The hospitality in Australia is great. After I left the Great Ocean Road, I stayed with Barnie and Norm, some very nice farmers. It was already dark, as I approached their house and asked, if I could pitch my tent. I ended up sleeping in the spare bed. That evening I watched Australian Football for the first time. It is quite confusing. Because you can use both your hands and your feet, tackle people and you use a ball similar shaped to the rugbyball. Furthermore you have two types of goals, for one and six points. Once you’ve gotten into it, it’s a lot of fun.
The next day I cycled on and had a look at Tower Hill, a small nation park, established in an old volcanic crater. It was still early in the morning, so I was completely on my own and saw many kangaroos, some emus and even koalas. That day I made it near Portland and stayed with David, who invited me to his home.
From Portland it’s only a short way to Dartmoor, where Maggie’s parents Michael and Elly are living. So I decided not to ride on the highway, but to take a longer and more exciting route through the bush. Of course I had to cycle a lot of gravel road, but actually in Australia these roads are quite nice, because you ride more on sand than on small rocks like in most other countries. On farmer even warned me of my detour and supposed it will take me two days to cycle the 40 km through the bush. Well, I made it in one day and that evening I enjoyed a nice week with Michael and Elly. They have done some very nice bike tourswith their children through Europe and many stories to tell.
I already cycled for a week nonstop, so I descided to stay another day at the farm in Dartmoor and help out. It ended up being a lot of fun. I even joined Michael, while he was teaching sports in the primary school and played Footy with the children.
The next few days where rather unspectacular. I made it to south Australia, the second state in my journey. In Mount Gambier I visited some nice crater lakes once again. Then I cycled the first 1.000 km on Australian soil and one day I made it from Robe to Meringie in one day (201 km).
Before you come to Adelaide, you have to cross the Adelaide hills. It looks surprisingly similar to Germany, so no wonder, that a lot of Germans settled here. I passed several Beergardens and they even have a German bakery in Hahndorf a really, really touristy village. Sadly the Pretzels were already sold (Grrr…), but I enjoyed some German style bread.
The way into Adelaide was great. You too out at one of the hills at about 600m altitude and then it’s downhill all the way to the city centre on sealevel!
So here I am. The first important mark on my cycle tour. I’ve already done 1.200 km from Melbourne. Which equals roughly the distance from Hamburg to Venice or Vienna to Paris. Crazy!!! And a lot more to go ….