Arriving in Sydney after a long but not uncomfortable flight (the food on Emirates is always good!), I found myself completely out of sync with everything. I tried to stay awake during the day, only to end up falling asleep and then being awake half the night. I spent three or four days there, walking around the centre, cycling around some of the many bays that make up the harbour, and buying a few things that I would need. Finally, I loaded up my bike and headed out of the city. The first day cycling was one to forget - it was almost 12.00 when I started pedalling, and by 15.00 I had only covered 27 miles and dusk was stating to fall. Leaving the city had been a nightmare - heavy traffic, so many hills and a lack of detailed maps of the suburbs meant that when I wasn't moving forwards slowly I was going back the way I had come in search of another alternative. Despite this, the feeling of being on the road at last in this huge country was exhilarating. People I asked for directions were helpful and friendly, and one conversation in particular brought home to me the fact that I was finally on my way:
Man walking dog; "Where you going, around Australia?"
Man; "Are you really going round on a bike?"