The arrival at the airport in Perth was without problems. The first days I spent with Brian, Colin and Jackie in Australia. Heike, whom I met in Bangkok, got us in touch cyclingcharlotte.com.
Brian and Colin drove together from Sweden to Singapore last year and now work as bicycle couriers in the city. After a few days, I had to say goodbye to them. Brian accompanied me for a while.
Through Perth I was able to cycle paths to Middland. From there I first rode on the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail. The 59 km long route from Middland to Mundaring follows the former route of the old Eastern Railway.
From Mundaring we continued on the
Unfortunately, the Kep Track ended after 75 km in Northam. From there I have tried again and again to drive along the railway line or the water pipe. These have a small gravel road on both sides for maintenance. I tried as often as possible to avoid the Great Eastern Highway.
The highways in Australia can not be considered as such in my opinion. They are just too tight and most riders do not know how to overtake cyclists properly. That's why I tried to avoid gravel roads as often as possible.
During a short break in Merredin, I met Ken from Japan. He started a few months ago in Shanghai and rides to New Zealand. We decided to drive together to Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
Ken did not want to cycle on the dirt roads because the freewheel on his rear hub was broken. So we fought daily against the traffic on the narrow Great Eastern Highway.
The water pipe followed mostly the highway. This pipe is called the
The pipeline is still in operation today, supplying more than 100,000 people in over 33,000 homes, as well as mines, farms and other businesses with water. After 9 days we reached the town of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
At the visitor center in Kalgoorlie, we were told that Great Central Road is currently being flooded due to heavy storms. So I decided to take the train to Perth for a few days until the situation improved.
Ken wants to be in Brisbane by the end of May and drove through Nullarbor Plain to Adelaide. That's why I had to say goodbye to him.
Back in Perth I had to organize some things for the outback. In addition, my tent is slowly over after 3 years and can not stand the rain anymore. So I had to get a new one, which took a lot of my budget.
Back in Kalgoorlie I had to buy some supplies. Between Kalgoorlie and Alice Springs (1900km) there is hardly a real village and the few shops there are extremely expensive. That's why I had to carry food for almost 30 days.
Until Leonora I drove along the Goldfields Highway. Then I turned off towards Laverton. The Great Central Road starts a few miles to Laverton.
The route passes through several aboriginal areas and you will need two permits for the crossing. I was able to apply for both permits at the Visitor Center in Laverton.
The waiting time can take up to 5 days. Fortunately, the Visitor Center staff had good relationships and could speed up the process for me. After a rest day in Laverton, I was finally able to attack the Great Central Road.
The Great Central Road is a largely unsealed Australian outback highway that runs 1126 km from Laverton, Western Australia, to Yulara, Northern Territory (near Uluru / Ayers Rock). The road has its origins in the early 1930s, when Warburton was founded as a mission settlement and the supplies of Laverton were delivered over a rough bush road.
Although the rippled paths are not always easy to navigate by bike, I liked the area immediately. The seclusion and loneliness out there are just fantastic. That's exactly what I missed so much in Asia and Africa.
But I also had to fight with some real pests: the flies. The only help not to turn completely is a head net. The animals try to fly into all possible body openings.
The biggest challenge for cyclists is the long distances between rest areas. Sometimes I had to take over 30 liters of water, since there were more than 200 km between the rest houses and I only managed 50 km per day on the gravel roads with strong headwinds.
I filled a large duffel bag with all the food and supplies I did not need, and always gave this bag with a few drivers to transport to the nearest rest house. This saved me a lot of weight.
After 9 days I reached Warburton. My plan was to spend a rest day at the Roadhouse campsite and continue the next day. However, I did not get far when I left.
On the first ascent to Warburton, I heard a familiar noise on the rear wheel and knew immediately what the problem was: a broken spoke. Angrily, I began to replace the spoke and discovered a crack in my rear hub.
I was immediately aware that this meant the end for me. The incident could not have taken place in any worse place. Frustrated, I pushed my bike back to the roadhouse.
The owners were very friendly and provided me with a room until I found a solution warburtonroadhouse.com.au. That was not easy.
The nearest bike shop is located in Alice Springs, 1000 km away. There is no public transport in the area. Aircraft can not take bikes and most vehicles are chronically overloaded. Delivering a spare part to this remote area would have taken about 2 weeks and cost a lot of money.
I had to wait 5 days to finally find a transport. Amelie and her partner work for the Maruku Art Gallery, which collects woodcarvings from individual Aboriginal communities and sells them to tourists in Uluru and Yulara maruku.com.au.
On the one hand, they enable the Aborigines to maintain their tradition while securing a small income. I was allowed to load my bike on the roof and accompany the two for a day. They took me to Yulara, the starting point for Ayers Rock.
After that, I had to search again for 4 days until someone finally took me to Alice Springs. Siegfried is originally from Germany and has been living in Australia for a long time.
At the moment he is traveling through this huge country with his Mercedes Sprinter and still had some space to take me. After saying goodbye to Siegfried in Alice Springs, I first had to make a plan. The big question was how to proceed.
After this experience with my hub I knew that on the one hand I needed a trailer to relieve the rear wheel and on the other hand to be able to transport enough food and water.
Since my financial situation does not look good at the moment and it would have been enormously expensive to fly home with my bike and all my luggage, I decided to store all my luggage here in Alice Springs and to work in Switzerland to fly there and make some money and return to Australia next year.
This was not an easy decision for me. I would like to cycle endlessly. There is nothing better for me. However, this is quite difficult without money.
Therefore, I soon had to say goodbye to Dusty with a heavy heart. Now I have to go home unexpectedly for a few months. I'm looking forward to getting back in the saddle as soon as possible.