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April 21, 2001

Overland Australia - overview 1

The concept is to avoid the sealed roads and explore the heart of the Australian Outback at ground level: meeting the local people, discovering the tremendous range of indigenous flora and fauna on its own terms. Instead of being laden down with heavy bike saddlebags, we’ll travel super-light, using GPS (Global Positioning System), compasses and high detail topographic maps to follow the less traveled paths and tracks A daily average of 40 miles per day will put the total length of the trip at 100 days including time off for rest days.

The route will take in an antipodal point (23.47.00S, 131.22.00E), opposite to a sister point Steve and I reached on the Atlantic (23.48.36N, 48.37.37W). This will ensue Expedition 360 fulfills the criteria as delineated by Guinness World Records for a human-powered circumnavigation: crossing the equator into the opposing hemisphere, traversing all lines of longitude, and traveling a minimum distance of the equator.

Because of long distances between water supply points and the dangers from possible heat exposure, fatigue and being bitten by any one of the many venomous creepy crawlies that inhabit the Outback, this form of overland travel will only be possible with backup from a support team.

Sufficient time is also being factored in to visit and share story with 4 x schools en route. Some of these ‘schools’ will be little more than homesteads or ‘stations’ where the kids do their schooling by HF radio, telephone or satellite.

A handful of teenage volunteers in Cairns and Alice Springs are also being invited to participate in a cultural exchange program involving students capturing their world through the eye of a still or video camera and sharing it with other participating groups around the world by album exchanges and posting on the website as a film.

Posted on April 21, 2001 1:18 PM