Friday, October 19, 2007

DAY 14: Day off in Albany

I’m glad I’m taking this day off from riding - a chance to recover from the efforts and hopefully rejuvenate.
After a quick dash to Albany Printers to collect my business cards for handing out to contacts to give details of my website / e-mail, and hopefully raise more money for WaterAid) and a quick breakfast, Dan, Dave, Sian and I drove off to nearby Albany Primary School for the show.
At 0930 after we had set up the library in preparation, around 120 youngsters trooped into the library and sat cross-legged in expectation. Dan led off and explained to the kids how they could do whatever they want with their lives; that they should not worry if what they do doesn’t appear to fit in with what is ‘expected’ or to peer pressure, and confirmed that everyone is different and we aren’t expected to all do things in the same way. It was pretty inspirational and motivating stuff and the children loved it. The idea I think is to unleash potential and to avoid stifling youngster’s enthusiasm as often happens with some adult attitudes.
The show developed into Dave’s cartoon-drawing lesson (he is a professional cartoonist) and the concept of “everything you draw or write (and do) is right, and nothing is wrong” further developed. A simple lesson in life but not often taught it seems to me - but Dan and Dave aim to correct that with an impressive series of bookings lying ahead including a tour of New Zealand, Japan and Wales. Their website is - have a look!
the guys left for the airport at lunchtime and I did some stuff on the computer before heading into town for shopping - there aren’t too many shops ahead for the next few days so I’ve stocked up on food. Still working on carrying dense foods that where possible need bulking up with water i.e. less weight to carry. I’m currently sat in D & P’s lounge admiring the view across Albany Bay (see pic on right).
I mentioned yesterday that Dave currently lives in Glossop, Derbyshire, and is heading back there today - a coincidence that I used to live there for several years and my son Ashley still does. Dave used to live ion Buxton where another of my sons Karl still lives, AND he used to hjave a red Scirocco like mine. He comes and goes to Australia as Dan and he develop the business.
Wind is blowing up at the moment, hope it doesn’t blow up into a storm, and hope it’s from the west too as I’m heading east. It's forecast strongish winds tomorrow from W /SW I've just heard on TV so that's not too bad for me - possible rain in afternoon though.

DAY 13: Denmark to Albany

Above pics: railway crossing 12km W of Albany / ' Tourist' route road 30km W of Albany

53km @ 17 km/hr, cool, cloudy, tailwind

Comfortable night in the motel and after breakfasting on early-morning fresh Denmark Bakery pies, hit the road at around 0715. Met by a long hill before the legs warmed up, but after that the road was pretty flat and I had a tailwind again, so able to cruise at 18 km/hr without much effort. Stopped to admire the pelicans (pic on right) at a big river and some 30km from Albany took the tourist route off to the left. This road was much quiter and still flat, only downside were persistent flies that could only be shaken off at about 30 km/hr. I was entering Albany by noon when I got a rear flat. I didn’t expect that given the strong puncture-resistance reputation

of the Schwalbe Marathon Supremes plus the slime plastic strip I also added between the tube and tyre. I do recall running over something that crunched loudly not long before so maybe some glass? There is a lot of broken glass at the side of the road I’m afraid. The other doubt in my mind is how effective the plastic protective strip is - there was some evidence that a rough line had formed on the tube near to where the edge of the strip would have been.

I phoned Paula (tonight her and Danny will host me via Couchsurfing contact) and she said to just let myself into the basement flat - cool. I found the house OK after a killer 33% or so hill and unloaded my stuff, changed and walked down into the town. Completed 2 out of 3 outstanding tasks - buying a new (warmer) sleeping bag; ordering some business cards to promote the website and Wateraid, but failed to resolve my ‘phone problem’. This is about how to use e-mail on my phone without excessive cost. Rather than find and spend time in an internet cafe / Telecentre it’s nice to be able to e-mail blog text straight into the blog via the phone, but last time i did this it cost me around $9 (4 pounds). The alternative was switch from prepaid to monthly account and buy a much cheaper data package, but I counted without the administrative demands of Telstra; despite me emptying my pockets I was unable to produce enough security to open a monthly account - passport, debit card and UK driving licence were not enough, so I had to give up. I’ll rethink this and maybe just carry on using Telecentres etc. - I would still have to use these to upload images in any case.
Forgot to mention a few days ago, when cycling to Walpole, that I have officially ‘turned left’ at the bottom of Oz now and am heading east rather than south. A small achievement but mentally the next section of the ‘lap’.
I may stay a second night here if acceptable to Danny and Paula and recover a little, feeling a bit weary today.
Had a lovely roast dinner with Dan, Paula, Dave McCleary (from Glossop where I used to live and where my son Ashley still lives) daughter Sian and 2 other friends, a very interesting evening. One of the guests was a teacher at Albany primary School and tomorrow Dave and Dan will do their 'show' there and I'll be going along too - this is a mind-opening presentation for school children that teaches motivation and development using art as a vehicle. More about this in tomorrow's blog. All these people were very positive to be with and I'm glad I got to stay here.
Off to bed quite early in my new sleeping bag - seems a bit warmer than the last one which will have to be 'recycled' now.
Footnoe - I'm surprised to be a bit saddle-sore - despite many long distance rides in the past I haven't ever really suffered this way. Hope it gets no worse.