What stays – Reflections on starting out in Australia

So here we are, almost ready to catch that flight to Indonesia. A big part of me doesn’t even want to leave because of feeling far too comfortable in Cairns with beautiful people. But another part is excited about that new place waiting to be discovered. Only today have I started looking at some roads in Bali via Google Street View and some of it just looks amazing. Tiny roads with lush green scenery and houses and temples scattered about. But before embarking on that flight I want to share some reflections about our time cycle touring in Australia.
All in all it has been a great place to start out. While both of us have cycle toured individually before, we’ve never toured together or for such a long time. Here we encountered a few key factors which made it quite easy for us:

  • English is the most commonly used language. That made it easy for us to talk to locals and more so to have meaningful conversations. Or just to convey our needs for food, water, a place to sleep.
  • Australia is a big country and quite inhabited. That makes it easy to find a place to camp in nature. Also there are lots of camp sites for no or little money.
  • There are so. many. hosts. Warmshowers is really big especially on the east coast. So it was really easy for us to find hosts and we met so many amazing people through that site.
  • Supermarkets. While there are some isolated stretches where you need to plan your food supplies, going from Sydney to Cairns is usually not too bad. The supermarkets are mostly well stocked which makes it easy to get your supplies all in one place.

Of course we also faced a few challenges like road rage, long hilly stretches, the occasional rather racist approach and building up those energy levels. But all in all it was a great place to start out. We could concentrate on cycling, an building up energy, on coordinating our needs and ideas and if we needed something like new tyres we usually knew where to look for. What I’m unarguably most grateful for is getting to know all those wonderful people and still feeling connected to them. And what is maybe equally important – I enjoy cycling and cycle touringĀ  more every day. Sometimes it’s over the brim exhausting but I’m learning more and more to deal with that. And then there are the many joys that come with our mode of travel: Spontaneous conversations with strangers-no-more, food that never tasted so good before, cycling in those cool morning hours, seeing kangaroos hopping over the street and enjoying the first cup of coffee in the morning just outside of our tent. And rest days. Seriously, just reading a book with a cup of coffee is the single best thing after cycling for five days.

So here we are, ready now, to catch that flight. See you in a little bit!


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