Go West young men!
We rode out of Strathgordon the next morning with the west side of Tassie on our agenda. For me the west coast was something I was really looking forward to. I had read and heard many stories of raw and rugged beauty. I wasn't sure if it was at all possible to better what we had already ridden through in Tasmania, we were keen to find out.
Unfortunately halfway out the Gordon River Road to the Lyell Highway heading west the heavens opened on to us. Visibility was reduced to a minimum and even though we had all our wet weather riding gear on, cold set in. My heated handle grips that all my mates made fun of me for having fitted to the bike became an absolute lifesaver. Looking at Hydro through the heavy wet haze of rainfall ahead of me, I felt sorry for him on his other than Safari Tank, stock standard Suzuki DR650. The guilt of my heated grips soon vanished as the rest of my body chilled to below normal operating temperature...
Now having got so far across Australia without seeing rain for so long I still consider myself very fortunate. The last time I had seen rain was a welcomed tropical shower relieving me from the Kimberly wet season humidity!
After a few hours the novelty wore off and the pain of my damaged shoulder really kicked in. At this point I was picturing old men sitting on verandas in rocking chairs, saying "Its gonna rain I tell ya, I can feel it in my bones" and now I was a believer in their body felt forecasts. My drugs to dull the shoulder pain weren't doing their job. My bones were a hurtin' !!!
The only reprieve from the wet cold before Queenstown was the Wall in the Wilderness. Just before Derwent Bridge a wood sculptor, Greg Duncan has created an absolute amazing work of art, history, sculpture. On massive 1 metre wide by 3 metre high panels linked together his work in progress depicts wonderful scenes of Tasmanian animals, history of local workers of forestry and Hydro-Electric schemes. Once completed will total 100 metres of carvings! If you go through here, check it out. Its well worth it, the sheer scale is admirable with the effort and detail gone to. The warm fires burning also gave me the needed strength to carry on. Sorry I don't have photos as cameras were not allowed within the gallery. As very tempting as it was to fire off a few sneaky shots, I respected the copyright requests made by the artist.
Again I apologize for no photos or footage of this stretch of road to Queenstown and beyond. The pain from my damaged shoulder had me dry reaching in my helmet and wailing. Making it to Queenstown eventually, had us booking our bikes and gear into the Empire Hotel with its heritage listed staircase and me being put straight into Queenstown Hospital...
Scary X-rays of my stretched ligaments barely keeping my right shoulder assembly together were more than enough reason for the doctors to give lovely pain relieving injections. The doctors wouldn't release me until I promised rest for a few days then to ride on out of Queenstown and out of Tasmania to the rest and clean up destination of my folks place in Eden NSW. I didn't need to be told twice. My body was already screaming at me...
(Hoon) Any person who drives or rides in a dangerous and/or fast manner which is anti-social towards the standards of modern day society.
(Lunatic) A person whose actions and manner are marked by extreme eccentricity or recklessness.