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Three Wheels Around Oz

June 2002

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Wednesday, June 26 - Burke and Wills Roadhouse - 3,618km/2,261m

Received another 20 pictures from Lyona.

I also received an e-mail from Keith, ( Con's father who lives in Tring, England.)

"Con has just called and is very well. It was 07:45AM Wednesday (10:45PM Tuesday here) having spent the night at Burke and Wills Roadhouse, about to set off towards Cloncurry. The roadhouses are a bar (with Victoria bitter, Caslemaine 4X (a Queensland brew) and another beer), dining room and camp site. Locals remain warm and friendly. He has been able to get water and is now carrying about 20 litres (weighing 20 kilograms - about 45 pounds).

He hopes to be in Cloncurry on Thursday (Wednesday night will be a bush camp) and Mount Isa on Friday and Saturday. He plans to stock up with provisions there, including a replacement head-torch, which he lost back in Mount Garnet nearly 2 weeks ago - Mount Isa is the next place that is likely to have them! - and some shorter tougher tent pegs, as the ground is so hard long ones simply bend!

He says these are the worst roads in Queensland, much of them being not more than about six feet of rough tarmac, with gravel shoulders. Several parts of this road were sealed (i.e. tarred) only about two years ago. The roads in Northern Territory are supposedly better, and are used by the flying doctors as landing strips, which he thinks would be difficult in northern Queensland.

He has met several of the infamous roadtrains, which run east-west, the largest being double-deck cattle trucks - he says there are very few sheep where he is. Each roadtrain comprises a tractor unit (3 axles) with an articulated 3-axle trailer, towing two large 5-axle trailers. At present he has been seeing two or three roadtrains a day, but the frequency is likely to increase quite a lot as he gets back towards and on to the "main" road again.

The bush is largely scrub, with few trees, long dry grass and very hard ground. There is a lot of bird life (including very noisy Torresian Crows while Con was on what was a very poor phone line - Con will send a list of birds) kangaroos and wild pigs, which are noisy at night along with the crickets - not much traffic overnight, only three or four vehicles all night. Not much insect or reptile life to be seen though."

Monday, June 24th

Received another 21 pictures from Lyona.

Friday, June 21th

Received 23 pictures from Conrad via Lyona in Sydney.

Monday, June 17th - Croydon - 3,356km/2,098m

Received a brief e-mail from Con. All is well and he is enjoying the outback.

Saturday, June 15th

E-mail from Morag Evans, Conrad's sister in Aylesbury, England.

"Hello everyone I had a phone call from Conrad on Saturday and he was very well. He had spent the night at the side of the road last night as it is now very quiet. he says its about 30 degrees and he is surprised how much he is drinking, he says he is not eating as much but drinking lots, which is what people have said he would find. I can't remember where he was phoning from but he will be in Normanton on Monday, Cloncurry by the end of the week and Mount Isa by the beginning of next week.

Conrad has found everyone very friendly and helpful there is a girl doing the same about two days behind Con. He says he is finding the lack of people hard. He has been given water by passers by and he has flagged a caravan down to ask for water. The road trains are very big but haven't been a problem as they tend to travel at night. Conrad was about to start a two day cycle.

Over and out.    Morag"

Wednesday 12 June 2002

"Dear All,

I am just off into the bush and will have no contact with any email or anything for about 2 weeks or until I get to Mount Isa. I am having a change of route and going to Normanton and down to Cloncurry. This is after visiting the Tourist Information in Atherton they told me that there are plenty of places to camp all I have to do is carry lots of water 2 days at a time. I met an Irish girl, Pat, in Atherton who was going via Normanton and we went to the Information place and found out. I spent a day with her in Atherton, watched Ireland vs Germany and then went on. I am ahead of her by about a day I think.

I have spent a bit of time at Innot hot springs which were fantastic. Met a lot of locals and one of them, Crossy took me out yesterday to Tully falls, which were dry and then Swan Lake which is a bird reserve and I saw Brolgas, Heron, Egrets and Black Swans. I then went for a feed at his place last night. I stayed at the hotsprings over the long weekend and let all the people go home on Monday. There were a few people in the camp that I spent some time with and just had a fantastic time there relaxing.

That is all until Mount Isa. Bye for now.

Regards

Conrad Evans"

Wednesday, June 5 - Atherton - 79 days

"Hi,

All is well and I am in Atherton. I spent a few days around Port Douglas where I stayed with a family in Craiglie. From there I went to Cape Tribulation on an organized tour. This was fantastic I saw 2 baby crocs, a snake, iguana, turtles and birds. Cape Trib is the oldest continuous growth forest in the world. I also did an interview with the Mossman and Port Douglas Gazette. They are going to send a copy to Lyona Tong.

I am at the moment heading back south to Charters Towers and have a headwind and have climbed onto the Atherton Tablelands. After Charters Towers I should take 5 days to reach Julia Creek.

I am not sure where my phone will work between here and Charters Towers, so am unable to guarantee when I will have it on. You can text or leave a message on my voice mail and I will be able to pick it up when I can.

Thats all for now. Regards

Conrad Evans"


The webmaster has just read "Cold Beer and Crocodiles" by Roff Smith who cycled around Australia in 1997. It gives some sobering insights into the difficulties that can be encountered when cycling in the outback.

More..........