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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 had to pack up ASAP at 8 am as soon as the temperature started to rise and the flies were early risers. It was coffee and go. It was an easy 100 km to Coober Pedy.

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    We have slowed it down a bit as at 90-100 we get 150 km more range then at 100-110. On the way to town you pass acres of opal mine fields. There are shafts dug down with huge piles of dirt beside them. In town we asked some locals and were told the best place for breakfast was the Shell station and they were right. This is a weird town with opal fever. It has an amazingly well stocked IGA and with very reasonable prices (for OZ). Like the Big Mac index we have the Magnum index of prices here in OZ( 4-7$ each). There are a few odd underground stores and hotel in old mines and quite a few opal shops as well. I would describe it as weirdly weird.


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    The road south from here is incredibly straight. We did see a number of Emu, but only a few road kill kangaroos until very near to Port Augusta where we saw a number of big greys. The terrain is flat mostly, with the occasional rolling hillock. There are a number of dry lakes along the way as well. There are absolutely no real services between Coober and Port Augusta. We really wanted a hot shower and so we were motivated to drive the 45 min after sunset to arrive at a caravan park at 615. We had a cold night here as it id fully cloudy and might even rain.

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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.
    Today we may not go that far, but as it is inclement weather it is not fitting with our plan to head to the beach at Streaky Bay or onto Smokey Bay for 2 nights.

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    It is extremely windy especially in this high top van. We drove west on the 1 towards Wudinna and then took the cut off road to the coast to meet the B100 at Port Kenny. Here we did a small side trip to see the Murphy's Haystacks.

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    We continued to Streaky Bay, which is not a bad little town with the caravan parks on the sea, but it is blustery and not very nice out. We continued 73 km father to Smokey Bay that is famous for their oyster producers. We stopped by one and bought 2 dozen. We then needed to get to the store for chardonnay and a shucker! It is cold and there are a few drops of rain at times and we are glad to have the van. the local here shared their advice on oyster shucking as well as some of their fresh caught grilled squid!

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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 realized this morning that they have a clothes dryer here and so laundry day it is! We had it all done and were still on the road by 10.

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    We headed back north to join the A1 and then west again. In Ceduna we found the first real shopping for days and we stocked back up, but bare in mind we will hit the WA border quarantine tomorrow and can not have any fresh fruits or veg. Then it is on the LONG STRAGHT Nullabor Highway. Between Ceduna and Ecula for 493 km there are basically only road houses with small shops, camping, and gas pumps. We planned to end our day about 30 km from the border at the Bunda Cliffs. Today we saw quite a few Emu, but no Kangaroos dead or alive.

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    The exit to the cliffs looks nondescript. You drive 500m thru the dunes and park between them out of the wind. From here it is 150 m to the cliff side that are sheer and very high. It was a bit windy and rainy and we did not have the fire we planned and had collected wood for.


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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.
    Setting out today it is cold and cloudy again on the long road west.

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    We are back on the Eyre Highway for 30 km until we reach the “border” of Western Australia where we will enter our final OZ state. This is really just a quarantine station. You can not bring any fresh fruit and veg. They show you a plasticized card and ask you if you have any of the prohibited items like garlic or potatoes. Then they “search” your vehicle, but come on if you really wanted to smuggle grapes it would be pretty darn easy unless they were in your glove box, fridge, or van kitchen cupboards. They did not look in any of the placed you would actually hide anything.


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    At Ecula we met Jax who has been riding her postie bike around Australia for the last 3 1/2 years. She is friends with our pals Todd and Chantelle in Darwin as they are Posties too.


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    There are only road houses, fuel pumps, and a few stations with RV parks in the 710 km from Ecula to Norseman. The road today even flatter and straighter. We are trying to push as far as we can today in order to have a shorter day tomorrow to Esperance on the beach.


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    We managed to get to Fraser Range Station by 5pm and checked in just before sunset. There are a huge number of Emu and kangaroo munching on the fresh grass in the camp ground. They have a great camp kitchen here that is warm and cosy.

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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.
    Today we make for civilization in Esperence in a short 326 km!

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    There is not much at Norseman where the roads meet, but we did get some lunch items at the IGA. There is still a whole lot of nothing all day on the way to the coast.

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    We chose a small RV park a block off the beach. They have free unlimited wifi and so we could all catch up. It is sunny and warm here for a long walk up the powdery white sand.

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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.
    From here we have a bit of a long day and 483 km to Albany, but all of us have friends there that we want to see.

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    It is cloudy and quite cool today and we are all wearing jackets. The scenery today is much more farm land and we did see quite a few Emu with even one herd of 20 or more. We arrived to Albany at the Middleton beach RV park and though the beach was nice it was blowing a gale and 12 degrees at 230 pm. It did get a bit warmer later and enough so that we could walk the 4.5 km to town to meet our friends. Antoinette and Ronnie we had met in Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand. They had arranged for us to meet a few of the people from their motorcycle club. Wow these people have ridden in a lot of places!

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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.
    For our last day of touring in the van we will head north west on the secondary roads towards the wine region near Margaret River.

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    This is a very scenic windy and perfect motorcycle route! There were maybe a dozen other vehicles all day.

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    We arrived to Pemberton after 2 for a lunch of pies at the “award winning” baker and then we booked it to Pierro Winery by 415 to taste their chardonnay said to be the best of the region.


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    It is warm in the sun today, but we still need a sweater. After the tasting we rushed back to Gracetown beach (famous for the 2 recent shark attacks) to enjoy our wine and the sunset.

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    We had checked into the small RV park here with lots of kangaroos hanging around. We all snugged in the van to warm up.


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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 have just 265 km to go on our trip to Freemantle, but we backtracked back to Margaret River for a fab smoked salmon benny.

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    We managed to finally hit the road after 1030. It is basically straight up the highway all day and we arrived to the Rv park about 330. We are celebrating the end of our road trip with some Margaret River Shiraz and some T bones.


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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.
    We headed to the car wash to clean up our ride and then dropped our luggage at our rental for the next 3 days. The van drop off location is outside the city, but is just a few hundred meters from the metro station. We then took the train into Perth city to do some shopping and sight seeing.

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    It is an easy transfer to Fremantle via train as well. This is nice tourist town to hang out in and it is full of cafes, chic restaurants, and bars.


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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 had an Uber pick up at 645 am for the 30 km trip to the Perth airport, a 3 hour flight on Qantas to Darwin, a 2 hour layover, and then a 1 hr 1 5 min flight on Air North to Dili.

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    You change time forward and then back and so we arrived at just before 5 pm. The air was hot and humid and we walked down the stairs to the tarmac. They have an efficient Visa process here on arrival. It is 30 USD (the local currency) and they just put a visa sticker in your passport. It was then a s second line up for passport control, but this was also efficient and easy.

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    The taxi’s here are fixed rate and so no problem as well. It is 10$ to the city and most of the area around. Our accommodation is in a traditional Timorese home, that is actually the Mexican Consulate as well. We were greeted by the security guard who gave us a key and said that we could check in after 7. It is Timor Independence Day today and everyone is out at celebration events. We went for a walk in the neighborhood and had dinner at a local hotel on the beach. The people here are friendly and smile and wave. The driving is calm and courteous. YEAH! We returned to the Casa Sandalo to find the owners who warmly greeted us an d told us we had been upgraded to an apartment with a kitchen! We were in bed and asleep by 10 and woke up 12 hours later! We walked over to the ATM for some USD! Then around the corner to the grocery store frequented by the expats and NGO workers. Here you can get a decent coffee and croissant!



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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.
    Outside it is 34 and humid and the sun is a laser. Our mission first is SIM cards and data! We managed this easily just a few blocks away and got an email with the bills of lading and confirming the ship left Darwin 2 days ago at 430 pm. This means it should be in tonight.



    The SDV is actually 3 blocks from out Hotel, but when we stopped in today they are closed until tomorrow. Bad news for Orvar we got an email from SDV in Darwin with the way bills they also sent an email admitting that when they loaded the bikes in the container on the 15 th (its the 21 st) They dropped his bike and smashed the windscreen!!! Bit late to tell us now since we can not replace it here in Timor Leste.



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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.
    We arrived at SDV at 10 and they drove us over to Customs to get the carnet signed and then back to the office. The ship is being unloaded as we speak and our container will be off and available after 3. So we are to come back then, pay out port fees (120 USD each) and then we can go and get the bikes. To kill a few hours we walked into town for lunch and then toured the Museum of the resistance. This chronicles the history of their fight for independence, the genocide by the Indonesians, and the collusion of the USA and Australia with Indonesia to obtain sea oil rights.


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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.
    At 3 pm we get our way bills payed and hop in a taxi to the port. Here we are met by a SDV agent and walked back to the container. They cut the seal and then unload the boxes in front. The 3 bikes are all upright at least and only OV’s is damaged. We unload them, get the batteries connected, and head off to get gas.

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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.
    Since it is only 430 we are already hot and sweaty we rode the 8 km out to the end of the road to the Jesus Christos on the point.

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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.
    At the advise of the consul we want to get to the Jaco national park, which is on an island off the eastern tip of this island.


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    Today rain is predicted, but it looks fine. The clouds are welcome shade for us. We left the hostel at 830 and at 30 degrees. We took the sea road along the coast that meets with the main road to the east. This road is half unpaved, but has some stunning views.

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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 had been told that the entire 150 km to Baucau is under construction and it was true. The first section has very short intermittent sections of pavement with firm gravel between. It is also along the sea at times. The next is long stretches of very rocky bumpy dirt road. Luckily there is little traffic since it is very dusty.

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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.
    The mountain section was a bit of a challenge with very poor and rough surface and often only 1 lane. Not too bad until you meet a bus or a truck. Then it was paved more often and at the sea again. We stopped in the first small village we can to and had some almost cold drinks.

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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.
    The road is not too bad until the next village where it is closed and you are diverted onto the village beach road for several km.


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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 before Baucau the scenery changes again to agricultural with lots of rice fields and water buffalo. We rode along with the guy and the goat for quite a while. The drivers here are very courteous. The trucks and buses will pull over onto the dirt verge to let you pass on the 1 lane paved sections. There was one section where they had just covered the road with huge chunk of rock making for quite a rodeo ride. We did finally make it to Baucau at 1230 and had a pretty good lunch there.

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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.
    Leaving town the road was paved and the view panoramic. We even got up to 70 km/h for small stretches. There is the odd road defect to keep you alert.

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    On the way you pass thru a number of small and mostly tidy villages. The road continues along the sea until Lautem where it veers inland.



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