Category Archives: 09_Australia 2012/2013

Happy New Year 2014!

New-Year-2014

Thank you New Zealand, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor and Australia for the people we met, the friendly welcome everywhere, the roads we rode, the food we could taste, the adventures we could master, the experiences we made and finally thank you for all the dust in our faces ;) All the best Kerstin and Sascha, www.RTWbyBIKE.com

Ps.: There will be an update soon, I promise! Just don´t know when we will have the time to do so ;) Busy days these days…

Looking back at Sydney and incredible great new motorbike friends

BlogstartAt Barbara’s and Sean’s place in Marulan we took the opportunity to check our money reserve and possible destinations as our Australian Visa would run out soon. We were facing the reality and that destinations like South America wouldn’t be possible for the moment. Checking flights to Germany we found an incredible cheap flight, just 6 days (including a long weekend) later. Suddenly everything was going very quick…

We decided to go “home” – without really having one after living 2 years on the road and the 7 years before in Prague, Czech Republic, not the easiest decision… We contacted some friends in Germany where we stayed for a few days before our trip to ask if they could give us a “shelter” for the first days. We received the lovely answer we could come without worry and move in into the old horse stall. While we have been away Anne and Olli were rebuilding the old horse stall and ever time people asked them why they are doing that they were answering:” Anna always wanted to have an atelier – and anyhow, one day Kerstin and Sascha will come back from their adventures!” ;)

Beside that we had to organize the transport of the motorbike. After getting quotes for shipping and flight tickets and knowing that we would need a vehicle in Germany to organize things, we decided to fly the motorbike. We were lucky we had a contact closer to Sydney in Windsor, Clarissa and Neil. They were going with their custom-made BMW’s through South East Asia the year before and anyhow we wanted to meet. Now they offered us to come to their place to organize our last things. Friday early morning we went into Sydney and at noon we had the DGC (Dangerous Goods Certificate) in our hands, visited the warehouse where we would have to deliver the bike Tuesday morning (Monday is public holiday, Queens Birthday) our Carnet stamped and our flights booked! Bam Bam, everything went like a breeze. Thanks again to Paul and Justin! You guys just rock! Business as it should be, no surprises, professional and on top of it very competitive!

Everything done, we had a look at the famous Bondi Beach and rode to Clarissa’s and Neil’s place. Clarissa’s lovely parents prepared a comfortable room for us and for the night a barbecue with friends was planned. It was just fantastic meeting them and all their friends, including another two motorbike traveller, (Chris and Charlie) and we spend a great night together sharing stories, adventures and experiences. When Chris heard that we have to deliver our bike on Tuesday morning and we will be pedestrians until our flight is going on Thursday morning he offered us to come over to his place on Monday so we have better public transport connections. We spent Sunday with Clarissa and Neil, having some fun rides with their bikes and putting a new front wheel on which Neil had spare. Monday we drove over to Chris and we had another delicious barbecue together with his friends.

Tuesday morning we drove through Sydney’s morning mist and arrived at the warehouse to prepare the motorbike for its journey with Thai Airlines. We stripped it first on an aluminum pallet. But after a test lift with the fork lifter it was clear that it would be too unstable. With another wooden pallet under it looked much better and we stored the panniers and helmets on it and wrapped everything in plastic foil. Finally it was done. Time to say good-bye! It is every time a strange feeling to leave our motorbike behind. But we had a pretty good feeling with the shipping company and nothing could be done anyhow anymore…

Being pedestrians now we were looking for the bus back to Chris` place, to Mona Vale, and when he was back from work we went together to the sailing club for dinner with another friend of him. On our last day in Sydney Chris took us around with his car and for the dinner we had our “last supper” at a Thai place together with more friends of Chris. Chris is going soon to cross South America, a five month trip on his motorbike; we have to admit we are a bit jealous… But before the trip he is coming to Germany and we hope he is visiting us!

Time to say good-bye to Sydney and Australia and we left early morning with the bus to the Airport. Our flight was going with China Western Airlines, via Shanghai. So we were facing another 34 hours travelling before we would enter Germany again… Still it felt unreal!

Freezing Highland Lakes and homemade cheese for our farewell to Tasmania

Blogstart-Tasi-to-MarulanCurrently we found shelter in a horse stall “a la France” – our “secret place”… you can read more about that in our next update which will come soon. But for the beginning we will close the gap between: our last days in Tasmania and our way up to Sydney.

When we left Eggs and Bacon Bay fully packed we were escorted by beautiful rainbows. Mac the owner of the shack we stayed asked if we really want to leave and why we do not stay a bit longer. We asked him to stay for 3 nights and been there for over two month, so the time has come finally…

We knew our next destination would be Longford, next to Launceston, where we had already contacted Fiona and Barry to host us. So we chose a nice detour route. We passed the last time Mt Wellington and Hobart, went up to Bothwell and turned on to gravel roads to pass Lake Sorell via Interlaken. We enjoyed the ride and with the sunset we reached the place of Fiona and Barry. They welcomed us warmly and we spent a pleasant night cooking the fish we brought with us (our last catch from Eggs and Bacon Bay), chatting and drinking wine together with their friend Margaret, who is a passionate motorcycle rider herself. We could have spent much more time with them but unfortunately our time was running; the ferry back to the mainland would leave in two days’ time and there was one region of Tasmania which we would like to explore before we have to leave: The Highland Lakes.

Early the next morning we left and head off. Pretty quick we went up the narrow turns and after that we were driving most of the day on an altitude of 1000m around the lakes. Partially it was cold we have to admit – but we had a sunny and calm day which made the ride a great pleasure with stunning views. Close to Deloraine we had a walk down to the Liffey Falls and by the end of the day we reached the place of Tim who would host us for the last night in Tasmania. When we arrived he was just busy together with a guy from Sweden to make grape juice. Tim is living in a little nice place in the Western Creek. He has some chicken and a few cows, a dog and is growing his own veggies and berries. He is producing his own juices, jams, wines, yoghurt, butter and cheese! During the evening we had the great opportunity to test through his varieties: brie, feta, mozzarella, gouda,… together with a good glass of wine. This was the best cheese we have had since a long long time! Thank you so much and let us know when you start to export! The next morning we even could prepare a new cheese culture together. Outside it was grey and rainy and we spent the morning together until we finally had to leave to catch our night ferry – with a slight melancholy feeling.

When we arrived early morning in Melbourne it was really cold and Sascha was happy once more to have his heated grips. Around noon the sun got stronger and when we took the ferry to Raymond Island we were happy to reach the place of Pete where we could get out of our motorbike gear. Pete was living on this little island nearly all his life and he took us around and showed us all the interesting places. Unfortunately the weather forecast for the next 4-5 days was actually very bad and we decided to leave early morning the next day already… It was the right decision! All the way direction north through the mountains we were just escaping the heavy rain front. Spontaneously we contacted our friends in Marulan which is about 100km south of Sydney if we could stay with them earlier than planned. After a long day riding, we did nearly 680 km through the mountains and mostly on an altitude of 1000m we reached the place of Barbara and Sean. Happy and dry – and when we heard that the south region was nearly drowning because of heavy rain falls we were even more happy (not for them but for us ;)!

To warm up we had a jump into their gorgeous spa-pool under the stars and we spent all in all 10 great days together. For one night we went to Sydney to enjoy the great “VIVID Light SHOW” which gave us the possibility to see Sydney’s attractions in a “different light”. But as well we had days which made us think what is coming next for us…

Have a look soon at our next Blog update to experience how and where we end up…

Time to say goodbye and to travel new terrain

BlogStartAfter staying in a place longer than 2-3 nights is always a little bit sad and strange if you have to leave again. Though it is always exciting to discover new terrains without question! You leave people behind you became friends with and you leave a sort of your comfort zone once again. It is amazing how quick you get used to little luxury things like knowing where you can buy something, where you can have your next shower, doing your laundry or just where you going to sleep the next night. On the other hand exactly these “mysteries” make your voyage so interesting…

Anyhow for us it is time to say goodbye once more to all our friends over here, to all the birds which are used meanwhile to get fresh bread crumbs from us in the morning and to our housemates, the possums. Probably we will never go again fishing that often and we will never eat so much fish again. We always found it fabulous going out to the rocks for fishing, never mind the weather really. Every time it is different, you see new things. Either a manta ray, some seals or dolphins are passing by or you can see enormous cloud formations or magical rainbows or romantic sunsets…

Apropos „goodbye“! For Kerstin it was time to say goodbye as well to one of her favorite shirts… more holes than merino wool after 20 month on the bike.

For our last two days in Tasi we planned a nice route and we are lucky that we found people on the road who will host us. At the moment we have very stormy weather; sometimes we think we are going to fly away together with the shack the next second. Somehow funny, because we had nearly the same conditions when we arrived here two month ago… The wind will take us away to new terrains…

Eggs and Bacon keeps us alive

Tasi what roads...... ;)

Is it really true? Yes it is indeed! We are still based in Mac`s beautiful beach shack at Eggs and Bacon Bay, south-east of Tasmania! Did we stop our trip? NO! It is just a perfect place at this time of the year (winter is coming… and there are some really cold nights already) to discover Tasmania. Is that boring??? NOT AT ALL!!! Here you can find a lot to see and many people to meet…

We are not getting tired riding around all this little roads (sometimes even with a bus which Mac sponsored us for some days ;). Mainly gravel but mostly in really good condition. The autumn tints everything in beautiful colors and after the morning mist we have mostly sunny days – it can get really cold at night and we always adore having our warm dry shack to come back to. Several trips provided an insight into different sceneries and scenarios. On the Tasmanian Peninsula for example we got shocked; still you could see the leftovers from the bushfires from the beginning of the year. Properties and houses burnt down completely…  On the other hand you find beautiful wild cliffs to hike along. And when it was time for dinner a guy just passed by and gave us a big piece of fresh blue fin tuna. When we stayed overnight next to the “Remarkable Cave” we met a nice couple, Barbara and Sean from NSW. They visited us in our shack for a night and we had a good time together. Another day we went up to Mt Wellington (1270m) where we could overlook Hobart and the whole south-east of Tasmania from above. We had a great boat trip with Mac and his poodle Noodle on their new sailing boat to a 30-year-old shipwreck. For one night we had the possibility to host Cat and Kev (http://www.rtwadv.com/) and exchange experiences. For a longer trip we went up the east coast; Coles Bay, which lies beneath pink granite peaks and where we met Lindsey (travelling around Tassi on his Enfield Bullet 500; further up to the Bay of Fires with endless beaches and lovely rock formations where you really feel like you reached the end of the world; and finally we crossed to the middle of the east part of the island. A spectacular ride was the “Jacobs Ladder” on Mt Ben Lomond with nobody else around. When we were leaving our camp in the forest and heading towards it early morning, Ben Lomond was still covered completely in clouds. We chose forest tracks and enjoyed beautiful morning scenarios while coming closer. With our arrival the mist was gone or rather was bedding low below us in the valleys below. We had stunning views when we were climbing up the “Ladder” with its narrow dirt serpentine up to 1574 meter!!!

Beside the trips there are wonderful things to do in and around our shack. Like going fishing, collecting shells and building wind games out of it, cleaning up the garden, fixing the fence, reading a good book or just watching the bay and listening to the waves with a glass of wine or two. Meanwhile we became friends with our housemates, a mixed possum couple (golden and black) and we converted our barbecue to a bird feeding station (if we sleep to long and they cannot find bread crumbs they knock the door).

You always meet interesting people if you take your time and chat around. Or they approach you; as we met “The Dragon Lady”, Atti, during shopping, who became famous riding her bike around Australia and we meet her regularly. Or Rolf, German, but living since 30 years in AU, who stopped us on the road because of the German number plate and invited us to his home where Anna his wife prepared yummy snacks for us. The time of the year was maybe not perfect because you would not like to stay every day in a tent. But thanks to this entire lovely people we got the possibility to enjoy and discover Tasmania intensive and always in a good mood.

Soon the day will come to say good-bye to everybody. The ferry is booked and we will head off to mainland at May 28th. Like usual the route is not fixed but we will head direction Sydney. About km South of Sydney we are going to meet some friends again, Barbara and Sean, the couple we met here in Tasmania – we are looking forward to see them again!

Sascha installed heated grips on the Twin, what a difference this is! Hands are not freezing anymore. It´s much safer and convenient as well… ;)  And Kerstin inherited his merino wool gloves.

^^Thats the 70st SLIDESHOW we hope you still enjoy them! Let us know if not and….. hmmmmm, guess you have to live with it ;)