AUSTRALIA Page 7 - South Australia - December 2006.

Australia, the adopted homeland of both Mal and Lee. The only continent under one government and the country we both love. The picture above is the “skyline” of our city, you can click on the picture to get a larger image. Perth is one of the most isolated regional capital cities in the world. There are so many things to say about our country that I simply do not know where to begin...

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Monday December 25th 2006 Cleve on the Eyre Peninsular, South Australia - Sick Day – NO stat's Cleve Motel
k's Average Speed kph Cycling time Hr(s) Min. Max speed. kph Max temp we recorded °C
. Road Conditions: . Overnight Accommodation: $. Standard)

Horrible night for me (Mal), the pain is increasing and the cough/congestion has also increased. The fever is still controllable with Paracetamol. I phoned the ferry company and cancelled our booking. We have booked one more night in the motel. The Hotel/Motel proprietor, a lovely lady called Jane has invited us to her home for Christmas Dinner.

Could not leave the dogs out :-)

I have topped up my paracetamol so that Lee and myself can go, I simply refuse to be a “killjoy”.

CLEVE HOTEL: Of course I am bias, they gave us Christmas Dinner and refused payment of any kind.

The two owners are true “salt of the earth” people. They have committed everything to make a living in a harsh and unforgiving part of Australia. Cleve has a population of only 850 and surrounding towns are dying partly as a result of the continued drought. I simply admire their courage and tenacity. Chris told me “At the end of the day it is so we can set up Brooke and Ben” “we have no desire to be rich”... You already are rich my friend. Thank you both from the bottoms of our hearts.

We have taken advantage of free laundry and are doing our washing. We can also an use a limited 33.6 Internet connection – we will see how we go uploading our site and answering email at this “early nineties” speed – at least its better than my first modem 9.6kpbs – from that a huge jump to 28.8 at a cost of $600.00 for the modem – in 93/94 I think..(I never did own a 14.4). Last night when leaving the bikes outside our Hotel I asked about security... I was told there simply is no crime here. The only lawbreaking comes from drivers of motor vehicles, that are not all necessarily locals.

Tuesday December 26th 2006 Cleve on the Eyre Peninsular, to Cowell, Gateway (for us) to the Yorke Peninsular.
44.39k's Average Speed 11.45kph Cycling time 3Hr(s) 52Min. Max speed. 51kph Max temp we recorded °C
Small hills. Road Conditions: cold, 9.8C to start with Head/side/head/side/head. . O/Accommodation: $. Standard)

One moderate hill and some small gradients... Lowest climbing speed 3-4kph. Beautiful Scenery on route with a few “Ghost Towns”. When I see “our” history dissolving in our harsh climate. I “wish” we could save these places... The task in our short journey from Perth would be overwhelming without a National Commitment by all our governments and their people.

MY HEALTH: Feeling very ill at present, high fever now and very little energy. Have booked the ferry tomorrow for 12:45pm. If my condition continues to deteriorate I will need to call Lee's friends in Adelaide. We are about 150 k's from them. I will ask them to hire a trailer for their car and pick us up from Wallaroo. I will go to the Royal Adelaide Hospital to see what can be done about my worsening legs. I CAN ride, as I almost lie down, but I cannot walk or stand easily. Elevating my legs, is allowing the fluid I am generating, to accumulate elsewhere in my body and therefore reduces pain. When I stand, it is almost unbearable for several minutes. Fever and “Flu Symptoms” are increasing, as are other symptoms.

Sod's Law” is functioning well today. As soon as we reached Cowell I got another puncture in the rear tyre. (Last thing I needed the way I am feeling) I have had four so far on the same wheel. I changed everything – did not repair the puncture as the last three punctures have been “Split Seams” on the tube and not a foreign object. Recommended tyre pressures are from 35psi to 70 psi – I run at 50psi. I am currently trying 60psi? Any suggestions please leave in Guestbook Thanks.

Wednesday December 27th 2006 Cowell to Wallaroo on the Yorke Peninsular. Total distance (by all modes) over 100 kilometres.
23.22k's Average Speed 8.48kph Cycling time 2Hr(s) 44Min. Max speed. 28kph Max temp we recorded °C
Small hills. Road Conditions: Atrocious - Warm with no wind . O/Accommodation: $. Standard)

Mixed ride today with about 5 k's of bitumen, 11 ks Dirt and the rest bitumen, around town in Wallaroo. We crossed the “Spencer Gulf” by sea from Lucky Bay. Lucky Bay is approx. 15/16 k's from our starting point in Cowell. From our perspective the dirt road from the Lincoln Highway to Lucky Bay was/is atrocious. Sea SA has simply started a service with NO facilities, NO instructions or advice. Just to cash in on the “season”... Customers be damned!!! We were asked to pay $30.00 instead of the normal $5.00 PER BICYCLE because our bike is “different”... Plus $25.00 per Human. Total if you can figure that out is $110.00.

We chatted about the ferry, with a Cabin owner at Lucky Bay, he said “I tried it once and it DOES save time, but if I go via Port Augusta I use one extra tank of fuel (About $60.00)” “If the car is chocker's (full), no way will we pay $95.00 for the car and $25.00 PP” “They can get stuffed” (My Italics).

The ferry was about 1 hour late (2hrs late last night) and took 2.5 hrs exactly, to cross the Gulf. The main reason for the crossing was that Lee has never (some small boat trips in Thailand) been to sea and it would add to our adventure. She fed her lunch to the fish about 1 hr into the journey, and was “retching” much of the rest of the trip, I felt so sorry for her. Now she does not like the sea :-) I am ex Navy and except for a “one off” in a 3 metre dingy, I have never experienced sea sickness..

UPDATE MY HEALTH: Today is the first day I have been able to stand without assistance, still a little pain when standing but bearable. Still controlling fever with Paracetamol which has not lessened. Also I am still weak overall, but I was very fit before I got burned (Thankfully).... I have lost a lot of fitness as this condition is and has been, very debilitating.. However, I am beginning to have some optimism about not needing the Royal Adelaide Hospital's burns unit. I hate hospitals and will avoid at all costs. Thus far I have travelled under my own steam (except for the ferry), which has been quite unbelievable. What it does indicate is the adaptability of the “Recumbent Trike” for a multitude of disabilities and ages. As well as the normal cyclist of course. It also has taught me something about ME as a person and quitting - when the going got tough quitting NEVER entered my mind!!!!

Thursday December 28th 2006 Wallaroo to Port Wakefield
64.5k's Average Speed 9.09kph Cycling time 7Hr(s) 09Min. Max speed. 49kph Max temp we recorded °C
Long hills. Road Conditions: Poor - Warm, headwind. O/Accommodation: $. Standard)

Gruelling ride due to my sickness – stopped in a Pharmacy and the chemist sold me some stuff that helped a lot in how I felt. Two punctures today same wheel same problem – I replaced both tyre and tube with a new one. I checked every square millimetre of the rim, spokes, etc.. all seems OK, I am stumped over this one. Little over 90 k's to Adelaide now... As said previously in this diary we are staying with Lee's Uni buddy. We do not know Adelaide's road system and will ask for a Lift from Two Wells or thereabouts. Which is about 30+ k's out. There is little hope of me finding the house without maps etc..

UPDATE MY HEALTH: I Can walk much better today and have at least 50% mobility in my legs. Fever and temperature is being controlled with the new med's I got from the chemist. Still have very little energy and peddling has been slow. Fortunately my appetite has remained fairly constant, providing the much needed fuel to go. Had I lost my appetite completely I doubt peddling would have been possible. I was morbidly obese when I started this journey and though I have lost some weight to date, it is not possible to lose it all in ten or eleven weeks. However, the “reserves” I still have, do not give the energy boost needed to go day after day without fresh food. Enough of my “warts n all” boring commentary. (I want to keep “my feelings” for future reading as well) Quite exhausted and unwell just now so will Catchya later.

Friday December 29th 2006 Port Wakefield to Two Wells 39 k's from Adelaide
60.43k's Average Speed 11.79kph Cycling time 5Hr(s) 07Min. Max speed. 23kph Max temp we recorded °C
Long hills. Road Conditions:Very Hot, thunderstorms, Side/headwind. O/Accommodation: $. Standard)

Had a good chat with local police today... in “Dublin” whilst having some fruit.

They were not surprised to hear of our problems on the road today and everyday.. Many people abused us and one “missile” was thrown at me (Mal).. On a dual lane hyw two “Road Trains” were neck and neck in combat.. (one in each lane blocking the entire road) neither would give way and neither sounded their horn.. This can be up to 320 tonne's hurtling down a busy highway, in the hands of two retards... “Watsons” was on the back of one truck but I did not get the number.

The 160 Tonnes total weight comes from a Truckie in conversation at Mundrabilla - I have since been told I was lied to and that trucks are of a lower weight, that cross the Nullarbor.... Geeze these people can not even be truthful about their rigs?? NO, I did NOT misunderstand his description – The point of my conversation (with him) was to get the max weight! Of course the weight, even at half a tonne, would simply be “academic” if we had been hit. The fact these retards are so grossly irresponsible is the whole point of my rhetoric.

Both Lee and myself are simply lucky to be alive. Lee was and still is badly shaken... Both Gods, “Money/votes” are in the truckie's favour so they can kill, maim, injure and intimidate at will, in the full knowledge that there will be no consequence. It is difficult to enjoy our life given the degree of hatred we are (currently) experiencing. The police gave some good tips – which we shall keep to ourselves – at this point, as we know, no other cyclists could possibly have experienced anything nearly as bad as us – apart from the ones killed of course.

<SNIP>...... The other 70-80% of Truck Drivers are much like the majority of drivers on the road, some are VERY good drivers, skilled and caring family men and women. Others are mediocre, just like some car drivers. We have spoken to many that resent, with a passion, the “cowboy” minority. The ONLY entity that has more power than the Truck Driver(s) is the Police.

I have said the above previously in my diary... (I added again as “balance”) I retract nothing. I will continue to expose these potential killers whenever I can – and to whomever will listen.

Tim – Lee's, friends, husband, picked us up here, in the van. It very clearly, would have been impossible for the two of us to navigate the final few k's to the suburb of Morphet Vale (I had initially written down Morphetville, which is a well known suburb due to the horse racing there). We would have ended up hopelessly lost .

It is good to be amongst friends, share a meal and a good laugh. We will not be cycling for about three weeks now, due to our previously arranged commitments... These were well known long before we even bought the bikes and well before we decided on this cycling odyssey.

UPDATE MY HEALTH: Pain in my legs reduced even more today. I can now stand unaided with only minimal pain, which kicks in about two minutes after standing.. I can walk moderate distances before fatigue gets the better of me. The fever, headache and flu symptoms are still strong and I must still take quite a number of pill's to get through the day. Itching has started in the areas that were not burned as much. I can see already that the “itching” phase is not going to be pleasant. Oddly enough I can still ride, although noticeably slower.

Saturday December 30th 2006 Two Wells 39 k's from Adelaide to Adelaide - By Car.
k's Average Speed kph Cycling time Hr(s) Min. Max speed. kph Max temp we recorded °C
. Road Conditions:. O/Accommodation: $. Standard)

I have loved the vast majority of our journey so far... There have been many times I have emphasised the negative, however, it would be impossible to include ALL the positive. We recommence cycling after the 14th January 2007. Our journey will re-start here in Adelaide, after attending my daughters wedding in Perth. We are looking closely at how we may avoid the traditional trucking routes. It is clear to us, even our Police Forces in each state have little power over the “money” Trucks produce. Added to the Police's problems is the lack of a unified approach to “global” traffic regulations in our Commonwealth of States. Of course it will NEVER change until the “Votes/Money” fall in the right corner.

Take care everyone and Please have a safe and happy New Year.... All our love Mal & Lee.

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