Sale to The Land of The Long White Cloud

1st May – 3rd May 2017

Sale to Melbourne to Auckland

Monday was a pretty cruisie day, Alan took us into the Port of Sale area, and we had a nice breakie at a cafe. After a short walk along the Sale Canal, which was really nice, we drove a little way out of town to the Sale Swing Bridge Heritage area. Where the Thompson river comes into the Latrobe river, there is an old swing bridge on a turntable. It was built in 1883, and only opens on Wednesdays. This bridge rotates around to allow the larger boats past on the sides. Unfortunately some dumb arse vandals had thrown a brick into the mechanism and damaged it, so it was under repair and out of action. So no one is getting out to the Lake Wellington and the ocean.

 

A pretty nice town, with everything you need. Old mining money here.

The rest of the day, we got our jobs done, everything cleaned, and then we could head to the pub for dinner. The Criterion was recently refurbed, and looked really flash. Dinner was fantastic, and the guys had a couple too many, which meant I got to drive Alan’s Calais home. Bloody nice car, and a little bit of pressure to be extra careful. Thanks Alan, enjoyed it. More chatting and listening to some more interesting experiences, and of course some philosophies, and blah, blah, blah! A good night, but a late one. Hope tomorrow goes okay.

 

Hidden treasures are everywhere, just gotta look. Alan has just got his L’s for his motorbike license, so took Little Bubby for a burl. He’s just got to decide what bike he wants.

I slept so badly, tossed and turned and struggled for rest. Why, why, why does this happen when you know it’s going to be a big day? So we got up a little later than planned, we had to leave by 10am, but made off just a bit later, at 10:15am. The weather, which I had checked many times, this morning, looked cold, but very little rain forecast (0.4mm). A bit windy, 25 to 30kms per hour, but really should be a pretty good, straight forward ride. Ahaha ha ha ha ha ha…….bloody since when do we trust the weather bureau? Today! Ggrrr. It started out okay, but more wind than predicted, blowing a freaking gale, estimated at about 40kms an hour, coming almost straight at us. Then, after not very long, rain. Not drizzle guys, rain, and with the wind it was hitting us hard, and I reckon the estimated 0.4mm came down in the first ten seconds, and then, it continued….harder and harder! The temp, which started at 14C, dropped to about 10C, then we got some hail! Oh gees, this was very difficult to ride in, and bloody freezing. My visor kept fogging up, so two choices here, don’t breathe or open it halfway, and get hit by piercing hail. Option two won out, ouch, ouch….shit, it was hard to see.

 

Trafalgar was a welcome stop to warm up. Not the best riding today.

We pushed on, punching through the blasts of rain, getting colder in the dry parts cause we were wet, and eventually in Trafalgar we took a break from the rain, got fuel and a nice warm coffee. We waited for the next break in the rain, then took off again, only the rain returned even heavier….what is this, the next weeks rain? Somehow, after another warming break at a servo on the highway, at Office, we found our way to St Kilda OPSM, and collected my glasses. Old mate D2 GPS, which had been failing on and off throughout the ride, decided to completely stop working, right in the Melbourne CBD. Are you fucking kidding me, brand new GPS? Now? We were stuck in traffic, heading to the Citylink toll road, to take us out towards the airport, only because we had no GPS, we missed our exit, headed over the West Gate Bridge, then pulled off to figure out how the hell we’d find our way to Busy Beavers, to store the bikes. Okay, stay calm in the peak hour traffic, and both of us switched our intercom to connect to our individual phones, using Bluetooth and both on the same google maps route, we figured we’d be sweet. Just got to beat the next shower. Five minutes later, Will has burst past a city bus, through an orange light, leaving me at the red. Fuck! Can’t discuss the happenings. By the time I’d got through, Will was probably stopped somewhere, waiting for me, oh there he is, wave my arm madly, he’s not looking, W I L L  ! !  …  look up! Nah, bugger, and I’m in the wrong lane to stop. Two sets of lights later, I managed to pull into a large driveway. I rang Will, who answered, and before long he was passing me, and we were teamed up again. This was very stressful, and we were running late now.

 

Somehow, we made it to Busy Beavers, and raced to re-pack our gear, cover the bikes and get to the airport to check in for our flight to New Zealand. No time to change out of our riding gear, until we find the check in counter, so there we pause to undress, in public, change shoes, re-pack again, then get checked in. Only allowed 2 bags, in the hold, had 3, we must of looked stressed out, $120 to take a small extra bag weighing 6kgs, the attendant took pity, and waved the fee. The total weight of all bags was 40kgs. Pretty good. We only had enough time to smash a sandwich into us, have a drink, and get to the boarding gate. Running a little late, wasn’t only us, our flight was too, thank goodness, as it gave us a bit of time to take a breath. Then we were on board, in the emergency exit row, lots of leg room, and off to the land of The Long White Cloud.

 

See ya bikes, be good, stay dry and get ready to hunt the heat when we come back.

It was a pretty quick flight, and we got through customs without any issues. We called a cab to take us to our rental camper, and off we went in the clapped out, stinky old Prius, that definitely had seen better days, same with the driver! He was nice, but on his last drop for the day/night, and looking forward to his bed. Us too mate, been a bloody long day. At the depot, Spaceship rentals had emailed us instructions for an after hours pick up, but our taxi driver was concerned. No worries, mate, we got this shit. We unlocked the gate padlock, then found the car, then found the keys, in a locker, then chucked our shit in and made the bed. “Where you gunna stay?” Asked the taxi driver. “Right here mate, we’re buggered!” So we did. Got a few hours sleep, before we drove over to Mission Bay, in Auckland, to watch the sunrise, before deciding what to do. It was bloody freezing, 5C, and as soon as the nearest cafe opened, we got a couple of coffees, and made a plan. Back to the cafe for breakfast, then off to the Remuera Motor Lodge, thanks Google Maps, a cabin and a few more hours sleep. God we are exhausted.

 

Freezing, but beautiful, and so many fit people running and cycling in the early hours.

 

Driving is very similar to Aus, but some confusing markings and last minute lane changes. Actually good to get to our Tiny Home.

The rest of the day consisted of getting a kiwi sim for Will’s iPad, and doing some shopping for groceries. We cooked dinner in the communal kitchen, which was filthy dirty, and then just huddled in out tiny cabin with the heater on. It was an early night, in this shitty bed, in this shitty Camping place. Ugh, I hope this is not the standard we are to expect. It was $50 to park the van without power, and communal facilities, or $65 for the cabin and communal facilities, including a long walk to the toilet and said facilities. A bit pricey for this place. Let’s just say it was lucky we were tired and had a car to drive to the dunny.

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