Day 1 – Sydney to Sydney :)
The day arrived that we were waiting, planning and dreaming about for such a long time! The start of Around 7 Continents and a totally different life for the next five years.
This adventure has been in my kind for every second during the day! It did not matter if I was awake or been dreaming. Around 7 Continents was there all the time and standing in front of The Opera House with our bicycles always felt so far away.
Dreaming and talking about an adventure of any kind is one thing, but actually doing it is a totally different thing!
I was awake before the alarm went off at 4am and we went to bed a bit later than expected the previous night. Thanx to Nigel and Melanie we had a perfect two days before we start our adventure! a bed to sleep in, backyard where we could set up our bicycles, great company and one of the most important thing… a big dinner before our D-Day!
We had to get on the train before 6am, because we did not want to pay for the bicycles. Everything went to plan as we climbed onto the train with this huge loaded bicycles. Think it was something to see!
Getting out of the train and walking to The Opera House, I got that exiting feeling in my stomach! And finally there it was…. Our starting point of Around 7 Continents! Everything we’ve done came down to this exact point!
Ricky De Agrela (first guy the fly around the world in a microlight) said he will be sending us off on our adventure. We were so glad that he could take his time to send the two South African boytjies into the wild!
Ricky took our send-off photos and video as we we making ready to start the adventure. Carrying our 50kg bicycles up the stairs was a bit of a joke, but when we got to the top we took very cool photos. After all the photos of the handshakes, smiles, handstands and jumping, it was finally time to get the bicycles down to the starting point….
And then… The nerves started….. 3 …….Ulrich and I wished each other luck ….. 2 ….. I told Ulrich, this is it ….. 1 ….. We grabbed the handles …. GO!!!! And there we go! Around 7 Continents is on the way!
On our way out Ricky also helped us with a lekker Subway and two cokes each to enjoy somewhere in our day. Was a much needed meal! Thanx Ricky!
Our first goal was just to get out of Sydney, and what a mission it was! We had to stay on the cycle routes and this made it very difficult to get out of Sydney. We went from one traffic light to the next.
The cycling in Sydney was a bit frustrating and then there was the first bike fell over and one of Ulrich’s tires burst! The day did not start perfect but this was part of starting our adventure and prepare us for some of the things to come.
Just after the airport we decided to take a break, eat the Subway and adjust my seat as it was keep shifting down…. When we tried to tighten the bolt, it broke! Ai, I could not believe it! Whats next?? I decided to take off my light and use the bolt on that for my seat. Luckily it fitted perfect and could cycle further on the first day.
We were following our “nice gps” as the sun was getting lower and it took us through all the neighborhoods in Sydney. At one point we came to a hill that was just impossible to cycle. We climbed off and started to push. Ten steps forward and then 30 seconds rest, ten steps forward and 30 seconds rest. This was one off he toughest hills i’ve seen in my life!
As we were walking up the hill, a guy that was working in his garden said, ” are you guys from Cape Town?” Struggling to get any words out we replied yes and started to talk to him. They immigrated to Oz 20 years ago from South Africa. He then said the road ahead is a dead-end. We could not believe what we heard! Ken was so nice and took us in his car to show us how to cycle, bit at that time it was starting to get dark. He then said we could camp in his garden. We were so happy and when we got to the house we started to pitch our tents for the first time.
It was a very tough and long day, bit in the end we got a place to sleep, coffee and got a bit of a picture on what to expect on our journey!!