Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The joy of cycling or luxury bike tours are us

Getting water from a windmill
I ended up cycling all the way from Melbourne to Adelaide with John. The whole trip turned into a luxury tour - but I guess that is what happens if you cycle with a guy carrying a petrol stove and a kitchen sink.... Here is a typical day on the road with John: Around 7.30 am there is the first serious attempt to get out of the tent and have breakfast. John is addicted to coffee so he has to have a brew first. Breakfast consists of leftovers from last night, bread and cheese and jam and on one occasion even of bacon and eggs (I am not kidding you there!). After breakfast is devoured packing up start. I am usually done in less than half an hour, whereas John takes more than an hour to pack up all his crap. We are leaving camp later and later and I have to admit that on one occasion we left as late as 10 am. Gone are my hiker days where I was on the trail at first daylight!

Happy lunch break
We usually cycle around 100 km per day. The terrain between Melbourne and Adelaide is pretty flat, so 100 km is no problem if the wind is cooperating. We do not have much of a lunch break, but you don't really need that after bacon and eggs for breakfast and a 3-course dinner. The only big task is to find a super market and buy food for the evening. At 5 pm it is time to look for a campsite. We are always stealth camping and finding a site can be somewhat of an adventure. We always found something, but sometimes it is less than perfect. When hiking you are usually far away from roads, but cycling is different, so traffic noise can be a problem. Luckily, traffic here dies down at night - very useful if you are camped just 50 m from a road....

Brats for dinner
After setting up the tents the relax time starts when John has his first coffee and I am getting tea. Then comes the highlight of the day: dinner! Our dinners have become more and more elaborate and the hobby cook in me has come out. A typcial dinner starts with a soup as starter. We would then have barbecued fish or cangaroo or lamb or sausages with one or two side dishes followed by an extensive dessert like pineapple simmered in sweet condensed milk. It should come as no surprise that John has been putting on weight ever since he met me. All this is accompanied by various cups of coffee. Of course preparing a 3 course dinner takes quite a while so we are stopping earlier and earlier...BUT: Life is never been so luxurious on this trip!

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