2016 Done & Dusted.

31/12/2016, Saturday NYE. Cover photo of Perth, WA, from Kings Park, I snapped it while waiting for Max to arrive.

By Will.

The past 3 weeks of getting back into our own reality. It’s nice to be home for awhile.

Hi everyone in Blog World, sorry about us being so quiet on “wiljen’s adventures 2.0” at the moment. Team wiljen have been busy settling back into what we know as “Normal Life” after our 5000km, two month Indian Motorbike Tour.
We both hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas, ours was pretty good & we managed to catch up with most of our immediate family.

First order of business upon our return from 2 months touring India is to fire up all the vehicles & catch up with family & friends. Our son Hayden & his girlfriend Kirsty stop in for a visit. Time to prepare & train for our next adventure in 2017.

So what are our thoughts on India, now that we have had 3 weeks to think about it ?
In a word…..”Amazing” ! It was definitely worth having the experience, the biggest hassle was the Demonetisation of their currency, it caused us a lot of hassles but we survived the experience & now have some strategies for future Overseas travels & even life at home. What’s to stop the Australian Government doing something similar ?

A brief rundown of our expenses during the Indian trip are below, it’s only a rough idea as on this occasion I didn’t keep detailed records of our spending, it’s for 2 people traveling together:
* Nevermind 10 day Rajasthan Tour. $7000.
* Return flights on Singapore Airlines from Perth to Delhi, the return flight was flexible so we could come home early if necessary, so dearer. $3000.
* Travel Insurance (including riding motorcycles) $900.
* Cost of the Bullet & Himalayan Bikes for 36 days of our own tour including repairs. $2000.
* Fuel for our bikes, each bike used about 3.5 to 4 litres per 100kms over 3000kms. $300.
* Flights, Trains, Taxis, $600.
* Accommodation varied from $15 per night up to $75 per night, depending on standard & location, it averaged out at about $40p/n for 41 nights, the other 12 nights were incorporated into the Nevermind Tour cost. Total $1640.
* Food & Water we allowed about $20 per day during our tour. $800.
* Beer….Lots though during Gujarat we went for a week without a beer.$???
* Trinkets & dohicky things, decided not to include purchases of jewellery, clothes & other trinkets, we hardly bought anything due to the currency crisis & like beer it’s an optional cost that you would probably spend at home anyway.

So our approximate total cost for two people from October 16th to December 8th was $16240.
Sounds like a lot doesn’t it ! We think it was reasonable considering what we experienced, obviously you could do it heaps cheaper, like by not doing the organised tour, hunt for cheaper flights & accommodation, don’t drink beer, etc.

Would we do it again ? YES, YES, YES ! Maybe the Himalayan’s ?
Though I think we now have the confidence to just go solo & skip the “Tour” component on the next trip. The organised tour is definitely worth it, if you have limited time & experience, don’t want to sort out your own bikes & maintenance, accommodation & navigating. Another advantage of an organised bike tour is the 12 instant mates you end up with & meeting some great locals, that doesn’t easily happen if you go by yourself !

Both Jenny & I can happily recommend Nevermind Tours if you are looking for a fuss free, 2 week adventure motor bike tour of India, we would definitely consider them again particularly if travel time is short. Nevermind Adventures

Other happenings over the past 3 weeks; Jenny’s right knee continues to cause her grief. She has been seeing a Myotherapy Practitioner (deep muscle massage, etc). Going to the Gym, 3 times per week & riding the bicycle. We have also tried hard to eat more vegetarian. Jenny’s dealing with the “Catch 22” issue of not being able to exercise enough to drop some weight which in turn puts more pressure on the bung knee. Don’t give up just keep trying ! So far there has been some improvement with Jenny’s knee, so we’ll both keep at it. While touring India our body weights remains the same. We didn’t lose any kgs, but didn’t gain any either.

We also had the opportunity to catch up with Max, who we met up with last year in Ceduna, South Australia. We rode the Eyre Peninsula with Max & Rob for awhile.
Max has just completed an absolute “Epic” cycle tour around the back roads of Australia 13000kms over 18 months, lots of it on iconic outback dirt roads like the Tanami Track & Gibb River Road. Well done Max, great effort !
Check out Max’s epic cycle blog, Cycloaustralis

20th December 2016. After 18 months and 13000kms, Max finally arrives at Kings Park in Perth WA……Fantastic.

We celebrate Max’s epic 13000km bicycle adventure with a couple of Champagne’s & some beer.

The Mandurah Reno House has ground to a halt over the Christmas/New Year break. It’s a couple of months behind schedule now. The quality of work is spot on, but we have now entered that phase where it starts to cost us time & money. So one of 2017 resolutions is to keep pushing the builders to get it completed. We are hopeful that handover will be late February, early March. Watch this space….

We thought when we returned from India the Mandurah Reno House would be nearly complete. Looks like there is at least a couple of months to go.

Kitchen & Studio Ensuite at the Mandurah Reno House, we will move in eventually.

Summer has arrived, view of a bush fire near our house a few days before Christmas. Lit by a Fire Bug. It took the water bombing helicopters & ground crews 2 days to extinguish.

Along with regularly riding our bicycles, Jenny & I have also been getting out heaps on the motorbikes. Jen has mainly been riding the little 883 Harley Davidson Sportster in preparation for obtaining her unrestricted bike licences on the 5th of January. As you would expect after riding around India on a RE 500cc Bullet for 2 months she is riding exceptionally well, so the practical test next Thursday should be just a formality !?!?

We attend a very enjoyable Christmas Day breakfast at John (Jenny’s brother) & Debra’s house.

Thursday 29/12/16, we catch up with my brother Steve & his wife & daughter, Stacey & Shaye in Jarrahdale for lunch at the Pub.

Friday 30/12/16, Jenny, Will & Darren, take the big bikes out for a 211km day ride. Nice !

We stop at Stirling Cottage Cafe in Harvey for lunch.

Jenny cruises along Nanga Brook road, will this be her last day riding with an L plate on?

By pure chance we come across “Team Kiwi” at the Drakesbrook Hotel in Waroona, fellow Nevermind Rouges, Craig & Sean who were on the October, Indian, Rajasthan Tour with us all. Sean recognised my blue Yamaha & Jenny’s purple Harley from our blog. He then noticed Darren who was clearly visible in his open faced helmet. Doesn’t anyone work on Fridays anymore ?

Darren & Sean both on their beasts at the Drakesbrook, Waroona.

So 2016 has been reasonably good for team wiljen, some highs, some lows, but we continue to keep positive & focused on our future plans of downsizing & alternative travel. No plans on going back to real work yet, though I must admit the thought has crossed our minds occasionally & topic has been discussed.

Next up is 2017, who really knows what it will entail ? We do have at least one multi month tour planned involving Australia & New Zealand. Not totally sure if it will be on the bicycles or motorbikes. Due to the Mandurah Reno House delays it will probably be a petrol powered trip as the timing to travel in the right seasons may be out of whack. We will just have to wait and see.

Happy New Year everyone, we both hope you all enjoy 2017 & have your own wonderful adventures !

A fitting very last photo taken on New Years Eve 2016, 20km ride around Mandurah. Jenny says her knee is starting to feel quite a bit better. What will 2017 bring us ?


2 thoughts on “2016 Done & Dusted.

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