Sanitised excerpts from a letter from peripatetic ex-pat Matt Hancock ...
"Hello from the Pilbara region of Western Australia where it's easy to mistake a bicycle tube for a King Brown snake. So far the mountain biking has been rather slack but pretty colourful. Lizards the size of Commodores accompany every ride often cruising along the single track ahead of you at up to 25km/h. I haven't had the misfortune of seeing any live snakes yet but my mate Phil ran over one the other day (not to be encouraged as most stick-like objects tend to flick up). The possibilities of injury (read death) are high with Gwardar common in the area, as are Death Adders, Pythons ... I think I'd better stop now. The flies are truly disgusting - more persistent than a horny dog and they home in on body openings. Add 30gms extra weight for every ride to account for the 50 or so on your back and 10 orbiting your head.
Have I mentioned the weather? It's hot. Damn hot. The other day I saw one of those little guys in orange robes burst into flames. Are there any Ground Effect products suitable for 50 deg. summers - a lycra fishnet codpiece perhaps (with secret tube repair patch)?
Hope to be back in the land of the big white chainring before 97.
Yours from above the 36th parallel, Matt"