Midessex's Antipodian Tour

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About this blog

The beginning and all that jazz.

Why spend ages putting this Blog together in the first place?

At our age we are having trouble remembering what we did yesterday so we thought we would invest a little time and energy to record our thoughts in order to look back and take in the fun we have had when we return. This has the added advantage that Max can follow the trip and check out the places we visit. Many people have also shown an interest so this gives them the opportunity to keep tabs on us.

It all started over two years ago with a grand plan.

As with most of Miners grand plans the final form bears only a slight resemblance to the original idea. So here is how it all panned out.

Simple.

A lap of Oz on the trusty GS. Great for the job and old enough to leave behind if need be. Six months away should do it no worries. Wally on a walkabout/rideabout , six months peace,quiet and personal adventure. What a brilliant plan but then things got even better. Jan announced that she wanted to come along too. Great idea but 'there aint no room on my bike for anything but my camping gear and certainly no room for a passenger! Im not going by car either.' I say ducking behind the settee. I sure didn't see the next bit coming at all. "up yours I will just learn to ride a bike then" Wow I thought that is cool and has the added benefit of solving the 2010 Xmas present choice dilemma. A course of riding lessons was quickly booked. I would like to say that Jan took to riding like a duck to water but that wouldn't really be the case mainly due to the fact being a short arse didn't help. However all credit to Jan and the patient guys at Link Motorcycle Training as the CBT was passed on 9th Jan 2011. Taking the Direct Access route at the third attempt on 10th May Jan emerged from the Test Centre with a pass and full unlimited motorcycle licence and she has been getting better ever since.

The grand plan had now become the joint grand plan.

Getting a licence was one thing but then jetting straight out to Oz to start a major tour didn't seem to be a clever idea so we scratched our heads and came up with a training plan which included buying Jans first bike then clocking up miles in unfamiliar places,hot weather,very wet weather,very very wet weather and even extremely wet and windy weather all conditions we are likely to encounter "down under "judging by my past experiences. Jan enrolled with the very nice people at Essex Advanced Motorcycle Group and was soon off on group rides and one to one Observed rides clocking up plenty of miles. So far trips across the channel have included Belgium,Germany and France. In fact probably more miles have been racked up in Europe than at home.

With Jan never travelling further south than Lanzarote an introduction to Australian culture was deemed essential so off we went to see Kevin Bloody Wilson Live....she laughed... enough said!!!!

A trip to the Ace cafe Long Distance Touring event on the North Circular road filled us with more enthusiasm as we returned armed with loads of brochures detailing transport and shipping arrangements etc. We decided on January 2013 as this would give Jan the opportunity to get the best part of a couple of seasons riding under her belt. We didn't really want to leave Europe in the summer and escaping to the sun down under while winter here seemed a much better idea.

The fine tuning took place when we realised we could take in the first round of the 2013 World Superbike Series at Philip Island and the rainy season might be easing off when we reached the 'top end'. We had toyed with the idea of taking a cruise all the way to Oz but after a couple of weeks lazing on the beach in the Dominican Republic staying at at an all inclusive resort enjoying all on offer we concluded that as neither had the will power to decline the goodies we were turning into a pair of Michelin Men! That after just two weeks so how much lard would we put on if we were at sea for seven weeks? We ditched the idea but having looked at so many cruises the thought of a shorter trip has been stored away for later use! A couple of months was spent researching bike transportation, insurance , carnet paperwork, routes, distances and climatic conditions. After reading and watching the DVD of Oz: Around Australia on Triumph by Geoff Hill we asked ourselves if we really needed to do a whole lap especially as we knew we would be hitting the North during the later part of the rainy season.

It was then we decided on a major tactical change of plan.

Sydney to Perth on two hire bikes. Fly to Darwin and tour locally in a camper van. Fly to Cairns then camper van back to Sydney. Oh and start the tour off with a two week two wheeled trip to New Zealand South Island.

Flight tickets were sorted with the very nice people at Flight Centre including all internal flights, bike hire and NZ trip arranged through Bike Round Oz and Camper van hire booked with Britz.

The countdown has begun!

Lastly we know loads of people say they are doing this and that for charity well we aren't and for that matter we aren't doing a Ewan and Charley either! However if you have enjoyed our scribblings and feel the urge to donate a penny or two you won't go wrong if you help out our friends at Farleigh Hospice via this link:

http://www.justgiving.com/midessex-antipodian-tour

Both of us have had parents who have benefitted from their wonderful services. Thank you.

Apologises in advance for any grammatical, factual or spelling errors!

Read more: http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog/midessex/1/tpod.html#ixzz2GlZkr600

  • The Countdown
  • The very very last words
Trip Start Jan 23, 2013
1
42
Trip End Apr 24, 2013


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