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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 are finally on the last push towards Cairns via the coast.

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    We have recovered from the stator trauma of yesterday and are up and out early. For the first 2 hours it was straight thru farm land for the most part on the A7 Country route.

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    SmilinJoe and SavannahCapt like this.
  2. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    From Nebo it starts to get more treed and winding. We had booked an apartment on the Blacks Beach near Mackay. Arriving at the “resort” we were very warmly greeted. We had a cute little place with a kitchen and a WASHING machine! So it was laundry time before a walk on the beach and dinner.

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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.
    We woke to a cloudy (yeah) day and cooler temperatures for our ride north to Townsville.

    [​IMG]Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 21.50.38 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr

    We left the beach and backtracked to Mackay and back on the A1. There are hundreds of km of sugar cane!


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    We arrived to the iconic (full of tourists) Airlie Beach. Here we got some lunch and spent a few hours sitting by the water. We did not go into the water due to the killer jelly fish!They have spray bottles on vinegar you are supposed to take swimming with you. Everyone is in the "lagoon", which is just a swimming pool that looks like a lagoon.


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    We had a break in Bowen at the "Big" Mango. This is another of the famous Big things in Oz.

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    We finally arrived to the city just before 530.

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    We are getting to Cairns tomorrow and have not yet had word that our Carnet had arrived. We received an return email from the Swiss Motoring Association that they did not get our payment sent 10 days ago and they did not ship the Carnets. WTF are we to do now as we have to drop the bikes in 2 weeks time at the shippers. We gave them our Darwin address. We need a renewed Carnet as our original will run out before we will leave Malaysia. We will exit Oz on the current one and then enter Timor Leste on the new one. We had to go down for a Grey Goose on ice. By the time we had come back from dinner we had a very apologetic email from SMA. They had a clerical error on their end and they have already express shipped they new Carnets to Darwin. Crisis averted.
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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.
    We did attempt to have a walk in the city, but even at 10 am it is scorching out in the sun. Another Australian GIANT thing!


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    We have another cloudy and at time rainy day on the A1 to Cairns.

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    This was a long boring ride and in fact we had to stop half way for a nap on a bench from road fatigue. It is sugar cane or bananas for scenery.
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    We started to see these road condition signs when we entered Queensland. They tell you you by section if the roads are passable or flooded and impassible. Luckily we planned to be here in the dry season. (Two seasons in QLD dry and hot and wet and hot!)

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  5. everready

    everready Stuck in Ohio....Ugh!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Oddometer:
    3,341
    Location:
    Macedonia, Ohio
    You two should be certified BMW mechanics by now.
    Saralou likes this.
  6. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    Well we certainly have had enough practice!! :)
  7. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We made another stop in Edmonton at the bottle shop for some bubbles to celebrate with Skip and Rachel. It is great to finally be here with them after 7 years.

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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.
    Today is Saturday and we decided on a day trip 70 km north to Port Douglas. We stopped first at a few auto parts dealers in search of oil and then the Swede messaged us that he had just ridden 120 km to cairns and was at Yamaha having tires mounted. We were 2 blocks away so we snuck up, took this pic, and texted him! Surprise. He was also headed to Port Douglas coincidentally today.

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    We drove north to Thala Beach resort for a coffee and an amazing view and then headed north for lunch with Orvar and a walk on the beach.

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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.
    Sunday morning we made for the weekend market for breakfast of Vietnamese soup and iced coffees! Then it was some mall time for the air con before a visit to the new aquarium. Rachel made some great meals for us and we did a lot of relaxing at their place.

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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.
    We were up early and Skip dropped us at the marina at 7 am for our 730 departure for a day on the Great Barrier Reef. It is over a 2 hour trip on our slow boat, but we had 2 snorkel sessions with lots of fish. It is a shame to see the extent of the death of the coral!

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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 are back to out team of 3 for the long ride to Darwin.

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    Step one get to Hughenden or Charter Towers.

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    We had a nice morning on the Gillies twisty road.


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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.
    By 930 we were up on the table lands and though flatter and straighter riding it was not boring. The entire area is overrun with termites!

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    There is almost no other traffic except the occasional road train!

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  13. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We had a “deep fried” Bogan lunch in Mount Garnet and then rode south to The Lynd. So far the scenery is not boring and dire as we have been warned. It seems to change type every 50 km or so from rolling hills, flat farm land, grassy dry marshes, scrub land, and forest. Sometimes the main road is a strip of seal on a dirt road.


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    In The Lynd there is a gas station and we asked how the road south was. The gas station attendant said it is 264 km (with absolutely no services on the road) and only half is surfaced, it has water on it in places, and they recommend we ride around. It is 506 km around and actually takes 1 hour less! We also checked with a road train driver who said there is a fair amount of deep sand and that we will have to ride in the ditch and try to avoid the washouts…around it is we can not risk any issues. Its after 2 and we don’t have enough food or water anyway to camp out. If we start out now we will not make it to Hughenden before dark.

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    A long day for the Swede!

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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.
    It was 430 when we arrived to Charters Towers after 250 km. We headed to the Woolworth for supplies and then to the caravan park. It had a nice shaded grass area for the tents. The camp kitchen was a bit sketchy as they only had BBq’s and a wood stove. Luckily we had bought a cooked chicken and salad for dinner. The wine/ [​IMG] helped. We are pretty tired and hit the sac not long after 9. We were woken up not long after by 2 possums fighting, but that did not last too long.


    We had planned to get up early for the 830 ANZAC day parade, but despite actually getting up at 730 with the birds we did not leave the park until almost 930. This was after boiling eggs on the bbq (takes longer than you think). We rode into town and caught the last half of the ceremonies and the wreath laying at the ANZAC monument. There is one in almost every town. The poor school kids standing in the hot sun were dropping like flies.

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  15. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We headed out of town west after 11 and made for Hughenden to the road house, which was THE ONLY thing open as it is a national holiday. The road here is flat and straight with mostly grassland. There is almost no other vehicles and you might see a few every 50-60 km. There are not even that many road trains either.

    Sara had a “toastie” , which is a grilled cheese of sorts and here it is made with laughing cow, which does not really melt. The guys had deluxe burgers, which had a bun, a burger patty, a thin steak, bacon, cheese, a fried egg, a slice of pineapple, lettuce, tomato, and a slice of pickled beet root. Dan ordered a large fires, which would feed 8!

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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 have just 120 km left today to Richmond. We planned a shorter day as we knew we would leave last and we plan to stay in a hotel in Mount Isa 406 km from Richmond tomorrow. The road continued to be straight, there are quite a few dead kangaroos on the road side, but still little traffic. The speed limit is 110 km/h mostly and time flies. We did note that the road closure sign said there is a caution between Julia creek and Cloncurry ??


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    We arrived to Richmond and it was 32 degrees. Our idea to free camp went out the window as it was 10$ at the caravan park with huge shade trees and hot showers! We set up under the trees on the grassy “unpowered” site 3. This is on what look like a nice lake, but is a marsh. This means the place is infested with flies that really drove us crazy until after sunset. We were so full from the lunch we skipped dinner and were all asleep by 9.

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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.
    We were woken just after first light at 630 by the crazy squawking of hundreds of parrots. We had been told by numerous people that there was a plague of locust ahead. One couple in a car said they were 3 inches deep on the road and like a carpet. We had noted yesterday on the road warning sign board there was a caution for the section from Julia creek west. We did then get on the road early and had 407 km to go to get to Mount Isa.

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    We stopped for fuel in Julia creek after 150 km with little evidence of grasshoppers.

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    We met a man at the fuel stop who told us there was a good bakery in Cloncurry (oasis) in another 137 km, and we actually ran into him again there. Well the road had a few bugs on it, but nothing noteworthy. We had seen the cars with their grills plugged with them over the last few days, but all we got was a few splotches on our pant legs and boots. The route itself is again quite varied today with sections of grassland and scrub (AND termites).

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    It is another 122 km to Mount Isa and this is quite scenic with some curves and rolling treed hills that are very green as they had so much rain recently. The ride into the town itself is less so with the huge mills and smoke towers billowing on the hill just past town. Grasshopper guts.

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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 checked out a few motel and several were quite expensive and sketchy. At one the disheveled desk attendant propositioned Daniel, while I was looking at the less than ideal room. In the end we found a “vending” machine hotel where you book and check in at the kiosk. It is new and very clean, with modern decor and fast wifi (rare in Oz).

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    We walked the 1.5 km into the centre to the mall and then the dollar store so Orvar could replace his stock of reading glasses. The last broke this morning. We then decided on a real Australian cultural “experience” with dinner at the RSL. Visitor must check in with ID and we of course had the roast pork special all round. One visit was enough for us all. The food is hospitalish at best and the drinks no cheaper.

    Oz in general is very expensive, not as bad as NZ, but close. We stopped at Woothworth on the way home for supplies and a few more [​IMG]s. What a relaxing evening in our swank pad with time to catch up on the web.

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    Daniel fixed us an amazing smoked salmon eggs Benedict to start our big day of 663 km from Mount Isa to 3 ways.

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    We started as usual with a full tank and noted they sell OPAL here.

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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.
    Just as we left town we saw the first road marker for Darwin!

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    The route today varied quite a bit. Some stretches were hilly, treed, and quite green. Others were flat grassland. We stopped in Camooweal the small town just before the Northern territory border for some gas. We met Daniel riding east. He warned us that we MUST buy bug hats here even at the inflated 10$ each. He said you can not stop anywhere in the next 400 km without going crazy from the flies.

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    Just out of town we crossed the border and stopped at the sign. The flies here are insane!

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    [​IMG]Darwin_-2 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
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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.
    We rode 260 km to Barkley Homestead of expensive gas fame (195/l) since there is none from here to Camooweal or 3 ways. There are a few stations along the way but no services. We stopped for a break on the road side and could not get the bug nets on fast enough.


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    We stopped again in Barkley for something to eat as well. There were hundreds of pink headed parrots here.

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