April 2, 1997


Back on the mainland in Melbourne. The first task of the day was to contact John Hooper of Choice Connections. John provided me with a modem for updating the web page in Australia. The transmitting works with different volts down under. His kindness of time and modem will be appreciated by world bike. With any computer need, contact John in Melbourne at (03) 9246 9000. I am sure his services will be excellent.

I've finalized my plans to the Gold Coast. I purchased a bus ticket to Byron Bay. The journey through Sydney via Bryon Bay is going to be painful. The whole bus trip will take over 24 hours. At this point I will head north through Brisbane towards the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns.

April 3, 1997

The bus journey towards Sydney is underway. I have a new mate, Paul, who is seated along side me. Paul is a native Australian and has a few words for all the world bike fans.........

...My name is Paul Borodin and I'm traveling from Melbourne back to my home in Sydney. I've traveled this route a few times and I'm used to the long, tedious journey. I look outside and see much of the same hills, eucalyptus gum trees, grass, livestock and sky. Lots of blue sky. I am a musician too and my current occupation is that of a high school music teacher. Being a teacher gives me the benefit of frequent holidays, which I use to visit friends in both Canberra and Melbourne. The time now is 1:30 p.m. and we are currently somewhere between Albury (a large town on the N.S.W/Victoria border) and Canberra, the nation's capital. The weather appears to be getting better the further we travel. It is now quite warm, where as in Melbourne this morning, it was chilly.

These coach trips are a real test of endurance, never mind mountain biking. Firstly we are forced in a seat with just enough leg room. We are then given the radio to listen to through the coach speakers. That could be alright, if it was a station with a policy of having none or very little advertising. Having commercials played after every song can be a bit much. We came to our first "break", a truck stop where drinks and hot food are available. The food may not be great, but any chance to walk around and escape the add-nauseam is welcome. One important rule though: WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BRING ANY MILK DRINKS OR MILKSHAKES ONTO THE COACH. This was emphasized by the very enforcing, very thorough bus driver. Back on the bus, after our break in Albury, we were given a treat! A video for our enjoyment. Some people were excited, but I knew they wouldn't be for long. You see, I've had this bus driver before, I knew what the film would be. It was "Robin Hood". And it wasn't the Kevin Costner version. It was the Walt Disney, Robin Hood as a fox version. That may be a fine choice in a coach full of children, but when the coach's occupants are adults and some overseas tourists, the choice is puzzling to me. Anyway, that movie has since finished and we are now blessed with the viewing pleasure of "Sister Act". I'm trying not to pay attention, but the audio is making it terribly hard to ignore.

We will arrive in Canberra, I estimate, at about 4 p.m. I'm not sure whether Tim has noted anything down about Canberra (he's asleep at the moment), so I'll briefly describe Canberra to you. Canberra is Australia's capital city. The population consists largely of public servants and politicians. It is a very well organized city, with the roads, buildings, homes and amenities being planned, designed and built. It is clean, with a lot of trees and gardens on every street. The air too is crisp and clean. Winter gets quite cool, though. Canberra is not recognized for having a great night life. This is very true. I think it has about 2 nightclubs and the same amount in live band values. It is a perfect place if you want to study, live a quiet life, or have no friends.

Well, we are now about an hour and a half out of Canberra where another break will occur. Then, another 3 hour trip I will have to endure. It's been fun for me to note on this trip from Melbourne to Sydney, and I thank Tim for allowing me the opportunity. Also, it has enabled me to use up 90 minutes of the trip where I would have otherwise been watching a movie called Sister Act. So, Good-bye, and Good traveling. Paul

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