Tillie & Coco

two ladies, two bicycles, two hemispheres

Category: Holidays

Quaint Quote

by tillieandcoco

Dear Tillie,

I simply have to share the following quote I came across recently:

“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.”

—Ernest Hemingway

When I started riding in Sydney I was amazed at how hilly it is. I had never noticed the hills before! The other added benefit of touring by bike is you can meander along slowly, taking it all in rather than having the sights flash by. Plus you can pick up on the more subtle characters of a place, like the smells of coffee roasting and bread baking, you can investigate the curious lane ways, and stop whenever something catches your eye or takes your fancy.

I love bikes.

Love Coco xx


Long time no talk!

by tillieandcoco

Dear Tillie,

So sorry it’s been ages since I’ve written! Naughty, naughty Coco! Let me fill you in on what’s been happening (admittedly not that much).

For Easter my husband and I went away with my parents, sister, and brother in law. We drove out to Lake Cargelligo, central west New South Wales, where my Mother’s side of the family live. It’s about an eight hour drive inland from Sydney and we shared the drive with my sister and her husband so we had to pack light, that meant no bikes. There is actually a lovely bike path that runs along the side of the lake (in case it wasn’t already obvious the town is built on a large lake, hence the name) but the only people I saw on bikes in the whole time we were there were visitors staying in the caravan park. Sad really. The town is quite small and a bike would be an ideal way to get around. You can walk around the whole town in about an hour, and it’s flat, so riding everywhere wouldn’t be a problem. Even though I missed my bike I was able to occupy myself with some fishing (we only caught carp, an introduced pest) and trashy magazine reading.

My husband’s favourite POV

Hugo really getting into the fishing

This is the smallest fish I caught and of course the only one my hubby took a photo of!

A highlight of the trip was catching a glimpse of the new Solar Thermal Power Station they are trialing 2km outside of town. I’m always curious about new green technology and this just fascinated me. Luckily my Dad had managed to meet with the head engineer a couple of weeks earlier and was able to explain it to us (I have no idea how Dad manages to rock up at a secure site and not only get invited in but get a private tour!). Basically large blocks of refined graphite (think the size of shipping containers) are mounted onto stands with the bottom of the graphite block exposed. Surrounding the blocks at ground level are mirrors which reflect and focus sunlight onto the bottom of the graphite blocks, heating them to an immense degree. The refined graphite is unique in its thermal properties, i.e. it heats up quickly but loses heat very slowly, which means it can hold high temperatures for days, even if it’s cloudy. Inside the graphite blocks are pipes which pump through water, which is turned into steam by the heat, that steam then powers turbines which feed electricity back into the grid and power the town. It’s brilliant!

Driving back to Sydney we also spotted some wind turbines. It was great to see green energy options being implemented.

If only more people used our favourite form of green transport- the humble bicycle!

Love Coco xx