Across Continents

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Tropical times ahead…

Cheese toasties and ice cold Aussie beer. After forty hours on the move, no finer welcome. I’d finally made it to a small hostel in Cairns, Northern Queensland. Few hours to spare before the New Year. Greeted by Rowan and Yuki. Shortly before landing at the nearby airport, the pilot had quipped it was raining. Smirks from the locals. For this was the wet season. The town up in the tropics. Very humid. Only the unwise wander out without an umbrella. Torrential downpours frequent.

Emma, my trusty steed, and I had come to Cairns, far up on Australia’s eastern seaboard, ready to ride south back towards Sydney. Chosen on the advice of Australians Brian and Savannah we’d stayed with back in Azerbaijan. A much better idea, they’d suggested, than Darwin I’d been toying with. Crossing the continent north to south.

I’m assuming that, unlike Central Asia or China, most people are at least familiar with the basic shape of Australia. Working on the assumption that if you’re struggling with that, you’ve yet to discover the internet and read this. And you probably do think Fooknose really is a town in China. Despite seeming to crop up quite a bit when asking for directions. So no hand-drawn maps. For the moment.

My route straightforward, conceptually at least. South along the east coast towards Sydney and Melbourne. City of Brisbane roughly half-way along. Tropical in the north. Just plain hot in the south. The latter familiar territory after the Kazak Steppe and the deserts of Western China. The former presenting new challenges. Hot, humid climate. Snakes. Poisonous spiders. Mosquitos. Dengue Fever. And not forgetting the old favourite. Crocodiles. Luckily they’re not venomous, so their bite need not be fatal…


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