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Discussion Starter #81
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Spent the next few days going out riding the Wooloongong hinterland - only when weather permitted. Since the storm fronts came through and sometimes there was just too much rain to make it safe in the mountain passes. I was taken everywhere and in a way had no idea where we went - all i knew is that even thought I was cold and wet, I was still having fun!

Wollongong to Port Kembla Some of the places we visited..
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Just before leaving my host then introduced me to another rider buddy who I swear was a chilled pirate incarnate. Absolute legend on his mistress the red fireblade. And so what now seemed to be a welcome 'tag-team' or relay of riders were now coming out the woodwork to meet me and happily ride along :)


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Discussion Starter #82
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One day it looked promising to leave riding for the whole day. The clouds were clearing up after a good soaking in the wee hours of the morning. It was worth it for the amazing sunrise with shards of sun rays poking out the clouds.

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Today I wanted to ride the curvy Sky-bridge, where pretty much every Australian car add is filmed. There are no places to stop, no places to really slow down either to look over the edge. You can only admire it from afar and enjoy the ride. Pretty impressive to have a sheer cliff on one side of you and the other is massive aggressive waves crashing below you. This was the southern end of the bridge.

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And this was the northern end of the bridge vantage point. Looking down at it from the lookout at the end of the Royal National Park's entry.


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This day I met up with the rider-pirate ;) to do some other fasgter shenanigans on carparks (just like moto gymkana) and go visit more lookouts).

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Discussion Starter #83
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Rode through the Royal National Park, and this was one of the parks that I came to ride, rather than see for its natural beauty - although it is incredibly pretty too!

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The roads here are so twisty and smooth and marvelous, that I had to go up and down a couple of times just to get my "whhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" on! So much fun!

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Close to lunch time I had to press on to go meet even more rider friends that were planning a nice weekend's ride through the northern part of Sydney on the coming weekend. The pirate-rider introduced me to these guys. We met up for coffee, swapping stories and also to meet everyone's steeds :)


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Much fun was to be had, and lot of caffeeine consumed. On there we decided for a meet up point and a loose route to take to do what they call the Wisemann's Ferry Ride.
I was getting all excited. We would be able to have some decent riding with decent weather. FINALLY!

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Wollongong to Wollongong About this route for today...
 

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Discussion Starter #84
Departure day from Wooloongong: (Wooloongong to Newcastle). 11hrs on the bike. How can it take that long, one asks!??
That's one of the differences between a motorcyclist and a cager: we pick the most convoluted way to get to our destination!! Lol
:hilarious:



Saying my sincere thanks & goodbyes to my Woolongong host for almost a week for his hospitality and into the early morning. Leaving the Gong gave me a most challenging of learning experiences : how to ride at about 45degree angle - in a straight line - and hold the bike upright for dear life at lights when you can only manage tiptoes as a base.
:nailbiting:


:dead:

The BOM was predicting severe, damaging winds in the total area I was going to go - but I was determined to meet the rest of the rider Sydney-ites for a ride!! It had been washed out once before: wasn't going to happen again !! Grrr
:mad:


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As it happened once I went through the most terrifying Illawarra escarpment crossing and highway trek, the wind died & gave me the most spesh of 'good-morning' hello I'd seen....
<3


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Met up with the riding entourage with the rider-pirate leading the charge towards the Wisemans Ferry, find me some BIG items, the Awesome Tunnel, Somersby waterfall, & Pie in the Sky....You're a trooper mate!!
:D


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The Wisemans loop road condition isn't the worlds best, but it's good to practice your safe cornering techniques and pot hole evasion manoeuvres but pretty loop that was more visually rich than I imagined!
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Waiting for the ferry.

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Ferry shenanigans....

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The BIG boom box... Took me a while to even realise what it was - but it's just classic 80's tackiness charm
:wacky:


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From there I, the gallant pose rode to find the BIG frill neck, and the BIG "ploddy" dinosaur and introduced me to one of NSW's most loved biker's road & meeting joint - ye Old Pacific Highway & Pie in the Sky. Oh how marvelous this piece of road would truly be... If for most of it the posted speed wasn't 60!!! What the!!?? Talk about kill joy!
 

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Discussion Starter #85
Fromm the Wisemann's ferry to the BIG boombox, to look at and have a leg stretch at the Somersby Falls National Park.
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Lovely and tranquil place in the middle of what seemed to be chaos and near industrial areas north of Sydney city.
Everyone feeling peckish, rode southwards to Pie in the Sky, which is a very well known motorcyclist place close to the Old Pacific highway - known for it's squiggles and road pleasures.
Unfortunately the cops hammer this place so you better have a hawk eye at picking them undercover if you want to let loose on the throttle a little.


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The Lawnmower mixing it up with the best ;) It is here in Pie in the Sky (Pie In The Sky – Unbeatable Australian Meat Pies), that we had a chat with many other riders and where the new 'batton' for this rider relay would take place. The Sydney crew would wave their goodbyes and head southwards back to Sydney, and I would then tag along with a northerner which lived in Newcastle. Another new friend of a rider friend sorta thing....

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Posing with the bridge for the Kurin-gai Chase National Park (Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park | NSW National Parks)


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The new pacific motorwaycut straight through a mountain, with the Old Pac on top.

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Out with the old crew, and in with the new! :)

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The rough route: Wollongong to Newcastle
 

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Discussion Starter #86
A few more shots of the Wisemann's ferry ride with the Sydney mob :) These were donated.

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Another very windy morning to start the day off. But much later than the previous day. Glorious sleep in! The next day my Newcastle host took a day off and came riding north. Today I had plans to drop by see the Nabiac Motorcycle Museum (The National Motorcycle Museum of Australia).
So off we took northwards along the Bucketts Way to Gloescester. A relaxing ride absorbing all the gently rolling hills, farms and tiny towns with brick throwing competitions & weekend car boot swap meets. Through this stretch my tour guide got to see how just simply parking the bike is an art form for the more-than-short rider, or how exact passing vehicles on the Lawnmower is.... What ever the case, he was a complete tease when passing cars on his Daytona without any effort.
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We pressed on towards Nabiac to go see another of Australia's must see biker's destination: The Australian Motorcycle Museum!!
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Another BIG thing ticked off my list :) If I want to ride this, I'm going to have more problems than simply trying to touch the ground with my feet!


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So. Many. Friggin. Bikes!!! More than a 1000 jammed packed into the museum. From all rolls of life & by-gone eras to the modern bikes of today. From humble beginnings where today's blenders have more horsepower than some of the earlier bikes, to the powerful beasties of today...
$$$ worth spent for a couple of hours of sheer amazement at the mechanics, history and beginnings of motorcycling. This is a must for every motorcyclist to see.
Each bike in the museum, just like every NetRider on the forum, has their story.
<3

Their charm. Their personality & a contribution to the overall collective. Without this variety, it would be a sad story indeed.

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Two bikes that caught my attention were: (The blue Hyabussa) is a bike that was used by a lad that trained his cattle dog to sit on the front and they rode around Australia to raise money for charity.
The other bike was more so interesting since it looked like it was very much used and loved. As it turned out it was from a lady that threw caution into the wind and toured around the US on ther metal beastie camping. The basket at the front of the bike was filled with photo albums, tourist pamphelts and newspaper cut outs. As it turned out, the owner is now someone I can relate to and I admire. The albums were her "blog" - THIS is how you used to blog!!!
:D


You never know where you'll get inspiration from. :)

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Discussion Starter #87
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After a wonderful arvo, it was time for goodbyes; quite poetic with both riders taking opposing directions of an intersection: My tour guide taking the south road & me, the north.

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Back on the road alone, but not for long. The rider relay now came to an end and I had some nice time simply thinking in my own thoughts. I knew that later that night I would be coming to visit a childhood girlfriend. She's my longest friend; we met when I first came to Australia in 1990, and we met over a Girl Guides den. One of those friendships that we don't have to talk every day, or even in a few months. But when we get together it is as it nothing has kept us apart. I was very much looking to seeing her later. But for now, I had a few places to go and take photos of...
From Nabiac, I went inland towards Taree.
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This was a must for me - the BIG CLAM! Interesting place to put a car yard but never the less, it was sweet!

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Crossing the river to go northwards to Port Macquarie where I would be nearby.that night.


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Swang by to pose for the sun down at Hastings River, just 5 minutes from my destination in Redbank. What a lovely sundown against the water.

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I always like to take those last 5 minutes of the day-light to ponder on a well-used day and what amazing things one can see when touring. At the same time I am going to to so glad meeting up with a non-biker friend for a good catch up, rest, clean up and also doing some girlie time. When touring, you feel like you put on this tougher persona, that you are independent etc. But sometimes it is nice to get out of the biker clothes and go a little softer and more .... girlie. :)

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A whole shed for this little ducky to rest!

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Such soft and inviting bed! Don't mind if I do!
 

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Congrats! A good blog and travelog Val. I think you have found and enjoyed most of the worthwhile 'motorcycling roads' in SE Australia. There is only one thing left now. Go back and do them all again - but faster. Ciao.
 

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Discussion Starter #89
Congrats! A good blog and travelog Val. I think you have found and enjoyed most of the worthwhile 'motorcycling roads' in SE Australia. There is only one thing left now. Go back and do them all again - but faster. Ciao.
Thanks @OldNDirty ! :) However I haven't come close to doing all the worthwhile roads in SE Aust me thinks ;) There's still so much to see - and the rest of Oz too! First I'll finish the rest of the states before I go back for a second round on the roads I've now done :)
 

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Discussion Starter #90
The next 2 days was a bit or R&R, helping out with the farm, whicle catching up. And playing with the house master(s) that would find a never ending source of energy. But with a face like that, who can say no? :)
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But I also managed to sneak out for a few hours to ride with leisure around the town outskirts to see what other things I was able to find - such as this:

The BIG Bowls baul / ball at Lake Cathie, NSW
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And seeing Wauchope, the Timber town.

But all good things have to come to an end, like waggy tails and fire places and the warmth of a long friend. And think about going home again. Especially since another wild weather system was forming off the coast and would hit in a few days. The further north you go towards Qld, the more chance of those wonderful systems turning into cyclones... and I'd rather not be riding through one of those!

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Discussion Starter #91
So after my goodbyes it was time to find a more crazy route back home than simply up the highway. I guess also it's possibly since I am looking for any excuse to delay the inevitable since I know once I get home this... this touring life will stop. And that's a sad thing.

So from Port Macquarie, past Wauchope and doing a bit of a loop south before heading north again. There were a couple of places I wanted to look at.
Like the BIG AXE at Kew for example.
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And the big logs...

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And then off to go to backj to Taree to then go check out the Upper Lownsdome... however a day or so back I went into the info centre to ask about road conditions as well as any closures. They told me that a certain road was open but it may be in a bit of disrepair. I thought today was a good day to adventure so I took my chance to see how 'rough' it was and went in search for it.


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The road started off well enough...


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But then if seemed to get rougher and rougher. From sealed to unsealed, into graded track, to ungraded track and almost into single track in points.

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Well I was planning on rough roads, but not complete closure! I went round the bend and there were 2 massive land slides! One which I just managed to fit into the photo! And the other was so big and had de-stabilised the road, that it simply cut it off. So bummer, there's 2 hours one way travelled and I would have to make my way back again and find another way through.


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IN the end I was able to find another unsealed way through Killabakh Nature reserve and up towards to Oxley highway. Having taken the wrong turn and the road being gut, I lost about 4 hours of the day. Had no choice but to find a place to stay at the Oxley, new Seaview.

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Discussion Starter #92
Today was getting to know one of Australia's best known biker roads - the Eastern end of the Oxley Highway from Walcha to Port Macquarie.


Timber town!
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Breakfast next to the large zebra, cause why not!

This is where I bumped into a local lady that was not much taller than me, but was able to handle a much, much bigger bike than me. I was a bit in awe at her gut for trying something new and not staying so much on the safe path as when I went to buy my beasite. However I soon realised that it was probably the best decision I had made to get a smaller bike since it means that I can go touring by myself since I can lift it, rather than have to wait for someone to come along to help me do so.
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Since she was going to ride the Oxley we decided to team up and go riding.


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A stop at the mighty Hastings river on the Kindee Road bridge. Pretty impressive structure for when it was built!


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An obligatory stop at Gingers Cafe, where you get your I have survived the 300+ corners, of pure riding pleasure!


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One of the many wonderful wonderful corners with a view!
 

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Discussion Starter #93
All good things have to come to an end, so once I completed the Oxley, it was time to keep heading north. As not to keep loosing time, I did a bit of highway from Port Mac to Coffs Harbour to have a bite to eat and tick off another BIG thing.

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It was a pity that I wasn't able to bring the Lawnmower up to take a photo of this refurbished glorious big yellow thing.


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From the coast and the flats, it was time to get back inland and towards the hills. Banana covered hills everywhere you look! Lately however a lot of the bananas are changing now into Blue berry plantations since I think it's way more profitable for the farmers. But for now I am most liking having the BIG banana.

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Up the Bruxner Park road towards the Sealy lookout.


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Definitely worthwhile popping round to the lookout for a looksy. Can see the whole of Coffs Harbour below you and the amazing colours of the sea.

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Back inland through the mountain twisties towards the Orara way.

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Visiting the BIG dog at Glenreagh, NSW

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Visiting the BIG dog at Glenreagh, NSW

Between Glenreagh and into Grafton, it is more tame and less to see. Grafton is mainly used as a good fuel and comfort stop but pressing on is the best.
I decided to go through and see Nimbin, the pot capital of Australia, where hippies roam, and cops don't. I hadn't been and wanted to get a glimpse of the BIG joint. Unfortunately this only comes out once a year, as a blow up prop in one of their parades. I must investigate when and go for fun :)
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These are the rocks south of Nimbin.

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The closer you ride towards Nimbin, the more you realise that there are different ways to solve problems... A pot hole? No need to fix it, since the solution is to draw symbols showing the locals where they are as to swerve and miss it all together - simple! :LOL:
 

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Discussion Starter #94
The day's travel.
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And finally at the NSW, Queensland border! I can smell home! After 4-5 months away... I can smell home!
 

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Discussion Starter #95
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Overtopping the Qld / NSW border crossing.


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By the later arvo, and once crossing the Qld / SNW border I knew I was within a couple of hours of my home. And it was very mixed feelings.....
Being elated to be once again in a place I know, familiarity and love. But also to know that you will be going back very soon to the nitty gritty of life. The responsibilities of life. A job. House chores. The mundane. It's as if the familiarity comes instantly with a small weight on your shoulders to keep you grounded.
At the same time, thinking about all the things I missed, like a nice soft warm bed, every night in the same place. Family home cooked meals, seeing friends and family once more.
And knowing that there is a place that you belong to, because you are legal and have the papers to prove it.

I may still not have the papers from my birth country stating that I was actually born, or that I lived there for many years, and that I had a life there.... they do not recognise me as a national and I don't have a passport or citizenship. But my heart still tells me that I am a full blown Spaniard. Living in a country that's given me so much and let me do so much. At least I've been given a passport now so no deportation! lol


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And just like the cows get tucked away every night in their home paddocks....

I was now home. :love:🧡🧡
 

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Discussion Starter #96
TOURING STATISTICS (or shall it be sa-distics?)

There are 3 types of people in this world - those who can count, and those who can't.
I'm in the latter. ;)

Love or hate them, we all have to use them every day. And as I found, the tighter you are, the better you become at swaying maths your way and becoming ‘economical’. If I can save $30 off by buying this in eBay, I can then buy my other piece of bling!!
We've all been there, done that.

So here are some stats for those statisticians out there:

In 4 months on the bike(s) No1 & No2, this is what it is:
  • 35,500kms (and still going),
  • 37 different beds/baby cots/inflatable mattresses/mats/sofa beds/sofas
  • 3 states & 1 territory,
  • -3 being the coldest (VIC), 22 degrees the warmest (Qld),
  • 3 weeks out of action with the biggest cold/flue/chest infection I've ever had in my life! (**** you house with no heating!!)
  • 37 ++ riders met / ridden with through my trip,
  • 9 Victorian and 'local' well-known mountains ridden & ticked off my bucket list,
  • 1 missed (double booked) Tasmanian Ferry, - Hence why I never was able to tour Tasmania while down south...
  • 2 helmets
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  • 22kgs luggage,
  • 1 highly thumbed-through motorcycling atlas,
  • 3 epic emotional releases,
  • 100's hrs spent on google maps / web trip researching,
  • 7 lyrebirds - ticked having seen this animal off my bucket list,
  • 5 emus
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  • 1 lost toolkit
  • 51 blog entries to date
  • 3 bum-puckering moments when I encountered black ice / sleet / frost on the road for the first time...(you don't get this in Qld!)
  • 3 (1 bike bag + 2 panniers)
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  • 3,278 photos on my phone taken,
  • 2 days of FULL sunshine (or what it seemed like!),
  • 1 dead skippy (Sorry Viccie!), & one noisy miner with a VERY large headache,
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  • 3 other animal near-misses - a kangaroo, a cow & a deer,
  • 2 tubs of hot chocolate powder (a girl is allowed to have a bike portable food craving...)
  • 236 protein bars & 236 protein shakes,
  • $13 a day on average for fuel ($1,534),
  • $25.50 on average for food a day ($3,009),
  • $1,300 in extras due to skippy incident,
  • $150 average accommodation a week (about $2,400 total),
  • $600 worth of PROPER Melbournean Winter riding gear (none of this pathetic "winter" gold coast riding gear!),
  • $10 hot water bottle with fluffy cover - PURE GOLD!!
  • $1000 in misc (including public transport, national park fees, postage fees etc),
  • $900 in x2 bike services, and a set of new tyres,
  • New friendships & new experiences .... priceless.
    :love:
 

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Discussion Starter #97
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Getting home was a bit of a shock actually. I remember that one of the things that was a complete shock, was standing in front of the wardrobe, and thinking, "Holy molly! Too many clothes!!".
After living months off 3 bags from the back of your motorbike, being presented with a whole wardrobe of things, plus a tallboy full of other clothes was a little overwhelming actually.
Of course I gravitate towards the bike related clothes more, but 'things' after this trip .... were just or at least seemed quite materialist.

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The one thing that didn't feel materialistic was the bed - oh! the Bed!!
I had an incredible night sleep and woke up very early. For a split second I had no idea where I woke up, and had to think about the location that I was in.

Familiar surroundings :) The only issue was that I didn't know what to do with myself now being back and I had an itchy bottom.... I needed to ride some more! Almost as I am going to have to reacquaint myself with the local rides .... so back on the lawnmower and off I went :D

First stop was my usual mechanic to book a nice long service for the Lawnmower - with the Motorcycle Guru (Motorcycle Guru | Motorbike Repairs Gold Coast), and then checking out the bike shops, cause why not??
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But the shopping experience soon ended and it was time to get some grits and find the closest mountain! ;)
This time I decided that O'reilly's (Lamington National Park) was the place to go. (O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat) An amazing place to go bush walking, but the twisties up to that place are unreal!

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Having to ride through differing pockets of rainforest, woodlands, pine forest and back through to rainforest is something special.

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Discussion Starter #98
Forgot to include the early morning shots! lol
It was rather early and a bit chilly in the slight breeze, but well well worth the getting up early....
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Can't believe how many people get up so early to see the sun rises at Burleigh Heads in the Gold Coast.
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But back to the Oreilly's mountain and lookout, where it is a total contrast between the sea. No wonder they call the Gold Coast, the green and gold. The hinterland to the beach within only a couple of 10s of kms!
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Gotta love curves - must have curves!

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From sunrise, to now sun-sleep. The lovely pre-dusk colours between the Eucalyptus.

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And what a better way to end the day than to go see a couple of mates, that make the best dinner salads - YUM!

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Motorcycle Guru to Nerang
 

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Discussion Starter #99
And what better way to catch up than not only over dinner but the next day on the bike??

Ooopppaaaa! And so next day, another ride out to the hinterland to go look at the Lion's Road (Running Creek Road) towards another NSW / QLD border crossing.
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Nerang to Nerang

Firsrt up, breakky at Cafe Metz, in Canungra, where on a weekend it is always packed and there's a gaggle of bikes in the car park :) Gotta start the day right!
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And across the road too at the Outpost Cafe, where there is the best pies (or so they tell me...)
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There I met up with me mate (which is or was actually my driving instructor once upon a time!), with his yellow & black FZR1.
And off we went without much stopping until we crossed the NSW/QLD border at one of the ends of Lion's Road.


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Has quaint bridges all along the road, that snakes it's way under and over the rail road.

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About half way it was a really great lookout - Border Loop Lookout, where it has a good vantage point of the rail road below. The old time steam engine to be able to climb past the mountain range, it had to climb in a cork-screw fashion, and this lookout you can see it :)

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Discussion Starter #100
98413

Just lovely to see something completely different :)

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One the way back, stopping at Rathdowney for a comfort stop, and some birdie nom, noms :D

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My friend peeled off at some point just before Canungra, and I weaved my way back slowly home taking in the view....
Another day dusted, and another day well used ;)
 
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