From city life to paradise


City life

On the next day we’re on our way to Brisbane. It’s an easy day of cycling and I realize once more that my muscles are getting stronger. 75km doesn’t seem like much any more – cool!

In Brisbane we find cool coffee vans (mmh, future business opportunity? 😉 )…

p1110429diverse markets with yummy veggies for dinner…

p1110431old and new buildings…

p1110462and some local wildlife. Scaary. p1110446We also spend quite some time in the library and get work / blogging done and plan our route and write warmshowers requests. And we make use of the big city with all its camping and bicycle stores and buy even more gear like a fuel bottle for our stove. We now proudly present to you our new cooking set up – the MSR Whisperlite:

p1110467I did a lot of research on camp stoves for our tour. We used gas stoves for hiking in New Zealand and were quite happy with them. But in Australia gas cartridges are reasonably hard to find and as we mostly cook ourselves, using gas doesn’t come cheap when you do more than ramen noodles. In addition to that I wanted to be able to get fuel for our stove basically everywhere in the world and that always led back to stoves that run on white gas and petrol. (Or alcohol stoves which are a bit slower but still great – in the end it’s more a question of beliefs I think.) So we found a good offer online and had the Whisperlite sent to Brisbane and so far we really love it!! Fuel is cheap, easy to get, the Windscreen helps a lot with the performance and the handling is easy once you know how it works.

All of our relaxed time in Brisbane is made possible by our wonderful hosts, Fiona, Elizabeth and Donald. Fiona who just came back from cycle touring in Europe and Indonesia 6 weeks ago convinced her parents to take in warmshowers guests and we really love staying with them! We take turns cooking dinner, share awesome coffees and have inspiring talks: Fiona does urban planning and it’s really interesting listening to her point of view. And her parents share some stories of their own when she isn’t there ;). Thanks so much to all of you!

On our way…

The next day brings three special encounters:

1. Pineapple fields! I looove pineapples but I’ve never actually seen them grow. These have already been harvested but look at the colours!

p11104722. Rain. Why is this special you ask? Well, in all these weeks (save for some drizzle in the first two days) we haven’t had any rain. So today we had just set up our tent at a rest area near the motorway and literally as we move ourselves and our cooking gear under the stone shelter it starts to rain. And by that I mean sheets of water are hurling down the sky accompanied by gusts of wind, thunder and lightning. And all of that is over in 5 minutes. Surreal.

3. Nice talks by the bonfire. I meet 3 guys who work as plumbers nearby and as they usually live in Brisbane which is too far to drive every day they took up residence at the rest area. We talk about work and life and dreams and ideas.

…to paradise

Blue-faced Honey Eater likes my blue bike

The next day is a long one once again. I fight with hills and headwinds and stress myself about reaching our host’s place in time. As we rarely manage to get up early, our days are still quite short. Daylight fades at about 5:30 at the moment and cycling in the dark is just not that much fun as I want to see what’s around me. So I’m torn between the need to cycle fast in order to get to our destination before it gets dark and my need to go slowly enough to avoid premature exhaustion and to enjoy cycling. Today Torsten actually needs to convince me that taking a break and go swimming in the ocean is a good idea (usually I’m always up for taking breaks 😉 ). I just feel rushed and have a hard time to relax: In the end what’s the big deal if it gets a little dark?

But as soon as I’m in the water all the stress fades away and I absolutely enjoy just being right here in this moment. It is so much fun! And I’m even more glad about this break in hindsight because this marks about the only time we went swimming in the ocean in Australia. In the beginning it was a bit too cold and only a short amount of time from now on we would have to share the beach with crocodiles and that just doesn’t make for a nice swimming experience.

After our break we still have about 20k to go and while it’s getting dark a car stops for us and it’s Rae and Bob, our hosts! They were worried about us and came to see if everything is alright! I feel a bit bad about causing them to worry but they are so incredibly nice that all of that is soon forgotten. They take all of our gear and put it in their truck and with our now unloaded bikes we manage the remaining 5k in no time. Rae and Bob wait behind every corner to see if we’re still there – how sweet!

Once we’re in their house I smile once again about that life of ours: I feel so very comfortable with Rae and Bob as we share tales about past and future travels. They radiate warmth and curiosity about life and it’s beyond easy to enjoy cooking and eating and sharing our time together. And so we hesitate about one second when they invite us to stay a second night.

On the next day Rae spoils us with home made fruit smoothies for breakfast and we enjoy them on the balcony:

p1110529After breakfast Rae and Bob take us for walk around their macadamia nut farm and I just can’t wrap my head around how beautiful and green everything is:



p1110549We get to meet a carpet snake…

p1110504see wallabies hop around…

p1110568_v1admire their busy beehives from a safe distance…

p1110577and see colourful parrots peeking at us:

p1110615And of course we see macadamia nuts grow on trees…

p1110557and watch Rae and Bob separate the nuts from the shell and get to sort the nuts:

p1110587The nuts taste amazingly creamy and we can’t stop stuffing ourselves. But thanks to all the cycling there’s still room for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And snacks in between. 🙂

In the afternoon we take a coastal walk around Noosa Heads which is another perfect part of this day:


Rae and Bob, thank you so so much for sharing your time and place with us – it felt like being on a wonderful vacation in nothing less than paradise!

What it’s about

So this is what it’s all about: to get to know people and their life styles, their ideas and dreams and their routines. People in cities and in the hinterland, people in tiny villages and on farms. It may be frustrating sometimes to get to where those people live, there may be obstacles like hills and headwinds or not enough time but in the end it’s just so worth it. Again and again.


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