March 13, 2006 GMT
Purring in Port MacQuarie

Hey one and all, this is the second attempt today to update the blog. I finished the original update this morning, went to save and send and the computer crashed. So after collecting my thoughts and insuring my language would be less colourful here we go again.
I believe I left the story with us grinning like Cheshire cats after riding the Great Ocean Road and looking forward to Philip Island, and now after riding the incredible roads of Tasmania and Gippsland we are definatley purring like lions in Port MacQuarie.
I had left the blog with us arriving in Wentworth, after visiting Silverton. If you are ever in Wentworth we highly recommend you visit with the wonderful family that own the Crown Hotel. Fantastic food,prices and people.
On Thurs. March 2nd we headed south towards the coast of Victoria and visiting the wonderfully historic town of Portland, and Macs Pub, where we were very welcomed and had a super cold beer. The riding to Portland was very pretty but was flat-flat-flat. Lots of rolling farmland and cows and sheep.
We ended the day in Warrnambool which is the start of the Great Ocean Road, at 665.3kms total.
We were on the road with the rising sun and rising anticipation of the ride ahead. Peter and I have driven this road before but always in a cage, so this time, forget the tourist spots we were just interested in the twist,turns, hills and dales. Honestly it made you gasp, the beauty and the challenge. Kind of like a really long Duffy Lake road without the frost heaves.
We got into Melbourne early as Peter really needed a new back tire and we needed to get ready for Philip Island. 361.7kms.
Ah the anticipation of smelling race fuel, there's nothing like it. So like kids on Christmas morning we were up with the birds and heading for Philip Island. We hooked up with our friend form Vancouver, Ian Coutts and his family aroung noon and Ian graciously donated his childrens Pit Walk Passes to us. So of course I got to get up close and personal with my "boyfriend" Troy Bayliss, and I got my helmet signed by Tousland and had a great chat with Chili, so all in all I had a very visually appealing day. Oh Yeah, the races were really good too. We got to see all of the Australian Superbike series, qualifying and practise. We left the track that day exhilerated and sunburned, something very few people get to do. Get a sunburn at Philip Island, that is.
Ian had rented a place on Philip Island and had invited us to stay, so we didn't have to ride back to Melbourne, wicked. We were able to be at the track on Sunday before most of the riders I think. Philip Island is an awesome place, in that the fence seperating spectators from the track is only waist high and you can ride your bike all around the outside of the track. Pretty spectacular scenery to boot.
After spending the day watching some great racing we headed back into Melbourne, and this is where S.C.R.A.M.P. could learn a lesson or two from the organisers of Philip Island, the ease of getting to and fro was effortless. The police actually enable smooth flow of traffic as oppposed to the grid lock at Laguna Seca. Any who I digress. We stayed the night in our fav. motel in Parkville, for an early get up for Tasmania. 336.8kms.
Monday was spent on the Spirit of Tasmania bobbing our way across the Bass Strait, It was a little bumby and noisy but painless. 12 hrs later we were in a very cool inn called Batman Fawkner in Launceston. 119.4kms.
After a quick visit to the Prince Albert Hotel in Launceston,too early for a beer, we headed down island to Hobart and to visit with my Uncle Bill.
However, the roads in Tassie are unbelievable and we got a little side tracked. Tight,twisty,narrow logging roads that just happen to be paved. Life is good. It took us 479.1kms to get to Bruny Island and Bills when as the crow flies its around 250.
My uncle lives in a spectacular part of the world, rugged, wild and not developed and yet 15 mins from cities and suberbia. A lot of Bruny is unpaved, hard packed dirt with loose gravel top, and like Tassie roads not very straight. We know this because after missing a ferry to get back to Hobart we decided to go exploring and Butts and I got very up-close-and-personal with the road surface. We are both right as rain but neither of us will be entering a beauty contest any time soon. Butts truly is ugly now.
After dusting ourselves off we headed back to Davenport to catch the ferry to the mainland. 448.3kms.
Back in Melbourne Thurs. morning Butts was fitted with a much needed back tire, the other was a little bald. We headed for Sale and the Star Hotel. After about half and hour on the M1 we were seriously bored and I found a road on the map that would take us up and over to the coast,kinda. Oh my God you guys. Breath taking, stunning,challenging, did I forget anything. Oh yeah,fun-fun-fun.
We ended Thurs in Bainsdale, a must visit for anyone visiting this area, especially the Main Hotel for dinner, a foody must. 438.6kms
Friday saw us leaving the Gippsland region (sad cause its gorgeous and great riding) and heading for Wagga Wagga. Little did we know that we wouldn't be sad for long as this takes you on the Great Alpine Road. You climb and climb and climb, you twist,turn and dodge trucks to Mount Hotham and then you just stop because you feel like you're on top of the world and you might fall off.
Climbing down from this heavenly place took us into Wagga (pronounced Woga) and a very fun town, with colourful locals. 490.3kms took us the best part of 7 hours so you can imagine just how much fun the roads were. Mt.St.Helen for 7 hrs. yes please.
Saturday took us through the Blue Mountains, easy see through fast corners and very little traffic, to Bathust. The home of Australian Sport Touring Car racing and about a gazillion bikes. After an incredible ride along what felt like the spine of the Blue Mtns. we ended up in Richmond for the night. Early as we really needed a laundrymart. Gets a bit hot and sweaty when your having fun. 501.8kms
Sunday took us on a killer road from Windsor to Singleton, 45 to 85k corners, up a ridge down a creek bed and repeat at least for the next 2 hours. Can you stand it. After a little bit of being bored on Hwy 1 we headed down to the coastal road along with a million other motorcycles, one of which lost the plot in one of the many 35k bumpy corners. Kinda like Duffy Lake road all round actually. Back on the main highway for a bit to Taree, the home of my "boyfriend"and then on to Port MacQuarie. A beautiful hamlet on the ocean that just happens to have a stellar caravan park right on the beach and downtown. 523.8kms
So today is the down day,Peter is lazing on the beach and loving life. As you may have gathered by now I have totally fallen back in love with Australia. The weather,the roads the scenery, its all good.
From here we plan to go up to Qld. across to Birdsville up to Daly Waters and then back down to Mums in Kapunda. We should be done by the end of the month, though if the lotto ticket I bought today is a winner we might take a little longer.
We are having more fun than two people can and are loving life. Reality bites and we are staying in Nirvana for now.
Wish us luck with the ticket, and with me trying to get the pictures up.
Cioa for now.

Posted by Karin Lepa at 03:31 AM GMT

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