Finding Freedom...World Wide Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BcDano, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We had the tent set up so we spent some time cleaning it and the pegs and poles. The plan is to back track the 30 km back to the main road and then north to Auckland.

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    We booked it on the main road and with a stop at BMW for new Oz ready air filters we arrived to Janet and Charlie’s by just after 1. They have a great set up for us with the bikes in the garage and a place to use their pressure washer. We scrubbed and de-greased and washed and scrubbed again. The final was a total wipe down with WD40. They are show room clean. We took the mirrors and wind screens off as well.

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    Today we will leave the house a bit later as they traffic into Auckland can be horrific. It is only 40 km to the airport, but it will take at least an hour. We did run into a bit of stop and go, but it was not too bad overall. Pulling into GT we were happy as 1. they were expecting us 2. they are professional and organized 3. We had a flight even sooner than we wanted and the bikes will go tomorrow!

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    They say the bikes are some of the cleanest they have seen and that they do not need a steam clean. As a reward we stopped by a famous shop for one last NZ pie!

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  2. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We had our flight to Melbourne booked tonight at 1850 and the Russels kindly delivered us to the airport by car. 45 min before we boarded we still had not heard from GT and so we called them. AGH the bikes have been bumped off their flight by priority cargo! They are re-booked on Thursday.

    This means there is no way we will make the only ferry booking left for Friday night to Tasmania. The Spirit of Tasmania service is atrocious. You can book and then not cancel the reservation until the sailing actually leaves without penalty and this means all the reservations are always full. The other issue is there might be room for 2 bikes, but on a night sailing there are only shared cabins and this weekend there are only female bunks available.

    Australian customs are notoriously evil and it is likely the bikes will wait for inspection. If they fail this means you pay to move them, pay for cleaning, pay to move them back, and then pay for re-inspection. This could take ??? days. Even if they do arrive on Thursday it is unlikely we will get them until Tuesday at the earliest as this is a holiday weekend..…

    We have been invited to the home of Ian who is a friend of Garry and Ivonne Dymond in Mexico City. We share the bond of broken down BMW at Garry’s place with Ian. He was super kind to drive clear across from his place as far as you can go in Melbourne, which is to the airport to pick us up at 11 pm. He set us up at his house and we crashed when we arrived in Chelsea at 1 am.

    Ian is the host with the most! He has provided us with his comfy home, his V-strom, riding gear, GPS, transit cards, and tons of advice. He is an amazing cook!

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  3. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Ian set off for work and we rode just a few km away to Chelsea beach to meet with one of our Camino family Daniella! So great to catch up and get some advice for the sights here in the city. We will now probably fly to Hobart Tasmania as going with the bikes will not happen, but we really want to see our good friend Deb. Ian cooked us another amazing meal!

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    It's Saturday today, but Ian has to go into the city to ABC and he will tour us around and then we can spend the rest of the day down town.


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  4. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Today we did a ride out on Ian’s bike to the Dandendons up in the hills where it is a pleasant 24 degree. We saw lots of watch for wombat and Kangaroo signs, but no actual critters.

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    Today we got some work done and then road up the coast road past the crystal blue Melbourne Bay water to St. Kilda. We had dinner out with Ian's good friends Paul and Alison Peruvian restaurant in the "food desert that is Chelsea”.

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  5. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    It has been almost a week and still no news on the bikes!!! There is no online access to tell where the bikes are in the cue. The agents say they are trying, but they can not even tell us when they will be inspected. We did hear today that the Carnets have been signed off. This is getting a bit ridiculous. Orvar and his bike flew into Sydney today and I hope he has better luck.

    The weather is cooler today with some clouds and we headed back up to the hills. The first step was to get on the highway and get to Warburton. We stopped here at a cafe popular with bikers. The speed limit on much of the route here is 60, except on the freeway. We did a side trip on the 505 to walk up the Mt Donna Buang observation tower and then back tracked to the 507 (the 505 continues as a dirt road to Healesville, but it has been gated off). There is about 15 km of dirt road from the junction on the way to Narbethong. The forest here is right out of a movie set with massive ferns and super tall trees. When we git the B3360 south it was already 3 and there was quite a bit of traffic. We managed to make it home by 430 and then headed over to Paul and Alison’s for dinner.

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  6. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    A week and still no news on the bikes!!! There is no online access to tell where the bikes are in the cue. The agents say they are trying, but they can not even tell us when they will be inspected. We did hear today that the Carnets have been signed off. This is getting a bit ridiculous. Orvar and his bike flew into Sydney today and I hope he has better luck.


    Today is a holiday and that means Ian is getting to work rebuilding the carburetors on his BMW and Dan is out doing yard work.

    Well the bikes have been at customs for 8 days now. They are in quarantine today, but we still have had no real news!! They have not even been inspected yet and it is Friday afternoon again. Thus means nothing will happen until at least Monday. We have been sitting around waiting for the call to come get them, but nothing! You have to use an agent in Melbourne and can not contact customs directly.

    We have decided to give Ian a break from us this weekend and we will try and see the Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles now because we are unlikely to get the bikes till some time next week and want to meet our friend Deb in Wodongo next weekend. We were supposed to spend the last 2 weeks with her in Tasmania, but customs has ruined that.


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    We set off on a sunny hot Saturday to Sorrento. Here you can catch the road ferry across the mouth of the Melbourne harbor to Queenscliff in 40 minutes, which will saves hours trying to cross the city.

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  7. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The crossing was calm and we arrived at 1145. From here we are headed south west to Torquay, which is the start of the GOR. This road is 245 km to Allansford. There was actually not too much traffic and we were hardly held back. There are stunning views of the sea cliffs and beaches. There are several sections thru dense forest as well.

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  8. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We finally arrived to Apolo Bay about 4 and stopped to look for a place to stay. We found a backpackers 77 km farther along the B100 and just 6 km from the iconic 12 Apostles.

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    This way we can see the sun set there and minimize our chance of hitting a kangaroo on the way back after dark. The gas station after Apolo Bay in Lavers Hill was closed already and so we were getting low when we arrived to Princetown (no gas) 30 km later and checked into the slightly sketchy backpackers. We were on fumes 21 Km later in Port Campbell.

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    Here we grabbed some food ( it took and hour to get a souvlaki at the Frying Nemo fast food) and bolted back up the road to the Apostles parking area and walked over just in time for a pretty spectacularly sun set. We also saw our first living Kangaroo (and with a joey).

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  9. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    It was windy when we rode back, but by 930 it was gale force and then the power went out. It never came back on, which meant no running water either. The next bad news was because of the wind overnight ALL the roads west and north from here are closed by fires. Plus now it is raining and we do not have our own gear. This means a complete back track on the GOR we are told. We decided to ride back to Lavers hill and then try to get north to Colec.

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    At Lavers 2 other bikers headed up the 155 and so we followed, but found the road to Colec blocked off. We kept going east and turned onto the 159, which is a curvy paved logging road.

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    About 3/4 of the way across we ran into the police who had turned back all the cars also trying to get thru. They did not say anything to us and 200 m later we saw the other bikers. Up ahead 200 m the ER services truck had just arrived and they set about chain sawing the massive tree blocking the road. 45 min later the was a hole big enough for the bikes to get thru and we were off.



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    It was raining hard at times and incredibly windy. We were almost blown into the oncoming lane twice. We pulled up behind 6 guys on Harley’s white knuckling and watched as in turn each pulled off to cower in the ditch. We pushed on and stopped in Winchelsea for some food and to warm up. Checking the ferry schedule we had 45 min to make it 63 km and we just did it. The sun was now out and we headed back “home” to Ian’s.



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  10. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Long story short the Customs here have been a nightmare. They will not give you an estimate of when they can inspect the bikes. The said they would do it finally March 20 after 2 weeks waiting , “but did not get around to it”. What happened next was the shipping agents had the bikes moved to a second quarantine facility where an agent was scheduled to arrive already March 21. That meant we could go over to get them March 22.

    We took an Uber to the Chelsea train station, the train to Southern Cross station and another Uber over to Arrow Services. The bikes that were to be “roll on” have been crated and the luggage separately and hence a 500$ extra charge. The warehouse guys were very nice to us and fork lifted the pallet with the luggage over to where the bikes were parked. Orvar had been charged for crate disposal, but we luckily were not.

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    You know your bike has been in the warehouse too long when it has spiderwebs!

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    We remounted the windscreen and mirrors and hooked up the batteries and we were off to get fuel by 330. This was just in time to hit the early rush for the bridge and then the tunnel, that said we made good time after that and were back in Chelsea by 5.

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    Ian booked off work early to check out the bikes and meet us for a farewell dinner. We can not say enough about how much Ian did for us picking us up at just before midnight from the airport 2 hours from home, moving out of his bedroom to the spare room, loaning us his V Strom, setting us up with transit cards, maps and routes, and making us some very good meals!!! We only hope to return the favor one day in Kamloops.

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  11. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We set off from Chelsea and headed back towards the Dandedong hills at Emerald. Here we continued north and made our way to Noojee and Mount Baw Baw. The road is curvy and sealed except for 35 km between Noojee and Rawson.

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  12. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    This is good gravel, but some of the corners are a bit slick with mud.

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    We made it to Traralgon about 330 and stopped for a nice cafe lunch. We had another hour and 15 min to Bairnsdale, but this was on the A1 highway. This is mostly single lane. Here we had booked to a small motel and rain was forecast.
  13. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    As promised it was raining at 8 am , but was better by 10 when we left to start the B500 or the Great Alpine road.

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    This route rises slowly and constantly towards the Alpine national park. Watch out for Wombats!


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  14. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We did have to put on the rain suits about half way to the summit. The section from Hotham almost all the way to Hariettville was in very dense fog. We were going 20 km per hour and still could barely see where we were going. It was pretty treacherous.

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    SavannahCapt likes this.
  15. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    There is then a rapid descent thru the forest to the Village and we were met by the Swede! We had though he would wait in Bright on his way south, but he rode the last 25 km to meet us. He did not like the food options here and so we went back to the Bright Brewhouse.

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    We have now met Orvar on 6 contents! While we were eating lunch at 330 it started to pour torrentially. It would be an unsafe ride over the mountain and at least 4-5 hours to Bairnsdale to arrive after dark. He has to catch the ferry to Tasmania tomorrow at 8 pm and will now retreat with us to Wodonga and go to Melbourne on the freeway tomorrow (4 hours direct).


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  16. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We are headed to the home of our great friend Deb Hewson’s parents. We go way back with Marg and James as they were there when we started. They were in BC to accompany in a car Deb on her trip from Vancouver to Prudhoe bay in 2012! They welcomed us and the Swede into their home and fed and hosted us all.

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    Orvar set out in the rain but after an hour it cleared and the boat was an hour late so he could get off the main road in the end.

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    We managed to get out after the rain stopped in Wodonga and hike up the hill. We spotted quite a few grey kangaroos and several wallaby as well. Deb has been at the folk festival all day and came home with pies from the famous guy there in Yackandandah.

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  17. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Today we are going on a ride out with Marg and James to have lunch (very very good) in the pub in Jingilic NSW. Leaving town you ride by the barracks and the grounds are literally littered with kangaroo family groups. We rode put along the reservoir and out to the dam. The ride back was thru Corryong and it was a pretty chilly 6 degrees at the top of the pass.

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  18. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We have decided to go to Tasmania after all. We “wasted" 2 weeks waiting for the bikes, but we still really want to go. The problem is again the ferry. There are booking for 2 bikes to get over this week, but no return booking for weeks. The car bookings are full for until June already. So to go we will have to fly. Which for hiking and camping and spending time with Deb it will work out just fine to travel by car without all our gear. This means that we will get up at 530 am, catch the train 3 hours from Wodonga to Melbourne, get the bust 20 min to the airport, and then fly 1 hour to Hobart.


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    We had a bit of a rocky flight, but arrived and headed to Deb’s house chauffeured by her aunt Lynn.

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    We picked us the Swede from his hostel and drove up the mountain for a 360 degree view. We headed back to Debs for another of her amazing dinners.


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  19. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    The plan today is to head out on the Tasman Peninsula.

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    We managed to get ourselves organized by 1130 and headed out. We stopped for some "cray rolls”.


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    On the route out we made a few scenic stops for views of the Cape Raoul and the Tesselated pavement.

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    From here we detoured to the blow hole and then to the Remarkable Cave.

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  20. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Finally we made for the car park for the cape hike.

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    We set out from here after 430 with all the gear for the 40 min walk up hill to where we planned to stash most of the gear for camping later.


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    From here you walk 90 min to arrive at the cape for views of the sea cliffs and the sun set. We saw a few Wallabies along the way as well and an echidna.

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