Tag Archives: Australia

Ride to „the Edge of the World“, …

BlogstartTasipassing the magnificent western wilderness to the southernmost point of mainland Tasmania, shelter at “Eggs and Bacon” and finally FISH!

Even though we became a little bit nervous on the farm, because we stayed much longer than initially planned, we enjoyed staying there and the mixed pickles of all the different people around. Really heavy rain and cold gusty wind let us rest a couple of days longer than expected with our friends. We had a lot of fun doing “Ravioli à la Oscar”, roasting a pork head and sitting together in front of a warm oven. Sunday noon the weather cleared and we went all together to a forest close by, exploring the wilderness and a huge waterfall. At Stanley, the historic town with his iconic “Nut”, a 152m high cliff jutting out from a narrow isthmus once created of a long-extinct volcano. We walked up to the „Highfield Point” where we had great views all around. This sunny afternoon we decided to leave the next morning to go and see the rest of Tasmania.

So we did. We head west, passed Stanley and Smithon and reached “The Edge of the World” – a rugged coastline that was created by the wild “Roaring 40s”. Breathtaking huge waves came in and giant timber was all over the coast line. You really feel so tiny at this beautiful place. The weather was just fantastic; no wind and a sunny day let us undress more and more. From here we drove south. The “Western Explorer” a gravel road (someone said it is probably the most precious and expensive dirt road on our planet because it is made of white, crisp in the sun glittering Silicone Dust from the silicone mines on its way. You maybe got some of this dust in your computer or phone as it is exported to China and made into nice little gadgets and send all over the world again), passing several impressive wild coast beaches and entered the “Tarkine”, which is the largest temperate rainforest in Australia and the second largest in the world. We had two stunning days riding through this wilderness. The winding good gravel road made us just smile and each corner was presenting a new gorgeous view to us. The night we spent up on a plateau overseeing the spectacular wild scenery. We had some walks around but as soon as the sun set it became really chilly. We spent another half an hour watching the sky with its bright stars and sneaked early into our tent. When we woke up with the sunrise the next morning all the valleys around were still in thick mystical mist – it was cold but we were just happy and enjoyed the view while the sun was slowly warming us and we were sipping our hot coffee.

We loved the area so much that we decided in Corinna to do an extra loop instead going straight down to Strahan. We went up again, direction north-east to Waratah, the town of tin, and from there south again to Tullah, which sites beneath the 712 meter Mt Farrel, next to Lake Rosebery. While we were cruising around we found a lovely place at the lakeside and we spontaneous decided to stay overnight for the full moon. Some eagles were watching us when we were putting up the tent and our camp neighbors invited us to join them at their fireplace and so we spent the night chatting and drinking at the warm fire while drinking and chatting. Via Rosebery we followed a pleasant twisting road to Zeehan and shortly before Strahan a gusty cold wind with some drizzle of rain made us taking out our warm clothes and rain gears. I did not look good at all what was coming up there from the sea… and we shortly decided to go ahead and passing if possible the mountain part of the Lyell Highway. The scenery was great and the rest of the day we were continuing driving; always just escaping the black wall behind us. The wind became more and more gusty and cold and finally we left the high mountains behind us. Even though the storm went stronger and the dark wall came closer it was time of the day to look for a place to pitch the tent. We found a place next to a lake which seemed to be pretty sheltered. We put up the tent and had the worst cooking experience ever. The stormy wind was changing every second and just covering everything with sand dirt and leaves again and again. We somehow managed to cook and eat quickly when the rain started. The other day we bought a huge plastic cover but it was more keeping us awake and made horrible loud sounds at night flapping around in the storm. We had an early night; sitting inside the tent, looking at the map and wondering what we going to do tomorrow and how the weather will be…

Ahhh! Forgot one thing: We saw an Echidna!!! But the moment we recognized it on the side of the gravel road and stopped it disappeared in the high grass… and was never seen again unfortunately! Kerstin really hopes to see one once again; more closely!

When we crawled out of the tent the next morning it was bitterly cold but the weather was not looking too bad. If possible we wanted to drive the Gordon River Road to Strathgordon today. This is a 100km dead end road up to the Gordon Power Station Dam. But when we reached the crossing to turn into this road we were already wet and frozen. We were lucky! We had a contact south of Hobart who offered us to host us when we are around. We called Mac to ask if we could pass by already today and the answer was: “Of course no problem!” On the way we did some shopping and two hours later we arrived at Mac`s place. Mac and his Puddle Noodle welcomed us warmly with a cup of coffee and then he passed us the key to his beach shack at the “Eggs and Bacon Bay” with the words:” Stay as long as you want.”

We left Mac´s town house behind and drove into a black wall of rain. When we arrived at the bay the sun came out and we spent the evening watching the sunset and drinking a glass of vine on the rocks in front of “our” shack. The shack is a little house just one meter from the waterfront; you overview the whole bay from the window while you listen to the waves. The day after we arrived, we realized HOW lucky we are once again. It was “Good Friday” and the shacks around became more and more busy. Easter weekend! And we had a beautiful place to stay!!! And we really appreciated this fact especially during the stormy Easter nights.

The weather is changing constantly from a sunny warm summer day to chilly autumn just some hours later. We love the “Eggs and Bacon Bay” (though we would rename it to “Sunny Side Up Bay” from our point of view) and it is the place where we are still at the moment ;-) Since nearly two weeks now. We are fishing a lot and actually if we would only eat fish we would be completely self-sufficient, no need to buy anything. Fishing is a pleasure here, you just collect some mussels at the rocks, put them on the hook and throw it into the water and within seconds they are biting. It’s really surprising what you can find in these waters here. While fishing on a rock just 2-3 meters from the shore suddenly a 4 meter manta ray comes and looks what you are doing there. Hmmm, OK as far as I know they are not attacking when you are on a rock, my feet in the water though. But this one famous Australian Adventurer got killed by one, right? Never mind that one was not in an attacking mood. Than a day later on the same rock suddenly 3-4 seals passed by to say hello (and took all fish with them, no reason to continue fishing for that day). The shore is full of oysters and mussels which you just can collect to upgrade your lunch or dinner.

For us it is so great to have a warm dry beautiful base to explore all the surroundings! We did several day trips: to the Gordon Dam, where we could see the Russel Falls on the way and a lot of rain later on. To Bruny Island, this is nearly 100km long. From the tip of Dennes Point in the north to Cloudy Bay in the south the landscapes change from sandy beaches, tall forests to wild coastlines and we rode nearly each single existing road. We went down to the beautiful Cockle Creek at the South East Cape which is the southernmost point of mainland Tasmania – you cannot drive closer to the Antarctica!!! Or we just discovered the closer neighborhood… If it becomes too cold and windy we adore Mac`s great book collection and/or watch the stormy sea from our warm sheltered place. Or we work on our update ;-) And finally today we figured out the internet after we reinstalled the aerial on the roof. Hurray!!!

Only one morning we were a bit worried… suddenly we did not have water anymore. The rainwater tank was empty. As we could not see a connection to the roof when we arrived and the tank seemed already pretty empty we did not concern that much because we thought there must be any other water supply… and we did not think about it anymore – stupid us! We text Mac if he has any idea and he replied he filled the tank just recently. Hmmm… of course it was a Sunday! Luckily we still had some water bottles filled. We checked the pipes and found two leaking points which we fixed as good as we could. And Monday morning we found a freshwater supplier who came like promised in the afternoon and filled it up again for 115,- bugs. We are living here nearly alone in the Shack, nearly because there are several possum families all around. One family is an albino one, absolutely white. They are not shy at all and are having hard parties on the tin roof some nights… We saw on the road one Tasmanian Devil but it was too busy for a photo shooting (got one though), never mind next time Mate ;)

Like you see we have a pretty good time over here in Tasmania and we slowly have to plan how to travel on and explore the rest of it. We are so much obliged that Mac left us his slice of paradise for the time being what makes it so incredible much easier to us to discover and enjoy this beautiful part of Tasmania.

Loaded like never before, a flat tire, …

Nularbore

… a hangover and rain on the Nullarbor, beach life at Eyre Peninsula with a great host in Whyalla, interesting wildlife in Mt Remarkable Nature Park, never-ending turns in the Adelaide hills and a charming host in Port Wilunga.

There was no movement to see when we were checking the tracking number of our spare part from Hong Kong and we decided to move on. We agreed with Romy that she will send the parcel when it arrived, wherever we are than. Like we said before the plan is to take a spare tire with us to cross the Nullarbore; as well taking as much water and food as we can carry because everything will be limited and really expensive… A test loading made us smile: WOW! More is really not possible!

John gave us many interesting tips for little detours and we wanted to start from Esperance and crossing over to Balladonia via the Parmango Road. It was a great road which turned to a dirt track right through the bush after about 100 km. We found a charming deserted homestead which some people renovated and fixed for anybody to use for an overnight stay. Unfortunately it was too early for us to stay there but we explored each corner and had a break. After that some challenging sand holes and some really rocky parts appeared and we passed an interesting underwear-gate. There we recognized our flat rear tire… and the last 50 km until the Balladonia Roadhouse we stopped every ten km to pump it up again while sweating and passing the deep lane grooves which the road trains had left. For sure you would not like to ride this trail with rain!!!

Finally we reached the Highway and the first Roadhouse; we used our tire repair rubber fluid, pumped the tire up at and headed east. At the horizon were some dark clouds coming up and we were facing strong side wind; around 4pm we stopped at a rest area to check it out for the night. We met a guy doing tours over the Nullarbor with his group, a French woman and two Scotts. They immediately invited us for a cold beer and later on we were sitting together at the fireplace drinking beer, cider, vine and a real good malt whisky under the full moon…

Hmmm… the next morning we both had a “pretty” hangover… Still the wind was strong and we had some rain drops and really dark clouds coming up. We decided to stay on the highway. We drove along the ocean, passed Eucla and the old telegraph station and stopped at several viewpoints to watch down the high cliffs with a strong breeze. For the next night we found a rest area with a shelter where we could park the bike under and half the tent. At night we woke up a couple times from the rain showers. In the morning we shared the shelter with our camp neighbor family while some showers passed by. They are since 1 1\2 year on the road with their two kids in Australia and supplied us with a hot coffee therefor we did not need to unpack our kitchen bag once again. When we went back to the highway the rain stopped and we were driving with gusty winds further east. In Ceduna we stopped for shopping, met again the family from last night ;-), and headed south. Entering the Eyre Peninsula we found a lovely shady place a few hundred meters off the road in the bush for the night.

Streaky Bay did not really look interesting for us; we filled up our water bottles bought some bait and we drove about 180km south where we found a great little beach camp in the dunes. We had a big shady spot only for us… fishing, swimming, cooking, drinking vine. The next day we got some neighbors. A little “grey nomad caravan” was driving in with their trailers. We still had bait and we decided if we can get some drinking water we would like to stay another day. Kerstin took two bottles and went over; when she came close to the “round table” silence came over them. Friendly Kerstin welcomed the new neighbors and asked for any drinking water supply. One woman turned and simply said: “We are all short on water as well!” Kerstin was speechless for a second and replied with her biggest smile: “No worry, if YOU are short on water as well,” looking around the huge caravans with their water tanks “I will go over to the neighbors on the other side who offered us already yesterday to help us out if we need some.” Immediately two men jumped up, each grabbed a bottle, nodding: “Of course we have some water!”… Later on we had as well some nice chats with them but nevertheless we will never forget this situation.

After two beach days we crossed the Peninsula and drove up to Whyalla where we had a host via Couchsurfing. Alicia! An energetic uncomplicated young woman who traveled a lot with her bag pack around the world. She welcomed us together with her parents and we spent the evening talking talking talking… We did not have any news from our spare part yet so we stocked up our supplies at the local supermarket and left for the Mt Remarkable Nature Park.

The camp is located under big old Sweet Gum Trees and except one other camper van we were alone. The only really annoying thing was the flies… everywhere and really penetrant. We took out our fly nets and left for an10km hike. After the first few meter we met an emu couple and later on many roo`s and wallabies were crossing our path. The last two kilometers to the top we were more running than hiking because big red ants were eating us alive. When we reached the top we were completely sweated and disappointed about the lookout without a view… But we were happy because we knew we gone have a hot shower when we are back at the camp. We borough a bistro table and two chairs from the only hut which was there which was not rented and we spent the evening watching the wildlife, cooking and some red vine. The next morning we had a real pleasant 2,5 km hike, a relaxed breakfast with some roo`s, birds, emus and lizards around and after a last shower we were heading south.

We chose an inland road and were immediately rewarded with great turns on a narrow road through the forest. This day we did around 400 km until Port Willunga, South of Adelaide. We arrived just with the sunset at the house of Cara, Toff and their charming little son Trip. Usually we avoid driving in dusk or dawn and as well arriving that late at any people’s home, but we had to make an exception that day! We drove the inland road, past some remote villages, met a guy who was running a grocery in the original hundred years old house and born in Hamburg!, passed the beautiful Valley Clare and finally reached the Adelaide Hills. South of Gawler we were only driving in turns… turns turns turns! We drove more turns that day than in the last 7.5 month together in Australia and were purely enjoying that!!!

To stay with Cara, Toff and Trip (and his soon upcoming brother or sister – Cara is pregnant ;-) was just a pleasure! Every day we just walk to the beach, either morning or evening for a refreshing swim. They do run a bakery and today Kerstin had the chance to join Toff for one morning… watching everybody’s job and giving a helping hand where she could. Yesterday we went to the Deep Creek Nature Park for a hike; 11km up and down along the coast and through the bush… sweating like in hell, but we enjoyed it. Tomorrow we will head further east on the Great Ocean Road: The Ferry to Tasmania is booked for Saturday!!! Tasi we are finally coming!!!

Gorgeous hospitality and incredible beaches in and around Esperance

Esperance0018

Once more we experience a gorgeous hospitality! John and Steph invited us to stay over the weekend or even longer… We had to order a spare part for our GPS from Hong Kong. Unfortunately the Chinese were celebrating their Spring Festival and closed all their businesses for the time being. Finally we did an express order and we still wait for its arrival.

In between we explored the closer surroundings on our own: the Great Ocean Drive, the Cape Arid National Park, the Cape Le Grand National Park, the Wetlands… Beautiful places, endless white beaches, turquoise bays, lovely rock formations. For sure it is not a place where you get bored. We learn a fair bit about kangaroo breeding. Steph adopted two roo babies who need care taking and we can tell you they are really funny and just lovely to watch hanging in their pouches or hopping around in the garden and exploring everything. We attended a Harbor bus tour where we learned a lot about the history of Esperance and the importance of their harbor. As well John showed us the fire station with their entire equipment and we met many of John’s mates having barbecue together. Romy could manage to bring her bus “Gigi” alive again with the support of John and Leithen. As well she passed her English test and so we had enough reasons to celebrate and Steph organized a big fondue evening. Kerstin is cooking and baking bread nearly every day. We always enjoy chatting and eating together in the evening. One afternoon John took us out to the shooting range and we could practice shooting under his supervision – a great experience!  John is attending a shooting competition in Roturua, New Zealand. He left already and Steph will follow him in a few days to enjoy their holidays together over there. We have to admit we are a little bit jealous. We would love to have a visit to New Zealand and see all our friends again! Hopefully one day; not for now…

Thanks to Steph, John, Romy, Leiten… and the roos we enjoy our stay in Esperance to the max! But Tasmania is waiting for us and we hope to receive our spare part on Monday and we can go back on the road again…

 

X-mas á la Aussi and once more time to say goodbye

Blogstart

We nearly felt like adopted from our farm family and enjoyed X-Mas á la Aussi very much. Christmas Eve we were invited to Crayfish from Jill and Eric – hmmm, so yummy – and even Santa passed by with a new shirt for each of us (so we are proud owner of unpatched shirts again ;-) Jill was always dreaming of the German “Apfelstrudel” and Kerstin did prepare one as a X-Mas present: “showing them how a German Apfelstrudel looks like” HaHa…the result out of the oven looked impressive but not at all like a Strudel ;-) at least the taste was not too bad.

The next day at afternoon we went to town to join their big family meeting having some drinks and nibbles to eat here and there. The last Christmas day we spent with the other part of the family at the beach having some more drinks and afterwards playing pool, dart, dancing with a couple of more drinks and eating prawns… ;-) All this happened within a heat wave and mostly we had around 45° C at day and around 28°C at night… and honestly we were not always feeling really fit when we woke up…  But we really liked this type of X-Mas and they did not leave us much room to feel homesick.

In-between Kerstin had time to look after her little garden. It is just amazing how fast everything is growing here. We do have every day fresh herbs for cooking like basil, thyme, rosemary, chili and many many delicious water melons!

New Year’s Eve we spent on the veranda overviewing the valley with part of the family… eating delicious and of course sharing some drinks… Now it will be time for a diet soon or we will not fit into our motorbike clothes anymore ;-)

Cinema… a luxury we do not allow our self that often. But as they were showing “The Hobbit” in 3D we could not resist. We really enjoyed it, especially the memories we have when we saw the landscapes of New Zealand again…

The Cyclone Narrell took our attention for some days… We were facing some weird weather like fog, cloudy days with strong winds or without any movement or any bird whistle which was actually the scariest – just total silence with no movements. We could watch some incredible cloud walls and were prepared for the worst… But in the end of the day we were lucky again: Narrell just passed by more or less harmless for us. So far we were never really facing one of these dangerous nature powers like fire, flood, storms and we certainly hope it will stay like that!

Now after staying 3 ½ month on the farm we honestly get ready to go on the road again. Even though it is hard to imagine on one hand we are also excited of the upcoming part of journey on the other hand. Somehow the farm became like a home for us – we never stayed in a place that long before and we definitely will miss the people. For sure it will be hard and hot in the beginning; back on the road with a full loaded bike and all the gears again…hurting bottoms… ohoh. “Don`t be a princess” or “go to the Hardware Store and get some HardenUP!”the Aussies would say! If nothing goes wrong we will hit the road around the 27th and we will not have that often phone or internet connection anymore. But we will try to catch up as soon as possible. On the way to Tasmania!

See you mates!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you

New Logo RTWbyBIKE.com

And a BIG THANKS to everybody we met on our journey so far!!!

35°C, blue sky, sheep, kangaroos, the ocean and a little Christmas tree on the table ;-)

Looking back to an amazing year we are enjoying our farm life for the time being. We experienced so much, we have seen so many places, countries, cultures, and we met incredible lovely people all over – we really appreciate this break here to recap and going back in our memories…

Even though we are already travelling much slower than the most other bike travelers sometimes we wish we would have stayed longer in certain locations or we would have spent more time with the people we met. We did not experience anything really bad on our whole journey so far – touch wood!!! The opposite: We received so much help from so many people all over which gave us strength and hope – even in tough situations. Indeed we do not regret any second!

What is really amazing too is that we spend nearly 24 hours a day together the last 14 month and we are still happy together!!! Of course there were as well moments where we would like to slaughter each other… but these were only moments ;-) Truly we even feel strange when we are separated for more than an hour meanwhile. “True love!” ;-)

As well it is nice to realize how little you actually need… Still we are on the road with our first equipment more or less. OK some items are nearly falling apart meanwhile but most of it we could repair. And here we have the advantage to get proper tools to do so. A sewing machine provided by Gil gave Kerstin the chance to patch almost everything. All kind of tools are available here for us so we could manage to do some maintenance at our motorcycle as well. Sascha did well! He changed the steering bearing by himself. The biggest challenge here was probably that we run out of power caused by a thunder storm after everything was taken apart. Parts were spread around in the middle of the shed in-between all the olive barrels. And Sascha needed to grind before we could continue… In the end we could use Eric’s generator which just produced enough power to run the grinder. But now it was dark already and we had to put the bike together with head torches as the only of source of light. Happy we finished in the middle of the night; we left the shed just to see the power came back some time ago ;-) Also Sascha took the chance to give him a welding lesson. And after some practice he welded our panniers holder! This rack has been welded about 18 times. In Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia (a BIG thank you to Sunny Cycle in KL once again!!!) and finally in Down Under. I hope this was the last time now!

Kerstin became a Christmas Elf helping to prepare hampers full of olive products and Sascha had time to maintenance the bike. If the weather is right we go fishing and spend the night at the beach, we do some sightseeing in the nearer surrounding or just meeting up with friends for some beers.

What is coming next? No detailed plan yet. We will probably leave our “farm life” behind beginning of next year and as we are really keen to see Tasmania – we will head direction south. It is just 4500-5000 km from here to catch the ferry… Around the corner ;-) Anyhow you will read from us soon.

WE WISH YOU ALL A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR. As well we want to take the opportunity to THANK everybody we met and we hope to see you all again – when and wherever!