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October 21, 2001

Overland Australia - Update 70

Latest Report - Overland Australia


Well, we finally arrived at the shores of the Timor Sea at 09.06 a.m. on Friday morning, signifying the completion of our 88-day, 4800 km ride across Australia. There was no one there to witness our arrival save for the local news channels and a photographer from Associated Press. And why should there have been? No one in Darwin knows us from Adam.

This is new territory for the expedition - a new base from which to prepare and, in time, launch the next leg up through SE Asia (political stability permitting). It’s a few day’s breather for me before starting the local networking drive: finding a suitable venue to display the boat, booking up speaking engagements, hustling for sponsorship dollars etc etc. By now a familiar pattern that have preceded every leg of the expedition since its inception in 1992.

Our final few crank turns to the ocean were, appropriately enough, through sand. But this time there was a tangible end in sight and a just reward for our long toil from the Cape York peninsular – the cool, soothing waves of the ocean! Even the blue-green algae lapping the shoreline didn’t deter the majority of the group from riding full pelt into the drink, bicycles and all.

For those of you who have with us from our original launch point at the mouth of the Starcke River, this was a fitting way to end what was started – with our wheels in the ocean. Bottles of (cheap) champagne and VB beer were then popped and cracked accordingly and deposited in varying forms into people’s mouths and over heads and in faces etc, with suitable vulgarity. This was the team’s last chance to behave like a pack of wild animals before having to
adopt the more civilised ways required by society. And with a few weeks of
practise under our belt, we would have put the main characters of William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ to shame.

So, what now for everyone? Josh and Bel are planning on staying in Darwin to find work. Crister returns to his native California to begin a home-schooling program (centred around making damper perhaps?). John will drive the support truck back to Cairns and pick up his life again as an acoustic painter. April goes back to teaching her 5th grade class in Rye, Colorado and Mike to Salt Lake City to take a short break before possibly taking a different career choice. Todd, our long-suffering documentary cameraman, returns to San Francisco to a question mark also.

It seems a trip like this allows one a unique opportunity to step back from one’s life and see things from an objective perspective for a change, thereby allowing changes of direction/modifications to be made accordingly.

And as for the expedition and myself? Well, like I mentioned at the beginning of the update, the coffers are once again empty so finding funds to live let alone continue the expedition is the next priority. But I can’t deny to being a little tired. This leg of the expedition took a year to plan and execute, and it would be great to ‘just be’ somewhere, without having to lift a finger, rather than living in a tent
in a hot and busy campsite in the middle Darwin. But for all the wonderful aspects of a project like this, such as those we have just had the privilege of experiencing here in the Australian outback, there are always downsides. And not having a ‘home’ - as such - is one of them.

Future concerns aside, we’ve all had an incredible adventure, and we hope you’ve enjoyed sharing in them, if not a little passively, via this website.

On the ocean, each day is the same as the last. Very little changes. When we first left the Starcke River I expected the outback of Australia to be the same: hundreds upon hundreds of miles of nothingness – sand, sand and yet more sand. But the reverse couldn’t be closer to the truth. Every day has been so very different from the last, so much so that each 24 hrs has seemed like a week, a week like a month and a month a year. It feels like another lifetime ago that we left the shores of the Pacific and pushed our bright, spanking new bikes the first few unsteady yards westwards. And that has to be good thing. Time after all
has such a frightening way of slipping through fingers and disappearing
incredibly fast. But I don’t think any of us who biked into Darwin today can say that of the past 88-days.

Thanks for clicking on each day and keep coming back for a weekly update that will be posted from now on to keep you informed of how things are going. Or, if you would like to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to be automatically sent the updates, send an empty email to: x360-subscribe@egroups.com


Posted on October 21, 2001 4:17 PM