Chapter 1. Preparation to Nullarbor crossing

If you talk about traveling, especially for european tourists, Australia is kind of ‘maybe’ country. It’s interesting to visit, but maybe later. Because of many reasons – something strange, far, no direct flights and etc. So we know that Australia exists but we think about travelling to Australia maybe some time later, when we get big vacations or earn more money.

All of my friends who have already visited this country made it for immigration. So they had only one way ticket journey, and not for traveling and vacations. They are working hard for new life.

I already was looking for a way to make Australia a part of a big world bike journey. Actually, there are not so many direct flights from Australia to other continents. There are many flights via Singapore and some routes to USA. But I was looking for connection between Australia and South America. Qantas has only one route to Santiago.

Also you can cross Australia from East to West (Perth) and take a ticket on AirAsia to Bali (Indonesia). Then cycle through Indonesia. Anyway Sumatra island is still in my wish list to cycle.

This April, 2014 I have started to think about bike holidays. All my recent travels were to South East Asia. Why not cycle Australia this year? Just as a separated journey. From Perth to Melbourne or the opposite way.  As my current passport is going to expire I decided to make a try and request for Australian visa. I got a visa 2 weeks after I applied for it.

Then I had to make a crucial decision: which way to tackle the unforgiving Nullarbor Plain? East to West or the reverse? The flat terrain offered no shelter from the relentless winds, and so I consulted the autumn wind forecast before ultimately deciding to cycle from Adelaide to Perth.

In preparation for the treacherous journey ahead, I gave my trusty steed a thorough cleaning, making sure to adhere to Australia’s strict ecological customs. I also picked up a couple of new Rubena tires, sacrificing durability for affordability. And, just to be safe, I packed a spare Nokian tire in my luggage.

With all the necessary precautions taken care of, I set off on my adventure across the Nullarbor Plain. The winds may have been strong, but my determination was stronger. I was ready to conquer the vast expanse of nothingness and emerge victorious on the other side.

As the trip approached, I couldn’t shake the feeling of worry and doubt. Was I making a mistake by traveling to this remote destination at this time of year? But as soon as I received my boarding pass at the airport, excitement began to replace my anxiety.

The flight from Dubai to Adelaide was a long one, stretching on for nearly 12 hours. When I finally arrived in Adelaide, I had to adjust my watch to account for the time difference – a full 6 and a half hours ahead of Moscow time.

The following morning, I boarded another plane bound for Pt. Lincoln, eager to begin my journey across the Nullarbor.

Ian and Geraldine appartments - nice host in Adelaide

As I arrived at the airport, I was greeted by Ian – the boyfriend of my Warmshower host, Geraldine, who was unfortunately away for the week. Despite the initial hiccup with finding a place to store my bike for the night (it was just a few centimeters too big to fit in the airport’s automatic storage cells), Ian graciously offered to store it in his car until the morning.

After a short night ride across Adelaide, I caught a glimpse of the majestic Emirates plane as it took off into the dark sky, heading back to Dubai. The bright B-777 soared above the dark sea, its lights twinkling in the night. It was a beautiful sight to behold.


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