Blog 209 Guzzi hospitality 29th Feb – 4th March 2012

We followed Martin and made a mad dash into the city for the Moto Guzzi club of Victoria’s social meet visiting Martin and Natalie’s friend John on the way, who despite having cancer came out of his house to view the apparition that had appeared on his front lawn on his 80th birthday. Many members of his family were there and thought he would like to see our bike as he is a lifelong motorcyclist.


From here we were up against the clock to get to the pub before 8.30pm and last food orders, rounding the corner it seemed the entire pub forecourt was awash with Guzzis and people. Keir was ready to guide us to place of honour in the middle. Kev fielded the inevitable onslaught of questions whilst I zoomed in to order some food. We were absolutely bowled over by the generosity and made to feel so welcome by the Victoria Guzzi fraternity not only did they pay for our meal and drinks but at barely a weeks notice they had organised a raffle in our honour. Neil used to be an auctioneer and by popular vote put his skills to test by the auction of a genuine Guzzi branded carrier bag and raised a hugely impressive $20 if I remember correctly. The total they raised for us was just shy of $200 thank you so much everyone. We were also gifted a T shirt and caps each, perfect timing as we doubt we will ever see our original Barmah hats again. They also bought our last three picture books which we signed. If any of you Australian Guzzi riders are visiting Melbourne make sure you look these guys up they are a super friendly bunch

The group photo is very blurry as it was dark and raining but you get the idea.



We stayed with Keir that night and next day set about working out our plans for the next leg of our journey. We also got a chance in between rain showers to photo his Flying Flea a great little Royal Enfield which I think he is selling if anyone is interested. Keir tried the Guzzi out for size whilst I modelled his period helmet, sadly the Sump Plug Shiraz was already drunk. It looked as though the wetter weather was set for a week or two around the neighbouring areas so we turned our attention to Tasmania it was looking a much better option and after inquiring into the ferries we booked it for the Sunday crossing which meant we had a few days to go. The Guzzi club came to the rescue again and Reg one of the members offered to put us up. We discovered Australia is not such a large country as we had already met Reg on our journey, we were staying at a free camp near mount Isa and he was just finishing his trip with some friends when he saw us and filmed us.


We took a trip to the city centre with Reg and Jennie and visited the oldest pub in Melbourne Young and Jackson established in 1861. Stopping for a pint looking out over the the clocks of Flinders station. It was very luxurious upstairs and even had a chaise long. Around the corner was Pellegrini’s a lovely Italian pasta bar which has been run by an Italian family for many years, here we got to sample some good Italian pasta in old fashioned surroundings looking out on our bike which was legally parked up on the pavement outside. Bike parking on the pavement is one of the great things about Melbourne it should be legal in every city…..


We left the bikes and went on the free city tram down to docklands and back to see the sights. If anyone has any idea what the strange object is we passed please let us know. Here are some pictures of the city.


Reg took us back through the old parts of town and we saw an interesting mix of old and new. The overhead tram lines are very evident throughout the city, trams are part of Melbournes character. They make riding interesting with different road rules and tracks to contend with.


We caught up with Tim (Theo’s son) in Melbourne who received a parcel from England a while back and had been looking after it for us. The ornamental motorcycle is in fact separate porcelain pieces that were full of drink (some spirit) collected over time.



Back at Reg’s it was time to get ready to catch the ferry to Tasmania.

We arrived at the ferry port early morning without drama and made our way to the front. The customs guys are very strict on what can and can’t get into Tasmania and it seems our horns are a step too far they asked us to remove them. What a shame they completed the Mad Max look.

As we were on a day sailing we got to see the Melbourne city fade away as we left Port Phillip heads. We also passed the sister ship of the Spirit of Tamania half way on the 10 hour crossing.


Our time on the ferry was spent catching up with photos and blogs as we had a large back log, we worked tirelessly but were still behind when we arrived in Devonport at 6.45pm with just enough time to find a campsite before dark. Tomorrow we have a new island to explore.


Next up – Exploring Tasmania.

  1. #1 by Lyn & Arthur Spain on April 23, 2012 - 4:58 pm

    Hi Julie & Sprout, ( & K&K) I am sure our fellow MTC members ((Mojaca Motorcycle Touring Club) would be impressed by your efforts. The club tour this year is down to Mojacar but we elected not to go as we can’t cope with heat!!!!!! They are going in June. You are right though the mountain villages & scenery is spectacular when there is not too much tarmac & there aren’t any coaches
    We also tested our bike gear in the wet but this was coming back from Wales on Easter Mon. only the gloves leaked. Stayed in a interesting place Clryo Court near Hay-on Wye with the MTC.
    Hope you are still having fairly warm dry weather K&K as we are having a long spell of wet cold windy weather.
    Ride safe everyone, best wishes to all,
    Love to K&K

  2. #2 by Kev & Karen on April 22, 2012 - 1:45 am

    Hi Guys,
    See reply in email, thanks for the update.
    Love Karen and Kev

  3. #3 by Julie on April 19, 2012 - 10:58 pm

    Dear Karen and Kev

    Just caught up with several weeks’ blogs as we have been away ourselves. We have travelled the length of Spain to Mojacar (where your Mum and Dad go) and back to see Sprout’s aunt. We planned to go via a number of very rural/mountainous routes but, as it happened, had to change our plans almost every day because of the b&*^&y weather – on the way down it was cold and v wet, on the way back it was much colder, wetter and v windy and we had snow on each day … However, we spent a week in Mojacar and it was around 23-30C each day so we weren’t too disappointed. We think we did about 2,500 miles in a couple of weeks. We found we had leaky boots but the rest of our kit was amazing – we hadn’t tested it in ernest before so it was a baptism of fire (or ice) – one of the other bikers we met on the ferry coming back said his thermometer went down to -2C at one point! This was a similar trip to the one we made about 30 years ago on the Triumph but with completely inadequate gear … By the way, the Triumph is back on the road again … posing till closing!

    Some of the stripy rock formations and vistas we saw were very like some you have photographed. The Spanish interior is quite stunning and there are places where you wouldn’t want to get caught running out of petrol or if the weather turns really nasty. We were supposed to go on a tour of a large bodega in the Rioja region of Spain as part of our hotel deal but, because we woke up to a snow storm, decided we had better push on in case we were delayed getting to Bilbao for the ferry. As it happened, it was brilliant sunshine by the time we got there so we could have stayed to sample a few vinos after all – well, I could have sampled for both of us!

    We read with interest the bit about altitude affecting the engine when you go to South America as the BMW has this built in – and very useful it is too even in Spain where there are so many mountain ranges! I guess you may have decided against Argentina by now if the news is anything to go by.

    We guess the strange object you pass in Melbourne is a still … are we close?

    While you are in Tasmania, you may see references to an area which was called Sillwood. As I understand it, this was settled by William Page Ashburner who was my gggg grandmother’s brother and named after her house in Berkshire (or vice verse).

    Our friend John Perry has one of Martin’s Guzzi Overland bikes which was the last one he produced before he emigrated to Australia. He and Sprout went to his shop in the UK.

    Happy belated birthday to Kev. Sorry to hear about the petty thievery – Sprout has a “Kakadu” (?) hat which, according to the advertising, is “more like a mate than a hat” (which has to be said with an Aussie accent) so I guess you would miss it if it was nicked.

    Anyway, keep safe, keep blogging and enjoy the next adventure.


    Julie and Sprout

  4. #4 by Ruth and Pierre on April 13, 2012 - 12:13 pm

    Enjoy Tassie, it is the best state for riding. We love reading your blog. Keep the wheels spinning.

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