lørdag den 27. december 2014

Back in snowy St. Anton - definitive last post on this blog!

Been home for 3 days. Had a cosy and relaxed Christmas here at home. Old friends and family around - nice to be back to my "normal" world again. And everything is getting intensified by having explored a new part of the world - and myself - by another long bike ride. I am very thankful to everybody that has been part of this experience. You helped me getting out of my comfort zone and seeing the world in a new light.. We have a famous danish author: Hans Christian Andersen. He said: "To travel is to live" - I agree! And "I will be back" - on another tour - hopefully not before too long. Here in St. Anton where I live it's pouring down snow since yesterday - and it will continue for a while according to the weather report. I already went skiing a couple of times. My legs are pleasantly strong - but not tuned for skiing yet - it will come - hopefully. My touring push bike - as it is called in Australia - is still in the box. My race bike is on the balcony - in the far corner where the snow does not get in. I see it from where I sit now - I am so happy to have cycling as part of my life!

fredag den 19. december 2014

Wunschlos zufrieden = happy, happy, happy!

Yes - I did it - we arrived in Sydney early afternoon!
 Took 2 ferries, the last going to Circular Quay very close to the Opera House where we all met to have the group photo taken. Came in in time to get some sparkling wine to celebrate before..
 9.300 k's in Indonesia and Australia - and EFI Australia!
 After Canberra we had 3 riding days all holding quite some climbing. But I do not care. No, actually I like it. I have never been stronger on my bike - and don't know if I will ever get there again. But it IS nice..
 We spent one night more in a bush camp - last night in the tent (on this trip) and stayed in a wonderful sea view cabin at Bulli beach yesterday - thanks to Catherine and Hans that left the tour and gave their place to me for free..
Went in the ocean - HUGE waves - very refreshing.
 Now at a very nice room at the Sydney Boulevard hotel where we also have the big finishing celebration tonight..

mandag den 15. december 2014

Super fun riding up the Great Alpine Road to Canberra..

The fun continued: 1870 meters of climb over a distance of 123 k's going from Yarram to Delegate - another small sleepy town - again in the middle of nowhere - but with a quite nice campground next to a small river. The riding was enjoyable going up in fantastic weather. Blue, blue skies and all vegetation green as ever. The summer has just begin (like June back home) - so everything seems very fresh. The ferns are unbelievable big and beautiful - some of them like trees.. Had many k's through a forest on a gravel road - something that many people do not like - but one of my favorite things. I still (after the many k's - or especially because of it = being strong) really prefer some challenge on my bike instead of just going straight. Not that I am the fastest or anything - but it just never becomes boring. Saw a kangaroo and a small black snake just lying before me on the road - a bit scary.
 I think I never got to tell you about all the fantastic birds we have here. Not being particularly fond of birds it never becomes an obsession of mine - but I must say: the birds are plentiful, colorful, often quite big and are singing like mad. And an exotic bird like the kakadoo we see nearly every day.
 My venture in Delegate back to tenting wasn't a big success: could not fall asleep and woke up 2 hours before the alarm went at five - so had max. 4 hours of sleep which is too little. But I decided to do it again the day after as I was overtired. That helped. I actually had a good sleep in my tent!
 Delegate to Cooma also was a terrific ride - again a good deal of climbing (1700 something over a distance of 130 something). Looong rolling hills with gorgeous views of an amazing landscape. We went up to just under 1000 meters at the highest - being close to famous ski resort like Mount Bulla, Thredbo and Parashees (probably wrong spelling). Again we saw kangaroos - first 7 of them in different sizes just before us traversing the road and after 5 jumping parallel to us may be 100 meters away. Fascinating to see them move ahead using their back legs and tail making huge jumps.
 We arrived in Canberra yesterday - Australia's capital designed some 100 years ago by an american architect. Not the most charming place on earth - but very straight, clean and green lying around the artificial lake of Burley Griffin (named after the architect). Just sitting at The National Gallery's coffeehouse after having visited the collection of aboriginal art. I get to like this more and more. Also because it tells about their original way of thinking and living.

Hostage taking in Sydney 

The big shock yesterday was the hostage taking at the Lindt Cafe in Sydney. I have been following it on the television (have a cabin) - and first thing this morning I heard that 3 people were killed including the islamist behind it. Really weird being this close to such a terrible incident..

torsdag den 11. december 2014

Here comes the sun - six riding days before Sydney..

YES - finally the weather got better! Going up north towards Canberra - we have our first riding day of a bloc of 4 going there - and the sun came out. What a difference. Also going up the Great Alpine Road and the outlook of passing by some ski towns/resorts of course can excite me a bit! Had a great only 88 k's ride today - with some very nice climbing = 900 vertical. Felt well on my bike and tried to go fast (!) all the way - enjoyable! And I will tent first time since long again.. A perfect lawn with some beautiful trees to give shade (not that we need it). Put my tent so it naturally goes a bit down - of course with my head up. Waugh what a tent expert I am becoming (ha, ha..).
 Not much else to tell - ok, yes - only 6 more days to go to Sydney - AND I AM NOT GETTING NOSTALGIC - look SO much forward to go back home..
 But am seriously considering to do South America next year! 5 months, 15.000 k's - Columbia, Equador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentine and Chile. Have not made up my mind 100 pro cent yet - but very tempted!

mandag den 8. december 2014

Low before climax..

Some people stayed in Melbourne - one went to Tasmania. Other decided to quit today.. There is some kind of a low in the group just now. And I agree.. The riding is like in Denmark: cold, flat and quite some traffic. The bad weather tends not to leave us.. And I am kind of regrettable about the fact of not having really explored Melbourne with just one day there.. So think I could have spent my time here in Australia better than doing what we are doing just now.. But I try to convince myself that it is cool to accomplish the Australia section EFI and just take it all, good and bad.  Thank you Jacqueline for helping me to believe in that! And now that we have less than 10 out of a total of around 90 riding days left I stay tuned.. Did 100 k's today with quite some k's at a nice cycling path where there used to be a railroad track. Now we are in the town of Yarram - a boring provincial town with a beautiful brand new library with free wi-fi.. There is nothing else exciting to do here.. But we will soon be in Canberra - and Sydney - of course.. Am kind of ready for "the grand finishing" of the tour - and look forward to go back home to Christmas in St. Anton!
 Am not inspired to take photos - it all looks more or less like something seen before..

søndag den 7. december 2014

Wet, wet, wet - also at the founder of Lonely Planet's place.

I thought that it was my turn to take some kind of initiative in the group - so organized transportation for 12 people to go to the party that we were all invited to at Toni Wheeler's (the founder of Lonely Planet) place. Nice evening. He is a very friendly and humble man that together with his wife, Maureen has changed the way most of us travel. His house is a globetrotter's home with a special modern oriental atmosphere - like a Jim Thomson's house of our time.. Beautiful art and artefacts - grand living room with a spacy terrace - perfect for a party for 50 people.. The house has a beautiful garden with a large swimming pool and goes down to a little river - you see no other houses from there - just beautiful nature.. We had a great bbq all freshly prepared by a chef followed by a wonderful cake assortment - some of the best so far in Australia (eat cakes everyday - and can say that they are generally very good here..). AND a lot of wine. Actually too much wine.. But when the company is good - you know.. Also met a little group of former and present Lonely Planet employees that did participate in Tour d'Afrique together with Toni Wheler in 2009.
 This morning I was a bit hung over - and it was pouring down rain. We followed riding paths all through Melbourne going to the southeast of it to Philip island where we are now. It was great (but wet and cold!!) to ride through the city - especially along the Yarra river and the harbor area with lots of new residential buildings and quite some sailing yacht ports. And following cycling paths at the other side of the city along the ocean gave us a good impression of how some of the well off Melbourne people live. Big houses built very close to each other along the water front. It was Sunday and a lot of people were out in the rain running (among others a women's run with around 1000 participants), cycling and meeting for other sports.
 Hurried to catch a ferry before 12 to go to the island. It was kind of unpleasant in the rain and headwind - but no other choice.. So was a bit worn out when I reached it just in time. Total anticlimax: the ferry was cancelled because of heavy winds and we were redirected going by train and bus + waiting for a couple of hours in between to go to a bridge going to the other side of the island where we did not arrive to camp before 6 pm. Had to go to another campsite to get a cabin - and had no time to shower before dinner. It all ended fine as Janice that we know from the Bamboo last year came with (more) red wine - yes it is a bit over the top - now I had wine everyday since a week - seriously over the top!

fredag den 5. december 2014

Melbourne - here we come.. Total k's on the cycle: approx. 7.800!

Tda shortened our ride from Torquay to Melbourne yesterday - so arrived around noon after a 106 k's ride. Kind of a boring cycling day going through the industrial quarter of the city of Geelong, along the Port Phillip Bay and being on a bicycle path for many kilometers - but actually also interesting to see something different - and more "normal".. We are at an upscale caravan park 35 min.'s bus ride from down town Melbourne. Went in there yesterday. Just followed the Lonely Planet recommendation for a city walk and had lunch and dinner at places mentioned in there. Just great. The most fantastic tapas I ever tried for lunch and a vibrant Friday evening atmosphere at a bohemian place with modern Australian cuisine.
 Now at my cabin - kind of tired - but heading out to visit one of the central suburb areas: Fitzroy where Melbourne should be at it's hottest just at the moment.. Am a bit desperate to have so little time (leaving tomorrow morning) at this attractive place - can only do a fraction of what I would love to do here.. Ok, I will be off..
 Just want to inform you that my total k's on this trip is now around 7.800! If I continue doing EFI in Australia I will end up with a final total around 9.000.