Yes, I leave on March 1st. Today I do have something to say - quite a lot has happened in fact. First of all I want to grumble about the weather, as we like to do in this damp, little island. It hasn’t been damp of late, sunny most of the time, but cold, literally freezing the last few days and to use the well-worn forecaster’s phrase : in some sheltered glens might drop to -10 tonight. I also have the cold, as they say in these parts. It was brought on by my last return journey from Edinburgh, when a chilly, easterly wind whipped me along at the giddy heights of 12.1 mph, yet gave me a touch of man flu. I’m glad it’s now and not during my escapade. It wouldn’t stop me though, and in fact today I was beetling about Glasgow on my clunky machine. It really needs a service and will be treated to one before I leave of course.
So, anyway… Today I sent messages to Australians who use http://www.couchsurfing.org/ and www.warmshowers.org/ (the two travel hosting websites I use - the first is general and the second for touring cyclists). This was after I’d plotted the route from Melbourne to Cairns. I looked to see where hosts were available, worked out the distances and then put in all the dates. I have 60 days in total in the country and after a few days are subtracted from each end, this left 53. Starting the first leg as ‘day 1’ from Melbourne, averaging 60-70 miles a day and taking roughly one rest day a week into account, I reached Cairns on ‘day 53’, which was exactly what I wanted. The headache bit was over. I have only written one request to each location and if the say no (surely not) more requests will be despatched.
But that’s all rather boring. I am actually a tiny bit excited by the prospect of meeting some of these people I’ve contacted, as some of them seem eccentric through my grey, British eyes. I’ve come across quite a few new-age types and others who come across like they’ve just arrived ‘off the boat’. I don’t mean this in a derogatory way; just that they look like pioneers. All the pioneers in Britain have pioneered there way out of it.
From what little knowledge I have, I absolutely adore Australia and Australians. In a way I don’t want to know too much about it, so that I can drink it in with unsullied taste buds. As an example of why I feel so positive about my trip, I’ve already received four replies to my requests before 9 am their time - I only wrote them a few hours ago - during the Down Under night - and one of them got back to me at 5.26 in the morning his time!