May 24, 2007 GMT
Australia - The South

Whyalla is a fascinating city. It has some hidden jems behind its industrial facade, but most noteworthy you can say its name while throwing up. Try to do the same with e.g. Alice Springs... That’s right, you can’t. In fact, whatever you say while throwing up it will sound like Whyalla, something that can be useful if taking a taxi home late at night (or a problem if you really want to go to Alice Springs). Anyway, I'm happy that my good mate Steven was home. I met him and his wife Anna Marie in Iran, then Pakistan (see photo in the Pakistan posting) before they gave their trusty Beemer the full throttle to Oz. Now I opted for a few days vacation and perhaps a late night taxi or two, but Steven had a different plan.

Imagine this going on for 1100 kilometers
For three days Steven, his buddy Disco, and I raced the gravel roads in the Flinders, a mountain range stretching from the Spencer Gulf and 400 kilometers north into the real outback. I realized that I’d never driven Balto without luggage, thus the “new” handling of the bike was an exhilarating surprise, just like a prudent girlfriend who one day and out-of-the-blue says something naughty.
Oh baby…
OK, the metaphor sucks, but you know what I mean.
I do not recall the names of all the places we went. I do remember Arkaroola, another late-night-friendly name, but the perception of this being a general feature of South Australian places came to an end at Nooldoonooldoona.
Disco enjoying this lady’s pump
Sunset Steven and his sunset beer
After a whole lot of kangaroos and a bone-dry emu-burger we returned to Whyalla. It was time for that long awaited taxi ride. But Stevens Mum and Dad had returned from exile in South Africa with a few bottles of white and a bundle of good stories. Spending the evenings with the O’Briens made me rethink the saying “to be able to talk about anything” which often is confused with the ability to speak about private matters. No, with these guys even the silliest, most microscopic topic of no practical significance whatsoever could be discussed with great enthusiasm. I just had to love them.
On the last day Steven equipped me with Australian army supplies - olive green cheddar cheese, olive green apricot fruit spread, olive green tomato soup etc. Yep, they can nuke Oz and I'll still be touring it. Stevens Dad Terri hadn’t driven his beefy Kawasaki since last year and he joined me through the beautiful Claire Valley Wine Region, and we raced the sunset but the sunset won and we arrived in Adelaide after dark. After some gourmet pasta on the bustling local strip we camped in his father-in-laws house. Next morning Terri sponsored me a full tank and wished me good luck. It was almost strange to be alone again.
Soon winter in the Coonawarra Wine District
For the next days I had three things on my mind. The second thing were the exams in Sydney. I spent a couple of days in the excellent Heyward’s Oak Hotel in Penola to catch up with theories on B2B. Thirdly I was getting close to what numerous mags and world travelers rank as THE best motorcycle road in the world – the superduperfantastic B100, more commonly known as the Great Ocean Road. Naturally my expectations were sky high. At the same time the temperature plummeted. The clouds clustered, and some hefty wind promised a ride more annoying that pleasant.
I just have to say it: Those suggesting that the Great Ocean Road is THE best road in the world have clearly never been to North Norway. But to be fair - I guess any road on a shitty day is a shitty road.
No, this is not Bjørnøya. It’s the view from the best road in the world. Dah!

Posted by Erik Saue at May 24, 2007 07:43 PM GMT

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