice camp spot though and I watched the sun fade while I downed the last of my beers. Unfortunately there wasn’t much of note over the next few days; early starts, late finishes, relaxing in the heat of the day in whatever shade I could find. Towns and rest areas are few and far between out here. Long straights of 10-15km were common, very little traffic and an endless supply of savannah scrub land was all I had for company so I had the tunes blasting for some extra stimulation and watched the insects go about their business. One afternoon while on a nothing stretch of road “The Sunscreen Song” came on so I pulled over for a drink and found myself in a swarm of dragonflys, dozens of them all buzzing around this one particular tree.

A few days later I arrived in Normanton where I had planned on stocking up on food for the next couple of weeks. Pity it was a Saturday afternoon of the Easter weekend and the only shop open was bare of a lot of the basic and scarily expensive. Karumba seemed like the logical place to go. Once of the few townships on the Gulf Of Carpentaria I could spends a couple of nights there before doubling back and stocking up after the long weekend. The 70km was too far to complete that afternoon so I camped about halfway there in what was essentially swampland and had lovely evening with the resident hordes of mosquitoes. Karumba itself was much more pleasant. Cool sea breezes, few mosquitoes, beers and fish & chips at sunset. The majority of people who visit seem to fall into one of two categories. The grey nomads who stay for the majority of the dry season escaping the cold south of Australia and those chasing Barramundi (of which there was plenty to be caught). After 3 nights I was ready to move on and double-timed it back to Normanton spotting even more birds than I did on the way out. Massive flocks of galahs, brolgas, egrets, jabirus, kites, pluvvers and a dozen other species I didn’t recognise. Stocked up in Normanton I decided to try my luck and see just how “flooded” the road to Burketown was but I wouldn’t find out until the morning.

Just before the Little Bynoe River a short side road led to what little remains of Burke & Wills Camp CXIX, the last of their camps on their expedition to traverse Australia. At the river there was about 30-40cm of fast flowing water to tackle but a couple of locals out fishing (for Barra of course) said the Bynoe and Flinders Rivers were nearly a half meter and flowing just as fast. That was a no go for me. While the depth wasn’t a problem and I could unload the bike, crossing multiple times in murky, fast flowing water wasn’t overly temping especially given the local inhabitants, Salties. Backtracking I was back in Normanton again before setting off late to knock a dent in the empty 200km run to Burke & Wills Roadhouse. The following morning the trees disappeared and I was riding through endless, shade less, grassland, a couple of rests stop along the way provided some relief from the heat and I eventually rolled in to the roadhouse a half hour after sunset, with nearly 8 hours on the clock. After a feed the manager kindly offered me a place to camp and a hot shower. I slept like a log that night.

Looking at the map it was another empty stretch of 150km to reach Gregory Downs, except this time there weren’t even any rest stops marked. With that fact and my legs still feeling pretty knackered hitching a ride seemed like a good option and after a few “no”s I was soon loading up the bike on the back of J.D’s and Luke’s truck, two electricians headed to Doomadgee (somewhere I would reach in about a week). Zipping along it was just over an hour before I was dropped off at Gregory Downs. Not much more that a pub, a couple of houses and scattering of sheds. Strangely the owner was complaining about it being too busy as a result of some local nutjob in Burketown burning down the pub there, leaving Gregory Downs at the only watering hole for a couple hundred kilometers in any direction. Enjoyed a decent chicken Kiev for lunch (why the identical meal is cheaper at lunch than dinner I’ve never understood) and did the usual chilling out for the middle of the day. When I finally left I had barely made in 500m before stopping at the beautiful Gregory River for a quick dip slightly wary of the invisible crocs. By the time I was going there was only a bit over an hours riding to be had before dark. The first 20km on the last bitumen I would see for a while before it turned to the loose red gravel and dust that the road trains love to kick up everywhere, luckily they seemed to have finished their runs for the day and I had the road to myself.

The next morning was fortunately a Sunday (I lose track of the days all the time) so I passed but a single road train on the 40 or so kilometres to the mine turn-off where the road roughened up a bit for the rest of the way to Adel’s Grove. Stopped for a couple of basic supplies before the last 10km into the very quiet Lawn Hill National Park, somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. I had 3 days here to relax, swim, do some walking and snap a few decent photos. Sunrise looking out over Indarri Falls will stick in my mind for a long time to come. The warm, morning light, crept slowly down the gorge walls, making them glow golden-orange. Local wildlife could be spotted in abundance too, various turtles, archer fish, fresh water crocodiles, dozens of different birds, pythons, lizards and a few wallabies. I had some good company too in my camping neighbours, Adam and Tamsin (keen cyclists) and their kids Odete and Thea. Some good food, coffee and a beer or two were all very much appreciated but the luxuries were about to come to an end. It was time to take on the even more remote and less used roads to Doomadgee and Borroloola. Adam and Tamsin were also headed the same way in a couple of days so I would probably cross paths again at some point.

Posted by Aaron K Hall in Australia, Cycle Touring, 0 comments

Stuck In A Lava Tube

Location: Cairns – Undara, Queensland, Australia
Distance: 395km

Swimming in crisp, chest deep water, I could see nothing ahead of me but black. My hands were invisible even when but a whisker from my face but I swam on, as far as I dared. Above me tiny bats zipped past on fast beating wings and droplets of water seeping through the cracked roof fell periodically. Behind me echoing shrieks of those still to enter the water, complaining of the cold, bounced off the walls. I had raced ahead wanting to have the place to myself, at least for a moment or two. Floating in 190,000 year old lava tubes full of fresh rain water is not something I expected to do everyday, but there I was again, simply because of a spur of the moment decision and a random act of kindness.

Over two weeks ago I had set off from Cairns and just in time too. Although it had been wet with drizzle the last few days the heavens truly opened the day I set off for Yungaburra and were set on drowning the place over the coming days. A quick pit stop at Gordonvale allowed me to lighten my load – there was little chance of snorkeling west of Cairns – before taking the twisted Gilles Highway up some 800m into the Atherton Tablelands. Not a difficult climb by any measure but the relentless rain made it less than enjoyable spoiling any chance of admiring the view back down towards the coast and nearing the plateau I was well aware of the drop in temperature. I had contacted James and Sarah on Warm Showers a few days earlier looking for a place to camp, a shower and somewhere warm to dry off. What I got was something rather different, an upgrade so to speak. Off the highway, along a couple narrow little back roads and finally a down a lush green path I was welcomed and given my own cabin in the countryside above Lake Tinaroo to take over as my own for the weekend. James an Sarah were both lovely, laid back people and had both toured here in Australia and Sarah in Tibet and Mongolia so there was plenty to talk about and learn. The rain was no less intense up here but I could sit under the veranda and watch the lake disappear behind the clouds but it never drowned out the whine of the jet skier’s boats. The climb had taken more out of me than I knew so I had a lazy Saturday but on Sunday morning we visited Lake Eacham – a beautiful freshwater lake formed in a now extinct volcano crater – for breakfast. Even with the rain it was a beautiful place, the water a deep, rich green, turtles and archer fish swimming by the shore in between the pandanus. Cooked a rather good korma for dinner with went down well and finally got around to patching up my holey front pannier properly.

Over two weeks ago I had set off from Cairns and just in time too. Although it had been wet with drizzle the last few days the heavens truly opened the day I set off for Yungaburra and were set on drowning the place over the coming days. A quick pit stop at Gordonvale allowed me to lighten my load – there was little chance of snorkeling west of Cairns – before taking the twisted Gilles Highway up some 800m into the Atherton Tablelands. Not a difficult climb by any measure but the relentless rain made it less than enjoyable spoiling any chance of admiring the view back down towards the coast and nearing the plateau I was well aware of the drop in temperature. I had contacted James and Sarah on Warm Showers a few days earlier looking for a place to camp, a shower and somewhere warm to dry off. What I got was something rather different, an upgrade so to speak. Off the highway, along a couple narrow little back roads and finally a down a lush green path I was welcomed and given my own cabin in the countryside above Lake Tinaroo to take over as my own for the weekend. James an Sarah were both lovely, laid back people and had both toured here in Australia and Sarah in Tibet and Mongolia so there was plenty to talk about and learn. The rain was no less intense up here but I could sit under the veranda and watch the lake disappear behind the clouds but it never drowned out the whine of the jet skier’s boats. The climb had taken more out of me than I knew so I had a lazy Saturday but on Sunday morning we visited Lake Eacham – a beautiful freshwater lake formed in a now extinct volcano crater – for breakfast. Even with the rain it was a beautiful place, the water a deep, rich green, turtles and archer fish swimming by the shore in between the pandanus. Cooked a rather good korma for dinner with went down well and finally got around to patching up my holey front pannier properly.

Two weeks later and I’m still here, although I’m finally moving on tomorrow. On my first night as a paying customer I’d seen one other couple walking around I little hope of there being much action around the camp fire but I did discover a few of the staff had a including the manager enjoying a drink or two. The short of it is after realising I couldn’t ride further west with the flooded road Steve (the manager) offered me a bed and food in return for a few hours work each day. So for the past two week I done various things around the resort from cleaning windows and raking paths to housekeeping and picking up rubbish. Made a couple of trips to the Mount Surprise pub for supplies of the alcoholic kind, an 18th birthday and also a made a mad 10 hour road trip to Charters Towers at night (plenty of roos and pigs to dodge along the way). I saw some of the lave tubes a half dozen times, swimming in them just as many time, others once once or twice and climbed Mount Kalkani (an extinct volcano) to see a rather bleak sunrise but it still worth the effort. I also managed to keep the legs in half decent shape by riding some of the walking track. Once through a half meter of water by the 100 Mile Swap (named so because it is 100 miles from Cardwell), at least the bike was clear afterwards.

The second week finished up with the Undara Country Rock and Blues Festival. More rock than blues but still some decent entertainment to be had by the bands who played over the 3 days. Finally there was a staff party on the Sunday night with most of the band members. After a couple of games of darts and pool and few too many beers, the night ended in bit of a blur. Stumbled back to bed sometime around 4am. Haven’t done that in a long time. I’m glad to be getting back on the bike tomorrow. As much fun as I’ve had here, hanging out with some of the long time staff I’m itching to move on. I heard on the grapevine the road is now open all the way to Normanton, some 450km west, so flooded roads shouldn’t be a problem for a while.

Posted by Aaron K Hall in Australia, Cycle Touring, 0 comments

The Uphill Push

Location: Gordonvale – Cooktown – Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Distance: 688km

Rolling away from Dan’s I took one last, short detour off the highway along quiet back roads lined by constantly swaying sugar can all in an effort to avoid the hazards of the Bruce Highway running into Cairns. Unfortunately back roads can only take you so far and I was shortly back with the traffic but welcomed by the sight of wide, well marked cycle lanes all the way into town. I had no plans to stay in Cairns as I knew I’d be back in a week or so but I did a mini tour  through the centre of town and along the Esplanade, the Lagoon (a public pool) heaving with tourists and locals alike.

Aiming for the beaches beyond the suburban sprawl of Cairns I was happy to eventually find a site right on the water but above the high tide mark somewhere beyond Ellis Beach and was soon joined was a half dozen other groups. Gobbled down a feed, lathered myself in insect repellent and stood on the beach, scrunching up the sand between my toes watching the sky fade from soft pink to blue to grey and then stars slowly warming up behind the clouds.

Crossing the Daintree River

The Captain Cook Highway threads along the coast, Coral Sea to the east, mountains rising to the west and with the recent rains, impromptu waterfalls ran down every trough, gully and valley leading to the ocean washing out great swaths of beach. Easy to see why the majority of the morning traffic consisted of groups of touring motorbikes. A local farmer found me under a coconut tree in Port Douglas shared his abundance of knowledge about the road north and reminded me of the every present saltwater crocodiles which manage to eat a few dozen of his cattle each year. A brief visit to a lookout above Port Douglas probably wasn’t worth the reward given the effort to ride up but I did learn I was 15,050km from London the way the crow flies. At a guess I’d say I will have done triple that by the time I arrive.

Yet another cane field provided a home for the night – they are proving very reliable – just a couple of minutes from Mossman Gorge where I was welcomed by an invisible pot hole on the road leading in. The shock sending my gadgets pannier skittering across the road, miraculously with only some cosmetic damage. The gorge was a nice place to enjoy breakfast but my peace and quiet was broken by a trio of tour buses ejecting a horde of tourists for their whirlwind visit. “Everyone back on the bus in 30 minutes.” They always make me appreciate how much freedom travelling by bike allows. Stop where you want, when you want for as long as you want.

Boarded the ferry to cross the Daintree River where the sugar cane disappeared and was replaced by cool, green rainforest. My reward for a few kilometers of climbing was a shower under a roadside waterfall – apparently an amusing sight to a couple of the passing motorists – and a lovely view back down the coast overlooking where Steve Irwin met his untimely end. By the time I down the other side I was twisting through more rainforest in quickly fading, late afternoon light but as ever there was somewhere waiting to be found. This time, a perfect tent-sized patch of gritty sand just back off the beach.

Up early and into Cape Tribulation so I could check the conditions of the Bloomfield Track – not too much water in the creeks and the road mostly dry – I knew it would be a long, slow day. The early undulations started out gently enough, leading to a lovely swimming hole at Emmagen Creek where I was forewarned by a passing 4WD’er of the ridiculously steep road ahead. How right they were. Shortly after making the shin deep crossing I was met with a wall of a hill announcing the start of the Donovan Range. While granny-gear gave me just enough leverage to pedal, I had to stop after only a few hundred meters and trying to restart on the hill was a struggle of futility. The back tyre simply tearing the ground to pieces leaving me exhausted, sweating and making no progress. Swearing in frustration at the rainforest around me I had to push the bike uphill, a task my arms didn’t appreciate. The saddest part was there was no reward for all this effort. As the track had such a loose surface and snaked left and right the downhill run was done at a snails pace. I got to repeat the climb all over again on the Cowrie Range. Even steeper, a number of stretches of it were concreted but rather than provide a solid surface to pedal on it was mostly covered with a thin layer of algae and moss. More sweating and swearing and 8 hours after leaving Cape Tribulation I had managed to cover 50km. Slowest day so far. Another morning of rough roads peppered with rocks, washouts and random patches of sand lead back to the Mulligan Highway and Cooktown.

Arriving in Cooktown I wasn’t sure where I would be staying. I had hastily contacted a Couch Surfer member before setting off from Mossman but hadn’t been able to find any phone reception since to find out if I was welcome or not. Fortunately it worked out that I was and Gerry was fine host for a couple of nights. Taking me on his own guided walking tour of the town and headland, including his favorite spot overlooking to ocean. The legs appreciated the day off, given the previous two hard day and the ride back to Cairns to come. 330km in 3 days of headwinds required a rather solid effort but the countryside varied enough to keep it interesting. Marshland, open scrub, fields of legumes, small mountain ranges and all far more green than I would ever have imagined. I passed a couple of other crazy guys on bikes. Halfway back to Cairns found a cyclist fixing his third puncture of the morning, intent on reaching Cooktown by nightfall. Even with tail winds and no gear that sounded like a pretty mammoth task. Another was headed all the way to the top of the Cape. I hope he has a boat.

The last few day have been spent here in Cairns Couch Surfer Dave and now in a hostel (cheaper than a couple of camp sites I stayed at). Eating and reading lots and generally doing nothing. Finally rounded up a whole lot of packages I’d been waiting on including some spare tyres, new shirts, books and an EPIRB. Now I’m set for whatever lies between here an Darwin.

Posted by Aaron K Hall in Australia, Cycle Touring, 0 comments

The Great Green Way

Location: Bowen – Gordonvale, Queensland, Australia
Distance: 832km

The ride north out of Bowen was hot in the afternoon sun but more flat countryside meant I made good time and I was 80km up the road at Guthalungra – nothing more than a service station and rest area – as the sun set. It was more of the same the following day through Gumlu, Inkerman and into Home Hill where I had heard there was an excellent rest area. Big covered area, toilets, hot showers (which I made use of) and BBQs. Great if you have a caravan but unfortunately nowhere to camp. Tourist Information people turned out to be hopeless as per usual.

While I was having lunch I realised I had a puctured rear tyre – punishment for my rough Bowen camp site – and spent an hour or so fixing that and digging all the spines out of my tyres. Crossed the 1km long,  shoulderless Burdekin River Bridge  to Ayr for a quick look around – couldn’t find the giant model snake – and so continued on to a little rest area at Sandy Creek. Fell asleep to the low hum of the sugar refinery in the distance.

Detoured to Giru the next morning where I happened to find a power point on the outside of a hall, in the shade. Time for some housekeeping. Moved some funds around, ordered some new shirts, some spares and an EPIRB in preparation for the run west along the Savannah Way. Spotted a little freshwater crocodile in the Haughton River, took a refreshing dip in a creek and startled a dingo in the afternoon before happening across a big truck stop with a camping area at Alligator Creek. A watchful eye was needed to dodge the heavy traffic into Townsville the following morning, but once into the central area it seemed deserted during what should have been peak hour. My Magnetic Island contact never replied so my stay was brief but did include an Irish Grill fry up and a pint of Guinness for lunch.

North of Townsville I found myself with a whole beachside camp area to myself at Balgal Beach and decided to stay after having ridden only 30km. Silently apart from the odd passing quad bike. The road had continued to be good to excellent and very light on trucks due to the majority of freight being moved by trains. A good thing. While enjoying a mango smoothie at lunch I spotted what I think was my first other cycle tourist pedaling past. I packed my stuff and set off hoping to catch up but never saw him/her again. Sick of the highway noise I retired for the night behind some out of action cane carriages to sound of a million frogs, crickets and various other creatures of the night. Then it started to rain. All night, all morning and most of the afternoon. I sat in Ingham most of the morning wondering if it was worth the time and effort to ride 50km out to Wallaman Falls (268m, the highest in Australia) eventually deciding it was and rolled into camp at 600m just before 7pm. The rain amazingly held off for the majority of the climb and rest of the evening which I shared with the only other couple there over a few beers.

Couldn’t have timed my arrival better. The sun came out in the morning and the falls was roaring with the runoff from the previous day’s rains. It had all changed the next morning though. Not a thing to be seen but they could still be heard. A pity for the two German couples which had arrived the evening after me. It poured the whole way back to Ingham making the downhill run tediously slow but the gore tex fared very well. I was still dry on the inside.

It was while I was on the jetty in Cardwell I spotted a vaguely familiar face – Reuben, who’s journal I’d been reading for some time on Crazy Guy On A Bike. Neither of us could be bothered to press of so we booked in at a cheap campsite and made for the pub for some good conversation about the roads we’d travelled, gear we used and where we were headed while the storm built up and rolled in from the ocean. A lazy morning followed due to more rain but after a coffee or two we headed our separate ways.

The wet weather continued in Tully, hardly surprising while I was standing in front of the Golden Gumboot in Australia’s wettest town. Another detour off the highway took me to Mission Beach past a frightened cassowary then north to Bingil Bay, a beautiful, twisting ride along the coast before turning inland though rainforest and rolling green countryside. I spent an on edge night in a tiny rest area beside a rising creek, checking it every hour or so. It stopped rising around 2am.

While dripping dry in Innisfail I decided it was time to find a laundromat given the pungent odor coming from some of my clothing was starting to get a real bight. It amazing what a bit of sweat can turn into in a plastic bags over a few days. Due to a rather devastating cyclone in 1918 Innisfail has quite a collection of art deco inspored buildings, quite a change from most architecture in north Queensland towns. Enjoyed a rather heated domestic between a couple of Aboroginal families over lunch until the police appeared and settled things down before riding on through Babinda – Australia’s second wettest town – to the Boulders, a large rock pool which I had to myself for the evening.

Despite all the warning signs its not until you look a cassowary in the face at an arm’s length that you feel they might just be able to tear you apart with their over sized toes. An exciting way to start the day. Enjoyed another swim for breakfast but not so quiet this time with the bus load of backpackers around before riding north to Gordonvale where I had, at the last moment managed to arrange a roof to sleep under for the night (cheers Matt -> Jade -> Dan). Passed a couple more cyclists on the way but neither seemed interested in stopping. Oh well.

Posted by Aaron K Hall in Australia, Cycle Touring, 0 comments

Sunrises, sunsets and sandy beaches.

Location: Bangalee – Bowen, Queensland, Australia
Distance: 643km

The road out from Yeppoon was same as on the way in. Hot and with too much traffic but I was able to turn north soon enough onto quieter roads and the noise was soon behind me. I hadn’t actually left Yeppoon until nearly 4pm, avoiding the worst heat of the day by the beach. I figured better there with a cool breeze than somewhere inland with it. My destination was Yaamba and by the time I arrived it was near dark but I was greeted by Joe and Paul – a couple of removalists on their way to Port Douglas – and a dinner of pasta, kransky (not chorizo as they apparently had wanted) and a pile of veges. Set up in the dark on the flattest bit of ground but probably should have thought about it some more because a couple of hours later I found my tent floor feeling like a water bed. The rain that had been predicted all day had finally arrived. Donned the gore tex and found somewhere a few meters away, hardly flat, but out of the pooling water. Amazingly everything in the tent stayed dry.

Spent the morning drying out before pedaling off for a rather sparsely populated stretch of road. 80km north I camped at a truck stop at Marlborough. It rained again but managed not to drown the tent this time. Another 80km of empty road before I found St. Lawrence which had a great big rest area with showers, BBQs and nice soft grass to set up on; all to myself. Only downside were the wetlands starting just meters away which bought an army of mosquitoes like I’ve never seen or heard. Was eager to get going in the morning. The highway headed back to the coast and there a few tiny towns marked on the map. I rode through the wetland for a little while firstly though and found a few baby turtles to say hi too. Not long up the road. I pulled into Clairview and sat and watched the coconut palms and water behind them for a while. Scored an icy cold bottle of water and then a cuppa and a sandwich from a nice lady. Turned east of the highway and back into cane fields and a headwind to get down the beach to camp. Early night as I had my biggest day yet to come.

After an early night I was up before dawn and caught a nice sunrise reflecting off the wet mudflats. Put in 30km before breakfast at Ilbilbie (where there was a fatal truck crash a couple days later) and pressed on to Sarina for lunchtime. Stinking hot but with 50km I had to head on for what would be the worst stretch of road so far. The traffic seemed to double in numbers north or Sarina. If there a shoulder to ride on it was rough as guts and covered in debris and otherwise it was roadworks with a nice half meter drop to the edge of the bitumen. The bridge across breakfast nearly threw me off my bike is was so rough. Strangely just a few minutes on the road became a cycling haven. Super smooth, wide shoulders, even bike lanes. Wound my way through Mackay and some more cane fields out to Blacks Beach to a warm welcome from Cath and Jen. Showered and refueled on a good feed of noodles and a few Bundys. Had a mini reunion with my London flat mates Chris and Clair via Skype. 

While I had only planned on staying a couple of nights that stretched to 5 while I waited for a waylaid parcel. Spent my time doing very little to nothing. Enjoyed a good seafood lunch at the Eimeo pub looking out to the Whitsundays, finally found a tripod stool (best $10 spent so far) and gave the bike a good check-up and clean.
Took off finally after a breakfast of bacon and egg rolls, heading west, then north past more sugar cane along quiet dirt road to Seaforth when I thought I might camp but nowhere suitable appeared so I headed back to the highway and found a tiny park in Calen to camp in. The traffic seemed to have thinned a little, certainly less trucks which was welcome. Sugar cane continued to dominate the flat country with hardly a break to Proserpine where I found lovely spot on the river behind a coffee plantation and more cane the following day to Bowen. The temperature climbed to its highest I have seen, 42C as the highway veered slightly inland but dropped back by the water. Scouted out a place to camp, cooked up a feed watching an amazing sunset over Grays Bay. Unfortunately I probably should have done some more scouting as my camp site turned out to be full of thorns but if was too late to find somewhere else. I slept as still as possible hoping my mattress wouldn’t be punctured.

Broke camp at first light, itching to get out of my spiny camp and settled down at Horseshoe Bay just around the corner for a lazy day of swimming, eating and people watching. Could have done with goggles to have a look at the reef in the bay but I’m sure I’ll more opportunity for that further north. Finally uprooted myself mid afternoon to have a quick look at some of the other beaches and to find lunch but was surprised to find Bowen completely shut except for McDonald’s which I resorted too with no other options. At least it was air conditioned.

Posted by Aaron K Hall in Australia, Cycle Touring, 0 comments

Citrus, Ceratodus, Cania, Coast.

Location: Ban Ban Springs – Bangalee, Queensland, Australia
Distance: 561

Despite the lack of water at Ban Ban Springs – I had to ask for some from a couple stopped in a caravan – it was actually a nice stop. Very few mosquitos, nice soft grass and it didn’t rain which made an early start easy and the 30km ride into Gayndah – apparently Queensland’s oldest town – for a breakfast stop quite pleasant. It was good to see the Burnett River flowing strongly but the countryside was noticeably dryer, the rains having fallen elsewhere. This was confirmed by the old timer at the information centre who talked of the stark comparison with last year having been stuck at home for 10 days due to flood waters.

Crossed the river in town on a very high bridge, stopping to take a photo and quietly thought to myself it was a long way down. Moments later I managed to knock the lens cap off my camera and watch it tumble on the breeze all the way down. Bummer. The rain started again and I decided to wait it out by having a hamburger fir second breakfast/early lunch and started reading my 80c copy of The Bourne Identity. Off again and not to far down the road I was greeted by a nice 5km of climbing and a lumpy downhill run into Mundubbera. I was getting low on cash and found but found a Suncorp branch – closed of course on a Sunday – but no ATM. I’d come back in the morning. Sussed out the two caravan parks in town, settling on the 2nd place for $15 (still a ripoff but better than $25) for the night at which I talked away with Nick, a photographer wondering Queensland looking for a new place to settle down.

A late start, tired legs and a reasonably up and down ride to Eidsvold put my intended destination, Wuruma Dam, out of reach. I avoided more rain in the park in Eidsvold and scored myself a hot shower at the local pool before settling down at Ceratodus rest stop a half hours up the road. The clouds looked pretty ominous so I set up under the BBQ area. Unfortunately the rain never arrived and the lights were fun to ignore all night. I did make it to Wuruma Dam the following morning – getting off the highway taking the most direct route along a dirt road or varying quality – and on arrival was met with a rather sad sight. There was plenty of shade though and a nice breeze so I killed time and avoided the heat for a while. I had no particular finish for the day in mind but after some nice rolling hills, cattle country and open forests I made it to Mulgildie when I discovered you could camp for free behind the mural covered pub. A Bundy or two and big, tasty plate of chicken kiev made for a good end to the day.

It was just a quick spin up the highway to Monto where I grabbed a few supplies before riding out to Cania Gorge National Park. At a guess I’d have to say it was 12 years since I last visited but I do remember waking to find frosts on the car windscreen, tent and pretty much every surface, a problem I shouldn’t have to deal with this time. Unfortunately there’s no camping in the national park so I decided on the first caravan park – avoiding the extra 18km return ride to the alternative – and right at the start point for most of the walks. Took off to the fern tree pool and Giant’s Chair lookout in the afternoon, thongs proving much more comfortable than the cycle sandals. Back at camp I quickly made friends with some caravaners, picking up plenty of tips on good spots to camp all over Queensland and a free BBQ dinner while watching Australia beat India again, this time in a Twenty20 match. While I had originally planned to stay a couple of nights I decided to have an early start to get a bit more walking in and I’d see how far I’d make it in the afternoon.

I met a couple of goannas and a brush tailed wallaby on the way to The Overhang. A very peaceful place which I had to myself for a 1/2 hour. Had a couple of fresh, free range eggs for breakfast – something I’ve been missing since setting off from home – before loading up and backtracking to the highway to continue on. Another one of those unknown ranges appeared out of nowhere. Not too steep but it did seem to drag on forever. I did console myself with the the knowledge that – in theory at least – it was all downhill to Rockhampton. After a rest at the top , there was a nice long downhill run and the traffic seemed to dry up. Retired for the day behind Lawgi Hall. Not sure where the town of Lawgi was but it was nowhere in sight.

Powered into Thangool then Biolea in the morning, stocked up at Woolies before gorging myself over lunch. Two ham and salad rolls, 1L of coffee milk, an apple, a couple muesli bars, some peanuts and chocolate. Didn’t move for a while after that but I think I needed it. Spent an hour in the library in the air conditioning sort some photos before continuing north through dead flat countryside and 10km of very rough, unfinished highway upgrades. After some searching settled in a rather rocky paddock near Jambin and watched my first sunset in a week or more. After sleeping well I woke early but was greeted by my first puncture while packing up, almost certainly a result of the paddock I camped in. Just after crossing into Banana Shire the “Rough Surface” signs actually indicated pristine, smooth road. A pleasant change. At Dululu I had a choice of roads, hills and flat – I chose the hills – and filled up with certainly the worst water I’ve had so far. Thankfully there was a cafe open in Mount Morgan last on a Sunday afternoon where I bought the best vanilla milkshake I can remember having. Plenty of vanilla, a decent helping of ice cream and icy cold milk. Mmm! Considering retiring for the day but decided it would be best to get the climbing out of the way and have an easier day tomorrow. Finished the day with a quick blast, down through plenty of switchbacks, camped in the park across the road from the Bouldercombe pub. Enjoyed some good stories, a few beers and a hot shower.

The run into Rockhampton was nice and flat and free of traffic. Had to dodge a sun baking snake and finally saw a train line in use. A never ending coal train lumbering by, probably to a port. Managed to take a ungainly tumble on possibly the worst designed kerb I’ve come across while pulling in to stop at Woolies, dumping the contents of my handlebar on the pavement. Licked my wounds for a while before finding a nice shady table to relax at by the river, whiling away a few hours eating and reading before setting off to Bangalee where my second Warm Showers host awaited. The road out to Yeppoon was less than pleasant. By far the busiest yet. Minimal to no shoulder at times and a good headwind for a near 20km. I arrived eventually, covered in sweat but was welcomed by Rhodes and his family. Enjoying home made pizzas in the backyard pizza oven and plenty of cycling talk. It was good to have a day off, my first in 10 days. Spent the morning under a pandanus tree on the beach and pretty much had it to myself. Stupidly got my back nice and burnt. Won’t be doing that again any time soon.

Posted by Aaron K Hall in Australia, Cycle Touring, 0 comments

Climbing in the rain, peanuts and more rain.

Location: Atkinson Dam to Ban Ban Springs, Queensland, Australia
Distance: 353km

The water skiers woke me early far too early again and I did my best to ignore them for a while but was up and packing soon enough and on the road by 9. Made my way to the back roads heading in a somewhat northerly direction towards Esk. Found a nice smooth gravel to follow for a while before taking a break in the shade after the road a few too many short up and downs. Rolling in to Esk I passed my first cyclists, albeit of the road racing, lycra variety but still got a few waves.

It had been 7 or 8 years since I last passed through Esk but was mostly as I remembered it. A typical little town with the usual runs of shops, pub and bored teenagers milling around with nothing better to do a Saturday. Given it was just before midday I’d being hanging around for a while too. Enforcing my own “not riding in the worst heat of the day” rule. Continued reading Game Of Thrones, bought some fresh rolls and delicious smoked ham for lunch and enjoyed doing nothing. Eventually found the motivation get moving late afternoon but only made it 10km or so down the road before deciding the uphill run to Crow’s Nest could wait for tomorrow. Made camp on the least rough area of grass I found in a paddock screened from the road somewhere Redbank Creek. Flashes of lightning in the west had me concerned for a while but no rain eventuated.

Woke with the birds and slowly packed. Managed to get some confused looks from a couple walking along the road as I appeared out of the bush pushing my bike back to the road. I had time my stop well the night before as it was less than 1km until the road kicked up. Not too steep but it would continue for the next 15km or so, luckily with the company of a rather nice forest of trees providing some very welcome shade. Not too far into far into the climb a car passed me pulled over not far up the road and the driver hopped out and started taking pics of me riding up the road. He was called himself Mushgang, someone in Esk had told him about me and hoped I might be riding the National Trail which he had been following on horseback for 5 years. We chatted for a bit before he handed over a couple of nectarines and I continued on. Stopped for some late breakky/early lunch at a rest area near the top looking back down the valley I had climbed out of and found my Leatherman sitting on top of one of my panniers. A gentle reminded to double check everything before I set off. Took a slightly less direct route to get to Crow’s Nest hoping for some more interesting scenery past a couple of dams. Not really worth the effort and extra climbing but I did stop to take off the Kool Stop brake pads – I’d had enough of the squealing. Arrived in Crow’s Nest pretty knackered and in need of a shower. I reluctantly opted for the overpriced caravan park. Found fish n chips in town for dinner and road back to camp in the night rain.

Before leaving Crow’s Nest I stocked up on food as I was pretty sure there was little available over the next few days – later proven correct – and spoke to and old guy from NZ who used to cycle in his younger days. He gave me some directions which handily cut 20km from my journey. The flies found me not too far out of town and accompanied me for most of the day, only disappearing when I kept above 23km/h. Difficult to impossible uphill. The road was quiet, but nice and smooth as it wound its way through rolling cattle country, a car every 15 minutes if I was lucky. Crossed a bridge washed out by last year’s floods and rolled into the deadly quiet town of Quinalow. There was however a library in which I cooled down in air conditioned comfort for a while before setting up camp in the far end of a a park, ignoring the “No camping” signs.

North from Quinalow, more cattle, a short stretch of crappy dirt road and not too hilly but I knew that would change later in the day. I stopped to refuel for starting the climb up the Bunyas which kicked off with a bang. I managed to ride maybe 50m at a time before having to stop but kept at it taking breaks as needed and found myself halfway up just as the clouds engulfed the view and let the rain fall. Out came the Gore Tex as I pedaled onward and upward. Finally made it to the camp ground mid afternoon half wet, the rain subsided and I set up while I had the chance. Very green, wet and quite cool, I could actually wear a jumper. The rain came and went so I whiled away the afternoon, eating, reading and resting tired legs.

Had a lazy morning but I did want to do some walking here, it would have been a waste not too, but I couldn’t have timed my departure any worse. 5 minutes in the clouds unleashed. At least it made the creeks runs swiftly and the waterfalls roar. Decided by the end bike shoes are the devil for walking it – blisters on each big and little toe – and that I return to the a few spots when the rain abated long enough for some photos.

The next morning – Australia Day, a fact I didn’t realise until much later – the Sun made and appearance and I gingerly (need more band aids) retraced some of the Scenic Walk route for a few photos. Spent the afternoon reading until I finished Game Of Thrones (they could have easily made 2 seasons of TV from the one book) and had an early night hoping to be up with the birds.

The rain started sometime in the wee hours and came down hard, sounding like a barrage of small explosions under the fly. Packed up everything inside the tent but waited out chatting to a Czech (good to see some other people in actual tents, not caravans, camper trailers, motor homes) couple over breakfast, hoping the sun would come out or the rain would at least cease momentarily so I could attempt to shake it dry before packing up. It never happened, but I did pack up and set off by 11. Rode west through the rest of the Bunya Mountains National Park, check out the other campsites deciding I’d made the right decision to stay at Dandabah, it had hot showers before the big decent began. Took a break in Kumbia and had a free cuppa with some friendly caravaners before pushing on to Kingaroy in more rain. Found an Aldi and restocked. Realised I’d passed 3 rest areas and endless fields of peanuts coming into Kingaroy but there none (rest areas) marked on my map for another 70km to the north. Local knowledge prevailed and a quick blast up the wet road in fading light to Wooroolin I set up in a Lions Club rest stop.

Spent the morning trying to dry the tent in a War Memorial pavilion and eventually succeeded as the rain eased and the wind picked up. Didn’t really have a destination in mind for the day so I cruised along pretty casually to Wondai where I had a quick look around the information centre museum on the logging history of the Burnett region and picked up a couple books – The Bourne Identity and a John Grisham double The Partner and The Runaway Jury – on the cheap at Lifeline. Had some average fish n chips in Murgon where I was surprised by the number of aboriginals around town until I remembered Cherbourg a town founded under segregation policy of the Queensland government in 1900 was only just down the road. The legs were still feeling fresh so from Murgon I headed for Ban Ban Springs, about 70km north, passing more cattle country, some tiny country schools and a reindeer farm while the rain couldn’t make up its mind. Finally arrived, not long before dark having cracked my first 100km day. The rain ceased and I slept well.

Posted by Aaron K Hall in Australia, Cycle Touring, 0 comments

A Stuttering Start

Location: Palm Beach – Atkinson Dam, Queensland, Australia
Distance: 202km

Being about as prepared as I was going to get, I took my last chance – for a little while at least – for swim at the beach just before sunset before tidying up a few last minutes things before leaving. Unfortunately those few things dragged on for a tad longer than planned. I did eventually get everything sorted but it was 2am before finally crashed, hardly the best preparation. Note to self: Don’t leave promised jobs to last night before trying cycling around the world. Not surprisingly I didn’t exactly make an early start and woke feeling like shit. After much procrastination decided to at least ride to my grandparents’ house, a lazy (no, actually it was a sweltering) 5km away to show them my bike and say goodbye. After that meager effort it took me an hour to feel like walking again but promised myself and early night and a better start tomorrow.

There was barely a cloud in the sky the sun was getting well overhead before I made off somewhere around 9am. With the mercury already nearing 30°C, I was in no rush and cruised along the esplanade through Mermaid, Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise and Main Beach. A few stops here and there for some photos and watching the school holiday tourists roast on the beach. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take me too long to fall off my bike. I had been making a conscious effort to remember to unclip at least one foot before stopping but while pulling up to chill down by the Broadwater somehow lost all co-ordination and managed fall into the sand. No harm done but I did take a moment to do my first bit of maintenance, my seat having come loose. As the heat of the day kicked in I headed inland and away form the beach for the last time in a while and I soon found another spot to relax by the Coomera River watching the wake boarders. I had set myself the somewhat ambitious target of about 110km for this first day including climbing over Mt Tamborine (about 600m of climbing) mainly as to find somewhere suitable for camping. However, by the time I got going again I knew I wasn’t going to reach this goal but decided to push on the start of the main climb.

I did do some research on the climb but somehow it didn’t quite prepare me for actually riding up it. 12-14% slopes, 38°C heat, a general lack of fitness and still feeling decidedly average at the start of the day all combined to me feeling somewhat light headed when I finally stopped just short of 60km. There was a distinct lack of flat ground to be found and neither the few locals I asked nor the pub were willing to let me camp so I made do with the best I could find in some bush not far from the road. I sweated it out until at least 10pm before finally sleeping. After a brief war with some mosquitoes in the morning – my tent has blood stains to prove it – I was off again by 8am but I had probably ridden no more than 1.5km before I gave up and tried not to die in the shade by the side of the road. I called for help and got a ride home, thanks Mum!

I spent the next 2 days on the couch drifting between sleep and TV but 4 days later, having rested well, eaten lots and done a few shorts rides I was feeling much more human and ready to take on the world again. Unfortunately the weather had other plans. It was 10-15°C cooler but raining sideways and pretty relentlessly. So I held off another day seeing no reason to subject myself to that kind of weather yet.

Finally, finally, got to get on the road today. Had another custard tart before setting off from the top of Mount Tamborine and was quickly down the other side. All downhill for 8km and some undulating roads to Jimboomba for a rest. Decided not to take to back roads I had planned on but a more direct route to Jim and Marilyn’s,  my hosts for the night. Got a bit lost in Springfield Lakes (that place is depressing) before arriving at Redbank Plains and a steak sandwich later I was off again. Managed to time my arrival into Ipswitch right on peak hour (fun) but was through that and a few last little hills before arriving with my legs screaming at me. Jim cooked up a lovely curry and we talked about our various travels on and off bikes before I crashed.

The next morning I could barely eat but ate what I could before attending to some gearing issues. Thanks ti Jim’s well stock workshop I was fixed and off again quickly enough. Had a 10km stint on the Warrego Highway (not as bad as I expected, decent shoulder to ride on) before turning north to Fairvale to chill in the park during the heat of the day. The ride west to Lowood was enjoyable, being on a horse trail, no traffic to worry about was a welcome change. Arrived at Atkinson’s Dam while it was still light and sent up camp right by the water. I’ll have a day off here relaxing. Reading, watching water skiers and anything else involving little moving before heading north to Esk and Crow’s Nest.

Posted by Aaron K Hall in Australia, Cycle Touring, 0 comments


Simply because I found these lists useful when posted by others here’s my list of stuff.

The bike
Frameset: Surly Long Haul Trucker 26″ – 58cm Black
Bottom Bracket: Shimano Deore Bottom Bracket Set BB51
Front Derailleur: Shimano XT Front Mech Conventional 9sp M771 – 44T
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT Rear Mech 9sp M771 – SGS – Long Cage
Crankset: Shimano Deore Chainset M590 – 175mm
Chainset: Shimano XT Cassette 9 Speed M770 – 11-34
Pedals: Shimano A530 Pedals – Silver
Chain: SRAM PC971 Chain 9sp

Rims: Sun Ringle Rhyno Lite XL – Welded Rim – 36h Black 26inch
Spokes: DT Swiss Champion Stainless PG Spokes
Front Hub: Shimano SLX Front Hub M665 – 36h Black
Rear Hub: Shimano SLX Rear Hub M665 – 36h Black
Rim Tape: Velox Rim Tape
Tubes: Continental MTB 26 – 26 x 1.75-2.5 Presta 42mm
Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon XR Tyre – 26 x 2.0

Headset: Grand Cru 1-1/8″ Threadless Headset
Stem: VO Threadless Stem 26.0 +/- 6 Rise – 100mm
Handlebars: Grand Cru Course Handlebar- Classic Round Bend – 44 cm
Shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace Bar End Shifters 9 Speed 7700
Brakes: Avid Single Digit 7
Brake Levers: Tektro RL520 Drop Bar Brake Levers
Headset Spacers: Grand Cru Knurled Headset Spacers
Bar Tape: Fizik MicroTex Bar Tape Brown
Bar Gel: Fizik Bar Gel Set
Seatpost: VO Grand Cru Seat Post, Long Setback
Saddle: Brooks England B17 STD Steel Saddle – Brown

Front Rack: Surly Front Pannier Rack – Silver
Rear Rack: Tubus Cosmo Rear Rack Stainless Steel
Rear Light: Cateye TL-LD610 LED White Lens Rear Light
Mudguards: SKS Bluemels Mudguards – Black – MTB 26″ – 60mm
Front Panniers: Ortlieb Front Roller Classic Panniers – Black
Rear Panniers: Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Panniers – Black
Handlebar Bag: Ortlieb Ultimate 5 Classic (Large) – Black
Lock: Kyrptonite Cable Lock
Water: 3 water bottle cages
Light:  Cateye LED White Lens Rear Light
Computer: Cateye Adventure Wireless Cycling Computer

1x Topeak Alien II 26 Function Multi Tool
1x Leatherman Squirt Multitool
1x Spoke Key
1x Rema Touring Puncture Kit
1x Park Tool Tyre Levers
3x Spokes
Zip Ties
2x Spare tubes
Duct Tape
Inner Brake\Gear Wire
1x Topeak Road Morph Pump
1x Brooks Saddles Maintenance Kit
1x Padlock

1x Marmot Twilight 2P Tent
1x Big Agnes Air Core Mattress
1x Kelty Cosmic -7C Down Bag
1x Sea to Summit Adaptor Coolmax Bag Liner
1x Petzl Tikka XP 2 Head Torch

1x Primus OmniFuel Stove
1x Primus Fuel Bottle 1L
1x GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Soloist Cook System (1.1L pot, unsulated mug, spork)
1x Tuppaware Container (salt/pepper, seasong/spices, tea/coffee, sugar, knife)
1x Flint
1x Scourer
1x Ortlieb Folding 10 Litre Bowl
1x Ortlieb Water Bag (4 Litre)
1x Scourer/sponge

1x Mountain Designs Cumulus Gore Tex Jacket
2x dhb Pro Padded Undershorts
2x Inov-8 Wrag (fake Buff)
1x Wind/Water proof pants
1x The North Face Jumper
1x Supadry shorts
1x Craghoppers Bear Trek Long Sleeved Shirt
1x Board shorts
1x Underwear
1x Sea To Summit Travel Towel
1x Thick wollen socks
1x Otis Bubba Sunnies

1x Toothbrush
1x Toothpaste
1x Soap
1x Sunscreen
1x Toilet paper
1x First aid kit (various bandaids, compression bandage, ibuprofen, burn/pain gel, gastro pills, lozenges)

Photography/Eletronics (weight weenies look away now)
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini (phone/internet/music player)
1x Canon 1ds Mark III
1x Canon 5D Mark II
1x Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
1x Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM
1x Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
1x Samyang 14mm f/2.8 UMC
1x Dell XPS 15 L502X
1x Dell Auto-Air 12V DC Adapter
1x Padded laptop case
2x 1TB Portable USB3.0 Hard Drive
1x Benro C1691T Travel Tripod
1x Crumpler Sporty Guy Bag
1x Powerfilm F15-600 10W Solar Panel
1x LP-E6 Battery Charger 240/110/12V
1x Canon LP-E4 Charger
1x Body/Lens Caps
1x Screwdriver
1x TC-80N3 Cable Remote
1x 5x CF cards (32GB, 16GB, 8Gb, 4GB, 2GB)
1x B+W Circular Polariser 77mm
1x Lexar Pro UDMA Card Reader
1x Sensor Sweep
1x Rocket blower
1x Various spare batteries
1x 16GB USB Drive

2x Credit cards

Posted by Aaron K Hall in Australia, Cycle Touring, 0 comments