Book 12 - Chapter 5                                    Written / Published  8.11 - 15.11.13

(Pics by author, unless indicated)

         HOME            THE  WINNER GAVE  IT  ALL    Given your all? Now what?

"The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet." (Nahum 1:3, NIV).

 

As I begin this chapter a category 5 super-typhoon is battering the Philippines.  Reports on TV and radio called it the strongest storm ever to make landfall. In this chapter we meet with two storms. A freak hailstorm on October 14, which did not cause much damage. It was a very different story 3 days later - a fire storm. The news was not good.

 

5.   D U and ALL

The great 3:1 win by our Adelaide United football team in their first A-League game for the 13/14 season was followed by another almost-win. Unfortunately, in Round 2, in the final minutes of the match, the opposition was able to equalize to end the game 2:2. What followed during the three weeks since, a series of narrow losses, does not spell disaster, yet. There is plenty of time for a come-back.

During writing this chapter I attended my first A-League home-game for the season. The date was 9.11.13. It would take some match-fixing skill to produce a final score, which could in any way reflect this date. (The AFL, Australian Rules Football League, may produce a 91 :113 result?) 

(But AFL is not even played with a round ball. Half the time the ball is played with hands. Maybe, the A-League should change its name to FDR FL (Fair Dinkum Real Football League?)

Still, at Hindmarsh, now called Coopers Stadium, on the evening before this writing, there was a number, which engaged my brain cells. During the second half, normally, the attendance figure is shown on the big screen and announced over the loudspeakers. On November 9 it was 10244. 

This led to an interesting discovery the next morning. 

(Hey, isn't this strange? The following photos and incident took place ten hours before this writing. Just now, as I write it all, it came to me how the date also (the 9th) fits in perfectly!

Taking an early morning walk around our neighbourhood, without thinking, two parked vehicles grabbed my attention. Not sure if it was the black Toyota or the blue Holden next to it, which first made me think: Hey, aren't these numbers similar to the attendance at Hindmarsh last night? Take a look:

 

Above: 10 244 and registration numbers 109 - 244 made sense. But where to put the 9 ...? Of course, ten hours later, as I pasted this photo, it came. The game was played on the 9th.

Seconds after taking above photo, another registration plate drove into the same carpark: ...999. It happened to be the same colour as the VINYL plate (see previous chapter.)

But there was more. >>>

 

Right there on the ground lay a junk food box. Somebody the night before discarded their junk food box in the carpark. I took these photos on the 10th.

Hey, I just noticed the C and X, see ten!   

- - - - - - -

Trying to digest all these numbers ten leads me to the next thought, which crossed my mind at the FDR FL match last evening. One of the new sponsors of Adelaide United for the 2013/14 season is the Northern Territory Tourist Commission. There were a few raised eyebrows when this was first announced. Why promote another state, instead of your own, is a fair question? (As I understand it, SA's Tourist Department could not come to an agreement with the Club.)

Why do I mention this here? The answer is hidden in TEN, take a look: 

 

 

Do the  NT

The consonants in the word TEN are NT. Co-sponsors of Adelaide United in the 2013/14 season is the Northern Territory Tourist Commission.

Newcastle's No.5 marks Adelaide's star striker No. 7 Jeronimo. Adelaide led 1:0 at half time, but lost 2:1. For the Jets it was their 1st win of the season. It was Adelaide's 3rd loss in a row.

 

Before we resume our journey to Canberra, I must write about what took place on the same Sunday, November 10th. It only occurred to me early on the morning of writing (Remembrance Day 2013), because 10 fits in well with 55. Plus, as I woke some hours before this writing, the clock showed exactly 1.55 am. 

As regular readers know, the number 55 in my code represents LOVE. I view the consonants LV in Roman numerals = 55. November 10 was Love Sunday. I noticed this theme in two church services. Firstly, on Channel Ten at 6.30 am, when Brian Houston spoke on the theme: Relentless Love.

My mind later in the day engaged in the letter-elimination game: Relentless = Re: NT Love.

The service at our regular church, also was on the theme of love. At one point, as the band played a beautiful melody, the lyrics appeared on the big screen:

"Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things on earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."

Sitting in the back of the auditorium, in the 7th row, I noticed how the microphone cord hung from the ceiling. (It had happened before). From my viewing position the cable sliced through the last letters in the words JESUS and HIS

How well SS and IO go together !  

- - - - - - -

Our Daily Bread, 11. Nov. - Remembrance Day 2013 

Disaster Diaries, a young boy writes a wartime diary...

It does sound repetitive, but it really is peculiar: To be writing extensively about number ten, then later realizing that on the same day the first line in your bible reading contains the word ten, I find ... well timed.

Dennis Fisher writes: "At various times we may experience ...disasters. But these times of trouble do not last forever. And like Jeremiah, our most sustaining hope is to reflect upon the faithfulness and provision of our heavenly Father."

I don't always do my bible reading late, but when incidentals, like the above happen, I'm glad I did. 

- - - - - - -

 

With my GIANT bicycle all loaded up for the 84 kilometre ride to Gundagai, I was about to continue my ride from Wagga Wagga, via the Sturt Highway. After a few kilometres it would join the Hume Highway, the main route between Adelaide and Melbourne. I knew there would be heavy traffic, including many trucks. 

On leaving I had a last minute thought. I asked the manager of the Caravan Park, if he knew of a quiet back road I could take? The young man, working from his small office, was extremely helpful. He said there was. He explained not only where to go, but he printed a Google map for me.

Had I simply followed the highway, the route I had always taken in the car, I would have missed a most beautiful, quiet country road. And I would have missed Oura, the hamlet, where I took the picture at the end of the previous chapter. 

Riding down a gentle slope, just before the town of Nangus, a kangaroo hopped beside me, unable to find its way back into the bush. It was a pretty sight, as the animal kept pace with me for about 1/2 kilometre. It finally crossed the road and disappeared into an open field. This 5-feet roo was only one of many animals I spotted. I recall some snakes, a fox, emus, a tortoise, 3 (dead) wombats, besides all kinds of birds and farm animals. It was sad to see the large number of dead animals, mostly kangaroos, but also other wildlife.

The back road to Gundagai was a pleasure to ride and reasonably easy. Small hills may take a little more effort, but they make the landscape so much more interesting. I arrived in Gundagai at around 3.15 PM. There was plenty of time to explore and learn about this town, which I did after pitching the tent and showering. 

Because the Sturt Highway by-passes the town, many travellers only know Gundagai for the Dog on the Tuckerbox statue; nine miles from Gundagai, as the poem goes. But there is so much more to see in the town proper, which I explored and photographed just before sunset.

   

Historic Prince Alfred Bridge, built in the 1860s. Once the longest timber bridge in Australia, nearly a kilometre long.

Gundagai in 1852 was the place of Australia's worst natural disaster until that time. The Murrumbidgee River burst its banks. A wall of water swept helpless victims away. Men, women and children clung to trees and rooftops until daybreak. Nearly a third of the population, 98 souls, drowned.

A marker at a river crossing near the tourist office shows the various flood levels over the years. As recent as March 2012 major floods occurred in Gundagai surrounding areas. 

The town, which was always prone to flooding, was eventually moved to higher ground, up the slopes of Mt. Parnassus.

<<< The only remaining building of the original township is the Gundagai Mill, built in 1848 by Edward Flood (No misprint, just unfortunate name.) 

 

 

 

<<< Historic Juigong.

Next day I stopped for lunch in this pretty, little village. There's little else beside this park, a pub, a church and a road house.

The main street is flanked by an impressive avenue of popular trees.

Shops in Sheridan Street, Gundagai. Population around 2000.

Gundagai Mill in Sheridan Lane. The historic railway bridge can be seen in the background. 

 

Unfortunately, there were no more quiet back roads after Gundagai. The 104 kilometres to Yass were the hardest on this trip so far. Fortunately, the weather was lovely, not hot, nor cold, sunny skies and only light winds. After another overnight in Yass, it was only another 60 kilometres of pleasurable riding to my destination, and rendezvous with my wife in Canberra. 

Approaching the outskirts of Canberra I was looking for the spot, where I had picked up a registration plate (272) in 2008. I had carried it home as souvenir (Pic. Bk.7, Ch.18.)  I never passed that spot, because I realized that in 08 I had arrived via the Federal Highway, not the Barton, which I was riding this time.

Therefore, the number 27 was on my mind that sunny, warm afternoon (the 9th I just realized). On the opposite side of the road came a group of cyclists, riding in a line. Of course, I gave a little wave, as you do. As I did I noticed there were 9 riders. They were riding in formation, leaving a gap toward the rear. It made me think:

      

(The jury is out, deciding what is greater, my paranoia or my observation skills?)

- -   - - - - - - -

In 2008  I had cycled to Canberra, arriving from Brisbane. Therefore, I found it somewhat ironic that my first stop in Canberra was a place in Brisbane Ave. I took the time, before meeting my wife and her mother, to say hello to the cyclist I had met in 2012 in Southern Germany (Bk.11, 23.) At the time I had promised: "I will see you sometime in Canberra". His office happened to be at 2-4 Brisbane Ave. We had a great chat about things; cycling mostly. I could have spent hours hearing his stories, but had to say good-bye after an hour or so.

Our apartment for the four nights in the ACT (Australian Capitol Territory) was not far away in the suburb of Forrest.

May I just digress here, since I am writing about a suburb in Canberra. My mind is occupied with the name of another Canberra suburb and what I saw on Nov. 10th, the day before this writing. 

I was driving south on Adelaide's Hampstead Road. On ABC Radio 891 I heard a popular Sunday morning presenter speak of Watson, a suburb of Canberra.

This made me turn up the volume. You see, my next turn was to be Watson Ave, about two or three kilometres further south on Hampstead Road.

I learned that the Canberra suburb of Watson was named after Australia's first Labor Prime Minister. What I heard next sounded like..."Watson is in-filled with...?" 

The way I heard in-filled sounded like Enfield. The Watson Avenue I was about to turn into was at Enfield, right by the Enfield Baptist Church, the place written about in my early books.(...Our God Reigns!) 

I am not telling a lie. Rather, digesting later what I had heard on Radio that morning, I came up with LIE, playing with the two words IN-FILLED AND ENFIELD*, eliminating doubled-up letters. 

(Using the same system take MARJORIE and MAHJONG, the result is HEGIN, the words STATES / SITES become T AI, etc etc.)

*I just saw both words end in LE & D. That makes sense (see previous chapter.)

Why am I bothered, playing games?

That Sunday morning, seconds before turning into Watson Ave, I had to slow my vehicle. A car crash had occurred on Hampstead Road, on the corner of Branson Ave.  From news reports I learned, at least one person had died. But take a look at the photograph published online:

www.adelaidenow.com.au

The white taxi was still there, when I passed the crash scene 3 hours later. The Ford had gone. I did not see it.

Sunday, Nov. 10th, 2013,  Hampstead Rd /Cr.Branson Av.

6.15 AM. (Another report gave 5.45am)

 

<<< How did the wrecked, red Ford get into this position?

The vehicle had travelled toward the camera, yet the car body is wrapped around the tree!)

It must have been a high-speed crash. The chassis of the red Ford is wrapped around the tree, on the footpath side, and is facing north! How can this be?

A police officer in a press conference (*You Tube) explained that the white taxi was travelling north as it was hit by the Ford, which had moved onto the wrong side of the road, travelling south. It then hit the tree. 

How could the Ford, I ask, be travelling south at high speed, then end up wrapped around the tree on the far side, between footpath and the road? Above photo just does not make sense at all. 

*http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04FICS2IdcU&feature=share&list=UUiK-Sibg

Vl1RYy8qzsMg7ng

 

My mind goes back to the KRRC, the Kapunda Road Royal Commission, where I asked questions concerning the crash investigation in the alleged hit-run by a prominent legal identity in Adelaide.

 

My questions in this case are also left answered. One comes to mind: How could a key-witness testify that they saw a vehicle drive at 130 km/h, swerving all over the road? Impossible! No one else questioned this. (There were many doubts in my mind. (See Bk.5 Ch.19.)

Hey, how about that: In that chapter (5/19), I just noticed, the same two football teams, Adelaide United and the Newcastle Jets played ... all works together ... for good ... Adelaide had won - 1:0.

- - - - - - -

I arrived at our apartment in Canberra just ahead of Isobel and her mother. They had flown in and taken a taxi. My creative planning had worked. As a bonus, by chance or perhaps inspiration, we were only 700 metres from the only people we knew in Canberra. They had been our friends since our Tasmanian days. It all worked out good.

- - - - - - -

 

Isobel and her mother Agnes, Canberra Floriade 2013.  >>>

It was hot and windy the day we visited this annual flower display, described on their website as the largest in the southern hemisphere. 

It was held at Commonwealth Park beside Lake Burley Griffin, named after the American-born designer of Canberra.

The Salvos were well represented ...in the gnome garden.

Note: 15 in total, 4 blue hats (officers) 11 red hats (soldiers.)

 

On the political scene, on the day we arrived in Canberra, an important ballot took place. All members of the Labor Party Caucus, MPs in the Parliament, met to vote for a new leader, after Kevin Rudd resigned, having lost the election and prime ministership. 

 

On the same day, October 9th, when we arrived in Canberra, was the day the Labor Party Caucus (MPs in Parliament) voted as to who should be their leader. 

 

That's why on that day members of the Opposition met at Parliament House.

 

My wife and mother in-law, about to enter Parliament House                  >>>

 

- - - - - - -

Our friends in Canberra had always been easy going; their attitude a positive can do. They had a spare vehicle in their driveway, which they had not used in a while. The only problem was a flat battery. Without even having asked, for the next three days we were driving a classic (please don't call it old) 1989 Mercedes 250 Diesel. Apart from the battery's reluctance to fire up the engine (it always did, after calling the heavenly emergency number 5015) the old, sorry the classic Merc was very comfortable to drive.

 

Our first outing in the Merc was to Cockington Green Gardens, a miniature village 15 kilometres from Canberra on the Barton Highway. It would have been worthwhile, just to visit the place for their magnificent gardens. Walking among the painstakingly replicated mansions, bridges, castles, model railway etc etc, one had to marvel at the creative energy behind it.

<<< There even is a football ground with a match in progress. It includes a grandstand, packed with 1000 spectators, plus the first ever streaker, escorted off the field by police.

 (The event in 1979 had made world news). 

Visitors to Canberra must include a tour of the Embassy district, not far from Parliament House. 

Pictured here is the impressive white mansion of the South African Embassy.

It's right opposite the US Embassy, which takes up a complete block. Americans like things BIG...!

There was one more thing wrong with the Merc, the registration plate: ..IQ..68..    >>>

 

As mentioned, our apartment was located in the rather posh suburb of Forrest, in the same street as the Lodge, the Prime Minister's official residence. Only a few streets away was the neighbouring suburb of Manuka. We did our shopping there. I remembered this place from my trip five years earlier. I had written a long letter to the Attorney-General, while sipping a coffee at McDonalds. How naive was I to think it would make a difference?

On Saturday (12.10.13) an event was held in Manuka as part of Canberra's 100 year celebration. We got there at about 10.30 AM and had just missed the speech by the Chief Minister of the ACT. I learned this from the program that was handed out. In it was something I did not miss - two spelling errors, two missing ts. (Spelling errors tease me. Take a look: 

From the diary:

Manuka Celebrates: At the end of the day's program two events were listed: From 7.30pm-8.00pm. Sarina Del Fuego (firetwirling) in fron of stage.

 

From 8.00pm-9.00pm Sistema Criolina (Brazil) performance in Palmerson Lane.

(Should spell Palmerston).

Les t   we   forge t

Among the display of vintage cars were four fire engines. I noted the make: Dennis. The vintage vehicle behind these five firemen being photographed is registration number 057.

- - - - - - -

Four days is not enough when visiting Canberra; so many attractions and museums we did not see. But one we did go and look at, the Portrait Gallery. It is situated right next to the impressive looking High Court building with its huge facade. I could not help thinking: If only the size of this building would reflect the justice brought forth...! Much like churches, really. God is not impressed with the outside at all.

Another thought brewed in the back of my mind, as we looked at the many faces, familiar and otherwise, starring at back at us from the the walls inside the gallery: Was not this place opened at the time I had cycled into Canberra in 2008? It was. 

I just searched 'portrait gallery' on my website, and voila - Book 7, Chapter 18 tells the story. The Portrait Gallery was opened at the time of my previous Canberra visit, on Dec. 4th 2008.

And how amazing is this? After having written here earlier about the letters NT, the first line in Bk.7, 18 includes the word amazemeNT.

- - - - - - -

Digressing briefly, I had written about Rolf Harris in that chapter. He had opened this gallery in 2008. Since then, as we know, he's been accused of serious sexual abuse, some dating back many years.

May I just make one statement: If all cases in the last 50 years, where a man put his hand up a woman's skirt, were to go to court, judges and lawyers around the world would be so busy, they would take 100 years to deal with it and find no time for any other crimes.

- - - - - - -

Before continuing our journey, a strange discovery in print:

On the opinion page (25) of our free local paper a female writer declares war on being a bore. On the occasion of Adelaide's annual Christmas parade (Pageant) she writes that even as adults, we should do fun things, colour our world, play like children ... Her final comment: 
"They say youth is wasted on the young, but let's make sure youth isn't lost in getting old."

Next, a strange way of signing off: Monique Bowley is a radio producer and former elite basketballer who went on a reality baking show and didn't cry or use the word journey once. Follow her...

I agree with Monique, we should never lose the ability to enjoy child-like fun in old age. But what's wrong with the word journey and having a good cry when you are touched by a story or a piece of music, such as the one, which is coming out of the speakers of my P/C, as I write:

"I'm forgiven, because you were forsaken, I'm accepted, you were condemned ... Amazing love, how can it be that you my king shouldst die for me ...?"

Follow her, if you wish. Better still, follow HIM. 

- - - - - - -

After Canberra my two ladies travelled on the Greyhound bus to Sydney. My journey continued by bicycle. It was a sunny, but cool morning as I pedalled south-east on the the Kings Highway* (B 52) down to the coast.

*What amazing timing: I just found that exactly one year ago I had also been writing about cycling along Kingshighway, in Cape Giradeaux, Missouri / USA (Book 11, Ch. 6.).

Anybody thinking that cycling from Canberra, elevation of 580 m, to sea level is all downhill and easy, is wrong. It was hard. Yes, there were easy downhill sections. But, like so many things in life, the difficult patches seem to take forever, while the fun is over in a flash.

That day, leaving Canberra on Monday 14th October, riding via Bungedore, Braidwood to Nelligen was not only one of the longest distances (140 km), it was also the first time I got caught in the rain. I saw dark clouds gathering in the distance with about 15 kilometers to ride to Batemans Bay. It started raining. I put on my raingear and continued riding. The temperature dropped dramatically, too. What fortune, when after another two kilometres or so I saw an unexpected, but very welcome, blue sign: Caravan Park 300 m.

 

Malua Bay, October 14th, 2013

    Photo: batemansbaypost.com.au

 

Thankfully, there was only little damage to property.

<<< Little did I know only a few kilometers south, the dark clouds were those of a freak, once in a generation, hailstorm. It transformed the costal village of Malua Bay into a winter wonderland. It was reported, the small hail was still on the ground the next morning. I was glad to have escaped the worst of this weather front. Camping on ice, not nice! 

 

 On the Kings Highway, New South Wales

The caravan park at Nelligen was a BIG 4. Had it not been raining I may have pushed on to Batemans Bay, a much larger town on the coast. As expected, my record-high fee for camping was broken that day ($ 38). To add to my surprise, after having already, reluctantly, paid the money, I was informed that showers take 20 cent pieces - 40 cents for 3 minutes. (The first shower I tried gobbled up the coins, but spat out a trickle of cold water only).

There was no point of letting out my disappointment at the young girl at the reception. For the moment I was happy to be able to put my tent up in a sheltered spot. The rain soon stopped. Forgetting the frustration the night before, the next day I woke up to enjoy the most tranquil scene, a few metres from a beautiful lake, mist rising from the mirror-like surface.

 Nelligen, New South Wales,

On editing I made a rather stunning observation in the green sign above! (Let me scan, what I just found):

A blade of grass - with a message:

- - - - - - -

Beautiful Ulladula, NSW >>>

Reaching the coast meant that I now cycled the Princes Highway, which I had done many years earlier.

It was lovely and sunny at Batemans Bay. I could have sat on that bench seat on the Esplanade all day and enjoyed the view and sunshine. I was so relaxed, even forgot to take a photo.

Ulladulla was an equally picturesque harbour town. I found a great caravan park, very near the town, perfectly placed on a ridge above the ocean. 

A lightning strike during the storm the night before had brought down a huge tree. 

Leaving Ulladulla I could not help thinking about the unusual name - D and UALL before and after. 

But what a surprise came in nearby Milton               >>>

Photo: rowens.com.au

While still pondering the name Ulladulla, I cycled through Milton moments later. I noticed the name of a shop - Bella. (The ...lla was on purpose.) The registration plate of the sedan, which passed by, was not. It's a little blurred, but the registration plate looks like it ends in ...L531  or ...L53N ?

- - - - - - - 

It was now Wednesday 16th October. I pushed on north, on the pretty south coast of New South Wales toward Sydney. Much road construction was going on to improve the Princes Highway. The hills were getting steeper, my legs more tired, the weather hotter. At Nowra, one of the larger towns, I paused for a Kebab, which I consumed at the park near the tourist office.

I crossed the bridge over the Shoalhaven River and turned to follow the coastal route through the Seven Mile Beach National Park. It was a most beautiful back road, taking me via Gerroa, past a magnificently positioned golf course to Gerringong. So much to see, so little time.

Looking south toward Werri Beach and the town of Gerringong, where I had come from. 

I had to walk up a long, steep hill. Road works made it too dangerous to ride. Had I not walked I may have missed this beautiful view.

 

Soon after joining the Princes Highway again I experienced one of those coin-incidences. It was not 15 cents this time, but 25. The location, where I picked up the 20 cent coin, was a rather spooky place. Here is the story, straight from my diary, and a photo.

Text: Enroute before Bewong I had picked up 5 c in the middle of nowhere, then 20 c - then seconds later > roadside shrine t CHELLE, my coded brain saw C it EL EL - 5 x 20, silly, but there was nothing, no date of birth or death, nothing !

The Roadside shrine   >>>

beside the Princes Highway. 

Assuming that somebody named Chelle died, the fact that no details at all are given, is unusual.

The circle of stone, as well as the carefully placed wood chips, looked as if all had been prepared not long before. 

Take away the letters C and E, the 3rd and 5th in the alphabet, we're left with HELL. Translated into German, hell means bright.

- - - - - - -

 

My final night camping was at Kendalls on the Beach caravan park, as the name says, it's on the beach in the town of Kiama. (I recall, visiting this place, over four decades ago, when Isobel and I first met.)

Mention Kiama and most Australians would know the place for its blowhole, a natural rock formation by the lighthouse. Tourists wait for gushes of water to shoot through the hole into the air. 

Looking from Kendalls on the Beach toward the Kiama Lighthouse     >>>

 

It was a great feeling the next morning to be thinking that I'd be arriving at my final destination that evening. As in many towns along this pretty coastline, I would have loved to stay longer in Wollongong. Next to the steel city of Port Kembla, there is much industry here and that means heavy traffic. (I had an encounter with a truck, which could have ended in disaster. Thank God, it was avoided. I learned a lesson that day).

Since the winds were blowing very strongly from the west, the mountains east of Wollongong, the hills I had climbed during my 2008 ride, gave me some shelter, as I pushed steadily north. It was a struggle for much of that final day; both the weather and the heavy traffic.

In the early afternoon, glad to have the heavy traffic behind me, I enjoyed the quiet coast road along the narrow strip between mountain and the sea, from Thirroul to Stanwell Park. 

The weather forecast for that day, Thursday 17th October 2013 had not sounded at all good: very hot, high winds, extreme fire danger. In places the wind made me work hard. At Stanwell Park later in the afternoon, the road wound its way through bushland to Stanwell Tops. I had to walk this section, no way would my legs pedal it. I felt a little apprehensive, having heard of the fire danger.

 

  Sea Cliff Bridge, north of Wollongong, NSW. (Google Street View)

This part of the coastal route reminded me of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. Not even there does the road go out over the sea! 

Looking south, Stanwell Tops in the foreground.

Walking my bike slowly up the road gave me again glimpses back along the magnificent coast line, where I had cycled from. 

 

I had wondered what the conditions would be like, once I had reached the top of the ridge. Luckily, the strong winds came from the southwest. This meant the wind assisted me greatly, as I push further north on the Old Princes Highway. As I got closer to the southern suburbs of Sydney, the skies grew darker. I knew a fire was burning, and not far away. The Royal National Park, Australia's first, was to my right.

When I arrived in Sydney, around 5.30pm, a grey haze filled the air. Smoke darkened the skies. It felt much later than it actually was. I didn't want to get caught in the dark, riding the busy road to Manly. I decided to take the ferry. But not before I had asked a bystander to capture the glory of the moment on my camera:

 

October 17th, 2013 - Circular Quay, Sydney. Mission accomplished, after riding approx. 1750 km from Adelaide to Sydney.

<<< October 17th, 2013 

Smoke rises in the west. The news was not good. A hundred fires were burning in New South Wales. Twice that number of homes were destroyed. Some fires continued to burn for weeks afterwards.

 

After returning home, a letter was waiting for me. There was more bad news, dated October 17, 2013:

ICAC stands for Independent Commissioner Against Corruption. I had hoped this newly established body would in some way work toward answering the questions I had asked again and again.

The final sentence above reads: "No further action will be taken in respect of your matter and the file will be closed.

 

Why the word your? This is not my matter. I'm just the messenger. Justice is everybody's matter!

It sounds like the 30-Million Dollars per year ICAC is already filling up a T H basket. No, I don't mean too-hard basket. I mean truth-hurts basket. In the end, burying truth, denying justice, hurts even more. 

On the wall above my P/C is a scripture:

 "Justice for man comes from the Lord." (Proverbs 29, 26.)

What made me think it would come from Commissioner Christie?

 

Chapter 6

Index