About the Birds and the Bike (and some other things I like)

Ever heard of the Malleefowl?malleefowl

I didn’t before working in one of their habitats… It’s great seeing these funny little birds run about, never realizing they are actually real special. This native Australian bird is an endangered species with only small populations surviving. They’re real shy and a bit silly. They happened to set up camp not far from ours, so I had the privilege of spotting them on a number of occasions. They’re distantly related to chickens. But chickens are not very rare…Pelicans

After six months of sitting on my ass in a fancy air-conditioned 4WD it didn’t come as much of a shock that it wasn’t very easy to get back on my bike.SeagullPeter accompanied me on the first stretch out of Port Lincoln.Lipson Cove

The road followed the coast but due to heavy rains in December the harvest is running late and the road is full of big grain trucks going a million miles an hour blasting you off the bituman every time they pass.Those grain-trucks

Lucky I found a lovely little dirt-track going away from the main-drag nearer to the coast. At times it followed the road closely, and I did get a few strange looks heaving the bike through ditches and sand while being only meters from the bituman. But I like the efford that takes a lot better then joining the rest of the road-pizza’s. And I ‘discovered’ some beautifull campspots along the way. not too bad for a campspotA bit windy at times, and with one pole still missing my tent flaps around like crazy.

One reason I was going into Adelaide was my passport expiring.a wedding in the park, Adelaide When I set off on this trip I never guessed I’d still be going 4 years later, and not even halfway ’round the world yet…I like

Another reason was finding a replacement for that missing pole, turns out the distributor for this brand is in WA… Where I just spend over a year! Darn.Linda's dog

I spent Christmas in Adelaide with Linda, a good friend of my dads cousin,Christmas BBQ And Steve, a good friend of mine. Steve and the PavlovaIt was here I discovered I might’ve grown out of the lactose-intolarance I picked up in Nepal when an overly friendly parasite set up residence in my stomach. But just to be sure I tried eating cheese, cream, ice-cream, chocolate and yoghurt. And I didn’t feel ill! I had another huge piece of pavlova & cream to celebrate. I did feel ill then, but I don’t think it was because of the lactose…

Christmas is a funny happening here in Australia, no one seems to care that the seasons are all wrong! They put up decorations with big santa’s in costumes and beards and plastic sledges and snowman even though the temperature is 40+ degrees! It still seems a little strange to me.tastefull X-mas decorations

We all went to see an exibition called ‘desert lands’ in the National museum…glenelg It made me want to get back on the road. So I got back on the road.up the hill

I found my way to Kapunda, where Chris lives. He kept me entertained for a few days. Not only with copious amounts of Coopers pale ale, but also with his hilarious stories of past exploits in different fields of work From Milkman to Bartender to Gigolo and, lately, running Aboriginal communities all over Australia (we met when I cycled into one of those back in 2009)

He gave me a tour of the Barossa valley which ended in a wine-tasting session (It tasted great!) and a unusual history lesson. I never knew the first settlers in the Barossa-valley liked to spend their sunday-afternoons playing hunting-games. They were awarded different point for different kills, a rabbit would give you 5 points, a fox 10, a Kangaroo or Emu 50 and an Aboriginal 100. The last one disappeared around 1895…pretty clouds

New Years eve is a fairly tame event in Kapunda. So I decided to make my own party and Hijacked the jukebox in the local pub and under the suprised and slightly baffled looks of locals dragged Chris into my own version of dancing the night away (I want to ride my bicycle/ on the road again & Dolly… just a few examples)

After midnight there seemed nothing else to do but to join a crowd of young lads to a house party where we spent the rest of the night playing ping pong and watching curious cooking-shows.

Happy new Year.

On the map I’ve seen a road going straight across the ‘Big Desert Wilderness Park’ Since I seem to have missed out on the Great-Central road (only for now! There will always be another winter…) I took this track, a sign at the start warned me for a ‘rough sandy road’  That sounded good to me, for sure I wouldn’t meet any trucks along here.Rough Sandy Track

The only vehicle I did meet was a big 4WD who flew past me later that day while shouting out the window: “How ya going!”…. typical Aussie greeting, he wouldn’t have expected an answer. If I would’ve had the chance I’d let him know that, obviously, in the sand… uphill, and against the wind I was going very very slowly. But he sped past and left me in a thick cloud of dust.1WD works too

It was wonderfull though! No sounds but the gravel under my wheels, the singing of birds and dogs howling in the distance. Oh, and locusts.

Just when I was getting used to the flies in the west here these grass-hoppers seem to prevail. Instead of crawling in your eyes, ears, and nose as flies like to do. The locust smacks BANG into your face and hops away again. I was wondering if they might make for a tasty snack… Full of protein.

On my map I’d seen a little blue dot named ‘The Springs’. Silly enough I figured there’d be water there so I made it my goal for the day. I got there and searched high and low, but no sign of any spring at all! Nah.

Lucky I jumped into a puddle 13km earlier at the ‘Big Billy Bore’…in the dam

It didn’t take long before I was back in wheat-growing area’s.Harvest Where still the harvest, and the wheat-trucks, keep going. One of the farmhouses along my road happened to belong to Stephen & Bron. Bron making me a sandwich (thanks!)Of course I didn’t know this untill I’d called in and was offered a place on their gorgeous lawn and dinner with the family.me, by Bron and Archie

A great thing about this part of the country is water. There is water.Water Not that there’s a lack of it in Queensland at the moment, but that’s another story.the Roo Family

I love jumping in puddles and dam’s along the way for a wash or just to cool down.

Packing up my tent one morning I was surprised hearing “Good Morning Mirjam!” from across the river. I didn’t think I knew a lot of people in Warracknabeal…

But I met a family in the pub the night before, and Rosemary was on her run around town when she spotted me packing up across the river. An invitation for breakfast followed.

It’s still amazing to find yourself in situations you could never foresee. Like when I ran into Brian one morning. He’d just gone down to buy a local newspaper when I cycled past…Brian and the Poached Egg

What started with;”Hello, where are you going?” Ended up a lovely day spent at his house full of miniature-bicycles, more bicyclesPoached eggs, and an interview with the local newspaper…Cooma Paper

To my surprise the weather started to be a lot cooler, even some drops came falling down.2 and 2

It makes for lovely green scenery and I enjoyed riding up and down the hills around Dalesford and if I pretended I was in an Irish summer then it didn’t seem too bad at all.Cockatoo's

I thought Australia in summer would be hot and dry. But no, Queensland is flooded and here in Melbourne the rain hasn’t eased since I arrived.arriving in Melbourne But I’m not complaining. Nope. I am actually very excited because I have got a major adventure coming up.

You will see.


10 thoughts on “About the Birds and the Bike (and some other things I like)

  1. Hi Mirjam,
    Just read you next highly interesting episode of being on the road.
    Gerry called around yesterday (Monday 10th). She had only just back from being in Melbourne and Perth – visiting her family etc.
    Isabel is well on the road to recovery – driving again and getting a bit cheeky!
    I had a nice newsy email from your dad a couple of days ago. It is always good to hear from him about what’s going on over Holland way etc.
    Have just finished my last 2010 GSA edition – so what it’s a bit late but I have been enjoying being in my garden and doing other stuff.
    I was very interested re the Mallee fowl – they’re rare and shy. There’s a special Mallee Fowl place at Gnowangerup where they are really trying to save the bird. And you got a wonderful pic of one. Well done.
    Must go to bed now. Thanks for your blog.
    Keep safe and continue to enjoy life in Oz
    Granny B 🙂

  2. Hoi Mirjam,
    Happy 2011! En nog steeds onderweg in het prachtige Australie! We hebben weer genoten van je verhaal en de prachtige foto’s. De sneeuw is verdwenen in Nederland, we hebben nu regen en kou. Maar… de dagen worden langzaam aan langer en binnenkort komen de eerste sneeuwklokjes weer tevoorschijn.
    Heel veel groetjes uit Breda.

  3. Hoi Mirjam,

    En weer een geweldig verhaal! Lachen hoor. En hele mooie foto’s. Ik mis trouwens je derde wiel… Toch maar liever op twee? Het ziet er allemaal heel mooi groen uit, ach ja, regen genoeg…
    Vrijdag gaan we een dag of 10 de sneeuw in, dit keer in Morillon, in de franse alpen. Er schijnt twee meter sneeuw te liggen op de bergen…genoeg dus :-). Judith & Dimmen zitten nu in La Joue Du Loupe. Oók volop in de sneeuw, ze komen dit weekend terug.
    Nou, geniet van de muziek straks en veel liefs van ons!

    pap & mam.

  4. So good to meet you and glad to hear you arrived safely in MElbourne. We just arrived home tonight after a lovely week away. Take care and have a great time as you take off on your next adventure.
    Cheers Rosemary, Wayne and Isaac 🙂

  5. hi mate

    was nice to meet you here in kalgoorlie obviously you are back on the road hope to catch up with you again all the best with you adventures take care

    leanne dennis and jonty

  6. I guess, we got a new Josie Dew here, if you put this all in a book, or maybe this website is a new form of book 🙂 🙂

    Thanx for sharing!!

  7. Hoi Mirjam,

    Wat schrijf je toch leuk en wat een prachtige foto’s. En wat is het toch een fantastisch en veelzijdig land.
    Onze dochter (14 jaar) is 2 januari jl. vertrokken naar Sydney in het kader van een studenten uitwisseling. Op dit moment is ze op vakantie op Kangaroo Island, voor de kust van Adelaide. Van februari-april gaat ze in Sydney naar school. Daarna heeft ze nog drie weken vakantie. Terwijl we haar volgen op haar blog over het oosten van Australië, volgen we jou in een ander deel van dit geweldige land. Veel plezier op het festival. En wie weet komen jullie elkaar een keer tegen.

    Groetjes, Karin

  8. Hi Mirjam,
    Have been thinking about you and wondering if you got to first Melbourne and then on to Tamworth.
    Hoping you made it up to the country music capital and are enjoying all the sights and sounds!!
    Will check in again with you soon.
    Love Bron, Stephen and Archie 🙂

  9. Hello Mirijam! this is Mary the crazy Norwegian that u meet at breakfast and beer in Daylesford! I Love ur story and the way you write is so entertaining, i will absolutley spend more time on your website! Keep up the good work! Love from Daylesford

  10. HI Mirjam

    Well l can vouch for the fact Mirjam made it to Tamworth Mucis Festival on a borrowed Royal Enfield Got to ride with the Local Hog Chapter on a Poker Run She Certainly left her Flaming Red Hair inpression on the town & its Visitors & especially the musicians was lovely spending some time shariing music & Oj wasnt it lol

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