A car tourist from Melbourne asked me, “So where are you going?”
Meaning, today. Not “What are you going to achieve in your life”. Fwew!
Her sister and her dreadlocked friend seemed interested too, but they just nodded when I answered,
“Today I’ll shoot for Queenstown, and try to camp somewhere on the other side.”
I guess on their map it doesn’t look too far away. But she was quick to point out, “Oo there’s a big hill over that side of Queenstown. Good luck!”
And that was the first time of many that I was warned of the Queenstown “hill.” (more…)
In the morning I was surprised to see the river had risen two feet or more. Thanks to some lovely road engineer, however, my camp was nice and dry on top of a flattened pile of gravel.
The water was delicious, if a bit brown from the tannins. But just getting through the scrub to a clean-running spot on the bank to fill my jug was a risky maneuver for my injured leg. (more…)
West from Penguin, I traveled open.
My plan was to make a plan along the way.
I like looking at maps, and this map of Tasmania was showing a gravel track over 100 kms long called the “Western Explorer.” Say no more!
Along the North coast, it becomes impossible to miss a huge peninsular mountain called “the Nut.” How could I resist when the detour was only 20 kms?
The tour was about to begin. For real begin, the next morning, rubber side down. I was unaccountably nervous. I couldn’t think straight. Just kept re-checking my gear. I couldn’t give attention to eating. Thankfully some other couch surfers put coffee and salad in front of me. But what’s the big deal? I’m a veteran, aren’t I? (more…)
Finally in Australia!
It was an amazing trip, and I’m sorry I can only offer a few photos right now. The story is, for me, attached to some pretty serious emotions.
Unfortunately, Lily and I separated pretty much upon our arrival. We are, to put it simply, very different people.
Fortunately, her family has been incredibly supportive of me. Not sure what I would’ve done without them! Probably just ran back to the USA with my tail between my legs. So thank you!
Instead I went out into the outback of Queensland and helped Carolyn, Lily’s sister, and their father Keith, on their cattle properties. There’s been a long drought here so it wasn’t easy, but the practical skills and peaceful country lifestyle suited me just fine.