December 07, 2008 GMT
Back Home in California!

I made it back to Castlemaine, turned the bike in, and headed for the airport with very mixed emotions. Happy to be headed home, a bit sad that another great adventure was coming to an end. I was NOT looking forward to that 15 hour flight back to Los Angeles but I did catch a break when for some unknown reason the Qantas computer assigned me a seat in “business class”. SCORE!! It made the flight ALMOST bearable! :=) A big smile, hug and kiss from Julia as I exited the customs area at LAX was a fitting end to the Around Oz 2008 Adventure!
I would like to thank Mark at for all the help in planning the trip and referring me to Bike Tours Australia which supplied the bike. Claudia, Heinz, and Norbert at went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that the bike was ready and in perfect shape for a long trip. They supplied extra tubes, cables and levers (which I was forced to use thanks to the Great Central Road on the way to Ayres Rock) :=) If you ever need to book a tour of Australia, I highly recommend both of these companies.
Since I had the GPS with me, it captured a “track” for the whole adventure. This is my route from Castlemaine up the east coast and across the top to meet Corey in Darwin. It is approximately 3200 miles.

This is the route Corey and I traveled together including the Tasmania Tour. It is approximately 9000 miles.

This is my route, after Corey left, up to Sydney and back to Castlemaine with two crossings of the Snowy Mountains. It is approximately 2300 miles.

Some statistics in case you are interested:
Total Distance.................................... 14,555 miles
Average Daily Mileage........................ 150
Longest Days Ride............................. 488
Shortest Days Ride ............................88
Rear Tires .........................................4
Front..................................................1 (the original, on the bike when I started)
Unplanned “get offs”............................4 (all in the sand)
Average Daily Beer Consumption..........I can’t seem to remember! :=)

I really enjoyed the tour especially the remote “outback” sections. Cape Crawford and the Heartbreak Hotel Pub in the Northern Territory would have to rank as one of my favorite stops although I enjoyed every area that I visited. Crossing the Kimberly Range on the Gibb River Road with stops at El Questro, Home Valley Station, and Mount Elizabeth Station was also a favorite and as “tough” as the Great Central Road was, seeing Ayres Rock at the end of it made it all worthwhile.

Thank You for following along with me. Stay tuned. Who knows, there may be another adventure in the future!

Posted by Rick McDermed at December 07, 2008 09:58 PM GMT

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