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This is an amazing trip and just as an amazing write up! Such a magnificent journey.

It would help the readers not from Australia if you included something like screenshots of Google maps or something with some of the points you've been and maybe the routes to give us an understanding of what parts of Australia you've visited. For one, I had no idea Australia has mountains - I thought only New Zealand does =\.

Also, how did your paperwork turned out? Are you staying in Australia? Sorry if too personal of a question.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
This is an amazing trip and just as an amazing write up! Such a magnificent journey.

It would help the readers not from Australia if you included something like screenshots of Google maps or something with some of the points you've been and maybe the routes to give us an understanding of what parts of Australia you've visited. For one, I had no idea Australia has mountains - I thought only New Zealand does =\.

Also, how did your paperwork turned out? Are you staying in Australia? Sorry if too personal of a question.
Heya @varroa , thanks for taking the time to write - that is such a good point actually about the maps. I'll try bust out some rough ones to give an idea :) I take it for granted now, that people know these places. ;) I guess it's like me trying to get an idea of how big the distances can be across the US! Ahhh the paperwork.... that's part of the story ;) You'll have to wait and see the story. By no means it's ended. No worries, yes I am in Australia still. And still taking tours :D
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Good point by @varroa I'm putting some retrospective maps:

1) From the Gold Coast, where I live/lived to Melbourne.
This was the 5 day trip down. Kinda like this: Gold Coast to Melbourne
51969


2) Trip from Melb through to Mt Tassie. 2 days. We did a few more side trips but Google maps lets you a few points only :( Melbourne to Melbourne
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3) Mountain trifector - Lake Mountain, Mt Donna Buang & Mt baw baw. Day trip. Melbourne to Melbourne
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4) Yarra GLen chocolate factory & Shy High observatory - Day trip Melbourne to Melbourne
51973


5) Melbourne to Adelaide. 2 days Melbourne to Adelaide
51974


6) Adelaide and surrounds. 2 day trips:
Adelaide to Adelaide
51975


Adelaide to Adelaide
51976
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Back to the story ;)

After being able to have heating at night, I cranked the reverse cycle aircon to 26 degrees (more what I am used to at home) rather than the 2 - 7 degrees that was seemingly a common occurrence at night. I packed but left the bags in the cabin, and took off to Bright for an extended breakfast. The clouds that I was hoping would clear up the day before actually got worse :( so I knew that there was not much point in going up since I wasn't going to see anything.
51979

THIS was the reason why I wasn't having the best weather possible. No doubt all the creeks and waterfalls would be running and nice to see... buuuuutttttt.... wets all the way.
51980


By about 10am I knew I had to make a decision: I decided to go anyhow since I would have to put the hammer down later if I was to get back to melbourne by the end of the day - big day ahead.
With trepidation I took off back down the road and into the national park and up Mt Buffalo.

51981


Climbing higher and higher, there was much water to be seen, but thankfully not quite yet over the road or falling in buckets.
51982


Got to the first plateau, where the dark clouds started rolling in a lot thicker than I thought.
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Yep, I could see this is going to be another one of 'those' lookouts.... grrr

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Yeeeeaaaahh, Nah!
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Mount Buffalo National Park

Clouds and showers rolling in...
51988


51989

For a brief moment there was some clearing and I was able to do a comfort stop at the top lake. Not good enough weather for a picnic!
I stopped taking photos due to then the rain moving in again. But I did manage a quick stop at the closed report. There are plans to open the report - eventurally. But unknown when.
It was burnt down in 2015 (I think - Destroyed lodge 'our fault') and now it's a bit like ruins that's boarded up in places but you can still use the car park and walk around to see the lookouts - or in my case - the wash outs/fog-outs!

51990

Heading back down the mountain there is the in your face reminder that being a national park, there are lots of animals present that may decide to jump out at you while riding.

From here the rain was a bit much, so I just rode non stop to the accommodation to grab my gear and load the beastie up. There is so much to see and do up in the mountain and not enough time. I was fast running out of daylight if I wanted to get back to Melbourne tonight. So I loaded the Lawnmower, got fuel and put the hammer down. I wanted to go north before swinging round southwards again to Melbourne, which meant taking in the Mitta Mitta.

Now, for those of you who don't know what the Mitta Mitta (Omeo Highway), it is probably one of the best riding roads for bikers in Australia. Imagine about 260kms of sealed, unadulterated twisty highway that almost crosses the entire state of Victoria. Corner after corner after corner after corner after corner after corner after corner after corner (.... you get the idea...) of orgasm-inducing ride. There are hardly any straights especially the top 120kms from Mt Beauty to Tallangatta direction. As you can imagine, I was both wanting to press on with time, run away from the weather but also just having so, god, ****, much, FUN, I couldn't be bothered taking photos here. :D

It even got to a point where I just simply was not able to keep going with the twisties and had to pull over at one of the very few stops to relieve the pressure of my poor bladder that had been holding on for the better part of an hour. The last 50 kms was almost like exact 45-50km/hr signposted recommended speeds, at the same camber and angle - which meant that you got incredible practice on these. And they were so consistent that you could almost pick a line and once you had that down pat, you just replicated it on the opposite lean! Be still my beating heart!!!

51997


I realised as I left the loo that the rest stop was a Spotted free frog conservation area - rather pretty.
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But time was moving on so again on the Lawnmower and again putting the hammer down to get out of the twisties and towards Tallangatta.
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I was lucky that for most part of the Mitta Mitta the clouds were there, and some wind, but no rain. As the day was starting to come to a close, the weather commenced moving in again and the winds picked up substantially. At this stage I worked out that there was no way in **** that I was going to make Melbourne tonight and I had to start thinking about where I would be able to find a place to spend the night.
51995


51996

It was a pity I didn't have stuff to cook it but i would have loved some pumpkin soup that night for dinner to warm myself up!

Eventually in a stop I managed to call up a pub in Bellana that had a $50 a night room. Apparently there was only me and one other backpacker staying there that night, which was great cause it meant a quiet pub :) The only problem was that the caretaker forgot that and actually turned off the power to the accommodation section of the pub, which I didn't really mind since I had a torch on my phone. I was eating a can of tuna and crackers that night so I didn't need cooking equipment... the problem was that there was no HEATING in the joint, and being such a stingy pub, there was only one mothballed ancient thin blanket on the single bed......grrrrrrrrrrr So I suffered the whole night, even wearing everything I had to try keep warm.

Only the next day when the care taker came in to open the pub up did we tell him and he apologied. To make up for it he gave us milk and cornflakes. Gee.Thanks.
51993
 

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Discussion Starter #48
This is what $50 got you. Minus heating. Please note the pathetic excuse called a 'blanket'. (No, I wasn't happy).
51998

In the next morning to warm up I went for a vigorous walk around the still-sleeping town of Bellana.

51999

This was the pub I stayed at.

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Certainly a pretty town, with everything "Ned Kelly this. Ned Kelly that". I suppose since this was one of the places where he did spend quire a bit of time in, he did an impression.
For those who aren't familiar with Ned Kelly. He was a well-known Australian bush-ranger (thief/delinquent) from 1880's, who was made famous by the armour that him and his comrades manufactured to be bullet proof. Ned Kelly - Wikipedia He had a sidekick called Harry Power, which was one of the lookouts which I have put photos of in earlier posts.

52001
'

After a very lacking breakfast, after a very small and bland dinner, I thought - bugger this, I now have a whole day to get back to Melbourne, so why not go back to Albury-Wodonga (much larger town) to see a big item that's on my list..... the BIG ROLLING PIN!! And it actually works too!! This rolling pin is installed on top of the town's bakery and it rolls. Apparently it is the world's biggest rolling pin. I was hoping to get some more stuff to eat, but alas, the bakery was closed too. Humph.
52002


Avoiding all highway, I started to make my way south again towards Melbourne. I did a side tour into Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park for more history lessons. More of Ned Kelly, mining and other shoddy shennanigans people in the 1880's undertook.
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From the national parks, I then went to see the BIG NED KELLY at the Glenrowan post office. It was a bit full of tourists and people so I didn't really want to mount the kerb and take a picture. But just as Ned Kelly rebelled against the law, I felt a little reckless myself and mounted the kurb anyhow and took my picture! SO there!.
52007
 

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Discussion Starter #49
98042

Heading round the back of Glenrowan and past the Winton Wetlands, they didn't look too grand actually. A bit dry. However what they did give away that it was a wetland, was this little guy that I had to take off the road - or else - become a road pizza if a car comes past.

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He/she wasn't very impressed by me picking it up.

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All things Ned Kelly.
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Living and breathing Ned Kelly towns.

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By lunch time I was a bit weary and just wanting to get back to Melbourne, where I now called my base. I had managed to find a bit of a gig where I would look after 3 girls for a family friend, and I would get free lodging. So that was a bit of a weight off my shoulders and would help me save.
98050

This is the book that started my love affair to collect photos of my Lawnmower with BIG things!
 

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98043


98044

He/she wasn't very impressed by me picking it up.
Nice, I also saved a turtle once in Texas!


By the way, the maps help! It looks like Melbourne is surrounded by twisty roads! And your trips are bypassing Sydney like it doesn't even exist. That's one of the only cities whose location I know in Australia (in addition to Perth).
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Cool bananas! Good on you for taking the tortoise off the road :)
I only went into Melbourne because I had to. I try stay clear from v large cities as much as I can. Many reasons.
Sydney hinterland has some amazing roads, but not Sydney itself.
Melbourne had more variety.
Don’t worry tho. Many times I’ve had to go to Sydney, as eventually I’ll get to in the blog ;)
 

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Short note: so glad there are educated girls like you in the world, who like the roaming spirit only afforded by a two-wheel adventure. Yes, I called my sister; omg I missed her patent wit and sense of humor!
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Short note: so glad there are educated girls like you in the world, who like the roaming spirit only afforded by a two-wheel adventure. Yes, I called my sister; omg I missed her patent wit and sense of humor!
Thanks so much @DukeofSeven - that's v kind! I wonder what your sis would be like then ;) She sounds like the right type of chick to hang with.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Earlier I spoke about how I try save some $ when I tour, since food can be one of your biggest expenses. Back in Melbs, I had to go into the city to get some paperwork translated from my home country into an officiated / certified translation for the consul. So I decided to check out Queen Elizabeth markets which are in the heart of the city. I've heard that Melbourneans have some of the best food in the country, so I was about to test that theory out. Nothing beats farmer's markets :)

52009


Walking into the semi-permanent covered markets, the crates of colourful fresh food was to be seen. Everywhere. Mounds of it. It was nice to see the quality of the produce was high, and I think the birds were thinking the same. Looks like the birds take their fair share, if the store owners have to resort to this!

52010

I must admit I like a little 'zing' in my cured meats - BUT NOT LIKE THIS!!

ESPECIALLY when touring and spending about 10 hours in a day on the saddle! :oops:😱 That's just a bit too hard core for me and I'll leave it for others to brave...

52011

So this is my lunch or meals while touring in many cases: simple. A bit of cheese and a few slices of ham with a bun or fresh bread (where I can find GF bread).
52016

And of course, there's always dessert when you bump into one of these! :)
52012



Mmmmmmm. Get in ma belly!!
52013

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52015
 

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Discussion Starter #55
More waiting and almost another whole week gone. I invited the photographer to come with me to a place I had heard about called Wilsons Promontory. A land that sticks out of mainland Oz, that's got views to die for and is a national park. Wilsons Promontory National Park

I wore him down and managed also to find a secluded airbnb that was dirt cheap and included dunner. The only thing was that i was about 1 hours away from the Prom, but who cares? It's only 1 hour. :)

I did the prep and played with google maps and got an idea how to get there and also what to see in the surrounds. Once there I would let the photographer lead since he'd been there a few times before and knew the best places to see. The plan was that on the Friday afternoon I would leave Melbourne and high-tail it close to the Prom.

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I found more pub accommodation at Fish Creek, for that night only because it had another BIG thing there: the BIG DEAD MULLET! :D Fishy facelift finished | The Star The Big Dead Fish
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This town was surprising since it's also known by, not just a dead fish in Fish Creek, but ... a tea cozy festival??? Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival
Who knew?

It wasn't the festival time when I went, but I did spot a giant one across town (bad photo sorry!)
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Next morning would be verrrry early indeed!
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Next morning we got up way before the sun came up to go riding into the crisp cold air and towards Wilsons Prom to catch the right type of morning sun light for his photos.
There is something captivating about the type of morning light that I can see around Melbourne's surrounds. It's like it's hazy and thick, has pastel colours through it but it's not mist of fog. It looks like it will be warm on your skin - but it isn't. Dew forms easily in this type of morning. And now I understand why this guy would leave so early to his destination shots.

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A photo of the photographer doing his craft.


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Wilsons Prom is just full of creeks, lakes and crossings.

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Being from Queensland and a cold frog (wherewe may only get to 2 degrees maybe 3-4 days a year for only a couple of hours in the early morning before the temps climb to about 20 degrees during the day...) AND being an absolute cold frog, I was really suffering in this trip with the cold, and the constant wet and drizzly weather down here. Already wearing 2 layers of thermals, a t-shirt, a vest and a feather down jacket underneath the bike jacket and STILL being cold, I found a cheap and novel way to keep a bit warmer during the early morning hours. ... I brought a $10 hot water bottle with a cover to shove down my top! :) I don't care if people laughed - cause it was effective!

52031
 

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Discussion Starter #57
We fluffed around all day in the national park and in the afternoon we decided to go walk the last lookout that my friend never managed to complete.
When we got to the car park we saw that it said 4kms. I thought that wasn't too bad and that although all 'up', there would be enough time to go see the lookout and then ride an hour or so to our next accommodation before getting dark and before all the nocturnal animals started coming out onto the road.
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The climb in partial bike gear wasn't the easiest but it i'm really just using this as an excuse for just not being fit enough ;) However when we got to the top of the lookout, my breath was really taken away! WOW! It was just one of those moments that you savour and really, really try and enjoy, just being in the moment. A memory made with a friend.

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What I had not realised is that compared to Queensland's national parks, they tell you the total kms for that bushwalk. NOT one way, as they do in Victoria... so when at the beginning of the walk I saw 4kms, i thought it was the round trip. In the end that is why it took so bloody long and uphill!! Needless to say we chewed up our light window and by the time that we came back to the car park, the moon was well and truly out, the animals were not starting to come out and we still had another hour or so to ride into the night. eeek!
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52042
 

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Discussion Starter #58
*Warning: Sensitive content / animal strike * :(

The next morning bright and early again and back to trying to get to the end of the Prom to see the coastline. Descending from the mountains towards the coast, we were seeing a few Emus cross our path.
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In a flat long straight of road, my friend was leading and went past a sign and a low tufft of bushes. We were only doing about 70kms /hr in this section, and I went bast the same sign, wheeeeennnnnn...... JUMP

Before I knew it and before I was able to react, a walla-hoppy (a Wallaby) decided to become suicidal and just right in front of me. I didn't even have time to hit the anchors when I hit the thing square on and before I knew it the bike was on it's right hand side and skidding along the asphalt and me with it. I can't really describe too much what it was like but I did realise at one point while sliding that my right hand was still caught on the grip and I was trying to disengage it. I knew that the wallaby was no longer attached to the bike and had been left on the road back where it was hit. I then must have rolled a bit once I disconnected from the Lawnmower since I remember also doing the starfish on my front. I am so lucky that the hot water bottle that was down my top didn't bust! Maybe this helped cushion my fall?
52048

That was some impressive slide marks on the road surface!

The main thing was that it was so quick, I didn't even have time to react or even feel pain. If there was any? Within an instant, I was getting up and scrambling off the road. When ever there is a tumble I try get off the road in case there are other cars etc on it and there may be a secondary collision. In this case so early in the park, there were hardly anyone around. After my friend helped me pick up the Lawnmower I was assessing my damage: no broken bones, I could feel and move all my limbs, nothing was protruding. Except my 3 fingers on my right hand side, where I took the slide.

Poor guy was freaking out more than me! I guess it looked amazing on his rear vision mirror seeing my bike slide down the road! However it seemed that I was fine. I could still move all my fingers but I knew they were bruised. I was sooooooo glad that I had really good quality gloves, with plenty of winter padding and Kevlar knuckles for reinforcement. I also think that if it wasn't for the barkbusters (which was now smashed) my hand would have been a lot worse off!

I can't remember having my head connect with mother earth, but it was obvious I did from the scratches on the visor. Another "i'm glad I was wearing all my safety gear" moment. After a little while, my friend decided to ride a km up the road where there was a car park and a Ranger's hut. Luckily for me, there was a ranger in the shed, that came out to move the now perished skippy, and offer some help. There were a few bits that were slightly out of whack like the triple clamps and the handlebars. So the Ranger was nice enough to give us a hand straightening the bike out as best as we could and see if it would run.

Fired up no problems actually - I was surprised! About an hour after the stack, while I was nursing a frozen coke can on my knukles. We determined that it was ok to ride and that we'd make our way back to Melbs to take the bike to a bike shop to get assessed.

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Unfortunately the wallaby was no longer alive :( 😰😭 My friend pulled the Wallaby off the road and checked for a pouch in case there was a joey in the pouch and we would have to call a wildlife carer.


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Itchy head anyone??

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Poor barkbuster :(

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Thank god for the Oggy-knob! You can see how much the slider took the brunt, how much it wore down and how useful the crash-bars were - they're there for a reason.

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Bruised fingers.

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After a good and thorough check of the rider and Lawnmower, we were both able to ride!!
 

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Discussion Starter #59
We had a few hours riding back, and I didn't want to sour the moment, so I asked my friend to lead, take it a little slower, but also not take the highway. At lesser speeds it was actually nice 'touring' back to Melbourne. This also served for me to get any jitters under control. To calm nerves and to feel for the Lawnmower to see if the slightly weird handling was due to the handlebars and triple clamp being whacko; or something more mechanically sinister going on.

We stopped in some non-descriptive town for lunch, where after having something to eat and a warm drink, we both felt a lot better. He was amazed at how well put together I was. In a way I can't really describe what the incident was like since the human body is so amazing an adapts in an instant when there's trauma. In the blink of an eye, your body throws out massive amounts of adrenaline to help you out.

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In the back of my mind riding all the way back to Melbourne were all the 'what ifs', and the 'how's?' and the whole list of Qs that just seems never ending. Throw into that also lots of worry, about what's going to happen to the Lawnmower, how long is it going to take to fix, how much damage, insurance, how's the hand, blah blah blah.

To liven the mood, my friend know of my fascination for BIG cocks... ehem..... BIG things.... so he took me to Gumbuya Park/World Gumbuya Park - a review [Gumbuya Park]) which started off in the 70's as a pheasant farm. I was sooooo grateful to him for this wonderful distraction and my happiness at seeing such a big, bold and beautiful.... c0ck! 😜😂

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Actually this poor c0ck for his tail blown up once, so maybe he felt like my fingers did at this time.,....https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/vandals-blow-up-gumbuya-park-bird-20111010-1lh6d.html

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That afternoon, after a long hot shower and unpacking the trip bag, I set about washing the Lawnmower and making phone calls to my insurance company. Since I was able to still ride the bike, I organised a ride back home after dropping by the Lawnmower to the KTM dealer in Melb suburbs for the assessment. As the afternoon grew longer, I started becoming more and more depressed about what was going to happen. And how long I was going to have to wait - now not just for my papers....but about my sweet, sweet metal companion. Which was my lifeline at the moment, and my one priced possession.
Until now, I had not realised exactly how much this bike and my transport meant to me.

That evening my friend contacted me to see how I was feeling. But the thing that showed how amazing this guy was; is that he had given me the contact details of another photographer from the motorbike calendar that he collaborated with!!! As quick as a flash, I contacted this other guy, and before you know it....?

He was going to come pick me up the next morning, to be his pillion and he was going to show me around the Gippsland area, while I 'recuperated' and didn't have to do any effort riding to these places!
How lucky can this gal get! ???
 

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Discussion Starter #60
In preparation for the next day I managed to clean up my touring suit, ran a really hot bath with epsom salts, did very light stretches, took a couple of anti inflammatories, greabbed my trusty hot water bottle and went to bed early. I knew from other bike stacks that the next day, actually, the 2nd day after the stack that things really hurt then. Lol so I was prepared to do the trip before the soreness really hit.

Early next morning I was picked up in a chariot with what felt like a moving sofa on the back - including a heated seat!! :D Score!!
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I was told that today was going to be a random tour around the Gippsland area (Gippsland - Wikipedia) with no particular destination. The Region is rather large and has plenty of back streets, going through prime food growing regions, with undulating and rolling hills. Suited me just fine actually, since I did wake up a bit sore and tender but not enough to can the trip. I was picked up and we went to our meeting point in some petrol station on the outskirts of Melbs.

There, we waited till the other photographer came - from hereon end I will call them P1& P2 ;) It was an interesting dynamic, since although they had met each other before, it's like trying to make 2 introverts socialise. And in the middle they have this hyperactive 'Scrat' (like as in the Ice Age movie) between them egging them on for cool places to see. As the day wore on, they did get more comfortable and even started getting into a little bit of fun and play with their craft.

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The scenery was lovely, and these hills are so incredibly vibrant lush green! I am definitely not accustomed to such vibrancy. In QLD, being in such prolonged droughts and having so little rain, everything is in brown hues rather than greens. Beautiful farm lands - the kind that are shown and printed in the side of milk and dairy food products.


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It is suffice to say that there's no way in **** that I will even be able to ride some of these marvelous 2 wheeled machines, no matter how much I want to.... I remember people used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. All I would answer would be "taller".
My lack of height didn't really bother my throughout life - until I started riding motorbikes. And now it's just pooey. It's so hard to look for high powered, road legal bikes, that are comfy for touring and that I can touch the ground on. I know there's a lot of riders out there that will tell me helpful things such as 'slide your bum off your seat' and this and that and the other. But I dare you go on a loaded bike, for 10-12 hours touring, having to slide on and off the seat the entire day, or get stuck through peak hour traffic, and then not be sore or have muscle issues from repetitive motion on your back and hips for doing that manouver.

But I regress....
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Can't go past a day without seeing a BIG thing: the BIG Mapgpie at Poowong, Vic. ;)

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The perfect example of what the generic 'Gippsland' is like.


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Needless to say the height difference between the riders was evident...

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Having fun on the back seat with my phone camera :)

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The three amigos...

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Saying our goodbyes on the bike, before P1 took off home.
 
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