I rode some tracks in Australia, in the wilds (outback – as the natives call it) about 10 hours drive north of Perth, I absolutely loved it, But it has some disadvantages too.

 

1) Dust, it was so ‘effing dusty that you can only ride in twos, side by side, other wise unless there is a good cross wind you have to sit about a mile back from the guy in front. It gets everywhere, even in your pants, ears, socks. If you try to overtake a car on the “road” you can’t see shit for the last 100yards because of massive clouds of brown/red dust, not even the back bumper of the thing you are over taking until you get 4 feet away, so you are on the wrong side of the road, doing 70 totally blind…takes balls of titanium to pass a truck.

 

2) Poisonous wild life, it seems like every dammed thing that moves will kill you, there are tons of poisonous spiders and snakes and lizards and stuff… even the cute Roos sometimes kick at bikes that go behind them and disembowel the rider. One of the guys who was at the back of the group, got bit by this ground bug that made his neck swell like a balloon and puss came out for 5 days, I think it was me that roosted it onto him.

 

3) If you get lost you die, no mobile phone that far out and 700 miles to the next town. It was so dry and lonely, I think Ray Mears would be calling for his mummy after about 3 hours on foot.

 

4) If you fall off and really get hurt you are proper f*cked. No air ambulance, nada, if you are with mates they leave you under a tree with some water and someone should be able to come get you within 24-hours….

 

5) the bikes cost 3 times the price.

 

6) Australians are mostly really nice blokes, much nicer than your average Londoner these days, but like anywhere every now and then you meet an asshole or a pair of them; and in australia the assholes are as big as the landscape….I was Ok, as I know to keep my gob shut if strangers are paying too much attention to me and I was with some army types who looked after their POM/WOP mates back, but australian outback ladies like to talk to people from the exotic UK, and it seems to lead to people letting the air out of your tyres, starting a fight from behind and hitting you with half a glass ashtray etc. I think that is why Ewan and Charlie had more bodyguards in AUZ than in the middle east and Africa. Still at least they do not stab each other outside school over there; like here most fridays.

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