Monday 31 December 2012

GS OZ Day 96 Berry NYE

Was taken on a tour of the Berry township by Lucy and manged to procure a coffee along the way. the arvo was spent shopping for a new years bash to be held at Mings place.

The evening was good fun with about 10 familys and friends BBQing drinking and heading off to the Berry 9:30 fireworks extravaganza at the local oval.

I say extravaganza and i mean it these fireworks went for longer then athe Sydney ones and were the most enjoyable Ive been to ever. big claim but true it may be that one is so close and they exposed above you.

in bed by 12:00 perfect.

GS OZ Day 95 Berry 146km 2:00hr

Leaving my sisters around 10am i headed down the coast towards my good Mates Ming, Meg and family in Berry. The royal national park was a pleasant ride but low speed limits tourist and wet roads detracted a bit. I stopped at Stanmore tops to take a photo of the elevated coast road (if forget its official name). it looks like a very cool motorcycle road, which it is but it is very short. the best ride was to be ha in the last 10 ks into Berry.

Arrived for late lunch and a refreshing swim.

Sunday 30 December 2012

GS OZ Day 94 Botany

Nice day just hanging with my sister. Shopping etc and taking the dogs or a walk. the evening as usual was spent sitting outside with he neighbors with a few beers and a BBQ.

Saturday 29 December 2012

GS OZ Day 93 Botany

After bidding a fond farewell to Ang, Tim and Ella. Headed back to my sisters for a couple of days.
Ang on Beemer

Friday 28 December 2012

GS OZ Day 92 Cremorne

After a morning coffee and lunch with M&D I headed to Cremorne to vist my mates Ang, Tim and their daughter Ella. They had friends over for dinner that i knew from a previous years skiing trip and we all had a brilliant evening listening to 80s music and partaking in a few drinks on the balcony overlooking the water.

Thursday 27 December 2012

GS OZ Day 91 Wahroonga

Spent the evening catching up with my aunt cousins in Lindfield. I went out to dinner with my cousin Geoff for a really good catchup as he has been working in the US and all over the world with underwater ROVs and robotics for several years now and haven't seen him for ages.

Wednesday 26 December 2012

GS OZ Day 90 Christmas Day in Botany

I headed out on the Beemer to visit my cousins in Lindfield before heading to my sister Nickys for Christmas lunch. It was raining and the traffic was appalling (I remember why I hate Sydney). After 20mins I had only travelled to , the adjoining suburb so I call mum and dad and headed back to their place. I had to write off the cousin visit and headed out in the car immediately to make my sisters by 1pm.

We had a great lunch with a great extended bunch of family and Christmas orphans. It did however piss down all day so we abandoned the alfresco attempt and all squished inside.

Tuesday 25 December 2012

GS OZ Day 89 Wahroonga

Spent to day catching up with Mum & Dad and wandering the small village shopping street. The Wahroonga shops are now equipped with 7 Cafes but there is still a fish and chip shop on the corner where my mate James Bartlett and I used to buy chips and potato scallops after school.

Sunday 23 December 2012

GS OZ Day 88 Sydney 158km

The morning was spent catching up and sitting around the pool. I was to leave before lunch but I had to take an emergency dip fully clothed to rescue a friend of Alli's child that was drowning. Consequentially I needed to dry out so settled in for lunch and a late departure.

I took the old pacific hwy to Sydney which would have been terrific but the speed limit was only 60 on a previously 100 road. So it was not that much fun and particularly dangerous having to constantly look at the speedo.

I arrived at mum and dads new place late afternoon. Great apartment so big and more manageable than the old house and its large garden.

Saturday 22 December 2012

GS OZ Day 87 NewCastle 289k 3:00hr

Yeee..ha. After a quick breaky at Walcha cafe it was off on Thunderbolts way. What a blast, dry, fast, varied, no traffic even if some sections had more patches than road the GS ate it up. Might be a bit treacherous on a sports bike. The follow on Buckets way was pretty bad but still better than pacific hwy.

Soon enough I was in Newcastle and driving up the stately drive of Anthony and Allison's place. I finally met baby Lucy and spent the rest of the arvo catching up and drinking around the pool with the Dunlops and friends of Alli's.

GS OZ Day 86 Walcha 472km 6:00hr

Too Many Curves are Barely Enough

Pure Motorcycle heaven

Armidale - waterfall way - Dorigo - Oxley hwy - Walcha. Stopping only for fuel and a coffee and burger at Ginger's Cafe. The rain set in around Gingers so the layer part of the Oxley had to be tackled a little more cautiously. Luckily the later section turns to more sweeping corners.

Friday 21 December 2012

Thursday 20 December 2012

GS OZ Day 84 Armadale 289km 4:00hr

left Trina and family justbefore luch and headed back to armidale stopping fro lunch at Inverel iarived back at Jacks for a swim and catch up with my second cousins at 3pm and when Jack and Belinda returned from work beers and a meal whatching the sun go down> Doesnt get much better than this.

Wednesday 19 December 2012

GS OZ Day 83 Pallamallawa

Day two at Bellview. enjoyed a less uly morning with Trina and Pete catching up over breakfast coffee and lunch. Trina does catering. So
That afternoon we drove some food out to Cropper Creek to some friends that were having a big NYE bash. Trina and Pete also have property out here ap Trina showed me around the massive machinery and other assets required for this farming capper. Amongst these was a neww cotton harvester and bailer that bails the cotton in big round bales like those hay bled we are used to. This is one of very few of these in OZ as its relatively new tech for here.pete imported it and brought out an American guy to teach them how best to use it. The mega beast harvester (about the size of my house) shared a shed with a header with it's comb separated (pic).

I'm astonished at the investment required in machinery etc in this business all to be at the whim of the weather. Very cool toys though.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

GS OZ Day 82 Pallamallawa 280km 3:00hr

Cheerios to cousin Jack and family and then a ride through the beautiful new England countryside to Inverell for a coffee and lunch. From here the temperature climbed steadily as I rode towards Moree stopping just short at Pallamallawa before a short but sandy dirt road to my cousin Trina and her families property "Bellview".

This is cotton country hot, flat and big paddocks. Unfortunately this season not much cotton planted due to lack of rain fall.

I found Trina and Emma (daughter) at the homestead sheltering in the air conditioning whilst Pete was out and about in the heat. The garden looked green but beyond the home paddock fence brown was the feature hue.

Monday 17 December 2012

GS OZ Day 81 Armadale

I spent today recovering from a hang over and playing with my cousins. Zarah and I rigged up Winnie (pic) with my helmet cam to produce "Winnie Cam". The results were less than impressive as Winnie is very old, has a "pack a day" wheezing pant and arthritis, all resulting in a less than stable picture. We did have a lot of fun though.

Saturday 15 December 2012

GS OZ Day 80 Armadale 180k

Bidding Ian, Sal, Maggie and Annie farewell I rode back to my uncles in Glen. Here I met his partner in crime Geraldine and helped my second cousin Harry trim hedges. Then we all were taken to lunch by my uncle for a proper catch up.

After lunch I rode south to Armadale to stay with my cousin Jack and his family on their beautiful property just outside town.

I had time the visit to coincide with jack and his band (Tex Message) playing their once a year Christmas gig in town. Although I had a splitting head ache I went in to watch them play. So glad I did, its was absolutely brilliant. My cousin is a great singer/guitarist and it bought back fond memories of playing guitar with him and his sister (my cousin) Lizzy when I used to spend my school holidays at their property 30 odd years ago.

GS OZ Day 79 Inverell

Mustering bulls on quad bikes with Sal this morning, great fun. This arvo was spent in Inverell Christmas shopping which whet on so long we arrived home at 7:30 so I stayed another night. I was to ride to my uncles in Glen Innes but I didn't want to ride at night.

Friday 14 December 2012

GS OZ Day 78 Eaglehawk Stud

Day two I arose late and headed out to "help" with fencing and scoff Sals superb muffins at smoko. Yum.

The afternoon was spent mustering and doing yard work. All the family had just completed a course on cattle handling which I call "cattle whispering". It is a big difference from the shouting and whacking approach I remember from 20yrs ago. Anyway I had a little go and the principles were clearly brilliant however my execution probable created more havoc than necessary. One of the key purposes of the work was to glue little patches over the eyes of calves with eye problems. So the output of the day was two paddocks of sorted cattle one sporting a band of demon private calves.

Thursday 13 December 2012

GS OZ Day 77 Eaglehawk stud 80km

After my uncle and i took a morning tour of Glen and partook in possibly the best strawberry milk shake ever from the strawberry farm cafe, I rode out to my cousin Ian's property to spend some time with him and the family. I arrived and headed out into one of the paddocks where they were al busy fencing to meet them. From there it was back to the homestead for lunch and to find me a hat so I could help out with the fencing that arvo. My contribution was mainly to distract every one by chatting.

Wednesday 12 December 2012

GS OZ Day 76 Glen Innes 296k 3:30hr

Left Byron in rain after a farewell coffee and headed towards Lismore, Tenterfield and down to Glen Innes where I had a long overdue catch up with my Uncle John.

I tried to find the Tenterfield Saddler of Peter Allen fame but this (pic) is the best I could find. My uncle explained that the "real one" was there but I had missed it. Bugger.

Monday 10 December 2012

GS OZ Day 75 Byron

Awoke to pissing rain so toddled around to pay for another night. Gave the bike a bit of a clean as the rain had softened the baked on mud. Hoping for fine weather as have lined up to stay with all my cousins living in and around the New England district.

GS OZ Day 74 Byron

Usual Byron day, swimming eating reading etc except i also caught up with my friend and bodywork therapist Frida for dinner at the Mexican at Brunswick
Heads. It was great to see her especially as she is moving away from Byron as she is truly over it and has made a decision to head back to Europe to settle eventually.

Sunday 9 December 2012

GS OZ Day 73 Byron

Had lunch today at the pass cafe. One of my favourites and have been coming hear for years. It is however under new management and the prices are now ridiculous focusing more on through put than experience.

On this, school has certainly changed since I was there. I'm sitting opposite a table of about 20 tail end schoolies. All male wearing designer grung clothes and sporting enough product in their high maintenance ruffled hair to start a candle shop. They are all tucking into $35 fish and chips, $11 beers and zambucca shots. Clearly they are schooled only as a legal requirement as they would easily be voted "most likely, never needing to work". The wagon train of range rover sports in the car parck with "congratulations on your graduation" personalised number plates should have been a warning.

Caught up on some washing only to find this feral beast (pic) sleeping on my drying T shirt. The resident Motel sloth.

Saturday 8 December 2012

GS OZ Day 72 Byron

Heavy rain today. The bike hasn't looked so clean since the showroom (almost).

Perfect excuse for a massage. Bloody hell it was painful. As expected sitting on motorcycle for 2.5 months has some impact. Once the pain has subsided I'm sure it'll be better.

The rest of the day was enjoyed by reading, coffees, dinner and a movie. (The Master which was weird, disturbing and strangely good)

Thursday 6 December 2012

GS OZ Day 71 Byron

Slept in, then went on,tour of my favorites, main beach, light house, Watagoes, Clarks cafe, Clarks beach for a swim. Etc etc. I think I'll stay a few more days.

Wednesday 5 December 2012

GS OZ Day 70 Byron Bay 200k 10hrs

Had the Beemer booked in for its 20k service in the Gold Coast today. So, I left early from Dave's to get there in time.

Whilst waiting I spent the day wandering the Australia Fair shopping centre and watching a movie all pretty dull. The Beemer was all ready at 5pm so I climbed aboard and headed to Byron arriving at 7:30pm.

Tuesday 4 December 2012

GS OZ Day 69 Brisbane 190km 3hr

After a fond farewell to the Radge family and a spot of lunch. I linked as many of the Motorcycling Atlas top rides in this area into a route to Brisbane.

Finally in Brisbane i caught up with my mates Dave and Annmarie who have recently returned from many years in The Hague with their four kids.

It was great to catch up after all these years. Of course After a few beers and a soak in the pool it was like old times. seamed more like months than years since we last saw each other.

GS OZ Day 68 Noosa

Coffee at main beach with Nick this morning. Swim in the pool. Washing. Reading, kipping, swim at main beach. Hammock time. Endless

Sunday 2 December 2012

GS OZ Day 67 Noosa

Spent the day with Trish, Nic and the family seeing the sights of Noosa and enjoying their incredible hospitality. Coffee, farmers market, sight seeing, lunch, lazing around the pool, walk and BBQ and great conversation for dinner. Brilliant.

Also gave my riding suit a well earned wash and disinfect. 60 days continuos use gas taken its toll in the olfactory sense.

Saturday 1 December 2012

GS OZ Day 66 Noosa 561k 8hr

Coffee in Gladstone, another mining monstrosity. Then off to Bundaberg when I took a tour of the Bundaberg rum distillery. Amazing how small the operation is for such a large brand and distribution. My only regret is not being able to indulge in all the tastings afterwards as I still had 300k to go to Noosa where I will stay with my cousin, Trish, and family.

Arrived around 6:30 to find dinner in the fridge, a beer, and comfy bed where I fell asleep well before Trish and Nick got home.

Friday 30 November 2012

GS OZ Day 65 Rocky 537km 8hr

After paying homage to the Big Mango just outside Bowen I rode through 400km of road works and cane fields.

The last 100k into Rockhampton saw the end of cane fields and start of cattle grazing.

Beef cheeks for dinner, yum followed by SkyFall at the local cinema

Thursday 29 November 2012

GS OZ Day 64 Bowen 600km 10:00hr

The ride down Palmaston hwy was smooth, curvy, no traffic and only 2 road work stops. It would be well worth a rode up the hill also.

Coffee and breaky in Inisfail to cap of a great morning.

From here on I stopped counting the no of road works after 15. Constant stopping and cooking in the heat. The road is boring straight, low speed limits, hopeless drivers, single lanes in each direction. The scenery is lush cane fields that go on and on and on. I can't help thinking that just maybe we consume too much sugar. (And not enough rum) no wonder we're obese.

I stopped at 3:30 in Townsville after cruising up and down the Strand which is the cities only reframing feature. A foreshore promenade that has been done up and goes for many blocks. Nice and cool sea breeze but no swimming due to the stingers. I had a quick drink and decided to stay in Bowen another 200k.

Finally after more of the same I arrived at 6:30 and procured a bed and a Guinness.

Bowen is one of those "Gateway To" places. The promotional claim of "Gateway To" is one step up from "Tidy Town". It basically means you must pass through this place to get to the actual attraction but not before being fleeced in some way.

Wednesday 28 November 2012

GS OZ Day 63 Yungaburra 360km 5hrs

Left the cape and attempted the Bloomfield track to reach Cooktown. Apparently the track was in good condition so I thought wtf. The dirt was fine even though it had rained this morning but the first river crossing, whilst not deep was slippery large river rocks and I was close to dropping the thing several times. 10 more of these? I thought nope so turned around headed back over my training river stalling 4 times in holes. Back to cape for coffee after a little fun in the dirt.

I decided to head to Port Douglas for lunch. Don't like it. It's full of people filling in time by spending money in surroundings that are at best average largely because they are full of said people. Nice sandwiches and coffee though.

After lunch I decided to ride a few of the great motorcycling roads around here. The cook hwy along the coast and the Gillies hwy heading back up to the Atherton table lands for some extra twisties.

Bloody road works every where! I must have stopped about ten times waiting for the stop/slow lolly pop person to allow me through. The roads were spectacular and fun but the road works were really too much. There must be an election imminent.

Anyway I was getting a bit weary so decided to stay in the charming little town of Yungaburra in the hills rather than head back to the coast just to stay in another beachside overpriced motel at a beach you can't swim at due to the box jelly fish. The motel owner is a motorcyclist and took his car out of his garage to put my bike in. The Beemers first garaged kip. He also showed me all the roads to try tomorrow but warned that all roads as far as Townsville had road works.