week 11...
happy as larry

Riches to Rags

Wow! Stuff! Look at the selection! Gaze at the unescalated prices! Wonder at the air conditioning! Darwin's got everything we could ever hope for... point us to the supermarket!
meet the parents
It's time to pay tribute to the people who made Kevin possible: his parents, Frank and Susan Beimers. One way or another, these two manage to squeeze their mugs into our adventures. They're everywhere! Like the frickin' Kellmans! This time, they had to come all the way to Darwin to be on the site. Let's find out how Kev's travel bug was genetically implanted!
When was the last time you two were in Australia? We were last here in 1995 on our Around the World Tour, and before that, we were here in 1982. The last time we were in Darwin was in 1972, when we did a bit of adventuring ourselves... taking a tour up the centre of Australia. Back then, the roads weren't paved, and you had to pass through restricted military checkpoints.

Where are you travelling to next? We're going to Brisbane next week to visit Lotus & Jarvie, then flying back out to Thunder Bay. Then, we pack up the Jimmy and head down to Southern Ontario for Christmas with Chris. After Christmas, we're off to Mexico again. This is the last year we're going though.

Mom's Top 3 Concerns During Their Visit:
1. Not enough food in fridge
2. Too much food in fridge
3. Jackasses who may have some good points
Dad's Top 3 Concerns:
1. Running out of cigarettes
2. Running out of Bundy Rum
3. Not checking email for two days
Didn't you say that last year? Uh, yeah. We say it every year. Then it gets cold in Thunder Bay.

What about future travel plans? [Frank] wants to go teach English in Indonesia for three months, and I think when he heads there, [Susan] will be off to Scotland with her schoolchum, Barb.

Don't you guys ever slow down? Hey, we've only got a few years left in us! Travelling is the best way to spend your inheritance!

Here's a video of the man who's spending my inheritance.
 
snappy answers... revisited!
Remember the jackass back on Week 2? What a jackass! As you recall, we asked you to come up with snappy answers to all the dumb things a jackass has to say when you tell him you're going around Australia on a bike. Here are some of your best...
"Hey! She's not pedalling in the back!"
  She's the receptionist! -John
  I find this cuts down on wind resistance. -Shibachu
  She don't pedal in the front either! -Sherlock
"Did you look at a map before you started?"
  We're looking at a 1:1 scale map as we go along. -Dan
  Did you look in a mirror before you started? -Michael
  Nah, we navigate entirely by our sense of smell... -Paul
"You're going North? Turn around, mate."
  But isn't this the way to 'Thunderdome'? -Jen
  I'm a Canadian... its always cooler in the north! -Sherlock
  But then I'd be facing you! -Bill
"It'll be easy going south 'cuz it's downhill."
  Funny, it doesn't say that in my Lonely Planet guide. -Ron
  Is that how you make trips from hell and back? -Shibachu
  I bet you know all about 'going south'! -John
"Better you than me."
  Aimee agrees. -Michael
  Yeah, you probably wouldn't make it. -Sherlock
  Better us than anyone! -Dan
"Sell the bikes and buy a train ticket!"
  But then we would not get to meet fascinating local color such as yourself! -Paul
  You should sell that shirt and buy...What can you get for 3 cents these days? -Michael
  I don't want to be stranded at the nowheresville station like you. -Shibachu
"Good luck... you're gonna need it."
  I guess so, our luck brought us to you... -Paul
  Is that what the doctor said when you were born? -Shibachu
  Luck and Vegemite's all we need! -Jen
these are the people in our neighbourhood...

Tanya
Last week you met Blue. This week, meet Blue's daughter! Tanya and her husband and kids live up here in the town of Humpty Doo, so Blue has at least four good reasons to do the drive from Wodonga to Darwin now and then.
Kelly
We met Kelly back on Week 6 on the Barkly Highway (she gave us beer!), and wouldn't you know it, we met her at Kmart! Of all the people in Darwin that could have charged up our new pants and snacks, it was her! What a surprise!
Reagan
Head honcho of Europcar, Reagan squared away a fine deal with dad on a dual-cab ute. Without him, we would have had to (gulp) bike back down from Darwin to Mataranka, then back up to Katherine, then toward WA. What a guy! So, next time you're in Darwin, call up Reagan at Europcar and ask for the Beimers.com discount.
Ashley & Family
The Cummings family were just about tackled by my dad when they showed up at Sunday's rest area with cold, delicious Coca-Cola. By Sunday, my parents got a good idea of how welcome an ice cube can actually be in the middle of nowhere. Dad was so thirsty, he traded a Coke for six cigarettes. Sad, isn't it?
where's wally wombat?
When a sign says Tennant Creek: 25km, it doesn't mean to the city limits, the police station, or the mayor's house. Usually, it's the distance to the Post Office! Now that we know that, we can look forward to a jug of milk by 23 or 24 at the most!

This Week's Amazin' Fact: Darwin may look like a fairly modern city, and that's because it is! Though Darwin's history dates back centuries, almost all of Darwin was destroyed by a cyclone! Back on Christmas Eve, 1974, WHOOSH, there goes Darwin. Since then, the city has been totally rebuilt, but in a late-70s motif (yeesh).

Now, answer me this: What do they teach at the School of the Air? Think hard! Okay, bye bye now.

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
Distance this week: 218kmDistance since Day 1: 4029km

What is Bikeabout? Click here to find out!

Day 72: I could camp under that tree...
mall rats
Guilt got the better of us for a few moments today. Feeling as though we weren't really giving Darwin a fighting tourist chance, we all sucked in as much cool air as we could and went for a walk through Downtown Darwin. After twenty minutes, the power of air conditioning was too much to resist and we headed to the best place of all: the Casuarina Shopping Mall. Ahhhh. Sweet air conditioning.

"You wouldn't see Bin Laden in one of these babies."
- Aimee.
Day 73: Better than the first!
movie man
In another attempt to do things outside of our cabin, yet still remain inside, we went to the movies. Three of us were thrilled to see the new Harry Potter movie and really liked it. One of us fell asleep and had to leave because he really needed a cigarette. We'll let you decide whom.

"Nana's up with Santa where all the good people go."
- Mall mother, to young daughter.
Day 74: You do what you have to.
fix the boo boos
Let it never be said that we don't take care of our bikes. Just today we replaced the sticks with screws and the duct tape with new duct tape. Maybe tomorrow we'll put Kev's brake pads back on. One step at a time while we're on vacation.

"Apples and omelettes don't mix."
- Aimee.
Day 75: Christmas at Wooly's!
one true love
Today Frank and Susan said 'Bugger' to us and went off to tour Darwin properly. They saw the ocean, the esplanade and many other things that they'll remember for years to come. Since it was our last day in Darwin, we thought we'd celebrate properly as well by going to the supermarket again. For the zillionth time. Hey, when you live in a tent, the Wooly's never gets boring.

"Well Susan, Why don't you sit outside without any suntan lotion on, and I'll smoke, and we'll see what happens first."
- Dad.
Day 76: Happy Birthday, Kev!
Distance Travelled: 68.5km Temperature: 44
Time on Trikes: 7.0h Water Left: 10L
Terrain: Nice 'n easy
End Location: Cutta Cutta
back in the saddle
Zip! Zoom! We're back in Mataranka! Being high of morals and tough of leg muscles, we had to be dropped off again right where the military men picked us up a week ago. But this time, we've got some assistance...
   Susan and Frank are going to ride with us for three days! They'll love it! Here's the schedule: two people, say, Kev and his Mom, will ride the trikes while Frank and Aim drive the ute with all the supplies. Every ten kilometres, we'll switch! What fun!

It's Kevin's 26th birthday!
He'll be busy pedalling all day, so
send him a happy birthday greeting!


"Should we have birthday cake, or can we forget it?"
- Mom.
Day 77: Troopers.
Distance Travelled: 103.6km Temperature: 45
Time on Trikes: 11h Water Left: 15L
Terrain: Nothing Major
End Location: Scott Creek
kudos to the elderly
Will you look at them! They're wizards at this biking business! The way Frank and Susan are pedalling up the bitumen, they're going to put us out of work. Today we secretly made sure that they did 1.5 kilometres for every one of ours... hey, we have to get our rest while we still can. But just so you don't think we're evil, we did deliver iced coffee to the toughies on the road.

"What's that sound? Oh, it's the outside!"
- Mom.
Day 78: Do I have to eat this?
Distance Travelled: 46.3km Temperature: 45
Time on Trikes: 4.0h Water Left: 22L
Terrain: Easy night
End Location: Willaroo
all smiles
Look at that. Two days and she's still smiling with not a hair out of place. I've never seen anyone smile while eating our bike food before. Maybe she's got heatstroke.
  Or maybe Susan's smiling because she knows that tomorrow she'll be heading back to Darwin and the comfort of civilization. We're still trying to find a way to stow away without them noticing us.

"Cigarettes for currency! Just like being back in prison, eh dad?"
- Kevin.



My dad is a bad man.

In 1990, my father quit smoking. But he always knew that if he ever took another puff, he'd be hooked again.

In March of this year, he took that puff. He was right.

Now, he's back up to a PACK A DAY! What a SAD, PATHETIC OLD MAN he is. TWELVE YEARS he was smoke free, and now he's back on the sticks. And BOY is he EMBARRASSED. What he needs is a message from the world that SMOKING IS BAD.

Help my dad live longer! Click here to tell him to quit!
happy as larry: (sl.) a popular simile in Northern Australia, with just about the same level of meaning as "happy as a clam". How happy is a clam, really? Certainly no happier than Larry, I'd wager.
"He looks rough, but give'm a beer and he's happy as Larry."

If anyone knows who Larry is, tell us!


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We've got mail...
Hey! It's your frickin' birthday over there, I think... Maybe. Time difference is messing me up. Should I give another holler tomorrow?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
- Dean, Thunder Bay ON

I'm not sure how I surfed on to your site. Google is funny like that sometimes. My first impression was, oh no, a self-serving site written by some folks woefully in need of a life. I hate those. Especially when their travels are really business trips (and the end result is photos and travelogues of unfortunate backwaters worldwide.) I happily found yours refreshingly well-written, witty, and downright pleasing to the eye. All in all, a fine piece of work.
Today, I'm just starting to read your Ozzie adventure. Good luck as your adventure continues.
Beavertails and Poutine!

PS: Yes, I live in Rochester, NY but have found friends in Ottawa!
- Murty, Rochester NY

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