Blog 8

Saturday April 29th

Dear All

I am in Nundroo and wll leave Sunday ,heading for Yalata, the aboriginal community where I have been invited to visit via Macca

I am in serious territory now.  I passed through Penont 3 days ago, where the store sign says “last shop for 1000 km”.

I had an encounter with Telstra yesterday.  On a public phone I spoike to 5 different people; all very polite but they could not grasp the concept that I am 2000km from a Telstra shop.  They sold me a phone in Melbourne 17 February 2011 which has not worked for a month.  they established that it was faulty and gave me a number.  But they insist that I have to take it into a Telstra Office  After 105 (!) minutes I suggested that they connect me to someone in Australia who could understand my situation.  All I wanted was a phone, new or secondhand, sent to me; I would pay the postage.  They hung up on me after we went through the whole team.

(Ah, that feels better!)

People continue to be kind to me, like Chandra and Brian Sanball of Dianella.

I had an evening at a truck stop with Westy, Woodsy and Smithy’ they transport oversized dongas from Minamata in SA to Perth.  The were very entertaining – a little like the 3 stooges.  Unfortunately I left my camera at the place they cook their food on the truck.  If they find it they will drop it back on theri return.

I met up with Terry and Lorain Wisner who will call home and get my Fuji camera and return on their return.  They also met up wih Lyn and Julie and made a happy foursome.  We had a picnic on the side of the road having cake and tea.

I met Brendon Stoner and Kate Stoner, brother and sister.  They are cycling Port to Port: Port Fremantle to Port Macquarie – pleasant company.

I met Dams and Andy cycling for UNICEF; they kindly gave me a snickers bar.  They said the trip was part of a midlife crisis; they looked like children to me.

Colin and Jill Wills, whom I met 2009 and earlier this year, have been cycling with their grandson Jesse across the Nullarbor while Hill drives the caravan.  Lovely to meet them  Hesse is a very engaging young man.

We ahd a cup of tea at the side of the road with a family – Steve and Jenny and their two sons Jacob (4) and Zachary (2).  We spent a nice time and Jenny made me a sandwich to take.  They have a blog: http://www.the

French and German contingents will probably descend on Mary Ellen for one of her famous Freo tours: Quentin and Jean (Fr), Claudia and Julie (Ger).

I stayed at the Foreshore Caravan Park, thanks to Darren Beck.  Nan and Craig run the park and I cannot thank them enough.  Nan did my washing; that requires a bravery medal and industrial strength rubber gloves.  She has tone to the post office every day to pick up the parcel which still has not arrived from Kimba.  I will probably get my business cards and receipt books after the walk is complete.  Nan will arrange them to be sent by Grey Nomad courier when they show.

Patrick brought me a Mars Bar from Mrs Roberts somewhere in Adelaide.  He rode out on a motor bike and turned around when he delivered it.  Incredible.

I met Joy, a theatre nurse from the hospital in Richmond/Melbourne heading to Perth.  She made tea and gave a donation.

I apologise to the people I’ve missed as I do not have all my bits and pieces with me.

The weather is bloody awful at the moment, expecting thunderstorms.  Otherwise life is wonderful.

Happy Mother’s Day!


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Week 7

April 25

Stats : Now in Ceduna 28.8 km /day since March 1st 

More excitement this week.  A couple of days ago my front axle broke.  I pushed the buggy about six km holding the front wheel up in the air, going along quite nicely on two wheels.Probably 6km is about as far as I would want to travel like that.  Along came two backpackers (Dougie and Sam) who were intrigued by this old man pushing a buggy with the front end up in the air. I explained what I was doing and why. Dougie, a Gordie from Newcastle on Tyne, took charge and summed up the situation in a moment.  He took the handle of a plastic bucket and fashioned a new axle!
I have travelled with this for about sixty km so far and am confident I can keep going until I can get a new axle.

I expect I can get a new axle a little faster than it takes to get my business cards and receipt books, which still haven’t arrived because of the Easter and ANZAC day holidays.  They will not arrive till Wednesday and I leave today Monday.  I have arranged with Nan at the Foreshore Caravan Park to pick them up on Wednesday and to give to Victor and Helen to bring them out to me.

Darren Beck of PRO Management paid for my accomodation and it’s a touch of paradise to have a bed and en suite and able to get really clean.  One problem has been that I lost my fly net and have been layering on different formulas of anti- fly and mozzie brews, one on top of the other. A nice tasting repellent would sell very well.

On Macca yesterday I forgot to tell him about the axle and the family that walked with me – Chris,Sandra ,Matthew and Shai Wright from Hampton East in Melbourne; they were just what I needed at the time – good people.

David and Lance came back with a new tyre and I had to tell them I couldn’t carry the extra weight. I offered to buy it anyway but they would not hear of it. They are both friends of the new president of the Fremantle Men’s Shed.   

I met up with Ian Glover last week at Kimba.  He generously took some weight off my buggy back to Freo. We also had a pleasant evening remembering times past.

I always remember things I wanted to include after I’ve logged off.

To all my friends:  my new phone does not register my phone numbers so you will have to ring me.  Good luck as coverage is getting poor.

Happy Mother’s Day,Mary Ellen (no, she’s not my mother to newcomers).

Love to all

Mike Pauly

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Week 6

Stats: Arrived at Wudinna

Sunday 10th April I had gone through a series of minor mishaps; individually they were not a problem but the cumulative effect was that I went on to Macca (Australia All Over) in a state of depression, suggesting that I just tell them where I am rather than go on air. Macca’s producer and very wise woman (Lee) suggested, “Go on and you might get help.”

Well, with Macca’s kind words, help came in abundance. Just about every caravan on the road stopped to give me assurance, cups of tea, anzac biscuits, water, and most importantly some company. I tried to crack hardy on the radio but that generation are a perceptive lot. One family – Chris,Sandra ,Matthew and Shai Wright, travelling from Melbourne to Ceduna – walked and talked with me for about 6 km.

Lovely time spent with a family. Another family came down from Whyalla. Michael Helsberg sat me down with a beer and got his two daughters to hold the buggy while he performed his magic and fixed the tyre . John Phillips from WFI (Westfarmers Insurance) provided me with coffee and wagon wheels as well as hat and torch and help with communications. I understand more coffee and wagon wheels to come. There are so many people I would like to thank for getting me over this difficult period, but my record keeping is not all that crash hot; however, thanks to AAO (Oz All Over).

I had particular help from two members of the Ulysses Club Arthritis Research Fund. They gave me use of their phone on their second trip out to sort out my phone. Bevan made up a solar charger literally an hour before getting ready for his son’s wedding. I can now charge the phone and will power lights. Brian went to the Barossa to get a new phone and picked up the solar charger and motor cycled along with his friend Bob to help me set up. Ulyssians have always been generous people to many charities but they have dedicated themselves to Arthritis Reseach as the prime charity. They were extraordinarily helpful to me. Darren Beck, Parks & Resorts Operational Mangement consultant, has organised a night’s accommodation at Ceduna.

 Last night I had a pleasant time with a family Trevor and Liz and their two very bright boys, Max and Harry. Liz, a teacher, is guiding the boys for the next six months while Trevor works on his Master’s in sustainability. Max – wide eyed – told me in great detail about swimming and touching sea lions. Wow, what an experience! Harry and Max have been exploring the county on bikes and discovered and explored caves.

My apologies to all trying to phone: don’t panic if you cannot get through; communication will be problematical from now on.

 Couldn’t get on to Macca yesterday as phone was dead. Regards to all Much love Mike

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Stats. Hang on to your hats!   Since I left  on the 1st of March I have averaged 30 .15 km per day.

I am taking this opportunity while I am in Port Augusta to use the computer. A busy day today.  I have contacted the Intercontinental Newspaper. They wanted a photo op with Men’s Shed Guys but they are not there.  We will try senior cits.

 I have tracked the Mayor Joy Baluch down, owner of the Palms Motel.  She is quite extraordinary – 79 in October and has been Mayor for 28 years . Hope I can get to meet her.

While I think of it: had a lovely red wine at Ian & Elenore’s called Matioli – Jester

Called in at Port Germein Golf club and met some lady golfers: Vanessa, Judy, Jenny and Shirley.  They provided a feast and two mugs of tea; this is bliss.  They were meeting  to nut out a new American golf handicap system called “Slope”.

Along the way I met a journalist named Chris and his daughter Sarah who was born in Singapore.  Her parents are German and Chris is writing about  the mining towns in OZ; Coober Pedy next.

On these long stretches sometimes you cannot camp very far off the road so I am jammed between the railway traffic and the road traffic. On the other hand I am getting to know the train drivers; they now give me a toot. Truck drivers have their own way of encouraging me with a flash of the indicator or sometimes they give me a wide berth to prevent the wind blowing me over; that is if there is enough room.  Otherwise I get off the road.  When the wind is against you and a roadtrain comes along, it is like hitting a brick wall. So far it is mostly against me.

One of my main concerns has been mosquitos.  No matter how much I try to Rid them they always find a spot I’ve missed. There have been 900 cases of Murray River encephalitis and Ross River virus in the areas I have been going through with two fatalities.  So I went to the Doctor today and got a flu shot and asked about symptoms.  Seems I am ok.

Another sign of going through the wet areas of Vic and SA is the numerous frogs, snakes, mice and locusts . I am noticing their lack now I am in the arid areas.

I have now changed  3 inner tubes and put on one new tyre. I think my mattress also has a puncture.  I will check tonight.

Last night before I came into PT Augusta  Joyce gave me about one and half litres of water; I had miscalculated again on my water. Fortunately, she keeps nice rainwater for her poodles. (My apology if I have your name wrong.)
Today also, when Ian Glover meets me, it will be nice to see a familiar face.  And I am having dinner with Ian and Ruth in their 5 wheeler.  I must say they have been very kind to me.  

Regards to all

Mike Pauly

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Week 4

Monthly Stats
 March 827km  29.53 km per day

Week 4 

21 st March

Gave a talk to the Year 8 Maths class; I suspect they would enjoy any distraction from the usual. Seemed a particularly bright class, quite different from my year 8 days.


Walked 32 km into Tailem Bend. Had a Vego Foccacio at the Morning Loaf . Owner John very pleasant fellow.  Met his son Adam a couple of days later at a Surf shop.

25th Nairne

Walked in late – no accommodation anywhere so sat by the fire at the pub and charged up my batteries: mental and phone.  Had a counter tea.  The publican Roger said, “We aren’t licenced for accomodation; however, you can sleep in the barn out the back.”  I put the tent up, not wanting to share with crickets.


Walked into Mount Barker, the fastest growing town in SA. Malcolm, the Mayor’s husband, directed me into their place and looked after me royally. The mayor was substituting for Senator Nick Xenophon to open the show. I got there just in time to to hear her speech.
I was made into a minor celebrity (?) when I judged the Trade display. I gave the prize to the Mt Barker High School, mainly for their art work and presentation. It was the best in my mind anyway.
Left mid afternoon heading for the Adelaide Hills. Stopped at Grumpie’s, a pub that makes its own beer.  I met Grumpy and he turned out to be quite pleasant.
I slept out on the Bridge water oval. Pleasant night; very little noise.

Had breakfast at Aldgate, a very lively spot; a woman in the queue Lisa paid for my breakfast. 


Ian (Mark Weston’s brother-in-law) met me on the road  just befor Crafers and directed me in. He drove home and walked back to meet me and we took a less severe route. Elenor had been on nursing night shift, so I took the opportunity to have a little sleep and hear the results of my beloved Essendon’s score.  In the evening Sue, Mark’s wife, brought a delicious soup and Ian baked a tasty vegetarian lasagne. We all had a lovely meal; poor Mark was in Huston on US rations.  (Thanks, Elenor and Ian for a lovely stopover; not to mention my first bath in a month.
Met up with Sue and Mark straight from the airport.  They bought me lunch and gave directions on getting out of Adelaide.
Because the road is not walker friendly I had to push the buggy on the grass. I had multiple punctures in all 3 tyres.  Mark came to my rescue with four inner tubes. He also sent Rod out from Incospec to help. After Rod left I got another puncture.  I was at my wits’ end at this point.
Three students from TAFE – TraeWatson,Shane Smith and Daniel Priest – helped me get back on the road.
Camped out and next day Mark rang and suggested we get some puncture proof tyres. He went to Peter and Leah’s bike shop and brought them out to Two Wells. Now I am prepared for anything. Thanks Mark and all.

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Week 3

Travelled 573km, averaging 27.3km a day

Week 3  
Day 1 Tuesday 15/3
Heather took photos and interview for Nhill and Kaniva News.
 Left Nhill arrived Kaniva and stayed at a lovely caravan park. On the way to Kaniva I ran out of water 10k out and had a struggle the last part of the journey. Called by  a house and Elsa, grandmother of Caitlan, gave me cool refreshing rain water, the sweetest drink I have ever had. Elsa gave me a home grown peach and pear and spinach pie. Heaven sent. Caitlan will be studying tourism at uni. Altogether a very pleasant meeting.  

Day 2

Kaniva  allowed me to stay free of charge and got some washing done.  Happiness is clean clothes.The park has won many awards and I can see why .
 Met some interesting people at the CP Tony and Joy ;Tony was an anaesthetist at a large hospital. Also met James from WA.
Went to Windmill Cafe to have breakfast.  A large group of nurses having a meeting passed the hat round – more than covered breakfast.
The art collection is always interesting at the Windmill and Jenny Lester Smith showed me her new projects and her home and studio.
Walked on 18 k and camped out.

Day 3 St Pat’s Day
Before crossing the border into South Australia there is a shop called Lockhart Almonds. I had breakfast there as I did last time.  They have a beautiful range of products and the almonds are so unlike what you usually get; fresh is best. They sent me away with two toasted tomato and onion sandwiches.
Joy. Seriously, this range of products would market so well in a place like Freo.  Amazingly they have no distributor in WA.  Thanks, Bevan and Grace.

Day 4 

Had stayed overnight at CP so I could meet up with Fred Smith, journalist at Bordertown Chronicle that went well, especially when I told him I had just missed my GP who was born in Bordertown and was visiting her father for his 80th birthday. Fred suggested I go to local FM station 5TCB 106.1 and 106.4 later on the walk. I was surprised that they put me straight to air and was interviewed by Jill Milne.  She asked very good questions and helped us get our message out. They were also very generous by announcing the everyday hero site regularly after I had left.

Day 5 

Walked 12k out of Border town and camped then onto Keith.  It was like a ghost town – everyone was either at the car races in Adelaide or at a Field Day. Camped at Keith.

Day 6 Sunday 

Spoke to Macca and walked 38 km to Tinttinara where I am writing this blog.  The rain has been constant all night and there is localised flooding.  Reece from the Lions Club gave me an ice cold organic white tea – delicious.  He was on his way back from the Field Day.

 I have 208 km to go to Adelaide; should be there this time next week

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Week 2

Week 2  Total mileage 370 km Week 1-  160km week 2- 210km         averageper day  week 1- 22.2 km  Average per day week 2 -30 km
Day 1 Beaufort to Ararat  36 km 8/3

Showing some improvement; however, I want to describe what it is really like. Walking is painful.  I try many things to try to lessen the pain: like switching from orthotics to no orthotics, sandals with and without, shoes with and without, wearing supports on the knees and trying it without support, hoping this will strengthen the knees. I decide in the end to just put up with it.

Mary Ellen prepared cards for me with addresses. I either left them at home or lost them.  They were my christmas present. Is it possible to get another set or send me addresses?

This week started with grief  over my lost solar charger, then more grief as I lost both chargers for my two telephones. Then I lost my Ipood (device for digging little holes in the ground).

Most nights the traffic wakes me up because I do not camp far from the road. The rain is also keeping me awake but it is a nice feeling to be all warm and dry.

Day 2 9/3  Ararat to Stawell 27km
Met up with Ian and Ruth, good friends from my working days. Ian also is known as my Norwegian dresser. We shared a chalet in Lillehammer in Norway, I had a nasty accident on a motorbike during Jotun Olympics and I couldn’t dress myself. Ian was very attentative.  When they came along I was sitting in a winery having a glass of their best red. It will be hard to convince anyone this is a hard gig after that. 

Day 3  Slept at Green Hill Lake Stopped at Ararat
I did washing and bought my third hat for $2.38; at that price I’ll probably keep this one. I listened to ABC classic fm all day.
Day 4  10/3Camped out at Old Dadswell, a themed accomodation. Max and Jenn drove up in a A model Ford wedding car with tea and biscuits – what luxury!  Lovely people make this walk worth while.  Big Koala at Dadswell is being repaired by insurance after the floods but they are not paying up for the rest of the business. (Fine print strikes again)

Day 6 Dimboola

I met Wayne & Kerry  at the Desert Edge Cafe – just what Dimboola needs, by the look of the rest of the town. I was most impressed by the careful research of how to make a vegetarian burger – delicious – but  if I may be so bold, it could do with a chutney or sauce to make it perfect.
Larinda and David walked me out of the town – very nice young people.
Walked into Nhill Tuesday afternoon and went straight to the Tourist information centre to write this blog and charge the phone.  It is a public holiday today, Labour day.  Pat at the tourist information center made me most welcome.

Cr Wayne Lovett also took some pictures and story for the Dimboola Courier; available on line

Weather fine and mild 30 deg 3 days rain.

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