|Sarah and Chad|
|Sarah with her the family budgie perched on her hat|
|We went to the Brisbane and visited the GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art). Some amazing work and is Australia's most visited Gallery....That fact has to speak volumes to those that knock modern art.|
|David looking down over his valley|
|Chad walked over the whole farm bare-footed. David and he took me on a tour of the farm and all the work he was doing to clear the Lantana weed from the higher ground|
|Just over the hill and the Gold Coast creeping fast|
If it is boring me, I hate to think what readers are thinking….bloody fool (batty), is my emotion half the time. Yet again I have gummed up the piston rings, and this time using just 10% veg oil. I am surprised as much as disappointed that I seem to be spending half my time in oily circumstances fixing the bike, but as I've mentioned before each time it happens I get to be the beneficiary of great kindnesses and experiences that just driving around would not ever produce. I broke down this time at a garage long way from a large town, but luckily the lady who owned the garage, Joyce, let me take the bike back to her hotel and use her shed, some 30 km away. Her boyfriend put Batty on his trailer and I booked in for a night or 2. Unfortunately I broke one of the piston rings, so I ended up hitchhiking 800 km to Cairns in a 60 ton truck, driven by the chatty and generous Kevin.
|Kevin strapping down the curtains|
|Jack in his workshop|
As luck would have it Kevin was driving south so for the 1st quarter of the journey I was with him. Then, much to my frustration and his delight, a girl in a passing car flashed her apparently beautifully proportioned naked top half at him. Alas I was out of view….. that was the 3rd time it had ever happened to him in 30 years on the road. Kevin had to drop me at Townsville as he had a collection to make in a different direction, so I ended up trying to find a lift for a couple of hours. It is very disconcerting not known when one might find a lift, but at 9 o'clock at night salvation came in the form of the Devil. Devil, or Lloyd as his passport denotes, reminded me that 'devil' spelt backwards spells 'lived'. And this man certainly had including 7 years in prison for various acts as a gang member of the Bandidos, a worldwide biking gang. Although this gives an impression of a pretty outlaw type character, it is balance off against his wish to build a community for disadvantaged children, as he was, so that they could have opportunities that he did not.
I got back to Carmila at 4 o'clock in the morning to find a key in a room from me. The next day I got Batty going again with all the help and spare parts that Jack had provided.
A vague plan in New Zealand with Miriam, the CyclingDutchGirl.com, to try and meet in Australia was all of a sudden a reality, as a text message reported that she was only a day away, and roughly en route. She cycled 90 km to Ravenswood, and Batty drove about 500 km, both over 10 hours ...I was a lot more knackered than she. It was great catching up and hearing how her tales on the road that found her at rodeos one week, and helping out at a properly the next, all linked by her quest to find remote and wild trails through the Australian bush.
|Our respective steads in front of the Imperial Hotel|
|This was the other option in Ravenswood.....|
|I loved this sort of sculpture park of rusting iron machinery from the gold mines over the years|
At the end of next week I need to get back to Cairns and spend a few days with Jack who has kindly offered to help me get some more engine work done. Although that is running okay, there have been some consequences of all the dismantling and troubles to the big end bearing and as he is so well-connected and happy to help, it makes sense to do that here rather than in places unknown. Not only will the company be great, it will give me hopefully some peace of mind for the next few countries, particularly as I will be running only on diesel and not any veg oil. This now inevitable situation is humbling to say the least, having started out with such intent, named this blog about it, have kind friends create a fitting logo, and a wish to carry a message about the use of near carbon neutral and sustainable contemporary fuels is all down the pan. If only I had carried on using the 1st engine…..