The photo you see above was taken from my place last winter. Nice view, eh? A bit chilly but better than the one I had of the Altair over Kings Cross Tunnel.
It’s the second day of Spring, 2012 and I’m 6 days away from setting off on a two month adventure through the bottom, centre and top end of Australia..
When I retired at the end of 2008 and moved to Launceston it was partly because I decided that I wanted to travel overseas more. Well, that idea went out the window quickly and nearly four years later I’m still here, having travelled nowhere.
The interesting thing, for me, is that left to my own devices I have been too busy to travel and I’ve done lots of other interesting things, including taking up woodturning. I may not be very good at it but I love it. And, after living for nearly 20 years in Darlinghurst, I love my life in Launceston.
Earlier this year, however, I decided it was time to hit the road. I bought a Nissan Xtrail and enrolled in a 4wd training course in Lithgow, NSW. Then I decided that I’d do a ‘tagalong’ tour to Central Australia. Then, however, my attention was drawn to a fundraising activity organised by a French travel agent in Cairns. Called the ‘ThelmanLouise’ tour it involves 6 teams of 3 women riding postie bikes from Darwin to Cairns. The aim is to raise $30,000 for an orphanage in Nepal. So I joined that, ran everything together and will have a very exciting two months.
Originally I decided to drive to Sydney. Then I was looking at the map and realized that I had never been down the Great Ocean Rd. So I decided to do that as well. And, since the tagalong tour comes back through the Flinders Ranges and ends in Broken Hill I’ll be seeing that area as well. And, since I’ll be driving from Broken Hill to Cairns, I’ll see a lot more of outback NSW and Qld than I thought possible. I’m yawning just thinking about all that driving.
What I’d like you to do, since you’ve read this far, is to support the cause by making a donation at http://www.thelmanlouise.com.au .Try to let them know that you’re a friend of mine – I think there’s a competition to see which team can raise the most money but I’ve never been less competitive in my life. However, my team mates, Paula and Karen, have been working tirelessly to raise money and I have raised some here in Tassie by Rosemary and David Jones hosting a curry night at their house and members of the Tamar Woodturners Guild (Jim Baker, Jeff Scott, Brian Robinson, Dave Trivett and Bernie Poole) donating some very special items for the auction to be held in Cairns on 6 October. A friend of Jim’s, Larayne Kingston from http://www.tasmaniantimberproducts.com.au donated a beautiful Huon Pine pendant. I’ve never met Larayne but her kindness touched me. Check out her website and visit her stall in Salamanca Place when you’re in Hobart.
The other thing I’d like you to do is send me messages of support. I’m excited but a bit nervous about driving down all those long, lonely outback roads on my own to say nothing of being blown off the road between Darwin and Cairns by a road train and ending up in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
I’ll try to post some photos – actually, I’ve had this website for a while but I’ve done nothing with it for so long I forget how to use it. Oh well, that’s a task that can be done between now and 12 October when 6 postie bikes, 6 Britz campervans and 6 brave women set off to ride 2,800 km at no more than 80 km/h. I have heard of postie bikes reaching 100 km/h but the website says ‘To achieve this the postie needs to be assisted by a combination of the following; a downhill run, drafting a car or truck sitting or lying in an aerodynamic position, and a tailwind.’
Today is Sunday 2 September and I leave on the Spirit of Tasmania next Saturday. Wish me luck.