[Original post by Elliot Mogerman – Transferred from yahoogroups.com]
That night we went to the local pub next to the camp sight and the food was absolutely horrible. So we drank a few jugs each and were educated on the fine sport of cricket by a local who wanted to teach us. I learned that there are a few different types of cricket matches and one can go on for a full day of 8 or so hours and even a 5 day cricket match exists. If you have ever watched this sport, it is beyond me how it can go so long without people going insane. After our lesson, on the way back to camp, we stopped by hungry jacks `aka’ burger king and had 2nd dinner. A little buzzed we gave the staff an entertainment they would not forget and in their appreciation gave us a simpsons present. Something else dangerous in Oz I should mention besides the animals and creatures are the cars with L patches on them. These identify newly permit drivers learning to drive. Remember the girl I gave a lesson to, well it appears she got a speeding photo radar on the day I was teaching her. Haha
Took my bike to BMW for repairs and quite amazingly this amazing bike only needed a few service issues touched up and had no problems from the tumbling crash it endured the day before. Afterwards, I got the name of a metal works company and dropped off my cases. The next day they had repaired and fixed my panniers to a normal shape and fit back on the bike so I can continue the rest of the trip with my belongings. More advice if you ever visit Aussie, don’t wear sandals when you need to piss in a trough. At the next camp in Tasmania, this guy corners me in a bathroom and wanted to talk about my trip, but I couldn’t understand one word he was saying. His down under accent was so under it was difficult and embarrassing for me to keep asking huh. So finally I just said gnight and went on my way. I have been gun shy on my riding since the last crash and have been going super slow. We even hit a small section of off road stuff, which Mike was sincerely sorry for as he was not aware the road we were traveling turned into a small section of loose gravel and dirt. This turned out for the best, as I was taking a blind corner in the middle of farmland a tractor was pulling out onto the highway and thank goodness I was going slow enough to as brake and avoid smashing into his slow equipment.
After another few days of wonderful and uneasy riding we stopped at another camp sight in St Helens. Here we decided to buy food from the supermarket and eat in the kitchen. We bought like a pound of spaghetti, a pound of meat, a big can of sauce, garlic bread and wine. We made it all and tried our hardest to finish it off. In the morning we chartered a fishing boat and Elliot went fishing for the first time. That morning I took some muscle relaxers for my back on an empty stomach. We launched out to sea and started with some rods that you cast and keep reeling in near the top of the water. I caught some pike. Then I started feeling sea sick which is a first also. Then we went to deep sea fishing and some larger rods. I caught some grouper, butter fish and Mike even landed a really small shark. It was a ton of fun. The daughter of the captain cleaned the fish we landed and we took it back to the camp kitchen that night and feasted on our freshly obtained Tazzie seafood.
Been eating way too much lately and getting way too full. The weather here is constantly changing and always raining on us after the morning starts so nice and clear skies to trick us. We rode into Hobart and saw Gordon damn. At night we decided to stay in a plush hotel as we were super cold from riding in 40 degree wet weather all day and I went to the bottle shop for some wine. Upon returning to the hotel, the doors and entrances were locked and Mike had the key inside the room. I had to walk behind the building and find our window. Then I threw change at it until Mike heard and looked out to see me in the alley waving him down. One local told me if you don’t like the weather in Tasmania, go inside and just wait ten minutes. I think this describes the spontaneity of the climate here. Next day, we headed west and took a cruise on the Gordon River in Strahan. It was good weather, and best of all it was all inclusive. We started drinking at 9am and eating at 9:30 and didn’t stop until the cruise ended at 2pm. This river is some of the most dramatic scenery on earth. The plant life here cannot be seen anywhere else on the planet and some date back quite sometime. Hells Gate at the mouth of the harbor is world famous and most of this area is dedicated as a world heritage with more of the requirements than any other heritage spot on the planet. I think it had 7 out of 10 natural and cultural criteria used. There are a ton of world famous fish farms holding huge numbers of Atlantic salmon and ocean trout leading the way to most of the finer dining in Aussie and hot spots around the world. Also had a tour of a convict settlement island by a very animated old tour guide who made the day quite enjoyable.
Tomorrow we head back to Davenport to catch the evening ferry back to Melbourne. Our ride to the boat was engulfed in rain most of the day and the weather weren’t taking prisoners. The ocean was relatively calm despite the possibility of rough waters due to harsh weather conditions. We filled our buffet plates full mimicking small mountains of stacked food and took them to our room for a laptop movie night. Mike snored as usual and my sleep was how you call a little deprived. We woke at 5am to depart the boat and needed to waste some time before heading over to his friend’s mom’s house to stay a few days. So we rode for 4 or 5 hours around northern suburbs of Melbourne and around 400km. For lunch we stopped at a café in Carnegie near his friend’s home and ended up talking with a local named Richard who also rides the same kind of bike I do. After lunchtime we met up with his friend Rob. We spent most of the afternoon hanging outside in the backyard just enjoying the calmness of our surroundings. Rob’s brother and nephews came over and mom cooked an Italian dinner of pasta and more pasta. After dinner, we went to support one of the nephews at his indoor soccer match. It was quite entertaining with Mike heckling the ref and me yelling at the players. They ended up tying against Jamaicans.
The next few days we ended up going riding with all of Robs and Mike’s mutual friends, and Richard the guy we met a few days back at lunch. Both days were fast, curvy and relaxing at the same time. We stopped to see all the history and scenic views. Ate in quant little towns and enjoyed the nice weather. One town I really enjoyed was Walhalla. It is an old gold mining town with a lot of history and charm. But unfortunately everyone else in the surrounding area received the memo and it was quite busy with tourists and local Aussies. During some free time we pressure washed our bikes to prepare them for New Zealand Quarantine, incase we don’t luck out like we did with the inspector here. I also replaced my Piaa high intensity flood lights with new bulbs. They stopped working a few months back and after some help by Rob, we discovered they blew out due to some of the impacts they have been involved in shall we say. Tonight Mike ditched us to hang with a friend so Rob and I went to little Italy and ate at Cavallas, “the little horses.” We ate a long filling meal of pizza, salad, and Moscato while discussing philosophy and life in general. I woke with another ear infection but still have stuff from the last one to take. At night we took Mike to chapel street for his 41st birthday. Several of the guys we went riding with and a few others showed up for his dinner. I also finished the Bill Bryson book down under and thoroughly enjoyed it. Definitely recommend this book to anyone and will now be a fan of his. I’m open to any new suggestions for new reading material. Today, we are being kicked out by Rob’s Mom so we will hunt down other accommodation until we figure out our transportation to New Zealand.
Looks like we will be in New Zealand around Feb 7th. I’ve been enjoying the riding lately. A lot of calm and peaceful riding. Smelling and seeing the new nature around us and not really talking too much. Sitting in quite and reflecting on many things. Interent is still a pain in the a$$ so bear with us for updates. Love to all!