And back in Sydney again. Upcoming climate action.

Back in Sydney to repair the bike, got a much-needed haircut, and when ready in a few days, I’ll head off to complete the ride north which at the last attempt was interrupted by a climate-change-enhanced weather event. On my return I want to cover a climate change protest organised by a group calling themselves ‘Blockade Australia’ which I believe has already stopped road and rail traffic in both Newcastle and Sydney. Is it a good strategy when you block average people from going about their daily business? Che would say it isn’t, and during the Cuban revolution he made a point of not upsetting the middle class, and says as much in the book he wrote on strategy.
Not that I would have any advise to give to young people who, and as we know because we were also young before becoming what to them is stupid and geriatric, but if I dared do so, I’d suggest keeping it about climate and protest in ways that make protesting about inaction on climate something conservatives could join in, without feeling obligated to embrace far-left policies.
We need unity and common cause, and already this criminal war in Ukraine is destroying our chances of achieving that in time to save life on Earth. One of the reasons I believe we should act with firm resolve in ridding Earth of wannabe dictators who deluded, want to make Russia/China/America ‘great again. Enough of the bullshit, we have work to do.

Uphill push, and who will be the greatest leader ever?

Pushed the bike and trailer up the Victoria Pass, that’s the steep climb that winds up the western side of the Blue Mountains. I wanted to ride, but with the weight of the trailer, I think the bike’s chain would have snapped. Just kidding, but on the steepest parts pushing was faster than cranking along in the lowest ‘granny gear’. Still, I think I can say I faced the challenge and made it to the top.

Halfway two women were heading down, on bikes with panier bags loaded, I raised my arm and pounded the air with my fist, the first woman responded by doing the same—power to the sisters.

From the top of the pass onwards is an easy ride, I stopped in Blackheath for a coffee, and sitting outside the café, I felt rather pleased with myself, wondering why I feared the Bathurst to Katoomba, and realising I did Bathurst to Lithgow in half the time it last took me a few years ago, LOL I must be getting fitter in my old age. Shit! I might well live to one hundred, and be around to witness the failure of humans to save themselves from their own madness. Climate change, always front and centre in my mind. Every time I see a little kid, I feel like going down on one knee and say how sorry I am we, the adult generation, have failed to protect their right to life.

If ever there were a time when a name would go down in history as the greatest of leaders, it would be now; the one who unified humanity in the struggle to preserve life on planet Earth, and from that struggle began an era within which a human civilisation emerged, living in peace, and as part of nature. A civilisation that over time would see the human species expand to the outer limits of our galaxy. We can imagine it, therefore it must be possible.

Bathurst and a heartbreaking find by the Molong creek.

So, Newcastle to Dunedoo, and then onto Dubbo and Wellington just north of which I found two spokes on the rear wheel were broken. No choice but to continue fingers crossed there would be no more surprises. From Wellington I continued down the Mitchell Highway and just passed Molong and looking for a place to camp, I found what looked like a rest stop with a memorial to the war dead by the side of a creek. There were other monuments but the sun setting I didn’t stop to check them out but rather followed a track that appeared to lead to an area where I might camp. At the end of the track there were concrete blocks with pictures of children who had been, I suppose you could say, ‘transported to Australia’ from England between the nineteen thirties and seventies. I’d heard about them, and how only recently were they given an apology and some financial compensation. Continuing passed the track, pushing the bike and trailer through knee-high grass, I found a billabong next to which were good sitting rocks, trunks of fallen trees and long grass, a great place to camp.

With the tent set up, the last light of day above the hills behind me, I imagined scores of children coming to this place, maybe spotting platypus, as I did sitting on a log, sipping a coffee. Later in the night, a full moon rose, I thought I heard laughter.

In the morning, before getting back on the bike to continue the ride to Orange, I walked around the other monuments and found lists of names, some with ages, the oldest children were thirteen, the youngest just four. Several hundred had been sent from England to a farm school located just across the highway, and from memory of an interview of a survivor, they were not told it was a one way trip, they thought they were going on a holiday. Text on a plaque told of the physical, emotional and sexual abuse they suffered at Fairbridge Farm School in New South Wales.

The children were given a new set of clothes and a cardboard suitcase when they turned seventeen, and were sent on their way to face life on their own. The boys often became farmhands on remote sheep stations, the girls. domestic servants. Reading on, the text said the site of the monument was where the children escaped the cruelty of the school to play by the creek.

In the words of today’s generation, Mad Respect.

The site is just south of Molong along the Mitchell Highway, do stop if driving that way, and give those brave kids a bit of your time.

Today, I arrived in Bathurst hoping to catch a train back to Sydney, but the track damage caused by recent floods has as yet not been repaired, so will have to ride across the Blue Mountains. It’s going to be tough, I’ll dedicate the pain to those I thought I heard laughing.

No time to be weak.

Have to agree with retired four star Wesley Clark, Ukraine is just the first ex-Warsaw block nation Putin wants back under Russian control. At the very least we should make a direct attack on Russia something its military commanders would fear to be imminent, which would leave them with two choices; continue to support Putin and see Russia destroyed with or without use of nuclear weapons, those in the west should be on high alert and probably are, or remove Putin and his cronies from power and call an election. The Russian military are not mad, the reason Putin sits as far as possible from senior commanders when further proving to them his brain has suffered a short circuit. The Russian military might soon wake up to the fact their duty to the Russian people is to remove the corrupt, degenerate criminals in the Kremlin.

Agree.

On the road again.

Attempted to leave Sydney by way of a train south, thinking I’d pick up where the last ride ended when the rear derailleur broke. No luck, the weather had caused landslides to close both the south coast and southern highland lines, as one did the train west, and so that left the train up the coast north. That took all night with delays and cancellations, but did make Newcastle on Tuesday morning. hadn’t slept but started the ride west and am now, Friday, in a locality called ‘Jerrys Plains’, in the beautiful Hunter Valley, were it not for the open-cut coal mines. Locals are great; a few days ago stuck because the highway I wanted to take was closed because of flooding, a local stopped, loaded my bike and trailer into his station wagon and drove me to Singleton where not-so-great local refused to let me spend the night camping on the showgrounds. “Nah mate – too wet”, he insisted despite I telling him I was on a bicycle and all the roads out were closed. I did find one that was open, and so took off down it before anyone get the bad idea of closing it as well. Spent two great night camped in the wild, the sun came back out so was able to dry my wet sleeping bag, shoes, and clothes, and even sit in zazen, which felt fantastic and life is worth living. Now not far from where I was this morning but Jerry Plains has a free camping site, and where it doesn’t have a five star restaurant nor even a supermarket, another wanderer just handed me a plate of chicken and fried rice. The moon has risen, the last golden light of day, later and out of sight, because I don’t like putting on a show, I’ll sit in zazen some more, and tomorrow will be a great day for sure. Onto the town of Denman and maybe further, I’ll see, no rush.