Australia
December 09, 2008 GMT
First Day

Today was the first day of our journey, we had it all plant, jump on the bike and hit the open road!
Well thats not how it worked out. We got a invite from Rod and Flick to join them on there Catamaran for a overnight stay and sail around Pittwater, we figured thats a great way to start the journey, our son Dominic joint us as well and we had a fantastic time, we now trying to figure out how to fit the bike on the boat so we can have the best of both world's ;)
So tomorrow we try again and this time we wont get distracted ( unless we get a really gooood offer)

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The stress of the first day got to us

Posted by Mark Allenspach at 10:33 AM GMT
December 16, 2008 GMT
The first week on the Road

Already been on the Road for a week. Had a fantastic time staying with old friends, along the NSW Coast, great hospitality from all. Thank you again Wendy and Graham in Dural, John and Trish in Newastle, Ken and Jan in Taree, Jennifer and Shane in South West Rocks and Mark and BJ in Mullumbimby, We had a great time with all of you and we will miss you heaps...

Enjoying a few days at Brunswick Beach before heading of to Brisbane tomorrow, and then off to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast for Christmas with the Kids.

John
John and Trish with Kids in Newcastle

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Jennifer and Shane in South West Rocks

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Sunset on the River in South West Rocks

Posted by Maggie Allenspach at 07:28 AM GMT
December 23, 2008 GMT
Queensland

After leaving South West Rocks, we headed inland towards Mullumbimby the home of Mark, BJ, Billie and Nelson. We spent 3 glorious days there. Thanks Mark and BJ for sharing your beautiful house we had a great time, will never get my white tshirt clean again after a yummy meal at the Bollywood Restaurant in Byron Bay......
Off to Brisbane to see Simone and Greig, thanks for having us you guys are great, we wish you all the best for the future. We did have a swim in your Pool after sightseeing in the City...
The day after we rode across to Bardon to spent the night with Neville, Trish and Bryonie. Had a beautiful home cooked meal and alot of laughs. Thank you again for your hospitality...

Made our way up to the Sunshine Coast and did find a cheap unit on the Beach in Coolum for the week. Lots of friend to visit here.
First we had to visit Rat and Viv on there beautiful farmlet, the Bike got Christend with Vevue Clique, alot of talk about past times... HOW DOES IT GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT.. Thanks guys, still hope to catch up with you one more time.

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Christening the Bike

On Sunday we had a lazy time and a few drinks with Daniel at the Surf Club in Noosa, great view...
On Monday the 22nd we went to visit Neil and Em north of Noosa, lots and lots of laughs with Neil, you are a very funny bugger, we do like your new hobby, making beautiful knitted baskets :)

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Neil with his handy work ( to order please call direct )

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Em wants to come too.

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Day on the Beach

Posted by Mark Allenspach at 03:00 AM GMT
January 03, 2009 GMT
Oz Christmas

Christmas day was spent with a early swim on Coolum Beach. Dom Rafaele & Nick joint us for lunch and a few more swims be for heading of to Budrim to visit Peter and Sue for a delicious supper and a few x-mas cheers.

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Christmas

on Boxing day the beach called again for a swim and a walk to work up a appetite for lunch. after watching the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race we where invited to Peter & Sues for a traditional x-mas lunch. While Peter did all the hard work we spent the time in the pool with gin & tonics topped with lemon sorbet. Yummmm!!! Tash's recipe.

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x-mas dinner

Saturday Peter & Sue organized for all of us to go to Trios Restaurant on Noosa Harbor for a lunch and a few more hours with our kids and peters family.
thanks again for a wonderfully x-mas and you very generous hospitality.

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Peter and Sue

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Lunch at Trio's


It was now time to say our goodbyes as we are getting ready to set of on our journey.( just in time as I dint think our suspension could handle another lunch)
From Coolum we head north toward Rockhampton and the west toward Mt. Isa
we leave Rockhampton at 5.AM to make the most of the cooler hours in the morning the first few hundred km's nice and cool riding over the Dividing Range,
as the day goes on the roads are getting straighter and the temperature hotter.
we stop in Alpha to have a break and change in to some cooler riding gear, after a rest in the shade of a tree we are ready to hit the road again.We can see some dark storm clouds on the horizon but we seam to travel parallel to it so we are not to concerned about it. A few more ks further on, the road takes a right and we are now heading straight toward the storm ( its the only turn between Alpha and Tennant Creek) as we are getting closer the wind seams to push the rain away from us so we keep driving thinking all is good , no need to change in to wet weather gear.

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after the storm
So much for nature, another change in the wind and we are in the middle of the storm within seconds, drenched to then bone we emerge in to clear sunshine within a few minutes we are dry and hot again, so we ride on and arrive in Longreach mid afternoon and 600 Km's later.

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Sunset at Longreach

from Longreach we keep riding west toward Mt. Isa the roads are long and very STRAIGHT.
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Bike riding in Oz: you ride for hours and you still got a long way to go..........
The only thing that keeps you awake is looking out for wild life on the road, dead or alive, mainly Kangaroos, Cows, Sheep and Birds that feed on roadkill.

We arrive in Winton, in the distance we can see the monsoon clouds building as the day gets hotter, we keep our riding gear on so as not to repeat yesterdays episode, the sky is getting darker and we seam to drive right in to the storm...
Not a drop, totally missed it, the wind just moved it out of our path. As we come around a corner and over a crest there is a small river ruining over the road that was created with the last downpour, we are traveling at about 120ks, hit the breaks, straighten up and go for it we still doing about 60ks when we hit the water,
never knew that a bike creates so much wash, soaked again. The temperature is raising and as we approach Cloncurry we reckon it's about 40 C just outside town is a big sign claiming that the hottest day in town was 51.4C a couple of years ago, so what are we complaining about ? It's a mild day. After a stop at the local and some hydration therapy we tackle the last 120km for the day and arrive in Mt Isa about a hour later.

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Comming in to Mt Isa


We have a look around town and end up staying at the Irish Pub for the night. The following morning we set of early to cover the next 450ks to Berkley's Homestead where we stay and spend new years eve. We had a few beer's with some fellow travelers and wished each other a happy new year!!

Early in the morning we set of toward Stuart Highway ( Tennant Creek) after ca 180km we came to the three way Homestead where we met 2 Scottish guys, who are riding around Australia. We set off along the Stuart Highway toward Daly Waters, where we had to stop at the famous Pub for a beer.
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Daly Waters

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In the Pub

It started to really to hot up, on our way to Katherine, we meet our 2 friends again and rode into Katherine together. With the help of Forbes's GPS we find a hotel for the night. After a few more beers and a Chinese meal it was bed time , traveled 850 km today.

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Forbes

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Frank


Not to early the next morning the 2/1/09 we headed to wards Darwin ONLY 360km away (easy).
On our way we stopped at the Lichtfield National park at the Florence Falls for a very nice swim. Beautiful Falls, like in the pictures and because of the wet season a lot of water.

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Lichfield National park


One hour later we arrived in Darwin, staying at the Pine City Resort ( Tip from Rod thanks Mate great place ).
Darwin is hot, wet, green and lush, a great place, lots of Restaurants, Nightspots, Shopping, great Harbor, lots of things to see and do. We are having a great time here, after a week of the outback.

Posted by Mark Allenspach at 04:43 AM GMT
 
 

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