Travelogue

Day 7 : April 28th : Maryborough to Rockhampton

Today I did this route: http://goo.gl/maps/4udOF

There were a lot of oversize vehicles on this route carrying self contained cabin units, the types which I might actually stay inside in holiday parks!

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Thats what you might call living on the move!

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Overtaking an oversize vehicle is always a bit of a risk, especially with the complex wind dynamics and localized vacuum systems created at such speeds.

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Towards the evening I head out to a small off road branching from the main highway to Rockhampton.

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The golden hour.

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And that was the hotel for the day. Rockhampton is known as the Cattle City.

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Day 6 : April 27th : Brisbane to Maryborough

Please Note: This is blog is for April 27th. To stay updated with my current status please have a look at the facebook page.

Today I covered this route.

Started out from Brisbane with this view from the Best Western room. Another clear sunny day. My luck was in overdrive it seems considering the local told me what a washout this year had been for Queensland.

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Onwards to Mt.Glorious, as Mark, my new friend from Brissy put it, Glorious in name and Glorious in nature.

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Going by what the locals here told me this gentleman could very well be a policeman with a hidden camera looking to get some extra money on this road (Mt Glorious). Quite pitiful state of affairs of how a passion for many is being exploited in the name of safety. But more on this on a separate blog altogether.

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Anyways I decide to trail him and get HIM in the camera :D

 

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Glorious roads!

 

 

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And this was a cafe nest Mt Glorious on a crest. I was greeted to a sight of many bikers. Most of them unanimously loathed the policing system and ethos of this country.

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Anyways, I headed off towards Marlborough, taking a bit of detour here and there off the road.

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Yes, it was getting so isolated now that it was warranting these kind of boards! This was just a start of what was to come!

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Day 5 : 26th April 2013 : 1000 Kms first service at Brisbane

The first day saw me leave from the Kennedy Drive Best Western onto Brisbane. For the first time on the ride I saw clouds. I prayed that it shouldnt rain.

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Met up with Todd in Tweed Heads. Back in 2010 he was running the Spyder Ryder in this region, and he gave me a Can Am Spyder to ride around the east coast!

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Then I went off to Ducati Brisbane where Bob gave the Mutistrada its first 1000 kms service.

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That is where I also met Mark Hinchliffe, a veteran motorcycle journalist in Australia who came to have a bit of chat with me. Learn a few thing from him as well about the oodles of wildlife on the road I should be worried about!

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Then I met Riccardo, who was a Multistrada owner with a  nice plush seat!

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This is Bob from Ducati Brisbane surrounded by everything Ducati!
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I also paid a quick visit to Brisbane Motorcycles who are revamping their showroom to make a Ducati special section taking into account the growing sales and demand of the Ducs!

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Time to relax on this relatively short riding day at the Best Western Gregory Terrace in Brisbane!

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Day 4: 25th April: Lismore to Tweed Heads

 

Did this route today:

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Another great set  of twisties with a blue sky! What else could I want.

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These casualties are found everywhere along roads in Australia. Big and small. Though nothing is small for a motorcycle which has to balance on two wheels! I didnt hit this one though.

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Crossing over to the second state of my ride from New South Wales (NSW)

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I wonder whats up with this car!

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Windmills like these dot the country side. I guess they are to bring up ground water.

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No proble. ENDURO MODE!

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Checked into the Best Western Kennedy Drive Motel, which is located on the way to Brisbane.

 

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Day 3 : 24th April: Port Macquarie to Lismore via Dorrigo: Further North through the World’s Smallest Motorcycle Museum

Another Day, another start. Saying bye to the Macquarie Barracks Best Western and heading on to further north. This was the route I did today, via the Waterfall way for a total of 460 kms.

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This was a lunch stop at Juan’s Motorcycle Cafe in Dorrigo. Juan is an energetic cafe owner who has put his cafe to good use (and marketing!) by saying its the ‘World’s Smallest Motorcycle Museum’. Indeed it is a museum of sorts with three off motorcycles, and lots of stuff, most of it gifted to the cafe. It makes for an interesting coffee as you just stroll around and see tid bits. Now a xBhp magazine also found a place in there!

I bumped into these couple of riders earlier as well. Now when they saw me again, we had to strike a conversation! And then they got busy flipping through the xBhp magazine as well as the Australiam Motorcyclist Magazine.

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And this is whats inside the Juan’s Cafe Del Fuego:

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And thats me on the right with Juan. He is from Argentina and he says his country is very beautiful! I hope I find that out first hand!

 

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It seems he likes the bike!

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Juan also told me an interesting incident which happened with him while riding a few days ago when a Kangaroo hit him. More on this on this blog.

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I rode into the night on forested roads inspite the plentiful warnings. I guess it is a matter of luck.

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This place below has Russell Crowe’s personal collection of “Interesting Things” as a museum. Pity it wasnt advertised well otherwise I would have budgeted time for this on the ride !

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It was getting darker now!

 

 

 

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And darker…

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Till I could see the moon in its glory.

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Finally arrived in the town of Lismore and the Best Western that I was staying today was along a lake which I couldnt see in the night. However, I set up headquarters for work here and got down to it!

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Sad the room’s are in such a pristine condition before :D

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The view from the room next morning.

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Looks no one around except me!

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Bye bye to this one!

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Day 2 : 23rd April: Northwards to Brisbane!

It was the second day and I had to cover this route via the famous-amongst-motorheads Oxley Highway. I started off from the Best Western Endeavor Motel from East Maitland towards the high country. Packing and loading the bike takes around 15 minutes and is my least favorite procedure every morning!  Its a bit like getting ready for school!

 

However the Multistrada’s ready under a blue sky ready for another ride:

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I ‘Endeavour’ to do my ‘Best’!

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So the first of ‘Tourist Drives’. Somehow I dont like this ‘chocolaty name’ on a chocolate colored board. This is serious riding I am doing here just short of taking a hike in the outback!

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For sure a good advice! I like how proactive the OZ govt is places is about motorcycling. Even if they aim to get max out of the rider’s pockets.

 

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Brief straights in the middle of the high country. These will soon turn to be inexorable straights once I head towards north and west.

 

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Thanks to the GoPro 3 by RevZilla.com and the GoPole I can take some self shots from these kind of angles!

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No who wouldnt want to speed up just a tad on these kind of roads.

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Not at the moment though!

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I would forgive you for thinking this is in New Zealand:

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Some very interesting trees en route.

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I like how the dry grass on the road side aways in the wind. It gives me a calming effect.

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This cow likes to pose!

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Golden trees against a blue sky! Beautiful!

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Walcha. Casey Stoner is from this town (or so the WikiPedia says). Perhaps he used to practice on the Oxley highway and that his secret!

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‘Thunderbolys Way’. Doesnt that sound exotic!

 

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Here are a few interesting decorations I found in a cafe in Walcha.

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This gentleman was angry about something!

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Side trails like these can often be beautiful. However time was of essence and plenty of people had advised not to ride beyond 5 PM, which was a great sincere advise, but I used to chuckle to myself all the time after hearing it. It was just not possible to cover these distances in a day while also doing videos and photos and web updates from the road and not ride into the night! Tough life, eh?

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So finally, after 460 odd kms today I reached the town of Port Macquarie where I checked into the Best Western Barracks MotorInn.

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All systems up. Ready for blogging and recharging!

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Day 1 : A 250 kms warm up ride!

Started off from the Best Western Stellar Hotel in Sydney around noon. Didnt have many kays to do today. Approx 250. I got the first taste of the countryside with beautiful farms and gentle rolling hills. The route taken was via Cessnock: http://goo.gl/maps/jpO7f

The first horse of the trip! If this were NZ, it would have been most definitely a sheep!

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Horses and other bovine creatures gnaw harmlessly behind the fences besides the country highways. It is the hopping kind which are the real danger!

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I wonder what happened to this car. Looks like a nice street art at the  moment though. Someone should do a graffiti on this. I hope the occupants were unscathed.

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Ah! Maybe this is what happened! A road side museum entrance, very catchy and classy. I like this type of stuff! Look closer and you will realize it is made up on vehicle and motorcycle parts!

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The Multistrada looked like a predator ready to take on those ants with its pointed beak if the need should arise.

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A visit to Fraser Motorcycles Ducati showroom in Newcastle was done just in nick of time. The shops close at 5.30PM. I arrived at 5.35 just to catch Malcolm, the showroom principal!

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With Malcolm. What welcoming and warm Aussie people are!

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End of the day at best Western Endeavor Motel in East Maitland. 250 kms for first day. Just a warm up for the 1000+ kms days coming up!

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Prepping and Ready to Go!

Prepping a bike takes lot of time before a ride! There is a limit to what  one can take on a bike, no matter which one is it, even if it’s with a trailer at back! The Multistrada has been enough for me on all of my rides, however this time there was a catch. I was carrying a tripod and a slider as well! Whether they will come in real handy on the trip was another matter. The immediate task was to figure out if and how can it be carried since they are fragile. However, I finally did manage to get all that stuff onto the bike (see the very end of this post). Everything was done in the basement of the Best Western Stellar Hotel, which was in central Sydney and provided for a great and secure location to work on the bike.

The Multistrada was also fitted up with aftermarket accessories like frame sliders, crash guard, radiator guard, water pump guard and an oil cooler guard. Now to the photos.

Here I am on the second day of landing in Sydney working on the bike in the basement. Everyday used toe nd at 1 or 2 AM in the morning. It was all work work work before the ride! Here I am with the partly stickered bike, putting the logos of the motorcycling clubs in India who were supporting me and this ride. Taking them around a whole , even if symbolically, was something  that I always wanted to as a gesture of thanks for doing their bit for the Indian motorcycling fraternity. And of course I needed their support as well!

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The Indian flag in the middle! With all the countries that I have done so far, not necessarily on Ducatis only! The one country’s flag that is missing is Ireland.

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I just love that FOTOS number plate. Thanks to Fraser Motorcycles for arranging that on short notice! Makes me feel the bike is personal and mine, even though I would have to return it like always! (Or maybe steal it :D ).

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The rear top case. This will carry a camera bag with all the chargers etc. And the Alienware MX14 laptop.

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Thanks again to Revzilla for providing for a few electronics needed for the ride!

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The auxiliary lights will come in handy on long riding days which will turn into nights and increase my chances of spotting Wombats, Kangaroos and other forms of life, which can effectively end my trip. Yes they are THAT dangerous.

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The bigger stand base should provide more stability to the overloaded MTS.

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These barkbusters serve as additional protection in case of a fall (god forbid~!)

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Isnt that a fantastic mouse!

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This lappy has got 16Gigs of RAM!

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Even the MTS is eyeing it!

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Maybe the MTS is reflecting on where its other siblings have been and where it will be!

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All ready and decked up!

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The biker is ready!

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Into the unknown!

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