Goodbye Asia, Hello AustralAsia

Bangkok to Singapore has come and gone a bit quickly. I know! That’s the point! But I’d have liked to have taken more pictures and more video. At the back of my mind the whole way down I was thinking about the days off I had for recovery from illness; this drove me on with little thought for video chat or taking photos. Besides, it can take 5-10 minutes for the camera to get a GPS fix; if I can’t be eating during this time, that’s 10 minutes I don’t have. I am streamlining the system a bit to make both easier to do so there’ll be more from Australia.

So now it’s the 10th June. Today I saw a dead camel. The ride was uphill with a heavy crosswind. On the other hand I passed a lot of road workers who have now all congregated at this roadhouse. They are really funny and kind; John has given me his Hi-Vis vest and Mo went out to his truck to get me some standard issue suncream.

The road is quite hard at the moment, but fascinating too. Im heading into the Nullarbor; essentially semi-desert and not something I’m that familiar with, but the whole place is thriving. Yes, lots of bushes but also hardy looking, smooth-trunked trees and lots of life I couldnt begin to name. People live here quite comfortably with AC, generators, water tanks and continuous deliveries. All the places on the map are basically petrol stations (where you can buy aircraft fuel too), servicing touring RV’s, road trains and the relatively few people that live here.

Now it’s the 19th. Some days are a real physical struggle at the moment; I’m approaching halfway, so I suppose it’s no surprise. There is a lot to look forward to though and people are starting to get the message of what I’m trying to do. My pre-recorded interview was on the radio this morning and I’ve had friendly beeps and waves all day. Sydney, my next rest day, is looking good for more media so that’ll help spread the word. I may even be on a breakfast TV show, which would be a dream come true. Honestly! I’ve always wondered what goes on at those things, what the feel is like, and I might be about to find out. The fact that it goes out to millions of people across Australia is also good.

I have spent quite a while trying to open this jar of raspberry jam – near impossible with my depleted hand strength – and now it’s open. So, if you’ll excuse me…

End of 21st June.
Another cold cold morning but everything soon warmed up with the sun. I traveled through a bit more wine and farm country before reaching the Cooranga National Park; a long sliver of water, protected from the Southern Ocean by a long sliver of land, sand dunes and bushes.
Today I met an 82 year old man at a petrol station. We talked for a few minutes; he told me he was born in Adelaide and I said that I was born in Somerset and lived in London. He sparkled a bit, saying that he had been to London once, had had a heart attack and stayed there for a heart transplant. “Some holiday.”

Later on I met Mariana who has just finished studying in Melbourne and is now riding her Australian postal service scooter back to Barcelona where she’s from. This involves a bit of freighter travel from Darwin, which sounds fun, and a whole load of scootering. I haven’t had a chance to look yet but her blog is http://www.takemehomelittlepostie.wordpress.com
Good luck Mariana! I was a bit concerned she didn’t have a sleeping mat but she said she’d get one in Adelaide; essential! Maybe even more important than a sleeping bag, the ground just sucks heat out of you.

I’m heading for Colac tonight, got some catching up to do! Uploading this using free Mac D’s wifi; courtesy of the clown. Handy, plus you can watch Usher videos etc. through the window.

By James Bowthorpe

My name is James Bowthorpe. On the 29th March 2009 I set out from London to break the round the world cycling record. I am doing this to raise 1.8 million pounds for much needed research into the cause of Parkinson’s Disease. I have been preparing for this challenge for the last 6 months and now I’m on my way! You can follow my progress and see photos, on my blog.

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