Australian reflections

Having left Brisbane at the beginning of March we finally cycled into Adelaide on the 15th May. Riding via Sydney and Melbourne we’ve covered a total of 3291km here in Australia and this has been the country we have spent the longest time in. While we have had a good time overall and our trip to Uluru remains an absolute tour highlight ( thank goodness we decided to go in the end), this has still been our least favourite place to ride.

While there is always debate between drivers and cyclists Australia seems to have the most antagonistic relationship we have witnessed yet, though, as we rode inland from Sydney the attitude vastly improved. The other challenge however, with riding here is distance. As we planned our journey we needed to take into account distance between accommodation and of course determine water and food requirements. We don’t tend to wild camp and while outback scenes seem like what riding through Australia should really feel like, we simply could not take enough food and water to make the best of such routes.

I’ve already noted how I miss history and, while I love the food adventures that often come with travel, here, cheap meals are usually chip based, and chicken schnitzel definitely seem to be order of the day when pubs describe Australian tucker!

Despite this, riding the great ocean road was fabulous and if advising others on riding here this surely is a must do. Since we’ve packed away the bikes we booked tours to Kangaroo Island and up to the Flinders and KI would certainly be good to explore slowly on a bike. I expect Tasmania would be a good place to ride and while I’m not sure about the cycling possibilities I would love to explore the Kimberly area.

We met some great people while in Australia – old and new friends – and while it has not been my favourite place to ride this does not mean we had a bad time. We didn’t. I guess I just struggled at times in what felt like quite a macho culture and sadly one which itself struggles with¬†integration with the Aboriginal community. I hope that if I make it back this may feel different in future years.

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