Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Dull bits

May 10th, 2011

Don’t want to sound ungrateful. But the road south from Mackay to Rockhampton is pretty dull. Actually no. Very dull. Monotonous. Scrubland. Open savannah. And quite a bit of it. Almost three hundred and fifty kilometres in all. About the length of Wales. Roughly the distance you’d cover cycling from Anglesey to Cardiff. But far more sparsely populated. Long sections without a soul.

Boredsign

Beyond the small town of Sarina, twenty or so miles south of Mackay, just the odd watering hole. Carmila. Clairview. Delightful stop at St Lawrence. Marlborough. The Caves. Suddenly aware that potable – drinkable – water doesn’t flow out of all taps. Hardly the Outback mind.

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Cousins

May 9th, 2011

Along the highway south of Mackay a few small communities. Insular. Often greeted by those who’d seen me earlier on the road. Either that or their cousin had. Also discovering that truckies keep their eye out for cyclists. No relations you understand. Radioing others of your presence. That and the fact you give them a big thumbs up when they give you a wide berth.

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Road to Rockingham

May 8th, 2011

Road to Rockingham from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Ken describes the road south from Mackay to Rockingham. Very dull. The highway. Not the video clip. Hopefully…

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Laptop man

May 3rd, 2011

laptopman

Actually there were three. Aaron. Mitchell. And the mysterious Jason. Got the impression he might be a bit of a "Max Headroom" character. Existing only in cyberspace. His only link with reality a small business card emblazoned with his name. Well, you never know…

Mitchell had won the prize. Fixing my now defunct netbook. Suspecting he’d been out to lunch when I’d popped into the shop. The little computer hadn’t done badly. Well-travelled. Through the snows of eastern Europe. Across the Kazakh steppe. The Gobi desert. Tropical rainforests. Worn keys.

But plenty of tender loving care. Living snuggly in a padded case. Inside a small dry bag. A waterproof rucksack liner. And a heavy duty pannier. Belts. Braces. And shoe laces.

Partition problem apparently. Sounded like the root cause of much of the ethnic strife in the former Soviet Central Asian nations. But much more importantly, it was fixable. Back in business.

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Redneck

May 2nd, 2011

"Wild stab in the dark" I said, pausing briefly. "You must be Peter." He was. I’d spotted him as I’d come over the brow of the hill. On the highway a little south of the previous night’s stop at Calen. Hurriedly offering both thanks and an apology. Appreciative of his offer of hospitality for a few nights. Apologetic for my seemingly ever drifting arrival date. Unexpected road closures. Unrelenting headwinds. Understandable perhaps. But it still felt a bit tardy. Not my usual precision.

Brisk pace into the town of Mackay. Peter on his road bike. Emma, my trusty steed, and I working hard. Cooled by the steady rain. Little more chill now as we continued to push south. Brief coffee stop at a servo. Welcome rest.

Then off the main highway. Back roads into town. Little traffic. In either direction. Not that this deterred one middle-aged driver from winding down his window. Ranting. Red-faced with angst. His anger quite unjustified. More likely pent up frustration. Bullied at school. Incoherent ramblings a product of his own inadequacies. Peter put it more succinctly. "Redneck".

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