Across Continents

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Bruce Highway

May 1st, 2011

Bruce

My Dad had a few questions. Bruce Highway. Was it the main arterial route along Australia’s east coast? The only one? Did it really get closed to traffic as frequently as I’d suggested? Yes. I said. On all accounts.

Highway, I added, was perhaps an unduly grand description. Maybe not further south. But in north Queensland certainly. Mostly mediocre "A" road. Low lying sections often submerged in the wet season. Cutting off the region from the rest of the State.

Road closures just part and parcel of life here. Supermarket shelves sometimes run a bit low. Fresh produce rockets in price. People just take it in their stride. After all, if it gets really bad, provisions can always be brought up the coast by ship.

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Highway etiquette

May 1st, 2011

Bruce Highway from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

A few extra rules I’ve devised to avoid becoming road kill on the Bruce Highway. Constantly being refined. Toying with one about simply parking up on Public Holidays….

1. Fit a mirror. And use it.

2. Wear a bright reflective vest or jacket. Always.

3. Give truckies who give you road room a big thumbs up – most do – and curse those who don’t – no making abusive gestures – see Rule 8.

4. Wave to northbound truckies – chances are they’ll pass you soon enough going southbound – nowhere else to go.

5. Put your rear lights on in the rain.

6. Assume all long-distance coach drivers are blessed with morbid stupidity. Especially those nice chaps driving for a little outfit that reminds me of racing whippets…

7. Avoid riding too close to the edge of either the road or the shoulder – it’s your escape lane – see Rule 6.

8. Remember – most truckies chat to each other on CB radio.

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Mirror image

May 1st, 2011

Mirror image from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Avid viewing. The mirror. Not the video. For yours truly at least.

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Hitting the Highway

March 30th, 2011

Road ahead – quick update from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Over the last few months the blog’s featured Cyclone Yasi, crocodiles, koalas, cane toads and encounters with local media. Together with some of the more interesting characters I’ve met on my travels. All in Far North Queensland, high up on Australia’s east coast. The Wet Tropics. The acclimatisation phase. Preparing for the journey down to Sydney, then on to Melbourne.

Over the next few weeks the story of the road south will unfold. The journey west up into the high hinterland. A brief detour into a region known as the Atherton Tablelands. Tropical storms. Through the towns of Kuranda, Mareeba, Atherton, Herberton and Millaa Millaa. Before returning to the coastal Bruce Highway at Innisfail.

Then it’s south along the eastern seaboard through the cyclone hit coastal communities of Mission Beach, South Mission Beach, Tully and Cardwell. Tales of sheltering in ditches, Prince William. And some of the interesting characters I inevitably bump into. Then on to Ingham. Mostly camping. Next Townsville and a few days staying with an Aussie family. Before returning to the road.

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