Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category


Travelling with kids section launches!

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

We travel as a couple, with no-one to worry about except except ourselves. However we are increasingly discussing and exploring possibilities for the future. One re-occurring theme is, could we do all this with kids? Does life suddenly have to stop when little ones arrive?

In between cycling we’ve been working hard on our website and we’re now ready to launch our Travelling with kids section. Join us as we investigate what it is like to travel with kids and what the reality of being on the road or ocean with children is really like.  We are interviewing families who travel with their kids; parents who home-school and cycle touring families, and will be publishing their thoughts and stories in the resources section of our website.

Read the first of our interviews with the Parker Family, from Glenbrook, Blue Mountains, Australia.

Chris and Nicole made the decision to homeschool their two children Brae and Bronte, two and a half years ago and haven’t looked back…

“We all get to spend so much more time together and don’t feel like life is whizzing by too fast.”

Nicole also tells us about their 7 week road trip through the heart of Austalia, and the impact it had on them as a family.

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To those who give us shelter…

Friday, March 5th, 2010

We just wanted to say a big thank you to all the people in Australia who opened their homes (and fridges!) to us during our time there and made us feel so welcome…

Ulladulla 043 Denis & Margaret who met us with their grandchildren, in a park near Nowra as we were looking for a place to camp, and took us in. Treating us to a day on the river with the kayaks, a guided tour of the area and a bbq supper, not to mention the performance by the children in their show! We loved meeting this great family and had a good time messing about with Heidi, Jasmine, Jared, Laura, Patrick and little Grace!

 

Dave and Claire, sydney Dave & Claire – Dave and I used to work together so it was great to catch up and very kind of him and Claire to let us stay for almost two weeks! We had a wonderful time in Sydney, staying with them in their splendid home, eating lots of lovely food and enjoying the Sydney festival. Thanks for the DVD hire guys, As it is in Heaven is such a good film and Up was great too. You totally spoilt us and we really enjoyed spending time with you, so thanks for everything!

 

 

ChrisLizChrisParker Chris & Nicole met us in Mallacoota and very thoughtfully emailed us to invite us to stay with them in Glenbrook, whilst we visited the Blue Mountains. We had fun sleeping in the cubby, watching Avatar in 3D, having some meaningful conversations and meeting Brae and Bronte – thanks for the lovely paper aeroplanes you made us – shame we didn’t get to spend more time with you! Thanks again for thinking of us and sharing your home.

 

 

Camp Lindis Valley 2Ian & Heidi, warmshowers hosts in Newcastle – fellow cycle tourers who took us in at short notice having been bombarded with cycle tourers dropping in on them (including Margo and Ben who are cycling back to Scotland – see their site). A shower was very welcome after a very hot day of cycling in hairdryer wind to Newcastle and we were very pleased to meet Ian, Heidi and their son Ollie. Thanks for the trip to the beach, wonderful risotto and rose wine, and comparing notes on New Zealand, especially finding out that you guys camped in the same little spot as us after coming down the Lindis Pass!

Aspley Falls 010 Louise & George in Nowendoc gave us a taste of country life in Australia and really showed us the scale of land out there! We had a great time with them and Dutch backpackers Iggy and Su, as well as getting to know all of the animals. During our time we developed a strange obsession with sticks and we are only just managing to resist the urge to pick up sticks whenever we see them by the roadside! All joking aside, it was great to see Louise enjoying her new life much, she is an inspiration and shows just how versatile a girl can be. George made us very welcome and helped us out enormously by contacting people ahead of us, contacting the Walcha News and showing us Port Macquarie.

Bernardo, good friend of Georges, caught up with us in the chippy where he told us he had cooked dinner for us and to come over as soon as we were ready. Having made it to Walcha over the hills form Nowendoc, it was so nice to have a place to stay and a friendly face at the end of the day. We felt right at home and managed to get an hour with Bernardo before bed to hear his travel stories and see some photos. Lovely guy, thanks mate!

2010-03-17 001 009 Tony & Liz let us stay with them in Armidale and made us feel so welcome, like long lost family! Thank you for the tour of Armidale, which we would never have seen otherwise and for taking us for tea at the art gallery, as well as a wonderful thai meal that evening – talk about being spoilt. We had a great time and really enjoyed spending time with Liz and Tony, we do hope they will come and visit us in the UK!

Phil & Amanda Jones who let us stay with them in Tenterfield, made us very welcome with wonderful food, lovely company and charming children, not to mention a great house! We arrived exhausted after a long 85km day with lots of hills, so the Jones family were a very welcome sight. Thanks so much for your generosity and a big hello to George, Abby and Isaac!

IMG_4484 Keith & Vanessa Pallant offered us a place to stay in Brisbane, which was a great help for us, giving us  a base to sort out the bikes and pack up before flying to Indonesia. They also spoilt us rotten, feeding us wonderful food – a roast dinner!! and gave us a tour of Brisbane. It was a great way to end our Australia leg. Thanks also to Talia for sharing her music with us, you have a great voice and we wish you every success!

So I’m sure our mum’s will be delighted to know that we are being looked after so well, but it means a lot to us too. There’s nothing like days of sleeping in a tent, boiling water on a stove, being bitten by midges, peeing in the bushes, not having a shower and cycling in the heat to make you appreciate the great indoors, with its kettles, electricity, beds and showers. Not only that but having a friendly face welcome you, people who have never met you before offering you the kindness and generosity of family is amazing and totally renews my faith in humanity. So thank you!

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Stanthorpe and Warwick

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

We knew that it was pretty downhill to Stanthorpe (800m) and Warwick (400m), so the next couple of days should be a bit easier.

It was downhill mostly and we enjoyed a good ride to Stanthorpe, crossing the NSW /  Queensland border, getting to cycle in the rain for the first time in ages, which was refreshing. We managed to stop early and drink tea, talk about happiness, religion and all that jazz. We also made friend with a dog called Abby who lived nearby and came to see us. We cooked sausages on the BBQ, made mash potato and through in some onions, carrots, leeks, brocolli with gravy to make a yummy dinner  – heaven. We set up the tent in the dark due to the large NO CAMPING – $1500 FINE signs everywhere and got some sleep. We woke at 5am and took down the tent before anyone came along to tell us off.

We had a leisurely breakfast though as no-one can fine you for sitting around eating porridge and drinking tea!

We set off for Warwick and enjoyed about 60km of downhill and flat cycling. I was listening to Queen on my ipod, man that’s a great album to cycle fast to… Killer Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody (moshing whilst cycling, Wayne’s World styley), Don’t stop me now, It’s a kind of magic, I’ll stop there but i don’t think there is a bad song on the album!  Blissfully, we were averaging 20km an hour and made it to Warwick by 12.30 (noon). We managed to catch the 1pm showing of The Lightening Thief at the Cinema, where they kindly looked after our bikes for us while we ran into the catch the start of the film.

We then had fish and chips and headed to the park to find a camp spot for the night. Due to the crazy rainfall in Queensland lately, the river had burst it banks 2 days ago and so there were lots of children playing in the water. Four little boys had an excellent mud fight for about half and hour and were covered from head to toe, it was great to watch them play – ah the joy of being boys!

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To Tenterfield

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

An early start was planned and we awoke to a misty morning, but by the time we hit the road it was already getting hot, yikes. We had a long day ahead of us,that much we knew – at least 80km, with a big hill to climb some where along the way. We had a place to stay in Tenterfield, so we needed to get there.

At Deepwater, 40km in, we got some more water. Then we reached Bolivia Hill which climbed up, although the downhill was much longer and we were glad to be going in this direction, not coming the other way! But aside from that hill, there were also lots of others and they rolled in like huge tarmac waves.

rippedtyre Chris’s tyre got ripped somewhere along the way so we stopped to repair it, gluing it back in to place. The tyre looked pretty worn on closer inspection, so maybe it was good that it happened so that we could see this.

With all the hills, heat and stopping it was turning into quite a long day, I was exhausted after 65km and we were running low on water. At the first river we saw we stopped again to fill up. It needed to be pumped and we dropped some chlorine tablets in too, just to be on the safe side. We continued on, up and down more and more hills. My legs were like lead and I really felt that I couldn’t cycle much further. I reminded myself that I had cycled 62 miles through the Yorkshire dales in the wind and rain and the dark, and that was when i was  a lot less fit. It helped a bit, mentally if not physically. We stopped at about 5pm for some more food, we were both drained of energy and needed fuel.

tenterfield

We pushed on, with about 10k still to go and for the first time in months, I felt myself welling up. Sometimes when all you can see is a wiggly, windy road ahead of you and no obvious end in sight, it’s really hard to stay positive and keep cycling. Even though you know the tiredness and pain is only temporary, it’s hard not to cry when you’re feeling exhausted. But the best thing to do in that situation I find, is just to have a little cry, let the emotion out and then somehow you feel a bit better. That’s what I did and then carried on pedalling. To our relief the road started to go down and the last 7k was downhill into Tenterfield, phew!

86km in total and about 86 hills to match!

We had a lovely bed for the night, staying with Phil and Amanda and their three children, Abby, George and Isaac, having kindly agreed to put us up. Their hospitality was wonderful and we enjoyed a hot shower and a lovely meal before collapsing into bed. Hard days really do make you appreciate a shower, food and sleep like nothing else! Thanks guys!

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Guyra – Glen Innes via Glencoe and Stonehenge!

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

We got up early and bought some fresh bread at the bakery for breakfast before heading off. Despite Guyra being the highest town, it wasn’t the highest point and we climbed up further to Ben Lomond at 1410m and it was up and down for miles.

benlomond But as we headed down to Glencoe we had lots of downhill and it was fun to speed along knowing that it would continue for ages. In Glencoe we sat in a bus shelter and ate our lunch in the shade whilst watching the big ants below us scurrying around – they really are amazing creatures. The last time we cycled over Glencoe (Scotland) it was certainly a lot harder, although having cycled over so many hills now, perhaps I have just got used to it.

flowersJust like Scotland last time, I have an ongoing love affair with the wild purple flowers growing by the side of the road. After 2 months of seeing very little colour along the road, to see so many purple, yellow and white flowers all blowing around and being lit up by the sun, is wonderful!

 

We passed though a place called Stonehenge, due to the huge rocks there, however it isn’t a visitor attraction as such and so I had to make do with taking a few photos from the highway.stonehenge Chris stopped ahead of me at a rest stop and got chatting to a couple from Brisbane.When they found out what we were doing they gave Chris $20 for our charity – amazing the generosity of people we meet on the road.

gum treeThis area also has lots of trees other than Eucalyptus and at times looks very much like the English countryside. Although there are still many great gums too – like this one!

Our aim for the day was a rest stop just passed Glen Innes. After an uninspiring look around Glen Innes we bought food and continued on to the rest stop. About 80km in and we found the rest stop at Yarraford, which was a great place to camp.

To top off an already good day, we met another couple here, who just stopped for a tea break and they also gave us $20 towards our charity!! We couldn’t believe it, 2 donations in one day, how fantastic.

Thank you kind people.

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