Australia - Posted On
Travelling with someone, again. It has some positive and negative sides. It’s somehow always difficult to share the day-to-day life after being alone a long time. And since the last time I experienced cycling with someone ended up being quite a disaster I really take my precautions. We agree with Ilona on going two weeks together and if everything goes well, we keep on all the way to Darwin. I really don’t want to get caught again in the same context as with Seb. Freedom is my priority. However such precautions were not necessary with Ilona as she really is easy going and quite open to talk through difficulties, even though we had to face some tough time sometimes. Our team ends up in Darwin successfully. I take it as good news as I was doubtful I could live a long bike trip with anyone.
I had to put myself in the teaching mode, as Ilona doesn’t have any experience of touring cycling before. I put away the gentleman side to have her doing her share through the daily tasks. At first it’s not easy as she takes it as holidays as everyone usually do. But a lifestyle on a bicycle is far from being lazy holiday. It always requires fixing things, preparing food, getting some proper rests, finding good campsites, and so on. She gets used to it though and seems to like it enough to decide to pedal through Asia on her own afterward!
The treeless areas change for trees taller and taller that cut the upwind somehow. The kite biking becomes out of question. We stop for a few days at Fitzroy crossing where I meet my old friend Angie, speakerin at the local Wangki aboriginal radio. Rest, sharing some time with someone I appreciate a lot, getting to know her lifestyle, her friends, what better way could I share some time with a friend, really?
We need now to take extra precautions and be ‘croc’s wise’. Many fresh and salt crocodiles inhabit the area. The latter is the real danger. During the wet season they swim along the floods from the ocean high up into the country, and while the water go away, many get trapped in some billabongs or waterholes and hide there, waiting for preys, like humans. This season, a few persons died in the area. We really get aware of that after having spotted one croc in one of the river we intended to swim.
From rest areas to rest areas we meet a lot of ‘grey nomads’. They are retired Australian people who go on a year or more trip in their caravan. Also many backpackers are encountered. Some give us water, some food, some beer even. Life is beautiful! Questions come, always the same ones. Ilona, fresher in the business, reply for both of us, which gives me a good rest for the mind. F.A.Q. can drive me crazy, really!
Litchfield National Park gives us some fresh pools and ungravel roads. We talk about stars and galaxies, leaving us with a strong feeling of how little we are.
7 weeks after Broome, we reach Darwin, top end of the country, final destination of my bike trip in Australia. 12.000kms covered in 10 months. Quite lazy! ☺