July 12, 2006 GMT
Australia3


Colin has completed the service on the bike which was a major one. Gaskets, plugs , oil change, brackets and brake pads. The parts cost 151 GBP.
Then we took the bike to the BMW dealer for the day and they replaced the oil seal on the Drive shaft & needle roller bearings on the drive pinion. This cost 145GBP. They let us have a brand new ST 1200 for the day- and that proved to be very fast- could loose your licence very easily, if you were'nt careful! It also made you realise how comfortable the GS is- we are spoilt with our air cushions !

In between this we have been out and about- here, there and everywhere- Ausralia zoo ( where we saw wombats and these are as cute as the koalas. The only thing we have not seen is platypus), a Ginger farm( around here is a good area for the growth of ginger and it's amazing what you can add it to for flavouring ),an Opal farm ( I did refrain from buying here!).Apparantly opals are only found in Oz and Mexico.
Seen the Glass mountains and the hinterland around this area is so lush with green fields- very reminiscent of UK and totally different from the coastal areas and up North. Captain Cook named these when he saw them , as they reminded him of the pottery kilns in Lancashire.
When you were on top of the plain you could see for miles around with clear blue sky that seemed to go on for ever and was totally surrounding you- quite spectacular.
In the valley here was a large lake with the steepest hill going down that i have ever seen. You swung around the corner and there was this amazing view. Colin said 'take a picture'. Wheels of the bike pointing downwards at an alarming angle, me perched on the back, holding on tightly ( for a change )- 'no way am I getting the camera out of my pocket at this angle' came the reply. So we went down to the bottom, turned around and Colin took it from the top. 'How are you going to turn around now' I asked-- and made him go down to the bottom and do a return trip ! I am beginning to know what angles are safe or not---- been there done that- and fallen off !( in the past ).

Colin has had a day's fishing in the salt water river off a boat and caught 17 fish- all sadly too small to take home. They are strict on the weight sizes that you are allowed to keep. it was a nice relaxing day and i went to sleep on the bottom of the boat ! The bait was prawns or worm, rods were' thrown in' with the hire deal and Colin caught bream and a toad fish - this he did'nt mess about with and put it back immediately !

Went bondue bashing in a 4 wheel drive along the Coloured sands. There is a beach 40 k long and the sand colours range from bright red, orange, yellow to white. All you have to do is move the top layer of sand to see the different colours. Here also there are sand sculptures, deep red in colour and the shape of these is constantly changing with the wind erosion. The coastline alters with the erosion also but the sand will build up again in a different area.The cyclone altered the shore line too.
This trip was incorporated in with an Everglades trip on a boat and took you through spectacular rain forests that go right down to the water edge- along with the mangroves, of course.

There's loads of surfers wherever you go on the coast, it seems- although they obviously pick and chose their favorite beaches. It is quite common place to see them stripping off , by their car, to don the wet suit or dry off. Quite alot of the tourists are going in for a swim- not me, it's not warm enough (at 25 degrees during the day, she says !)

The professional catchers of worms drag a fish behind them from their belt and this will entice the worm to the surface to be used as bait. These can be up to 3 feet long.

Everyone has been very friendly and alot say they have relatives in UK.Alot of interest shown in the bike- especially with the Uk plates on it.

This area of Queensland seems to be fond of murals and painting on telegraph poles. The traditional ,one storey ,houses are made of wood and are on stilts to prevent the termites from eating the wood and to prevent the houses from being flooded but you are seeing more brick built houses in the urban areas.

There are some really old Colonial type hotels with the verandas going right the way around, mainly 2 storeys. The bedrooms are upstairs on the outer part of the house with large sitting areas within the internal area. The one we stayed in had no glass for the windows- only wooden louvres that you could pull down for privacy. This is all to ensure that the air flow is good for the heat in the summer.It will get to 40 degrees here then.

It seems that the majority of road users are well law abiding and stick to the 100 k (62.5 mph )rules on ordinary roads. The speed limit on the motorway is 110k( 69 mph). Colin finds this well slow !
It's strange to us to see road signs that say a distance of further than 1500K. We would be hard pushed to see these in UK.There are some wonderful town names- Coolundra,Moolulaba,Yandina,Marouchidore and Sippy Creep road.

Tomorrow we are off to try to see the whales at Byron Bay. This is in New South Wales and then travel back through the hinterland.

Sadly we are due to fly out on 20th July- this is on the prearranged ticket that we set up in India. It was proving difficult and costly to try to change the date. So we were forced, really, to stick to the original date. We are to fly to Lisbon and meet the bike there.Then we are to travel around Europe till the weather is against us- or the money runs out ! We chose Lisbon as there are alot of places that you can go too from there.

We were lucky with the pallette for the bike. When we were at the BMW place , the guy there offered us a proper BMW one ,as he had just had a delivery of a new bike. Colin has collected this and has got the sides. Now- all we have to do is get it to Brisbane for the packers. It will save some money as the original people who were to do the crating( alone ) wanted 375GBP.

So- next off to see the whales and i will update you before we leave Oz ( I hope ).

Total miles :12009. Miles in Oz :3622

Posted by Dee Masters at July 12, 2006 01:59 AM GMT
 


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