Australia - The four amigos

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Benji13, Apr 23, 2020.

  1. Benji13

    Benji13 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Australia
    Actually the caravan was also ugly.
    2017 1272.JPG

    The motel was ok but the dining was not inspiring. So we skipped it.
    2017 1277.JPG

    Yes we found a place for brekkie tomorrow morning. Looking good. Not a single soul on the street.
    2017 1278.JPG

    Was the whole population on this wall?
    2017 1279.JPG

    Attached Files:

    mrsdnf likes this.
  2. Traveller13

    Traveller13 Cptn. Fluffy

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Western Straya
    Following this one, was supposed to be doing the lap this year but it's been pushed to Sept/Oct next year.
    Going top do a lazy 4500k 2 week run up to the Pilbara and back in August/Sept to get my touring hit for this year....
    Benji13 likes this.
  3. Benji13

    Benji13 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Australia
    That sounds like a good plan.
    I plan to ride to the Cameron corner next month. It will be interesting as I can walk into south Australia but not Queensland at the corner. Will they fine me if I put only one foot in?
  4. Benji13

    Benji13 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Australia
    2017 1291.JPG

    Day 25 - 431km

    Before the amigos woke up, I went for a sunrise walk around Augusta. The Blackwood River emerged into Flinders Bay. Nice. No one was around. Great. The coastline here and Cape Leeuwin was first sighted by a Dutch East India Company ship Leeuwin (Lioness) in 1622. Hence the name Cape Leeuwin.
    2017 1286.JPG 2017 1284.JPG 2017 1285.JPG 2017 1288.JPG

    After breakfast, the amigo retreated to the motel to nurse his ankle. So the three amigos hit the 9km coastal track to the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.

    2017 1290.JPG 2017 1302.JPG

    This is the south west tip of the continent where the Southern Ocean meets the India Ocean. Fantastic.
    2017 1321.JPG

    Russ was feeling great and shamelessly photo-bombed me and performed the Swan Lake ballet steps behind. Such a clown. A good one.
    2017 1294.JPG

    We paid $20 each and did the lighthouse tower tour. Worth it. The guide was a young chap. In our group were some Singaporean and Indonesian tourists. Tell you a secret, I squatted in the photo because acrophobia. My legs went jelly at the top of the lighthouse. Another secret, my childhood dream was to become a Jumbo pilot. Not sure how the two could have fitted together?
    2017 1312.JPG
    chilolac likes this.
  5. Benji13

    Benji13 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Australia
    Day 25 continued

    2017 1325.JPG

    After the lighthouse, we went back to pick up the amigo. He could not zip up the boot. OK, that actually was not too bad since the ankle had swollen so much that it was like a heavy log in the boot and he could not feel much. Today we would be testing his ankle a bit. See how it would handle the ride.

    Firstly we had a quick ride on the Brockman Highway to the Diamond Tree. 140km. The amigo handled it quite good.

    2017 1332.JPG

    The platform was 49m on the top of the 250 year old giant Karri tree for bush fire look-out. Too high for me to climb.
    23795169_10214312909398291_444167060828904146_n[1].jpg

    Mark was jolly sporting and attempted a climb, but temporarily hampered by a lady who was stuck halfway up!
    2017 1326.JPG

    After the Karri forest fun, we continued the good motorcycling road to Pemberton, Northcliffe, into the Shannon NP. Everywhere we rode were lined by tall trees. Delightful. Not much stopping. Nice for the broken ankle. Except for fuel stop for the range-inferior GS and Tiger bikes. The GSA people had to wait for us. Hahaha!
    23754871_10155410481658541_2927201854306726425_n[2].jpg 23795019_10214303455401947_726887821437722449_n[1].jpg 23795334_10214303455481949_7335592828682110563_n[1].jpg

    Finally after some spectacular coastal roads on the South Western Highway, with huge rock shields sloping down to the green sea, and little empty beaches sheltering between them and behind barrier islands, we arrived at the Albany Hotel. Cheap place to stay, cold beer and good food in town.

    We skipped the Green Pool today to avoid the steps for the Amigo. Not sure if he slept with the boot on that night.
    2017 1336.JPG 2017 1335.JPG
    mrsdnf and Suncoaster like this.
  6. Benji13

    Benji13 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Australia
    2017 1352.JPG Day 26 - 738km

    OK a long day to test the ankle, the broken one.

    The planning of this trip was not too bad. We suffered days of extreme heat in the north, it did not kill us but made us stronger, tougher. Now we were enjoying the crisp cool air which was perfect for riding motorbikes. The GS enjoyed the low temperature too and it was purring between my legs. Like speaking to me in a low, soft and seductive voice. Nice. Hopefully we could enjoy the weather until we start turning north in Melbourne.

    It was still cool on the road and we visited the Brig Amity. A full size replica of the convict/settler ship in 1826.
    2017 1370.JPG


    Imagine the many convicts, soldiers, and enough animals and seeds to start a new settlement in an unknown land on board.
    2017 1341.JPG 2017 1343.JPG 2017 1344.JPG


    Equally mighty sight.


    2017 1339.JPG

    There was news that Triumph is cutting 400 jobs and moving more production from Hinckley to Thailand. I respected the brand for insisting making the Rocket cruisers. Nothing to do with the fact that they share the same name with the lady bras.

    More riding to Jerramungup. The ankle started hurting and the amigo needed to find a seat on a truck tyre.
    2017 1352.JPG

    And we reached later at Ravensthorp, Hopeturn and Esperance.
    2017 1363.JPG 2017 1361.JPG

    Attached Files:

    mrsdnf likes this.
  7. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,626
    Location:
    SW. Idaho
    fear of heights would not have been a factor as a pilot, I pinched a nerve in my back which may hinder my leg operation while walking but light aircraft flight is still a delight.
    Benji13 likes this.
  8. Benji13

    Benji13 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Australia
    Thanks mate for clearing the puzzle in my mind!
    Life is intriguing. When Cathay Pacific recruited local cadets (non-white) for the very first time in 1988, I applied and got through many tests. My parents disagreed and I obediently chose a different career. I always regret.
    yokesman likes this.
  9. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,626
    Location:
    SW. Idaho
    Dont know where are now in your career but just one US airline has announced 7000 excess pilot slots-Delta.
    Benji13 likes this.
  10. Benji13

    Benji13 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Australia
    That’s the intriguing part of life. Cathay Pacific now needs a bailout. Fast it is becoming a state owned enterprise and you would have had to call me comrade Benji.
    yokesman likes this.
  11. Benji13

    Benji13 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Australia
    Day 26 continued

    Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun are next to 200 km of pristine coastline. Very few people live here.
    2017 1353.JPG

    2017 1364.JPG

    Fun fact: When NASA's Skylab crashed into this part of WA and scattered debris in 1979, the Esperance council fined NASA $400 for littering. Just imagine sipping coffee in my backyard and a Tesla falling down with a sonic boom.
    untitled.png Esperance_Museum_Skylab_2.jpg

    When I planned the trip, I checked that the accommodation had safe parking for the bikes, and reasonable hygine. I failed miserably that night.

    At the Norseman Hotel. It has not changed in a 100 years. The hotel has about 60 rooms. At 2.30am, we were hearing all these noises. I had worked out that these noises were men in their 50's going to the bathrooms OR ghosts of men in their 50's going to the bathrooms.
    2017 1369.JPG

    and the sink in my room needed some attention.
    23915527_10214352909038257_267330002172507899_n[2].jpg
    mrsdnf likes this.
  12. mrsdnf

    mrsdnf Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2019
    Oddometer:
    929
    Location:
    Lost between the Dandenongs and Yarra Valley
    Thats a very rustic looking basin.
    Benji13 likes this.
  13. Benji13

    Benji13 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Australia
    Woody, a buddy of the amigos called me last night. He is finally retiring and asked for our 2017 itinerary as he wants to do the lap. Congratulations to Woody! The difficulty of this country is that we do not have a retirement age. Yes some refer to the superannuation and pension rules. Others just procrastinate. I don’t know how woody maintains his great physical shape. Good on him. Remember yours truly comrade Benji recommend all bikers to do a lap of your beautiful country/continent while you still can.
    My mate in office Johnny retired at 54 and in the following month had a heart attack and passed away. He was still 54.
  14. bikerpaul68

    bikerpaul68 bikerpaul68

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    Alsace, France
    Benji, I second that. I cheated a bit and did "the lap" in two trips from Brisbane to Perth, first via Melbourne and then via the Top End (although I missed out Darwin and Alice Springs). Both trips were just great.
    Benji13 likes this.
  15. Benji13

    Benji13 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Australia
    Thanks Paul! And now you have some time to plan for your next trip to finish it off :lol3. The premier of Queensland finally succumbed to the PM's ultimatum and is going to reopen the border on 10 July.
    And before you arrive in Alice Springs, check for any BLM protests. I hope they fully understand the indigenous problems and care about those Aboriginal people died outside the police custody as well as those inside.
    When you are in Darwin, please say hi to Cyclone Motorrad for me. Tell them that I forgive but not forget.
  16. Benji13

    Benji13 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Australia
    Day 27 - 575km

    Today was a detour day. We were going north for 200km to tour the Super Pit in Kalgoorlie. The largest open cut gold mine in Australia. And the plan was to stay in Norseman again tonight. No way. We agreed to push.

    2017 1382.JPG

    Firstly we rode on time to Kalgoorlie in fine weather and found the tour operator. They told us that we were lucky to be able to go as a storm made a lot of damage last weekend and they had cancelled the tours in the last few days. Then we put on the hi viz and jumped into the air-con mine-spec bus.

    2017 1372.JPG

    You are not allowed to ride or drive inside the mine. Why? The 400 tonnes CAT 793 Haul trucks can flatten a landcruiser just like this and the driver would not even feel a bump.

    2017 1373.JPG

    The broken ankle was happy to be driven.
    2017 1377.JPG 2017 1374.JPG

    After the 1.5 hr tour, we went back to the bikes and rode to the Harvey Hut for the breath taking away view of the sheer size of the pit. I found it amazing to see how the trucks worked.
    2017 1386.JPG

    And the amigo took a rest.
    2017 1387.JPG
    2017 1388.JPG 2017 1392.JPG

    Both GSA and 793 are awesome machines.
    2017 1399.JPG
    Andyota, mrsdnf and yokesman like this.
  17. Benji13

    Benji13 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Australia
    2017 1380.JPG Day 27 continued

    Different from other mining towns, Kalgoorlie was more vibrant and lively.
    2017 1379.JPG

    Perhaps part of it was due to the mine not hiring anyone on a FIFO fly-in-fly-out basis.

    Many people in Perth and Brisbane worked in the mines on a FIFO mode as the mining jobs easily pay double or more. Young men having lots of cash in the pocket and basically living away from family on a pro-longed period. You can imagine the social issues this created.

    So the super pit owner KCGM's policy is that they only hire people having proof of stay in Kalgoorlie for 6 months. So most of the miners reside there with family. I bet the divorce rate there is not too bad as a result.

    In the afternoon, we did almost 400km to arrive at the Balladonia Motel. Parked there were also 3 Harleys. OK they had the speakers and could be a better choice than the GS tomorrow when we are doing the Nullabor. I rode my friend's electra glide 25 years ago. I can still remember how itchy inside my ears it vibrated.

    2017 1394.JPG 2017 1393.JPG
    mrsdnf and Suncoaster like this.
  18. bikerpaul68

    bikerpaul68 bikerpaul68

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    Alsace, France
    Benji, that's great news about Queensland - but I doubt if visitors from Europe will be allowed any time soon. On the positive side, Switzerland has just re-opened its borders with France (where I live) so I'll be going on a short international bike trip today :-)
    Benji13 likes this.
  19. Benji13

    Benji13 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Australia
    Day 28 - 715km CROSSING THE NULLARBOR!!

    Today was the long ride from Balladonia to Caiguna, Madura, Eucla, and I had booked the famous Nullarbor Roadhouse. You could ride all the way with your hands off the handlebars (not that we are recommending this, hehehe). Cos the Eyre Highway was basically straight.

    23795009_10212835115186110_8721077529356777740_n[1].jpg

    146.6km. Why so precise with the measurement? Because this is the longest straight stretch of road in Australia.
    2017 1400.JPG 2017 1406.JPG

    Of course it was boring, even by the staggeringly dull standard of the rest of the Eyre Highway. However, this is exactly why all bikers in Australia dreamed and dreaded at the same time of crossing the Nullarbor at least once in their lives on this planet earth. For all the overseas riders, come and do it and you would have the bragging rights in the pub for years. Worth it.

    After Eucla, we crossed into South Australia.


    2017 1409.JPG
    2017 1418.JPG

    To entertain ourselves and also the other rare overlanders here, we did all creative gestures, with both hands. Then I realised the cruise control could double as auto steering. Only at higher speed (Again not we recommend this). Clever German engineering. Hehehe. Occasionally you needed to shift your bum slightly to get back to your supposed lane.

    We did not see a single cop today. And we did not have any thing in the mail box after we came home. So they did not bother to hide any radar gun there neither.

    Of course you needed to be careful of other road users. The four legged, and the 24 wheeled.
    2017 1422.JPG 2017 1419.JPG

    The amigos were happy when arrived at the Nullarbor Roadhouse. Apparently there was too much blood in the broken ankle and it refused to run back to the other body parts. So the amigo put up his left foot during the dinner time in the roadhouse restaurant. How not prim and proper. I am going to have a word with his mum when we are back in Sydney. Hahaha. Ok ok I am nice to you right and we will have a rest day later this week.
    2017 1423.JPG 2017 1426.JPG 2017 1421.JPG
    Andyota, mrsdnf, 9w6vx and 1 other person like this.
  20. Benji13

    Benji13 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Australia
    Day 29 - 718km

    We lost 2.5 hours going from WA to SA yesterday and we had a long ride again today. Great!

    We started the day with a visit to the Head of Bight. It was the most northern bay of the Great Australia Bight. 2017 1449.JPG 2017 1448.JPG

    It was a whale galore during the season from May to October. And magnificent cliffs all year round. Southern Right whales live here for 5 months a year to give birth, mate and socialise, before they move back to the Southern Ocean.

    We stopped whale hunting in 1978.

    2017 1427.JPG 2017 1431.JPG 2017 1432.JPG 2017 1435.JPG 2017 1438.JPG 2017 1446.JPG

    And we visited the small museum.
    2017 1447.JPG

    This morning we ventured into the Eyre Peninsula and continued to Ceduna for lunch and Smoky Bay. Then we arrived at Streaky Bay. These are all seafood heavens. Another detour today and we were visiting Mark's cousin Julia in Port Lincoln.

    2017 1450.JPG
    mrsdnf likes this.