Saturday, July 3, 2010

33- The End of the Road

Well, this is it.

I'm done. No more walking, no more blogging, no more lack of showers, no more spaghetti for dinner every single night and, most strangely, no more beard. It was the first thing to go, and not too many tears were shed when it was removed. Not too sure what to feel at the moment, other than the satisfaction of finishing something (for once!) and excitement at getting back to Brisbane and back to student life.

Anyways, I arrived at my final stop, Sydenham station, late Tuesday night. Sydenham was chosen as the final stop because it was the first Metro train station I came across and it was kindly suggested to me by the highway police that I shouldn't really be walking on freeways,
and they wanted to move me off the main roads but when it got down to it they just didn't have the heart. Or something to move the trailer with. But still I wasn't ever too keen on dodging city traffic, not to mention unending questions, queries and stoppages from passers-by. That and I felt a great aversion to an iconic end such as finishing at Federation Square as it wouldn't have fitted in with the rest of the trip. The finish at Sydenham was perfect though.

But deciding to trek down to Melbourne instead of Sydney was probably the best decision I made in the whole trip. At the very least it was definitely better than my decision not to shower from Mildura to Melbourne.

And, as we all know, Sydney is really just a poor man's Sydenham.

Not much left to say now, it's all been written before. And unfortunately my second camera was misplaced by me so have no photos to share this time. Instead I've chucked a few links below, 2 of which are slideshows I cobbled together (one you may have already seen before, this time it actually works properly though!) and the other links are just stuff other people have written that mentions Sam and/or me. Pretty proud of a few of the articles, mainly because all of them show both the awesome beard and the high-end fashion that I usually am wearing. After this I'm probably just going to take up modelling.


SlamVision- The final product

The Trip- Start to Finish. (Warning, it's quite long. Sorry)

Other Stuff

Guys we met cycling across for charity

Sunraysia Daily Article

West Coast Sentinel (Paper in Ceduna)

Barry and Norren's Blog (Awesome Canadians we met, twice!)

The Age

Well that is all there is. So 3497 kilometres, 117 days, 3 states and at least 1 somewhat changed person later I finally have the chance to say this, and I've never been more excited to say it.

I'm coming home.

Goodbye, and thanks. Can't wait to see you all again soon!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I must almost be finished, shouldn't I be? Surely.

Well maybe, maybe not. Who knows, it remains a mystery to many. It is a closely guarded secret, just as the change of final destination to Melbourne was.

But whenever I have/will finish I won't be posting my final post for a while. This is to let the message of this one sink in that bit more as it'll be the most important one I write.

It's pretty simple and sounds hollow when done incorrectly, so I figured if I devoted a whole post to it then even I couldn't stuff it up.

Ok, here goes...

Been needing to say this for a while but I figured people would tire of constantly hearing it so it'd mean more saying it properly just once.

I just wanted to thank everybody who has been in my life the last four months- either newly entered, returning, passing through or continuing on. I'm going to be a bit of a wuss and not mention any names at all in the hope that it'll offend every one just a little bit rather than offend a few people I forget to mention a lot.

Sam and I would love to say that we did this trip unassisted but that is definitely not the case because we have felt assisted every step of the way, whether it be from received packages/ letters/love letters and emails to calls, strangers stopping for chats and food deliveries, old friends going out of their way to help out to even simple things like a good horn honk, a smile and a wave it has all just added so much to this trip and none of it was asked for, just happily and willingly given. Has been very humbling and given me a new perspective on life, not to mention a few lessons on how to treat people.

I know this last four months will be imprinted on me for the rest of my life and the most positive thing to have come out of it is seeing not only how much good there is in people but also how much willingness, spontaneity, thought and wit they have to act on those good intentions. If I'm a better person for it then you get all the credit. Saying that if I turn out to be a real jerk then rest assured- you will all be copping the blame for it.

So to friends, strangers, colleagues, brothers, aunties, uncles, cousins, surrogate mums (and the actual one), father figures (once again and the actual one), randoms, adventurers, visitors, farmers, slickers, tourists, cyclists, shopkeepers, truckies, hoons, goons, vanners and slammers- read this and know it's coming from someone who means it- Thank you. You've made this experience the best one of my life.

Ok, that's all. The next post will be the last one. Then no more writing for me!

Until then,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Mum


Saves ringing.

Enjoy your really (in)expensive gift that took us (not) a long time to come up with. I'm pretty sure you'll still like it though, as it was made with lots of love.

Keep up the good work.

From your son

Only card I could find in Wedderburn

Hint for your present. Pretty much giving it away.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More Questions Answered

Still bearing down on Melbourne quite steadily and have stopped in Charlton tonight at a custom built pit-stop of sorts for tourists called the Traveller's Rest, and I have decided to take the name quite literally and set up my swag under one of their picnic pergolas. Such things are probably frowned upon by the caravan park next door but once again I'm not too keen on paying $20 to roll out my swag on their lawn.

With 250 Kilometres to go there are still however a lot of questions that remain unanswered and not much time left to answer them. Tonight I'll try and get through a few more.

What has been the best part of the trip to walk? Surprisingly, the Nullarbor. Was actually beautiful in parts, and along with flat straight roads and extremely helpful passers-by made it easily the best part of the journey. Although admittedly I do not miss treating roadside drop toilets as a luxury.

Are you walking all the way into Melbourne? No way. Going to keep going until the traffic no longer allows me on the main road then finish up around there. At the moment it looks like around Calder Park- near the speedway there. Shaun'd know why I want to finish there.

How much weight have you lost on the trip? Have actually gained around 10 kilos at the moment, much to everyone's surprise. No real surprise to me though considering how much Sam and I have eaten this trip.

What has been the hardest part of the trip? Seriously, spending so much time alone. Never thought I'd ever say that. I am usually quite comfortable in my own company- so that has been the most surprising part of the trip for me.

Here's a few photos as well, with attached questions...

How do the farm animals react when you pass?
Well, as can be seen here, horses seem to love the whole walking along the road with a cart. They probably think the trailers full of food. Cattle all turn and look, although none actually move at all. Dogs go beserk of course, sheep run away. Emus follow from a distance, Kangaroos are too busy dead on the side of the road to notice much, mice love the trailer and cant really get them to leave, and alpacas remain indifferent to the whole thing. Llamas however get quite agitated- but as any self-respecting Mighty Boosh fan would know there are quite a few ways to calm a Llama down. (Bec that last part is for you and your 200+ friends/followers- I hope they enjoy it. Thug Life)

What's the nicest picture that's been drawn for me, ever? To be fair this doesn't get asked a lot (or at all) but it's pretty much just an excuse to post this, my newest addition to the trailer, a beautiful picture drawn by Charli from Wycheproof. She even got as close to spelling my name right as most people do. Liy is as close as Lee to spelling Leigh, and I think I prefer Liy anyways. Thanks Charli- I love it! And thank you so much to Debbie as well for putting me up in Wycheproof for a night which included washing all my disgusting clothes and eating half the contents of her fridge. I really appreciated it- hopefully I'll be back again soon. Oh, and special mention goes to Kim with her amazing blueprints for our dreamhouse.

How's the beard going? Terribly. Can't wait to get rid of it. Took this photo yesterday. Actually took a few more as well but I chose to post this one as in it you can see straight up my nose if you wish. Also I seem to be doing something weird with my tongue.

What have you found on the roadside while walking? Well today I found this $20 on the side of the road. Apart from that, not much. A bit of rubbish.

What music do you listen to while walking? The mp3 player, which is probably the best value and most important piece of equipment on the trip, has had many updates and revisions to its playlist over the past few months. Initially loaded by Sam it was fine for a while until it got the the point that if I heard one more Guido Hatzis prank call, Rodney Rude fart joke or Bob Dylan mega-ballad I would have probably run myself over with my own trailer.
So after clearing it and starting from scratch it has now been filled with-

Art vs. Science, Ash Grunwald, Augie March, Cat Stevens, Clare Bowditch, Diana Ross, Donovan Frankenreiter, Flight of the Conchords Foo Fighters, God is an Astronaut, James Morrison, Kings of Leon, Lisa Mitchell, Metallica, Mogwai, Muse, Michael Jackson ,Mighty Boosh excerpts, Paul Simon, Pink Floyd, Sebastien Tellier, Smokey Robinson, Sufjan Stevens, The Beatles, The Cat Empire, The Polyphonic Spree, Tracy Chapman, Xavier Rudd, Yeasayer

Alphabetically sorted of course as they're all equally helpful in getting me through the kilometres. All of them except one....

Britney. She makes some great walking music. Don't judge me.

Well that's all I can think of for now. Take it easy- 3 more blogs to go. That'll make it 33, my favourite number and a good point to finish. So will try to make them all better than the last few, but no promises.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Same Shirt, Different Day

Well, more correctly, Same Shirt, Different Four Days. The smell is becoming quite offensive, even for me. Also with my hair in it's current state of care it's starting to fall out in protest and the shirt is only too happy to pick it up and keep it. With it being a black shirt my relatively light hair contrasts with it exceptionally well and it's starting to look like I own a cat with foot-long blonde fur, which is currently molting like crazy.

But to be fair it's my favourite shirt so I'll keep wearing it for a few more days yet. It's not like I'm currently out to impress anyone with my looks or personal hygiene at the moment. And I use the terms 'my' and 'shirt' loosely as it is actually Sam's thermal top which I stole as he left in Ceduna.

Anyways, have managed to trek the 88 k's from Ouyen to Sea Lake since last post (2 days ago). The combination of the new shoes and wheels have been scarily good as I am now walking around two hours less per day but am actually walking on average around 2-4 kilometres more. Goes to show how much of a difference not cheaping out on the basics makes! Thanks again Annie, Ashley and WGGCC. Makes me wonder how much quicker and less stress the trip would have been if I hadn't of bought everything from the bargain bins. Not that I'll ever learn my lesson, pretty sure I'll be a cheapskate for life. Plus it has all added to the challenge, would have been too easy otherwise. Pfft.

Here's the last two days worth of photos. Really starting to stretch it for both quality and quantity with the posts being so close together, but like I said before I'm going to post every chance I get now, even if it is terrible.

Where I set up camp in Ouyen. Once again showing a healthy disregard for authority.

Just about to get into a drag with this guy, 10k's out of Sea Lake. You can see Wilson on top,
he reckons he can take him by himself. Apparently the start line is just up there a bit.

From the start of the trip have gradually been finding better and better places to set up camp. This has come from a combination of skill, experience and total lack of shame. Behold tonights camp site, the absolute ultimate spot. Ultimate like the Russian boxer who belts up Rocky in Rocky 4. Power, controllable lighting, fully sheltered, benches and seating, adjacent toilets and rainwater tank. Unbelievable, although I don't think it's meant to sleep in. That's where the lack of shame comes in.

Well, its been a rough few days for Wilson. I haven't heard him complain much but I can tell he's feeling a bit flat.

Ok, well its off to bed. Can watch movies all night without worrying about the power bill, because the Sea Lake Council has graciously decided to foot the bill this time. Will probably post again from either Wycheproof or Bendigo. Or both, who knows. There isn't many more places left to post from, only 350 kilometres left now!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oh, Oh, Ouyen

Now 100 kilometres into the final stretch and have to say- it's been tough. Not for any other reason than me not wanting to leave Mildura. Was definitely dragging the heels a lot the first two days, going all of 50 kilometres in that time, but the further I have got away the better it is and have managed to get into Ouyen tonight. Of course I've found somewhere to plug in the computer as it hasn't been sunny enough for the solar panel to be of any use except as somewhere for Wilson to sit. When it gets sunny Wilson is going to find himself slightly less comfortable, I've already warned him about that.

Wasn't going to write anything here, but as there's only 450k's to go I figure I'll write one any chance I get, even if it is ordinary. Two more weeks and it's all over, it's a bit hard to believe at the moment.

Currently aiming at a July 1st finish, but as has been the way the whole trip that will be more a guide than a deadline.

Couple of photos this time, none any good.

This was the first photo taken with the new camera. Thought I'd share. You're welcome Levi.

My first camp after leaving Mildura. For those who know Mildura you will notice that it's barely out of Red Cliffs, which is barely out of Mildura.

Some homeless bum in Ouyen.

That's all for now. Mainly just posted this so I was doing something productive while the computer was charging. Now it's fully charged I can go back and watch some Black Books in my swag.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

From Perth to ..... Melbourne?!?!

So there it is, the worst kept secret in history. I'm going to Melbourne instead of Sydney. And no, I am not changing the blog website, mainly because I do not know how.

After a few weeks of agonising over the idea I finally have decided on it and am already following the Calder Highway down to Melbourne. There is no turning back.
There were many reasons for the change of heart. Admittedly one of them was the fact Melbourne is over 350k's closer than Sydney which was very desirable considering my well-known time and financial constraints. But, being Victoria-born so therefore a part of the all too healthy Vic vs NSW rivalry it was a good feeling to choose Melbourne over Sydney. It is after all the cultural capital of Australia. And the sports capital, and the multicultural capital etc. No need to go on about that though as everyone already knows it.

So have already booked my flight back to Brisbane for July 6th, giving me a week of bludging before uni starts up again.

Enough about that - how was my week at home (Mildura)?

It was perfect. Couldn't have asked for a better week. Makes me miss the place a lot, especially my old cricket club. Had a night catching up with them all and handing over the paltry amount of money that I had raised for them. For the record- It was paltry not due to others not being kind-hearted and donating money to causes but because I refused to accept many donations. Once again, this is not in any way a charity walk. It's a 100% selfish act and I'm OK with that. But still some people insisted on giving me money and because I felt uncomfortable taking it for myself I instead kept it to give to the Club. Anyways, what I ended up giving to them they at least matched with a brand new pair of top of the line shoes that were 3 times more expensive than my original pair as well as a club shirt, cap and photo. And that is why they are the best club in the world. Hopefully I will one day be back there again.

So yes, perfect. Much more happened I'm sure but you know, memory of a goldfish. Sorry that I didn't post sooner- I was too busy catching up on missed TV and junk food.

Currently at the Big Lizzie in Red Cliffs using some more free power. Why I didnt just do this at my brothers' place I'm not sure. Free power is just a lot more fun to use than the normal stuff I guess.

Ok, so I caved and bought a new camera. That means $80 less chocolate until I get to Melbourne. Here's what it's got so far. All rolled gold.

Meet 'Wilson' my new walking buddy. Courtesy of my mum and brother's sense of humour. Hilarious.

He doesn't really say much, so I think we'll get on great.

My youngest brother Levi, who came and saw me in Mildura. He was putting on this face, I wasn't. Can't remember what he was doing, but it was the only photo of both of us. Pretty sure he was either trying to lick me or eat my beard. Little creep.

The updated trek map, kindly stolen from some internet site. The purple line is the distance Sam and I went together, the gold is the solo session (170k's of that was with Carly however), the black is the now defunct path to Sydney and the orange is the new way I'm taking to Melbourne. There is 2 months of purple line there, 1 month of gold line and hopefully only 17 days of orange line.

Taken by the local paper who did two articles on me when I was back. Picked a good day as I had all my best clothes on and the hair was brushed just last week.
Some of the article is on the net - They do a pretty good job making a story out of all the nonsense I sprouted to them.

Ok, that's all for now. Off to test out my new Workers Gol-Gol CC sponsored walking shoes.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Flash New Tyres (Oh, and Almost Home)

Firstly to all who didn't get my text- Greetings from Victoria: The State of Champions. Anyone who needs it sent again just let me know, and some of you mightn't know but I actually come from Victoria. I'm just lucky I guess.

Anyways, it's been a pretty good week for me. Firstly Sue and Brent, now Annie and Ashley!

They must've got sick of reading about my tyres blowing so instead of ignoring my whining (which is what I would have done), they made a mercy dash out to me delivering wheels, cheeselovers pizza (my second delivery for the week!), chocolate (once again, second for the week), about a gallon of iced coffee and some puncture proofing stufff for the wheels so with any luck they wont have to hear me complain about them again!

And these wheels....... wow.

After getting used to the constant grinding, creaking and intermittent deflating of my $30 Toyworld tyres, these ones feel like cheating. Having already had two hours of walking with them and I didn't once have to stop to see if both of them were still pumped up, which I have had to do every day for the last month with my other ones. I didn't know they even made wheels this good- seriously amazing. Planning on one serious bonfire for the old ones.

Well, sorry but that's all. Mightn't seem that important to you, but the above news is probably the most singularly exciting thing that has happened for me on this trip. Yes, seriously. Figured I needed to spread the good news, I'm sure you're all as excited as me.

No photos- check previous post as to why.

...... Ok, one photo. Was the last one before the lens shutter decided it didn't need to open anymore.

Pow, take that Skip. Right through the jugular. Got a feeling they dont like roos around these parts.

Well that is it. Still two days off Mildura, staying just outside of Cullulleraine tonight. Will write again in a few days time.

Once again, finally, thank you so much Annie and Ashley. I still am as speechless as when I first saw you today (it was a surprise visit and I don't handle surprises well. Not to mention I think I still had some Weet-Bix in my beard from breakfast). To go for a 2 hour round trip like that is just unreal and as always I feel so grateful that we are friends, because you are very special (and far too good to me sometimes!)
And to mum, who no doubt tipped them off as well, stop that. It's not funny anymore.

Ok, thats it until Mildura.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Greetings from just outside the Lyrup public amenities. Silly council workers left the door to the cleaners cupboard open thinking it was safe and noone would stoop so low as to plug in all their electrics there just for some free power. Big mistake by them. So doing this blog outside the public toilets of Lyrup. Classy I know, but I've got a feeling a lot of blogging gets done around here anyways.

Ok, walking update. Well, after Spalding it got even wetter. And windier.

If you have been out in the rain when it is so windy that the rain is coming down almost horizontally then you know it isn't much fun to be out there for long. But at least theres a warm dry shelter when you've had enough!
Unfortunately not so for yours truly. 3 days straight of 40k+ winds coupled with heavy rains.
Oh, and another thing that makes for an unhappy walker. Wet matress, doona and pillows for 2 nights. No dry clothes either, including shoes, socks, jumpers etc. Just a thought. So if anyone got any calls from a miserable sounding Leigh last week then that's why. Apologies.

But it has cleared up very nicely the last two days and have been once again blessed with perfect weather and great roads. Getting very close now to my home town, Mildura, and will be stoppping there for around a week to catch up with family and friends as well as taking stock and assessing my walking options. And have already booked in for several spa sessions at the Aquatic centre there, not to mention 16+ hours of unwatched Stargate, which coupled with a lot of greasy oversized pizzas and soft drink is probably the closest thing to the perfect break for me.

Ok, almost forgot and I really shouldnt considering it happened last night! Sue and Brent- Thank you so much!
Backstory- Sue and Brent are family friends who live around Berri, which I walked past today. Anyways they got tipped off by someone (mum) that I was in the area. They must've also been informed that I was quite partial to pizza, soft drinks, chocolate and pineapple lumps (for those who haven't tried pineapple lumps do it now, thank me later) and so they tracked me down and delivered an amazing amount of food , a slab of soft drink (brilliant!) and some hot cheeselovers pizza. Was the best feed since Burra where I conned the local cafe to cook me up a pizza for breakfast. And apart from the feed the company was fantastic! Sorry if it looked like I hadn't showered for several days, that is of course because I hadn't. And apologies if you noticed the cheese stuck in my beard, I had it for breakfast this morning if it helps.

Photos. Could be the last few for a while as my camera has decided to take an unauthorised break. As in it's not working. And I'm not buying a new one, so it's a standoff.

Theres a reason they made all those wind towers there. It gets quite windy around these parts. Taken during a brief respite from the rain.

Heres a way to show some serious contempt of Burra's rich historical past. Set up your dirty camp next to some important monument of theirs for the night.

For all you Brisbane people. Was very similar to your local RE but with one added bonus. It didn't serve beer anymore. Can see that idea taking off, could be a real money spinner.

Where I camped last night. Looks great, until you know I was actually on the road taking this photo. And by road I mean Highway, the Sturt Highway (ie. the main road for truckies from Adelaide to Melbourne and Sydney, quite busy all night)
This is also where I got my pizza and groceries delivered. Amazing! Sue and Brent, it was just brilliant, thank you!

First sign home! Hmm, actually thats a lie I saw one the day before but I had rolled the camera up in the swag then and couldn't be bothered unrolling it.

And thats it.

So hopefully next time I post it'll be from Mildura! But it'll probably be after the spa, pizza and Stargate-Universe happen. They understandably take preference.

See ya,

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Help Desk in the Hills

Have just arrived in hilly Spalding after traversing 50 kilometres of somewhat unkind terrain and found a nice little shelter with some lighting, cooktop and power points. It's like they knew I was coming and set it up just for me. Am especially grateful considering it's been raining all day and I was soaked.

So figured I might hang here, charge all my stuff, cook up some food and dry all my clothes out. And while that was happening I figured I better make myself useful as well. So have decided to post the answers to many of the questions I get asked. This is not to stop people asking me them, as I enjoy answering them. Any human contact is always gratefully accepted! This is more for the people who don't want to ask, but kind of want to know.

How long have you been going now? As of today- 2 months and 23 days
How many shoes have you gone through? Still on my first pair. Good choice on the hiking shoes.
How many kilometres do you do in a day? Usually 35-50. But it varies. For instance I did 54k's yesterday but will end up only doing 25 today. It can't be planned. And towns, especially their eateries, slow us down quite a bit
When are you finishing? Although I've got some ideas, I still can't give a proper date. I have to be back in Brisbane by the 14th July for university, so some time before then!
Do you realise you're walking on the wrong side of the road? (as asked by a lady in the middle of the Nullarbor. She must've thought we parachuted down as there is only one road across the Nullarbor) Yes, we do realise we're walking on the wrong side of the road. Walking into oncoming traffic is much safer for us as we can see what is coming and then just veer off the road when needed. The trailers are much wider than bicycles so it'd be unfair and unsafe for cars to swerve around us.
You're Crazy. Well, thats more of a statement than a question
Are you on drugs?
No, not that I know of
How did you come up with the idea? Well, I'm sorry to say it wasn't my idea but James'. I just happily tagged along.
Why are you saying us and we? Isn't it only you walking? Yes it is, bad habit sorry. Spent so long with Sam and some answers get so automated that you imediately answer it the way we used to. Still miss the guy to be honest. Just dont tell him, because he doesn't read the blog.
How much has it cost? Well, I couldn't tell you exact numbers, but not a lot! The only ongoing cost is food. Accommodation is free and tyre tubes are quite cheap so it's just food. Oh, my phone bill has gone up for obvious reasons.
How heavy is your trailer? Depending on the amount of water, from 110-170 kgs. Feeling every kilo at the moment with all the hills.
Where do you sleep? I've got a swag, so wherever there's room to roll that out, I'm not fussy. Usually 15-30 metres off the road.
Would you like a cup of tea? Yes please, I'd love one. Only thing we didnt pack that I wish now we did was a kettle. And cups. I drink all my drinks out of a powerade bottle I bought on the first day of the trip, it's starting to look it's age.
Who is Kim? And are you really getting married? Kim and I don't need official marriage certificates to prove our love to each other so, no. The numerous love letters sent in my absence prove that instead, and Austalia Post must be very grateful that we have such a magical relationship. But like all kinds of magic, it is only real to a very select few. And those few are usually crazy. By the way, I just sent you your next letter and although it is nowhere near as amazing as the one you wrote me I hopefully made up for it with the size of it. You are amazing.
Have you met some interesting people? Yes, definitely. But it is usually us who are the 'interesting' ones who people meet. By interesting I mean slightly odd, and have gone just that little bit wrong.

Tried to find the most helpful photos, thereby fitting in with the theme. But unfortunately none of my photos are very helpful at all. Although they say a good tradesman never blames his tools, in my case it is totally the cameras fault.

Where I am now. Free electricity, public toilets, shelter? Jackpot. It's like a caravan park without the exorbitant site fees.

Sam will know this spoon well. Having bought four plastic spoons in Perth three quickly disappeared and then one day while eating his weetbix the fourth one broke. Instead of buying more at the next town we instead taped a fork handle onto the spoon and shared it. That spoon is still with me, although admittedly I did go and buy 10 more spoons when Carly arrived for 89 cents. You can see why we were reluctant to buy any.

One question that gets asked a lot. How many tyres do you go through? Answer- A lot! Here's me fixing four tyres at the end of one day. Recently have been getting on average a puncture a day, but haven't had one for three days now! Oh and apparently it helps to fix the tubes if you are shirtless.

Another big question: What's been the highlight of the trip so far? Well, it's hard to explain to people that you aren't really in it for the highlights- it's just the enjoyment you get of doing the daily things. But most memorable part so far would have to be arriving in Ceduna- The end of the Nullarbor. Here's a photo of me pretending to read a newspaper in Ceduna when I am actually trying to get a sneak photo of my brother.

Internet reception is not all that great sometimes in the middle of nowhere and you need to search around for the optimum spot. Hence this photo of me doing some mild tresspassing to use the computer.

The walkers life is sometimes a very bland affair. But once every hour or so we get a signpost
to look at. Two days in and Carly was already as excited as I am about them.

Ok, hopefully that has enlightened you somewhat. It is still raining here, and I have no intention to do anything else today other than go over the road and buy a pizza, then eat it in my swag.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Goodbye, Main Road. And Carly

That below is why Carly has had to leave a couple of towns earlier than she hoped! You could put that up as one of those shock posters against highway walking, like they do with the smoking packets. Enjoy. Have a good look at that, then I'll write a few more comparitively mundane things after it.

And this is what remains of Carly's little toe. As you can see it has got just that little bit littler. With some imagination it looks like a new little toe is sprouting out of her old one, kind of like the aliens do out of the Aliens movies. Note: This doesn't look anywhere near as bad at it actually was. And please note that she went on to walk another 40 kilometres with that and numerous other blisters on her feet. Absolute trooper!

Ok, so Carly left today for obvious reasons. That means I'm again going like one of my favourite kinds of soft drink, Solo.
Coupled with that I am about to leave the main highway for the first time since Perth so things are about to get interesting. If there is anyone who has a few weeks off, currently near the Adelaide region and are handy with a map let me know, I could use you for a bit!
We made it to Port Pirie today and after farewelling Carly have set up camp at the local roadhouse, more well known for its famous resident "The Tin Man". Well, it's meant to be, but I've never heard of either of them.

Once again today was a bit of an unexpected blog, but I just thought there would be a few people interested to see the above photo, especially Chris (Carly's mum!). Not many would be as interested to see the others below, but I'm going to post them anyways.

Oh, you know, just a standard camp site. Check out the view.

Me with my head stuck in the trailer. Or could be fixing a tyre. Not sure, both happen quite a lot.

The Tin Man of Mobil Roadhouse, Port Pirie. Happy fella, but I'm guessing he wont be so happy when he realises I'm going to set up an unpaid therefore somewhat illegal camp tonight right in front of him.

Bad place to be sleeping, Skip. I need to walk there.

That's all for now, if I dont post in the next few weeks it just means I've taken a wrong turn somewhere and will post again in Alice Springs.

Bye for now

Oh and Kyle, been thinking hard on what I'm going to spend that $5 on. I'm thinking I'm going to invest it in the stockmarket and see it improve. Kind of like what the New Zealand soccer team needs to do before it takes on the mighty Socceroos again. But once again, cheers for the free money. Let me know if you ever want to place another bet on an Aus-NZ match.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Blog 22

Have to start by saying Adelaide was great. Anybody I've spoken to and burdened with my Adelaide issues in the last week will know how much I enjoyed it. So much that I may never need to return.

On a slightly different note- A huge thank you to my aunty and uncle who put me up for the whole time in Adelaide, even though it was only meant to be for one night! Not only with a place to stay, but also with guided tours of Adelaide and some of the best curries I've ever tasted.
Hearing of how Sam and I enjoyed the buffet meals at Ceduna, Jane and Niels took me to a curry house that had an all you can eat special. This time, as with every other time, it was noted that it was all you can eat, not all you feel like eating.
The thirty minute walk home was painful.

Jane and Niels- I can't thank you enough for making me feel so welcome and feel that I wasn't a burden to have for such a long time, which I totally was!
Being unwilling to accept any gifts or any form of repayment for boarding me for so long, I decided to get some photos printed for them. Which I did, then promptly left them at the camera store. So for a gift they got an empty photo frame. Perfect. But new photos will be getting sent quite soon!

Anyways, have just arrived in Port Augusta, so a new countdown begins. Around 550 k's away from Mildura, my home town and starting to get quite excited. And word on the street is theres a whole new season of Stargate to watch when I get there...

Other news- My new walking companion and old friend from Seattle arrived yesterday! More welcome company! But unlike Sam who wasn't sure how long he'd be walking for, Carly is only able to stay for a short time. But while here the weather seems to be making the most of it for her. Windy, cold, raining. She is obviously thrilled at that seeing how I've been telling her how good the weather has been lately.

Been getting told from some people that they check the posts just to see the photos and usually try not to read anything on the site if they can help it. Most of those people are from my family. So I put one extra photo on this time. Saying that, I also wrote a lot more so they'd have to sift through all the text to find them.

Me, walking down some road

Recipe from the Iron Knob roadhouse. Wasn't sure whether to ask them if they were joking. For the record, Iron Knob- Strangest town so far. The roadhouse owners smacking golf balls over the highway from the fuel bowsers will testify to that.

One way of stopping the mice getting into our stuff. Kind of like putting the cookies on the top shelf at home to stop the kids eating them. Except replace kids with mice and cookies with anything semi-edible.

The GCLT, enjoying some alone time

Here's a fresh looking Carly on day 1, equipped with Akubra.

And here's Carly day 2. One of the very few things Carly doesn't like is rain, so when she arrived I assured her "It never rains here" Nicely done Leigh. She may never forgive me.

Ok, that's all for now. Will be going off the main highway in 2 days time as I take a shortcut to Mildura. It will be the first time since leaving Perth that I've been off a main highway. So theres a really good chance of getting lost. Will let you know how it all goes.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Plagues, Punctures, Packages and Pitstops

Bus blogging this time. On my way to Adelaide, a few days earlier than planned.

Have had a tumultuous few days. The Trailer and I have been constantly at odds this week, trying to one up each other with silly pranks. After a long but fair fight the trailer ended up winning, by getting enough punctures in two days to completely deplete my tyre repair kit. That is 18 patches worth. Also, to give you more of an idea, leaving Ceduna there were the two wheels on the trailer, two spare wheels fully inflated, and in addition to that there were 4 spare tubes, all puncture proofed. And by the time I crawled into Kimba today I was down to one fully inflated tyre and the tyre on the other side I had to stop and inflate around every twenty minutes.

So in 310 kilometres of travelling since leaving Ceduna there has been 7 punctured wheels. That is not including the 18 patches I have used to fix the already punctured ones. Unbelievable. Must give my thanks to people throwing glass bottles out their window. Not.

Anyways in light of all that it was decided by the trip's executive committee (me) to leave the trailer at Kimba and go to Adelaide a few days earlier than planned, hopefully in the process securing some puncture-proof tyres, a lot of pizza, and a shotgun for anyone seen putting sharp objects on the sides of roads. That or a Taser.

Well, wasn't really planning on posting this early so have only got a few photos to share. What is lacked in quantity is easily made up for in quality though.

This is the 'letter' that was getting sent to me in Kimba. Unreal! Thank you so much Cath!!!! I am now the closest thing to a Woolworths that Kimba has! I also wont need to buy any food until mid next year. I felt sorry for the poor post lady that had to carry it over to me, she struggled to lift it understandably.... And dont worry, I will be finding a way to get you back for this Cath!

Still in the middle of a mice plague. A ridiculously huge mice plague. This poor little fella didnt quite fit out the same hole he fitted into the night before. Must've been all the muesli bars he had while in the bag expanded his little mice gut too much. Or he could've just been playing dead. If so, he did a good job at it while I kicked him 20 metres onto the highway, he didnt even flinch.

Well, the crowd keeps asking, demanding, pleading for it. So here it is, easily the most commented on thing from this trip. The beard, 67 days in. Enjoy. Notice there's no ginger in the beard at all.

Ok, so am actually taking a break for a week in Adelaide, hopefully not looking at a computer screen during that time! Then I'll be back to Kimba on the 22nd, where I'm going to be joined by another guest walker. So stay tuned!

Until then,

Monday, May 10, 2010

Believe it or Not, I'm Walking on Eyre

Terrible song, sorry.

Well, Wudinna it is. Blogging outside the local supermarket. Blogging after cannonballing 8 Magnum icecreams in a row. I know, I have a problem, don't judge me. And Levi, indeed that is a new record. Don't try and break it, I'm not sure it's healthy.

Currently in a fantastic mood as from now I am back going through towns with roadhouses that offer free showers again. Will definitely be making a beeline towards them as have once again managed to dodge showers for around a week, admittedly not as bad as over the nullarbor but still quite pungent.

As for the walking, well, it's been quite erratic. Kind of like the person doing the walking. Since walking solo I have been enjoying 'sleep-ins', being able to stay in bed until 6 in the morning instead of 4, and although it hasn't especially affected the distances covered each day it definitely has affected the finishing times, in some cases not finishing walking until dark. But I definitely prefer that to getting up and packing up in the morning dew and cold. I don't get paid anywhere near enough for that. And as Danny Glover once famously said- I'm getting too old for that stuff.
But the walking has still been good, and the legs quickly recovered after the last blog. It was, as it turned out, a combination of mild muscle soreness and severe complaining about the mild muscle soreness.

Looking at arriving into Port Augusta in 7 days, and getting quite excited. I have been away from big towns for so long that I'm starting to forget what a Pizza Hut looks like, or a Woolworths, or anything that isn't a roadhouse for that matter. Did manage to snaffle 4 bags of dirt-cheap licorice bullets today though. The fact that they were a considerable few months out of dates shouldn't matter. Much.

Sorry this blog isnt too insightful, but unfortunately my already faulty brain is failing me further and my ability to recall events is not what it was. It could be the mice keeping me up all night by crawling on my swag. Not sure if I'd want them to leave though as it is quite enjoyable punching them off and hearing them getting launched many metres in the air. Hopefully that provides a nice mental image, and hopefully nobody reading this is a mice lover. Apologies if you are. I'm sure all the mice are fine.

Ok, here's the pick of the photos that I've taken in the last week. By pick I mean all of them. Yes, I've only taken 5 in a week. Whoops.

First town without my walking buddy. Tried a pose, but it wasn't the same.

After the loss of my walking partner, the trip could have either gone two ways. I could have become very philosophical, introspective and deliver some extremely insightful theories about the meaning of life and the sorts. Or I could take photos of my new super-toned Bob Kelso walking pins. That ones for you Jon.

A photo of me pretending to do this blog. Taken upon two milk crates stolen from the bakery next door. The computer isn't even on at this point.

The further into South Australia I get, the more proud they are of their ablutions, specifically their public toilets. Behold the Thunderdome, Wirulla's prized WC.

Minnipa's answer to the Thunderdome. Enough said.

That's it for now. By the way, if anyone knows where I can stash a trailer for a few days in Port Augusta please let me know, my number is 0419307323. Thanks! And if anyone says the tip I probably won't talk to you again.

Oh and also was almost through an audio book (which took 3 days!) when my mp3 player went flat, and I can't find the charger for it. So if anyone knows how the Scarecrow book by Matthew Reilly finishes, feel free to let me know. It's kind of driving me nuts. Wasn't even that good of a book either.

Will try to post again in Kimba (Halfway across Australia), just so I can upload a picture of a dirty old galah there. Might even get one of the Big Galah as well, but that might be a bit too touristy. Will of course be posting after I check the local post office for a much waited-upon letter from Melbourne. Thanks Cath in advance!

See ya!