Friday, 23 January 2009

Why I love Australia - part 3

Alan in front of his camper
The next day I had recovered from my misery and continued cycling on in just 40 C heat. Cycling along a major road I was surprised to see that a campervan had stopped right in front of me and the driver came out to start talking to me. Turned out that he was an outdoor person as well - he even had a kayak on top of his camper. We ended up talking for more than an hour at the side of the road about cycling, hiking and paddling and the rest of the world. He asked me if I needed some help and I mentioned my missing spare tube. He turned on the most impressive laptop computer I have ever seen (water, dust and shock proof - maybe that is something for my next trip) and tried to locate the next bike shop. But in vain - the closest one had recently gone out of business. He even offered to bring me a spare tube to my next campsite. But the situation was not life threatening, so I declined that and after exchanging email addresses we parted company.

You cannot believe my surprise 2 days later at 7 am when I was just about to leave a trail campsite and my roadside friend Alan showed up - with a spare tube!!! He had gone to Perth, done his business there, bought a spare tube and come to look for me on his way back. He had even walked into the bush for a km to find me - just to bring me the spare tube! Whow! Maybe you understand now why I love Australia!

I changed my plans for the day and we ended up chatting the whole morning. There were so many interesting stories (camel hunting in the bush, Aboriginal culture and paddling around Australia among others) that it was hard for me to leave 5 hours later. But I am pretty sure I will meet Alan again - cycling, paddling or hiking in whatever part of the world....

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