The Why Not? Blog

At the tender age of 25 Dave started skateboarding. 14 months later he became the first person to skate the length of Britain. Another 8 months on he had crossed Australia on his board, breaking a world record & raising over £20,000 for three charities. Now, at 27, he's writing his first book, is a motivational speaker and a businessman, and he's only just gotten started on a lifetime of challenges which from the outside look just darn crazy. So, why? You know the answer, don't you. Why not?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

No kangaroos, just cars...

The past few days have gone by in a flurry. On Sunday a hefty crosswind that couldn’t have been more determined to knock me off balance didn’t stop a final 68km push into Port Augusta, which signalled the end of the Eyre Highway which had kept me company for almost a month. Port Augusta was a shabby town with a couple of shiny spots to keep people happy. One of these was the Big4 Caravan Park, a clean and well laid out campsite in which we were kindly given parking space and two cabins in which to spend a well-earned rest day. Port Augusta has a population of 15,000 people, and the incoming traffic confirmed that this town was the biggest urban settlement we’d passed through since Perth. From now on, at least for the most part, the lonely outback roads are past, and the steady whoosh of cars will again become commonplace.

Another reality check: we have mobile telephone coverage again. At ten to seven on Monday morning – our rest day remember! – the phone rang. Interview with ABC South Australia. In the early afternoon I chatted to Jess from Flow FM, which has good coverage throughout much of South Australia. Later I spoke to Triple J, an interview which went national, and went well! The next morning, I’d been back on the road for all of ten minutes before ABC Tasmania called in, and to finish off the flurry I was back on the phone at 5pm speaking to my old friends at BBC Radio Cumbria, having passed through Carlisle during BoardFree UK in May. Unfortunately a bad phone signal cut the interview short, I hope they don’t give up on me!

Back in May I was about 350 miles into my long distance skateboarding career. Now, with over 2500km down in Australia alone, my feet are looking considerably better than they did for much of BFUK and despite a transitory tummy bug that the team are sharing between each other at the moment I’m feeling fit and strong, if only a bit achy. It looks likely that a couple of toenails are on their way out, but if that’s the only damage so far I can deal with it!

65km south of Port Augusta, Port Germein was the stopping point yesterday afternoon. Home to Australia’s longest wooden jetty at over 1,200m, Port Germein is a delightful little village with a population of 250 or so and the Port Germein Progress Association, in the form of the local caravan park, gave us a lovely place to stay for the night. We crabbed and fished at the end of the jetty until the sun disappeared into a remarkably calm Spencer Gulf, and the twelve or so Blue Crabs we did manage to fish out of the water found themselves back in there before we started the long walk back to the caravan park.

This morning Dan cycled with me all the way to Crystal Brook, some 48km south of Port Germein, and we made our lunch stop by noon thanks to a pleasant tailwind and smooth roads. With every push Adelaide draws closer, now less than 200km to go before we roll into the city that has always been in our minds as the halfway point of BoardFree Australia. Halfway in distance perhaps, but I get the feeling, as a large proportion of vehicles passing us wave their hands crazily and honk horns in recognition of a journey they have already heard about through the media, that the urban experience is going to be quite something during the coming months.


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