31st May 2017
Auckland to Melbourne to Sale 262kms
Ugh, sleep was a bit hit and miss, so much to get sorted today. First, we needed to drop into Jethro’s house, to collect the gear we’d left there before getting the bike. Simon was up and hustling us into action at about 4:45am. Bloody hell, he is relentless and has way too much energy for this time of the day, but we are grateful for the push. Lots to do. Unlike Simon, Jethro was snuggled in his warm bed, and had left our bags in his garage for us to pick up. Next, to the airport. You can’t judge the traffic in Auckland, it can start as early as 5:30am, getting super heavy by 6am, and the airport was about an hour away in good traffic. Luckily, we had a good run, and arrived just after six, and Simon just dumped us off with a million bits and pieces, and took off to try and avoid the worst of the traffic. Now we had to reorganise and repack our baggage, before checking in.
Checking in was easy, finding coffee and breakfast was easy, and the flight was quick and easy. I got to sit next to a young up and coming Olympian. A 14yr old girl, competing for New Zealand, in a trampolining competition. Should of got her autograph hey, who knows? We felt a bit nostalgic getting back to Melbourne, until we heard that it was only 9C just after 10:30am. Bbbrrrrrrr! Lucky the sun was shining. We didn’t rush off, we’ve gained 2hrs, so we checked in with Family now we can afford the calls. Bloody roaming is a killer. My last phone call to Mum cost me $50 for 30 minutes. So much better to get a local sim, when overseas. Will got hold of Busy Beavers, where the bikes were stored, and 10 minutes later the bus picked us up and took us to our bikes.
I just wanted to hug Little Bubby, so good to be back on the bike. Another rearrangement of gear, reload the bikes, and program Stupid Destiny, (fingers crossed she doesn’t flip out again), and ease out into the city traffic. Straight away, she’s chucked us onto the M1, which goes through the city centre. Bugger, I was hoping to skirt around the northern edge. Nevermind, we’ll just take it easy, follow the GPS, and get through the worst of it. Some nasty looking dark clouds were gathering, so just push on and hope we don’t get rained on.
Not to disappoint, we were in the wrong lane, so had to turn left when we were supposed to go straight, and had to do a bit of a rat run, past AIMI stadium, and some cool old buildings, to get back on course. All of this was because we’d set SD2, to No Toll Roads (tight arses!) only to discover from Alan, that motorbikes don’t have to pay tolls? DOH, DOH, DOH! Should have just stayed on the M1. Nevermind, eventually we made it through to the other side, and took a break at Officer. Dual service stations with lots of food options, toilets and heating. It was only 13C, and 2:30pm! Still mostly sunny, but looking ominous. It really felt great to be riding again, but after each hour, the temp was dropping 1C. We got eleven degrees, and needed another stop, so why not refuel and warm up.
The final run involved us having a bit of light rain, as we somehow managed to ride around all the dark, rain heavy, clouds, and making it to Sale, cold but dry. We arrived at Alan’s minutes after he had got home, himself. It felt almost like home. A huge day, but we felt good, and after another delicious dinner at The Criterion, one glass of wine, and another good chat with Alan, we hit the wall and faded fast. Off to a warm bed for us.
1st June 2017 – Winter!
Maintenance day! Not for the bikes, for us! Will needs some more medication, so got himself an appointment with a Doctor Alan suggested, and I, well needed some hair removal (starting to feel like the Wolverine). I found a salon that offered “The Hour of Power” . As much waxing as you can handle, or fit in, in one hour for $89. For someone who is travelling this is a bargain. As well as getting ourselves sorted, we had some emails to attend to, organise bike maintenance for Sydney, and call our kids. A bit of food shopping for dinner and the next couple of days, and that was our day. Now we’re ready to head north and find some warmer weather.
2nd June 2017 Sale to Eden 360kms
We all woke up pretty early, and it was pretty cold. Many layers are required for today’s riding. For the next week, until we get north of Sydney, the max temp was probably not going to get over 15C, so I don’t know what Will is doing, but I’m layering up. Alan was off to Melbourne to check out buying a motorbike (good on you Alan), so once we were packed and ready, all three of us left in opposite directions. Our ride today was pretty straight forward, and we wouldn’t even need the GPS, but we programmed it anyway. Basically, we were just going to follow the A1 through to Eden, as it was supposed to be a pretty nice road. A whole 65kms down the road, at Bainsdale, old Stupid Destiny, wanted us to head further inland, and divert off the A1. Bloody idiot! Nope, not happening! We want to see Lakes Entrance.
On a good day, Lakes Entrance would be a great place, and we’d probably stay and enjoy the area, but today, it was overcast, and pretty bloody cold. But we stopped for a break, and enjoyed our thermos coffees and some BBQ Shapes. A couple of nice older ladies stopped to chat to us (Jehovah’s Witnesses offering us some reading material). After I cheerfully declined their pamphlet, they happily chatted about our ride, and were very lovely. One of them told us a story about her father, who had had a Harley Davidson, with a side car, and the whole family used to pile into it. Dad and seven kids! I could just imagine it.
Lakes Entrance is definitely a tourist hot spot, be fantastic in summer.
Leaving Lakes Entrance, we rode into a super amazing, the best ever, most natural and delightful bush area, called Colquhoun State Forest! Ha ha ha, no joke, who knew? Can’t go past that without a picture, so we pulled into a turn off, and Will went back to get the pics. I waited and watched a ute, totally overloaded with wood, come out of the track I was parked on. Yep, folks, winter is definitely here, if that load is anything to go by.
Our own forest, and some redneck is stealing our trees. You’ll pay for that mate!
Next surprise, as we were riding through the little town of Nowa Nowa, in the middle of the highway, lights flashing, RBT! What? Here? Really? Yep, we were the only vehicles in sight, and yep, we had to stop and blow in the machine. No stress, no worries, no drinking and riding…….EVER! We ride on, and find ourselves in Orbost. A brief stop for some pics, and a nice local comes to ask us about our journey. He too has a bike, but only gets out on it about twice a year. Poor bike. From here, our ride was fantastic. A little bit of a sprinkle, but beautiful “curvey” (our idea of windy roads has changed significantly since New Zealand) roads, through magnificent forests. Lind Forest, Alfred Forest, and a few others. Just fantastic! Really enjoyable, even though our fingers were getting numb. Time for another break, and some fuel, at Cann River.
Our last bit of excitement for the day, aside from the great riding, was crossing another state border. No way were we going to miss this photo op, if there is a sign. There was no sign last border, but this is the main highway, so we were pretty positive. Sure enough, not far over the Genoa River, we pulled over to get the shot. Yay……been ages, years, since we were last in NSW. Another 45kms and it’ll do us for today. It was already getting colder, and we’d had enough for today. After checking out some options, we rode through Eden, to Eden Motel, where we have scored a room with cooking facilities, free wifi and all for $70. Fantastic, green chicken curry for dinner, a nice boiling hot shower, heater cranked up and blog done. Another ripper day touring.
Finally got the trophy shot, and then I had to pee. Last one in Victoria…sorry…he he he.