Monday, February 29, 2016

"Welcome to the Nothern Territory"... that featureless flat view behind the sign is pretty much it. But there is an occasional slight hill or curve to keep me guessing. I found out about riding in heat - I thought that it would be better without the windshield so I stood up to see & was bombarded with an oven blast. No, keep the windshield; what's more, if I close the helmet visor it helps shut out the heat like it would the cold! But it is cooling down some: only 106F today.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

*****HEAT! ******    The sign said "Welcome to Queensland Outback"...
I have never felt heat like this:  44C (111F) this afternoon and 46C (115F) forecast for tomorrow. The good news is I can ride in this stuff; all I gotta do is stop every hour or so. You wouldn't believe how good 111 degrees in the shade feels after the ride in the sun (nice wind, though).
*Yes, children; still always wearing the riding gear!
Note - there is an email address in the "about me" profile, an alternative to comments.

Friday, February 26, 2016

On my way to Darwin, after touring the civilized part of northern Queensland. Got to 38C (100F) this afternoon. But this really cool Caravan Park in Pentland has electric, showers AND a pool - all for $10 AU ($7.50 US)! Now for the pic of the day (really, there it was, I'm not making this up...)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

An amazing assortment of Queensland environments today! From Mt. Garnet to Ravenshoe - woods dotted with sometimes huge termite mounds, quite a sight. Then on to Atherton through a national park and forest; through mountains with tight twisty roads & tunnels of trees - just beautiful. On to Port Douglas through farms, cattle ranches and woods - thru another set of mountains near the end. From Port Douglas to Cairns was the most amazing coast ride I have ever run - 25 miles huging the rocky/beachy Pacific coast where the Great Barrier Reef lay just beyond (pic). Then thru Cairns itself - city. Now on to Innisfail thru a long valley with a really tall mountain chain (5,287 ft) just barely to the west (crests thru the clouds!) and another smaller set of mountains between me and the coast. All that with pure sun & a few fluffy clouds with a comfortable 30C, what a ride!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

OK, another Australian snake attack in the news...

I would like to point out that if it happened all the time, it wouldn't be news. I did go through this town 10 days ago and it was a fine little place. Been camping here for a month now & haven't seen a snake, but I am taking precautions. When I do mention about how everthing here is deadly, people shake their heads and smile - just be careful & you'll be fine! So here I am, safe & fine! Australian drivers are much more careful and polite, so I find less actual danger here than the US.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A government agency with a sense of humor - how odd...
Living in a tent for 5 months is a bit daunting & in the category of "something new", I stopped in at a nudist campground! Taylorwood (near Proserpine, Queensland) is run by Linda & Rogin, who made the experience quite astonishing by proceeding to treat me like an old friend - I left with more food then when I got there! So if you're ever in the neighborhood...

Saturday, February 20, 2016

I found this feature in the blogsite...WOW, I am impressed with the audience! Thanks, everybody and I hope I find more interesting things along the way. I have also encountered really good audiences for my music here & that has been wonderful! Apparently I have a talent for making people cry... (but it's about being happy! - albeit  the hard way) I may be heading into some rain on the northern tip. I hear there's not a lot on the west coast ride, but let's hope that's an exaggeration. 2 months into my retirement & having a blast!
98F today - Another beach, another bird...


Thursday, February 18, 2016

It's really weird to be heading north and have the Pacific to your right!
Northerners; it was 96F today, 100F a couple days ago. So I found this cool beach...

I have been seeing these turkey-size things & wondered what they are -Australian White Ibis. 
This particular bird just had lunch by using his long beak to poke into a garbage can and tossing stuff out. People here don't pay any more attention to them than we do seagulls.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Some Australian oddities...
* Against all odds, "Tassie" in pronounced "Tazie"
* "Manure" is simply called "cow poo"
* An "auto body shop' is called a "Smashup" facility
* Not one single "pay at the pump" is to be found here
* Fruit cannot be transported across some "state" lines (fruit flies are OK)
* Sunglasses are called "sunnies" (cool!)
* Breakfast? - "brekkie"
* "Mossies" are a cute name for mosquitos
* Truck past me with a sign "Reptile Removal Service"
* "Roof Painting $160" - all the roofs are metal here

Friday, February 12, 2016

Behind my campsite, about 130 miles south of Sydney. About time I have actual proof that I am in fact in Australia! I think the big guy (center) is about 5ft tall

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Back to the Big Island!

Started the tour of the Australian mainland. Here the big bike has a little more room. Just to give you an idea of its proportion, here it is parked behind an SUV on the side of the road - takes up an entire parking space and dwarfs the guitar sitting on it, which is in a pretty big case! Lots of free campgrounds in Australia - some communities provide camping in some rest areas. This must be in order to help provide relief from the common syndrome indicated on a bizarre sign I saw today;
Can't help wondering how that would look on the multiple choice written test...

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The PICTURE of retirement! (The "Ron" method)
The "Great Bay" of the Tasman Sea with mountains of Bruny Island across it...
& as always with my tent, a big bike and my guitar! Do NOT try this at home!

Monday, February 1, 2016


This picture of the loaded-down bike was taken on the mainland peninsula (Arthur's Seat) near where the ferry was to travel to Tasmania: I am now near Arthur River. Check out this spot (GPS below) where I get 5 bars of 4G, like everywhere I have been so far. Good luck with that AT&T... Might get a little rain tomorrow but the rest of the first week in Tassie promises to be quite pleasant - highs in mid 80's, lows to low 60's.