July 4th 1999
The team enjoying some sunny weather during
training in Darwin
We have spent just over a week in Darwin
acclimatising, road training, starting the comparison testing along
with purchasing provisions and attending the local shopping centres
to get as much publicity for both the venture and Wheelchair Sports
We have had a few hiccups , the latest being that the
second chair from Britain hasn't yet arrived, due to the customs in
Australia insisting that I collect the chair from Sydney in person.
So it looks like the Varna will be doing the whole
in Darwin we have been made very welcome at Larrakeyah Barracks,
where we made good use of the gym and swimming for some
last minute fitness work. We also stayed out for a night in Kakadu
National Park to see how we would get on with the camper. It's a bit
like the huts on Kili for me, once in, grounded!
Meeting the public at a press launch in
finally started on July 1st. at 10:45 Australian time. We were seen
off by the Chief Minister and were given a police escort out of the
town. We received good media coverage with both ABC and Channel 8
giving us national time of between 5 and 10 minutes news coverage.
were told that the first 200 miles out of Darwin was uphill, and it
Although it is the holiday season, the route has not had
too much traffic, but it is heavy gravel and this has meant the
Varna has had to have a few adjustments.
The temperatures have been
anywhere up to 35 C. We have made good progress, we are present in
Katherine, as we have to make it to a campsite to enable us to link
to electricity for the campervan for washing and
Thursday, we cycled 50.2 miles, on Friday we cycled 56 miles and
yesterday we cycled 66 miles. We have passed through, Noonaman which
consisted of a couple of houses, we travelled past the Adelaide
River, where there was a post office on to Pines Creek, this was a
small town of approximately 450 people. Here at Katherine we have
been made very welcome, the people were expecting us having watched
the T.V. reports. We have seen some wildlife, a few wild horses,
wallabies and plenty of wild birds.
Whilst over here I have
learnt that have been send a A$1000 cheque from
KPMG Foundation in Sydney. My
thanks must go to Gerry Acher of KPMG London who approached his
Australian colleagues for me.
Our next main town is Tennant
Creek but tomorrow is any early start for Mataranka.
Palm trees, blue water and sunshine. Temperatures up to
35 degrees face the team as they
head south from