6 weeks 17 750 kilometers Traveling Around Australia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by nevgriff64, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 ɹǝpun uʍop ɯoɹɟ buıppoɯ Super Moderator

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    Hi All..:wave

    Thought I`d share my travels around Australia for any and all that are interested.. I`ve taken a quite a few pictures so I think it might be a big one..

    I guess the trip all started about 2 years ago when my wife and I watched every episode of "Long Way Round" together on pay TV.. Me because I could really relate to spending so much time on a bike on an adventure and her moreso because she loves Ewen.. :rolleyes We both really loved the series and it then lead to some very interesting conversations..

    We got to talking about the possibilities of allowing me to do a trip of my own but knew that a trip around the World wouldn`t happen but travelling around Australia could.. When she wasn`t totally against the idea from the start it became apparent that the trip might actually happen.. A couple of days later the topic came up again and she asked how long I thought i`d need to cover the distance.. I thought I might be pushing it to ask for too much time away so I suggested maybe 3 weeks, always start high and negotiate lower lower if needed..

    Spent that day away on the Golf course and when I returned that afternoon she had done a spread sheet of distances and times and asked me if 6 weeks would be OK to do the trip.. :huh

    :wings I love my wife.. :wings



    The trip basically followed Highway 1 all the way around Australia in an Anti-clockwise direction although I had planned on doing some dirt roads along the way if time and weather permitted.. The Gibb River Road was a must in the planning stages and some more dirt around the top end if I was keeping up with the schedule.. Having to do the trip in 6 weeks meant that I would have to average around the 520 kilometers per day but also allowed a few rest days..


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    Had also planned to meet up with the good wife and kids in Darwin and spend 4 or 5 days with them as we hadn`t visited that part of the country before and also meant some time together mid way through the journey..

    My Brother in-law Racketeer will also spend the first week traveling with me.. :ricky
    #1
  2. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 ɹǝpun uʍop ɯoɹɟ buıppoɯ Super Moderator

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    The big day had finally come and all that was needed was for Racketeer to arrive on time at midday and away we go.. :clap 2:30pm he rolls into the driveway which is pretty good as he doesn`t normally run that early.. :huh

    My bike had been loaded and waiting for a day or so and was bloody keen to get going..





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    I decided to take some 5 litre fuel cans (one fuel and one water) with me as there are some long distances between fuel stops in parts of the top end.. My idea was to store them out of the way on the back of the pannier when empty and when full bring them around to the front of the panniers to keep the extra weight forward and lower..

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    This will be my office for the next 6 weeks..

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    Here`s Racketeer ready to depart and we couldn`t get those silly grins off our faces for hours after..

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    #2
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  3. MarkN

    MarkN Long timer

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    This is great, everytime I've logged in the last few minutes there is more to this thread. It's looking good so far! Keep going mate, I'm reading it!:clap
    #3
  4. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 ɹǝpun uʍop ɯoɹɟ buıppoɯ Super Moderator

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    The best part of having 18 months to organise things to do the trip was it gave me heaps of time to plan and buy what was needed to make it as comfortable and enjoyable as possible..

    I can`t for the life of me work out why I was up till all hours that week trying madly to finish my bike before I started to help Racketeer :baldy

    At 3pm on the Friday 24th of August the trip began.. :ricky

    Such a beautiful day to start the trip.. 18 Deg. C, sunny and not a breath of wind.. :clap

    Then why the hell was I wobbling all over road as though I was three parts stoned and hung over to boot?? :huh I thought I was going to drop my bike at the very first corner as I thought the new front tyre I had fitted a couple of days earlier was flat.. The handle bars shook alarmingly between 30 - 55 kilometers an Hour and the knuckles where white within the first 3 ks.. :huh SHIT... I stopped and checked but the tyre had correct air pressure and all looked fine as far as bolt tension and alignment.. Maybe the new tyre just needed time to bed in.. :dunno

    Getting away late also meant that we would need to travel into the night to make it to the TTT Rally the following day that we had been talked into days before we departed.. Nothing like having a plan set out 18 Months earlier and then throwing it in the bin the day before we head off.. :lol3

    Because of the late start and the front wheel wobble there weren`t too many pictures taken the first couple of days.. I was in survival mode from day 1 and stopping to smell the roses wasn`t even on my mind..

    Here is one of a very exhausted Racketeer at our overnight stop in Cann River..

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    Racketeer nearly didn`t make the trip as he had bought a new town House in Melbourne and needed it repainted all the way through before his family could move into it while he was away.. What that meant was some rediculous late nights painting for the week leading into the trip.. 3 am was the normal time to start cleaning brushes and rollers and a full week of that had us behind sleep wise before we even departed..

    Day 1 travel..

    424.3 klms Sat Nav..

    Melbourne> Traralgon> Lakes Enterance> Cann River..
    #4
  5. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 ɹǝpun uʍop ɯoɹɟ buıppoɯ Super Moderator

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    An early departure this morning for a longer ride to the TTT rally held in the Blue Mountains Nation Parks.. Had a great night's sleep after traveling the last 200 odd ks at night in Wombat and Kangaroo territory but managed verry well with the 2 X 100 watt driving lights and HID headlights fitted to my bike..

    This also saw us leaving Victoria and now entering New South Wales..

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    We had a rest at a favourite spot of mine in Narooma where I have spent quite a bit of time fishing with my inlaws over many Christmas breaks..

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    The ride into the TTT Rally is almost legendary and this year claimed it`s fair share of victims as well.. One bloke had an off that broke his leg and needed to be evacuated by helicopter to the Hospital nearby.. On one occasion we rounded the corner in time to see 3 guys trying to recover a near new KLR 650 that had taken it`s rider over an embankment and was almost never seen again.. It took another 3 of us to recover it.. There were parts of bikes left along the track from one incident or another but we made our way safely in around mid afternoon.. I found out later that TTT stands for Thrashers Terrible Treck.. :huh

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    Just what you need when your fighting an over weight pig with a wheel wobble that was trying to get you into a tank slapper when you least wanted it.. :baldy

    Was great to catch up with many forum members who I had spoken to over the internet and finally place faces to names.. Spent the night chatting around the fire having a good laugh at times and then ducking for cover as huge explossions where set off in the surrounding scrub at all hours of the night..

    Some bikes at the TTT Rally..

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    This is our Aussie Moderators atgreg`s bike...

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    And this one ridden by a very talented rider.. :bow


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    Day 2 travel..

    Cann River> Merrimbula> Narooma> Batemans Bay> Goulburn> Taralga> TTT Rally..

    570 klms KTM Speedo..
    #5
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  6. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 ɹǝpun uʍop ɯoɹɟ buıppoɯ Super Moderator

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    Racketeer and I decided to walk to the top of the ridge where we camped the night as we had been told the view was well worth the effort..

    As we reached the top I saw a guy with his pants around his ankles having a dump about 100 meters away.. (Hope this wasn`t the view people had suggested we have a look at .. :huh ) By the time we had walked over to where the best view was he had amost covered it in rocks and was prodding it with a stick... :dunno

    Racketeer asked the bloke if he was trying to kill it with his stick.. :lol3

    The views of the Mountains were very worthy of the walk and I`d bet not too many toilets offered a better sight.. :thumb

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    We packed up camp and left mid morning now with Andrew2 and DANNOj and headed out via some different dirt roads to Oberon where we all enjoyed lunch at the Bakery

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    and then made our way to Bathurst where each year the Touring Cars hold there biggest race of the year at nearby Mount Panamara.. I had always wanted to visit this place and given it was only a 60 odd kilometer detour then it was a must do and it didn`t dissapoint..


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    The best part is the track inwhich the race is held is a public road 51 weeks of the year so anyone can ride/drive around it and get to experience what the race drivers have to deal with.. Albeit we had to travel at 50 ks and they could do what they wanted.. We did 2 laps as the front wheel was at it`s worst at those speeds and couldn`t ride any harder as it is very heavily Policed with cameras and unmarked cars..


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    #6
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  7. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 ɹǝpun uʍop ɯoɹɟ buıppoɯ Super Moderator

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    We restocked with beverages and then headed just the other side of Lithgow to set up camp in a Pine Plantation..


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    and then settled in for a quieter night sitting around the fire..

    DANNOj..

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    Racketeer and Andrew2..

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    No need to go into too much details of what the conversation was about that night but lets just say it wasn`t quite spooky enough to scare the crap out of one of the youngest members.. :rofl

    Day 3 Travel..

    TTT Rally> Oberon> Bathurst> Lithgow
    #7
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  8. Uzay

    Uzay Adventure Dreamer

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    wake up and post some pics dood:thumb
    #8
  9. atgreg

    atgreg Africatwinarama

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    +1, looking great nev, cant wait to see the rest
    #9
  10. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Fantastic!! :thumb

    Keep it comin' :lurk
    #10
  11. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 ɹǝpun uʍop ɯoɹɟ buıppoɯ Super Moderator

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    Earlier start to the day had our breakfast over, packed and departing around 8 am and heading for Kurrajong where we said our goodbyes to Andrew2 had to start making his way home for work the next day..

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    And with DANNOj now leading the way we headed East on the Bells line Of Road and then North on Putty Road where we were pushed along by trucks that where absolutely flying... Bloody scary speeds these cowboys where traveling at and made it very difficult to overtake.. :wink:

    Refueled at a popular Halfway House at Howes Valley

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    and continued on along the Putty Road with some beautiful winding roads following a stream that was understandable as to why it was so popular with the sports bike riders from far and wide.. I didn`t take any pictures sadly as I was just cruising along enjoying the views.. But Racketeer did..

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    We then made our way into a small town called Kurri Kurri..

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    just North West of Newcastle where our very own Chad Reed (Former World Supercross Champion) was born.. Well at least it was a highlight for me anyway.. :lol3

    Contiued on to a small town called Beresfield where we enjoyed a nice lunch before saying our goodbyes to DANNOj who had to start making his way home also..

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    Racketeer and I pushed on till just after dark and made it to Nambucca Heads around 7:30 pm where we bought a few more Ales and found a Motel for a hot shower and comfortable beds.. Was good to spend the last couple of days with Andrew2 and DANNOj and both Racketeer and I really enjoyed their company.. Thanks guys..

    Day 4 travel..

    Lithgow> Howes Valley> Kurri Kurri> Taree> Kempsey> Nambucca Heads..

    Some confusion over todays kilometers but we believe 602ks..
    #11
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  12. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    I'm enjoying this so far. :thumb
    Keep posting...

    Australia is so different. I like different.
    Q~
    #12
  13. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 ɹǝpun uʍop ɯoɹɟ buıppoɯ Super Moderator

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    By now I was getting used to the front wheel wobble but it had become very obvious that it need fixing before damage was done to other components or it spat me off.. I become used to it but by no means was I enjoying it.. Nothing was going to spoil my trip though..

    We left the Motel and headed up the Coast alittle and called into the Brigalow Caravan Park in Urunga where I used to live many years ago at the tender age of 5 and had many fond memories flooding back..

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    I was very surprised at how it hadn`t changed very much at all over the years and could still see myself playing Soccer on the oval for the under 6 Sparrows.. It was during one of those flash backs that I started wondering what I did with the little screw driver that is used to do up the Sat Nav.. After checking my pockets and pulling my tankbag apart the last place I saw it was when I threw it on the bed thinking I shouldn`t be doing that cause I will probably leave it there... :baldy

    We turned back to the Motel in a bit of a hurry incase they started to make up the rooms and maybe not find it again.. Went through the rooms and found nothing.. :huh Rechecked my pockets again and found it sitting in a pocket I hadn`t checked.. Sorry Rack.. :shog

    While there made a few phone calls to Dalby Motors for help with the front wheel and decided it couldn`t be fixed over the phone so decided to make the detour and let them have a look at it.. After playing with a few suspension settings and stuffing around a little.. Sorry Rack.. :shog we were back on the road around 10 with a new destination..

    Not too many photos of this afternoons riding because of a late start to the day but had time for a stop and a coffee at a couple of places along the way..

    Some photos by Racketeers

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    The Dodgie Brothers.. :wink:

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    Well.. Dodgie Brothers In-laws anyway.. :lol3

    We had now found ourselves in Queensland.. :clap


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    If anyone would like to work out where it is then here you go...


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    Found a few great back roads that where heaps of fun that wound there way through forrests and hills..

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    But still had quite a few ks to travel and had yet another evening riding well after sunset..


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    Eventually making Dalby quite late but hopefull of a good outcome tomorrow for the front wheel..

    Day 5 Travel..

    Nambucca Heads> Coffs Harbour> Grafton> Casino> Tenterfield> Warwick> Toowoomba> Dalby

    728.1 kilometers..
    #13
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  14. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 ɹǝpun uʍop ɯoɹɟ buıppoɯ Super Moderator

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    Hi Poppy.. :wave

    Should see him now mate... Looking more and more like Santa every day.. :lol3


    G`Day A2.. :wave
    #14
  15. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 ɹǝpun uʍop ɯoɹɟ buıppoɯ Super Moderator

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    Decided to have a rest day today to catch up on washing, post home a box of useless items and most of all get the front end looked at.. Fitted a new front tyre and fixed the problem straight away.. WOO HOO.. :wings :rayof :wings

    A very big thankyou to the professional team at Dalby Motos for dropping everything and sorting my bike..


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    A photo of Mr Craig Hartley.. :feelgood

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    and a quick photo of one of his toys lying around the place.. :wink:



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    The best $ 120 I had spent in ages and it now means that the trip will be so much more enjoyable.. Thanks again guys..

    (and if anyone that works at Pirelli Motorcycle Tyres is reading this... you bludgers owe me for a new front tyre... :ddog )

    The rest of the day was spent checking out Dalby, fitting a throtte lock to Racketeers bike and just generally bumming around as we had to head off in our own separate direction as Rack needed to start his run back home to Melbourne and I was still heading North..

    We ended the day at a Tavern with a nice meal and washed it down with a few beers..


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    Not so much as of high for the both of us as it was our last night together on this trip and I knew I would miss not sharing the moments with him..
    #15
  16. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 ɹǝpun uʍop ɯoɹɟ buıppoɯ Super Moderator

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    Sad time this morning saying our goodbyes.. Had a great time with Rack but all to soon we needed to depart in our own directions.. I kept checking my mirrors in hope that he had changed his mind and decided to follow but was always empty..

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    I was now down to just my own company and for the first time it started to sink in what was ahead of me.. I had to put up with my own jokes for the rest of the trip... :yikes

    I had a sensational first days riding solo and saw some fantastic places/scenery along the way.. :ricky

    I`m not sure who the lucky kid was that was getting this pressent but I`d sure love to see the size of his sand pit..


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    For some reason I felt I was behind schedule and thought I needed to pick it up a bit so once again not too many photos of todays ride..

    Couldn`t resist this one.. :D

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    Soon found myself in these big buggers country..

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    and followed a great road down Mount Morgan and into Rockhampton..

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    Stayed the night in the Caravan Park after a magnificent Tavern dinner.. Who said camping had to be hard?? :lol3

    This was also the first signs posted to be aware of Crocodiles.. :huh

    I had a nice little camping spot picked out beside the river until I saw the sign and decided it best to move up the bank a bit further.. No need to feed the lizards I couldn`t help thinking.. The only problem was when I moved to my new location I didn`t realise I had set up tent under a tree that Bats called their home... :bluduh

    Hit the bed at around 7:30 pm trying to catch up on some missing sleep from the last couple of weeks and woke again at 11:45 thinking I had had enough and it was time to get up.. Can`t remember the last time I had been in bed at that hour..

    Day 7 travels..

    Dalby> Kingaroy> Gayndah> Monto> Mount Morgan> Rockhampton..

    674 klms
    #16
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  17. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 ɹǝpun uʍop ɯoɹɟ buıppoɯ Super Moderator

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    After an indifferent nights sleep with the constant stream of traffic flowing over the many joints in the bridge beside the park and the Bats making their happy noises in the trees above my tent I was happy to be up and out of there early..

    Was greated with rain and wind today for the first time but nothing too much that a snorkle and flippers couldn`t fix..

    Wasn`t long before the sugar cane started to appear and the lovely sweet smell that comes with it.. I hadn`t seen sugar cane in years so was happy to see it again..

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    Had a really good fast run and soon found myself in Mackay.. Used to live in Mackay years ago as well when we moved around a bit when I was a little tacker.. Don`t really remember much about it except the fishing was good.. :dunno

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    Passed through Bowen and took a photo of another large piece of fruit.. :dg

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    Had to take a couple of photos of the Islands just off the Coast of Queensland.. It wasn`t a very clear day today as there was a slight haze in the air which made visability slightly harder than normal..


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    The trip up to Inkerman Hill lookout showed some great scenery but I had trouble trying to capture what my eyes where seeing..

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    and managed to see a cane harvester in action..

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    Last time I was here they used to burn off the sugar can before they harvestered it.. Not too sure why times have changed..

    All that was left was a short run into Townsville to my overnight destination and a well earnt nights sleep..
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    #17
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  18. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 ɹǝpun uʍop ɯoɹɟ buıppoɯ Super Moderator

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    Another night in my mobile Motel.. :D

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    What you can`t see properly in this pic is the beer fridge next to the indoor swimming pool.. :lol3

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    Just on Sunset I went for a walk to see Magnetic Island from the foreshore.. I`d been out to this Island a couple of times when younger once again and enjoyed the times spent there..


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    Had a good evening swapping stories with the bloke next to me back at camp and listened to his many stories about what he had done and where he was going.. Also listened to him open many beer cans but the lousy bugger didn`t offer me one.. Must have been a Brisbane Lions Football Club supporter.. :patch

    Next morning it was back at the foreshore to watch the sunrise.. Well almost.. Takes me a bit to get out of bed and going..

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    Walked past this very nicely kept Suzuki on my way to the powder room..

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    And decided it was time to pack up camp and move on to the next destination.. Not before taking a shot of the Saint that was painted on the side of the Mountain in Townsville.. It was here almost 30 years ago and I believe some University students painted it as a joke years ago and it has stayed there.. Could be wrong on that though cause the drunken tight arse from next door told me last night and he was pissed.. :bluduh


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    Day 8 travels..

    Rockhampton> Mackay> Bowen> Townsville..

    740 kilometers..
    #18
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  19. holckster

    holckster dougholck

    Joined:
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    Just recently added Australia to my to do list. Maybe 2010.

    NIce pics and commentary, keep it comming, this is the first part of my planning effort.

    Let us know when are you comming across to do the USA?
    I'm sure many will assist with planning and ride along.

    Doug
    #19
  20. FirstMan

    FirstMan Adventurer

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    Great report so far. Thank you for taking the time to post up. I will be looking forward to reading the rest.
    #20