Hot and Sandy

Travel writing, pictures and stuff for people I know. Quite a lot of cycling talk, and some semi-controlled ranting. Hiking, outdoor and two-wheeled stuff, perhaps a little computing when it's worth talking about. Meandering thoughts.

Tuesday, April 28

Outback Report

More photos in the gallery and more problems with the cars- one
Pathfinder has suffered 3 punctures in 5 days and the other (which just
had 4x off-road tyres) has had a big hit to the sump, which has now
started leaking oil. When we got it on the ramp, the local mechanic was
surprised how little protection was under the vehicle. His verdict - "a
school-run SUV". The hit wasn't even that big! If only we'd been able
to get Hiluxes. Other news is that we went on a nice little jaunt to
Lake Torrens, an enormous national park near here. I say near here...
actually it's 98km each way on a sheep station road which steadily
becomes more extreme. All the stuff about the most interesting places
being difficult to get to seemed true though - great views and loads of
wildlife (pics uploaded already). Work going OK, feel like I've been
here forever. My plans to ride the Canning Stock route on a bike might
be on hold for a while, but I still want to do it.

Wednesday, April 22

Nissan Pathfinder Boo

It seems that this Hummer-like vehicle isn't as rugged as it seems. I
have been using one for about a month for a 40km each way commute on
dirt roads. It has not fared well, with parts falling off and the "all
terrain" tyres getting torn to shreds. The number plate holder,
anti-vibration rubber mounts on boot, interior trim and various big bits
underneath have started to rattle and clatter... We'll see what the
rental place say when I take it back.

Tuesday, April 14

Back Onsite

Back from the Easter weekend and we got rained out - who'd have
thought rain in the outback! Cue lots of jokes from locals about
Brits bringing weather with them... Getting used to driving, so the
trip to Adelaide didn't feel like a big deal. Not a lot of funfactor
here, but plenty of work to do so I'm fully occupied. More photos
should be online in the next couple of days.

Friday, April 10

Adelaide - 10,200 miles from home

Had a pleasant long drive down this morning, passing several bloated
(dead) roos in the middle of the road, and an unbelievable amount of
miscellaneous roadkill. Since I last updated this I have seen many
more live roos and a few native emus (as well as a giant wedge-tailed
eagle, 1.5m across!) In the city I checked into the same hotel I
stayed in before. Last time I got a 'corporate' booking and had a
terrible room with no breakfast, this time I booked myself on the
website and I got a great room, free brekkie and a complimentary
bottle of South Australian Shiraz! Nice. Found out today that
there's a really old law in New Sth Wales that Good Friday is a dry
day - nowhere is allowed to sell alcohol. I also stumbled across
another fact that is worth a mention; we're near the longest fence in
the world. 5,300km of fence runs through Sth Australia, designed to
keep native dogs off the fertile lands used for grazing sheep. Have
got some more photos to put online at some point. Only real news is
that it's still hot, it's still dry and I'm not quite bored of the
outback yet, although the green and pleasant lands of Beds are
sounding quite appealing!

Thursday, April 9

Settling In

Getting used to the harsh realities of outback life- no internet at
home, very little in the way of shopping and a 45min drive to the
supermarket. May be heading down to the city for Easter though - a
mere 6hr drive! Weather has been lovely - warm and sunny with a
refreshing wind. Have been burning around in a massive 4x4, which I
enjoy. I have been thinking, and I like the idea of finding a truck
here and importing it to the UK (no rain so no rust, and RHD). We'll
see how that idea goes down when I get home. To see the sort of thing
I mean, search for ozi_truck in the photo gallery. Missing home and
dog a lot.

Monday, April 6

Woomera - 9,874 miles from home

Powered through a 6hr drive from Adelaide to get here, along roads which
were dead straight and featureless except for the odd 'roo. Once in the
town I settled in really quickly- although it's comfortable there is
nothing to do! Miles and miles (and miles) of beautiful outback desert.
I have been taking loads of photos, which I'll throw online at some
convenient time. Boots and kit I ordered have been working out fine.
More as and when I get on the web- things are difficult here regarding
connecting to the rest of the world. Good times, missing home though
:-( PS > Got a bit burnt, the comedy Tunisian cheche has been a big hit.