So this is the beginning,so bare with me, as I learn this blog thing as I go. I am posting the intro to our trip for our initial blog, some of you have already read it, but every story needs a beginning, and this is ours.
Peter and I are the ultimate dreamers, especially whem it comes to exploring the world on our bikes, and this is part one of our fantasy trip. Stayed tuned.
So the bikes are happily bobbing there way to Australia via Singapore, or so we hope, and we plan to meet up with them in Freemantle on the 13th of Feb. and start the T.T. tour of Australia.
The idea behind this tour was born on a beautiful sunny day in Adelaide in 2004, when Peter and I happened into a souvenir shop on Rundle Mall to buy a T-shirt for Marcel, my brother in-law. Peter found this fabulous calendar of Australian Pubs, photographed by Steve Parish, and commented that it would be really neat to visit all these pubs. Sooo back in rainy cold and wet Vancouver we revisited the idea as an itinery for a motorcycle trip around Oz. This explaining the T.T. designation (Tavern to Tavern, or Tank to Tank)
A brilliantly romantic notion, yes. The reality not so romantic. There is a lot more involved in getting your motorbikes to Australia than just putting them on a boat and meeting up with them later. There is the dreaded Carnet de Passage, this document allows you to ship your bikes to Australia without paying import duties and taxes, it is in essence a bond for your bikes that insures that you will not sell your property whilst in Australia. This document is obtained through the CAA and it is not cheap. It requires a guarantee of 5000 per bike, depending upon its resale value, which is returned upon the bikes arrival back in Canada, and this must be provided by a Chartered Bank, very important as we found out, as VanCity is not recognized as a Chartered Bank.
All that aside, the planning of this adventure has been exciting and educational. We start our great ride in Perth W.A. where the first pub we visit is in Wagin, and its called Moranís Hotel, from there we head due East across the Nullabour Plain to Port Augusta,S.A., and the Fourways Pub.
From Port Augusta the trip takes on a little nostalgia as we head north to Leigh Creek, where I grew up, and from there via Ayers Rock we head for the Daly Waters Pub in Daly Waters.N.T.
We are going to take a small deviation from here as Peter has always wanted to visit the infamous Birdsville Pub which takes us back down to the S.A. border and through some amazing desert country, this will possibly be the most isolated part of the trip, where we will have to carry extra petrol and the like with us.
From Birdsville we will head North again, through Mt. Isa and then onto Ravenswood and the beautiful Railway Hotel in Queensland, then south to Warwick,Q. and the Criterion Hotel. We go inland a little after that to Uralla,NSW, and the Thunderbolt Inn. We go east and north after that to the Star Hotel in Macksville, NSW, and then all the way south the Sale in Victoria and the Star Hotel.
This is the non riding part of the trip as from here we load our bikes onto a ferry, go bobbing across the Bass Strait to Tasmania the Prince Albert Inn in Launceston. We are going to add Hobart to this leg as my uncle lives here and by then free room and board will be a welcome thing, back across the Tasman to Portland,V and Macís Hotel.
We are nearing the end of our odyssey as we head straight north to the Silverton Hotel in Silverton NSW,and from there, west and south to the Blumberg Hotel in Birdwood SA which is on the edge of the Barossa Valley and a short 74ks to my Mums house.
This is going to be accomplished by riding 3 days at approx 500k per day and 1 day down to get clean, but Peter and I are not the best a following strict itineries, so this is roughly what we plan to get up to. I am hoping to up date the BLOG every 4th day so that you can all follow along.
I believe that you can view the calendar that I purchased for Peter and the inspiration for this trip at www.steveparish.com.au.
So wish us luck and weíll be in touch.
Distances we aspire to travel
Wagin to Port Augusta 2376.45kms
Port Augusta to Daly Waters 2135.74kms
Daly Waters to Birdsville 1690.57kms
Birdsville to Ravenswood 1453.99kms
Ravenswood to Warwick 1518.79kms
Warwick to Uralla 329.47kms
Uralla to Macksville 311.51kms
Macksville to Sale 1279.62kms
Sale to Launceston 760.89kms
Launceston to Portland 905.05kms
Portland to Silverton 841.70kms
Silverton to Birdwood 545.01kms
Home to Mum in Kapunda 74.23kms
We arrived in Perth on the 12th of Feb, after an elongated series of overnights. We actually left Vancouver on Thurs 9th and only went as far as L.A. where we overnighted with good friends Mango and Pat in Laguna Beach, god what a gorgeous place. Fri we were onto Sydney and a labourous 6 hrs at the airport. Sun night we flew to Perth where we were meet by Bob, Peters cousin. It was so nice to see a smiley friendly face.
Spent Sun. night in Freo. I recommend one and all to visit Freemantle, W.A., it made me gasp. Monday morning we woke with the anticipation of finding out when we could get our beloved bikes. Well, nobody at the destination agency knew anything about our bikes, us or anything else for that matter, and the contact number we had for the lady handling our files was answered by a young man who said "Sally is on 2 weeks vacation and I don't know anything about what she was working on". PANIC
We made our way down to Dawesville, south of Perth, where Peters cousin, Bob lives and decided that we could access email and make phone calls there to find out what was happening.
Finally, yesterday, after waking up at the crack of dawn to phone Vancouver and the shipping office, badgering them and having them in turn badger the shipping office in Freemantle, we recieved some answers.
Yes we finally found paperwork that verifies you and your motorcycles exist, but no the boat is not here yet, perhaps Thurs or Friday.
So yesterday we were in a rented cage and visited Margaret River, and today we will visit north of Sydney and my brother.
We are now hoping to throw a leg over by Tuesday but I'll keep you posted.
Western Australia, or the parts we've seen so far, is beyond beautiful. The beaches!
So we're fast approaching our 10th day of cooling our heels in beautiful Dawesville waiting to find out if our bikes are ever going to clear agriculture, customs or just plain get unloaded from the ship, or maybe just maybe they'll actually find the container that the bikes were put in. Our trip is quickley getting modified to suit the delay, as at the latest we figured that we'd be on the road by tomorrow. Well thats gone to hell in a handbasket.
Fortunately Bob and Kati have been the most patient and generous of hosts as they deal with our day to day not knowing if we are going, and we're sure the girls at Thrifty Car Rental think we're nuts as we phone each morning to extend our rental agreement just one more day.
As it stands today, our forwarding agent has no idea when our bikes will be released from Agriculture quarantine, sooooooooo our amended plan is to ride like crazy people across the Nullabour after visiting Wagin, pop into 4Ways in Port Augusta, scoot over to Silverton, down to Portland and the arrive out of breath and saddlesore at Phillip Island to watch the amazing W.S.K.
Let you know when that all happens.
Next stop Wagin.
Its just before 8 am on a gorgeous Saturday morning in Dawesville and our bikes are packed and we're off.
After a couple of hissy fits over the phone and via email, and physically going down to where the bikes were being inspected for some obnoxious Canadian soil, we freed them, or rather Peter did.
I ran around in the cage and did chores whilst he uncrated the bikes and put them back together. Never has throwing a leg over felt so incredibly liberating. The grin factor was huge as we rode from Freo back to Dawesville, and now we're off into the wild blue yonder.
Pictures next stop I promise.
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