TOPtoTOP in Hawkesbury Courier!
TOPtoTOP on Channel 9 (wait till the ad is over)!
TOPtoTOP in NZZ (Swiss newspaper)!
From Sydney we cycled to the Blue Mountains. Where we spent our Clean up Australia day with students from Glenbrook. All students have been champions in collecting trash and all became winners in the TOPtoTOP trash collecting contest! We are looking now for a “Swiss chocolate donor” as a price for this wonderful young proud people.
Thanks to Steven Bod and Cath Walker’s familiy we visited Hawkesbury High School, see also the article in the Hawkesbury Gazette. Salina was the first time our technical assistant on the computer.
Thanks to Jenny and Michael we were able to stay the whole week at their place in Glenbrook where we have been at St Finbars primary School:
Ron Brewster a film maker and friend of Jenny and Michael just made an intervew with us. It will be on TVS in every capital city in Australia!
Tracey McManus organized 3 other schools: The first was Faulconbridge Public School:
Next was “Our Lady of the Nativity School” in Lawson:
Next was Warrimoo Public School:
Tracey and Peter had a very special surprise for us in the person of their friend Steve Boys. With his program “snakes are our mates” he travels from school to school to educate students about the reptiles in Australia. Salina and Andri know now more about snakes, lizards, frogs, turtles and even crocodiles.
After all this busy work we take some time off on the weekend to enjoy this climbers paradise in the Blue Mountains:
Dario is quite proud of
Still school holidays and we enjoy the cycling back with family Storm to the boat in Sydney. Sabine is o.K. again! Thanks to Norm and Tony we were able to stay two days on the campground in Coledale.
Thanks to the Swiss Ambassador Christian Muehlethaler we got in contact with Australia – and the South Pacific Correspondent for German language media in Europe, Urs Waelterlin. After the camp on Windellema’s school playground, where we met principal Rosmary Chapman again, we cycled to his farm “Wombat Creek”, where we had a warm welcome and pasta. He was able to organize us an article in the Goulborn Post newspaper. We were also able to plan with his wife Christine and college teacher Bill school- and public presentations in the months who come. Urs Waelterlin made also a contact to Esther Blank from “Deutsche Welle”. She has very good connections to the media in Australia and is of big help for our planed media event end of January when we arrive in Sydney.
From Wombat Creek we went further to Bundanoon, where we spent two days with our friends Andrew and Alison from the YHA. Thanks again to YHA NSW for your support!
From Bundanoon we went to the Fitzroy Falls, where we met Keith Williams. He was the first Australian who skied to the South Pool. He will visit us on Pachamama to give us more advises for the first attempt to reach Mount Vinson without a motor.
In the Kangaroo Valley we found a new technic to make a salade without any tools, plates and bowls: a normal plastic bag was enough.
At night a Wombat made its business infront our tent.
On Australia day we cycled up from Kangaroo Valley to Berry where we broke two spokes. Arnie cycled with our broken wheel on his back to Narow to fix it. We were invited to stay at his place and met also his lovely wife Christine. Finally we had a nice party with his friends to celebrate Australia Day!
Arnie is not only a great sportsman, he is also a gifted musician. Go to his website and download his latest arts.
In the Royal National Park the infromation offficiers Glen and Michele donated us fresh fruits after a very hot day. We had also a visit of Mercedes, Chantal and Seline and of famous rockstar Tom.
After the park we run into Tony on SY “little Swan” we met in Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.
Now we just arrived in Sydney at Cathrine and Lionel’s house. Tomorrow we will cycle the last leg to Pachamama. At this moment we have complished exact 1500 km from the time we left our expedition boat.
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On the 28th at 11 a.m. we were standing on Mount Kosciuszko. With 2229 m the highest mountain in Australia. It was a very emotional moment for Sabine and me and we were so happy that we made another TOP of the 7-Summits without using a motor.
We cycled from our sailboat Pachamama in Sydney in 15 days the 744 km to the very TOP and have given 6 presentations along the way. Before that, we crossed the Pacific sailing. Our last TOP was Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America.
In the National Park we were able to camp twice at Kosciuszko Mountain Retreat; thank you very much Tony and Sharyn. It is a great place for kids and Kangaroos!
Before the summit we camped at 2030 m, just below the TOP at Seaman’s hut. The night was cristal clear and cold; but with the whole family in the same big MAMMUT sleeping bag, – like marmuts , – it was no problem for our kids.
On the summit day there were Mercedes, Seline and Chantal Marbach and Lidwine and Rolf Kunz as well as Peter and Melanie Kallenbach with us and volunteered to do a clean up on the TOP. We hardly find any trash and it was the cleanest mountain so far: – congratulation to this wonderful National Park and to its Rangers.
I promised Salina on a hot day in Vanuatu to touch the snow soon. On the way up Salina already saw the snow in the distance and was happy to do a “Schneeballschlacht” on the summit with Seline and Chantal.
Many thanks to family Epstein and Maud where we was able to spent Xmas. There was a lot of singing and we slept with our tent in front of a Xmas tree.
Thanks to Lidwine and Rolf from Switzerland, we have had a second Xmas:
Back at the base of the mountain in Jindabyne Lidwine and Rolf gave us the Xmas presents from our families and from our main sponsor Victorinox. Another great moment, – thank you so much!
Then we biked back to the campsite of our friend Tim who owns the RIDESHOP in Canberra. The road went steep down and into a gravel road. I had 65 km with the heavy trailer on my speedometer. My bike lost the grip in the sandy turn and I felt. Bike, trailer and Dario were sliding over the gravel and just stopped in front an iron fence. The kids were safe in the trailer; it did not flip. This Trek trailers are really super (thanks again Bill and Sharon for your donation)! I lost only some skin on my hip and my arm and the sole come of my shoe.
After another long day we were happy to see the campsite on the lake and handy man Tim was able to repair my bike and shoe.
Now we are at the YHA in Thredbo and do a presentation in the Thredbo Conference Hall on the 1st of January 2008 at 6 p.m. (Alpine Hotel). Thank you very much Nadia that we are able to stay in your wonderful Youth Hostel! Thank you Ian for organizing the event and for your media work!
After tomorrow we start biking back to Pachamama in Sydney.
We are looking forward to meet our friends Bregitte, Peter and Tessa 0n the 14th of January.
Sshark Internet cafe makes this report possible.
From Ile des Pins to Australia we have had 8 days. We could not go to Coffs Harbour, because there was no wind and that’s why our navigator Andri decided to go directly to Sydney. Than we have had a strong wind warning on the way to Sydney and we took shelter after 1193 nm in Newcastle. Annemarie left soon after to make it in time to the baptise of her grandchild. Annemarie was now 6 month with us. Thank you again for all your help!
Newcastle Harbour is the largest coal exporting port in the world. Currently the port exports over 80 million tonnes of coal per annum. There are more than 3100 commercial shipping movements within the port annually. The ships that visit Newcastle are large, the largest being 300 m long, 50 m wide with Gross Tonnages exceeding 100 000 t.
George Keegan from the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club offered us a space in his wonderful marina, where we have done our clearance and organised a media conference. We have been on NBN Television in the evening news just on the same day, the Australians voted their new prime minister. Global warning was a major issue in the selections. The first action of the new prime minister was signing the Kyoto protocol! Here an article from the Harald:
Customs officer Damian Hedges told us that they have had only 6 sailing yachts from overseas in the last 6 years to clear in Newcastle. Customs, immigration and quarantine were very friendly and efficient and we can recommend it to all cruisers to go to Newcastle. It’s a lovely town with very friendly people.
The next day we prepared our bikes for the next TOP, the highest mountain in Australia, Mount Kosciusko. Brian and Jim from Civic Bikes in Newcastle helped me to tune our bikes, while Sabine, Salina and Andri went with Brain’s wife Sharon to the Koalas and Kangaroos.
After the storm we continued to Sydney together with Peter Hampton, our new member from Newcastle.
When we saw the opera house we have been so happy that we crossed the Pacific and Andri started dancing! We thanked God that we have had fair winds and no accidents!
The Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron welcomed us and was of big help in the first days in Sydney. There we met the Waron twins. They are great sailors and already about 160 years old together!
The next day Steven Brown, Mark Raward and Aolam Parkinson from NSW Maritime organised us a mooring in the Five Dock Bay. This thanks to Sir Ian Keith Wilson an ex Australian navy commander we met in Morea and Chris Oxenbould, the CEO of NSW Maritime.
Afterwards we have had a warm welcome from the Swiss Consulate. Catherine Mochamps and Ernst Hofstetter have been a big help to contact the media (see media release).
The media conference took place at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron organized by our friend Stuart Scocroft. A lot of sailors come along to see the beautiful TOPtoTOP expedition sailboat Pachamama. (May it is also because of one of our crew?)
Yesterday we moved from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron just opposite the opera house to Five Dock Bay where Treharne Moorings placed us a mooring.
We enjoyed the sailing trough the biggest natural harbour on earth very much. We passed the opera house and the harbour bridge and went upstream the Parramatta River.
For Andrea it was his last leg. He joined us for 2 months and will leave next Sunday to Switzerland. He was one of the best crew we have ever had. Thank you very much Andrea and hope to see you again!
Today there was Alby from North Sails on Pachamama to take measurements for the new Victorinox sails.
The next few weeks we will have no email access, because we start biking towards Mount Kosciusko, the highest TOP in Australia. You can contact us anytime on our mobile phone (0061) 04 23 45 02 55.
We just arrived in Australia. Contact us with Skype out; our phone number is 0061 4 23 45 02 55.