We left Sydney about 20 days later than planned. It took the border control that long to check our baggage. Even though they took everything apart, funny enough they didn’t complain (or find) an open package of nuts we accidentally left in our baggage, which is (to our understanding) considered as an illegal item.
Meanwhile in our hostel, we met a bunch of exchange students who were just about to start their exchange and haven’t found a room yet. As we hung out with them, it felt a bit like going on exchange again.
Anyway, after the long wait and an increased fee for our baggage to arrive, we got our bikes and left straight away. Definitely not the smartest move in hindsight. We assembled the bikes on the parking lot of the cargo company and left at around 4pm. Our plan that day was to do 100km but as it is winter at 5:30pm it was already dark and we just managed to leave the city and were in the middle of some national park with no place to camp in when it was pitch black and cold. The only option we had was to go back towards Sydney and stay at the nearest camp ground.
We knew that there is less sun in Australia (both sunshine hours per day as well as a lower angle) and that it would be more cold. To know that is one thing to feel it another. The next two days happened to be one of the coldest days and nights of the year so far. Temperature would go down to -5 °C at night. That meant in the morning our tent and gear would be frozen and wet. Not very pleasant.
Fortunately that was only for two nights and from then onward it has never been colder than 5 degrees at night which might not sound like much but 5°C and -5°C are worlds apart.
The highways we cycle on are definitely more cyclist friendly than the ones we were on in the US. The shoulder is wider and the width more consistent and most importantly truck drivers seem to be more friendly and don’t try to run you over every time they overtake. We just can’t do a casual 200km ride anymore due the lack of sun. This makes us travel much slower and now a few days in we are not quite sure how fast we are able to cross Australia.
After three days we have finally seen our first kangaroo casually hopping along the road.
To be precise the sad reality is we see almost all of the wildlife for the first time flat on the road before eventually seeing them alive. This unfortunately hasn’t change from the US to Australia.
Now, we are currently resting at a tiny town with the romantic name “Darlington Point” for the last two days as we have decided to stop as there is a massive headwind and a lot of rain. So much rain in fact our tents and gear got flooded so we had to relocate. In addition I got a slight cold I am currently recovering from so a bit of rest is favourable. Also the next town is 130km away, hence we have to make the next stretch in one go. Let’s hope the sun is on our side so we can get there tomorrow.