Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Bargara beckons

May 18th, 2011

Family

Promised not to leave it another forty two years. Be back a bit sooner. But it was time to return to the road. Continue the journey south. To the seaside town of Bargara. Few days riding. Off to stay with an old school friend of my neighbour Jon.

As much as it’d been simply great to chat to second cousin Ken, and his wife Sue, I’d enjoyed being able to muck in. Digging trenches. Moving rocks. Even a foray into the kitchen. But probably best to skip over my efforts at reversing with a trailer. Or the dubious recipe I’d found for cheesy mash. Interesting flavour Sue had said. I’d agreed. Wholeheartedly. Family can be so terribly polite.

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Cracking up

May 16th, 2011

maintcombo

Golden rule of cycle maintenance. Whenever possible always work on a clean bike. Problems easier to spot. And fix. Like the cracked sprocket on the rear wheel. Disappointing. Worn teeth I don’t mind. To be expected. But tiny fractures. No. Fortunately carrying a spare. And the requisite specialist tool.

Quickly discovering replacing the sprocket would require a chain whip. Common enough item. Struggling to conceive of any bike shop not having one. Which is why I don’t have one. Far too bulky. Instead, kindly lent one by Lisa at Agnes Water’s local hire shop. With a little help from second cousin Ken, repair soon effected.

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Family ties

May 14th, 2011

Family

They’d spent seven years travelling around Australia. Making my eighteen months on the road look a bit, well, meagre. I’d reached Agnes Water on the central Queensland coast. Day’s ride from the highway. And home to second cousin Ken and his wife Sue.

Together with dogs Poppy, Rosie and Phantom, they’d settled here some years previously. Stones throw from "1770" where Captain Cook landed in… I’ll let you work it out. They’d emigrated from the UK before I was born. Ten Pound Poms.

KShome

Ken was an accomplished carpenter, their self-built home on a peaceful four acre plot a testament to his skill. He’d also an eye for the ball. Playing baseball for Australia in his twenties. A game he’d not taken up until he’d left the UK.

Whereas Ken had a distinct Aussie twang, Sue had pretty much kept her Lancashire accent. Greeting me with a question. What was I doing tomorrow? How about an early start? Off to sea. Lady Musgrave Island. Some sixty kilometres off the coast. Southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. Sounded good.

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