week 21...
whinge week

Nowhere to Nowhere

We're going to try something a little different this week. Usually we send out a happy happy mailout, with lots of little exclamation points, and you come to the site and learn how another week has gone by and we're still tootling along all giggly-faced. Tee hee!

Enough of that crap. We're tired. This trip is friggin' long. Today you get to read about all the things that suck about it. So, settle down on the nearest rock with a plastic jug of warm salty water and listen up to how much fun it really is out here.
places we'd rather be than here...
  • Suckin' back a Coke slurpee at Mike's house playing Mario Kart
  • At that little Trattoria in Venice down that side street
  • Camping in Inga's backyard with the nephews
  • Bliss
  • Playing Ruin The Flick at Bruce's
places we'd rather not be but which are still better than here...
  • The Mall of America
  • Waiting in line for tickets to The Price is Right
  • Learning C++ from Dr. Hoang in the Ryan Building
  • In a brainstorming meeting with Richie, Eric and Brian
  • Canal Street N/R Station
these are the people in our neighbourhood...
Okay, not everything about this week was total crap. All of these people were nice enough to offer us something to drink in the middle of nowhere. We are on a bike, after all, and it's not like we can carry an Esky (although for goodness sake it's been suggested many times)...

This man, who's face we never saw, spotted us sweating in our tent 15 feet from the highway, and offered us three things a person sweating in a tent truly needs: ice, fruit cups and a newspaper. Thanks Ian!
The Maltens
This German couple pulled over in their air conditioned motorhome with orange juice, soda water, and a couple of cups. Kevin actually had a few cups of soda water, which shows you how thirsty he really was.
According to one of the employees, the Nanutarra roadhouse doesn't usually give away water, since they have so little drinkable water in the area... but Bruce the owner was happy to let us fill up. Nice guy, that Bruce.
Jurgen & Anja
If there's one thing we like better than water, it's water with cordial. Actually, we like a lot of things better than water, but if you've got water with cordial, we'll gladly take it! Jurgen and Anja had some, and took it we did.

remember me?

Back on Week 18, we showed you pictures of fat guys hauling on ropes and asked you what was on the other end... Well, it's not Eleroo, King Kong, Mick Jaggar's lips, or more fat guys...

It's a damn bulldozer!

Hey, if that's how you want to spend your Australia Day, fine by me.
I'm going for another lamington.

wally's amazin' facts!
The foolproof method to know if you're getting enough water is to check the colour of your pee! Urine is a combination of excess water and urea. Urea (blood waste) is what makes your pee yellow, and water makes it clear. If your wee looks a wee bit orange (darker than apple juice), better flag down a passing car. Just remember this handy mnemonic phrase: If your piddle makes a puddle that's a little like a muddle then the little fattle ruttle tuttle biddle niddle wuddle. Okay, so I'm not Dr. Seuss.

This Week's Amazin' Fact: That pool of stagnant water may look inviting, but don't go sticking your stinky head under it. Stagnant water is an ideal breeding ground for meningitis! Eep! Better go brush your teeth! Oh, wait. That'll only help with gingivitis. Meningitis is much, much worse. Anyway, keep your head up. Better safe than cool.

Cool? Safe? That reminds me... somebody told me today about a fantastically brilliant gadget called a Coolgardie Safe. Every heard of it? I'll tell you about it next week when I'm in a better mood.

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
Distance this week: 415kmDistance since Day 1: 7010km

What is Bikeabout? Click here to find out!

Day 142: This land is your land
Distance Travelled: 46.7km Temperature: 36
Time on Trikes: 7.5h Water Left: 17L
Terrain: Fairly Flat
End Location: Fortescue River
Ah, yes. The Pilbara. Told you it was the biggest shire in the world. It's so friggin' big, we're still in it. Day in, day out, we wake up and look outside at and all we can see for hundreds of thousands of miles in any direction is red sand and grey scrubby bushes.
   And I'm sick of it! I want a mall! I want a 24-hour convenience store! I want a Coke Slurpee from the Thunder Bay 7-Eleven on May Street. I want to sit in a friggin' chair at the end of the day that doesn't have red dust on it, put my stanky feet on my coffee table, turn on my air-conditioner to 11, sit around naked all day long eating microwave popcorn out of my microwave, drink whatever I want out of my fridge, whether it's water, beer, Koolaid, or maple syrup, because I'm sick Sick SICK of living miles from ANYTHING and ANYBODY, packing up my house every morning to ensure that I never have any lingering feeling of continuity except watching my own FEET go up and down as long as there's daylight and shifting my head around trying to sap an ounce of comfort from the bag of clothes I use as a pillow each night...

"This must be where gravel comes from."
- Aimee.
Day 143: Get it while it's lukewarm
Distance Travelled: 54.2km Temperature: 44
Time on Trikes: 7.0h Water Left: 11L
Terrain: Nasty Wind
End Location: Robe River
... eating the same nutritious, yet truly tasteless, tuna and couscous dinners in between the two, where the only variety you may glean from them is taken from whether the tuna is marinated in plum sauce or lemon and cracked pepper, and may be enhanced by the slim notion that you had the forethought to soak the dehydrated peas for the last half hour of the journey before it got dark, which I probably didn't because I knew we'd be arriving at a roadhouse the next morning and I didn't need the luxury of dried peas tonight if I was going to have the sweet pleasure of staring into a tray of meatpies, sausage rolls and toasted spaghetti sandwiches that have been sitting under a heat lamp since the last time this region got rain...

"You can swear at us if it'll make you feel better."
- Kevin, to waitress.
Day 144: There's a hole in my bucket
Distance Travelled: 50.6km Temperature: 38
Time on Trikes: 9.0h Water Left: 12L
Terrain: Nastier Wind
End Location: Peedmulla TLE
...which, while rain is pretty miserable to cycle in, it would certainly be a refreshing change from the 50 degree heat we've been living under ever since we turned left at Townsville, ever since we've stopped drinking city water, which is understandable since we haven't seen a CITY, but it does severely limit our ability to enjoy a good old-fashioned glass of water when it comes from the same tap that feeds the local cattle, who are more than happy to gulp out of a meningitis-ridden stagnant stream, coupled with the fact that it has a sufficient enough saline content to reduce our risk of salt-deficiency and the temperature of it is ten to twenty degrees hotter than the air outside, making it hotter than any coffee purchased from a New York corner bagel salesman, and the only thing to somehow ease the pressure of drinking SIXTEEN LITRES A DAY of the putrid stuff is a bottle of lime cordial which doesn't taste anything like any lime I've ever eaten, but has a definite "green" flavour (if you've ever wondered what "green" tasted like, I can tell you knowingly that it tastes like CRAP)...

"At first I was like 'Ooh, only 4 to go!' when I realized all that meant was that it was 4 more until I was 100 miles from NOWHERE."
- Kevin.
Day 145: Poppies will make them sleeeep...
Distance Travelled: 65.7km Temperature: 32
Time on Trikes: 11h Water Left: 15L
Terrain: Nastiest Wind Yet
End Location: Nanutarra
... and let me ask you this: how PATHETIC is MY LIFE when the only joy I can get out of the middle of my day is to come across a bridge (traversing yet another perfect example of an Australian "river", i.e. no water), and take a 15 minute nap on a pile of rocks under the solid concrete shade? Say all you want about gaining an appreciation for the little things in life, but it's PRETTY DAMN PATHETIC! But I sleep. You know that expression "In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king?" Well, in the land of 50 degrees, 45 is pretty damn comfortable for a short spell, and IT'S STILL PRETTY CRAPPY ONLY HAVING ONE EYE when the rest of the world has two. Who wants to be king of the land of the blind anyway, unless you're a real ugly bastard. And this damn red sand just sucks and sucks and sucks the heat in all day like a solar panel, stores it up until nightfall and dispenses the heat slowly up through the bottom of my tent until 6:00 the next morning when the sun comes up and it can take over again sapping all the sweat from my stores so I have to drink another SIXTEEN FRIGGIN' LITRES the next day to make up for what body fluids I lost last night...

"Here comes another one of those dog-in-a-car clouds. Ooh I'm so scared."
- Kevin.
Day 146: How I spent my summer vacation
Distance Travelled: 37.9km Temperature: 34
Time on Trikes: 6.0h Water Left: 8.0L
Terrain: More Wind
End Location: Uaroo
... and my one joy, my one single joy in this empty, hollow, one-eyed universe is to pull up to a petrol station after 220 kilometres and three days of shoving, and you're thinking "ooh, well, a petrol station's not so bad, they have convenience stores," well, IT'S NOT VERY FRIGGIN' CONVENIENT when it takes THREE DAYS TO GET THERE. And can I just sit there and enjoy my $4.00 Coke and my patio chair covered in red dust? NO! I have to reflect on the past three days of sweating, grumbling, drinking salty green water and sleeping on rocks under bridges, extract the one happy moment of my journey where I saw a lizard, and turn that into two or three paragraphs of mirth and merriment for all the people back home in their air-conditioned offices, sitting in fat, comfy chairs, wearing their pink shirts and eating their pink donuts, and saying, "boy, I wish I were in Australia with them..."

"It comes from growing up in the Beimers household, where if you don't eat your food, someone else will."
- Kevin.
Day 147: Shoo fly shoo
Distance Travelled: 60.2km Temperature: 31
Time on Trikes: 12h Water Left: 13L
Terrain: Windy again
End Location: Barradale
... but you don't! Don't you wish you were here for a second! At least not HERE here, covered with flies on the side of the egg-frying pavement, 100 miles from a gas station which is 300 miles from a town which is 1500 miles from a city... AT LEAST WISH FOR THE TOWN! At least there you might be able to score a Slurpee, or failing that, hang out in the frozen food section of the Woolworth's all afternoon, instead of standing stock still in the middle of a herd of cows with nothing in your possession but a handful of couscous and the realization that the only way out is through the use of your own waning energy...

"What's wrong with how I locked up the bikes? It's simple, efficient, cuts corners... Microsoft would love it."
- Kevin.
Day 148: Jumper in your tuckerbag
Distance Travelled: 99.2km Temperature: 32
Time on Trikes: 12h Water Left: 13L
Terrain: Less Wind Today!
End Location: Lyndon River
... and, well, there isn't much else to say, is there? Here we are, in a... in a sweater? Wearing a FRIGGIN' SWEATER? What kind of a glutton for punishment...? Aw well. Why the hell not? What else can you do for fun around here? I mean besides a round of What Would You Eat Right Now If You Could Have Anything You Wanted? That game got old back in Queensland.

Whew. Thanks for that. I feel much better now.

"Your Mulder's not bad, but your Scully needs work."
- Aimee.
battler: (n.) one who continually struggles against an endless string of bad luck, but keeps on getting back up to face another day.
"That old battler is in the hospital AGAIN? What wrong this time?"

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day 142
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day 148
we gotta get
outta this place

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© 2003 Kevin Beimers & Aimee Lingman. Where seldom is heard a discouraging word.