Friday, August 28, 2015

First days

We took our time the first day out of Darwin. Our first stop Palmerston was a mere 26 km away and we rolled on a beautiful bike path along Stuart Highway. In no time we rewarded ourselves at a pub at the destination.

The next day we continued the same path which according to Google would deviate but then return to the highway. 4 km later we realized it was a dead end and that we have to go back to where we started. I really hate going the wrong way, and doing it the first kilometres on the second day doesn't help.

The comfort of a bike path was over and we rolled out onto Stuart Highway. Suddenly it was like riding on rubble and the speed dropped to a walking pace. If the pavement is going to be this bad we're not going to get far.

Wrong turns, horrible traffic and bad road exhausted us and we stopped for the night at the Noonamah road house and camping. It was 20 km short of our planned goal of Acacia, and only 30 km covered in over 6 hours.

The day turned slightly better while I was waiting for my food. One of the waitresses emptied some garbage in a bin just next to me.

Nothing unusual about that. Except that she was topless.

I was a bit confused at first but it soon became apparent that Noonamah road house is also Noonamah strip club. It's also everything else in Noonamah, so I guess it makes sense.

Day 3 started fine. The traffic was much lighter and the pavement slightly better. But not far into the day there was a road work, newly laid down asphalt impossible to ride on.

A girl holding a STOP-sign offered a ride past the construction which we gladly accepted. A few hundred metres down the road she dropped us off and said "that's the end of it". To me, it looked the same up ahead, and sure enough, for 3 km I had to carry my board and gear instead of riding.

Just after the road becomes rideable we meet our first touring cyclist, Adam, and while we're chatting a lady stops and takes pictures of us. She calls herself Ralph and she insists that we stay at her place.

3 days of riding and we've only covered 75 km, including a wrong turn.

Oh well, it's still longer than my entire lifes worth of longboarding up until now.

We don't have a clue.

Nice bike path at first.

The police thought it would be funny to arrest me.

Noonamah, camping / gas station / strip club.

Less traffic.

Trying to clear the road work.

New friends.

And their friends.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Kakadu National Park is the size of a small country and while we will get our share of nature we wanted at least a glimpse of it before we start working our way into the interior.

The trick to enjoy an organized tour is to have very low expectations. The guide was well versed and knowledgeable, the Aboriginal paintings were interesting and there certainly were plenty of crocodiles in the river. It's just that a painstakenly slow walk on wheelchair friendly paths with people twice my age aren't really my thing.

But who knows, a few weeks from now we will probably dream about air conditioned buses and included lunches.

Aboriginal paintings!

Alligator River. There are no alligators in Australia.

There are crocodiles.

We got away from the crowd for a quick hike.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

To Darwin

I was still packing when the taxi arrived, but thanks to the gin & tonics Sofia had mixed during the night I wasn't really sure what was in my bags. No time for regrets I briefly thought before 15 € and 2 km later I remembered why I never go by cab in my home town. Free beer kept the hangover at bay during the rather comfortable 18 hour trip to Darwin, where the last day of a festival provided a few more opportunities for drinking.

First beer in Oz, a VB dedicated to Lars HÃ¥kansson, of course.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Beard

To beard,

or not to beard,

that is the question.

The Board

Knowing absolutely nothing about longboards I had great help from Sofia, who has already done most of the research. With "help" I mean that she did all of it and I did nothing.

The board: Longboard Larry Pusher 2.0, 9 ply drop through.

Widely regarded among anonymous people on the Internet to be the best long distance pusher. One of the lowest boards on the market so you don't ever need to exercise your knee, for effortless pushing all day long.

The wheels: Seismic Speed Vent BlackOps 85mm

Seismic makes the very fastest wheel on the planet. According to Seismic.

The trucks: Caliber II Forty Four

DESIGNED FOR HIGH SPEED AND STABILITY says Caliber in all capital letters on their web page. I won't reach high speed, but stability sounds like a good thing. The road is straight, turning is not a priority.

The hitch: Longboard Larry Trailer Hitch

The only longboard trailer hitch you can buy, which makes it the best longboard trailer hitch you can buy.

The trailer:

A cheap Talawa Lowrider partnered with a Scrub 370 mm wide mountain board truck to prevent it from tipping over. Even though the speed is low and the road is straight, I'll bet my bag will roll over repeatedly. Fitted with a pair of Sharkwheels, weird looking wheels for rough roads.

Add some nuts and bolts, VAT and customs duty and all of this add up to the small sum of 900 Euro.

Wait, WHAT? I paid 900 Euro for a longboard?

I told you I'm insane!