Friday, February 15, 2008

DAY 132: Coolangatta to Brisbane (Chermside)

Thurs 14th February 2008
129 km @ 19.1 km/hr
Distance to date 7783 km (4864 miles)
Dull, occasional shower, warm

At breakfast we decided this would be a good day for Linda to escort me into Brisbane for the last leg of the first ‘half’ of my trip around Australia. She had kindly agreed to do this in view of the difficulty for the visitor in finding of a clearly-defined and safe route for bicycles travelling into the city.
We set off around 0915 just as it started raining, but as it turned out this was a minor shower and the only one during the journey. The route took the quiter roads down to Surfer’s Paradise (28km) and then mostly ran parallel or near the Pacific Highway, which is a motorway here and of course bicycles are not permitted. It’s hard to know why bicycles are banned since there is no difference between this road and that in NSW further south; they both have good shoulders and would appear to be fairly safe, but there you go....
We stopped a couple of times for coffee and snacks but made it to the city (118km) in about 6 hours, with a nice tailwaind. Traffic was heavy in parts, but for 75% of the time it was pretty quiet. I personally enjoyed the trip very much, due to not having to figure out which road to take, and Linda said she enjoyed it too. I never really felt unsafe apart from one short section where lorries were coming close whereupon I got onto the pavement for a while.
It was good to get to Gareth and Jen’s (my partner Lyn’s son and daughter-in law) but I really enjoyed today’s ride, and still felt very strong after it.

However I will have about 2 weeks rest and recouperation now - a ‘holiday’, mostly off the bike. Lyn arrives here from Scotland on Tuesday next, 19th, and from Sat 23rd for a week I’ve hired a campervan for Lyn and I to explore the area. I shall probably set off nortrh for the next section to Cairns around 1st March - I don’t want to arrive at Cairns before April so as to hopefully avoid the wet / cyclone season at the Top End.

After this post I will probably only post a couple of times before I set off again north. In the meantime if any readers would like to donate to WaterAid they can do so by either clicking on the JustGiving tab on the blog and paying by credit card, or if in Australia by phoning WaterAid Australia on 1300 725649. In both cases giftaid can be added if you are a tax payer. Thank you to all who have already donated - you have provided a clean, safe water supply and good sanitation facilities for around 40 people in developing countries - a small village; that's a great result!

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