Water and gold

Water and gold

Everything went smoothly when entering Perth at the airport. My luggage was not checked even though I had cleaned everything for days. What immediately inspired me was the bike path from the airport into the city. An absolute luxury!

The first days I was allowed to spend with Brian and Colin. Heike, whom I met in Bangkok, contacted each other cyclingcharlotte.com. The two cycled from Sweden to Singapore last year and now work as bicycle couriers in the city.

Brian accompanied me on the departure a bit further. I cycled all the way to Mundaring on the . The 59km long route from Middland to Mundaring follows the former route of the old Eastern Railway.

Again and again I was approached by other cyclists and some invited me sometimes for a coffee and were very interested in my trip. From Mundaring we continued on the .

Kep is a noongar word for water. The Noongar are indigenous Australians living in southwestern Western Australia between Geraldton on the west coast and Esperance on the south coast.

Before the European settlement, the Noongar were not a single tribe, but consisted of 13 groups sharing a common culture and a similar language with some dialectal differences. Today, much of the culture of the Noongar has been lost.

I really enjoyed driving on the secluded roads. Without constantly having to concentrate on traffic, even though I did not move fast. Unfortunately, the Kep Track ended after 75km in Northam.

From there I tried again and again to drive along the railway line or the water pipeline. These have a small gravel road for the maintenance work on both sides. I tried to avoid the as often as possible.

The highways in Australia can not be described as such in my view. As a rule, these are only narrow, two-lane roads with a lot of traffic and hardly offer space for cycling.

The water pipeline mostly followed the highway. This line is referred to as the . The Golden Pipeline was the world's longest freshwater pipeline with a length of 540 kilometers when it was completed in 1903. It connects Lake C.Y.O'Connor near Perth with Mount Charlotte Reservoir near Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

The pipeline was planned from 1896 and completed in 1903, thus the fresh water supply of the growing region was ensured. It was built by Charles O'Connor. For the choice of the route, it was decided to follow the route of the Eastern Railway at Northam.

O'Connor had to contend with widespread criticism and hostility from the Western Australian Parliament as well as the local press. He committed suicide in March 1902, less than twelve months before the completion of the pipeline.

The pipeline program took advantage of the gold discovery and brought great prosperity to the former flagging regional economy. The pipeline continues to supply more than 100,000 people in over 33,000 households, as well as mines, farms and other businesses.

During a short rest in Merredin I met Ken from Japan. He started in Shanghai a few months ago and rides to New Zealand. We decided to ride together to Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

To be on the road again with a companion was really fun. Ken has not often spent the night in the tent and so far barely cooked himself.

Here in Australia you need a tent and a stove. Not only because of the large distances between the villages but also because of the high food prices.

Most of the nights we stayed at a rest stop, where there were almost always toilets and water. Ken did not want to cycle on the gravel roads, as the freewheel of his rear hub was in the bucket. So we fought each day on the narrow Great Eastern Highway through the traffic.

Especially the big road trains I found impressive but also dangerous. In Australian overland transport, road trains primarily ensure the supply of remote regions. Since many areas are not connected to the railway network and the distances are very large.

For Australian truck combinations, from a length of 36.50 meters, it is called a road train. A maximum of 53.50 meters in length, a maximum vehicle weight of 132 tonnes without a towing vehicle and a maximum height of 4.60 meters is permitted.

If such a thing with 80 km / h and a mere meter distance drives past one this is quite impressive. Most of the time I jumped my bike off the road when the monsters came running.

At the Visitor Center in Kalgoorlie we learned that the Great Central Road is currently flooded due to heavy storms. So I decided to take the train back to Perth for a few days until the situation got better.

Ken wants to be in Brisbane by the end of May, so he drove through the Nullarbor Plain to Adelaide. After I said goodbye to him, I visited the gold museum and the gold mines in Kalgoorlie.

In the northeast of the city lies the Golden Mile, one of the largest gold veins in the world. The Super Pit Gold Mine is Australia's largest open-pit gold mine, the fourth largest in the world.

The open pit extends over about 3.5 kilometers in length, 1.5 kilometers wide and over 600 meters deep. In the mine, the Uluṟu would have sufficient space and annually produces 850,000 ounces (28 tons) of gold in the open pit.

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. Therefore, I had to get a new one, which strained my budget pretty much.

In addition, the unplanned forced break also gave me a little time to plan my route through the Australian outback again. After 10 days in Perth and Fremantle we went by train back to Kalgoorlie.