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zzOz | zig zag across Australia | ebook unleashed

The return cross continental voyage was planned in three stages.

Part One: drop down from Perth to Cape Leeuwin, the south west extremity to the continent.

Part Two: a diagonal slash through the heart of the landscape to Cape York, the northern-most tip.

Part Three: Drop down to Wilsons Promontory, the southern point.

From there it’s just a quick roll into Melbourne.

Perth. Cape Leeuwin. Cape York. Wilsons Prom. Melbourne.

That’s a plan, indeed, The Plan.

Download zzOz: zig zag across Australia from the Amazon Kindle Store. Or click on the image.

Length: 95,000 words — equivalent to a 230 page paperback

File size: 1701 KB

File format: .mobi — read in the Kindle app

Cost: $5.99

Here’s an extract:

Near The Garden | no Cattlewater Pass for you, sonny

“What do you think about there all day?” asks Emily.

I’ve come in to a remote homestead a few days’ ride from Alice Springs, just about smack in the centre of the Australian continent, to pick up water.

“Oh,” I say the usual answer, “98% of the time, how not to fall off the bike.”

I mean, that’s just more than a little intrusive to your average introvert long distance bike tourer. Trust me, there’s plenty to think about out there, even without having much in the way of worries.

Some time later, you guessed it, the topic of Jesus came up.

Being polite, and still needing that water, I steer the conversation around to the Cattlewater Pass Track over to the Plenty Highway. Emily doesn’t know about it. I’m surprised because she is a co-owner of this station and the track goes through her land.

So instead I ask about the grave only 100 m away from the house, and find it is for a little boy who drank poison in the 1970s. I don’t state the obvious, ie, what kind of God would permit a small child die an excruciating death so far from help, and leave a heart-broken mother out here, forever grieving, so isolated. Maybe the kid was pure evil, and we were rid of an Australian Pol Pot who would be even now carrying out extermination of various sectors of Australian society. Perhaps it’s best his life was snuffed out before he could do damage.

We spoke about God’s Perfect Plan, and Eternity,. That water was a long time coming. I said I’ll probably be pushing the down button — the elevator straight to Hell.

Maybe we will meet again, she said. Humm, perhaps if you are planning a bike ride around the South Island.

When I got to the Cattlewater Pass turnoff, 12 km down the road, there’s a “Road Closed by Police Order” sign. Oh well, I’ll have it to myself, I’ve traversed a few of these tracks in my time.

Coincidence or conspiracy, getting ready to ride off the manager of the Ambalindum Station, Rob, arrives with an offsider, Dave, cheery as. We chat away: rainfall, the state of the road a few days ago with the rain, as slippery as greased kitten shit, why the track has closed, it was popular but the owner at the other end found it wasn’t a gazetted road and has fenced it off. The blokes get out of their 4WD ute, Dave friendly enough, has a sheath knife in his belt to go with his long goatee. He has a spanner that is soon twirling as he takes down the Cattlewater Pass sign.

Rob says, “Just because a road is marked on a map doesn’t mean anyone has a right to just drive down it.”

They then walk over to the Road Closed sign and fuss around. This could take three minutes, three hours or three days, and it all depends on me.

There’s another track to the optimistically termed the Plenty Highway, the Pinnacles Road, 54 km further along on the road looping back towards Alice. Oh well, it’s mostly downhill and at least there’s a gale force tail wind. OK now, but will be a living hell tomorrow battling my way back east. Still, that two day detour might be the appropriate, actually only, solution.

So here I am, eight days after I initially tried to leave Alice, still less than 100 km from town.

Only about 750 km of remote dirt road to the next speck on the map, Boulia, deep in the heart of Queensland.

author | GJ Coop | posted | 06 July 2014
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