Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 273: Darwin – Darwin River

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Aug - 19 - 2011

Distance: 98.67 km
Ridetime: 05:13:55
Average: 18.9 km/h
Total distance: 12947 km

Arriving in Australia and spending a week in Darwin has been a continuous process of re-integration into Western society. The products in the supermarkets (fresh milk!), a library, footpaths, street light, toilet paper, you name it. And just as I’m starting to feel comfortable in this setting I’m leaving it all for the outback.

The Australian outback has been on my mind for a while. Cycling through Asia certainly had it’s challenges, mostly in form of heavy traffic. I’m now about to experience something I have not really faced until now: Isolation. For those unfamiliar with Australian geography, more than 95% of the population live near the coast. The vast centre of this huge country is very sparsely populated.

I remember an evening in Kuala Lumpuar months ago when I talked with an Australian woman. Explaining my plan to cycle from Darwin to Sydney her response was along the line of “You are going to die out there!”. Hardly the most encouraging comment. Later she did admit that Australians like to exaggerate which made me feel slightly better. More constructive email conversation with other cyclists confirmed that it was indeed possible to cycle straight down the center of Australia.

I have seldom felt so tense about the cycling as I did when I woke up this morning.

After saying goodbye to Stuie and the kids I headed for the shopping mall. Extra water bottles and several kilos of food where added to the cycle outfit. The bike has never been heavier as I haven’t really needed to carry any food until now. I then went to an Internet cafĂ© to write the final emails before setting out into the unknown.

Stuart Highway is the name of the 3000 km long road from Darwin to Adelaide. Leaving the supermarket where I had just stocked up on food I turned left. The next month will probably be challenging, but at least the navigation will be easy. Straight ahead!

Categories: Australia
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One Response so far.

  1. Morten says:

    Hoooah!