Leaving Peters we headed into Brisbane on route to John and Alanas, we had a few things to do on the way through. While riding around Brisbane we saw this. (they are obviously talented blind people out here).
First job was new Lexan for the screen and after fitting it was lovely to be looking through such a clear screen again.
Next stop was an electronics store to pick up some small heatsinks, peltier elements and heat conductive paste to finish off making the front box into a fridge (or esky) as they would call it here. It was only $65 for 2x heatsinks,2 x peltier elements and the heat paste bargain or wot ?
After that we went to Tom Newel’s the local Guzzi dealer. We popped in to say hello mostly, the guys in the British bike shop next door were intrigued and popped in for a look and a photograph as well. Tom was just moving premises so there wasn’t much to photograph sorry !
Then it was on to buy a personal locator beacon (plb). The vastness of Australia is not to be underestimated, at the moment we are travelling on the busy East coast but as we get further north toward the cape it will get more remote and even more so when we head west and into the outback. The plb is only activated in case of an accident or imminent loss of life buts good to know that someone knows if you need help and where you are via GPS technology. There is very little phone coverage in the outback. Here is something to boggle your mind we have done nearly 50’000km on our journey so far. Nathan managed to rack up 40’000km in six months riding around just Australia and reading other peoples trip reports of rides around Australia regularly reports distances of 20’000km +
Last stop was “Tyres for Bikes” picture below. Our rear tyre was down to the wear bars and these guys got a pair of Metzeler ME88 Marathons in for us specially. I have wanted to try these tyres for a while but we couldn’t get them in NZ or Asia. They are high mileage touring tyres and have a high load rating so hopefully they will live up to expectations. The guys at tyres for bikes were great and even reduced the bill for us in return for some stickers on the bike and posing for pictures which we were happy to do. They were great guys to deal with and they really know their stuff. They also showed us the best way out of town as by the time we had finished rush hour was looming.
By 6.30pm we had arrived at John & Alana’s. You might remember we met them at the Horizons Unlimited meeting. They were part of the team running the event and did a big trans Asia and trans Europe trip themselves. We got on really effortlessly at the HU meet and we really enjoyed our stay with them as well. It was nice for all of us to talk to someone who really understands what it’s like to undertake this kind of journey and it was good therapy in a way to realise that we all make similar mistakes and face similar problems.
We only intended to stay for a night but ended up staying three, apart from enjoying their company we needed to explore the area. The sunshine coast is beautiful, we headed inland to an area the locals call the Hinterland. It’s a mountainous area covered in thick bush and the riding was superb. Here are some views from some of the roads we were riding, the mountains are the glasshouse mountains. The picture of us having breakfast on the deck perfectly captures the Aussie lifestyle, it’s winter here now but still a nice temperature. This region is famous for growing pineapples hence the giant fruit.
John and Alana spoilt us rotten and we certainly ate well Alana is a great cook. The weather was fantastic the whole time we were there and we could easily have stayed longer but we needed to keep working our way north. The summer in Northern Australia is incredibly hot and we need to cover this leg in the “cooler” winter. It’s still in the mid 30′s degree range up there in the winter.
Our next stop was a few hours up the coast at Hervey Bay. Mick got in touch via the website and invited us to stay when we got up this way. We expected this is to be just for a night too but Mick turned out to be a dark horse. He was originally from Serbia but has lived in Australia most of his life. He was incredibly helpful and hospitable.Here are some pictures from our first welcoming comitee the local historic motorcycle club. Later we lined some of the bikes up for pictures and got Mick’s Falcone and Harley Davidson Servicar out and took them for a spin around the garden.
In amongst all this exitement we managed to find time to fit the peltier elements and heatsinks and get the fridge working and it worked well on a quick test run. The pictures below are of Kev wiring it up and an impromptu haircut when one of the guys visiting let slip he was a barber. We also visited the local beach and the pier and had time to look around Hervey Bay which is a great place.
One day was spent on Fraser Island, it is the biggest
One day was spent on Fraser Island, it is the biggestsand island in the world and is a very special place. It has an amazing diversity of landscapes and huge freshwater lakes and creeks running out into the sea. It has several distinct ecosystems: rainforest, sand dunes, sandblows and dune lakes, banksia woodlands, swampy fens and mangrove areas. The sand has been proven to extend 100meters below sea level in places but it has an impermeable layer in places allowing fresh water lakes to form. Fraser’s creeks are fed from a vast underground Aquifer which is estimated to hold 30 times more fresh water than Sydney Harbour.
The pictures below show (in order) : The ferry across, a fisherman on the way there, us at Lake Mckenzie the islands biggest freshwater lake), a sea eagle we spotted on the beach, humpback whales that eagle eyed Karen spotted out at sea (now is the start of their migration season), us paddling in Eli freshwater creek (this has 4.2 million litres an hour flowing down it straight into the sea) Maheno shipwreck, coloured sand cliffs (caused by the oxide leaching out from the sand), dingoes we spotted on the beach, view from the air of the beach (Kev took a flight), sandblows seen from the air, and finally a beautiful sunset to round the day off. What a day !