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Old 06-08-2011, 09:23 AM   #1
RobBD OP
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From Perth in Top Gear

I better fill you all in about part one before I start riding part two in a couple of days.
Ok Part One
The idea started at Christmas time when my wife gave my daughter, Kate and I tickets to the Top Gear World Tour Show in Melbourne in March . I looked at Kate and smiled, I think it took her about one nano-second to read my mind. Melbourne is only about 3500kms away – perfect distance for a little ride. The tricky bit was the time to do it. Kate operates her own business so had to spend time working most days on the road and though my wife would easily run our business it was a busy time for me to be away. The compromise was to ride to Melbourne over a week and then jump on planes – Kate to Sydney for her next job and me back to Perth.
Thanks to Dale and Pam for the space in their garage for our bikes for a couple of weeks ….. or that’s what we thought then, but more of that later
OK so lets get back to the start, the bikes, I’m on a ’06 BMW 1200gs and Kate is on a 2010 BMW F650gs. Sorry - didn’t get a pic of the two bikes at the start – here’s one from half way through.



Well departure day arrived and it took me a while to fit a new screen to Kate’s bike, pack and add ADV stickers to my bike so we ended up getting away by noon. The extra height of the screen made a big difference particularly in South Australia where we got hit by windy conditions. Not sure the ADV stickers increase the speed of the GS but they did make it look better!!!
Had a last duty family stop in Toodyay then on the road.

The plan was to camp most nights, so we took everything ….. kitchen sink …. food for weeks …. cameras… chargers and more chargers ..and the Top gear tickets. What is that saying “Take half as much stuff and twice the money" In fact I might put that to road test one day – just leave with empty panniers and buy what I need if I really I need it. The other part of the part of the plan was to ride to Melbourne and get there Friday night or at worst Saturday morning, end of plan.

As next day was Sunday we weren’t sure what towns would be open in the wheat belt so we stopped to top up with fuel at Meckering.
Found these V8 monsters sitting at the servo – which apparently they do a lot of -frequently. “Awesome in a straight line between fill ups but they don’t turn so good” the boys said.




Kate practicing sign for the coming 3400kms




Oops that’s right we have a set of Scala G4 inter-comms. Great bit of gear.

We headed south of Meckering about 20km and found a not so tidy gravel pit to set up camp in. So day one we hadn’t covered many miles but at least we were under way. The first night on a trip, camped under the stars you can feel some of the work stress drip away

Next day we wandered across to Hyden and then on the gravel to Norseman
Last stop before we lose reception for 300kms



The Go Pro got fitted for the 300km of gravel road between Hyden and Norseman - it didn’t work at all on the screen not surprisingly but we had to try so it was back onto the helmets. Someone much more tech savy than me is still putting the GoPro footage together so will keep you posted.

The turn off for the Holland Track – I was tempted -the track was dry - unlike last time I did it- but we were on mission



Saw a few of these cute little guys. The Thorny Devil - these guys change colors depending on their surroundings



We camped night two a few kms shy of Norseman – not many miles for the day but we had but we weren’t in a hurry
Then onto the Nullarbor - there had been a lot of rain so it was all green, no roos- they were all being smart and staying well away from the road.

Some people can’t read signs when they are chasing shade under the only tree within about 5kms of the roadhouse



On the Nullarbor somewhere

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Old 06-09-2011, 05:09 AM   #2
zadok
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Great trip so far. I did the trip once in '08, but all on tar seal.
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Old 06-09-2011, 07:31 AM   #3
RobBD OP
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I just don’t get this – people hanging crap on dead trees - what do they do carry a pair of sneakers (in this case) around so they can hang them in a tree somewhere if they see one. There is some odd trees out there – soft toys – bras – beer cans – knickers – camp chairs? Someone is driving past thinks “Oh a chair tree - I’ll put my chair on that tree so for the next few nights I can sit on the dirt???” So the rest of us get to look at a bunch of trash hanging in the trees

There was plenty of this checking and changing chargers- phones, headsets, camera batteries


Kate is a producer of TV adverts and last year she made an ad out on the Nullarbor at a roadhouse/town called Mundrabilla. If you happen to visit Mundrabilla call in and check out the sign inside. The ad was about banking in the West and not sending your money to the big banks based in Sydney and Melbourne.




We headed down into the Eyre Peninsula after Ceduna and spent the night in Streaky Bay. Beautiful town – had a feed of fresh fish and oysters overlooking the beach. Magic. Sorry the photos were blurry!

Wandered back inland a little then cut back towards this town then back to the main highway




Headsets are great and then you rely on them, then you get separated and the headset doesn’t work so you sit in a little town looking at wheat silos wondering if you were the other person where would you meet up – not here obviously – there must be a much more central location



This is where to meet – halfway, or at least next to the Halfway Across Australia sign.



Kate found someone better to chat to after a couple of days with her Dad



The Big Galah



Some towns you ride into and you get a vibe - some good, some weird - on the day we rode into this little South Australian town the aliens had been before us and sucked everyone out – not a single living thing except to the two aliens walking slowly back along the jetty this way us to claim us as well. We left before we were absorbed. Sorry, it’s probably a really nice town but I’m not going back.



We didn't go into Adelaide instead we took a winding route inland riding along some fantastic roads through the Clare and Barossa Valley’s

Last minute check of those charges before we head out from our Clare motel.



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Old 06-10-2011, 08:14 AM   #4
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Then we got to the Barossa Valley – no time to stop and sample the famous wines at the cellar doors – we had done that the night before







Kingston - we did have a lobster dish at the restaurant here, it was good so they can build’em and cook‘em
Another “giant thing “ photo - of a giant crayfish as we call them – lobsters to the rest of you. I have a bit of an interest in these big things having built a 40 feet long fiberglass whale shark at one stage



Over the border







And then onto the Great Ocean Road. This road must be one of the most travelled, riden, and photographed roads in Australia. Awesome scenery, awesome numbers of cars and vans and only a couple of bikes but worth the ride.











You can tell when you are in Melbourne lots of birds.




We made it to Melbourne on the Friday, parked up the bikes and flew off, oh yes the Top Gear World Tour show - yep good reason for ride.




Now part two that should’ve started in April but it finally starts this Sunday, in the middle of winter.
So off to buy thermals and a waterproof camera . Couple of things I did realise doing this report is how long reports take to do so a big thank you to those that do lots of reports especially when they are on the road. Another realisation is that I need more photos!
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:30 AM   #5
RobBD OP
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Quote:
Great trip so far. I did the trip once in '08, but all on tar seal.
Thanks Marty.
Across the Nullarbor - its a trip thats worth it and nowhere near as boring as some would have us believe. The 300km of dirt from Hyden to Norseman probably wont be there much longer sadly.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:12 AM   #6
obsidian
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Looks like a great trip guys! The thorny devil is awesome, still haven't seen one in person. Where to next?
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:44 AM   #7
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Looking forward to reading more
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Old 06-11-2011, 07:34 AM   #8
RobBD OP
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Well I got the thermals and bonus -some warm pad things that are guaranteed to keep penguins warm - apparently! Oh and a camera that can be eaten by a dog and still take pictures. All set then. I meant to print out a map of how to get out of Melbourne - that didn't happen so I 'll be following directions from my bike hostess , Pam -till I forget them after that it'll be following my nose.
I have week before I have to meet Kate back in Melbourne for the run back to Perth, I have no maps or GPS so who knows where I'll go in that week( relied on Kates iphone to get us into Melbourne) i might head east and follow the coast more?? or maybe into a servo a and get a map might be the best plan.

So thats the plan Joe - pretty much there's not one. Those thorny devils - we saw about six within a couple of kms then no more but anytime you and Flora want to come back I'll take you to the spot!
Thanks Michael, it'll be a couple of weeks - sorry not as techno-savy as all these other travellers that do this stuff on the road!
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