by Annie Murphy for 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow
Martin Sullivan has opened his Art Farm in Millicent to become a Couch Surfing destination for weary travellers and recently had a cyclist stay a while. This is his story.
‘Jongho, traveller from South Korea commenced his journey on May 4th 2014. Began from Gold Coast and cycled to Sydney, then took flight to NZ and cycled around there before returning to Sydney for the start of the Sydney to Perth leg. The bike ways in NZ were only suitable for mountain bikes which Jongho found out the hard way – the gravel surface meant he had to push his bike for several hours before finding an alternative route.
While now he is able to complete 100kms per day, at first the distances were much less, as he’d not ridden a bicycle since his childhood, and the mountains were quite a challenge. Jongho has found a real freedom while travelling in country areas, being able to sing or express himself in other ways as he cycles along. Much of the time he takes the alternative route to the main highways to avoid the heavy traffic, especially the trucks. His Australian wildlife experiences have included snakes on the roadside, and while camping in National Parks, waking to find kangaroos grazing near to his tent in the dawn.
Before returning to Korea to complete his University studies next May/June, he plans to visit Europe and to travel the 500-mile trail to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
Koreans generally think of Australia in very good terms, and it is quite high on their list of places to visit, with the lure of such a big country, wide horizons and diversity of landscapes from forests, to deserts to beaches.
“He was a most delightful person, a real pleasure to meet, and a great ambassador for his country. He was most grateful for Martin’s hospitality at the Art Farm” said Annie.