week 58...
the search is over!

Finally... the last state!

From the moment we arrived, we've been looking for a wombat. "You haven't seen a wombat yet? They're everywhere!" Everywhere except where we are, apparently.

I mean, sure, we've seen a wombat. There was Tess, Wally's girlfriend from Magnetic Island. There were a couple more at the Bunbury Wildlife Park, but that doesn't really count. You can't walk up to a gate that says "Wombat" on it, photograph a wombat and think you've accomplished something. That's like trying to pick up women in front of a women's public toilet, since you know sooner or later a woman is going to walk through the door.

If Victoria's supposed to be crawling with them, how come we didn't see a single one until we hit New South Wales? The day we crossed the border, there he is, snuffling away in the underbrush. Sigh. I can die a happy man.
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good things come in threes...
A wombat's not the only thing we've seen this week. We've actually seen more travelling cyclists on this stretch of road from Melbourne to Sydney than we have the whole rest of the trip! Here are three of them. Actually, four. I guess my title doesn't fit any more. Maybe I should have called this section "May the Fours Be With You" or something.

Elie & William
Nationality: Dutch
Age: 30-40
Bike: Racers
Gears: 21 (each)

Starting Point: Darwin
Finish: Cairns
Met in: Orbost
Distance/day: 150-200km
Time Frame: 4 months

Their Story:
Trained as a couple of racers in Holland, they've headed down the middle of Australia, across to Melbourne, and on their way back up. They like a shower at the end of the day, so you'll probably find them in a hotel or cabin.

Nationality: Japanese
Age: 18-25
Bike: BMX
Gears: 1

Starting Point: Sydney
Finish: Melb & back
Met in: Cann River
Distance/day: 75km
Time Frame: 2-3 months

His Story:
When we saw a guy on his BMX pull up to the same roadside reststop as us, we almost didn't believe it. And we thought we were doing it hard. Odd though: he carries a tent & mattress, but stays in pubs? To each his own.

Nationality: Australian
Age: 20-30
Bike: Mount w/ trailer
Gears: 21

Starting Point: Sydney
Finish: Melbourne
Met in: Mt. Drummer
Distance/day: 100km
Time Frame: 3 weeks

His Story:
Andrew's first major cycling tour is bringing him from Sydney to Melbourne. He tends to tent out as a good touring cyclist should. His tip: camp at the top of a hill, so you start the next day with a good downhill run.
these are the people in our neighbourhood...

Christina & Emma
We met these two in the last city in Victoria, a little one-pub town called Genoa. These two Canadian chicks got here a month ago, just bought an old bomb and headed into the country for a little adventure. They found it! Us! Ha!
Six Pack Pete
This is one of the beautiful things about travelling on a bike as the sun goes down: there's always that chance that a stranger in a creepy white van will give you a free six-pack of Vic Bitter. You won't get that in your Mazda! Thanks Petey!
So Cosima pulls out of Australian Idol, eh? I reckon that's crap. Not because I liked her or anything. It's just crap because she should have been voted off the show weeks ago. What's wrong with the people of Australia? Booting Millsy out before Cosima. Can't believe that rubbish.

Diva my ass. Nodules or no nodules, I reckon that's crap.

Be sure to read "I Reckon That's Crap" every week, only on Beimers.com!

*The opinions expressed by Mr. Skinnylegs do not necessarily reflect those of beimers.com. If you have any complaints, direct them to mrskinnylegs@beimers.com.
wally's amazin' facts!
Wombats! Wombats! We love wombats! Well, I do anyway! Why, I'd personally say that the wombat is by far the cutest marsupial in the whole country! I hear you saying, "Sure, Wally, but what's that got to do with the price of lamb?" Well, very little, but if you're still curious about that from last week, a lamb at the shops can be more than six times the price the farmer was paid! Okay, so some of my facts aren't that amazing.

This Week's Amazin' Fact: So here we are on the East Coast again! Jeepers, that means there's nowhere to go but North. Actually, had we gone South a bit more, we might have ended up in Wilson's Promontory, the southernmost point in mainland Australia. Apparently, people who camp out in Wilson's Prom end up with a wombat problem! I ask you, how can a wombat be a problem? They're so sweet and cuddly like me!

In other parts of Australia, it's the wombats that have people problems! Can you name an endangered wombat? I know I'm one of a kind, but the answer isn't Wally!

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!

That's TWICE as long as
the American Roadtrip.
Chew on that.
Distance this week: 277kmDistance since Day 1: 14555km

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Day 400: Sweets for the Sweet
Distance Travelled: 60.0km Temperature: 19
Time on Trikes: 8.0h Water Left: 4.0L
Terrain: Wiggly Lines
End Location: Orbost
give us the raspberry
Holy Frickin' Frackin' Four Hundred! Would you have ever thought it would take this long for us to travel around this massive sheep paddock of a country? Stranger still, would you have ever thought we'd still be going? You think we're reasonable enough people that we should have thrown the trikes on a train by now? Ha! We sure showed you!
   A milestone like this should be a momentus occasion, but truly, it only reminds us of how much of our lives have been taken up by this harebrained (or is that tortoise-brained?) adventure. That's why, to mark the day, rather than having a parade and fireworks, we had this raspberry tart with the number 400 carved into it with a plastic fork.
   If there's one thing we learned on this trip, it's this: If you ever want to ride your bike around Australia, take our advice, and do it in chunks. Year 1, do the East coast. Year 2, Townsville to Broome. Year 3, to Perth. Year 4, back to the East. Each trip should take you about three to four months, which is a decent amount of time to be living in a tent and measuring your life in kilometres.
   Think of it like the difference between your first marriage, and your fourth marriage. 100 days: what an accomplishment! What a grand event! What a reason to celebrate. 400 days, on the other hand: merely tartworthy.

"Why don't you ask your boyfriend, Mr. Juan Valdez?"
- Kevin.
Day 401: Grumpy Gus
Distance Travelled: 37.2km Temperature: 15
Time on Trikes: 6.0h Water Left: 6.0L
Terrain: Tiring
End Location: Brodribb Rest Area
calgon, take me away!
See that pathetic hunk of raw quivering meat on the floor of the rural bus shelter? That's me.
   I'm friggin' freezing, and I refuse to go anywhere in the rain. In fact, I refuse to go anywhere if anything is falling from the sky, whether it be fog, mist, drizzle, caramel popcorn or gold dubloons.
   I've even rolled out the foam mat. I'm wrapped up in a scarf, toque, two sweaters, and a wool blanket. I think it's safe to say that I've had enough. I could do with a little sun damage at this stage.
   Seriously, wake me when it all goes away. Until then, piss off.

"Bring your shoes in. If yours get stolen they're expensive, but if mine get stolen it'll make a good story."
- Aimee.
Day 402: Up Up and a Weighbridge!
Distance Travelled: 73.8km Temperature: 28
Time on Trikes: 10h Water Left: 6.0L
Terrain: Comparatively Tame
End Location: Mt. Drummer Rest Area
weight watchers
Hey! We're not as fat as we thought we were! When you stick us on a weigh bridge we're a svelte 320 kilos. That's not so bad, is it?
   Hey, Shackleton only had to drag 100 kilograms* around with him. I think he had it easy. Huh? Whassa? Not another Shackleton reference you ask? Well, shaddup. I'll write what I like. I'm feeling a little bossy this week, so I'll accept no talking back from you. I mean it.

FYI: other things I'm not accepting this week:
1. Rain, or any reasonable facimilie of rain.
2. Cars honking as they pass us in the rain.
3. Blue ants that spit acid.

Oh sure, you say that there are no blue ants that spit acid. Hah. Live my life for a week.

*I can't actually verify that the weight of Shackleton's sled was a mere 100 kilos. I just wanted to feel as though what I was doing was in some degree more difficult than his expedition. It wasn't a case of trying to minimize his efforts, rather than an attempt to boost my own ego. For all I know, he was lugging around a metric tonne. I am willing to bet the horse that he didn't have blue acid ants, though. If I had a horse. Actually, at this point I'd keep the horse.
Tourist: "Boy, what are you going to do in your next life?"
Kevin: "I dunno, just sit around on the couch and eat potato chips, I guess."
Day 403: Dive for the finish!
Distance Travelled: 64.2km Temperature: 24
Time on Trikes: 8.5h Water Left: 8.0L
Terrain: Easy morning, rough arvo
End Location: Stoney Creek Rd, NSW
new state, new weather
This is where it ends, says Kev. Apparently the rain can't make it through the plastic wrap that New South Wales has put over the entire state. From here on out, we'll see nothing but blue sky and surf. So says Kev. Me, I'm waiting to see for myself before I get too excited.
   Am I letting my current obsession with rain dilute (hah!) the excitement of entering the only state that we haven't cycled in yet? Perhaps, but I don't care. Let Kevin be the one to jump off the rock.
   I'm so excited, somebody get me another raspberry tart.
Kevin: "What would you do without me?"
Aimee: "I'd use a knife."
Day 404: Roller Coast
Distance Travelled: 42.1km Temperature: 28
Time on Trikes: 5.5h Water Left: 5.5L
Terrain: Absolute Crap
End Location: Garden of Eden Caravan Park
back to the beach
We've done it! We've crossed this massive continent - AGAIN! Remember when we did that in January? Well, it's happened again. We're in Eden, NSW, and there's the ocean.
   What a wonderful feeling it is to be on the same side of the country that we started on. Tell you the truth, it didn't even really occur to us until we saw it. I mean, we saw the ocean on the Nullarbor, and back at Lakes Entrance, but Cann River was really the last day of East and the first day of North! Now it just feels like we're joining the dots up the coast to finish this trip. Holy Frickin' Frack!

- Kevin, in Scottish accent.
Day 405: Grease Monkey
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 25
End Location: Eden
power of positive bullshit
I think getting to this side of the country has inspired me to become a better, more positive person. The type of person who is organized and takes better care of her belongings. I almost feel like it's the beginning of a new year - we're on a new coast, we're almost done the trip and we've put the bad weather of Victoria behind us. It's all very refreshing.
   While this is all very spiritually cleansing, it appears that by doing maintenance on the bikes, all I've really done is transfer grease from one object (the bikes) to another (myself). But, you know what they say... clean on the inside, dirty on the outside. Actually, I don't know who says that. Maybe I read it in Leviticus.

"I'd rather smell your fart than his fart."
- Aimee.
Day 406: Ploughman's Platter
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 26
End Location: Eden
you beaut beetroot
We're still celebrating our epic continent-crossing in Eden (if we need to label a reason to slack off for a couple of days). Part of this celebration includes a daily dose of an Aussie foodie favourite. Can you take a look at the plate of food on the photo and figure out what we're having for dinner tonight?

"We could always use olive oil, but I doubt
the chains would take well to the garlic."
- Aimee.
beanie: (n.) toque. To a Canadian, a toque is a warm, shapeless hat, occasionally with a pom-pom, that goes over your ears, A beanie, however, is like a multicoloured brimless cap with a propeller on top.
"Bring your jumper and beanie in case it gets below 10 degrees!"

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© 2003 Kevin & Aimee Beimers. Climbing Every Mountain.