Sunday, 2 March 2014

My Australia plans

Well, the time has come to reveal what I'll actually be doing in Australia. Over the last three months I've been putting together the specifics, looking at charts and graphs and reading countless blog posts and books about this. I've received help from people in several countries and gotten a great deal of advice. So here it goes: I'm going to cycle across Australia from Perth to Brisbane, over 5800 km, to raise money for kids in hospitals.

Hang on, what was that?

Yes you read that correctly, in April 2014 I'm starting my journey across Australia. I'm flying into Sydney on the 1st of April and then straight on to Perth early on the 2nd, where my adventure starts. I'll be taking my time, sometimes staying a week or more in a city. I plan on spending the majority of my time on the East coast, including Melbourne, before finishing off in Brisbane in late July.

I'm raising money for two great charities in two different countries. Clown Doctors in Australia and Sykehusklovnene (Hospital clowns) in Norway. What both of the charities have in common, is that they help children in hospitals and brightens their day with laughter. Please check out their websites for more information.

I've truly enjoyed my time in New Zealand. Having met many amazing people, I don't regret a single thing. However, I felt it was fairly similar to back home (culture etc.) and that I didn't get to travel so much as I wanted. So I decided I wanted to do something crazy and after a while I came up with this. They say Life begins when you leave the comfort zone. I happen to believe this to be true.

So from April to August I'll be travelling Australia, camping and living on basics. I plan on experiencing the real outback and see everything Australia has to offer.

This adventure have been three months in the making. I've been researching books, journals, blogposts and YouTube videos ever since my initial thought. I'll tell you more about my inspiration and specific people I've researched over the next few weeks, but for now I have to thank a few people.

I guess you can say he's sort of been my mentor. Andrew Dickson from Scotland, is in his 60s, has cycled across USA, UK, Australia and is now cycling across New Zealand. I found his blog during a my research stage, (which you can find here) so I sent him an email. After countless emails, we spoke for a while over Skype. Then when he flew down to New Zealand just over three weeks ago, we met up. He showed me his bike and gear and gave loads of advice. So without his support and guidance I probably never would have managed to get the insight I have.

In addition to a small selection of friends and family that I told my idea told, I'd like to thanks my good mate Alex back in Wales. He's been helping me with finding the right bikes and equipment and has never failed to give me a good professional verdict on the random links to bikes I've sent him. So thank you.

Also, a thank you section would never be complete without mentioning ones mother. Though I knew I wanted to raise money for a good cause, I was somewhat lost as to what I could fund raise for. My mother came up with the idea of raising money for the Clown Doctors and Sykehusklovnene, so thanks mama.

In addition, I've received encouragements from several friends whom I discussed my plans with. So thanks to all of you as well.

Your support

The point of this is to raise money for Clown Doctors and Sykehusklovnene. Both organisations have agreed to promote me on their Facebook pages, newsletters and news outlets, in an effort to raise funds. I've set up two seperate donation pages, one for each charity. These can be on the Donate now page. Your support can actually save a kids life.

The route
After having looked at weather statistics, looking at elevation and talking to other bikers, I've settled on this route. Though I might change minor details, at least while in cities, this will be the general route.

View Larger Map

It will be over 5900 km / 3700 miles and I plan on cycling an average of 125 km each day. I'll be spending a week in Perth (A), to get all the equipment I need and see one of my friends. After that I'm heading off to Norseman (C), which is my last stop before the Nullarbor and the vast nothingness of South and Western Australia (between C and D). This will take me approximately 8 days, of which I'll probably have very little or no phone signal. I plan to stock up on supplies in Norseman, because the roadhouses are so expensive. However, due to water, I will have to make stop at roadhouses and pay for food and water occationally.

Photo by mdalmud under CC-A licence

When I reach Port Augusta (D) I hope to be able to hitch a ride up to Uluru (bottom of Northern Territory), a sacred place for the Aboriginals and an Australian symbol. After this I'll head on down to Adelaide (E) and Melbourne (I). My family has got some friends just outside Melbourne, so the plan is to visit them for a couple of days. The I'll head through the scenic eastern part (J) of Victoria, because entering Australian Capital Territory, to see the capital Canberra (K). Saying bye-bye to the Prime Minister, I'll be heading for Sydney (L) and the Opera house. Then onwards along the coast, seeing amazing beaches, before finally ending up in Brisbane (P). Here the plan is to look up some distant relatives I've got.

How committed am I?
Like I initially said, I started planning this three months ago, buying equipment. I've got a visa, flights are booked, maps have been marked and I've even put down a deposit on a bike. I am doing this. Will it be easy? Heck no! There will probably will be days where I'll be lying in the sand, crying my eyes off, dehydrated, cursing the day I came up with this. But I still want to, no NEED to do this. I need to find myself out there.

What's next?
Over the next four weeks I'm going to tell you all about the preparations, the equipment I'm getting, more about the people that's helping make this a reality and more. During the trip you'll get to follow the ups and downs of my journey. So do tag along.

Photo credits: Scott Calleja and Mdalmud