Australian route

December 27, 2001 - km 51100 - Sydney, Australia

My Australian impressions

Australian flag I am Australia just now. It is summer. If it is a sunny day, it is hot, but it is cool during cloudy days. I cycled from Brisbane to Sydney. My destination is Melbourne.

The road is good. Everything is clean. But everything costs money. A lot of people are very fat. They have a lot of Macdonald's. It looks like the USA. Many people have nice cars, nice houses, nice... But people are not so friendly. Many people look like they don't like tourists, they only like money! I spend money every day to buy food. It costs more than in Asia or Africa, but the seller doesn't smile. It is normal!? Many tourists enjoy to visit this country because it has a lot of nice nature. But not for me. Much of the population lives on the east coast. So, this area is not very interesting to see wild nature. The traffic is too busy. The trailers are very dangerous for cyclists. They don't seem to be afraid to kill cyclists. Because they have insurance? Sydney... it is beautiful city, but I do not like it. Everybody is so very busy...

On the way to Sydney, I met two very nice cyclists. The first gentleman lives in Brisbane. We contacted through the internet. He waited for me at the airport until I arrived at 3 o'clock in the morning! I was so happy to meet such a friendly man! The second family lives in Nelsonbay. We met 3 years ago in Canada. I joined this family for 2 days and relaxed with them. Those were my only nice experiences in Australia.

On the road, I could see some Kangaroos, Gaianos (big lizards), Koalas, beautiful birds. The wild animals are still living and easy to see.

Cigarettes are very expensive. The tax on tobacco is very high. One box is 6 Australian dollars (about US$ 3.00). They want a good health. I think that is a good thing. They should tax Macdonald's more, too!

I will cycle more than 1000 km. I will leave this country December 28th, from Melbourne. My next country is New Zealand.

New Zealand route

January 25, 2002

With Mr. Heinz Stucke in Easter Island

Heinz Stucke repairing a puncture I visited New Zealand and Easter Island after I left Australia. (I am in Chili now.)

Someone said: "there was a record amount of rain this summer in New Zealand." I cycled from Inbercagill to Auckland, about 2100 km from South to North. I spent about 3 weeks in New Zealand, with 2 weeks of rain. I don't like cold rain! I was in the saddle everyday; I slept in the bush everyday. I am a poor cyclist. Whenever anybody saw me, they probably thought that I am a crazy man. The sky was almost never clear, the air was cool and fresh. And the land is beautifully green. A lot of cyclists like this country. Some cyclists say: "It is pedallers paradise!". I enjoyed my cycling each day. During the heavy rains, local truck drivers sometimes picked me up and took me to the next town in their trucks. I was sometimes disappointed by the bad weather. But the weather wasn't always bad. I had nice views only a few times. They were very nice. I enjoyed that time very much.

I could meet my old friend Mr. Hotter again in Christchurch. We met 11 years ago in this town. Of course he also enjoyed to seeing me again. I stayed in his house for 2 days. He is 62 years old. He likes cycling and mountain climbing. I was very happy to meet him again.

I went to the North Island after the South Island. There, I had a lot of rainy days there as well. I climbed Mt. Nagarhoe on a cloudy day. I like mountain climbing. On the last day I stayed in New Zealand, I met Sir Edmund Hillary in Auckland. He is the first man to have climbed Mt. Everest. He is 82 years old now, but looks like still young. He also is a very nice man!

I arrived at the airport on Easter Island on January 18th, 2002. When I left the airplane, I saw there were only 30 passengers. One of them was a tall man who also had a bicycle with him. His name is Heinz Stucke. He has been cycling for 40 years and he is 62 years old now. We already met in January of 2000 with André and the other French CCI cyclists. I said to him: "Nice to meet you again!" He also remembered me. I stayed on the island for 5 days. He stayed for a week. We are shared a small room and we always ate together and we drunk a lot of beer. We also talked a lot to each other. I had a very happy time with him. The strongest cyclists are great and very friendly. He is really a nice gentleman!

I am South America now and Mr. Stucke will go to Tahiti and the USA. Santiago looks like Madrid. Many people are friendly and I enjoy staying here very much. I hope to meet Bernaldo and Luis (who are friends from Madrid) in Chili. I hope to climb Mt. Aconcagua, and then I will go to Patagonia.

Easter Island route