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.

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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.

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

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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”

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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!

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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.

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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

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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

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The Pier, Beachport

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Robe

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The Customs House Robe

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

 

 

 

 

39 thoughts on “Around Australia trip begins – 24/25th April

  1. Well done Geoff braving the elements………what a pity it turned on a wet ‘welcome’ to your
    start of the journey. Anyway, your photography is up to your amazing standard.
    I was born in the Western district……….10 miles out of Colac on a farm right on the Princes Highway…..towards Camperdown.
    Lived in Warrnambool too…………a wonderful place.
    Safe travels and take care! Hope the weather improves.

  2. I’m back on board – or should I say getting saddle sore on the pillion.
    Your Oz blog takes a LONG time to download.
    Britain is in turmoil, as we prepare for a unexpected election Well, you predicted it.
    Keep dry and keep safe

  3. Alex now wants to go to Mt Gambier to see the blue lake, being a big fan of volcanoes. Hope if you need your wet weather clothes again there is a chair available. Enjoy Lake Eyre. Karen (and Alex)

    • Yes, Alex as a volcano expert would like Mt Gambia. Looks like you better save the pennies for the flight over?

  4. Looks like a great trip – Saw the perfect biker patch the other day that made me think of you.. “Sons of Arthritis”… At this point you could be a charter member of the Nurofen Chapter! so the image of you trying to put on your wet weather togs brought that image right back… May your seat stay comfortable and never ride faster than your angel can fly!!

    Andy

  5. Good effort soldiering on through the rain, Geoff. Hope you found some newspaper for your boots!!
    Love your arty shot, and all your terrific photos. Looking forward to a few months of your entertaining blog again. Ride safely.
    Love,
    Wendy and Rod.
    PS …go Tiges!!!

    • Glad you like the arty photo. I have to try and stay in the photo comp!
      Wilpena Pound tomorrow hopefully, I’ll look for your painting

  6. There’s no doubt about you, Geoff…. wet as a shag, boots full of water and yet you still manage to generate perfect photo shoots and professional commentary !!!
    We love following your travels – keep up the excellent work, travel safely and stay dry – if possible.
    Love & best wishes – Di & Stevo.

  7. Bon Voyage Geoff.
    An interesting diversion from Kalgoorlie is north to Menzies,about 50 k, then west about 20 k to Lake Ballard, a salt lake with weird sculptures.
    Another remarkable place we have experienced is Mill Stream/ Chichester National Park, an historic sheep/cattle station – a couple of hours inland from Karatha.
    As you are ” going past”! they may fit into your itinerary.

    • Thanks Alan and Robyn
      Appreciate the input I’ll see how I’m going and if time permits I’ll go…. I don’t dare be late for Merry!

    • HI Maggie
      Thanks for looking…. we visited Mt Gambier in 1970. It wasn’t blue then either
      Yes I hope the weather improves. It’s not much fun on a bike in the wet and cold. This is Australia though so I’m sure it won t last long!

  8. Hi Geoff

    Great to see you and Azulu back on the road for another grand adventure
    Best wishes for a safe and fun trip
    Hope to catch up when you make North Queensland

    Cheers
    Rob

  9. Sorry about the rain Geoff. Poor Azulu! Your touching photo of the Anzac veteran mirrored the scene at St.Heliers parade yesterday. Really hot calm day, several young flag bearers keeled over in the heat. Nev marched in support of the vets, so few of them left., a 100 year old being pushed in a wheelchair. Great fly past at 11am. Drive well, xx

  10. Hi Geoff, sorry you got so wet. Look after Azulo, that machine has a personality all of its own and also a fan club! We feel that the local TV and newspapers should be informed of this journey, there are not many people who can complete this epic trip. The pictures are good and we are checking out each of your destinations. I am currently doing Aboriginal art with the class…..spots everywhere, including all over me. Take care, Wendy & Alan

  11. Surely the weather can only become drier!
    Fascinating to see parts of Oz that I haven’t even heard of.
    But it’s good to read your blog again – keep it up.
    Vic & Gill

  12. We can just picture it Geoff – fighting the wet weather gear on an ice cream fridge! Our imagination went into overdrive!!! Hope the weather improves. Go well and best wishes from St Albans

  13. Great Geoff you have braved the elements early!
    And OH arriving at Portland and having a glass of Red Wine certainly makes it all well worth while
    All the best in your travels

  14. Great Geoff you have braved the elemements early!
    And OH arriving at Portlandcabd having a glass of Red Wine certainly makes it all well worth while
    All the best in your travels

  15. Geoff, I half expected you to delay your departure in view of the ominous weather forecast. But, having perservered, you may dreive some comfort from that old adage : pleasure through adversity!! Yes??

  16. You are now entering holy ground – the Western District of Victoria, my stamping ground. Born in Hamilton in 1940 and travelled to Portland and Port Fairy on a regular basis throughout my teenage years. Enjoy.

  17. Good Luck drive safely and hopefully we hope to see you again at the Sandy Bay Probus Club Sandringham again next year. We will be following you journey.

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