Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hello Gold Coast

Yesterday we woke up to the sound of rain, and admired the view while birds start to play.

We had breakfast quit early and left with haste, since the rain would delay us reaching the place.

Of sun and beach and warmth all the day , the Gold Coast is where we wanted to stay.

On the highway there was a thought in my mind, where is my phone did I leave it behind?

At the next rest stop we inquired and all was revealed,  my phone was in fact 150 kilometers from here.

The Hotel patrons called back with an idea in mind, "We'll send it with a courier you should have it in time".

A fuel stop later and while we rest, we met some locals with some interest .

Many questions were asked and we replied, We like making friends who wave us goodbye .

We will ship our bikes home and in three days receive,  new rented motorbikes in New Zealand I believe.

For now we will enjoy the Gold Coast with it's sun , who knew this place would be so much fun.

Beach walking and shopping , and souvenir hunting all with kids week events and tram hopping.

We peaked out our windows and guess what we found? A member of the biggest bike group in town.

Tomorrow we must deliver our bikes in Brisbane and catch our 6:30 flight.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Look out at Dorrigo

We walked into town to the local cafe and had a breakfast where everyone knew each other, and had very nice french toast. Packing our bikes we realized that although the wind temperature was low about 15 Deg. C , the sun was really hot which evened out the equation giving us another beautiful day to ride.

Leaving the hotel the GPS wanted us to go back a few kilometers to the highway but we had other plans and decided to continue on our way taking back roads to Tamworth where the Powerhouse Motorcycle Museum was. We glazed over the many bikes there comparing it to the Museum we visited in Bicheno Tasmania, then left on our way to Dorrigo.

When we reached Armidale we took our break then continued on one of the best roads for motorcycling we have seen, with grand vistas and curvy roads , we were mesmerized and a little disappointed that it ended when we reached the Hotel. Later we found out that there were waterfalls along the route that we could have stopped at had we ventured off the road but we didn't care, The enjoyment we got from the ride and the road was far more than enjoying watching a waterfall.

The hotel was atop of mountain with nice scenery all the way to the ocean, and the patrons here told us of another look out about 4 km from the hotel so we rode there and took some very nice photos. We decided to stay in today and had our dinner in Ali's room which was quite good. Tomorrow is a long ride to the Gold Coast and the weather forecast is RAIN.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Putty to Quirindi

It was a dry sunny day when we left Sydney heading north. A few days ago we met a guy who mentioned the Putty road and since we value local knowledge we decided to try this road on our way today. and After a many kilometers of traffic and lights we hit Putty road which is infamous for Sydney riders.

Midway we stopped for fuel, tea and coffee and found out that there is an accident almost every weekend from motorcyclists that push their bikes too hard. We also met some other bikers who were riding Ducati's and enjoying the twisties.

We reached Quirindi late in the afternoon, and while I was making hotel reservations for tomorrow and sending emails to secure our motorcycle shipping, Ali took a stroll around town and taking pictures of the sunset. We later went to a local pub for our dinner and decided to visit a local cafe for tomorrow's breakfast.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sydney with friends

The weather cooperated with us yesterday giving us partly cloudy blue skies, and the road was mostly highway with plenty of service and rest areas. On our way we saw a line of motorcycles going towards Canberra that wasn't ending so when we saw Harley riders on our break we asked what was going on , and they mentioned the Wall to Wall : Ride for Remembrance which honours the Police force and later we found that there were 2058 registered riders, no wonder the line didn't end.

After our break we headed to Parramatta as suburb of Sydney since we don't like to say in high traffic cities. After we got settled we went out and visited some old friends that we haven't seen since the eighties who used to live in Kuwait. When we arrived at the Isaac family house Ali immediately saw a bunch of kangaroos since a national park is right behind the premises. Rowena prepared a wonderful meal and Husain spent the time talking to Younan about their colleagues when they were working together.

We woke up this morning to clouds and drizzle so after breakfast we headed into Sydney on our motorcycles to try to get a picture of the Opera House. Along the way we saw a sign that mentioned the Harbour bridge being closed due to the Sydney Marathon, with blocked roads we tried to reach the Opera house but couldn't so we settled for a nearby park that overlooked the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. 

We rode back and settled for resting and doing our laundry while the rain increased. Parramatta is filled with cafes and restaurants so getting something to eat was a short walk. We hope the weather improves since we have a few long riding days ahead of us until we reach the Gold Coast.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Cold Canberra

After Ali Prepared breakfast yesterday , we gathered our things and left sunny warm Eden and headed north. The Forecast was for rain and we were prepared for it.  about an hour into the ride a sign showed a steep incline for 10 km and that's when we moved from being in 16 deg C weather to 8 deg C weather with overcast. And after I couldn't handle the cold any more we stopped briefly to put on a layer of clothing. While we were on the side of the road I saw something hopping in the woods, it was a kangaroo I showed Husain but by the time the news reached Ali it was gone. Finally we saw a live wild kangaroo.

We stayed at a hotel a bit out of the city and closer to the embassy. We then left for a shopping center were Ali and Husain got a haircut and I was trying to recall when was the last time we saw a shopping center. Perth yup we didn't see any until we reached Canberra, and since we were here we decided to go see a movie too.

Since we were staying in an apartment style hotel there was no breakfast, so I volunteered to go into town and buy what we needed for our meal. it was 8 deg C at 7 am when I ventured to the closest supermarket that was open at the time and rode back very careful not to break the eggs I was carrying.

Later that day the clouds subsided and the weather was just right for our ride to the embassy. We met the embassy staff and Mr. Mahdi Alajmi, Mr. Abdulaziz Almenaifi, and Mr. Abdulaziz Aldekheel. Later we Met with his excellency the ambassador Mr. Najeeb Albader.

We talked all about our travels and took some photos, the ambassador insisted that we see some of Canberra before our dinner with him tonight. And assigned a car to take us to the Australian War Memorial which is a highly recommended visit.

Later in the evening we went to the ambassador's house where we met more staff as well as the current and future cultural attache. And as we talked about the great role our embassy's and ambassadors play we got to know that the former ambassador to Ethiopia when we visited in 2011 is now the ambassador to New Zealand where we hope to see in a few weeks. The meal and company were very well enjoyed and we went back to our hotels to get ready for Sydney.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Whales at Eden

We left Sale yesterday on the princess highway heading north to Eden , the weather was a mix of sun cloud and rain all within riding distance of each other.

A short break for coffee and and we were on our way reaching Eden around 3 pm , We inquired about the whale watching tour and were told to call back tomorrow at 8 am since the weather was unclear.

We walked into town for dinner and though that the local Fishermen's Club would be open but found out that they opened at 6 PM ( Note to self alway call to make sure when things are open). After a nice meal we walked back to have an early night in since we were very tired.

In the morning the Innkeeper called the tour company and we were in luck, the winds they were expecting were no more and the tour would start at 9 am for 3 hours. We arrived early and found a nice restaurant nearby for after the cruise.

We didn't have to go out much before we started to see water blowing in the air and the sight of humpback whales migrating, a few even gave us a show and after a while our cameras were filled with videos and pictures.

Afterwards we had lunch and the restaurant and found out that Eden had recently become the best place to see whales in Australia. Since today was a rest day we did laundry and just chilled getting ready for tomorrows ride into Canberra.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Where? Sale?

Once we reached Melbourne we got off the ferry and headed to Ringwood since we wanted to replace tires at BM Motorcycle and see Chris and his crew again. but they open at 9 and we got off the boat at 6:45 so we found a restaurant online that served breakfast and was 2 km away from BM Motorcycles, called Mister Fox. A nice place overlooking the golf course with great food.

We were also contacted yesterday by a colleague of ours Mr. Mahmoud Chamma who was visiting for the week Eid Holiday, and he managed to came by the restaurant and say hello.

The food was amazing and the atmosphere relaxing , I bet it is packed during the weekends. We headed to BM Motorcycles and Chris stated that Michelin didn't have the Anakee tires we wanted, and recommended Continental TKC 70's instead .

So we went ahead with his proposal and the bike were ready about an hour later. Our initial plan was to get to Bairnsdale to start the Great Alpine Road. However it was cold and it was raining so we headed to Sale as an alternative.

Reaching Sale we were very cold , we all got into our rooms and started the heaters with much of our thermalware still on us. upon inspection of the Great Alpine Road I found that it was very cold with a cold front coming in the next two days temperatures were going to be 4 deg. at max and -1 at min. No thank you we will take the coastal road. We are just not prepared to tackle such a route without electric heated vests. So our next stop will be Eden.