Blog Archives

Reflections on Melbourne

What can a day reveal about Melburnians and their city? Did you know

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that Melbourne led the way in admitting women to the Anglican priesthood and episcopate? Come on UK, you need to run harder to catch up!

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Not sure if this is a caricature of a typical Melburnian, but a lady receptionist has the doubtful pleasure of looking at it all day long from her desk just 2 metres away.

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The Museum of Immigration gives an in depth insight into the migration of people into Australia over 200 years. But most poignant of all was a photographic account of the recent migration of the Irish during the current economic downturn

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all of the photos personal studies of individuals who have separated themselves from family and friends

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…a reflection of what my own mother did in the 1930s, and what my father’s ancestors did in 1840. I felt a certain vicarious empathy.

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The River Yarra may not be one of those iconic city rivers, but it certainly has its own charm.

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And a chance to meet up with fellow blogger Chris Yardin (left) and his brother Mark, and spend the evening sharing drinks and pizza

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and chewing the fat over cycling issues the length and breadth of the sport. Thank you both for the invitation and for the generous donation to the Children in Syria Appeal. Catch Chris’ blog here: http://www.christopheryardin.com

The big question remains: will this man, when he climbs onto the plane this afternoon, be accompanied by his bicycle?
Stay tuned!
http://www.justgiving.com/Frank-Burns1

No, not 34C again!

Marlo to Metung 95km (60m)

Staying with a household of people in training had very definite advantages. Everybody was up early to get in their morning training!
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Tim, who is training for his next Ironman event, headed off before sunrise to get in a 9km run. That is pure dedication….

Courtney was off to do a swimming session before work,
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and Al was ready at 7.30am to do his daily commute into school….which also happened to be on my own route. So an early start and fast-paced company for me for the first 16km. But what I had not expected was to have Tim drive past and get his name in the history books by making a drive-by donation as we were heading out………All I can say is: “only in Australia………!”

So as a ‘thank you’ to Tim, I am publishing the URL of his blog, and I would like everyone who reads this to click on the link…..if for no other reason than he will now feel obliged to update his blog by writing another post!!!! So go on, click on the link, and let’s see if we can make his site crash!!

The early start was a relief. It was still cool, but the forecast was not good….by that I mean it was going to get hot……very hot indeed. The thing is, I’m not going to be lounging on a beach sipping Pimms all day. Perhaps you hadn’t noticed that. I need to get the bulk of my daily mileage in before noon….otherwise its curtains for the rest of the day. The temperature rose to 34C in the afternoon, not good news for climbing hills…..but at least the speed going downhill creates its own breeze and prevents the ‘engine’ from overheating.
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Just before reaching my destination, I came across this bit of roadkill on the road. I won’t describe what I saw in detail (you can see it for yourself, anyway), but it had only just been struck by some vehicle, which probably now has a completely knackered front end….. because this is a BIG piece of roadkill……a “beer barrel” of roadkill…..a wombat in fact. Big fella! He probably weighs 70-80 kilos at least. Glad he didn’t launch himself under my front wheel!
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My target for the day was to get to Metung, about 20km from Lakes Entrance.
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I had been very kindly invited by Heather and Brian Marsh to stay the night.
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Whatever negative people have about the power of the internet, and networking, through blogging or other social media, for me it has been a privilege to be welcomed into Heather and Brian’s home, to be introduced to the highlights of the beautiful area they live in, and to sit at their table and share their food and friendship. After a long hot day in the saddle, their home was indeed an oasis in a hot desert. Do check into Heather’s blog, and learn a little of the life of a Scottish-born lady living in Australia. She has a way of persuading you that Australia is the place to be 🙂 Thank you to both for such a warm welcome, and the wealth of knowledge you shared about life in this wonderful country. You very nearly convinced me to stay……..!
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See you all up the road!

Children in Syria Appeal: www.justgiving.com/Frank-Burns1

Getting out of Sydney alive!

…..unlike many of the transported convicts in the early 19th century. But let me recap on yesterday and do that annoying touristy thing that proves you were where you said you were:

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Now I know someone is saying: “Ah, but you could have photo-shopped that”…..OK, I accept it’s not definitive proof…..so you’ll just have to believe me!
After an early morning ‘goodbye’ to Dee, who was setting off for work (and thank you Dee for being an oasis in Sydney), I headed off into the rush hour to make my escape from the huge urban sprawl. It took me 2 hours, midst rising temperatures, to effectively get out of it, dicing with traffic lights that favoured the movement of traffic pouring into the city.

But once outside, I headed along the Southern Scenic route, that took me through miles of National Park, undulating and mercifully enshrouded by forest. Once at Bald Hill

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the coastal vistas opened up to reveal the coastline I will be following for the next 1000km (625miles)

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….so I asked a passerby to take another self-indulgent photo, which screams: “I woz ‘ere!”

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But today brought some very pleasant surprises in the field of giving. 88 yr old Frank (no, not me you pudding!) sat at my table with his coffee and pie, gave me a donation, and in response to a question I asked him, regaled me with the history of his family, all the while emphasising his deep routes in Australia. His gr grandfather had come over in 1860 as a gold prospector, so had been one of the original pioneers.

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90 yr old Henny, on the other hand, was one of a large group of Dutch who settled here in the 1950s. She fumbled with my camera trying to take a picture of me, then generously offered a donation. And whatever you think of leather-clad bikers, two thrust notes into my hand before they headed down the mountain. I’m afraid the Aussies are going to give the Kiwis a run for the money…….

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So my journey will wend its way along this coast for about 10 days, but for today, I managed to cover (in uncomfortably warm temperatures…..go on sympathize with me!) 120km (75miles) to Shellharbour

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…only to book into an overpriced campground, to discover I am surrounded by very old people who seem to live permanently in holiday chalets. Rats! So no interesting chat with other derring-doers tonight.
See you up the road!
Children in Syria Appeal: http://www.justgiving.com/Frank-Burns1