Peter & Barbara Guppy

Peter and Barbara are a Moruya couple who've decided to sell their car, rent their house, and ride around Australia. They keep in touch with us and a group of friends via email - we'll publish their emails here (in reverse chronological order). To follow their ride, click here.

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End of the Bike Ride.

Hi All,

After more than two years on the bikes we decided that we may not

enjoy the ride home from Loxton so we brought our plans forward and

headed back to Tasmania to pick up a 4wd slide on camper now rather

than in a few months time.

Our health is great and Barbara's ankle is not a problem and so we

thought we would keep it that way and just remember the great time on

the bikes rather than spoiling our memories for the sake of a couple

of hundred kilometres.

We thank everybody for the great support they gave us on the road and

will always remember the showers, the water, the fruit and most of all

the encouragement.,

Thank you all

Peter and Barbara Guppy

Adelaide

Hi All,
After a few days in Ceduna Barbaras ankle was a lot better but we decided it was silly for her to ride on to Adelaide and may be do more damage.
How disappointing it was for her to get on a bus in Ceduna for Adelaide and see me riding of after having ridden some seventeen thousand kilometres.
After four weeks of the bike her ankle is a lot better so she will probably ride the short distance from Adelaide to Loxton in a couple of weeks where we will be staying over for the Christmas period. 
My seven hundred kilometre ride to Adelaide was lonely and hard as I did not have the company and encouragement.
Some highlights of my ride were speaking to three schools on the way.
The wheat silos every twenty or so kilomertres were bursting at the seams with last years harvest and the biggest problem is finding transport to take the grain to the ports. Most of the trucks are being used at the mines as it is more consistent work
There have been some seven hundred thousand head of stock moved from Western Australia in the past few weeks because of the dry in the west.
As we were in the driest state on the driest continent I thought I would have a dry ride but in the past few weeks I have had more wet days than we have had since leaving Halls Creek.
I spent a night at Iron Knob after riding in the rain for some three hours.
Averaged twenty five kilometres an hour between Iron Knob and Port Augusta.
Rode through the Simpson Ranges to spend a night with an old school mate at Wirrabara on his farm where I learnt about the crutching of sheep and learning of the problems and the good times of our farmers.Jill cooked a great roast for dinner. Thanks Jill and Robb.
I covered about three hundred kilometres over the next three days to Gawler where I trained it into Adelaide.
Now at a caravan park in Brighton for about three weeks occupying our selves by helping around the park in doing some new garden beds.  
At last we are able to have fresh food every day and can now forget about dehydrated food and it was with great pleasure that we were able to give our two ten litre water containers away.
Where ever you are enjoy the warmer weather and have a great Chistmas with your families and our next update should be in February when we arrive home in Moruya.
Regards
Barbara and Peter

Ceduna

Hi All,
We are in Ceduna but we only rode for four hundred of the twelve hundred kilometres of the Nullarbor.
For the ten days of riding we did ride since leaving Kalgoorlie or about six hundred kilometres we only had two half days without a head wind.and we think that Barbara was pushing a bit hard and it gave her some tendinitis in the area of her right ankle. After six days of rest her ankle is a lot better so we will wait for at least another four of five days and then we will head of at about fifty kilometres a day towards Port Augusta which is about four hundred and fifty kilometres away with a couple of rest days and then south and into Adelaide in time to see the Poms defeat the Aussies in the second test.
Our first three hundred kilometres of hitchhiking from Cocklebiddy to Eucla was on a low loader carrying a forty foot luxury cruiser.
We actually slept on board the cruiser for one night as the wide loads are not permitted to travel after sunset. How many people have slept on a cruiser half way across the Nullarbor.
We then spent three nights at Eucla camping in the cold windy dusty camp site.Barbara saw the Flying Doctor Service nurse who was right about her prognosis but we decided to get to Ceduna so that we could have xrays taken so as to make sure there was no stuctural damage. Now that we know there isn't we will be on our way.  
Our second hitch hike was the five hundred kilometres to Ceduna with our bikes on a truck and us in a car pulling a caravan.
We stopped at the head of the bight and and saw six whales with calves.
We did ride the length of the longest straight stretch of road in Australia (146 klms) and had a couple of great camp spots off road since Kalgoorlie.
We had 2 nights at Balladonia road house which we and 2 other cyclist arrived at within in hour of each other in pouring rain and so we all sat in the road house having chips and egg and bacon rolls and laughing all the time when talking about our experiences.
We are speaking at the two schools in Ceduna today and I am spending time in the sports store helping to assemble new bikes and helping with repairs. No better way of learning more and killing time.
Probably sailing this evening in the local yacht clubs twilight series. 
When we think about it that we have now done about 17000 klms and this is the first problem we have had with our bodies we know if we take it easy for a few weeks all will be well and we will enjoy the rest of our trip.
After Adelaide we are of to Loxton which is near Renmark for six weeks of house sitting over the xmas school holidays as we do not want to be on the road over that period and then the short hop over to home in mid February.
It still amazes us how the early explorers walked this kind of country and found water and ended up where they did.
I think being on our bikes we get a real prospective of how hard it would have been.
Hope you are all well and enjoying the warmer weather.
Barbara and Peter.

Perth

Hi All,
After 13000 kilometres we are now in Perth. This does not include side trips but only from camp site to camp site. The bikes have done more than 15000 kilometres since our departure.
We are looking forward to a couple of weeks rest before heading east and our last long stretch between supermarkets and civilization.
We will send two food parcels across the Nullarbor so we do not have to worry about food but are able to carry extra water. 
In Carnarvan we had good walks and had lunch one day at the end of the longest jetty in a small shed. We must have looked a sight boiling the billy and making sandwiches.
After Carnarvan we started to get into the southerly winds and both of us would rather the hills than the wind but when we got them both together it was tough going.
A day out of Carnarvan we got two flats in a few kilometres on my trailer and realized that the tyre did not look worn but had done 18000 kilometres and had been in the hot weather in Darwin and had softened up so we put on the spare and have not had a problem since. When you consider the bikes have done about 5000 kilometres between them since Darwin with only 3 punctures we have  been pretty lucky.
At the Overlander Road House we met two youngsters riding north and they had more solar panels on their bikes than a manned space ship. They were used for mobiles, computers, a gps each and cam cameras.
We found some great bush camp sites as the vegetation was getting more dense and we were able to have camp fires on most nights.
North Hampton where we stayed for 3 nights is a great little farming town and our spirits were high as we rode into town after seeing green pastures for the first time for more than 15 months. The wild flowers were also starting to show their heads.
We saw a lot of wild goats on this section and we think the kangaroos were as big as we have seen.
We spent 2 nights at Coronation Beach where we had our meals on the top of a lookout as we looked out over the Indian Ocean and were lucky enough to see whales a number of times heading north.
We also spent 2 nights on a cattle station east of Dongara with George and Gladys. We met George as we were riding out of Darwin and he had asked us to stay with them when we came through. We had farm killed steak there and it would have to be the most tender steak we have ever had. Thanks for a great stay George and Gladys.
We then went inland and rode down the midland highway which is a lot quieter but windy for most of the time.
Inland it was very cold and it sapped our energy but what an excuse for hot meat pies and fruit cake.
It was then back to the coast and into Yanchep and Perth.
We had said we would never ride into a city on a weekend but we did and once again the volume of traffic was terrible but we are here and will now rest up for a couple of weeks before leaving.
We are both well but looking forward to the weather getting a little bit warmer over the next few weeks.
Hope you are all well
Barbara and Peter  

Carnarvon

Hi All,
We are now in Carnarvon and wearing thermals and jackets.
We are not used to the cold as we have been above the Tropic of Capricorn for some fifteen months. We crossed over it a couple of days ago and have had cold southerly winds ever since. After Geraldton we will probably go inland a bit so as to miss some of the wind but also to see more of the farming country and the inland towns.
Point Samson is a great area with good beaches and still warm enough to swim in. We are surprised that Perth is not deserted as the caravan parks there and every where else along the west coast are full of people from the south escaping the cold for three months or so. The boats being towed along the highways are huge and in the past week we must have been passed by several hundred of them.
At Karrattha we met John and Pip with their three month old daughter who are doing the same us us but on board their yacht . 
We have had some great bush camps since Karratha in and along side river beds and had a night at Bullara cattle station.
We stayed at Coral Bay for two nights which we were told was a must do but found it a bit like Batemans Bay on an Easter Saturday. They did have good pizzas though.
We have also stayed at a few road houses so as to have showers and some greasy food.It is strange but every cyclist we meet which has only been half a dozen since Darwin the conversation always turns to food and how much water.
The mining camps along the coast are huge with up to two thousand fifo workers and they have everything from pools,gyms and great food but my god they earn it.
We are looking forward to seeing some green vegetation and getting out of this red dirt which gets into every thing but that is only a few hundred kilometres away now and at the same time we will be able to cut down on the amount of water we carry until we get to the Nullarbor.
The food parcels we sent ahead of our selves worked well and now know what we need for the crossing of the Nullarbor. I did have a yearning for a ham and pickle sandwich which we had today after riding for eight days before getting to a super market.
Just before riding into Carnarvan we came to a farmers market and bought some bananas at $2 a kilo and they tasted like the bananas of fifty years, We stood out side and had three each and then rode like road racers into Carnarvan.
We will be in Perth by mid August where we will rest up for a couple of weeks and then it is of to Adelaide.
Have now done over 12000 kilometres from camp site to camp site plus a couple of thousand in side trips or about 2.8 million revolutions of our knees and some 1.8 million short white lines on the centre of the roads. Have to exercise the mind some how don't we. 
We are both well and fighting fit and the bikes are both traveling well although we had our second puncture since Darwin yesterday.
We will be half way across the Nullarbor for the Grand Final so we will have to make sure we are at a road house so as to see Geelong as the premier team.
Heres hoping.
 
Peter and Barbara 

Point Samson (50km NE of Karratha)

Hi All,
We were dreading the ride from Broome to here but have found the 800 klms was not all that bad..
It is flat with services some 300 klms a part but we had no problems with water or food.
On the way we have seen goanas, foxes, wild cats and plenty of kangas.
Saw an eagle sitting on a termite nest looking as though it was waiting for us to run over some thing so it could have lunch.
Had some terrific camp sites all to our selves and also a couple with others close by.
A lot of tail wind but if any one else says it is all down hill from here we will ---------.
We stopped for nights at Sandfire and Pardoo road houses and once again the greasy food was great.
When we were riding into Port Headland there was a strong head wind and the traffic was horrendous and I guess what we have to expect when riding into populated areas.
Port Headland is amazing. We did a tour of their port area. They are loading 4 ships at a time with up to 20 waiting to come in.
The super structure is amazing. Millions of dollars in buildings just to load these ships.
3.5 klm long trains with six engines.
3000 people working in the area 24 hours a day.
The night after Port Headland we met 79 year old Bill Staudy who is riding supported from Broome to Perth which will be the end of his 10 year ride around Australia. He has done the rest of it unsupported in stages since 2000..  
We are staying here for 4 days and swimming in warm water and sleeping in 20 degree comfort. Sorry to those down south.
We are both well and get amazed by what we see. Still love our fruit cakes and demolish them rather quickly. We have also found tinned chicken breasts and small tins of chicken just like the tuna tins which give us a bit of variety.
Have now done 11000 klms and now only have the Nullarbor to to do after Perth and then we are almost home.
.
Hope you are all well.
Peter and Barbara

Broome

Hi All,
What a month we have had.
10 days of rain with some of them sitting in our tent surrounded by mud and eating muesli for 3 meals a day as we could not use the stove in the tent. All apart of touring. The wet was meant to be finished but it came back with avengemce. It is good though riding in the rain when it is 30 degrees
We arrived at Turkey Creek and Halls Creek soaked to the bones and never have egg and bacon sandwiches with hot chips been so good.
We stayed at Halls Creek for 6 days and went to the biggest morning tea which we helped set up and spent most of the day talking to the elders which we found most enlightening. The next day we were involved in a group discussion at the medical centre mostly about giving up smoking but also on general health and looking after your own body. Once again well worth the time.
We also went to the weather station every day and learnt a lot about the BOM web site and how to read it. We also saw all the equipment they have and now it all makes a lot more sense to us and will help us plan our future days and know when to and not to ride.
We stayed in Halls Creek until the dry came.
We have now used our sleeping bags a couple of times which is the first time for about 12 months.
We heard dingoes almost every night after Turkey Creek and often saw them. 
After Halls Creek we got to Derby a total of 567 klms including 3 one hundred klm days in 8 days including a rest day in Fitzroy Crossing. Great tail wind.
Derby is fascinating with it's history and 12 metre tide varience. We also had the best chinese feed since we left on our trip.
We stayed with an old family friend  who stayed with us on some weekends in Perth why he was at boarding school in Darwin who I had not seen for 50 years. He was originaly from Leopold Downs cattle station and what he does not know about the area is not worth knowing.
We have bush camped for all of our nights since leaving Katherine other than when in towns when running hot water is a joy and fresh food is fantastic after 4 or 5 days of dehydrated food.
One thing we have some times found hard to get is metho for our stove so we will just carry more until we get further south.
We will stay in Broome for 5 days before heading down the west coast.
We saw our first magpies today since southern Queensland. Makes us feel we are close to home. Only about 5 to 6 thousand klms to go.
We have now ridden well over ten thousand klms not including the side trips we have made.
We are both well but not looking forward to the cold as we go south.
Football wise Geelong the best team of them all are on top of the ladder.
Peter and Barbara

Kununurra

Hi All,
Arrived in Kununurra this morning about 800 klms from Darwin.
We did not think our fitness had dropped as much as it had so the first 400 was hard work especially in the hot weather.
It has now started to cool down and only reaching about 30 degrees but we are on our bikes at first light and ride about 60 klms or so and then take it easy.
The escarpments since Victoria river have been eye boggling and they change colours as the sun moves.
We have seen dingoes and a lot of brogas and whistling kites and we are probably not far away from the magpies again although there have been a lot of butcher birds and we also saw a rufous whistler yesterday.
Andrew from South Coast Camping organised our new tent to be delivered to Katherine for us as the old one was showing a bit of wear after being put up some 350 or more times.
Bikes are going well after being fully service by Spokes in Palmerston.
We slept right on the NT and WA border last night and had fresh fruit coming out of our ears from people getting rid of it at the quarantine station. Fresh fruit is the one thing we miss on the long stretches as it is to hard to carry.
We now only carry noodles and Continental dehydrated food with tins or packets of tuna as our main food source as well as our own made up muesli but we do hog into the steaks and chips at road houses.
One of our favourites is the dehydrated potatoes with surprise peas and tuna.
Damper is always great to have with our cup of tea. We have cut out having coffee other than on our rest days as we do find it dehydrating.
We see a lot of rivers and creeks and would love a swim but we are to wary of the crocs so we have decided to wait until south of Broome. 
Our next destinations are Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing and then Broome about 1000 klms away with all but about 300 klms being fairly flat. 
As we are in town we are now heading of to find a roast dinner with a heap of vegies and gravy like my grandmother used to make.
Enjoy your days where ever you are.
Peter and Barbara

On The Road Again

Hi All,
After eight months in the Darwin Region we will be on the road again in the morning on the second half of our trip which will take us through Broome, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and then home to the ever inviting Moruya which at this time is still the only place we want to call home. .
In Darwin we spent six months working at a wholesale nursery which sends large quantities of plants to all parts of Australia and overseas.
We have seen crocodiles, cane toads,lightning and heard thunder like you would not believe and rain where we were not able to see to the end of a car bonnet. We have had 1350 mls since the beginning of this year.
After spending nine months travelling through drought areas over late 2008 and some of 2009 with farmers desperate for rain it makes people like us feel helpless.
Both of us are now looking forward to being on the move again even if we do have to carry more than 30ltrs of water on some stages between here and Adelaide.
We are also looking forward to having a swim in water which is less than our body temperature..  
It will also be good in a few weeks time when we are not always wet with perspiration. It has also taught us to just keep on drinking water by the litre as if we don,t we soon have head aches and sore eyes.We always have a big drink of water after tea or coffee.
We returned to Darwin last night from visiting our daughter Jessica in Dubai and a few days in Singapore on the way home.
From the opulence of Dubai to our three man tent and two bikes is almost ridiculous but we know where we would rather be and for those at home in Moruya you do live in the best place in the world.
If any one wants to come and share the water carrying over the next few months please feel welcome although we do now have our food and water supplies down to a T. We hope.
The next few thousand kilometres should be our most interesting of our whole trip and weather wise we just hope for the tail winds which we have been told about..
We will send our next email from somewhere towards Broome.
Peter and Barbara

Darwin

 

After about 9000 klms we arrived in Darwin not real believing we had arrived there.

After having 2 days at Malaranka swimming in the natural springs and enjoying an enjoyable time with Denise and Mark Arundel from Canberra who are doing much the same as Barbara and I but are heading to Broome and the west coast before the wet sets in.

We then went onto Katherine and Adelaide River where we saw the war graves where some 240 Australians are buried. All around this area are signs of the war.

We spent 3 nights at Edith Falls where we had some interesting walks along gorges and beautiful views with the sunset hitting the rock faces. This was by far the best camp spot we have been to although we were told there were crocodile traps out there we were not game to swim.

We are now in Darwin until the end of the wet season swhen we will head of to Broome and Perth. We are both looking forward to going through a wet season and see the changes in colour and vegetation.

While in Darwin we will be on a wholesale nursery house sitting a house and working around the nursery and getting ready for the wet season. We are told the build up to the wet is the worst time.


--
Peter and Barbara Guppy

Mataranka

Hi All,
Now only 400 Klms to Darwin.
Barkly Tablelands was a great ride of over 500 Klms.
Great Lagoon at Camooweel with bird life every where.Had 2 nights in a hotel nearby.
Some of the cattle stations in this area are well over a million acres with there homestead some times more than a hundred klms from the road.
Bush camped for about 10 nights between Mnt Isa and Tennant Creek.
Find the transmission towers great places to camp.
We are averaging about 18 klms per hour on most days now.
Did 170 Klms over the past 2 days.
Great roast dinners at Barkly Station but as is the case in most road houses no groceries other than coke, chips and booze.
Tennant an eye opener on life.
Stayed at Banka Banka Station which is on 3 million acres.
Camp sites are getting harder to find the further north we go.
I do not know how many caravans we have seen but it is well into the thousands.
Thank you to the Moruya Weeks for making the effort to see us.
Now done about 8000 Klms and have done about 1.6 million revolutions of our legs. Knees are feeling well lubricated.
All is well with us and loving it. Seeing things which are real eye openers. What a great country we live in.

Peter and Barbara.

Barkly Tableland

Another letter received by staff at Moruya Bicycles. Peter and Barbara are cycling the Barkly Tableland, one of Mark's favourite parts of his trip(s).

 

Hi Guys,

   We put the photo of the sunrise in so that Rodney could dream on. We are now about 1/3 of the way across the Barkly Tableland and I think we will enjoy the long break in darwin before we head down south to Perth and home.

   The bikes are going well although we did not have them serviced in Mount Isa as the mechanic was on holidays. But they will be OK to Darwin. We have changed the flag on the back of the trailer and it now reads "WINEBIKO" instead of Winebago. Very cold at night time here but great during the day.

   Mark was correct about the birds in this area. Heaps of them. We are very keen on having kangaroo tail soup from road kill but need my grandmother's recipe but she died 30 years ago so we may have to give it a miss.

   Ask Wayne from the Hardware Store when he is going to come and join us, should be riding over from Perth in August 2010.

Cheers for now,

P & B.

Mt Isa

Hi all,
From Isisford to Winton good camp sites were hard to find as there is not much vegetation and the towns are a lot further apart.
We are finding caravaners are great in offering us water at any road side stop.
We are now able to carry 20 litres of water as we have given away carrying any heavy food such fruit, vegetables and tinned food and now use dehydrated food and dried fruit and our own muesli mix.
We then spoil our selves when we get to towns.
One experience we had was a cattle truck passing us just as all the 50 odd cattle on board decided to have a pee. Needless to say we had the camp site to our selves that night.
As the weather warms up we are leaving camp by first light and then setting camp by about 1pm.
Had our first puncture for almost a thousand klms just one klm from Cloncurry.
Last night we had a great camp site on the side of a river all to our selves with our first siting of budgies and perfect silence from the cattle and road trains.
We find it hard to believe that we are in Mnt Isa. Now only have about 1600 klms to Darwin and about half way through our journey.
--
Peter and Barbara Guppy

Isisford (100km South of Longreach)

Hi All,
Since our last email we have,
1 Ridden 40 klms into Surat in the pouring rain. We went straight to a motel for hot showers and what looked like a ute load full of hot chips.Just what we needed.
2:  Had more light rain on our way to Roma but nothing like before. It was the edge of the falls they had on the coast.
3: The roads are really flat now although we have spent most of the time climbing a little bit which means that you do little coasting but we are now over the hump.
We are riding for 2 out of 3 days now and that seems to suit our bodies.
4: Met Bill Reid's sister (the first principal of Carrol College) the other day having morning tea on the road side.
5: Queensland has great free or for next to nothing cost camping areas in most of the towns with showers and toilets nearby.The towns are really working together to get the nomads to return.
6:Just out of Augathella disaster struck in the way of a broken trailer arm. We had to hitch hike our gear the 50 klms into town while we rode in.
Mark from Moruya Bikes came to the rescue and had the part to us in 2 business days. Thanks Mark.  
We stayed for a week in Augathella because of bad weather at the race coarse with hot showers and watched the Brogas, emus and bustards roam the coarse and at night time the howling of dingoes.
7; On the way to Tambo we went over the highest point on Queenslands main roads and where water run of goes to the Darling system to the east and the Lake Eye to the west.
In Tambo we checked our tyres and oiled our bikes and packed our bikes in the morning and was just about to leave and yes you guessed it we found my back tyre was flat.
8: We rode 60 klms to Isisford yesterday averaging over 20 klms per hour.
9: The weather is cold in the mornings but warm during the day with great sunsets and moon rises and good camp fires sometimes with other campers who give us good advice on roads and camp sites etc. 
10:Next stops will be Longreach and then Mnt Isa by the end of June and then Darwin by the end of August. 2400 klms to Darwin from here.
We have now ridden more than 6500 klms and loving it.
11: For those down south have a pleasant winter.
 
Regards to you all.
Peter and Barbara 

St George

Hi,
We are now in the sunshine state.
We used the stock routes out of Moree and they gave us great camping spots.
We did camp for a couple of nights and were disturbed by mice under the tent.We found out when we got to Mungindi that they were in the middle of a mouse plague.Worse than swine flu.
We stayed in Mungindi for 2 nights in the police station bungalow.No bars in site.
We then went to Cubberoo station which is 30klms from Mungindi and then 8 klms off the highway.
We stayed there for 10 days house sitting 21 kelpies, 46 geese, 20 chooks, 1 swan and 2 pidgeons.
The neighboring farms would always ring us if they were going to town to ask if we needed any thing and I believe they did this anyway at all times. A really good spread out community.
While at the house we would trap up to 10 mice a night.
Jude from Cubberoo on her return drove us to Lightning Ridge for us to recommence our riding. Thanks Jude.
We camped 15 klms north of Lightning Ridge in amongst the opal mines.
Would not want to sleep walk.It was at the highest point in the area and gave us a great orange sunset and moonrise.
Crossed over the Queensland border just before Hebel.
We have been riding up a slight hill all the way from Lightning ridge but yesterday we averaged 17klms per hour over 74 klms.
We are both well and eating heaps.As yet we have not needed to eat any road kill.
We have seen pigs, emus and a lot of kangaroos both dead and alive.
Have not seen another touring cyclist since leaving Melbourne.
Now heading for Roma and Mnt Isa.
 
Pete and Barbara

Moree

Hi,
Every thing is much further away up here but have found a good use for wine bladders. Great way to carry water.
Although we had great showers in Dubbo after roughing it for a week the chinese feed was a real let down after that was all we talked about on the way into the town.
We had do do 10klm on the Newell highway to get out of Dubbo. So glad we have chosen not to ride on the highways. It was bad enough even on a Sunday.
Went through to Binaway which made us think about how long we have been away. Now 213 days.
Still play and learning bowls where ever possible.
Have now at long last finished with the hills for a few thousand Klms.
Around Gunnedah we must have seen a thousand caravans who were all on their way to a country and western festival.
Had 2 nights at Split Rock Dam. Great spot but one of the toughest dirt hill roads to get out. Huge hill.
Camped in the showgrounds at Manilla where they opened up the showers and kitchen for us. Always made to feel welcome in the small towns.
Had 3 wet nights over Easter with plenty of mud but we just ate, read, ate and slept. Always have a couple of books to read.
Had all our zips on the tent replaces in Wariada as they were starting to play up. Stayed in a hotel for the night and the bed felt as though we were sleeping on a curved banana. we are now so used to a hard surface..
We now head for Mungindi where we are house sitting 20 kelpies for 2 weeks.
Then of to St George, Roma, Winton and Mnt Isa.
We are both well and enjoying our time. Averaged about 17klms per hour over the past few days even when starting of with 15 litres of water.
Hope you are all well.
Peter and Barbara.
 
PS Making bread and butter pudding on our Trangia today.

Parkes

Hi,
Yes! We found the cat eye thorns just before the Murry River.
3 punctures in one go.
None since as we have stayed on the hard surface. When we bush camp we unload the bikes and then carry them to the camp site and stand them upside down. Doing this we have done almost 700 klms without a puncture.
Camped on the Murray for 3 nights at Tocumwal.
We have been given lessons on lawn bowls. Great game.
Camped in a shearing shed the other night where the farmer had a full blooded dingo as a pet.
Camped on a farm on beach on the Murrumbidgee. Thanks Paul and family for your hospitality.
Stayed in a hotel not far from Grenfell where it was real rough and ready. Extension leads for power. No fly screens and the jug etc were not operating.Used our stove for tea but they did cook us a reasonable meal.
Camped on a stock route not far from a farm which had used 4 old Melbourne trains for their home.
All in all we are going well and averaging about 30klms per day including rest days. 
Now heading for Wellington and Coonabarabran. Hope to be in Mnt Isa some time durring June.

Violet Town

Hi,
Just to let you know that we are on the mainland and heading for Parkes and Dubbo.
Thanks to the Roses of Melbourne we were driven past the fire areas to Strathbogie where we had 5 very pleasant days in their house overlooking a babbling creek.
We are now on our way and looking forward to a few flat roads with tail winds.
Peter

Penguin

Hi,
We are still on the move.
Highlights over the past few weeks since ST Marys.
Once we went east from St Marys we could not but notice how much drier it got.
In fact the Esk Highway was closed the day after we finished on it due to fires.
We went to Hobart from Campbell Town by bus (left our bikes in Campbell Town) for 2 days when there were 140 klm winds all over the island with fires and a lot of damage done.
Would have been good if we were travelling in the right direction.
From Campbell town we headed west towards the high land lakes which are about 1200 mts above sea level. On the way we had 40 degree days and ended up sheltering on a farm and in the park for a night in Cressy. The farmer gave us home killed lamb chops which really came up well with his potatoes etc.
We then went up the mountain through Poatina a church group town but what a view over the midlands of the island.
We spent 2 nights at Arthurs Lake where we had fresh trout for dinner.
We were going to spend more time up in that area but when we saw the forecast for cold weather we decided to head for the north coast.
To get of the plateau we had 50 klms of dirt road with log trucks and fast driving locals. Found a camp spot at Brenoa on the Great Lake.
We then after a couple of hours on dirt started our decent down to Deloraine. It was a sealed road but it was so steep that we ended up walking down 7 Klms as my brakes with the heavy load were over heating. Beautiful views all the way down and cold with fog one minute and then 30 degrees a few minutes later.
We had a night in Deloraine in a caravan park and I think we both spent half an hour in the shower getting the dust and dirt off us.
When we did our washing the water came out almost black so we did it again.
We are now changing all our light coloured clothing to dark colours. We have become experts at looking through opportunity shops.
Found a great camp spot on the Mersey River at Kimberly where we spent 2 nights with some of the days just lying in the river.
Visited a farm while there where they milk about 600 cows in 2 hours.
Saw the topiary displays at Railton and the murals at Sheffield.
Then had a night at Devils Gate which is the dam wall for the Barrington Lake.It is also where some of the electricity comes from when needed on the mainland.
We are now moving west along the north coast and finding great places to camp. Penguin would have to be the best little town we have stayed in since leaving home.
Our been shoots are growing well in panty hose and make stale bread taste that little bit better.
I have now lost 3 sun hats but always find another which is a little more colourful so that we can see them.
We are enjoying our riding more all the time and Barbara actually did 50klm an hour down a hill last week. When we first left she probably would have walked down that hill.
We will be leaving Devonport on 22/2/09 for Melbourne where we will spend a few days having our bikes serviced and then head north towards central NSW and then Queensland.

St Marys

Hi,
Now in St Marys the town that everything closes up at 12 noon on Saturday and stays that way until Monday.
Since our last email we have spent most of the time in Douglas Apsley Park.
Great walks good swimming and birds in abundance.
We also spent time on Seymour Beach all on our own with good beach walks with nice weather.
We are now getting much better at reading the weather maps and now know when to run foe a camp ground with camp kitchen etc.
We will now head west towards the highlands and will be back on the mainland in late February.
Only a couple of big hills to go in Tassie and then onto the undulating roads on the mainland.
 

--
Peter and Barbara Guppy

Scamander

Hi,
Only a short one just to tell you we are still alive and well.
Since Bridport we have been to far the far north east coast of Tasmania and within view of Cape Baron Island.
Climbed over Weldborough Pass which showed us what hills are all about.
Stayed in St Helens for 2 weeks so as to stay out of the Xmas traffic including week in a shack offered to us by a couple we met at carols by candlelight.
Had xmas lunch on top of Capitol park over looking St Georges Bay.
Rode out to the Gardens on the Bay of Fires. Very similar coast to the South Coast.
Now making our way to St Marys and then over to the Highlands.
Looking forward to being inland as we have now spent 18 weeks on the coast.
We are both well and feeling fit. 

Bridport Tasmania

Hi,
Highlights
Arrived in Devonport and guess what? It was raining.
Spent the first day riding through poppy fields. Probably why Tasmanians are so happy.
At Port Sorel we camped for 3 days as the weather was bad and the same went for George Town.
We camped in the Asbestos Ranges for a night which was absolutely beautiful with ferns etc. Woke up the next morning with poring rain and we had a 12klm climb out on a clay surface and much to slippery for us to ride so we ended up walking.
Stayed in York Town at the site of the first settlement in Tasmania and then went onto Beaconsfield and had a $6 roast with about 8 vegies.Slept the night there in the football pavilion which was part of a government grant to the town after their recent misfortune.Now heading for Gladstone and then down to the east coast for Xmas and then west from St Marys to the high country.
We are finding we can ride for about 2 days in between bad weather but we have to expect that down here.
We are now growing been shoots in plastic boxes on our bikes and what a difference they make to our meals. All we have to do now is work out a way to have tomato plants.
Both of us are well and enjoying ourselves.
Met a couple in George Town who have ridden from Cairns with a 2 year old in a triler on the back.
 
 
Peter and Barbara

Tasmania

This was a letter received by Moruya Bicycles from Peter & Barbara.

Hi Mark & Crew and Downhill Rodney,

All is well with us and now in Tasmania. We have had a lot of uphills and Rodney will be happy to know we do enjoy the downhills. Thanks to you all our bikes are great with only 1 puncture. We will be somewhere around Hobart for Christmas.

We are both feeling well and enjoying the planless format of our ride.

Hope the alterations are coming along well.

P&B.

Melbourne

Hi,
Yes we are here after about 1900 Klms.
Since our last email we have
Finished the Great Ocean Road seeing the London Bridge and other great views along the way.
Yep! We had our first puncture.
Stayed in a football pavilion in Warrnambool. They were already training for next year. They take football rather seriously down here. They felt sorry for us and opened up their showerss for us.
Stayed at Hopkins Falls for a night. It is one of the widest water falls in Australia.
Stayed on a dairy farm in Terrang where Wil Whitley spends his spare time doing up old machinery and restoring old wooden toilet sheds.
Spent hours just wandering and looking. He had Barbara in the shed helping with the milking. She soon found out it is not only milk that comes out of cows.
Did a 80klm day the next day into Colac.
We spent several hours out of Banockburn riding through beautiful green valleys on the way to Lara.
The whole area away from the coast is very dry and we really noticed the lack of stock and the farmers told us they were even having problems growing grain.
We cheated as from Lara and caught a train into Melbourne where we will be for a week or so before heading for the
Apple Island.

--
Peter and Barbara Guppy

Port Campbell

Hi,
The many highs and and the few lows since Phillip Island.
We had fish and chips in the park on the Island and we have never seen seagulls like these before.They were actually trying to take the food out of our mouths.
We had a good trip across Westonort Bay with the locals from French Island who make the weekly trip to do their shopping.
What a happy and close community it must be on that island.
At Sorrento we met Flip the Dutchman who was also pulling a Bob Trailer.He has so far done 49 countries and had just finished his trip from Darwin to Melbourne. Some character and a really helpful.
The car ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff saved us going through Melbourne and the boring ride to Geelong.
We stayed for 2 nights at Point Lonsdale on a park on the foreshore where could sit on the rocks and watch the container and tanker ships entering Port Phillip Bay. What a lounge room and dinning area. 
We rode into Ocean Grove in the rain and were heading to the library to spend some time until it cleared up (learning to read the weather maps) when we were stopped by an 84 year old who had been driving around Australia for 20 odd years and wanted us to stay with them for a night so he could hear our story.
He got out all his maps and showed us good national parks and roads that we should use.
He has now rung us 3 times to make sure we are OK and not lost.
The surf at Bells Beach where we camped was huge but there was still 30 or 40 surfers out there.
At Anglesea we stayed with Ed Bourke who since the beginning of the year has been advising us on equipment and routes etc.
He and his wife have ridden around Australia and are also the organisers of the Simpson Desert race which they have both done a number of times.He was very helpful in showing us ways to lighten our load. He also cooked us a roast with veggies layed on.
We do travel with a big load but we are happy and it also makes us even in strength and comfortable at night.
Camped down at Joanna Beach one night and a kind motorist said to not bother going out the same way as we came in as the other road was shorter.
It was shorter as he said but it was just one big hill which got steeper every time we went around a bend. Took us about 6 hours to walk 8 klms.
We arrived at Lavers Hill and ordered the biggest hamburger they could make with a bucket load of chips. 
We now understand why people flock to this part of the coast.
The cliffs and the apostles are a site to be seen.We took all day to peddle 18 klms as we went out to every point of interest we could. Just magnificent.
Staying tonight at Port Campbell at a camp site with another cyclist who has only a few days to go before he finishes his around Australia ride in Melbourne.
He has slowed right down sinc leaving Adelaide as he does not want the trip to finish.
The caravan parks along this coast are very expensive so we bush camp most of the time on points etc.
We will finish the Great Ocean Road in the next couple of days.
We have had mostly head winds along this coast but when we turn back to Melbourne in about a week we should have tail winds. Ha Ha
After Melbourne it is Tasmania for about 10 weeks and then to follow the sun north.
We are both well and loving what we are doing and eating like it is going out of fashion but not putting on weight and sleeping for a good 8 hours every night.
Hope all is well with you all.
Barbara and Peter

Apollo Bay

Hi All,
Just a quick note to say we have so far really enjoyed the trip along The Great Ocean Road including the ferry trips and sleeping on the famous Bells Beach.
Will give all our highlights when we arrive in Warnambool but atleast you know all is well.
Peter and Barbara

Phillip Island

Hi,
Just on 1200 Klms since leaving Moruya.
Highlights of this week have been:
Fresh fish at Port Franklin bought of the fishing boats as they returned.
Camping on tennis courts in Welshpool. To windy to go on.
Staying in a 5 star guest house in Inverlock as the guest of the owner who had just ridden from Perth.
Stayed for 2 nights at Walkerville near Cape Liptrap. Great walks and overlooks Wilson Prom once again swam in the very cold ocean.
The rail trail from Foster to Fish Creek and from Wonthagi to Anderson.
Meeting the Gwyynes of Moruya at Cape Patterson for lunch at the surf club where we ended up camping.  
Camping on the cliffs at Kilcunda in heavy winds and cooking a curry whilst holding the stove down but what a curry.
Arriving in Philip Island with a tail wind for 30 plus Klms.
The views around this area are some thing to see.
Will now do 2 ferry trips to the start of the Great Ocean Road and then around to Melbourne before crossing to Tasmania.
We have no problems with the bikes or joints etc and we are becoming very good at cooking nice meals on the Trangia stove.
Mostly fresh veggies etc and now that we do not have the distances between towns we can be a little bit more choosy.
Barbara of coarse insists that I carry the wine for her.
All in all we are very happy and enjoying the trip.
 Regards to you all.
Peter and Barbara 

Bairnsdale

Hi All,
A great week of riding with the high light being the Rail Trail from Orbost to Bairnsdale.
We camped on the side of the track for 2 nights and had the other 3 nights in Swan Reach and Metung.
The number of times we have driven down to Melbourne and not had time to go to Metung makes me sorry as it is a great spot for sailing, fishing and just walking.
We will be here for a couple of nights and then of to Paynsville and then Sale and the South Gippsland highway towards Philip Island.
We are both more than well and really enjoying the leisurely pace we are going at.
We have not seen a snake yet but saw the biggest goanna I have ever seen.
We have stayed with 2 people who we know from Melbourne but now live up this way and between them they have planted close on 6000 shrubs and bushes on what was empty paddocks.
Thats it for now.
Peter and Barbara

Orbost

Hi,
We are now in Orbost having 3 nights of just sitting around and letting our bodies have a rest.
We bought our first news paper yesterday for a week and we both agree that the people out there in our world are a lot more interesting and nicer than a lot of those that you read about.We have met so many nice people so far on this ride.
Mallacoota is a great spot with good fishing and really good camp sites and the lakes are something to see.
We rode out of Mallacoota on the Saturday hoping we would miss the log trucks along the Highway but on the Monday the road was horrific.
We bush camped for 2 nights along this section
We walked a lot of the way as it was not safe to ride on the day we got into Bellbird but 8klm out of Bellbird we turned of the highway to Cape Conran where we camped for the night.
After the turn of we only had about 20 cars pass us in 2 days all the way to Orbost.
We have now also left many of the hills behind us but I think it is them which have hastened up our fittness and we both feel remarkably well.
The mouth of the Snowy is some thing worth stopping at to see.
We will be leaving Orbost on Saturday to ride the Rail Trail to Lakes Entrance and Bairnsdale in about a week.
Nothing like a steak and mash when we stay in a camp ground but noodles stock surprise peas and Soya sauce really fill up those gaps between the mouth and toes.
Time now for our weekly meat pie and sauce
 
Will probably send our next email from Bairnsdale.

Tathra

Hi All,

We are at Tathra and all is well.

Had a couple of days at Mimosa Rocks which is a delightful area.

It was a 3klm ride in but we also think it was 3kl up and down in that 3klm.

We have been swooped by magpies and the weather has not been all that good but we have stayed dry and warm.It looks as though the next few days will be quite nice.

Barbara is riding realy well and getting stronger by the day.We are only doing about 30kl per day for the first few weeks untill we are used to pushing up those hills and our bodies  become used to the changes.

We will be in Eden on Saturday and then into Mexico on Monday.

Regards to you All

Peter and Barbara