BikieChic Adventures

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BikieChic Adventure – Walwa. Women’s Celebration of Motorcycling 2012 Day 6

Day 6 – Monday 29 Jan 2013
Cooma to home – by Kathy Jeffrey

A little sad our adventure is coming to an end, the morning is quite overcast and the rain is coming down we have been lucky for most of the trip weather wise although we did have the storm which Kaz’s bike felt the full brunt.

No one is in a real rush brekky at Maccas very convenient just across the road. Ready to go about 10.00 everyone in full wet weather gear heading to Bungadore for lunch and final farewells as the group will head off in different directions. Sharon and I being from the Gong will travel down to the coast via Kings Highway through Braidwood, Nelligen down Clyde Mountain, then it’s left and up the coast.

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walwa 104

 

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Arrive at Bungadore lunchtime the weather has turned the sun is shining, all you see up and down the road are our parked bikes and girls peeling off wet weather gear and layers, what a relief! Final lunch together bit of a slow process there is still about twenty girls to feed and they’re hungry. Sharon has gone off shopping as you do, it’s a nice little township with antique/collectables shops, leather goods, wood work and even a bike accessory shop although I think only open on weekends.

After lunch and checking of weather/ radar maps, (what did we do before smart phones) we say our goodbyes. The sun continues to shine and Sharon and I have a great ride it’s a beautiful winding road down the mountain not too many cars being a weekday although held up a couple times by trucks. Fuel and bum stop at Ulladulla. There is a yacht on it’s side on the rock wall in the boat harbor, remains of the storm that hit the day before some  girls rode through it glad all ok except for a couple breakdowns but all safe.

Off again on the Princes Hwy going north traffic good, beautiful part of the world,  I’m not biased.  There is a contrast to the heavy rain & storms   our area received in the last couple of days though, that is the blackened trees along the way. The fires are now well and truly out but the scars remain. Pull up at Berry for another stretch and to say goodbye as we peel off in different directions to home. Another rider asks where we have come from, he informs us he has the van across the road and going to collect his bike from the day before, the rain was so torrential he left it at a mates at Hyams Beach said he had no visibility once again we were so lucky with the rain.

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Well it’s about 5.30 we say goodbye and take off, home by 7.00. The week has been another great adventure. The fun we all have together the great riding the “mateship”.

A special thank you to Di & Selena (WOTY!) You do such a great job in organising such a wonderful adventure.

Hugs & kisses to you both and all, till next time.

Kathy & Sharon

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BikieChic Long Way East – Final Update

Hi again,

 This will be the last update for this event – we have been home for what seems like ages now and certainly back into the full swing of our usual busy lives again.  We wanted to give you an overview of what we did to prepare for this ride.  We did quite a bit of homework before leaving home and boy it paid off!!! 

Di checked out a lot of different products which where going to be both cool, warm and would dry quickly (ie overnight) for us and it definetly paid off for us. So what did we pack?  We where very strict with what we took, we said all along that if we brought anything, we would post it home so we didn’t have to try and carry all this extra stuff along the way.  We pretty much stuck to this rule, except as we got close to home, we decided that we didn’t need to post anymore, we had space on board to carry things. I think this was a testimont to what we started with and actually had space to spare in our panniers.  So what did we take?

2 cooldry t-shirts
2 undies
2 pr socks
1 thermal long sleeve top
1 pr bike shorts
1 t-shirt for dinner
1 pr jeans
1 pr shoes
Riding gear – Helmet, Jacket, Touring pants, gloves (3 pr) We always carry more than 1 pr of gloves in case of bad weather! Nothing worse than riding in wet gloves or cold hands.

Noodle (neck wrap)
Kooldana (a cooling bandana)
Cardigan
Wind proof vest
Wet weather suit
Tool kit
First Aid kit 

There was only 1 thing in my kit that I didn’t wear and wouldn’t take again – that was my swimmers. We went swimming, but at the end of the day it was so hot, we stripped off and ended up swimming in bike shorts and our t-shirts.  I wouldn’t waste my space with swimmers again in the future (although Di disagrees with me on this point).

The only thing I brought along the way that I should have packed! I brought a pair of thermal long pants in Cooma (it was bloody cold that morning!!!). So in future, I will trade my swimmers for long thermal pants.  With regards to thermals, socks and underwear we did our homework and found what proved to be excellent at Paddy Palins or Katmandu.  The thermals are pure merino wool, offering warmth, odourless, and quick drying garments which where fabulous and we highly recommend.  Our undies;  well what can I say !  A couple of months ago, on a stinking hot day – Di found herself sitting in a river with a guy wearing  just his boxers and they got talking about these undies (as you do!!).  They turned out to be Exofficio quick dry – with a claim; 16 countries, six weeks and 1 pr of undies!!  Rather a large statement we thought, but decided to give the a go… Well they are unreal!! And we loved them.  All you had to do was wash the pair each arvo and they would be dry by morning – so it was easy to do the trip with only 2 pair!!!

A big tip for planning a trip like this is to do fashion parade before leaving home.  I had a brand new rain suit which I had just packed without checking and trying on.  The suit was a 2 peice suit and the pants where about 2 sizes too small – thank god that rain in Mt Gambier didnt eventuate into much!!  So before you leave – make sure everything fits and works!!

Okay back to dreaming about that next trip.  Take care my freinds.


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BikieChic’s Long Way East – Update 7

Hi everyone,

well we did it!!! we made it from the West Coast, Perth to the East Coast, Sydney. A total riding time of 12 days and 3 days off the bikes and 5658kms.

We got up to yet another sunny day and packed our bikes up for the last time on this trip, and headed north to Sydney. With a stop over for breaky in Ulladulla and then stopped in Kiama – we checked out the blow holes in Kiama. Did you know that there are 2 blow holes in Kiama? – the big and small one – I didnt! After yet another snack, we got back on the bikes and cruised up the Princes Hwy, over the Seacliffe Bridge and up to Stanwell Tops for our last stop of the tour…. talk about dragging out the last little bit of the trip!!! Finally we pulled in at 3.30pm at the shop completing our job of delivering the bikes back from Perth undamaged. And what a great job we had done!!! A celebration was absolutely required – so a bottle of Champagne was opened and drunk of course!!

Kiama - the big blowhole

Kiama - the big blowhole

Stanwell Tops Lookout View

Stanwell Tops Lookout View

I guess some of you might ask why? Why would this crazy woman want to ride from one side of Australia to another. Shit even I have re-asked myself that over the past 2 weeks. So I thought I would try and explain myself a little….

A couple of years back I had an operation– and I wanted a goal to look forward to for recovery. It had to be big, so big that at that time I knew it would take a bloody big part of me to achieve. I initially called this my recovery ride – my goal to strive towards when I got better. I can remember a time when I didn’t think I could ride to the end of the street, or up to Mt White for breakfast with Terry. Slowly, I overcame fears, and gradually ventured further afield.

I wanted to prove that I had recovered – that an illness was not going to rob me of my life or future adventures. Even after everything I had been through – it wasn’t going to stop me from living. My greatest fear in life is to be sitting in an old armchair – thinking to myself, “I wish I had done that..” I want a life of adventure, fun and lots of laughter. Life is for living and not living in the past.

At the time of dreaming about my recovering ride – I didn’t think about how or when, I didn’t want any road blocks to stop me from imagining this. So before I had even had the surgery I printed off a picture of Australia and a picture of the bike that I wanted to ride on this trip and put them on the wall in front of my desk. There they stayed for 12 months – I kept dreaming about it and finally decided that I had to do it. I spent hours talking to Di about it and finally said – we have to do this, and I wanted her to do it with me – of course she agreed.

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It had to be a girls’ trip – as much as I love my husband ‘Terry’, I really wanted this to be something that we did without being reliant on our husbands. So the trip got renamed to the Long Way East and we started planning. To start with it seemed overwhelming, with more we planned and researched, the more acheivable it became.

Di spent hours doing the research for the right clothing we should take, and I have to say that at the end of this trip, she was right on the money, we didn’t take too much and there was nothing we really needed (and we even had room to spare in our panniers). I spent days looking at the route and where to go, how far to ride each day, how long it would take and the budget. We wanted rest days, tours, and retail therapy on this trip – it wasn’t an endurance ride, we wanted it to be something that we would enjoy and talk about for years to come. We will pull into Sydney with a few dollars left in our pockets and some 1000 odd photos, great memories and a friendship that is stronger today than it was when we started a couple of weeks ago.

I also wanted to inspire other people to follow their dreams – when you put your dreams out there and declare them to the world; life has an uncanny way of delivering. You can live the life you dream of…. Just be brave enough to dream a little (or a lot!!).

Home at last!

Home at last!

Life is worth living – don’t live in the past, Keep faith in your friends and laugh every day, Then your aches and pains will fade away.

This trip would not have been possible with out the support of my dear husband Terry, for putting up with my crazy ideas and allowing me the space to fulfill them. For my dearest friend Diane, for being as crazy as me and buying into my dreams and being part of the whole experience – for her lovely husband Howard for letting me drag her away for weeks on end and supporting our antics.


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BikieChic’s Long Way East – Update 6

Remember what I said about Nundroo – and I didn’t think things would be much worse, well I was wrong!!!!  There is a seedy little budget motel on the north side of Wangaratta that is insect infested that you should all avoid.  Di is living proof to this!  Obviously the bugs where only sleeping on her side of the bed or she didn’t drink enough alcohol that night to ward off the critters, but she is covered in welts and is ready to rip off her skin from the bites.  Even the pharmacist asked if we had slept in any strange places – we just giggled and couldn’t answer him.

Beechworth

Beechworth

 

Anyway after leaving insect-ville – we head towards Beechworth and heard all the Sunday church bells chiming, then onto Yackandarah. Di would love to go back to there to check the place out some more – they have some awesome old buildings and gold mining stuff there. She has just reminded me of the little farmer on his little tractor, with flashing lights (images of police come to mind quickly) holding onto his farm dog – it seems that the farmer was trying to protect his 20 odd sheep which where on the side of the road and I didn’t see ONE of them!!!  Bloody sheep are really well camouflaged in this part of the country I reckon!!!   

Snowy View

Rode onto Corryong and had some lunch there and worked out which way we wanted to head over the Snowy’s.  After pondering over the Atlas and making a decision, we then spoke to some locals who told us of a 3rd way which sounded great.  So we headed off towards Towong and Tooma (near Tumba-bloody-rumba) and then took Elliotts Way up to Cabramarra.  Neither Di or I had been this way before and it was fabu-bloody-listic!!! It was like riding on a private road for us, no traffic, sun was shining, not too cold, and unbelievable scenery.  The smell of fresh eucalyptus trees and pine was intoxicating and something that will stay with us for a long time.  I was taking happy snaps all the way through and this also happens to be one of my greatest disappointments of the trip – none of the photos I took through this section turned out.  Oh well, I will just have to go and do it again one day and retake the photos – bugger!!!!  I will arrange for the sun to be shining, no traffic, the wild brumbies and the stationary wallabies on the side of road, the fisherman at the rivers and fragrance in the air again… shouldn’t be too hard, what do you reckon!!!! img_3295 

We pulled up for the night at Cooma, ordered takeaway and then dealt with Di’s insect bikes, they where now the size of Mt Kosiosko on her back.  When we woke up this morning, it seems that the sun had forgotten to do the same.  We didn’t leave Cooma until 10.30am, but it was still only 10c.  So with about 5 layers of clothing on, we headed towards Bungadore for lunch and some sun. We checked out the local stores in Bungadore, and Braidwood and then headed down the Kings Highway (Clyde Mountain) to Batemans Bay. 

 

Getting to Batemans Bay today was a huge achievement for us – we started out on the West Coast in Perth 14 days ago and have finally made it to the East Coast today.  So we celebrated in true BikieChic style, we brought fish and chips, a couple of bottles of wine and had dinner at the waterfront – celebrating our success.  We are feeling mighty proud of what we have achieved and have some great stories of the trip which we will remember for a long time.  What can we do now to top this!!! We will have to start dreaming again!!!

Coast to Coast Success!!! 

Tomorrow we are heading home and back to reality.  We have got plenty of work to do – catching up with business which didn’t stop just because we decided to ride across Australia!! Go figure!!! 


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BikieChic’s Long Way East – Update 5

Hi there again,

Well another couple of days have passed and many more kms ridden. We left Beachport yesterday morning – but it seems more like a week ago. The weather took a turn for the worse and we rode up to Mt Gambier in cold winds and a little rain. It was even so windy that they had a windfarm at Millicent – with the biggest windmills we have ever seen. There must have been a couple of hundred of them there – unbelievable. In Mt Gambier we found the Blue Lake and took some happy snaps – the lake is beautiful at this time of the year it is a turquoise blue and it will slowly turn grey again a few weeks time.

Mt Gambier Blue Lake

Mt Gambier Blue Lake

We rode on through the Grampians and pulled up stumps at a fabulous little motel in Halls Gap. We got in before dusk and then checked out the local residents – there where 100’s of skippys just in the field beside the motel, so we took more happy snaps.

The Locals....

Dinner in the restaurant was interesting they even served skippy on the menu. The weather is certainly different from the last week or so, we got up this morning to a snappy 12c – so we stayed in bed a little longer and waited for it to warm up. When we left it was a brisk 14.5c, but just down the road, Di said it dropped to 13.5c – bloody cold!

Some great back roads...

Some great back roads...

 

Great Victorian roads...

Great Victorian roads...

We pushed on to Ararat and had a quick breakfast and then made moves for Castlemaine. I visited this town in December and it is such a nice little place, I just knew Di would love it and I wanted to go back and spend a little more time there. We found a couple of great little shops and performed some more retail therapy.

After leaving Castlemaine we found some great back roads to Benalla, where we thought we would bunk for the night. You wouldn’t believe it, but there wasn’t a spare bed in town, so we rode onto Wangaratta – which was a little concerning as the sun was now setting. We got into town, and still no bloody beds – anyway we finally found this place way out on the outskirts of town, it is a little dodgy and we have to share a bed but it is clean. We got here and it was dark and had no dinner – so I went scavenging and while the old lady was giving me 2 hot cross buns, Di thought the passing train was going to come straight through our room. Anyway we finished off the cheese and bikkies, a couple of hot cross buns and shared a glass of wine (we are all class tonight) – so we now sitting in bed, watching tellie and writing this message to you all hoping like hell that no more trains are coming thru tonight. Remember what I said about Nundroo – well it’s a ditto for this place.

 

Dodgy Insect-ville...

Dodgy Insect-ville...

 Tomorrow is another day and I am sure a few more tales and giggles will unravel themselves – so we will be in touch again soon.


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BikieChic’s Long Way East – Update 4

Well we have definitely done it hard over the past couple of days.  After arriving in Adelaide on Tuesday afternoon we were cooked – it was about 36c and our little bodies where ready to burst.  So we stripped off the hot black bike gear and changed out for something cooler and happy hour down in the bar of the hotel we booked into.

Ferry from Lucky Bay

Ferry from Lucky Bay

 

 

 

So! where did we get up to in the last update – oh yeah, we caught that ferry from Lucky Bay to Adelaide and as you know we had decided to spend an extra day off the bikes and some serious R&R.  So we took one on the chin for the girls – it was hard work girls, but you know when there is hard work to be done, Di & I are there, pulling our weight!!!  So we started the day off by catching the tram from the city down to Glenelg beach for breakfast, then checked out the beach – yes it had water, birds, jetty, hotels, restaurants, shops, shops and shops – so we decided to check out the shops!! Well it just wouldn’t be right to not give you an update on the shopping now would it!!!   

Glenelg Beach

Glenelg Beach

 

 

We caught the tram back to Adelaide city and guess what???? They had more shops there too, so we did the right thing by you all and checked them out as well… yes they are all very nice, we brought a few samples and then checked out that Australia Post did exist down here and we even checked out their services by sending our days purchases home.  After all that we just made back in time for the happy hour at the hotel – exhausted, but happy knowing that we had done all this research you for you girls!! 

 

Today we got up bright and early – Di was happy to say goodbye to the plank that she called a bed for the last 2 nights!! And all the traffic of Adelaide that passed by her window between 12 and 3am!!!  We headed out to Murray Bridge for morning tea and then down the road to see more spectacular coastline.  This area is called the Limestone coast – it is a beautiful region.  We pulled into Kingston SE (don’t know what SE stands for sorry), where they have a big lobster on the side of the road.  Well it just didn’t seem right to drive through town without doing what the Romans do! So we tested the local lobster – and it was great!!   

Lobster at Kingston SE

Lobster at Kingston SE

 

 

We checked out Robe and can confirm that they don’t do Robes in Robe, but it is a beautiful beach town and well worth a visit.  We moved onto Beachport for the night and did the local tourist drive and saw the lighthouse, the rugged coastline and the salt pool which looks great for swimming.  After riding for most of the day in 36c heat – we kept thinking that a swim in Beachport would be great, unfortunately by the time we got here, the temperature had dropped to 20c and we where ready for a warm shower not a swim!  So we checked the local pub, had dinner and now we are ready for another good nights sleep. Di said that this bed is softer than the plank – so she’s a happy BikieChic!!! 

 

Chat again soon!! 

Beachport Lookout

Beachport Lookout

 

 

Beachport Jetty

Beachport Jetty


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BikieChic’s Long Way East – Update 3

It has been great to get your words of encouragement and support – thanks for that.

Well we survived the Nullarbor (WOOHOO) and yesterday when we rode from Nundroo (remember, the one I don’t really wont to go back to J ) through Ceduna and then headed south for lunch.  That was a good 300kms and we worked up an appetite.  We caught up with my lovely twin nieces (Kate & Nina) there and dined over the gorgeous shores of Streaky Bay at the local pub. 

Back on the bikes again and headed south for another 300kms to Port Lincoln – the Eyre Peninsula was as beautiful as the Nullarbor.  It is quite incredible how the scenery changes so frequently and to think how hard it must have been for the settlers to establish this country way back when.  We checked out Port Lincoln and took some great photos, and then decided to keep moving onto a place that came highly recommended.  We ended our day at Tumby Bay, which is about 50kms north of Port Lincoln on the east side of Eyre Peninsula.  We ended up dining on seafood on the balcony at this great historic hotel overlooking the shores watching the sun disappear.   It was a big day with around 650kms under our belts (and I thought I only had a 450km butt!!!).    

 

Tumby Bay - wow

Tumby Bay - wow

 

Today we rose as early as the sun came up – around 7am and quickly got ready for another day.  We managed to watch the sunrise over the water and got a few of those happy snaps again.  A quick bite to eat we got on the road again, with a 120kms north to catch a ferry from Lucky Bay.  We managed to get there a little early hoping for a delicious coffee at a nice little café.  However when we got there – we where stocked to find that all was there was a little demountable shop surrounded by more red dirt and stones.  Oh well, Lucky Bay wasn’t that lucky huh!!!  The ferry crossing was calm and took about 2 hours ending in Wallaroo a couple of hours north of Adelaide. 

Back on the bikes again on the eastern side, and the temperatures where soaring again – we made the dash for Adelaide. We parked the bikes and checked into a hotel for a couple of days.  Tomorrow we are going to have a day off the bikes with some well deserved R&R and some serious girly pampering!!  A great day to be had around town – we might even manage to fit in a well deserved massage.  

We will chat to you all again in a couple of days. 

 

 

 

Nundroo Motel - not going back there!

Nundroo Motel - not going back there!

 

 

 

Head of Bight Carpark

Head of Bight Carpark

Mundrabilla Roadhouse

Mundrabilla Roadhouse