Sunday, September 25, 2016

One hour gone

When the alarm woke me up I was confused the phone said 5:30 but the clock said 4:30 so I got on the net and realized that today was the start of daylight savings time and that we had lost an hour. Knowing this I went to the hotel reception when they opened at 8  and asked for one hour late checkout. Australia and New Zealand both have checkout at 10 am in most of the places we stayed at.

As we expected it was drizzling on and off , so we went for breakfast at good restaurant where the locals go on Sundays. It was packed and we had to sit on a small table. After breakfast we started to load up the motorcycles and managed to leave before 11 am . There was light rain and the roads were wet , we also were getting used to handling of the new bikes.

initially the weather was cold but bearable. then it got really cold and down to 5.5 deg C . at times we would get strong side winds and the overcast was constant. We passed by some very nice scenery and finally parked in front of Lake Pukaki , the color was different a light turquoise that we have not seen in a lake before . Unfortunately the clouds covered the mountains and Mount cook could not be seen.

Husain's bike started to warn that fuel was low and before we entered the motel we filled up at a gas station . Once we arrived we realized that the motel was under new management for a week now. There was no internet and no guest laundry service.

We rested and warmed up for a while and then walked into town for a meal. on the way back we stopped to buy some food a grocer for Ali's late night snack. tomorrow we head further south to Te Anau .

Saturday, September 24, 2016

We have Bikes...

New Zealand is two hours ahead of Australia's east coast so we arrived at midnight and managed to get through immigration and customs in less than an hour. This might be because Christchurch is not that big a city and not alot of travelers go through here.

We got a taxi to the motor lodge where a sign on the door told us what our rooms were since the reception was closed. In the morning we went out for breakfast and in the afternoon we took a car to the rental office to pick up the bikes. We wanted to try something different so we rented BMW F800GS bikes, while we were there we met John who was still preparing things. Initially we ordered one GPS , and then Ali wanted to all to have GPS units.

Ali's bike wasn't filled with fuel so John filled it, then I asked about the registration and he had forgotten to add the road tax so he bolted out quickly to do that. With all the paperwork and preparation it took us 2 hours to actually get on the bikes and leave back to the hotel.

We realized that it was much colder than we expected so we went into the mall and stocked up on thermal clothing and liners to layer up for tomorrow's ride to Twizel.

Friday, September 23, 2016

To Christchurch NZ

Today was a long day and we know it before hand , So we left for Brisbane right after breakfast hitting the highways , who know there would be so much traffic? We arrived at a hotel that we had booked for a few hours and started to unload the bikes and prepare them to be shipped. Husain put his drone on his bike and we all rode another 35 minutes to the depot where are bikes were received to be shipped back home. We then took a taxi back to the hotel and packed up our riding gear , rested a bit then headed to the airport.

When we got there we found out we were flying on New Zealand Air. Checking in took along time since Ali's passport wasn't going to the proper authorities when it was scanned. Luckily we had arrived early and once passed immigration and customs we had a bit to eat at a cafe waiting for our flight to leave it left on time and was expected to reach Christchurch at midnight.

tomorrow we need to get the bikes from the rental company and prepare them for our New Zealand Adventure.

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.