Guzzioverland RTW trip

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Guzzioverland, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. Guzzioverland

    Guzzioverland Guzzioverland

    Joined:
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    Location:
    From the UK but in Australia currently
    Blog 179 Return to Cairns 19th -22nd Aug 2011

    The reason for our quick return to Cairns is Paul had promised us a trip around the sugar mill he works at and that was an offer we couldn’t refuse even Nick came over to join in.
    Before the tour we had a brief idea in our heads on how sugar was made but that was blown completely away in the first ten minutes.
    The place was huge right from the beginning where the cane trains were automatically loaded onto the conveyor belts, to the crushers all five of them, to the magma tanks and the loading of the dried sugar. There were many stages in between and some of photos may explain this.

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    We both thought that the cane was crushed to extract the juice and this was then dried to make sugar but there is a lot more to it than that.
    The cane is crushed five times and washed in increasingly hot water to extract every last drop of juice. The impurities are removed and re used as organic fertiliser and then the cane syrup is sent to a huge tower called a pan where crystals are artificially added. The syrup forms its own crystals around these which are later separated.

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    The output from here is dark brown crystaline substance called Magma and it is stored in huge vats with heated stirrers continuously churning it to stop it setting.

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    From here the Magma drops into a huge centrifuge a bit like a giant washing machine.
    The magma is spun up to an incredibly high speed which forces out the mollasses (which is sold separately) and leaves behind natural raw sugar.
    The whole factory is huge and looks more like an oil rig then a sugar factory. The tour is accompanied by noise from the many machines, the sweet smell of mollasses and a sticky sugar film that covers most surfaces but despite all this it was thoroughly enjoyable.
    We will never look at sugar in the same way again and we want to thank Paul for a fascinating insight into it’s process.
    The town of Gordonvale comes alive each year on the weekend of the pyramid races which is this weekend. The ‘pyramid’ hill dominates the landscape around and the hardy few decide to run up and back to town in the heat of the day……the fastest has been around one and a quarter hours. There is a festival in town as well. Paul and I walk into town to enjoy all the events which include some log splitting competions and boy are they quick. There is a mechanical bucking bronco, a display of cars and bikes including one which makes our bike look positively normal and lots of stalls. We spend a while wandering around before seeing the first man and woman back down from the pryamid. We left Kev in the shed doing final adjustments tightening down the heads, re-jigging the exhaust pot cookers. Tomorrow is ‘Guzzis Are Go’ day, a run organised by Nick a while ago taking in some good biking roads.

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    The day dawned bright and sunny Nick gave us a scare ringing us to say he had a puncture but he fixed it in the nick of time and was able to join us along with the stig on a moto guzzi see picture below.
    Our first stop was Etty bay a lovely secluded beach here we had an added surprise a Cassowary was strutting his stuff along the beach. It is a large prehistoric bird as tall as a man and fairly rare we had hoped to see one all the time we were up in the Daintree and here was one on the beach.

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    Our next stop was another beach this time with a bar. Kurrimine beach was badly affected by the cyclone and the tree lined beach was devastated we line the bikes up on the grass for a photo opportunity and Paul tells us last year you couldn’t see the beach through the trees, it still looks lovely to us.


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    We took a meandering route through Silkwood before ending up at the pub near Paronella Park where had lunch. It is the route we originally took from Ingham so we got to enjoy it again. Here we said goodbye to some of the riders who live on the tablelands before we headed though Millaa Millaa for the Gillies highway yet again, (any excuse).

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    When we got to the bottom of the Gillies Melissa from Channel 10 TV had the camera rolling for a news report. She was lovely and did a great job, we had to ride past the pub a few times and do an interview. You can see the video in the media section on the website I think you’ll agree she did us proud, thanks Melissa.

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    Our new friends were very patient and enjoyed a beer whilst waiting. Paul who put us up is the other TV star. We headed back to the shed for a well earned beer afterwards.
    The pictures are the interesting mirror in the sheds toliet and me visiting the UK (upsidedown on Kev’s back stretcher machine which was good.)


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    Back to reality next day we headed into Cairns to get the underwater film developed (film anyone remember that !!) and to stock up for our trip to the red centre.
    Next up our trip to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the Olgas and King’s Canyon.
    #41
  2. Guzzioverland

    Guzzioverland Guzzioverland

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    From the UK but in Australia currently
    Blog 180 Heading Inland 23<SUP>rd</SUP>- 29th Aug 2011
    It was time to turn our bike away from the coast and head off into the interior. We had a fabulous time up the east coast and met up with loads of lovely people but this land is big, very big and we had to get down to Uluru (Ayer’s rock) before we headed up to Darwin and across. It will get much hotter in the next couple of months before summer is even here so we had to step up our pace a bit.
    We had the joy of riding the Gillies Highway again on our route to Undara and its lava tubes. We stopped briefly at Herberton with the intention of exploring the historic village but cost and time put us off so we made tracks directly to Undara stopping in Ravenshoe to look at its steam train you can even sponsor a railway sleeper.

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    The tour at Undara was expensive but it’s not something you find every day and we could camp in the grounds.
    After erecting the tent we had an exclusive tour for two, our guide was very informative and we even ended up wading in cold knee high water in order to see deeper into the flooded lava tubes, the water has created patterns on the walls which our guide showed us. The park contains the remains of the earth’s longest flow of lava originating from a single volcano. The word Undara is aborigial in origin and means a long way.
    The volcanic activity that formed the tubes occurred approximately 190,000 years ago and the volcano Undara expelled massive amounts of lava onto the surrounding Atherton Tableland. In total it was estimated that over 23 billion cubic metres of lava that was released covering an area of 55 km<SUP>2 </SUP>Bayliss Cave is the remains of a lava tube that was once over 100 kilometres (62 mi) in length. The cave itself is over 1,300 metres (4,265 ft) in length, 11 metres (36 ft) high and 22 metres (72 ft) wide. The tubes were formed when the lava on the surface cooled whilst molten lava continued flowing underneath, this molten lava melted everything in its path creating the tubes we see today.
    We saw lots of wallabies in the camp ground as well and managed to get a picture or two, we see lots on the roads but never get chance for a photo.

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    We had a great meal of lamb chops and potatoes that night mainly because we can now buy meat for two days and put it in our fridge so long as we are mostly riding. The campsite put on a talk each evening round the campfire from one of the guides, this evening’s theme was wings and things. We learnt the names of some of the birds we have seen and it was great to have a fire.

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    Next morning we walked round the rim of the volcano, from here we could see the tracks of the lava flows visible by the dark green belt of trees. We could even see the trace’s of molten lava patterns in the rocks around the rim (they look a little like stone cowpats.)

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    From here on in we had many kilometres to cover before Alice Springs. We rode all day and watched the countryside change from rocky tree plains to thick dried grass to flat savannah before arriving at our free camp for the night. We now encountered the road trains some up to four trailers long, along with the other road hazzards including emus and kangaroos running in front of us. Might is right here and the road trains win every time, besides which the edges of the roads of often steeply cambered and they can’t get off. This means you have to quickly scrub off some speed and dive onto the dirt to get out of their way.
    The ground is hard as hell out here and pegs take a pounding each time the tent goes up. We even changed time zones as we headed west and had to adjust our clocks by a bizarre 30minutes.

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    The rear wheel had been making a noise so Kev played safe and changed the wheel bearings in the scrub before we left. After another day of full traveling we pulled up in another free camp this time we chatted to a passing BMW rider who was on his way back to Melbourne. The scenery is changing all the time and some areas are being deliberately burnt to stop bushfires later some we not sure about. We encoutered a lorry driver who had a buffalos head he was taking home to make into a trophy.

    Now officially in the Northern Territory we are getting a measure of the vast distances we have to have to cover as after another full day of travel we camp up in yet another free camp but this time we have a bit of interest. The Devils Pebbles a rocky outcrop made of granite we took a wander round before Kev changed the bevel box oil as the noise is still there and wasn’t the wheel bearings. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous



    Next morning we detoured to the Devil Marbles or Karlu Karlu a larger version of the pebbles and much more photogenic.These were giganitic rounded granite boulders, some say the Aborigines believed the site to be eggs of the mythical Rainbow Serpent. In reality many diverse traditional ‘Dreaming’ stories (none of which are about serpents) intersect at and around Karlu Karlu, hence its great importance as a sacred site.
    The devils marbles are made of granite which was once molten magma (great word magma !) they were originally covered by a layer of sandstone which over millions of years eroded away exposing the huge blocks of granite. They themselves continued to be weathered by sun, wind and rain rounding off the corners and splitting some of them in two.

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    We are back into interesting country now and stopped around lunchtime at Barrow Creek initially just for fuel it was the site of an old telegraph station and the building has been restored. Kev had been wanting a grease gun for the wheel bearings and after asking the bar manager (all fuel stops nearly always have a bar attached) we struck lucky. It was another memoriblia pub and the walls were adorned with all sorts (including a guzzioverland sticker now). It was nearly lunch so much to the amusement of the local aborignals who were sitting around drinking VB’s (local beer) I ferried to and fro from the bike various bags and proceeded to make cheese, tomato, lettuce and salad sarnies whilst Kev grovelled under the bike greasing the wheels. I managed to photograph two of them with one of their works of art they sell to tourists. All of this encounter was without words and we wondered what they made of us but when we left they all waved enthusiastically to us.

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    We overnighted in Ti Tree Australias most central roadhouse with camping. Alice Springs is not too far now and we stopped at the Tropic of Capricorn next day for a photo before we arrived in town.


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    We made it a brief stop for supplies and pushed on to Uluru arriving just in time to watch the sunset. We had to stay at Yulara the only place you can camp there. They have the monopoly and it’s expensive but a well equipped nice site.
    It was worth it though, Uluru is vast, humbling and beautiful.

    The first image is Mt Connor the rest Uluru.

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    We woke before dawn and raced to the sunrise viewing area to join the other hordes watching it rise over Uluru, it was really magical and worth the 5am alarm. After breakfast in the car park we set off on the almost 10km walk around its base. Although still way too early for sane people we still walked a good portion of it in full sun and saw its ever changing colours. We took a squintillion photos so we’ve whittled it down a lot!!! You can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll through them. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] See the full gallery on Posterous




    Next stop the Olgas and Kings canyon.
    #42
  3. OneOff

    OneOff Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    297
    Location:
    S.E.Qld
    Thanks guys, great photos.

    Good to see you getting along. What a great time you're having.

    Peter.
    #43
  4. Guzzioverland

    Guzzioverland Guzzioverland

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    From the UK but in Australia currently
    Hi Oneoff
    Thanks, we had a bit of a wobbly start but we are getting into it now.
    We are probably going to start a new post as this one takes forever to load up now.
    Will call it Guzziovberland2 and run sequentially as and when it grinds to a halt.
    Cant think of any other way round it can you ?
    Already downsizing pictures to 30% and now 15% but the trouble with forums is it opens up the whole lot every time instead of the last post ?
    Cheers mate
    Kev and Karen
    #44
  5. Guzzioverland

    Guzzioverland Guzzioverland

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    From the UK but in Australia currently
    Hi all
    We have noticed that the thread now takes an age to load as there are so many pictures and it has to load the whole lot each time.
    To try to solve this problem we are going to break it down into sections so the next thread from now on in will be called Guzzioverland2 RTW Trip etc.

    I cant think of any other solution but if you can I'm all ears.

    We will post the last Blog on this and the new thread so they overlap
    Thanks
    Kev and Karen
    #45
  6. Guzzioverland

    Guzzioverland Guzzioverland

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    53
    Location:
    From the UK but in Australia currently
    Blog 181 The Olgas and Kings Canyon 30th August – 2nd September 2011



    We woke early to beat the heat and rode the 50km to the Olga’s an ancient rock formation. Its Aboriginal name is Kaja Tjuta meaning many heads and it is a remarkable formation of 32 weathered rock domes exposed by 500 million years of erosion. Incredibly these are just the visible tops of slabs of rock some of which extend 6km down into the earth. We did a 7 km walk called “the valley of the winds” which lead you right through a beautiful valley into the heart of the formations giving spectacular views over the desert below. It was our favourite walk so far and this area was well worth the 2000km detour to get there.
    Here are some pictures to give you a taste of what it was like. The lizard was well camoflaged against the rocks and Karen only spotted him because he moved.

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    Due to the early start we were back by lunch and had the afternoon off to catch up with the blogs and washing etc, there are some spectacular sights in Australia but there is also a huge expanse of nothing. Many days in the outback we pretty much did nothing but ride, camp, eat, sleep and wake up and do it all again just to cover the miles, when you get somewhere like Uluru you are so busy looking around that you need time off now and again to catch up especially as they are at their best both sunset and sunrise.
    The next morning we were away early again, we made good time and were at Kings Canyon by about lunchtime which gave us chance to put up the tent in the campsite and drop some gear off before doing the walk through the canyon that afternoon. We met a few familiar faces and some new ones in the campsite and it was quite a social affair. The walk followed the creek bed through the sandstone canyon which has weathered over millions of years into spectacular shapes and colours. The light in Australia is completely different and the sun on the rocks lit them up making the colours even more vibrant.
    Early the next morning we did the rim walk around the top of the canyon, that was quickly our new favourite place. About half way through the walk you descended into a permanent waterhole called “the Garden of Eden”. It was well named, a shady green oasis set amongst sheer yellow and orange walls of rock. Spinefex pidgeons were busy eating some biscuit crumbs left by tourists they came almost close enough to touch. Although it was still a little touristy it had a magical feeling about the place and at times you could get a sense of what it must have been like to discover this vast sandstone chasm for the first time, we certainly felt like we were following in the footsteps of people over many thousands of years. Aboriginal people have lived here for an estimated 22’000 years, white Australians only discovered it in the 1960&#8242;s

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    Leaving early the next day our original intention was to travel up the dirt road to Alice Springs but at the last minute I changed my mind so we went out on the longer tar seal route instead. We don’t mind a bit of dirt but varying reports on the condition of the road and the risk of breaking something out here made me play safe. We did take to the dirt to visit some meteorite craters on the way which were quite impressive. They are fairly eroded now and so would have been deeper but it’s still scary to think that those craters were caused by a meteorite no bigger than an oil drum.

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    Thanks to our 06.45 start we were in Alice Springs by lunchtime, Alice is the only big town for thousands of km’s so we stopped to top up with food and water. Lots of people came over for a look at the bike as usual and among them was Ray an Irish guy who now calls ‘Alice’ home, he asked how long we were intending to be in town and invited us to stay. We planned to be back on the road that afternoon but as things often change we thanked him and took his number anyway. I left Karen with the bike in a car park while I went shopping and when I got back she had met lots of people including some local aborigines and Miranda a local volunteer reporter for the ABC network who asked if she could write an article about us and our trip for their website which we were happy to do. We rode up to Anzac Hill ’Alice’s’ most iconic viewpoint to take some pictures and record some audio and she seemed pleased with the result. By then the afternoon had slipped away so we rang Ray to ask if we could take him up on the offer of somewhere to stay in town. On the way there we had a look around the historic telegraph station which was the first settlement here and rode back up Anzac hill to watch the sunset over the town.

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    Ray and Carol lived in a shared house in town and it was one of their housemates birthday so we had a great evening with them. They didn’t have a spare room so we were going to put our tent up in their back garden when Ray suggested trying their swags for the night. Swags are an Australian invention and are basically a sleeping bag with a built in mattress, they roll up and anyone travelling by 4X4 usually has one in the back. Some have built in mosquito nets etc, they work well here because the weather is so predictable. It felt slightly strange to be stripping off in the back garden and climbing into a sleeping bag with no tent around us but we had a really comfy nights sleep. We left a note to say thank you in the morning to Ray and Carol as it was the weekend and they were having a well deserved lie in.
    We needed to get some km’s in so we rode all day only stopping for a look at the sculptures at Airelon. The bike intrigued the man who sculpted them and he came over to say hello.
    Our next stop for fuel was at Wycliffe Well the UFO capital of Oz. It was here that we noticed the bevel box was still making a noise when we rolled the bike, we couldnt hear it when we were riding it and other than that it seemed to be working okay but to be on the safe side we contacted Kev in Cairns to ask if he had a spare. It didn’t seem that serious but the distances get even bigger when we head west from Darwin so we thought we probably should be on the safe side. Kev said he had a spare and kindly set wheels in motion to ship it to Darwin for us via the greyhound bus freight service. Trying to think ahead we also rang the ever helpful “tyres for bikes” to organise a spare rear tyre to be shipped to Darwin so that it would be there when we arrived. The other problem I could forsee was our 400-450km fuel range was going to be pushed to the limit in a couple of places out west. I had already looked into folding fuel bladders and found a good manufacturer in Australia called “Liquid Containment” so I gave them a call to ask if they would be able to help us out. Luckily for us they agreed to supply us with some older sample models for nothing if we paid for the freight which we were happy to do so we got those on their way too. Nick from Cairns had already asked on AIGOR the Australian Guzzi owners forum if anyone would be willing to let us use their address and Colvin helped us out there, thanks mate !
    We camped that night in one of Australia’s excellent free camp spots and put our air mattress on the concrete by the picnic tables and slept under the stars again. It was only when darkness fell Karen remembered snakes, spiders, scorpions, etc but we both slept well.
    There was a lot of controlled burning going on in the outback, the theory is that if you burn off the grass and scrub in small cool fires it stops big wild fires getting out of control later. We saw lots of dead wallabies and kangaroo’s on the road a reminder of the hazards of riding out here. The emu is one we saw at a roadhouse although we have had them jumping out in front of the bike as well. The alcohol and pornography ban signs are on the edges of some prescribed areas, alcohol is quite strictly controlled in the northern territory and you cannot buy it without ID no matter what your age. Quite a lot of aboriginal settlments are “dry” as some Aboriginals don’t tolerate alcohol well and it has caused problems in some communities.

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    Next up Litchfield national park and Darwin
    #46
  7. RunningBare

    RunningBare Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
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    434
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    miles from nowhere
    Last post over 12 months ago. Fantastic photos, did they get taken by a dingo or a great white?
    #47
  8. griffo1962

    griffo1962 Long timer

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    #48
  9. arrcrussell

    arrcrussell Gimme Dirt

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    NE OH, USA
    #49
  10. deej

    deej Deej (Deric)

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
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    Washington State
    Met them in Port Angeles on the 30th of October. Great folks!
    #50