Where the Sun goes from right to left.
Where the Sun goes from right to left.
And I swear to you, this edge — the most curious on all the Globe!
Jean Jacques Paganel
Jules Verna’s this statement which it enclosed in lips of the favourite character, arises with an epigraph to any narration about Australia. I dare to argue so, having passed in two months on a bicycle through all this continent. Though, than more deeply and further I got, the more got acquainted with a plant and animal life, communicated with inquisitive and benevolent Australians, the understood more strongly that this term is smallest for thorough acquaintance.
In total 46 running days turned out. The way began in the most populous city of the continent Sydney where I was kindly delivered by Volga-Dnepr airline on February 14 2003г. I solve through Melbourne, Geelong and Adelaide to go to the city of Perth located on the western coast. Such route will allow to see many interesting and unusual places of the continent: The great ocean road, the Great Dividing Range, the plain Nallarbor being the southern part of the Victoria Desert, the wood from zhestkolistny bushes and huge eucalyptuses.
Travel begins directly from doors of the international airport "Kingsford-Smith" located in 8 km from the city center. Across Australia as it appeared, it is possible to go freely by a bicycle on any roads, even on the highways called here хайвэями. I collect the bicycle brought with (by the way, it with itself could be not dragged, in Australia bicycles are on sale the good; there are inexpensive, about 130 Australian dollars, i.e. $80 the USA), trying to appease a shiver in knees. How there will be a voyage? A little terribly, but the top takes wild passion. After all it is far Australia where it is not so simple to reach! In information center of the airport got cards and studied a way on the next 20-30 km. Morning. Hot, degrees 25 in a shadow.
At last the airport remained behind, and I get on city streets. Sydney was widely stretched on coast of gulfs of Jackson and Botanical. Confuses left foreign movement a little, but I am quickly convinced that drivers very correctly behave in relation to our brother cyclist. The easy breeze brings a saltish smell from the ocean, growing at eucalyptuses and English speech on streets are expensive convince actually the events.
In the winter I do not go for a drive on a bicycle: I consider it as the privilege of a summer season. Therefore now it is necessary to remember all skills and almost anew to accustom muscles to a bicycle. Though by preparation for present travel twisted pedals till December, hoping to leave as early as possible. But paperwork was tightened, and it was necessary to prepare for the forthcoming loadings by means of the very old friend — races. And here result: "was rolled" quickly enough and for the fifth day in days passed 135 km.
The way to Melbourne passes along the Great Dividing Range. Liftings and descents do not stop on all this a site. First day, perhaps, the most difficult. You twist the head on the parties, trying not to be mistaken on turns and outcomes. Fortunately, signs on roads give the most exhaustive information. From Sydney to Melbourne conduct two main roads: Highway N 1 Prinsess-hayvey lasts along the coast, and shorter road of N 31 Hulme-hayvey leaves the main tops of the Great Dividing Range to the East.
The first that is evident — Australians live in full harmony with the nature. Absolute purity on roads. It proved to be true day by day throughout all route. Even on the forgotten plain Nallarbor where distance between houses of 100 km and more, the road all the same remained pure, and posters asked drivers to observe purity. The asphalted road harmoniously (it is harmonious!) it is entered in a natural landscape. All two months I went and was surprised. Even the first week of a way at the most occupied edges saw the forests covering all hills as far as eyes sufficed. Animals whom the greatest set, by the person are unaffected absolutely, and not because manual, and simply lead to themselves the life, as full, having nationality and the rights according to the Constitution, inhabitants of the country.
Small towns are very interesting. Houses generally one-storeyed, instead of garage quite often simple canopy. Before the house a small garden with flowers, ferns and palm trees. Houses accurate. Streets wide with pure and equal asphalt. The first such small town, Goulbern, I met in 200 km from Sydney. In a local supermarket it was possible to "stock up" on products. Before bought them in small little shops when fillings, there, naturally, the prices are higher. Australians eat a lot of meat, and consequently meat products at them qualitative. I took generally bacon of which they by right are proud. Milk and a batch are tasty also.
In Goulbern visited information center. Detailed maps will surely tell, in what settlements there are similar centers, their exact arrangement will be specified by special road signs at entry into the city: capital letter of "i" of yellow color on a dark blue background from afar is evident. In such centers there is detailed information on interesting objects, recreation areas, tourist tracks, highways, campings, motels, etc. Often booklets and cards can be received here free of charge or for the insignificant price. The set of souvenirs here is on sale.
With surprise I find out that with Australians to communicate much more simply and more interestingly, than with Americans. In the USA do not love the people who are not knowing English. Australians with pleasure were started up with me in conversations. And I at first it is a little shy, and then everything looked for the general subjects more vigorously. Paid attention to the benevolent relation of inhabitants to me and to each other. As it appeared, this their normal state. Generally, Australians helped me to accustom to the country. And there was it quickly and unostentatiously. In three days some my constraint and a zakompleksovannost disappeared.
And here climatic features delivered many efforts. While tried to deal with them, managed to scorch. Yes it is not simple to a redness or blisters, and to the hands which have swelled up from the sun and fried ears. Locals sincerely tried to help me. For example, at the town Gandagay, on the fourth day of traveling, looked for a place for spending the night in the evening (I slept generally in tent: the place almost always can be found, after all tent washing with height of only 70 cm, and length slightly more than 2 m). The task was complicated by a fence going along the road from a wire. It here is simply necessary, after all on open spaces huge flocks of sheep and uncountable herds of cows are grazed literally. The fence let’s to them leave on the road. I tried to look for for spending the night bush thickets such as an acacia or a thuja, quite often enough dense and capable to hide tent and a bicycle. In the evening the wind as a rule ceases, the heat which it is possible to call destructive in the afternoon, falls down. Sometimes, while it was possible to find a place for a lodging for the night, already absolutely darkened. But «on a chill» you add to a day distance in kilometers 12, and even 15 km.
I very much leaned on pedals, looking at the coming sun when I was overtaken by the police car and stopped before me. Remembering not so pleasant meetings with the American police, it was adjusted on similar and now. My vigilance disappeared at once, as soon as I saw a friendly smile of the young policeman. He started to explain, showing on my headdress that without a helmet to go on хайвэю dangerously, but more all is dangerous to go in such small cap which at all does not protect from the sun. Having called to the aid all the stock of English words, I tried to explain that this cap — my talisman with which I went round the half-world. However, for an explanation it was necessary to pull out some photos and to use the letter telling in English about me, my travel and about the route purpose. The policeman long shook my hand, and then took out from the car cream from the sun, showed on my scorched hands and a forehead, explaining that without cream to go on its country in the summer — business dangerous, wished happy journey and left.
Shower existence at platforms for rest, on some fillings and in service centers (including shop, cafe, hotel) appeared pleasant surprise. The hygiene problem always quite sharply faces the traveling person. Stop on a lodging for the night in motels I to itself could not to allow, the caravan park used only as a last resort as money at me was a little. At once it was adjusted on washing in the rivers what in Australia not so there is a lot of, and the problem was represented sharp. What my surprise when on filling I saw a shower, and, absolutely free was!
In the town to Albura said goodbye to the State of New South Wales and, having forwarded on the bridge through the river of the continent Murray most abounding in water, called in on the territory of the smallest state Victoria. Though its area of 227,6 thousand sq.km small did not seem to me. Nine days and about 1000 km I passed on it. In Melbourne was late at some o’clock, having driven on the center and having wandered on streets, quite often conducting a bicycle in an occasion. I not so love the cities and I try to bypass on travel them. But in Australia my opinion changed a little. It appeared that any of those large cities of the continent which I could visit, is not similar to another.
In 70 km from Melbourne, in the city of Geelong, at me the meeting with teachers of one of schools took place. I not only learned about history and sights of the city, but also received extensive information on many questions interesting me. Envied local teachers, having learned that schools here are insignificant, and work of the teacher is honourable and is well paid. To it free computer and Internet connection are put for work. Got acquainted with dishes of ethnic cuisine. From my new acquaintances received the address and phone of their friends in Adelaide, the following large city on my way to Perth.
From Geelong my route passed to the coast of the Indian Ocean, and then — along the coast to Adelaide, grasping 320 km of the Great ocean road, «the most impressing route of Australia» as report directories. On the coast it was possible to see interesting natural formations. Separate rocks as a result of continuous work of the sea appear standing on some removal from the coast, creating the splendid show and forcing to gather here thousands tourists. Rocks Twelve Apostles, Gibson Steps and London Bridge are a symbol of this part of the continent. On the way to them I cross the national park of Otuey beginning at a seleniyets of Apollo – Beat. The road here leaves from the coast a little to the North and rises to low mountains. However 80 km of steep infinite slopes and not less abrupt descents tire, despite a way on the magnificent reserved wood from huge tree ferns and eucalyptuses. It is possible to go a little, generally I go on foot. It was necessary to spend the night in mountains, in the wood from evkaliptovy young growth, without having reached kilometers 10 to the settlement designated on the card Laverz-Hill. Everything is good and all evening not less malicious, than in our corner of the world exasperated, the mosquitoes which have come in the stead to ubiquitous flies. All evening and the next morning went a rain consisting of small-small droplets of water, similar it is rather on very dense fog.
Laverz-Hill — the tiny settlement which main building is filling with shop, cafe and mail. After the village the road goes again through the woods from eucalyptuses, tree ferns and pines. Asphalt almost dry, and moisture in the air. At last I understand: since yesterday evening I am in clouds! After Laverz-Hill Road goes at first down, then on the plain, leaving to the coast. Here it is already possible to hold speed about 15 km/h. It is a little, but after infinite liftings it is perceived with pleasure.
At the city of Uornambul I leave the Great ocean road and I leave on хайвэй N 1 which for a long time becomes my main road. Spoil mood uncountable hordes of flies which appear with sunrise a little and let’s forget about itself before its calling. It is possible to escape from our mosquitoes on a bicycle, from the same creatures you will not hide anywhere. On descent when speed decent, they are arranged on a back and go "hares" before its termination, and then again attack «from the back». And nostrils try to get into eyes, ears, and to prevent them in it very difficultly. They differ any special yurkost and dexterity. It is necessary to wave away only from them, and to do it it is necessary constantly.
The occupied edges remain behind. Without reaching to Portland, I curtailed on the minor road and at once it appeared in a typical remote place. The sheep, the cultivated fields, occasionally meeting groves of eucalyptuses, and are even more rare — separate houses of farmers — that’s all that it was possible to see on these 40 km. The small town Heywood with one and a half hundred inhabitants in which I was deduced by the road, has fine stadium, a tennis court, golf club and, probably, prospers. I noticed that the standard of living in Australia does not depend at all on number of inhabitants in the settlement.
At the city of Maunt Gambir I get on the territory of South Australia. It is remarkable that the information center on entry into this staff is in the sailing vessel which has served the term. Repaired and put on a pedestal in the city center, it fulfills the second life, involving with the type of numerous tourists. Staff South Australia occupies the sixth part of the continent, but people live in the basic in Adelaide and her vicinities. Therefore a considerable part of a way went on the district with quite rare population. It would be possible to call a landscape with success sad. It is the real Australian savanna light forest. Separate clumsy eucalyptuses, and sometimes only trunks or their remains deprived of leaves, create a unique landscape. Complicates movement a strong head wind, but I was involved long ago in work and the 130-150 km a day I pass quite vigorously. I cross the 37th parallel, so well-known according to the novel «Children of the captain Grant», and I direct to Adelaide. On the way to it it was necessary to overcome ridge Finders. This rather narrow mountain ridge, only kilometers 50, forced попотеть.
Adelaide — the city peculiar. In America the increasing cities in one face. Here too, it seems, avenue, стриты, well-groomed lodges and houses. So and not so. The special charm has not only the city — each street. Buildings of the Victorian style. About each house trees which owners carefully look after surely grow. And parks not to consider. And almost in everyone — sports grounds, courts and vacation spots. In some parks there are ponds and lakes in which there live, let us assume, duck-bills. The asphalt footpath or a velodorozhka supplied with a marking, will carry out in the most undercover places such here a recreation area being in the city center. Even the business center is literally surrounded with a park zone. In Adelaide I stopped to stay for a while with the teacher of geography by name of Jeff which address received in Geelong. Here, in Adelaide, there was the first acquaintance to the Australian natives.
I simply thirsted for a meeting with them! Their fathers wandered on plains, hunted, extracted fire a friction, combated for life and very well knew nature laws. And this knowledge helped them to survive, put them in one row with other people. Their culture is unique and worthy to remain. But times changed. There was no need to hunt and extract water, after all all can be bought now freely. And a match a fire to kindle much more simply. Yes here trouble: from the world of fathers it was possible to leave while nearby, and to get into the new world in any way it is not possible. Perhaps, also it would not be desirable. Educations do not suffice and whether it is necessary for natives!?
The first natives who have got to my field of vision made impression of very scared people. As though they hesitate of the most look. Old men flatly refused to be photographed, hardly persuaded young natives попозировать in front of the chamber. And they at all did not ask from me a payment for shooting (as it appeared to take from tourists for it money — a commonplace). However I knew that on ways at me still the well-known Yalata, a reservation of radical Australians, and hoped for more serious acquaintance to representatives of these interesting people. But it was still necessary to reach it.
Bending around Spencer Gulf, got acquainted with the small town Makefild, from where left to the South Pole R. Scott and R. Amundsen. Overcoming further 500 km to Seduna, the small town which Nallarbor is a peculiar outpost on eastern frontier of the well-known plain, I cross some national parks. In them I "hunted" with a video camera for a kangaroo and "Bush" or «скрэб» filmed the well-known thickets, called. 200 more km — on the plain Nallarbor. Her first white researcher is John Air. It crossed it from the West on the East in 1841. The asphalt road appeared here only in 1976. Settlements here are rare. It is simply roadside houses more often. In everyone a small little shop, cafe, a shower, motel or a caravan park. Exactly here it is possible to resupply waters without which to be started up in a further way very imprudently: the temperature on Nalarbora can reach in the afternoon 40 degrees, and at the height of summer, speak, and above. I by all means carried with myself liters 12-13 drinks (waters, juice and milk), and this stock never superfluous was. By the way, water here is more expensive some milk or juice.
The weight of luggage increased and, respectively, load of a back wheel amplified. And it did not sustain: the back plug trembled and started to fail. Spare parts at me with itself was very little, after all on collecting the house I had only six hours. Counted on "perhaps". It here did not help. Between roadside houses the main satellites and interlocutors of the traveler are only flies and a kangaroo, and the impression that them here equal quantity is made. Vegetation poor. Low prickly bushes, otstoyashchy from each other on 2-3 m, and between them the red earth deprived of a grass. Sometimes there are low eucalyptuses, bringing some variety a surrounding landscape. And it throughout many tens kilometers.
For the second day after Seduna reached Yalata and again met natives. They treat so-called Australoid race, at them black skin, wavy hair and, unlike африканоидов, very dense beard. In a museum shop — a set of hand-made articles of natives, objects of art, instruments of labor, photos, cards and booklets. Only few aboriginals behave in hands and do not drink "fire-water" — whisky. For absolute majority videnny me in a reservation of black Australians alcoholism — a serious problem. The most progressive part of «the aborigensky population» tries to lift consciousness level, to keep and revive some traditions of ancestors not lost finally. At least, objects of art, the music which has been written down on disks and cartridges, use huge demand at tourists. In Yalat I managed to get pair of boomerangs that is called first-hand for rather small price.
The border between states the South and Western Australia comes nearer. The road deduces to the coast of the Big Australian gulf and 200 km go near to an ocean edge. Its blue open spaces sometimes are seen, and then I turn off with хайвэя and I hurry to take pleasure in fine and majestic types. The very tall coast, a solid rocky wall going to water, and boundless open spaces of the ocean create inexpressible words a show! Huge, striking not in the height, and in the length ocean waves direct to the rocky coast and break with a terrible roar, throwing out up mass of the water, instantly scattering in million the splashes sparkling on the sun. The very tall dark blue sky supplements this, worthy the magic country, a picture. And any traces of the person, only sky, sun, coast and ocean!
From Yukla who appeared the usual roadside house, it is expensive, gradually goes from the ocean to Nallarbor’s depth. The bent trunks of small eucalyptuses, the orange earth and the gray rocks which are silently running a kangaroo and shouts of numerous Egyptian vultures make impression of the real bewitched place. At least, I in the childhood such also represented it to myself. The only thing that returns to reality and connects with a civilization, it is the desert asphalt road.
Cars practically are not present, especially in the evening. Horribly. The further the road from the ocean leaves, the becomes hotter. Flies any more do not give rest in the afternoon, at night, to hide from them it is possible only in tent. The feeling of absolute powerlessness covers, when see, how the cooked food is taken away literally by ants and flies. You try to resist somehow to it, having armed with a towel, but where there! Came off a bottle to take breath after ten drinks, and in it already pair of flies floats and my water drink. And after all it and so it is not enough… Here, on some removal from the ocean, the wind direction changes. Now it counter, and a sickly rare bush unable to resist to it. The dust, dry leaves and a bark rush towards. Sometimes for some seconds the wind abates, and I remember that the bicycle is capable of a free wheeling. But here 1200 km from Nallarbor remained behind.
From Noursman to Perth conducts two ways: a straight line, through droughty areas of the southwest, and long, along all southwest coast, giving the chance to look at the wood from giant eucalyptuses. The second way is certainly more interesting, and I not without some fluctuation choose it. I pass Esperans — the tidy resort small town literally licked by 13 thousand his inhabitants. To support purity here it is simple: continually there are the plastic garbage tanks which are daily emptied by employees of special service. And generally Australians do not love those who litters on streets and roads. Near Esperanza a set of hydrochloric lakes. Began to smell salts costs in air. Along the edges of lakes sickly trees, sometimes absolutely dry, similar to the huge hands sticking out of the earth specifying by the bent fingers branches somewhere up rise. Salt covered fields and pastures, and a riddle as here it is possible to grow up something. But in huge barns the improbable amount of grain which here does not lie too long is stored, and by rail goes to Perth or Albany.
Along the coast last low, 1000 m are not higher, than the mountain. Australia is similar to a huge saucer which once rose over the ocean the edges, instead of the center. Therefore mountains on the coast — business usual. Beginning at the small town Denmark in 50 km from Albany, throughout nearly 300 km the way passes through national parks from the evkaliptovy woods.« The country of great trees» — so is called this edge about what broadcasts the index. And the peculiar capital of this region, the small town Pemberton in whom lives only 900 inhabitants, is well-known across all Australia. Giant trees, some of which have own names, grow in these edges. To look at them gather from all continent. Huge, to three-four grasps, eucalyptuses with spirally twirled wood of trunks go up. The dense underbrush makes impression of full impassability. Many giants have height more than 60 m, and the longest — 90. On the evkaliptovy woods it is possible to sweep on small паровозике, rather similar to a tram. It will take out to the most known trees of park, leaves of trees will touch carriages. Speed at паровозика very small, windows are not glazed, and traveling will smell an eucalyptus and will manage to take pleasure in types.
On the national park stretched on many tens kilometers, the foot tracks supplied with indexes, vacation spots and picnics are laid. Wishing to wander with a backpack as there is a lot of, as well as motorists. There are also bicycle paths for very many Australians prefer to replace for the period of a weekend the car with a bicycle. And in general, I did not see more healthy nation. By my modest calculations, 50 % of Australians go in for physical culture. Though sports broadcasts are broadcast constantly by television, tribunes of stadiums are jam-packed. The country endures the real sports boom.
Near Pemberton there is Glochester’s supplied with a platform for supervision over the wood the tree. Once from this platform forest fires looked out, and now it is one of sights of park. The platform is at height of 61 m from the earth, the spiral ladder from vzhivlyonny in a trunk of iron cores upward conducts. Having left country of giant eucalyptuses, I direct to Perth. Mountains remained behind, and I, having reached the western coast at Banbari, still some time I roll along it on the North, to the capital of Western Australia. Perth is located very compactly. It by right is considered the most isolated city of the world, after all to Adelaide from here 2700 km. Really huge distances.
Before me it is necessary to reach a task Sydney, from where I should take off for Moscow. I still have 10 days in a stock, and good luck, again smiling, makes to me really a royal gift: casually I get acquainted with the trucker by name of Denny. As a result I pass in its car from the West on the East to the city of Orange that is in 250 km from Sydney. Exactly here the massif the Blue Mountains is located. There is no place to hurry, ahead of 5 more days to the plane. I climb up the pass Victoria (1064 m), anticipating a meeting with Govets-Lip — the highest falls of Australia falling in one of the widest canyons. Seen surpassed all expectations! The very large canyon, which slopes to a young growth half the evkaliptovy woods, leaves, coiling, afar. Evkaliptovy oil evaporating over the woods gives to mountains bluish color (from here and the name of mountains). Remarkable show!
The next day presented a meeting with the most known rock Three Sisters, a symbol of the Blue Mountains. The rock divided into three parts, is located a little away from the main wall of a canyon. The impression is made that the rock hangs in itself in air. Only the rain reminded that the autumn came, and spoiled communication with mountains a little. Before flying away managed to go on the well-known Botanical gulf where captain Cook with satellites for the first time landed. Naturally, came into the ocean and left on the coast where it was made by Cook.
So, behind 5492 km. The way from the Pacific Ocean to Indian is passed. All travel was shined on the Internet on a site www.ul.smarts-gsm.ru. A route across Australia — one of stages of the World project, my single round-the-world veloputeshestviye. It proceeds.