76. 1 YR TOURING OZ STATS &...THE NEXT CHAPTER REVEAL!!!
Our time in Australia has come full circle. Literally! This might leave you wondering what's next… L and I were wondering this ourselves until we settled upon a crazy idea which was born over a beer or two in the Australian outback. Family and friends, you might pleased to hear that we’ve decided to return home, but here’s the thing… We’re not going to be flying the entire way back from Australia, instead and in order to neatly bring to a close the time we’ve spent travelling, we feel the need to end as we began…
(At this point the penny will have dropped for our veteran blog followers, who’ll now be one step ahead of our more recent readership. Don’t fall off your chairs!)
In only two days we’ll be flying out of Sydney and waving goodbye to Australia. We’ll have landed in Los Angeles and this will mark the start of our journey home. We’re going to tandem cycle across the USA!!! We’ll be spending the next 3 months peddling 3500 Miles, West coast to East, on a choice of two routes dependant on weather!
Given that neither L or myself are ‘cyclists’ and we’ve barely sat on a bicycle since our tandem cycle trip to the South of France at the beginning of our travels in August 2017 (Don’t forget we’ve just spent the last 301 days sat on our butts, driving around Australia) it’s fair to assume that we’re not in the slightest prepared for what we realise is a very ambitious journey ahead.
In August 2017, L and I accomplished 4 Miles of ‘cycle training’ just a couple of days before we sold our house and set off on a 600 Mile tandem cycle trip to the South of France, via London. We’d not sat on a bicycle in years, let alone a tandem but despite this, the trip was a success. Using a similar formula, L and I have decided that in preparation for our tandem cycle across the USA, we’ll bag the 600 miles we peddled 18 months ago and use this as our training for the upcoming 3500 Miles.
We also see our ‘peddling home’ trip as an ideal opportunity to raise some money for a good cause which is why we have chosen to support the British charity CALM. Find out more about this great charity here > www.thecalmzone.net and keep an eye out on our Facebook page and future blog posts, for the link to our just giving page, where you’ll be able to sponsor us if you wish.
Before we share more details about our USA trip and introduce you to our rather swanky ‘Tandy mk2’ custom built tandem by Bike Friday, why not peruse over our ‘Big Lap’ trip stats below. Australia you’ve been a blast!
Distance driven: 33,000KM
Distance driven off (sealed) roads: Approx 1/3 of the above!
River crossings: 6
Near misses with an aircraft: 1
Fuel: 3972L $5928.02 (£3351)
Cheapest fuel: $1.09L (£0.61L) Sydney, NSW
Most expensive fuel: $2.08L. (£1.16L) Uluru, NT
Van breakdowns: 0
Punctures in the outback: 1
10,000km services: x 3. Total cost: $615.79 (£348)
Total nights on the Crampervan tour: 301
Total nights slept in the van: 203
Total nights not in the van: 98. (14 @ friends, 56 whilst volunteering, 28 whilst working)
Nights of free camping in the van: 176
Paid camping in the van: 16 places (27 nights, $630/£356)
Wildlife inside the van: 1 x frog, 1 x parrot, 2 x unidentified bugs, 100’s of mosquitos and a swarm of flying ants who lost their wings squeezing through the bug mesh (causing havoc trying to get them back out!)
WILD ANIMAL STATS:
Crocs: More than just a few
Spiders: 4x Huntsman, 8x Redback, 9x Golden Orb Weaver. Plenty more small & normal lookers
Non venomous spider bites: 1 to the neck!
The biggest ants you’ve ever seen: 3
Jellyfish: more than enough
Cute Koalas: 21
Kangaroos & wallabies: Literally thousands
Emus: Double figures
Camels: Annoyingly 0
Swollen cattle bodies by the roadside: Bakers dozen
Wild cats: 1
Whales, dolphins and large marine monsters: Too many to ever forget
Huge monitor lizards: A trio
Massive Manta rays: 12
Fish caught on rod: An embarrassing 0!
Scorpions under rocks: 1
Food stolen by seagulls: One occasion, almost two
Tick bites: 1 each
Unidentified bites: 2 either side of L’s ankle, that went on to swell into a cankle!
Cockroaches across the face: 1 on our first night in Australia… Ewwww!
Hottest day / night: 41’c / 29’c
Coolest day / night: 14’c / 1’c
Beaches: Over 300
Longest stint off grid: 12 days
Open air movie theatres: 2
Gas Refills: x 5. Total cost: $65 (£36)
Biblical thunder and hail storms: 2
Number of times bogged: 2
Underground buildings visited: 5
Waterfalls and gorges: A gazillion
Vehicle horn malfunctions: 1 (more than enough)
Worst dirt road in Australia: The Plenty highway
Longest ‘short cut’: 3 days on a single dirt road passing through… nowhere!
NEXT UP: GOING BIG AND GOING HOME… TANDEM CYCLE ACROSS THE USA…The journey begins! What have we let ourselves in for!?
Catch the previous blog post from our trip if you missed it (#75).