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Old 08-03-2011, 03:56 AM   #31
Guzzioverland OP
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Originally Posted by vasar View Post
Hi, Kev and Karen. I saw you at the border of Mongolia in Tashanta.
Hi, that seems like a lifetime ago. Good memories though !
Were you guys from Estonia who were with a guy on a Honda trail bike.?

Mongolia was amazing, one of the highlights of our trip. So much space, freecamping heaven

Cheers
Kev
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:02 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by waterlilly View Post
We are in the process of putting one together here in Ontario, Canada for Mid Sept 2012. Love to have you if your heading this way.
Its possible (although unlikely) we might be there then. We will definitely keep it in mind.
We met some great people at that meet and really enjoyed it.
Thanks for the invite.

Cheers
Love the web site& your blog here so far.
Thanks ! more on the way soon.
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:44 AM   #33
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Blog 176 All right now 28th July – 5th August 2011


The cylinder head arrived on Thursday morning. We were really pleased to see it but this was also sods law in action.We had been invited to Rhonda & Gary’s Wednesday night, they cooked us a smashing roast dinner and it turned into a really good evening. After dinner Gary got out the local specialty Bundaberg Rum as he found out we hadn’t tried it. He is a very hospitable fella Gary so we had a few generous ones of them and then he broke the Port out and we had a few of them as well.
Rum and Port the worst hangover we have had since we left. Karen hardly got out of bed all day and I didn’t feel to flash either.
I managed to get my head together enough to put the bike back together and had her running by the afternoon. Karen was just about feeling human by teatime and after dinner we packed up in prepation to leave next day.
Next morning we had a nice send off from Rhonda and Gary and a few other people we had got friendly on the site.


They suggested a slight detour inland to Finch Hatton and Eungella National Park.
Finch Hatton was first and didn’t disapoint, we walked up to Araluen cascades which was a nice walk through temperate rainforest. Doubling back slightly we then carried on to Callistemon crossing where the path crosses above the waterfall.
There were lots of huge boulders out in the creek allowing us to rock hop out midstream and get some good pictures.The lizards are called Skinks and bask on the boulders to warm up


See the full gallery on Posterous

When we got back it was lunchtime and picnic tables were provided so we went and got our lunch. As we sat down a flock of Cookaburras settled on the two branches either side of us.
This was a bit of a novelty at first and we thought that they were just waiting for scraps after we left.
Oh no not these Cookaburras they weren’t content with crumbs they wanted the whole sandwich. There were about seven or eight by now and they sat in three different trees so we couldn’t keep an eye on all of them at once, they then took turns to dive bomb us to raid our lunch. One snatched a slice of bread off my plate as I turned to pick up something, clearly this was war so Karen made us a sandwich each while I batted off incoming raiders. We were eating said sandwiches when one of the blighters swooped between us and grabbed the second half of my sandwich out of my hand before devouring it in front of me the swine. We had to admit defeat and move on so cheeky were they.

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After our short lunch we carried on along the valley before climbing up the side of the hill to Eungella. The last section was a really steep climb but it was worth it for the view, we were suddenly back in cool temperate rain forest. Just beyond Eungella is Broken River, Gary told us to stop here as you can sometimes see platypuses in the river. The first campsite we rode into was closed for winter but a nice lady there said we could ride around the post and camp for free-bonus.!

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It was a small but nice National Parks campsite and allowed us to go for a couple of walks through the rainforest before we lost the light, just before dark we went back to the river to try and spot a platypus as dusk and dawn are their most active times.
They are shy secretive creatures and we didn’t see any that evening but we vowed to get up early and try again early in the morning. The alarm woke us up at 5.30am owch and we were packed up and away by 7am which is a record for us. Just after 7am we went back down to the river and after a few minutes waiting we saw one swimming up the river. They are tiny only 30 to 40cm long and very cute looking, the males actually have a poisonous barb on there back legs which are powerful enough to kill an animal the size of a dog and inject a human withpain so excruciating that the victim would be rendered helpless. It is said to last for weeks as well although the chances of ever being stung are incredibly remote. They are one of only three types of egg laying mammal in the world and they find their prey using electrolocation sensing tiny electrical impulses as anything moves once they have shovelled up the bottom of the riverbed with their bill. We see two more before they hide away for the day, we feel very privilidged to have seen them. The pictures are sadly a little blurry as they were a fair way away and there wasn’t much light but at least we got some.
The first picture is of a strangler fig, followed by a turtle and an Azure Kingfisher which we spotted while we were waiting.


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After breakfast at the excellent picnic facilities (Australia does this very well, there are even free public gas bbq’s) we head back toward Mirani, from here we cut across through a lovely area of farming country. Farming here mainly consists of growing sugarcane and the whole area is criss crossed with narrow gauge railways used to cart the cane. We really enjoyed the ride back the road swooped gently past fields and fields of cane interspersed with small villages and it was a shame when it came to an end and we had to turn back on the Bruce Highway (the main north south coast road)

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Back on the main highway we cruised for quite a while at 100kmh (the legal limit) The bike was running okay and a lot cooler but still smoking and spitting oil from the breather which wasn’t a good sign. Suddenly something let go in a big way, the oil breather was hosing out smoke and oil and the bike was only running on one cylinder.
We limped off the main highway onto a deserted side road and found some shade. We were in the middle of nowhere so we made the decision to pull down the offending cylinder (the same side as before) to see what had happened.
The result wasn’t pretty although thankfully the new head and the cylinder (barrel) were okay. Removing the cylinder revealed a bunch of smashed up rings and the cause of our problem.
The piston had cracked between the rings and the whole ring land had gone which explains why the rings were smashed. I removed the cylinder in Mackay to check and the rings were all intact then but I supect the crack caused by detonation had been spreading unseen for some time which was what was causing the smoking and pressurising the crankcase.

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I put the cylinder back together again roughly just to keep the muck out and pondered our next move. Karen rang Rhonda as we knew they had gone up to Townsville for the weekend to see if they could suggest anything.
We obviously don’t have any recovery but luckily for us Rhonda and Gary said if we could wait until the next day they could borrow a trailer from a mate on the way back and rescue us. That was a relief and as it was obvious we weren’t going anywhere that night we put up the tipi on the side of the road. Just as we had almost finished a Ute (pickup) pulled over, it was the owner of the adjacent property on his way back from work in the cane fields.
He asked what was wrong and after we explained he said you guys have had a bad day I’ll be back in a minute. He disapeared off and came back with an Esky full of beer and had a good yarn with us for an hour or more before inviting us down to the house later.
Next day mid afternoon Rhonda and Gary showed up as promised and we winched the bike on to the trailer. We had been trying to think of a plan B rather than going back to Mackay so I had been on the internet all morning. We broached the subject of taking us to Airlie Beach instead, they were happy to do this as it wasn’t that far. It made such a difference as the campsite was cheaper, in the middle of town and surrounded by things to do while we were waiting for parts.
Mark from Canberra had mentioned in a previous conversation that he had some spare pistons and barrells, so I rang him first. He has been such a help here and came up trumps again with a good second hand barrel and piston and got it shipped to us at the campsite. Thanks Mark !!!!
Then I rang Mario from Thunderbikes again (rapidly becoming Saint Mario of Perth) to organise piston circlips and gaskets. I had also noticed a crack appearing in one of the exhaust clamps, Mario wasn’t sure if he had one but he said he would see what he could do.
We could now relax and enjoy Airlie Beach, it’s touristy as it’s the launching point for the beautiful Whitsunday Islands but it made a nice change to be somewhere busy and tourist friendly. It was a 50metre walk from the campsite to the main street which was only a stones throw from the beach and lagoon.
Kev is walking the tightrope that an Austrian couple had erected in the site it was great fun but really hard work as it was really wobbly.
Next day we arranged to go out on a boat trip out to the islands including two snorkels to view the coral and sealife. It was amazing snorkelling, lots of colourful fish and all kinds of beautiful coral, it looked like a fantasy world inhabited by strange and beautiful creatures and we both loved the experience. A combination of a fast boat and a choppy sea made the boat ride exiting too.
The bird is a hummingbird or bee eater (I think) we saw it walking around town.


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That night when we got back the rafting guys said come down to the bar later which we did.
It turned into a good evening, we got a cheap meal and drinks as part of the deal and had a fun evening with a French/English couple who were on our trip. The bar had lots of games like monster jenga, connect 4, table tennis, pool and silly games with the patrons. The picture of Kev on stage is a game called Heads and Tails, you have to put your hands on your head or tail before a coin is flipped, last man standing wins. Except they didn’t mention until we were up on stage you could forfeit a piece of clothing to stay in. I did pretty well and came second without too much loss of dignity.


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At midday the next day our parcels came and I changed the piston and barrel together with checking the other side, it took all afternoon but went well and I finished just before dark. Mario sent us an exhaust clamp off one of his personal bikes to keep us going asking us to return it when out trip was finished. His support and that of the Guzzi community has been incredible !
Next morning it was test ride time, it fired up and ran well, the smoking from the breather has completely stopped and I feel confident we have go tot the bottom of the problem now.
From Airlie Beach we rode to Townsville via Bowen (the mural town) and the bike ran well all day with no trace of smoke, oil leaks or detonation. We had an invite to stay with Dale a mate of Graeme and Cindy the couple who put us up in Sydney. Dale is a amiable laid back Scotsman and made us very welcome. We had a tour around the town one afternoon pictures 4 & 5 are of the Strand followed by the view from Castle Hill. We did another interview with a local paper the Bulletin and the photographer met us on the strand. We also met Christian the organiser of the Ingham Italian Day which we are attending tommorrow. Last night was spent with a load of Dales biker buddies and was another good evening (Dale is the guy in the white shirt)


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Post script re detonation problems
The damage I am now convinced was the result of detonation which when I think about it has been happening under heavy loading (steep climbs and headwinds etc) pretty much since we left. I just didnt realise the noise I was hearing was detonation. In New Zealand when I changed the rings the second ring was pinched tight in its groove and I had to spend hours cleaning out the groove to make the new ring a good sliding fit. This I am sure now was the start of the ring land collapsing as it was also when the oil breather started spitting oil. Normally smoking from the breather would mean worn out rings but I knew this wasnt the case as I had just changed them so I was perplexed. The detonation would have been like hammer blows to the piston and rings and no engine in the world would put up with that for ever.
This has prompted some discussions via email and a local whose opinion I respect and is who is well qualified offered the following advice:
”Kev & Karen Missed you here but just read about your ag on advrider, then your blog with pics.
Absolute classic pinking / detonation and is NOT the E10, all of my bikes will detonate badly on std 91, you are used to 95 as std in UK, here you must pay more. Actually the E10 will help not hinder but you will need to nurse it and not let it knock. Much better to run 95 or even 98 octane. The very best fuel we have here (a secret that the scaremongers don’t know /won’t tell) is actually E10/100 octane– awesome stuff. This is hard to get but E10/95 is quite common and my fuel of choice, best power to economy I can buy.
The important bit if you want to run 91 octane– I used much worse fuel than this in Africa in my Guzzi, never pinked ever
1/ lower your compression, easiest done with extra base gaskets,or thicker head gasket, I actually had different thickness’ made when I came back here in 1991– same reason but 95 was not readily available then
2/ retard your spark till it doesn’t pink, the knocking you’re hearing is exactly that

But my advice would be use 95 with or without ethanol, you shouldn’t have a problem then but if you’re heading South America , get used to ethanol, that’s what they run, up to E85 in some countries
Forget the fan, Guzzi engines are brilliant, I’ve been through 52 C in the Sahara, not even an oil cooler and not a trace of detonation, running on near kero !!!!!
I’m surprised you haven’t had a poor fuel problem before.”

This for my money was the best advice although from my experience I would say the bike runs hotter and detonates more on E10 91 than on standard 91. I would agree with the comment on E10 95 the Guzz ran pretty well on that suggesting that the problem has more to do with Octane than Ethanol although I still contend it doesnt help.
Bear in mind we are pulling about twice the load than the bike mentioned here.
I also retarded the ignition timing slightly and I havent heard a “knock” since although its still early days.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:10 AM   #34
OneOff
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Hey you two, you've certainly had your share of mechanical problems since you've hit Oz. Sounds like you're on to it now tho'.
Can't believe in the three weeks you were here we never cracked open a bottle of Bundy. Mothers milk.

At the leisurely pace you are setting you'll be in the Kimberly about mid-summer.... you don't want that.



good travels,
Peter.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:39 AM   #35
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All that comes to me right now is: WOW!!! Absolutely interesting RR and you have some awesome pictures (wish they were a bit larger but then again, how selfish of me to think something like that )

I do envy you and your trip. It will be a very long time until I have the time (and money...but mostly time ) to do a trip like this. But I guess I need to improve on my motorcycle-repair skills before I can go on a trip like this

Again, awesome report and by the way...your motorcycle looks like something from the Mad Max movies
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:22 PM   #36
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Blog 177

Blog 177 Atherton Tablelands 7th – 12th August 2011


Leaving Townsville with Dale we met up with Christian and the others for the run up to the Ingham Italian/Australian Festival and at the meeting point we were presented with a must have photo opportunity, a standard Guzzi SP1000 (this is how our bike looked when we first bought it), parked up side by side the standard model looked so tiny!

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Christian planned a good run up there including some great back roads. We sampled some Italian food for lunch and then had a look around all the stalls. The bikes were displayed for everyone to look around and at the end we were introduced to the Mayor (wearing the cowboy hat) who was interested in the bike and what we are doing. We planned to camp in the showground but Dave a local who was on the ride with us offered us a place to stay at his house despite the fact he wasn’t going to be there. He was back in the morning and made us so welcome that we ended up staying two nights. Here are some pictures from the festival, it was a good day out.

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Cairns was our next destination but Nick (who had been in contact for a while now) wished to organise a barbeque at the weekend with some mates to meet us. This was not a problem as it gave us time to explore the Atherton tablelands for a few days on the way there.
Our lunch stop was Mission beach (with no Cuckaburras) before we headed for Paronella Park on Mena creek. This is mission beach, the sign is a Cassowary a strange prehistoric looking bird the size of an ostrich which live here.


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Paronella Park was the dream of a Spaniard Jose Paronella who built a castle (folly) complete with theatre which doubled as a dancehall and cinema, throughout the years distasters struck, fires, cyclones, floods and the park is now a crumbling ruin. Some who saw it in its heyday say it was more beautiful then, others that the crumbling ruins are magical now. It was an expensive entrance fee but ofset by the free nights camping and unlimited access to the park day and night so we went for it. We really enjoyed it, Kev even braved the eels in the swimming hole by the waterfall. We also saw bats in the tunnel and turtles in the river. The point Karen is standing at on the grand staircase is the height of the floodwater in 1941.


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There are some things you can’t escape even half way round the world and that night was census night. The questions don’t cater much for the tourist especially those traveling by motorcycle as one question was to do with vehicles and motorcycles were excempt. So Australia you have two poms seemingly traveling by magic from place to place.
Next morning we did the waterfalls loop and this time we both swam in the Milaa Milaa falls. Kev said the water was lot colder than Paronella but it was a picture perfect spot where we had a picnic lunch.Here is a view from the Atherton tablelands which is a lush inland plateau almost 1000metres high and a picture of Ellinjaa falls and Milaa Milaa falls where we had lunch.


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That night we found a free campsite on the village green oppsite the local pub so it seemed rude not to go a have a couple of beers with the locals. On the way to Atherton town the next day we made a slight detour to have a look at the giant curtain fig tree. This was formed when a fig smothered a tree which in turn collapsed onto another tree at 45 degrees, undaunted the fig smothered that as well and grew it’s branches/roots right down to the ground. In Atherton town we visited the crystal caves, these are man made caves built into the basement of a shop in the high street. it sounds a bit naff but it was built as a way to display the owners crystal and mineral collection and its very effective. The last picture is of a huge Amethyst Geode called the Princess of Uraguay which is seriously impressive.


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That afternoon we visited “Coffee Works” in Mareeba. There were free tastings of coffee from all around the world including some from just up the road as this area is Australia’s coffee growing centre. As it was getting late in the afternoon they kindly gave us a pass out so we could come back the next day. This was great as it allowed us to sample some of the different coffee’s and make a start on the museum which was huge and needed a few hours.
The history of coffee is very much intertwined with the history of human civilisation and we learnt a lot. After several hours exploring and sampling it was time to find a campsite for the night, we passed a free site just out of town with lots of grey nomads in it so we headed back there. We caused a bit of a stir as often happens and lots of people came to take pictures and have a look. The campsite is on the site of a war memorial as many troops trained in the Atherton tablelands during WW2, this area was also the site of a huge field hospital for returning injured soldiers.
Next morning after striking camp we skipped our usual morning coffee and headed back to “Coffee Works” for round two, Yum !
After some more sampling we had another look around the museum and then went down to the roastery to watch some being cooked. The beans are actually the seeds of the coffee cherry, each cherry contains two seeds which when roasted caramelise their sugars and turn brown which is what gives coffee its taste. We watched a batch being roasted and through the peephole you could see that the beans are green at the beginning and get steadily browner during the roasting process. The skill is knowing wen they are ready and the roaster has a scoop to pull out a sample to check progress. Once they are ready they are tipped out into a mesh drum with a stirrer and cooled quickly with a fan whilst stirring so they don’t overcook. Below are some pictures of coffee bushes, the roasting process, a tiny snippet of the amazing collection of cofee paraphenalia in the museum and some of the war memorial park.


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On the way to Cairns we stopped for lunch in Kuranda and had a look around. There was another display of crystals and fossils in town which is where we took the dinosaur picture and it was an interesting if touristy place to look around. The sign at the roadside restaurant on the way there confirmed we are well and truly in croc country now.


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Then it was time to ride into Cairns so we rode down the Karunda road which didn’t disapoint to meet Nick. There were spectacular views and sweeping bends in equal measure and we had a great ride down. Cairns is behind the first hill you can see where the smoke (a controlled burn) is coming from. There are some great roads around this area and Nick has promised us a ride out up the “Gillies highway” one of the most famous.


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1979 Moto Guzzi Spada 1000
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:52 AM   #37
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Thanks for the update guys, good to see you getting along.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:11 AM   #38
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go Guzzi Overland

Great to see you guys still rockin !

You are in the area I grew up in ... Cairns, Babinda, Innisfail, Port Douglas, Mossman ... all towns I lived in as a little'un

Nice to see pics of the area ... and how it seems to people travelling through.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:42 PM   #39
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Wow. All I can say is, "Wow".

What an incredible journey and an an incredible machine. It reminds me of a cross between Mad Max and Junkyard Wars (Not implying that your bike is junk, btw) and the result is an extremely function-able, stable machine to travel the world. I'd love to see more pictures and explanation of everything you've done to it! Safe journeys...
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:28 AM   #40
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Blog 178 Cairns 13th-19th August 2011

Blog 178 Cairns 13th – 19th August 2011 (Please be patient, lots of photo’s)
Nick was a great guy and had organised a welcoming commitee for us. We had been invited to a bbq with some fellow Guzzisti but first Paul and Nick took us for a ride up the Gillies highway their local scratching road and what a fabulous biking road that is. Once when it was still a dirt road it had over 600 bends and was one way only, up in the morning and down in the afternoon. It’s long since been sealed and still has over 300 twisties and was a joy to ride. It heads from Cairns up to the Atherton Tablelands climbing all the way. We returned back down the same route and headed straight for Kevins and the bbq.
The door was open and we rode the Guzz in like royalty with everyone lining the shed, and what a shed it was the Guzzi banners and posters very much in view. Then ensued a very enjoyable evening with good food, beer and new friends. We had a chance to be surrounded by Guzzis and friendly people, thanks guys !

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There was a swap meet in town next day which most of us attended, we even managed to blag the bike into the showgrounds where it attracted a huge crowd. We wrote an explanation of our journey on some paper and left a donation pot before we wandered around ourselves. It was a petrolheads delight loads of stalls and vehicles on display. Karen even managed to bump into a photographer from the Cairns newspaper who shot a bit of film of her and the bike I was wandering around the stalls by then but she figured they may be interested in an aticle later. When we finally found each other and returned to the bike we were delighted to find $24 enough for a tank of petrol thank you Cairns petrolheads.

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We celebrated afterward by going for a ride with some of the locals to Ellis beach. This will be the way we head out North but for now there is a nice cafe right by the beach. We whiled away a pleasant hour or so there before heading back into Cairns via Palm Cove which is where the rich and beautiful stay. We took a cruise through it to see how the other half live made the place look untidy then headed back to Cairns to pack.

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Then it was time to move on Northward but before we left we got a call from the Cairns Post and managed to fit in an interview and pictures. We plan to return to Cairns next weekend but first we need to explore Cape Tribulation and Cooktown.
We had lunch at Ellis Beach on the way out and arrived at Port Douglas that evening. We wanted to do a trip out to the great barrier reef and this was a great place to do it so we found an i site, booked a trip out next day and found a campsite in town. Next morning we headed down to the marina and boarded the catamarran for our trip to the outer reef. It took an hour and a half to get out there but it was soooooo worth it. We had three hours out on the reef including lunch, most of the time we spent snorkelling but we also did a trip on a clever semi submersible with a glass hull and Karen went down into a submersed chamber while I went back out snorkelling again. Here are some general pictures and some from semi sub. We even topped it off with a whale encounter on the way back.


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We also hired an underwater digital camera so here are some pictures of the reef taken whilst snorkelling. An awesome experience !

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Next day we headed on to Cape Tribulation via Mossman Gorge. This was a two hour walk through beautiful rainforest. We were both dripping by the end of it despite shedding our bike gear but it was well worth it.


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Next we had to cross the Daintree river on the cable ferry before riding to Cow Bay where Nick had arranged use of a friends shack in the Daintree Rainforest. After arriving about midday and finding where everything was we headed up to Cape Tribulation for a look around. This is quite a special spot as it’s where the rainforest meets the sea (which is a marine park) both of which have world heritage status protection. The shack was great, in the middle of nowhere with no power or mains water. We had to share with a few creepy crawlies which Karen was very brave about considering she doesn’t like spiders etc. Normally I just pick spiders up and throw them out of the house but even I used a broom to shoo a couple out they were that big. We went to bed that night to the sounds of the rainforest which we loved.( It was only once we were here that I remembered that someone called Neville had kindly offered to host us at his house near Cape Trib, we found his number but couldn’t get any mobile reception to call him. Sorry we missed you Neville)


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There is a 100km off road track to Cooktown through the rainforest called the Bloomfield Track. We had every intention of doing it but we were now running short on time so we cut inland across the great dividing range and rode up the sealed road instead. We dawdled a bit coming up the East Coast as there was lots of people to meet and things to see, that combined with our earlier bike problems meant that we are much later than we should be and are now racing the summer heat which gets really intense in the tropical north.
The great dividing range is just that, one side of it is rainforest and the other is dry savannah. The difference is incredible the range makes all the rain fall on one side and the other side gets virtually nothing. We started seeing much more wildlife, kangaroos mostly. Even they fell for the charm of the Guzzi we passed one close by the side of the verge and it just looked at the bike in a what the **** kind of way as we passed (so Karen said). On the way there we stopped at a famous pub called the lions den, it was originally a miners pub. It has lots of memorabillia and grafitti on the walls, the grafitti dates back to the mining days when miners would leave their pay packets at the pub and work out what was left on the walls.

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We arrived at Cooktown mid afternoon which gave us time for a look around. Cooktown is so named because Captain Cook the first European to set foot on Australian soil landed here in 1770. It wasn’t quite according to plan as the reason he landed here was that he had grounded out and badly damaged his ship on the great barrier reef at Cape Tribulation and limped in here to make repairs which took seven weeks. A stone marks the spot where he put ashore. In 1873 there was a gold rush at the Palmer river south of here hence the miners statue commemorating the arrival of the miners by ship as Cooktown was the closest port.

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We had another look around town in the morning before turning tail and heading back to Cairns. That night we stayed with Paul, one of the Cairns Guzzi guys as that night we were going on a tour of the sugar mill.
Next up: Our tour of the mill, The “Guzzi’s are go” run, Us on T.V (again) and lots more.
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:02 AM   #41
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Blog 179 Return to Cairns 19th - 22nd Aug 2011

Blog 179 Return to Cairns 19th -22nd Aug 2011

The reason for our quick return to Cairns is Paul had promised us a trip around the sugar mill he works at and that was an offer we couldn’t refuse even Nick came over to join in.
Before the tour we had a brief idea in our heads on how sugar was made but that was blown completely away in the first ten minutes.
The place was huge right from the beginning where the cane trains were automatically loaded onto the conveyor belts, to the crushers all five of them, to the magma tanks and the loading of the dried sugar. There were many stages in between and some of photos may explain this.

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We both thought that the cane was crushed to extract the juice and this was then dried to make sugar but there is a lot more to it than that.
The cane is crushed five times and washed in increasingly hot water to extract every last drop of juice. The impurities are removed and re used as organic fertiliser and then the cane syrup is sent to a huge tower called a pan where crystals are artificially added. The syrup forms its own crystals around these which are later separated.

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The output from here is dark brown crystaline substance called Magma and it is stored in huge vats with heated stirrers continuously churning it to stop it setting.

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From here the Magma drops into a huge centrifuge a bit like a giant washing machine.
The magma is spun up to an incredibly high speed which forces out the mollasses (which is sold separately) and leaves behind natural raw sugar.
The whole factory is huge and looks more like an oil rig then a sugar factory. The tour is accompanied by noise from the many machines, the sweet smell of mollasses and a sticky sugar film that covers most surfaces but despite all this it was thoroughly enjoyable.
We will never look at sugar in the same way again and we want to thank Paul for a fascinating insight into it’s process.
The town of Gordonvale comes alive each year on the weekend of the pyramid races which is this weekend. The ‘pyramid’ hill dominates the landscape around and the hardy few decide to run up and back to town in the heat of the day……the fastest has been around one and a quarter hours. There is a festival in town as well. Paul and I walk into town to enjoy all the events which include some log splitting competions and boy are they quick. There is a mechanical bucking bronco, a display of cars and bikes including one which makes our bike look positively normal and lots of stalls. We spend a while wandering around before seeing the first man and woman back down from the pryamid. We left Kev in the shed doing final adjustments tightening down the heads, re-jigging the exhaust pot cookers. Tomorrow is ‘Guzzis Are Go’ day, a run organised by Nick a while ago taking in some good biking roads.

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The day dawned bright and sunny Nick gave us a scare ringing us to say he had a puncture but he fixed it in the nick of time and was able to join us along with the stig on a moto guzzi see picture below.
Our first stop was Etty bay a lovely secluded beach here we had an added surprise a Cassowary was strutting his stuff along the beach. It is a large prehistoric bird as tall as a man and fairly rare we had hoped to see one all the time we were up in the Daintree and here was one on the beach.

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Our next stop was another beach this time with a bar. Kurrimine beach was badly affected by the cyclone and the tree lined beach was devastated we line the bikes up on the grass for a photo opportunity and Paul tells us last year you couldn’t see the beach through the trees, it still looks lovely to us.


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We took a meandering route through Silkwood before ending up at the pub near Paronella Park where had lunch. It is the route we originally took from Ingham so we got to enjoy it again. Here we said goodbye to some of the riders who live on the tablelands before we headed though Millaa Millaa for the Gillies highway yet again, (any excuse).

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When we got to the bottom of the Gillies Melissa from Channel 10 TV had the camera rolling for a news report. She was lovely and did a great job, we had to ride past the pub a few times and do an interview. You can see the video in the media section on the website I think you’ll agree she did us proud, thanks Melissa.

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Our new friends were very patient and enjoyed a beer whilst waiting. Paul who put us up is the other TV star. We headed back to the shed for a well earned beer afterwards.
The pictures are the interesting mirror in the sheds toliet and me visiting the UK (upsidedown on Kev’s back stretcher machine which was good.)


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Back to reality next day we headed into Cairns to get the underwater film developed (film anyone remember that !!) and to stock up for our trip to the red centre.
Next up our trip to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the Olgas and King’s Canyon.
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Our website http://www.guzzioverland.co.uk
Our photos. http://www.flickr.com/photos/guzzioverland
1979 Moto Guzzi Spada 1000
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:38 PM   #42
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Blog 180 Heading Inland 23rd – 29thAug 2011

Blog 180 Heading Inland 23rd- 29th Aug 2011
It was time to turn our bike away from the coast and head off into the interior. We had a fabulous time up the east coast and met up with loads of lovely people but this land is big, very big and we had to get down to Uluru (Ayer’s rock) before we headed up to Darwin and across. It will get much hotter in the next couple of months before summer is even here so we had to step up our pace a bit.
We had the joy of riding the Gillies Highway again on our route to Undara and its lava tubes. We stopped briefly at Herberton with the intention of exploring the historic village but cost and time put us off so we made tracks directly to Undara stopping in Ravenshoe to look at its steam train you can even sponsor a railway sleeper.

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The tour at Undara was expensive but it’s not something you find every day and we could camp in the grounds.
After erecting the tent we had an exclusive tour for two, our guide was very informative and we even ended up wading in cold knee high water in order to see deeper into the flooded lava tubes, the water has created patterns on the walls which our guide showed us. The park contains the remains of the earth’s longest flow of lava originating from a single volcano. The word Undara is aborigial in origin and means a long way.
The volcanic activity that formed the tubes occurred approximately 190,000 years ago and the volcano Undara expelled massive amounts of lava onto the surrounding Atherton Tableland. In total it was estimated that over 23 billion cubic metres of lava that was released covering an area of 55 km2 Bayliss Cave is the remains of a lava tube that was once over 100 kilometres (62 mi) in length. The cave itself is over 1,300 metres (4,265 ft) in length, 11 metres (36 ft) high and 22 metres (72 ft) wide. The tubes were formed when the lava on the surface cooled whilst molten lava continued flowing underneath, this molten lava melted everything in its path creating the tubes we see today.
We saw lots of wallabies in the camp ground as well and managed to get a picture or two, we see lots on the roads but never get chance for a photo.

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We had a great meal of lamb chops and potatoes that night mainly because we can now buy meat for two days and put it in our fridge so long as we are mostly riding. The campsite put on a talk each evening round the campfire from one of the guides, this evening’s theme was wings and things. We learnt the names of some of the birds we have seen and it was great to have a fire.


Next morning we walked round the rim of the volcano, from here we could see the tracks of the lava flows visible by the dark green belt of trees. We could even see the trace’s of molten lava patterns in the rocks around the rim (they look a little like stone cowpats.)

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From here on in we had many kilometres to cover before Alice Springs. We rode all day and watched the countryside change from rocky tree plains to thick dried grass to flat savannah before arriving at our free camp for the night. We now encountered the road trains some up to four trailers long, along with the other road hazzards including emus and kangaroos running in front of us. Might is right here and the road trains win every time, besides which the edges of the roads of often steeply cambered and they can’t get off. This means you have to quickly scrub off some speed and dive onto the dirt to get out of their way.
The ground is hard as hell out here and pegs take a pounding each time the tent goes up. We even changed time zones as we headed west and had to adjust our clocks by a bizarre 30minutes.

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The rear wheel had been making a noise so Kev played safe and changed the wheel bearings in the scrub before we left. After another day of full traveling we pulled up in another free camp this time we chatted to a passing BMW rider who was on his way back to Melbourne. The scenery is changing all the time and some areas are being deliberately burnt to stop bushfires later some we not sure about. We encoutered a lorry driver who had a buffalos head he was taking home to make into a trophy.

Now officially in the Northern Territory we are getting a measure of the vast distances we have to have to cover as after another full day of travel we camp up in yet another free camp but this time we have a bit of interest. The Devils Pebbles a rocky outcrop made of granite we took a wander round before Kev changed the bevel box oil as the noise is still there and wasn’t the wheel bearings. See the full gallery on Posterous



Next morning we detoured to the Devil Marbles or Karlu Karlu a larger version of the pebbles and much more photogenic.These were giganitic rounded granite boulders, some say the Aborigines believed the site to be eggs of the mythical Rainbow Serpent. In reality many diverse traditional ‘Dreaming’ stories (none of which are about serpents) intersect at and around Karlu Karlu, hence its great importance as a sacred site.
The devils marbles are made of granite which was once molten magma (great word magma !) they were originally covered by a layer of sandstone which over millions of years eroded away exposing the huge blocks of granite. They themselves continued to be weathered by sun, wind and rain rounding off the corners and splitting some of them in two.

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We are back into interesting country now and stopped around lunchtime at Barrow Creek initially just for fuel it was the site of an old telegraph station and the building has been restored. Kev had been wanting a grease gun for the wheel bearings and after asking the bar manager (all fuel stops nearly always have a bar attached) we struck lucky. It was another memoriblia pub and the walls were adorned with all sorts (including a guzzioverland sticker now). It was nearly lunch so much to the amusement of the local aborignals who were sitting around drinking VB’s (local beer) I ferried to and fro from the bike various bags and proceeded to make cheese, tomato, lettuce and salad sarnies whilst Kev grovelled under the bike greasing the wheels. I managed to photograph two of them with one of their works of art they sell to tourists. All of this encounter was without words and we wondered what they made of us but when we left they all waved enthusiastically to us.

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We overnighted in Ti Tree Australias most central roadhouse with camping. Alice Springs is not too far now and we stopped at the Tropic of Capricorn next day for a photo before we arrived in town.


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We made it a brief stop for supplies and pushed on to Uluru arriving just in time to watch the sunset. We had to stay at Yulara the only place you can camp there. They have the monopoly and it’s expensive but a well equipped nice site.
It was worth it though, Uluru is vast, humbling and beautiful.

The first image is Mt Connor the rest Uluru.

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We woke before dawn and raced to the sunrise viewing area to join the other hordes watching it rise over Uluru, it was really magical and worth the 5am alarm. After breakfast in the car park we set off on the almost 10km walk around its base. Although still way too early for sane people we still walked a good portion of it in full sun and saw its ever changing colours. We took a squintillion photos so we’ve whittled it down a lot!!! You can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll through them. See the full gallery on Posterous




Next stop the Olgas and Kings canyon.
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:26 AM   #43
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Thanks guys, great photos.

Good to see you getting along. What a great time you're having.

Peter.
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Old 09-20-2011, 06:06 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneOff View Post
Thanks guys, great photos.

Good to see you getting along. What a great time you're having.

Peter.
Hi Oneoff
Thanks, we had a bit of a wobbly start but we are getting into it now.
We are probably going to start a new post as this one takes forever to load up now.
Will call it Guzziovberland2 and run sequentially as and when it grinds to a halt.
Cant think of any other way round it can you ?
Already downsizing pictures to 30% and now 15% but the trouble with forums is it opens up the whole lot every time instead of the last post ?
Cheers mate
Kev and Karen
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Old 09-20-2011, 06:11 PM   #45
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New thread

Hi all
We have noticed that the thread now takes an age to load as there are so many pictures and it has to load the whole lot each time.
To try to solve this problem we are going to break it down into sections so the next thread from now on in will be called Guzzioverland2 RTW Trip etc.

I cant think of any other solution but if you can I'm all ears.

We will post the last Blog on this and the new thread so they overlap
Thanks
Kev and Karen
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RTW trip May 2010 - current day
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