Across Continents

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Tandem travellers

May 5th, 2011

Tandem travellers from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Introducing fellow British cyclists, Tim and Nick.

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Ballsy stuff

May 5th, 2011

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Couldn’t help but notice their front mudguard. I’d mistaken it for a Pagan fertility symbol. But Tim was quick to correct me. Bottle opener. I’d met fellow Brits Tim and cycling partner Nick at a truck stop. South of Sarina, along the Bruce Highway. Quite by chance. They were heading north. Up to Cairns. On a tandem. And a small budget. Swapping supermarket hints and tips as much as overnight stops. Woolworths. Discount day Tuesday. IGA independent retailers. Fruit cake on special offer. Two dollars.

But much more intriguing their steed. Cheapest of components. Except for the tyres. Schwalbe Marathon Plus. Ideal choice for sealed roads. And stark contrast to those on their trailer. Numerous punctures.

For all its challenges, theirs was an admirable effort. Two reasons. First. Suspected the tandem was a necessity. Not a choice. Tim visually impaired. Obliged to place absolute trust in Nick on the front. Second. Most important of all. They had balls. Getting on with it.

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Double Dutch

May 4th, 2011

Gutural accents. Not German. Of that I was certain. Dutch or Danish perhaps? I’d ask. Evelyn and Eef were from the Netherlands. Travelling north in a camper van. From Sydney. Part of a year out before University. Sociology and psychology.

We’d met in the camp kitchen. Small but immaculate site. In a small town. Sarina. I had teabags. They had honey. We started chatting. Places to visit. Weirdos we’d met. There’d been a few.

Had they a website? Yes. A blog. In Dutch. Added that I had one. Photographs too. Hosted on Flikr. They laughed. Reputable site it might be. But, as they explained, in the Netherlands, the name means gay.

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Worlds apart

May 4th, 2011

Worlds apart from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Slab of tired looking concrete. Up by what’d been described as bungalows. Shabby chalets. Like the rest of the caravan park, worn. My potential pitch far from the facilities. Children’s toys, discarded possessions, broken furniture. Dotted around the units. Their occupants taking bit too much of an interest in my arrival. A camp kitchen that’d be locked up within the hour. Telling.

Five minutes later I’d returned to the first site I’d found in the small town of Sarina. There wasn’t a kitchen as such. Just a sheltered seating area. Judy had been very upfront about that. Nor was it cheap. Which is what’d had me venturing off to check out the other park. But it was immaculate. Cared for. Grass verging on manicured. Judy and Dennis proud owners. Theirs the nicest slab of concrete I’d pitched on. And they even chucked in a towel for me.

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