Left Adelaide (the middle east[*]) heading on a slow three day journey to Melbourne (the far east[*]) via the coastal roads and towns.  Tonight I’ve ended up in Robe, and staying at the wonderful Guichen Bay Motel.  Inexpensive, with excellent food and friendly owners, I could extol how nice it is at least for a quarter of an hour.

Crossed the Murray at around midday.   Like the Nullarbor, another Australian rite of passage achieved.

The contrast of the country south east of Adelaide (The Coorong) compared to the outback on the way to Woomera is noticeable.  The roads and the population reflect this.  I’m really glad that I’m making the journey via this route.

Tomorrow is the border crossing into Victoria.   I’ve been thinking today on how the states of Australia differ and their respective cultures.  I’m also looking forward to catch up with folk at IV and others later in the trip.

Tonight however is trying to catch up on the dreaded email, as I’m still needing to write to folk to organise later parts of my trip.

Safe driving,




[*] definitions that Perth folk use to describe the eastern states of Australia

Today was the coldest day in 12 years in Adelaide.  With a sniffle this is not what I wanted to hear.  I’m starting to feel better, but am still feeling the cold more than normal.

Today consisted of a morning doing geeky things online, including setting up this travel blog.  I’m hoping people enjoy it as I continue to update on my adventures.   I’m liking the lack of urgent commitments (although I do have emails to respond to) and am slowly mellowing into it.

This afternoon was visiting A and C.  C I think appreciated the visitor and a break from the monotony of convalescence.   Always good to catch up with A.

Comfort food was obtained in Prospect and more pills taken for the sniffle.

Then off to ringing at St Cuthberts.  A nice tower to ring at with lots of friendly ringers in their band.

I’m feeling a bit sad to leave Adelaide tomorrow, but need to get to Melbourne for IV…



20120620 2230 ZULU Woomera

Awoke this morning at the backpackers in Woomera.  Continued the morning ritual by waking, getting dressed and packing the car.

Headed into the centre of the townsite and begun wandering around the various heritage exhibits.   My mission for the trip out to Woomera was to find out what the place was like and to try and find out some history about the time my maternal grandfather spent out at the facility.  I didn’t find out much on that front, but have a few ideas how to find out more.

It was a strange place to visit.  The townsite hasn’t remained static from the heydays of its earlier activities, but neither has it reflected the orginal promise of the facility – that is, to continue to do excellent rocket and space research.   Geography got the better of the site for space purposes (not good for satellites) and perhaps a different location should have been chosen.   Rocketry now seems to be a mostly known field (at least for Australia and its allies)

Like Cook, the townsite is a creation of necessity and is not majorly dissimilar to other parts of South Australia.

Left just after 11am and headed back on the long drive to Adelaide.  Arrived a bit worse for wear with a head cold  *sniffle*

Animals seen today:  Sheep
UFOs seen today:  One


On the fourth day of the trip, the road led me into the known unknown.

Trekked out to Woomera from Adelaide via Port Augusta.   I’m visiting to find out more about the place and to establish some context around what I had heard of my maternal grandfathers time out here many years ago.

I arrived just before sunset (less than an hour) and have not seen much of the town yet.   What I have seen so far, is an interesting trip into a place of the past that is still an active facility but not as it once was.  Anachronisms abound.

Animals sighted on drive: Kangaroo, Emu and Cattle

I’m looking forward to tomorrows adventure into the unknown past and seeing what I can find out.

Enough gibber gabbering, good night!


Arrived in the thriving metropolis of Adelaide and unloaded the car off of the Indian Pacific.   Aside from avoiding crazed Adelaide Taxi drivers, found driving in Adelaide much saner than last time being in my own car and knowing the place much better than I thought I would.

Spent the day with an Matthew Sorrell helping construct a trial piece (pulley box) of the simulator that is being installed at St Peter’s.

Have landed at R and A’s place as a place to crash.  They stayed with me in 2011 during Perth IV and were excellent houseguests.  Hopefully can return the favour.

Spent the evening at the ringing practice at St Peter’s.   Matthew showed me the progress to date on the simulator and got me to ring the tenor (Great Frederick) (it weighs more than my car!) during the start of practice.  Some rounds were rung, but struggled a bit with getting into the rythym on

Tommorow involves a lot of driving, but need to get my organisation together and start attacking my todo list (of things that need to be done before IV)

Day Two.  Still no signs of civilisation east of Perth.   This should change tomorrow by some accounts.

Looking out the window as we cross the Nullarbor Plain is quite mesmerising and strangely relaxing.  Watching fixed objects on the horizon dance around as the train moves is a strange optical illusion.

# of camels spotted: 3

Have suprisingly had more connectivity to the outside world than I would otherwise expect with Telstra NextG signals picked up at the Forrest siding and at Cook.  (Coverage in more places!)

Did my telecommunications geek thing and found the Nextgen fibre that crosses the Nullabor follwing the route of the train line.  I have enormous respect to the indviduals that cross similar paths almost a century ago to run telegraph and train lines.

Currently somewhere in South Australia (Tarcoola?) looking out of the window at the scrub.  I’ve enjoyed travelling on the Indian Pacific so far, less frantic than flying and with comfier seats.  I would recommend doing the journey.

73s, Mark

My big trip has begun.  I’m currently writing this sitting aboard the Indian Pacific train in Carriage R.  (There be pirates here, rrrrr). The train has about half an hour ago passed through Northam and is wending its way across the continent to Kalgoorlie and to my final destination of Adelaide.

The big trip consists of voyages through Adelaide, Melbourne (including the end of the world at the Melbourne Intervarsity Choral Festival), Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Vancouver, San Franscisco, Chicago, Grand Rapids, Boston, New York, London, Amsterdam, Oslo, Hong Kong and back to Brisbane.

Along the way I hope to catch up with a lot of old friends (and their couches!), hopefully make some new ones and generally have great, relaxing time.

About two years ago, June 2010, I knew my long service leave would become due about six months after Perth IV (which we were just starting to busily organise).

A year ago, Perth IV occured, lots of singing, fun and general exhaustion from being an organiser.  Some good things came out of the IV and have helped make the decision to head off on this adventure.

About six months ago, had to move house as the owner wanted to renovate, er, demolish it.   This was a helpful nudge in giving me some inertia to tackle the mountain of junk that inhabited my abode.   At that point, I’d complete the major milestones in a work project (and finished that off a few months ago).

At this point, in earnest, I started actually putting the plans together for the big trip.   Short lease on the new place, avoiding new commitments at work and with various committees, selecting destinations, starting the second weed and pack for storage.

The past few weeks have been that culmination of all that.  The contents
of my house are now in storage in a large number of cardboard boxes.  The
house has been returned to the real estate agent.  Final errands done.
Farewell functions have been had and sad goodbyes said to close friends.

I’m looking forward to seeing what this trip has in store for me.  I’ll keep
you updated as the voyages continue.

Going boldly,