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Old 05-16-2008, 08:18 AM   #1
dogsbody OP
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Getting to know Victoria - Australia

Welcome humble colleagues....

Sitting here in the subdued incandescent light of my drawing room, sumptuously cradled by the studded leather of my chesterfield suite while unrestrictively attired in my leopard skin smoking jacket and fez, I feel the time is now appropriate to regale the world with my tale of high adventure and daring....




Well...ok, it's really just a few pictures of me and some mates blatting around Victoria, drinking beer and generally raising our cholesterol levels.

The rough outline was:

Left Adelaide in late February and headed over to the second round of the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Isand, Victoria with three mates.
Then headed off in no particular direction to "discover" the delights of this wonderful southern state of Oz.
9000 kilometres of dirt & tar and almost four weeks later, I returned home, sent my pastel blue crimpolene safari suit to the dry cleaners and booked in for an ass-cheek transplant......

A long time in a small state, I know, but it was worth every minute.



Here's how it went.......

I met up with Jason (CBR 1100XX) and George (CBR 1000) at a bakery to the south of Adelaide, fully prepped and keen to do some miles.
Jason had recently met another rider, Mel, who was heading over to the races with another group of three so we decide to team up for the trip and share our enthusiasm.

Out of suburbia, over the Wellington ferry across the lower Murray river and on toward our digs for the night over the border at Warrnambool. (around 600 kms)

I learnt a lesson early in the journey here: be cautious when riding in close company with others you're not familiar with.

Headed out across the backroads, Johno, who had just come off night shift, came oh so close to splattering his good self all over the front of an oncoming truck. A combo of warm afternoon cruising, attempting to read a map on the go and weariness, led him into the opposite lane at precisely the wrong time.
When he looked up with a scant few yards between himself and the truck (that was already half off the road) only the most radical turn I've seen at highway speed saved his ass.
Had Johno not been cranked over hard his knee would have collected the bullbar....it was that close!
Positioned in close quarters to this, the vision remained imprinted on my mind for the rest of the trip.....(which was probably not a bad thing, really)

The bikes parked in Apsley, with my trusty KTM on the far left:


We'd been led to Apsley by the now wide awake Johno, in search of the reputedly fantastic food at the local pub.
When we pulled up it didn't look too special, which was when we realized that we should have been at Frances instead...oh well...push on after a steak sandwich & beer. (and a shitload of taunts..... Not having a good day the old chap!)


Up early the next day and it was off down the Great Ocean Road and the many miles of beautifully winding tarmac carved into the hillsides that could easily be the subject of a ride report in itself. Rainforest, ridges, and miles of beautiful blue ocean.

A brief stop at Lorne:


And then onwards to catch the Queenscliff to Sorrento ferry:


Saw some blokes out on the bay in their dinghy:


The main aim today, apart from getting to the track, was to heal the scars of not having the promised cullinary delights at Apsley (Frances) yesterday.
So I decided to lead the pack on a headlong charge to the best vanilla slice in Oz.

Sorrento:


Having visited this fine establishment previously I knew that "the slice" would be a big hit.....despite the $7 price tag per chunk!
("That's about the same price as one Jack Daniels & Coke you tight-asses so stop whinging and get it into 'ya.")

Slice of heaven:


Smiles all 'round:


After a quick calculation, we reckoned that the slab of vanilla slice in the shop front window, from which our pieces were removed, would be worth about $500.
I wasn't too far away from getting Jason to do a ram raid with the Honda and splitting the difference on the black market. But with astute judgement he pointed out some flaws in my plan....so we decided to ride on.


At the track:

Pretty soon we were at the track and in our luxuriously appointed accomodation.

George displaying unbridled glee while enjoying his $19:95 investment! (New tent):



For the first day of practice the weather was starting to warm up at The Island, perfect for enjoying the exotica (bikes and girls) and the spectacularly unhealthy food.

Practice:


Two team mechanics plying their trade:


"Would you care to see my etchings?"


Off to the catering caravans for tea.
Lisa, in the background, gladly provided all of out dietary needs for the weekend.....even if they were a bit 20W/50.

Professional hat models:
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dogsbody screwed with this post 05-18-2008 at 08:32 AM
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:37 AM   #2
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more....

Up early and down to the display pavillion.

Shiny stuff:




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Old 05-16-2008, 08:59 AM   #3
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and...

A bit more track action:


The Adelaide chapter of the Paparazzi:




Clean that pit garage up a little will 'ya, son!
....kids these days, bloody irresponsible.



The sun finally set on another great day of performance biking so there was only one thing to do. Head to the food van/skid pad area, eat grease and breathe rubber...

High performance machines:

This was the only postie bike that I've ever seen hook up enough to wheelie out of control into the crowd! Laughs all round.

A better attempt from this pristine old Kwakka. This guy really gave it the berries. (Probably not the owner!):


Glowing:


Some creative individuals leave their mark.

Quite a likeness don't 'ya think?
Except for the hair, gut & knob.....


Got the facial likeness close 'though.
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dogsbody screwed with this post 05-18-2008 at 08:36 AM
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:47 AM   #4
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....

It really is a beautiful race track, Phillip Island.
Set in a natural amphitheater with good views of the track from all sides, you can even ride your bike around the outside of the track (with the racing in sight) at any time to access all the good spots.
There were thousands of bikes track-side and the amenities were generally pretty good.
So it was with some surprise that I discovered that the communal showers have clear curtains...an odd twist I thought...but one that was soon forgotten when I discovered a sizable turd on the sodden floor of my selected cubicle.
A quiet retreat to an upstream cubicle was in order.
(I'd have brought you some photos of this peculiar phenomena but carrying a camera into the mens showers does not come highly recommended...)


So race day got under way with the usual fanfare.


Troy Bayliss signing autographs at his last race on home soil before retiring:


The man of the moment on the start grid:
(Old guy in the background saying " You know, if I was a bit younger..."



Also the eventual winner in a weekend plagued with some spectacular accidents:


Those Ducati boys can jump!


A great weekend's racing just about over, we headed back to the campsite to discuss the fun and sink a few ales with George as he'd be heading back to Adelaide tomorrow while Jason & I would take off in search of adventure....or vanilla slices & beer....which ever came first.

On the turps:
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Old 05-16-2008, 02:22 PM   #5
zadok
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Great report and pics mate. I'm looking forward to my ride over (from Perth) for the MotoGP in October.
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Old 05-16-2008, 02:55 PM   #6
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awesome
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Old 05-16-2008, 03:30 PM   #7
Siva
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damn........

u lucky @#$%^&*!


Two team mechanics plying their trade:


"Would you care to see my etchings?"





GOOD report and pics guys... .....
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:04 PM   #8
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An excellent introduction there Dogsbody..

Now lets see the rest..
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Old 05-16-2008, 06:16 PM   #9
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ahahah awesome write up, thanks!
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:06 PM   #10
dogsbody OP
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Onwards!

Up early the next morning, and after a tentative and somewhat cautious visit to the shower block , we said goodbye to George, finished our packing and rolled out of the track headed in no particular direction.

Jason and I had decided that we'd make this journey up as we went along, preferring to ask locals what the hot tips were and generally following our noses.
In this world where the pressures of life & work demand prior consideration, it was totally refreshing to just head off without a plan. It's this sort of travel that really gets me excited.


Before we'd left Adelaide, Sandy, my better half, had given me a beautifully written card reminding me to have a great time and be careful.
We agreed that the little guy on the left was the most like me as I usually have that same look on my face in the weeks leading up to a big trip.
Hey, why hide your emotion?

Go #1!


We headed east along the coast making our way towards the pristine Wilsons Promontory National Park, the most southerly chunk of land on the Australian mainland.
Pausing on the way at a little town called Walkerville we discovered the views across Waratah Bay to the Prom were obscured by the drifting smoke from a bush-fire on Snake Island.

The peaks of the Prom poking through the haze:


As we cruised south into the park passing beautiful beaches and rugged headlands, we were both hatching plans to come back at some point in the future to take the time to really get to know the place. No wonder it's so popular with serious bush walkers and day trippers. Absolutely stunning.

Jason on "Squeaky Beach" happy to be on tour, and totally oblivious to the fact that we were dressed slightly "different" to the other beach goers.


The view from the rocks:


We scooted further south into the park and headed up the road to Mt Oberon hoping to take in the expansive views from the top only to discover that it was still a considerable walk to the peak from the car park. Deciding that the hike was not a palatable option in riding boots & kevlar jeans on a hot day (fungal issues abound ), we decided to keep riding, which was a real blast on the roads down this way.

We left the Prom behind heading east through Yarram and up through Loy Yang past the massive coal mine and power station. This is one very large power plant, supplying one third of Victoria's electricity, consuming up to 60,000 tonnes of coal a day!
As happens, I was enjoying the riding too much to stop for piccies so if you're interested see the link:

http://www.loyyangpower.com.au/

It was a massive contrast to the beauty of the Prom, but one that society currently demands.
I don't have polarized views on the subject, as I currently work for a resource company, but at some point in the future humankind needs to move to a more sustainable approach to power generation.
How? Dunno.
But what's gonna power my bike? Dunno, but it's sure to be faster and lighter because thats just the way we are.


After a brief team meeting with Big J we decided to head to Taralgon then on to the old gold mining town of Walhalla for the night.
Unfortunately I failed to realize that Taralgon is diametrically opposed on the earth's fragile crust to the Bermuda triangle and as such exhibits some of it's disorienting properties.
In an effort to get out of here I led us through a housing estate, the town centre (twice!) and an industrial area before my traveling companion, Captain Sensible, stopped to ask a cabbie how to get the hell out of here.

Winding our way out of town (past a flight of TBM Avengers....... ), I soon put my navigational faux pas behind me as we hit the beautifully winding road up through the hills to Walhalla.

Weaving our way into the narrow valley late in the day we thought it might be an idea to hit the pub first to seek out some accommodation and a feed.

The Wally Pub:
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:26 PM   #11
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Wally!

Good fortune seems to come your way when you're in an upbeat mood and so it was when we rolled into the pub and asked about accommodation.
Mick, who we found out later is the closest thing that Walhalla has to a mining magnate & land baron, was leaning on the bar next to us and offered cheap digs for the night in an old schoolhouse that had been converted into a bunk house.
First we shoveled down a fine meal cooked expertly by Deb the publican then headed up the valley a bit to the school house for a scrub before walking back down to the pub for a few "light refreshments"

Home for the evening:




There's a heap of beds and common rooms available in this little complex and it looks like a great place to use as a base for local rides.


Walking back down to the pub the pace quickened noticeably as we got closer until we burst through the door side by side absolutely tonguing for an ale!
Much gum flapping ensued with Jason taking on part time bar duties under the watchful eye of Deb.



A couple of blokes that were working on bridge restoration in the area were there as well, Matt (red hair) & "Precious" (red cap). Their older and somewhat wiser mate shot through early when Matt suggested that it might be good fun to set his hair on fire....

Matt & Precious:


As the night progressed the cheesy 80's music got louder and louder and Deb was insistent on dancing with someone. With the rest of us being totally unco, Matt took up the challenge.
What ensued was at least a half hour solid of bladder relieving laughter as he trotted out every classic 80's dance move in a polished, choreographed frenzy! With exaggerated facial expressions included.
Matt really has talent beyond belief.
The funniest thing I've seen in a pub in a long time.

The night continued on with lots of strangely appropriate hugging of everyone in the pub, a few smashed glasses, attempts at patting the pub dog (who had the temperament of a white pointer on amphetamines), much more philosophizing and yet more hugging.

Brad & Snorkel Head behind the bar, discussing drinking tactics:


Emerging from the pub at the end of the night for the walk back up the road to the school house in the cool night air was refreshing to say the least. But strangely welcome after the mayhem of the pub!
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:34 AM   #12
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Brilliant guys, brilliant
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Old 05-17-2008, 03:38 AM   #13
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Good stuff.
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Old 05-17-2008, 04:04 AM   #14
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Usual High Standard

Great story Tony,

It is very entertaining, hanging out for the rest of the ride report.

Catch up with you later mate.

Garry
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:34 AM   #15
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After the walk back we sat around outside finishing off a "roadie" and reflecting on how great life is and a whole lot of other crap that has now slipped my mind.... Then,

Big J pictured here about 10 minutes before sucking in the curtains while snoring:




Climbed out of bed early the next morning, predominantly due to a cacophony of flatulence in the bunk house.
I was feeling surprisingly healthy this morning so after a short trip to the shower to scrub the goolies, it was off for a walk around this beaut little town looking for a bite for brekky.

The Grey Horse had the goods & was the only place open anyway.


They really were keen to build the fire station close to the water source:


Quite surprising that it hadn't been washed away in a flood, considering the size of the catchment area around here.

This town really is easy on the eye. I hear it gets overrun on holiday weekends 'though. Must be a pain in the proverbial for the locals.

This neat little pad had their own trout swimming around in the stream out front.

Jase! Go and move that wheelie bin out of the picture for me will 'ya......Jase? Where the bloody hell has he wandered off to now?....Hard to get good help these days....


After a good look around town we packed the bikes and headed out, stopping at the pub for a brief yak with Brad and thanking them for a great night. (No hugging this morning.....) Deb was still in bed and, judging by the state she was in when we'd left last night, was likely to be staying there for some time!

Headed out of town we stopped for a look at the old train station and the track cut into the step sided valley. Then stopped at the bridge over the Thompson river for a few photos.



The odd couple:


Then it was a short run up through Rawson to take a look at the Thompson Dam and a few k's past the dam wall on the dirt until it got a bit too rough for the Honda.

Headed back down from the dam we diverted up a dirt road into Mt Baw Baw national park where we discovered a walk among the ferns and trees....all very good even if I can't tell one species from another. (Shoulda paid more attention at school. )



The mighty "CBR1100XX Adventure":


Me, standing, 'cos, well....that's what you do....isn't it?
Seen it in the magazines anyway.....

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