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.

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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 http://www.motoguzziclubvic.asn.au/

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

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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.

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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…..

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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