Around Australia trip begins – 24/25th April

Azulo is rearing to go!

He should be rearing to go as his service cost me $1000! …By the way…Azulo, if you haven’t followed my adventures before, is my trusty Kawasaki KLR 650.

Azulo and I are now doing our fourth trip together. Azulo is showing signs of old age. Fingers crossed he makes it around what I expect will be some 20,000 kilometres.

Actually I’m getting a bit long it the tooth also. Merry even bought me some Pilates vouchers for Christmas as she jokingly thought I might have trouble getting on the bike! You’ll be pleased to know I proved her wrong.

Here is roughly my route. I’m heading clockwise around. Merry meets me in Perth and again in Darwin which will be great.

Azulo and Geoff's route 2017 - Copy

It was a lovely day but rain is forecast for Western Victoria.  After a coffee and croissant with Merry, we head out.

11

Normally I don’t book anywhere to stay in advance but since this is the first day I had booked a motel in Portland, Western Victoria.

Big mistake! Not because of the motel but because of the rain. The first 200k are lovely but then it rains cats and dogs.

I arrive in Portland absolutely soaked. My feet are sloshing around in my boots and my wet weather gear is totally useless as I’m soaked. In all my travels I haven’t got so drenched.

Luckily the motel has a drier and I have a cask of red wine so I’m soon feeling better. There is a Kentucky Chicken place next door so that is tea fixed.

12

Things get better still when my footy team, Richmond Tigers win their fifth game of the season

13

My Portland Motel

This is all I saw of Portland. It looks quite a nice place but the rain doesn’t help14

The forecast for 25th wasn’t great. Actually it was terrible. Hail and rain were forecast.

I stopped for petrol and thought it might be a good idea to anticipate the worst and put my useless wet weather gear on. Now, if you’re an aging biker like me you’ll understand that getting the wet weather trousers on is quite a struggle. It’s a lot easier if you have a chair otherwise its nearly impossible!

So, I asked the girl at the counter if I could borrow  a chair…” No we don’t have any chairs” she said emphatically and extremely helpfully.

I was therefore left with no option but to balance on the ice cream fridge and struggle to get the wretched wet weather trousers on.

I crossed the border near Mount Gambier. As you see this farmer proudly supports his footy team the “Crows”

15

125

Mount Gambier is famous for it’s “Blue Lake” This is a volcanic crater filled with water. The water is meant to be a deep blue.

It wasn’t very blue today but it is still impressive and the big crater is virtually in the town itself!

121

122

This is my arty shot!

April 25th is Anzac Day. For your information, if you’re not an Aussie or Kiwi, Anzac Day is our remembrance day for those killed in all the wars. The significance of April 25th is because on 25th April 1915 the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed on the beaches of Gallipoli

Every town in Australia and New Zealand commemorate this day with dawn services and marches.

I attended the Mt Gambier march. The proud old soldier in the photo below was the only one left to march in his section. It brought a tear to my eyes and everybody was clapping him. Good on him.

16

18 17

19

This old soldier was the only one left in his section. It doesn’t look like it in the photo but he is in the march

Mt Gambia is a pretty town with some lovely colonial buildings

120

The rest of the day was spent dodging the rain showers and meandering along the pretty South Australian Coast through some nice little towns such as Beachport and Robe

123

The Pier, Beachport

124

126

Robe

127128

The Customs House Robe

Tomorrow I head towards the Flinders Ranges and the outback. I hope to do a flight to Lake Eyre.

 

 

 

 

just for kicks

The next big trip starts on April 24th 2017, This year Azulo and I are riding around Australia ..heading West

Merry is meeting me in Perth and again in Darwin.

I hope you’ll all come with me again and send me messages!

Take a look at this video…it will bring back memories for all old bikers!

You’ll need to turn the sound up LOUD!…The song was recorded by Mike Sane back about 1963