30/31 March – 1 April
Kilometres: 179 kms (111 miles)
Total Kilometres 2018: 1643 kms (1021 miles)
Every culture has written rules (i.e. laws) and unwritten rules (i.e. social norms). It’s the unwritten rules that are the hardest for immigrants to a country to figure out. For example, there’s nothing written to tell you what ‘bring a plate’ means in Australia. If you show up with just a plate to a BBQ… you’ve not quite done the right thing.
One of the other unwritten rules of Australian culture is that you must go camping on the Easter long weekend. Australia is quite a secular country, and many individuals don’t even know the Easter story or its timeline of events. What is lent? Did Jesus die on Ash Wednesday or on Good Friday? When was he resurrected? And how was the bunny involved?
I became a citizen well over a decade ago. Back then, there was no written citizenship test, as there is today. At some stage in the application process, I had to rock up to a post office at an appointed time where some poor postal service staff member read me a paragraph and then asked me a series of questions about my rights and responsibilities as an Australian citizen. “You are aware you must register to vote.” Yes. And so on. I don’t remember if there was a question that said, “And you are aware that you must go camping each Easter weekend?” But there might as well have been.
Given the exodus of Aussies to the bush for the last blast of summer camping over Easter weekend (we get 4 days here – Easter Monday is a public holiday, too), we needed a weekend ride that would steer us away from all the traffic and overflowing campsites. You really don’t want to be on narrow chipseal roads with people towing caravans, boats, trailers full of bicycles for kids to ride around the campsite, and box trailers full of miscellaneous gear. You also don’t want to end up at a public or private camping area or caravan park which is normally empty but suddenly packed cheek by jowl. Read more