• SANDSTONE TO WILUNA P1010475
    Alan Melville

    Hiking the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT)

    A journey by Alan Melville
    Get emailed when something new is posted
    ...
  • WILUNA TO MEEKATHARRA P1010524
    Alan Melville

    Hiking the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT)

    A journey by Alan Melville
    Get emailed when something new is posted
  • WILUNA TO MEEKATHARRA REV 1 P1010768
    Alan Melville

    Hiking the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT)

    A journey by Alan Melville
    Get emailed when something new is posted
  • 01
  • 02
  • 03
/ 03
  • SANDSTONE TO WILUNA P1010475
    Alan Melville

    Hiking the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT)

    A journey by Alan Melville
    Get emailed when something new is posted
    ...
  • WILUNA TO MEEKATHARRA P1010524
    Alan Melville

    Hiking the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT)

    A journey by Alan Melville
    Get emailed when something new is posted
  • WILUNA TO MEEKATHARRA REV 1 P1010768
    Alan Melville

    Hiking the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT)

    A journey by Alan Melville
    Get emailed when something new is posted
  • 01
  • 02
  • 03
/ 03

DAY 8

- on Tuesday, 30 May 2017.

Day 8.

I wandered down to the wharf as I was told there is mobile reception there, which there is.

I rang Qantas to see if they have bike boxes at Cairns airport.  I wanted to confirm prior to booking a ticket out. After waiting 1 Hr:40 I gave up and booked a ticket to Sydney for tomorrow at 5pm. I booked the bus out to Cairns for an 0810 pick-up at the front of the caravan park. If all goes well, I’ll be in Cairns by lunchtime.

I’m pulling the pin on the walk. It’s just too slow and I have to work too hard with the MW. Not only do I struggle my arse off going up the hills,  but I have to run the drag brake going down the hills as well. It makes for very slow going. I also seem to struggle with balance on it and can never settle into a rhythmic gait, it doesn’t seem to make any difference how I pack it either. For me in particular,  I feel it’s more of a burden pulling it up hills than carrying my pack would be. It’s hard enough on the tar and nearly impossible on the single track the horses use. When I get into the country where that is all there is, I don’t feel I’ll be able to do it. I was already going to skip the CREB track because of this issue.

EDIT. I had an email from Kai, the inventer of the MW, poor bloke was gutted to hear I'm dropping the MW in favor of the bike. I just want to make it clear its nothing to do with the quality or function of the MW. Its simply a personal thing, as I said, I really struggle when towing it, when I push it, like a wheel barrow, I find it very easy to control, it's very obvious to me that it's a hand / eye co-ordination thing. The way I have it all set up, when pushing, the solar panel is always in the shade and this simply wouldn't work. The other issue, as I said, is the roughness / steepness of the trail. On these sections the rocks present a huge challange as they simply stop the MW in its tracks and pulling a dead weight of 50 KG up and over them on a narrow steep trail takes a massive effort. For your info, one of my criteria for the bike was a top notch 'Push Assist' because I would encounter exactly the same issue when pushing a normal bike up these sections, in actual fact, it would be harder as one has to be beside the bike whilst pushing and on a narrow steep trail having the peddles hitting one's legs become a real issue.

So, what am I going to do? Well, in the first instance, one of my daughters is putting a show on board a Maxi Yacht as part of Sydney Fashion Week, hence high tailing it to Sydney. That gig is happening on Thursday, and I secured my seat this morning! After that,  I’m not sure. I’m thinking of leaving my gear in Sydney and heading home to get my bicycle to finish the BNT on it, but I’ll see,  I’m enjoying myself on the track, but as I said, I don’t feel the MW is the way for me to complete it.

One thing that has amazed me is the lack of knowledge amongst the locals, all the way from Cooktown down, about the existence of the track. The bloody thing has been here 30 odd years and even I learnt about it well over 10 years ago!

So there it is, over after only 1 week and 70 k’s! Ah well,  shit happens, and I might be back! Then again, I may just just head to the USA or Germany, there’s a nice bicycle that Tout Terrain make called the Panamericana Xplore that I’ve had my eye on for a while, and I could save shitloads on air tickets if I rode it home...... Now there’s a thought!

Don’t give up on this site just yet,  I’ll put an update about future happenings...... some time in the future......   J

Bye bye for the mo' and thanks for following.

Al.

Leave a comment