Leave a trail so that others may follow

Yes I reaffirm, I am travelling around Australia!
Yes I have sold all my possessions and closed my practice to travel, explore, adventure and write!
Yes I’m leaving my family and friends to be a “hobo on a bike.”
Yes I’m using my remaining years to not conform to living the way we all are and can’t tolerate much longer.
As Ralph Emerson so eloquently stated
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Despite me typing this post on my iPod touch using wifi, I am something of a Luddite.
I am working to release myself of all the ties that bind me and techno goodies are hard to let go.
In my former life I was a mad gamer. Growing up poor, we had the park, I only played Nintendo at my friends house at sleepovers. Once I started earning good money I bought up games like they were cheap crack for a long weekend.
It’s now a lil slice of history repeating itself for me. My closest friend in the world has video games at his house and I will be staying, for a time, with him and his lovely wife soon.
Picture two Irish wolfhounds barking at 2am playing tag with each other…in a Winnebago.
That’s us when we are playing co op games with alcohol in the mix.
I promise now Sam, I will not keep you both up!
I have recovered well enough to get going! I did indeed have concussion, with what felt like a hangover to the power of ten for two days. Mild nerve irritation to both my hands, sprained forearms, some scratches and bumps.
I heal amazingly well and fast. I put it to good genes, nutrition and as I’m a therapist, able to treat myself for most things. I’m ready to go!
I’m off to Adelaide ASAP, it’s summer here in Australia and Adelaide has been roasting due to forty five plus heat, bushfires and thunderstorms.
Perth is starting to warm up as well.
It’s been beautiful here, low thirties and sunny.
The Nullaboor is getting hot. Real hot.
After much thinking and my little skittle that just happened, I had a shift in perspective.
My previous mindset was “I’m riding around Australia on my loaded touring bike”
I’m now “travelling around Australia with my loaded touring bike.”
I missed the travel window I knew I had, due to my setback.
It’s now a highly risky venture to pedal over 1,000km in mid thirty degree heat across dry Western Australia and then go through another 1,300km of close to fifty degree desert with thirty six metre long road train trucks all the way.
The big issue is water.
Australia is credited as one of the driest and harshest continents of the world. South Australia is touted as the driest state within that continent.
It is a long stretch between water stops and I can only pull so much on my bike for drinking, cooking and washing.
In the first week out I went through a minimum of six litres of water (and electrolyte drinks) a day! The average temperature that week was twenty eight.
Can I do that stretch at this time of year? Yes. Will it be fun? No.
Is the chances of heat exhaustion, sunstroke, dehydration, 3rd degree sunburn, windburn and let’s not forget road accidents high? You bet.

So, one ticket to Adelaide on the Great Southern rail.
I was able to get a great deal on my bike, all the gear and of course me, getting to Adelaide in relative comfort in two days. I have never ridden the train, I’d always travelled by plane back and forth, due to the immense distance. Different method but still part of the adventure. My family and friends that have consulted with me are all happy that I’m travelling smarter for this leg due to the conditions.
I will cross that stretch of Australia on my bike!
It has now become my own personal Everest.
It itches at me to do it, simply because, in a Neitszche/Kierkegaard sort of way, this is one of the trials of asceticism, I have set myself, to exercise my will for spiritual purpose.
Existentialism 1-0-1 “I hurt, therefore I am.” ūüėú

So Adelaide by Tuesday. I will be seeing many, many people there so expect to be there for around a month. It will give me time to plan the next leg of the trip, say hello, get in some monster 200km rides through beautiful countryside. Tie up loose ends from my past and then take my leave. Along the south east coast, down to Tasmania, up around the east coast across the “top end” and then down the west cost and retrace my trail to finally (!) bike along the Nullaboor to finish back in Adelaide. Well that’s the plan right now ūüėČ

I have had tremendous aid and support from people near and far. People emotionally close to me and complete strangers (who have now become friends).
I am so very grateful for all the kind wishes, help, advice and support!
Thank you to everyone involved in my adventure so far.
Thank you to everyone I have met on the road.
Thank you also to all the people reading my blog.
I have had great feedback about my start with writing and it has helped me to continue on with the choices I’ve made and given me confidence that what I wish to share, people will enjoy reading about.
When I get to Adelaide I will recap my initial week on the road, I didn’t this week due to my hands just not cooperating with my will.
Stay tuned for the next instalment
Smoky Ranger

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Give so as to receive.

Today is the 20th of December 2014. Seven days till, I embark on my life affirming adventure. Having lots of “catch ups” and farewell drinks, Christmas is next week and everyone is under massive pressure to “get ready for the Christmas break”. Its truly amazing to see what was at one point in the history of the world, a¬†nouveau slant on Ancient northern hemispherical calendar practices,¬†now an excuse for a comingling of¬†consumer and capitalist greed.

All in the spirit of “giving”.

I was at Elite cycles in Beaufort street in Northbridge, Perth, Western Australia, having my bike serviced and tweaked in preparation for next week. (A massive thank to all the staff, you guys are awesome, thank you for helping me make this happen)

I had an hour to kill, so I wandered over to the park and sat under some beautiful old trees and watched the world race by me. The only other person I saw, staying still, was a 60 something homeless man. He was dressed in what looked like his old tradesmans work blues. No shoes and very minimal personal effects. It was lunchtime, many people came out of everywhere to catch a quick bite and some harsh 39 degree summer sun, before heading to work again. No one saw this man, trying to stay cool, except for one woman. She had wandered to the park, strolled around and away again. She strolled back about ten minutes later, with a cooked chicken from Woolworths and a large 2L bottle of water. She strolled over to the elderly man, squatted down, talked with him and gave him the food. Both were smiling as she walked away in the midday heat. He ate the whole chicken, with gusto!

I watched the crows frolic in the shade, pecking around, eating what they found and sharing it with each other.

Think on this, O gentle reader…

We are the only animals on earth that procure food to horde it and then sell it back to each other. WHY?

Paraphrasing Mark Boyle from his TedX seminar:

“Prostitution is to sex, what buying and selling is to the acts of giving and receiving.”

For the second time in two years, I am giving away almost everything I own and now reducing my possessions to what I can carry on a bike. I know as my confidence in my innate abilities as a Natural Person rises to the fore, my reliance on “things” will reduce. I still aim to give as freely as I receive.
Giving and receiving are two points on a spectrum of part of the human experience of social interactions.

What do you receive by giving?

Smoky Ranger

“…Focus on what could go right.”

Finished setting up my new tent from the outdoor store Kathmandu, its past dusk.

I have one of my torches in my mouth and the mosquitoes are buzzing about. The air is warm and slightly balmy, no hint of a breeze.

This gives me a taste of what it will be like on the road in two weeks time. Its nice to have the toilet and electricity close by.¬†The backyard I’m camping in, I have come to know extremely well, yet now, doing something a tad unfamiliar makes it seem totally new. I love that feeling of “newness” when things are viewed again with a gaze cast from a different perspective.

Good metaphor for my life!

I look to the sky as I set my pegs and see a smattering of stars…oh to see the sky unblemished by the glow of street lights and such. To have the canopy of the heavens be my roof as it has been for the people of the Earth for countless millennia.

“Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.” – Aristotle.

I suspect for a time, I will become a little of the former. Can I harness this experience to continue my inner journey of becoming a Natural Person?

Through my Will, I have made this decision to renounce the world and go my own way, yet to a Higher Will, I trust. To lead me, feed me, shelter me and guide me to what is meant for me. Many things could go wrong.

Yet… I choose to focus on what could go right.

I have all the equipment I need, supplies all set. Finished with my clinic work this week (much to many peoples disappointment). My bike is set and ready to go, my rides are getting longer. 200km in 8hrs¬†on good roads is doable, till I loaded the bike with everything and attached the loaded trailer! 60km felt like 200km ūüôā Riding fully loaded¬†plus trailer makes it feel¬†like a giant rocking tandem bicycle with no second rider. Once momentum picks up, the weight propels you forward on flats and declines amazingly. A veritable road train of a bicycle. Uphills, my Wayward brand¬†”¬†Nullaboor” touring bike, switches gears smoothly and the rest is¬†up to leg/lung and willpower. I know my bike and my body¬†can do this!

Joyously I anticipate the open road, unexplored (by me) vistas, the randomness of events to come.

Oh yes, I choose to focus on what could go right.

Smoky Ranger