The Trans Oceania 2014 Cycling Expedition and Tour ended with a final Dinner for all riders and staff members in the dining room on the 25th floor of the Sydney Bayview / Boulevard Hotel.
Here Andreas and Team awarded the full tour riders with Finisher Medals and surprised almost everyone on the tour with a personalized gift, characterizing her or his special appearance during the tour. A great event to complete this fantastic trip after 4 months. Even Sponge Bob ‘reincarnated’ after being missing since the blast in the Bromo Crater on Java back in September.
On the first day on the Great Ocean Road I spent 2.5 hours in the Tower Hill State Game Reserve, which sits inside an extinct volcano formed some 30,000 years ago, and was declared Victoria’s first National Park in 1892.
I arrived at around 7am and was the only person so far in the park. Undisturbed wildlife welcomed me! Usually when a group of cyclist (or any group) is in the wilderness, there is too much noise and talks, and the animals disappear before even seen by us. So I was lucky to have it all for myself – the kangaroos and emus next to the road, the koalas sleeping in the eucalyptus trees. I had to wait a long time, before they slowly woke up and climbed down from their sleeping branches. What a fun scene to watch them climbing down backwards, leaping from on branch to the other, or walking and running on the ground. These koalas are the most adoring animals I’ve seen so far. They seem to watch me with the same curiosity as I watched them. I was lucky to carry a second 64GB memory card with me, as I quickly run out of disk space. I didn’t want to leave them, but after 2 hours I had to go, and with the first arriving tourists they also climbed higher into the trees, making it more difficult to see them. 2 German students were having breakfast at the rest place, closely monitored by an emu with her kids. There are many hiking trails around the lakes, especially for bird watching. I added time to walk a loop road in the dense forest. Eventually I left my ‘little Australian Ngorngoro’ with a final look over the rim into the crater and the surrounding ocean.
Here is a collection of photos taken in the crater park
We frequently have visitors to our camp grounds. Some less shy or curious about us and our fancy equipment than others.
The sunrise in the outback is very spectacular. I’ll will a photo or two a day from our current location to this gallery, if I am lucky enough to catch is with my camera …
Photos from the first day into the Northern Territory Outback from Darwin to Adelaide River.
A rest(less) day in Bromo. After a long cycling day with a huge climb up to the crater rim of the main caldera, followed by a dive into the crater and a 7km walk through deep volcanic ashes and sand to our hotel, we got an early morning call at 3am to get up for the spectacular sunrise. A 4×4 took us up to the 2700m high mountain with the view point over the whole Bromo crater region. We were not the only ones. An endless line of Jeeps were already parked along the road and more to arrive after us. It were more than 1000 persons on top, waiting their cameras ready to save this unique moment. And it was worth the early morning getup! I already knew the scenery from pictures, but live and with the changing colors as the sun rises and sends its beams into the crater it is breathtaking and words can’t really describe it. But this was only the start. We drove down into the crater with the 3 volcanoes to hike up and around the Bromo Crater Rim. 250 steps later, on a steep stair built into the crater slope, and we could see the source of the smoke, that constantly rises into the acid air. Wow, I have never been so close to the center of the earth … 5 of us (Berne, Mike, Paul, Chris and myself) dared to hike around the crater rim, to circumvent the crater. Gusty winds blew sand over the edges, making the hike on the narrow path on the rim an act of balance, to not tumble into the deep hole with the boiling soup, or roll down the outer slope. It was an unforgettable extra hour to walk around in the cool morning air, with legs still sore from the long cycling/climbing days and body packed into thick coats. I managed to keep my camera operational in the blowing wind, to take the photos, although the fine sand/ashes, which made it into every corner and whole, gave the lens and autofocus motors a hard time.
Find more photos in the gallery below:
Photos of Stage 17
Kalianda to Carita – Sumatra to Java
Photos of Stage 16
Gisting to Kalianda – Sumatra
Photos of Stage 15
Krui to Gisting – Sumatra
Photos of Stage 14
Bintuhan to Krui – Sumatra