Would you believe it?
I made it 🙂
I had to remind myself the first couple of days. I kept suddenly jumping up and going; “AAAHRG! I’m actually here!” …… Now what?
I arrived at Darwin at the rather unfortunate time of 2.30a.m. Thursday the 7th of May. 780 days after I left Apeldoorn.
Lucky my friend Don (who you might remember from Nepal & Thailand) just arrived in Darwin on his ‘round-Australia-on-the-Bullet-trip’ and came to meet me at the airport.
Everything seems different here.
First impression is that everything is flat, wide, and big. The roads, the houses and the people…
No motorbikes whooshing about… But many 4WD’s. One thing that surprised me where the many Car & Dog – wash places. You can actually get your car and dog washed at the same time!
Since I had to wait for a parcel to arrive from Holland we decided to go on a little road-trip on the Enfield around the Northern Territory.
So leaving my bicycle safely in Darwin we got on the bike on a sunny Saturday morning to ride in the direction of Kakadu national park.
That’s when I first experienced the Australian road trains.
It’s a funny place, a few days later I cycled along the railway tracks and a car came along on the tracks. Cars on the tracks and trains on the road…
They’re HUGE big monster-trucks with three or four trailers that swing all over the show when they pass you. When I see them coming on my bicycle I just hop of the road and wait till they pass.
But when I rode the Enfield along and a road train past, I got nearly shuffed off the road as he pulled over to quickly ‘cause of oncoming traffic.
It nearly gave me a heart attack. And Don, who was on the back at the time, got a wee bit of a fright as well.
Lucky I managed to stay on the road but I’m very weary of them from now on…
There’s enough to see and to be surprised about around here.
One afternoon, cruising along, an enormous bird of prey just dived down to the road out of nowhere, picked up a monster snake and flew off. Now that is something I haven’t seen before.
It makes you feel small. Everything seems pretty big. Along the roads you see these termite-mounts everywhere. They’re not little ones either.
And there’s crocs in the water!
I spotted three so far… A bit scary, you don’t want to go swimming around here, even though it can get pretty warm.
I have also seen lots and lots of wallabies, I like them.
They’re rather cute when they are alive. Sadly they’re not overly smart. When they get a fright, from for example a truck or car, they just hop in whatever direction they’re facing at the time. Which rather often is right in front of that truck/car.
That’s when they die; I’ve seen lots of that too.
Not as cute anymore.
And they smell bad.
Then there are the insects.
Many many Ants, Some bite, some get bitten…. As I discovered. I was intrigued to find lots of ants with green bums. Then somebody told me you can actually eat them. So I tried, and would you know it? Not too bad. Will just take a long time to fill up on them though.
And I don’t know how many different kind of mosquito’s they have around here, but I encountered a good few of them. Extremely annoying. One campsite was particularly bad. You couldn’t stand around for a minute before getting attacked. So we jumped on the bike and kept riding around ‘till after dusk. Then sprinted into the tent to eat a can of beans… No way would either of us wonder outside to try and cook.
Which is, by the way, a great thing about the Campsites around here! They all seem to have wonderful kitchen areas with BBQ’s so you don’t have to fiddle with your little stove cooking pasta or rice. No, you can actually walk into a shop buy potatoes and meat and cook a proper steak! Yum. I like Australia 😀
You need to keep an eye on your food though, one morning, while turning our backs at the table, a dingo stole our bread!
We went to see some ancient aboriginal rock paintings, a lot of them have explanations and stories written down. The stories seemed a bit violent to me. They rather often end with; “and then everybody was dead”…. hmmm
It was a good little trip, just riding, stopping here to swim in a waterfall and there to jump in a hot spring. We even manage to squeeze in a day of Horse races in Pine Creek and a motorbike tour + evening of bands and beers and dancing…
But after a good few days of bumming around on the Motorbike the time came to move back to Darwin. Where, in the meantime, my parcel had arrived.
It was very exciting to open it up. Just like x-mass.
This company, AGU, has decided to help me out a bit clothes-wise.
So I’ve got proper bike-shorts, pants, shoes, shirts and even a helmet!!!
I’m feeling very professional indeed.
The colour of the shirt shocked me a bit at first. But, as Don mentioned, he can spot me from a mile away. Which does help on these roads, with this traffic.
So I finally got cycling again! It’s great, and it lasted about 300km….
My plan to cycle to Perth and get a job has been slightly altered.
I’ve been asking for jobs just about every place I walked into. Because rather soon I realized I can’t live on the same budget here as I’ve managed the past two years…
Just the other day I got chatting to a guy who turned out to be a ‘helicopter-cowboy’. And he told me about this outback pub where they’re always looking for staff in a place called Top Springs. He gave them a call and yes. I’ll be going there tomorrow.
The nearest main road will be 180km to the east…
Nearest internet 300km North.
I won’t have network on my phone there.
Not sure how long I’m gonna be there but I will be out of touch for a little while…
No doubt I’ll be back with stories to tell.
25 thoughts on “Dodging roo’s and road trains”
Nou ja, kijk ik vlak voordat ik naar m’n werk ga even snel op je blog, staat er een nieuw bericht!
Ga het dan straks op m’n werk maar even lezen en bekijken. Heb trouwens net gisteren de vertaling van het vorige stuk doorgestuurd…Leuk, de eerste foto’s uit Australië!
pap & mam.
Hi Mirjam, great to see you have finally made it to the best country on the planet. Make sure you keep a bit of time aside for when/if you come to Brisbane, and you can stay with us, and we’ll show you around a bit. Enjoy your travels.
Phil (your Dad’s cousin)
Glad that dngo ddnt get your baby too. Typng from Turkey and often thnk of you here. Gotta love them Turksh boys hey? Hope the outback bar doesnt turn out to be the topless one or f t s then youre down wth that…
Oh. Turksh keyboards my iiiis dsappeared!
Hi Mirjam, Glad to hear you made it. Sounds like it will be awhile till you get to Tasmania.
Geweldig! Je zit nu echt helemaal aan de andere kant van de wereld! Wij zijn nu net een jaar terug uit Australië en als ik die foto’s zie en je verhaal lees krijg ik enorm heimwee. En die groene mieren, ik heb ze ook geprobeerd!!!
Die mozzies maken zich altijd populair. Een goede tweede zijn de sandflies 😦
Blijf die mooie verhalen schrijven en foto’s maken, ik geniet mee!
Je heb et allemaal weer prima voor elkaar daar! En zelfs een nieuwe sponsor 🙂 Goed bezig!!
Vraag me alleen af waarom er dan ‘achtung’ staat op dat bord waar ze voor de krokodillen waarschuwen…
Hopelijk hebbie een leuk baantje te pakken!
yes honey ants, you don’t eat them but when they get big you dig them up and suck the honey out of them.
i hope you know what you are doing going to some pub in the outback, they got pubs like hooters but then ozzy style…but you are probably well informed before you took the job.
enjoy down under!
You did it, you did it whow!! 😉 Bekende tekst niet ? Leuk om je verhaal weer te lezen en wat zal het andere wereld voor je zijn daar. Maar ook daar zal je als knapste, leukste, liefste, sportiefste blalbla weer veel leuke dingen meemaken enne leuke outfit 😉 !! Ik blijf je volgen en ga vast sparen voor een ticket hihi…
Wauw! Je bent er. Wat een prachtig land is het hè. Inderdaad, alles is er groot. En plat.
Ook heel anders dan wat je tot nu toe gezien hebt. Als je ooit in het zuiden komt, dan is Kangaroo Island, voor de kust van Adelaide een echte aanrader. Net als de kustweg van Adelaide naar Sydney (volgens mij de Great Ocean Road) langs de Twelve Apostles. Echt prachtig. En natuurlijk Sydney. Een machtig mooie stad. Maar dat is voor later. Geniet nu van alles wat je ziet en de mensen die je tegenkomt en succes met je baan!
Groetjes, Karin Oomkes
Wow, these photos are so familiar! Have fun and be careful of the ants. They bit me every day that I was there.
Dag lieve Mirjam!
Wat goed van jou! Helemaal naar Australië gefiets!
En nu? Naar Montreal fietsen? 😉
hey Mirjam, Welcome! 🙂 it was good to get a text from you the other week.. Too bad that you won’t be on the east coast for a while but like i said, it’s a great excuse to to take a quick plane ride to perth 😉 ciao ps – i don’t think i’d make it across aus on a motorbike let alone a pushie..but i am a lazy(ish) aussie 😉
Super, je bent er! Geniet lekker en pas goed op jezelf he. -xxx- Karin en Michiel en knuffel van Stella
Don’t know if you remember me, but i’m the dutch guy who was living in Laos, and had a coffee with you & Don in Bangkok, sometimes is august/september. and guess who i met enjoying his pie in a roadhouse on the NT/WA border…
enjoy ozz! Ait
The three Aussie Grannies you met in Ireland in 2007 when they were on a back packer tour are still alive and well and have just completed a 6 day Golden Country Triangle Tour in WA.
Glad to hear you have made it to Australia., Lets know when you arrive down south so we can catch up with you. Cheers Shirley, Isabel & Gerry.
Although Mirjam is far from the Internet, don’t think she won’t get your messages: there is a telephone over there and I call her every now and then end read her the reactions on her blog.
All the best,
Wat fantastisch dat je je einddoel bereikt hebt! We genieten nog steeds van je verhalen en foto’s. Je ziet er in je nieuwe outfit wel heel professioneel uit. We zijn benieuwd naar je belevenissen down under.
Groetjes uit Andijk
congratulations, you finally arrived in Aussie-land. You met us on one of your first cycling days of your trip. It was in march 07 in Essingen/Luxembourg. At that time we could’nt beleive that it would be possible to cycle to Australia!!!But you showed us, we were following your internet tour, and we are a little proud that we have the chance to “know” you. We wish you all the best , many luck and great adventures.
Simone and Coos
Hi, Hi, Hi – yipee – you made it! I can remember our discussion at the Derry Hostel – you were wondering if you’d meet people along the way – well – you know the answer to that one!
I know you’ll enjoy God’s own country – and don’t forget the wonderful Perth & the Bungle Bungles. I’ll be there in Perth – December so who knows we may catch up. Enjoy the great outback and keep the tales coming.
hello hope your stay at top Springs was a good stay! I made it back to Darwin with only a few more problem stops! but i’ll elaberate in an email! all the best!!!!
Hee aan de spruitjes!
HALLO MIRJAM, YOU MADE IT, I’M VERY PROUD, AND I KNOW YOU LIKE AUSTRALIA, ME TO.
NA EEN VAKANTIE IN TURKIJE EN EEN WEEK OP DE CAMPING BEN IK WEER OP HONK, DUS IK LEES NU JE MAIL, TIJDJE GELEDEN MAAR ONDANKS DAT GEWELDIG.
VEEL GENOEGEN DAAR EN EEN VEILIGE TRIP DOOR AUSTRALIE. GROETJES RIET S.
Laat weer eens iets van je horen, okay?
All the best!
Ik lees met veel plezier je website…je onderneemt wat ik na mijn afstuderen als psycholoog wil gaan doen. Maar tot die tijd ben ik bezig met een onderzoek naar oa. de persoonlijkheid van wereldfietsers. Ik zou je dan ook graag met een (korte) vragenlijst willen benaderen. Maar helaas kan ik geen emailadres op je site vinden. De mijne is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leuk als je mee wil doen, groeten,