Rockhampton-Darwin by: JK | Wed 6 Oct

Well, Rockhampton was where my east-coast cycling adventure finished – from here to Geraldton, in WA, I will be catching buses. (Thanks a lot Greyhound – you have made my journey that much more doable.) I can rationalise this in any number of ways: the distances between towns is now getting very large; the towns (and populations) are getting smaller; the temperature/humidity is rapidly increasing; and I wish dearly to get home to my family for christmas. Aside from all of that, my purpose is to speak to people in order to help them reduce their energy consumption, their energy bills and, consequently, their greenhouse gas emissions. Whilst a ‘road-trip’ across this wide, brown land holds certain drawing power, the need to do what I am trying to do holds more.

So it is onto the bus I go at Rockhampton, bound for Townsville.

Aside: Buses emit up to 8 times less GHG emissions per passenger kilometre than long-haul flying. Since aircraft use most fuel when taking off & landing, this ratio is even greater for short-haul flights. When travelling by bus, you also get the opportunity to take in the sights of the countryside – something that is nigh near impossible on an aircraft!

The bus trip was comfortable and pleasant, took about 12 hours and covered over 720km – this would have taken me about 9 days had I been riding!

I “performed” for the media in Townsville the next day, gave blood and had a look around this fine harbour city before giving my presentation that evening. I am due to leave for Darwin early the next morning – this truly is a whirlwind tour of Australia.

At 6:30am I front up at the Greyhound bus terminal in Townsville to commence my marathon trip to Darwin. I am due in after 5pm the next day after traversing over 2,500km. We see a number of cyclists braving the heat during the course of the next day and a half but I am certainly glad I am not one of them. When we do this trip in retirement, we will have to consider carefully the time of year or opt for coach travel as well. As we move away from the coast, the humidity drops but it is getting blisteringly hot. I can only imagine the quantity of drinking water it would be necessary to carry to maintain hydration. In this part of the world, the old saying “hydrate or die” holds grim portents.

In Darwin I am staying with my brother-in-law -in-law (my brother-in-law’s brother-in-law) and his partner. They have recently had a new addition to their household in baby Rex and I am looking forward to meeting him for the first time. Unfortunately, Libby & Rex have gone to Sydney for some medical attention so it is just us boys – I have enjoyed spending time with Ben in the past so this doesn’t present too many issues. There have been some hiccups in the process of obtaining talks in Darwin so I will try to organise something on the fly early in the week – I don’t know how likely I am to get a good audience given the lack of advance warning but I will try anyway.

I managed to get a community room booked at the Casuarina Library on short notice but, unfortunately, the audience is just not there! <sigh> At least I tried.

Tomorrow I leave for Broome and from there I will go on to Geraldton to arrive at 10am on the 10/10/10 – please visit http://www.350.org to see the relevance of this date – it’s not too late to organise something in YOUR area.

Cheers for now.

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    2 responses to:
    Rockhampton-Darwin

  1. Duncan Knox says:

    Hi John, great to hear and see that you’re travelling well and recieving some audiences along the way. You’re a braver man than me, as I don’t think that I could spend a week without the family let alone 4 months or so! You’ll be happy to know that we’ve been collecting plenty of water in the tanks with all the rain of late and with the warmer days our solar hot water and solar power are working so much better. You take care and you’ll be home before you know it, showing all those pic’s.
    With love from the Knox’s down under.

  2. John Heywood says:

    Hi there John, I am continuing to follow your travails with geat interest and admiration. It must be lonely and maybe disheartening (?) at times, but also very rewarding; and you have met so many interesting people. We can have a good natter when you are back home and slipping back into ‘normality’. Keep it up and best wishes, J1

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