Marcel & Yvonne Down under


Caspar took us to the airport on Wednesday.
We feel comfortable leaving our animals and home with Djemel.
On to England.
We have too much luggage, too heavy but it is accepted without problems.
This evening we met with Lindsay, our drummer after seven months, in an old pub in England. The next day we go through Singapore to Batam, Indonesia.
The aircraft landed just as we finally fall asleep. Not nice.
And it is amazing how quickly you get used too warm, moist air from Singapore.
In Indonesia, we see many of our friends and Batam has changed rapidly.

On Monday we left for Australia. I was sick and had fever, but I thought it was the jetlag and / or the pub run in Brisbane.
The following morning we went to Browns Plains where the Shovel was stored for two years at Robbo’s from Shotgun Motorcycle Company.
Robbo had already started the Shovel getting ready by replacing oil and filters, new fuel and some other small things. The Shovel started with just a few kicks.
Two years ago at our first trip of 12,000 km in Aussie Land, we had a registration plate from Victoria. But because we had the bike based in Queensland, we could only get a license just there. Robbo had the test already done so we only had to registrate.
He took us to the local authorities and then it started:
Where do you live in Australia and can you prove that?
Do you have a passport both?
You have two credit cards, driving licenses, and proof of good conduct? Etc., etc.
They thought it was strange that on the same day two other Harley's had problems with discrepancies in the paperwork and they even claimed that no Harley in Australia was fixed or put together without stolen parts.....
According to Marcel this jerk really went to another school than he had and this kind of people make Marcel a bit scared for the future of western society.
After I encountered the local chief, saying he had just to do the paperwork, it really worked.
Thank you, state of Queensland.
I always thought that such bodies were to help you then to cross you, but maybe I’m wrong!
We parked the Shovelhead in front of the motel room where we are at home at lucky number 7.
Thanks for all the help, Robbo, Julie and Justin!
Now we can even hit the road in Australia legally.

Now we are finally ready to start our tour. Unfortunately rain is predicted all week, with floods in the north. We hope that it‘s higher up north than where we are going and that the 4 major fires in the south also are getting stopped.

We are in a town near the place where Lieutenant Cook in 1770 set foot ashore on Australian soil.
This is surfers’ paradise and it is at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef.
With one of the most pristine reefs.
The Great Barrier Reef is away from the mainland. This meant a long trip. The sea was pretty rough and a few passengers were vomiting their heads off. We are not happy either. We were soaked and without realizing sun burnt. I was already a bit but now my forehead and Marcel's feet burned all red and swollen.
We have to use lots of after sun.
We go scuba diving, but because it has some 12 years ago, we take a refresher course (boring).
Because it was already a bit darker, we could not enjoy the colors under water much and the fact is, we are a bit spoiled with our diving adventures in the Maldives.

We take a resting day on a nice, quiet campground.
Looking at the clouds, we decided to go the opposite direction of the rain. Like last time we stayed at Gerard’s’ at Tamborine Mountain, a beautiful mountain with a piece of rainforest on it.
Early in the morning we end up in a traffic jam in the city. We try to escape it, but after a few wrong turns it took us even longer before we get out of this hot, oppressive city.

We eventually stop in a beautiful location on the coast: Noosa Heads. Here we put up our tent while the rain comes pouring down. Soon, the shovel is in 20 centimeters of water. Fortunately we stayed dry, but that’s about it. When it was dry again, we left right away but unfortunately we haven’t seen the rest of the city.

Between Bundaberg and Noosa Heads we stopped in the village of Avondale to buy postcards for our friends in Avondale (USA) but, there were no postcards at all. However the pub was big and great and it was the only thing they had.
I realize that I start loving this part of Australia.

After a while, the Shovel doesn’t run entirely smooth and Marcel orders parts a few hours driving further in Rockhampton. You can’t have it all, right?
To fix the carburetor Marcel opened it for the fifth time to replace a gasket for a piece of rubber from his shoe.
That worked only for one day, the rubber started to swell and came loose.
We wanted to go to Colin and Glenda, our friends, who helped us fixing the Shovel two years ago.
Unfortunately Colin had broken his ankle and had to go to hospital.
Glenda helped us with an overnight stay at their friends.
The next day Ted and John brought us to "Rocky Cycles" because we also had some problems with the crankshaft damper.
Thank you Glenda, Colin, Trish, John, Ted and Tim, for all your care and especially the alcohol!
Maybe Colin and Glenda are coming to Europe next year.
From Emerald we drove to the south to Carnavon park, where we will stay a while to enjoy the beautiful nature and especially to take a rest because the foot of Marcel was very swollen from an insect bite or since the boat.
Here you see a lot of Aboriginal art.
We travel on unpaved roads, it looks like it’s been  frequently used by wild horses and cattle.
On a campsite we met a 62 year old biker, who yearly rides a small 18,000 kilometers on his bike, about three years in a row.
He had some good tips for us.
At last the sun came through and it became a bit less humid.
We leave the "Sunshine State" Queensland (only seen rain) and in New South Wales ....
Here we drove through beautiful parks with winding paths which are just as poor quality as in Queensland.
Towards Sidney it became a little bit cooler and I mean 15ºC cold, but luckily it was dry.
Again beautiful forests and great mountain people.
Then on a beautiful coast road towards Melbourne where we meet with Mark, the previous owner of the Shovel.
We are warmly received with a lunch and a few beers.
He shows us his latest project: a Shovelhead hard tail, seventies look. We now traveled about 5000 miles.
From Melbourne we take the night ferry to Davenport, Tasmania and have breakfast in Launceston.

We expected Tasmania to be readily cold, but it's still a nice 25ºC.
Tasmania is slightly larger than the Netherlands but there are only living 600,000 people and there is lots of green stuff, we stay here another day or ten.
We had beautiful pictures of kangaroo and a large iguana of some 120 centimeters and much more, but during the upload to my USB stick, there are many lost. (Thanks to Bill Gates own invented world)
And if your battery becomes empty during another session, your upload is off the same service in 2009 as in 1934, nothing.

When we got to Richardson HD in Launceston we learned that Harley dealership is more about a restaurant, cafe, museum, shop and accessories for your HOG collection then about real necessary parts.
Byron, a biker from Queensland told us if you buy a new Harley, you automatically become a member of the HOG.
Fortunately, we can not afford new ...
Through Davenport, Launceston, Mole Creek, Cradle Mountains on Rosenberry and Zeehan (formerly the Dutch Zeehean) we arrived in Queenstown.
There were formerly many mines and melting places.
Now there is only one copper mine which is owned by an Indian company and the melting is done in India.
The area is completely contaminated with mining waste, the colors are beautiful but everything in the environment is dead
From here we take the 100 year old steam train to Strahan, a beautiful journey through rain forests.
The bike is holding up great except for some small defects, as a boiling battery overcharged by an overheated regulator, but they are sent by Robbo from Gunshot Motorcycles, together with the registration papers from Queensland.
So, we can repair the bike and finally drive around Tasmania legally.
However, we really need an International or Australian driving license, but I just don’t have it  .....
The gearbox has a strange, lingering sound for the last 5000 km, but as long as it works we ‘re gonna keep going!
From Queenstown we drive through a beautiful mountainous area to Hobart, the oldest city of Tassieland, partly due to the rain.
In the morning we went with a tour to the most southern place to the South Pole we’ve ever been: Cygnet (43º12 '.)
We’ve only seen Wombats and Tasmanian devils as road kill.
I think we have to go to the zoo to see native animals, although I hate seeing animals in a cage.
To compensate Yvonne has purchased a cuddly Wombat which got strapped to the bike  just like the Koala and the laughing Kookaburra.
The next day we go with the Shovel to the north via the east coast, it usually rains here a lot, there are even places in which more than 4 meters of rain per year falls. Would an umbrella still help?
We are very lucky with the sun, except for today .....