A Bicycle Riding Holiday – Day 5: Taralga to Goulburn and Anzac Day Anzacs

Anzac Day 2018 I wanted to ride someplace quiet and beautiful. I chose the area around Goulburn, New South Wales. This is the telling of that journey in words and pictures. I’ve split each day into three pieces – the story, some history, and the details (of route, accommodation and food).  This is the sixth and final post in this series. The first, a prologue, the second – from Goulburn to Collector, the third from Collector to Gunning, the fourth from Gunning to Crookwell, and the fifth from Crookwell to Taralga.  Today’s entry is from Anzac Day itself. If you read to the history …

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A Bicycle Riding Holiday: Day 2 – Collector to Gunning

Anzac Day 2018 I wanted to ride someplace quiet and beautiful. I chose the area around Goulburn, New South Wales. This is the telling of that journey in words and pictures. I’ve split each day into three pieces – the story, some history, and the details (of route, accommodation and food).  This is the third post in this series. The first, a prologue and the second – from Goulburn to Collector. Sunday 22 April 2018 The Story Some Café has a rustic glass display case full of baked goodies. The menu is short but full of finely described temptations. The …

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An Irish Interval in My Midlife Gap Year – Part 2: 8 – 12 October 2015

Thursday 8 October I’m enjoying another quiet day in the Irish countryside. I’m writing emails to friends I might visit in the States, while chatting and hanging out with my friend and host, Cornelia, as she does stuff around the house. We Skype our mutual friend Jim – who we find fireside on an Australian spring evening with a glass of red wine in his hand. He waxes on about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up the book by Marie Kondo which his daughter has given him. We ask him to show us around his place to see the results …

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An Irish Interval in My Midlife Gap Year – Part 1: 3 – 7 October 2015

It’s my 132nd travelling day and I awake in Dublin. Saturday 3 October 2015 Dublin is overcast and cool this morning. I wake at 8 am and have breakfast. When I booked the Adelphi Guesthouse, I thought the breakfast was included but when I checked in last night found that the providers of my tiny €99 room with a shared bath, in a place which bills itself as a B&B, charge extra for breakfast. My look of disappointment led to the receptionist throwing it in for free. If you present yourself as a bed & breakfast, which they do, then charging …

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BERLIN! And a flight to Ireland (30 September to 2 October 2015)

We rejoin our story on day 129 of my mid-life gap year. Wednesday 30 September 2015 I wake in Berlin to diffuse autumn sunshine and breakfast in the sparse kitchen before reorganising my gear in preparation for putting my bicycle in storage and slimming down to just a carry-on bag for the next leg of my journey. With those chores done I set out for lunch and bit of exploration. Hummus & Friends proves too inviting to pass by and, oh my God, it’s so good. The hummus is creamy with just the right amount of tang – I could …

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From Zurich to Mainz and Berlin (27 – 29 September 2015)

Sunday 27 September 2015 I feel less than certain about everything. I feel like I am in a miasma in the middle of my mid-life gap year. I’m worrying that the year will be a series of experiences and nothing more, that I’ll return to Sydney and pick up my life where I left it – in a confused and ill-directed place and edging ever closer to 50. I want, and expect, this journey to change me and to clarify for me what should come next, but I also think these things must come organically, that I can’t force them. …

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Riding in Switzerland: From Brugg to Zurich for my day near Christoph

We re-join our story on the morning of my 123rd day on the road. I am in Brugg, Switzerland and poised to ride to Zurich in time for the Zurich Film Festival and a screening of Inglorious Basterds to be attended by Christoph Waltz. If, as you are reading this, you find yourself wondering what my thing about Christoph is, I’d point you to the explanation in this earlier post. Thursday 24 September 2015 Today is my last day riding in Europe. I wake with that thought and it weighs upon me. I have 40 kilometres to pedal and I …

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Riding in Germany & Switzerland: Cruising towards Zurich Wrapped in Anxiety

Monday 21 September 2015: Bad Bellingen to Bad Säckingen At the beginning of my ride, back in June, there were farmers selling cherries and strawberries, they were rolling hay in the fields. Now there are apples everywhere, nuts falling from trees and the only crop still in the ground is corn, just about ready to be picked. It’s as beautiful a day’s riding as I’ve had. It’s sunny and warm but not hot. Under a big upturned bowl of blue sky, I follow the river for a while then traverse the city of Basel. The city provides directional street signs …

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Riding in Germany: Cruising along the Rhine from Strasbourg to Bad Bellingen

I awake on day 117 of my mid-life gap-year in a hotel room in Strasbourg, France and keen to get to Germany. Friday 18 September 2015, Strasbourg to Ottenheim Admittedly, my morning coffee may have been a little strong. But the day is clear and I am leaving France. I’m jumpily excited. My legs bounce at I breakfast. As I begin my ride, I’m initially on the road and I am pumping, pedalling hard for the border. I switch to the footpath where I can, just to slow myself down, calm myself a little bit. I reach the Rhine and …

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Riding in France: Two days of problem-solving in Reims

We arrive on the 112th morning of my mid-life gap-year as I awake at Hotel de la Cathedrale in Reims, France. Sunday 13 September 2015, Reims The past few days have been tough. They have been emotionally draining – between the time spent thinking about all those dead Australian diggers and my own homesickness. And physically challenging – riding in the rain, days proving to be longer than I expected. And now I’m having my period. I should know I don’t need to justify my decision to spend a second night in Reims – but, yet, I feel like saying I’m …

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