I am finally back blogging! You do know that this is a lot of work don't you? I always have so much to share with you. A lot of the time riding, I find my head full of quotes, jokes, mannerisms and so on! All I have to do is open the laptop and type...but this is a vacation/holiday…well maybe turning into a way of life??? I will eventually find my groove, and get this blog into boogie mode!...ha ha ha. I cannot promise that I will be consistent, politically correct, or in some cases a lady, but I will speak from my heart and I so love to share what I have to experienced with you all!...Bear with me :)
Kev and I rode from Goulburn, which was a pretty cool town actually, on, and into Sydney. We had made contact with an old high school friend of mine and were trying to make a lunch connection. It is definitely more difficult when you do not have a navigation system. All seemed to be going well, from what I could tell, and we decided to pull into a petrol station to fill up before lunch. Wouldn't you know it…but a police officer pulled in behind us and was very curious about our license plates. He wanted to know if we had the correct paperwork to be riding on the license plates we were displaying. All I know is that we have some pretty fancy paperwork, eg. carnets that do allow us to travel within Australia. We showed him all we had and it did seem to satisfy his curiosity and we were allowed to continue!…Phew!
Catching up with friends is a fantastic experience, that just highlights your day, and I am very thankful for that! Traveling on… the skys were Derwent Pencil blue. I don't know if you had Derwent Pencils when you were a kid, but I did and they were special pencils. You only used them for special assignments or projects that required you to receive that "A"…ha ha ha!!! Anyway that is how I saw the sky today! Not only was it a Derwent Pencil sky blue but I counted 7 rainbows on the way to who knows… there is no plan today! This absolutely blew my mind! I actually experienced a full rainbow where you could see the beginning and end…although I did not see any pot of gold…ha ha ha or leprechaun!
Kev and I pulled into Bulahdelah. We chose a small town pub for the night and I was just digging the local aussie scene. We got lucky and were able to park out bikes out back in the shed. Hopefully they could somewhat dry out before getting back on them in the morning! It was an interesting night….we were woken by bar brawls and street altercations. Although you could not always comprehend the conversation, it was intense, fiery and exciting to be privy too, and not apart of…ha ha ha!
We awoke the next morning amazed by the calmness, and headed down the rickety hotel staircase for our complementary brekky. A very interesting night indeed! Ride baby ride…we need to make up some time if we are going to make it to the meet on time. The weather is dodgy, but I'm not complaining and love the adventure we are on!
We decided to ride onto Ballina, even though it was getting dark….it would make an easier track for us the next day. It was a decision that would challenge us for the next couple of hours!! It began to rain, the visibility was very very poor, and the route became quite challenging. Trucks do not give a hoots ass about you and all you can do is concentrate on the lit road ahead of you hoping, or hopping that nothing jumps out in front of you…wowzer! We made it to Ballina, hungry, wet and tired and decided to check into a hotel for the night….bonus a 70's theme Best Western!
Cows and cranes, they seem to go together, and is quite a sight. Kev and I traveled the Hume Highway…it is quite a straight, monotonous highway and requires some distraction…I spy for example! Kev and I were playing I spy with my little eye for much of the time traveling towards Dayboro…it is a great game that keeps us alert as we enter a warmer climate…Wow, what a magnificent area of Australia…We stopped at Rainbow Beach, Cresent Head, Lennox Head and my favorite…Byron Bay! Byron Bay was just spectacular today, maybe more so because it was my birthday and that I could not believe that I was here doing what I am doing…so, so cool!
The bikes always seem to attract attention, and today was no exception… just a spectacular people meeting day! I am continually amazed at the spirited and bright individualism of everyone we meet…I admire you all, and I smile warmly when I think of you…thank you!!!
Finally, here we are…we made it to Dayboro the town where the Horizons Unlimited 3 day meet is being held…and we will be camping…Oh My!! This will be the first time since we have left the US that we have pitched a tent! You know we have not even slept in a tent since the kids have been 10 or so…holly molly, I might need to be medicated! I have to say that it was pretty exciting pulling into the Dayboro Showgrounds knowing that we were amongst fellow adventure enthusiasts…and some pretty well traveled ones to boot!!
Kev and I selected our camp sight, which had a slight grade to it, thinking that if it really started to pour that we would not be floating in water! We pulled the tent out and I could tell at this exact moment that we were thinking the same thing…Damn we should have pitched this tent in the lounge before leaving! Ha Ha Ha…this is going to be good! Maybe we could pull it off???…Maybe we would get lucky??? You reckon mate…no such chance! After about three attempts of trying to look like we knew what we were doing we decided to pull out the iPhone and Youtube how to pitch our REI 2 plus tent!…ha ha ha Ahh that's how those poles go together…isn't technology great! Now this tent is a tad cozy but I am thinking that this will be a good thing with this unpredictable weather. I was trying to think back to the last actual tent camping that I did, and it was some time ago, at least when the boys were about 10 or so? I was feeling like a real camper after everything was set up, and I must say that it looked pretty darn cozy…I just know this is going to be fun! Kev and I hung out and watched all the fellow bike adventurers from all over the world roll up…boy do we have a lot to learn!
That evening the local Bowls Club had invited the Horizons Unlimited Group to dinner. This group was warmly welcomed by the community of Dayboro and turned into an excellent ice breaker.
Our first night on the ground was rough, although I did manage to get some uninterrupted sleep, in-between the down pours of rain, and unusual harmony of camping snorers!! I was pleasantly woken up by different groups of bird life, honestly, more than amazing. I lay there in my red cocoon completely relishing the moment, listening to the banter back and fourth between the groups…"What the hell are they going on about?" Funny enough… after listening for half an hour or so the chatter subsides…maybe they have all gone to get breakfast?
The travel talks begun…each speaker, every experience and each journey was just awe inspiring and just blew my mind time and time again. The places that people have been, how they traveled, what they encountered, the challenges they faced, sacrifices made and the immeasurable growth was mind boggling!!! I honestly felt very very overwhelmed and began to question our journey? I definitely have a heightened admiration and respect for these people…am I up to the challenge? Feeling extreeeeemly extreeeeemly green in this area , I was pleasantly warmed by the enthusiasm and support these warriors of the world were showing us…this group of people absolutely ROCK!
Rain, rain and more rain, the weather was beginning to get the best of us. The group rides were cancelled due to the weather but the informative discussions continued along with our new friendships and connections. Kev and I survived this tenting experience and I actually felt somewhat confident that I could continue to camp in the future!
Packing up the tent was much easier than setting up, and I know what you are thinking…Yes, we did manage to get it back into its original carrying bag!…ha ha ha
We rode the back roads into Maroochydore thankful that we would be staying in a real bed that night…We are totally exhausted, overwhelmed, and drained…What an awesome 3 days!
Oh yeah, it finally happened, a bird flew right into me! I'm glad that it was not beak first…ha ha ha!