Current News – We’ve left Prince George and we are heading out to the Cassiar highway a more remote and beautiful route to Alaska. Meanwhile here is the next blog from Australia.
Blog 249 Goongerah & Errinundra National Park – March 2013
It was one of those few days where we really didn’t get far for one reason or another but had a great time doing it.
We headed for Lakes Entrance, at the top view point we got some good shots of Lakes Entrance before we rolled into town.
We stopped in a day use area and set up lunch under the shade of a tree, it wasn’t long before people started appearing for a look and asking the usual questions. We also got an invite for a cuppa from Paula and her husband who were in their campervan. We befriended Missy the Shiatsu and headed off to their camper to brew tea just as Juan-Pedro (said in a very strong Spanish accent) stopped alongside on his motor cycle, better make that three cups they laughed. We all enjoyed a good chat with tea and biscuits. Juan-Pedro was doing a whistle stop tour of Australia on a small bike he bought here.
In one month he had done Sydney, Cairns, Darwin, Alice, Adelaide, Melbourne and now here. Phew we were worn out just hearing about it.
Paula was recovering from cancer in the only way the Aussie’s know how by getting out and enjoying life, good on yer Paula.
After fueling up in Orbost we headed to the hills and found quite by chance a delightful free camp in Goongerah run by a green army of friendly tree huggers. A lot of logging goes on in this district and many have homes here to try to protect it, the campsite had just that weekend had a demonstration party and a few bods were still around. Usually we take photos of the Dunnies (toilets,washrooms) because they are so bad but this is the exception, Goongerah thunder-box was charming. We camped next to the river and walked the short nature walk to the view over the valley and watched a mob of big roo’s bouncing into the distance as the sun burned off the morning dew. We could understand why the locals wished to save this little corner of paradise from the logging companies.
These routes go over the saddle of the hills and literally through the temperate rainforest. It’s not often you can ride your motorcycle through a rainforest and we enjoyed a spectacular ride not encountering a soul all day and had a hearty lunch of wraps and salad in the middle of no-where. We saw the source of the river Errinundra which runs to the sea.
We took a short detour to the Ocean view lookout where the route got more interesting with grass up the middle and small trees down across the road. Boofle got a bit dusty along with the rest of the bike but all survived the bumpy route. Yes we could see right out to the ocean but it was hard to photograph as it was such a long way away.
We turned up to another deserted camp and enjoyed a spaghetti bolognaise for tea that night that night with the campsite to ourselves.
We successfully negotiated all the rest of the dirt road and were just getting onto the tar when something gave on the front end as Kev was pitching into a sweeping corner. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to spot the problem a crack had worked all the way round the front fork tube.
Kev was amazed when the forks looked fine after our big off, he felt for sure they would be cracked or bent but he, I and another engineer looked them over thoroughly and all seemed well. We had been riding it around Melbourne for months with no trace of a problem.
It was a no brainer we had to remove the fork leg and get it welded.
Once off the bike the true story emerged. It had cracked slightly after the accident right at the back out of sight. Our little jaunt over the rough logging roads had worked like a sea saw and eventually it worked it’s way around and broke. You can see the rusty and shiny sections in profile where the crack had spread. We were lucky on a number of reasons, one that we chose to do the dirt roads on this trip as this showed up the weakness here where we could fix it in time before we shipped it to Canada. Also that we were yards from a big main road, having been in the boondocks for two days with not a soul about.
Kev hitchiked to Cann River and got a lift from a German couple on the way to the garage and a visiting Alaskan on the return. The local garage welded it back together well enough for us to get home for only $15 and Kev resolved to sleeve both legs when we got back just to be sure long term. One of the advantages of our leading links forks is that there are no internal components in the leg so you can do that easily. Also passing were Bec and Skip on their way home from work, they stopped for a chat and invited us home if we were running out of daylight when we fixed the leg back on. As it was only an hour to dusk we headed for their place and ended up staying the night in their barn and enjoying their company. They were both bikers and had a fabulous rambling farmhouse just up the road.
They had to away really early next day but invited us to stop by their cafe in Cann River for breakfast on our way to Mallacoota which we did.
The main purpose of this trip had been as a shake down run both for the bike and myself. It all worked out fine in the end and we saw some beautiful parts of the country and we met some nice people along the way. We had intended going further up the coast but decided although the repair was good we would only go to the next coastal town of Mallacoota before we headed back to Melbourne.
Next Up – Mallacoota