Page 3 of Clare and Vernon Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia December 2nd 2010

Getting hotter and windier We left Augusta on a warm still morning with a clear blue sky overhead and made fairly good progress up the highway to Karridale. It is typical that we had been cycling into the face of a southerly all the way down the coast and the minute we turned around the wind dropped. By the time we reached Karridale the heat had increased to one degree below unbearable and the flies were out in force. We stopped at the roadhouse for ice lollies and cold drinks, then turned east onto the Brockman Highway towards Pemberton, it was at about this point that the wind started up and it was an easterly! We were riding through a mix of forest and farmland, so we got shelter from the wind for some distance then ... read more
Mill worker's house, Pemberton
The Dribbles
Donnelly River

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia November 21st 2010

Taking our time We spent a few days in Bunbury, it is a very comfortable city and is easy to waste time in, we visited the Dolphin Experience where the only dolphin we experienced was swimming away from us out of the bay, the Mash Brewery whose beers would be so much better if they were served a few degrees above absolute zero and the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery where there was an exhibition of local schoolkids' artwork, Dali-esque and fantasy graphic novel appear to be this year's themes, however there were a few pieces we liked, most of them made out of nuts, bolts and anything else found on the shed floor. We also visited both the lookout points for views across the city and surrounding area and spent a lot of time getting pummelled ... read more
Us at the  Broadwater B&B, Busselton
Free as a Cow
Lake Cave

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia November 15th 2010

We will get the hang of this thing. Perth-Bunbury (08/11/10 - 14/11/10) Thankfully the juggernaut fits in the lift at the YHA, so we didn't have to lug it down three flights of stairs before we set off. Once loaded up we pushed to a quiet starting point mounted up and set off, only to stop immediately as the chain ring tried to eat the chain! Sorted that and tried again, this time we actually got moving but stopped again rather quickly due to front end shimmy causing a rather spectacular wobble which not only scared us but also made the motorists of Perth give us a very wide berth. That was sorted by re-packing the front panniers, then we finally escaped Perth via a wide, flat, quiet cycle path alongside the Swan River, this turned ... read more
View over the Swan River
It fits!
Penguin Island

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Perth November 1st 2010

2010 has not been a very good year; the lowest point being Vernon's father dying in September. Before he died he said "Tell those buggers to live their dreams, they mustn't worry about me." So this one's for you Mick, you're with us in spirit(s) mate! Preparation Since we got back last time we've been making plans for finishing the RTW trip, plans which have grown bigger and more extravagant as time has progressed. This culminated in the purchase of a Santana Fusion SE tandem from JD Cycles in Ilkley, we picked the bike up on 6th September and have been learning tandemish slowly since then. Due to personal issues we hadn't sorted our flights by the time we had to move out of our flat in Southsea, so we were homeless; all our possessions went ... read more
Qantas A380 "Nancy-Bird Walton"
Perth CBD from the Swan Tower
The Swan Bell Tower

Asia » Japan » Tokyo August 31st 2006

Trains that run on time 03-04/08/06 We decide to head out to Nikko to see the shrines, then on to Sendai where another old PhD friend of Vernon's lives (magneticists, they get everywhere!). So we leave the bikes in the bike park under Ueno Station, having checked with the attendant that they'll be okay until Sunday, at least we think that's what we asked. The excess bags go in a locker and we take a tube to Asakusa, where we buy tickets to Nikko, the train will leave platform 3 at 4.05pm, and it does, exactly, not 4.05 and 30 seconds or 4.06, bang on the dot of 4.05 we pull out of the station. We arrive at Nikko bang on time and get a taxi to the ryokan, once again we're in a Japanese style ... read more
Five storey pagoda, Nikko
Three wise monkeys, Nikko
Shinkyo sacred bridge, Nikko

Asia » Japan » Chiba » Narita August 2nd 2006

Doing the soft shoe shuffle 31/07/06 We sleep for most of the 6hr flight to Narita but still arrive feeling knackered, we stagger like zombies through immigration and customs and find a space to rebuild the bikes near the bus stops. People keep wandering up to have a look (see the silly Gaijin getting hot and sweaty). Next to us is the pick up point for one of the buses to Tokyo, each time a bus leaves the porters all bow to it which is really weird to see. As we are about to leave they approach us and the best English speaker asks us where we have been and where we are going, she then translates for the others, there follows a short Q and A session about touring with the bikes then they wish ... read more
Room in a ryokan
Ryokan garden
Shakado Temple, Narita

Oceania July 30th 2006

A sign of things to come? 18-21/08/06 So, we finally leave Bowen. It's a warm, sunny day and the riding would be perfect if it wasn't for the lump that has developed on my bum! It's right under the left sit bone and is making life very uncomfortable; when I get on the bike there's a few minutes of comedy "Oooh. Owwwww, oooh" accompanied by much hotching around until the damn thing gets squashed enough to ease the pain. I'm then able to ride for about 5 or 6 miles before the pain gets too much and we have to stop for a few minutes. So we progress, slowly, through the cane fields of northern Queensland, stopping at Gumlu to eat our lunch, then again at Inkerman as the tell-tale slewing around and rough ride indicates ... read more
Fuel reduction burn, Queensland
Port Douglas

Oceania » Australia » Queensland July 17th 2006

Land of sugar cane, rum and ginger beer 03-05/07/06 We set off north towards Bundaberg, taking a lovely quiet back road through the "hills" to Howard where we have lunch before getting back onto the Bruce for the rest of the day. Our route is now through fields of sugar cane and as it is the start of the harvest season there are a number of cane trucks on the road and also a lot of cane trains, these are narrow gauge trains which run from the farms to the processing mills with the harvested canes, the tracks run alongside the fields, crossing the roads at angles designed to catch bike tyres and throw unsuspecting riders into the ditch. We develop a kind of swing out to the middle of the road and swerve back to ... read more
Moving house, Australian style
Big digger on the Bruce Highway
A load of bull, Rockhampton

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Fraser Island July 2nd 2006

Running away from Brisbane 23-29/06/06 Up early and finish the packing, then try to eat breakfast; the YHA, which has 165 bed spaces, is incredibly poorly equipped and has the grand total of three spoons in the kitchen, ten mugs, about the same number of bowls but, oddly, hundreds of knives. Stupidly we are on the porage today as we need the fuel for cycling, so while Vernon cooks the breakfast I stand next to two people who are eating cereal (and selfishly using 67% of the hostel's spoon supply) and as soon as they have finished I get their spoons and bowls off them. Stopping only to perform the same trick on two tea drinkers, I race back into the kitchen with my booty, wash it, dry it and jealously guard it until the chef ... read more
Mount Coonowrin, Glass House Mountains
Mount Beerwah, Glass House Mountains
The wreck of the SS Maheno

Oceania » Australia » Queensland June 21st 2006

Stuck in Port 23/05/06 - 03/06/06 We decide to spend a day in Port Macquarie so we can visit the koala hospital, it's probably the only way we will get to see any of them! Spend a pleasant couple of hours ooohing and aaahing at the patients, they are incredibly cute although we are told they have a nasty bite and very strong claws; we are happy to keep our distance and just look. The koala hospital doesn't allow visitors to touch the animals because they need to be kept wild if they are to have any chance of survival when they have recovered and are released into the wild. The next day we arrange a visit to the doctor as I have lumpy armpits AGAIN and Vernon is also suffering, but in his case cycling ... read more
Sleeping Koala
Sunset at Port Macquarie
Coffs Harbour

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