Nearly three weeks into my coast to coast Australian motorcycle journey, I woke up at 8:30am to the usual sounds of Oz. Squeaky toy rainbow birds chirping happily away alongside flocks of others birds with all kinds of exotic sounds, with the occasional hurricane of semi-trucks on the Eyre highway near my bush camp. A few hundred miles west of Port Augusta, I woke up feeling content, if not a bit dazed by the sunny white brilliance above.
The father and young son I’d chosen to camp near for safety reasons were long gone, having started their day earlier than I cared to think about. This late in the morning, they’d already be a couple hundred kilometers east, on their own road trip across Australia in the opposite direction.
I packed up as quickly as I could, trying to keep the dust off my feet as I hopped around one-legged into my armored motorcycle pants among the dirt and ants. It had been a chaotic and heartbreaking couple of months leading up to this struggle into my pants in the middle of nowhere. I had decided to leave a beautiful life in Australia after this one last jaunt across the continent, and although it was my own decision, it didn’t make the going any easier. I was leaving a place I adored, and people I loved. Salty tears stained the inside of my helmet, but I had a little nugget of growing peace somewhere deep down.
My own sense of power and self sufficiency was growing steadily, in tiny increments. Life throws terrible times our way, but being out here- being so freaking isolated- was somehow a powerfully soothing force on a heart that was showing significant signs of wear and tear (I imagined my own heart, a pitifully ragged little thing in my chest held on by a few sinewy, bloody strings and duct tape). Continue reading Pacific Ocean to Indian Ocean: The Nullarbor Part I
Cresting a hill an hour outside of Portland, Victoria felt similar to riding into a toaster oven. I can’t say I’ve ever been in a toaster oven, but one can surely imagine the state. Within a span of a few meters, someone hit the “hot” setting of the world’s hairdryer, and the land turned into a blazing inferno for the next three hundred miles.
The next few days, especially the day of my arrival to Adelaide, were almost unbearable. Lucky for me, the newest Couchsurfing hosts Sean (aka Lord Thorne) and French girl Lea, not only had a wonderfully clean and cold shower and air conditioned townhouse, but were the opposite of drunken Australian farmers. And although I wasn’t a huge fan of Lord Thorne’s heavy death metal, we did find common ground over Mad Max movies and free Shiraz tastings in the famed McLaren Vale of South Australia. And who doesn’t love a nice French girl?
Adelaide was charming, and my only regret was not having more time to explore the coast, wine regions and city sights further.
Couchsurfing can be a wonderful way to meet like-minded people from all over the world. It can also be a major crap-shoot, as is the case when you elect to stay with older gentleman farmers in rural Australia. Had it not been for the three teenaged German girls also staying there, I would have left without hesitation (something you must be prepared to do if you’re to use Couchsurfing!). That said, the girls and I stuck together and had a great time exploring the surrounding beaches and hills.
A video about one motorcycle adventurer, three teenage German girls and drunken farmers.
Continuing the journey along Australia’s Great Ocean Road, I took a couple day breather in Portland, Victoria. Having previously met David Upton at the Horizons Unlimited event in Cavendish in 2013, it was nice to know friends were waiting. Continue reading Pacific Ocean to Indian Ocean Motorcycle Journey: The Portland Toy Run
The Great Ocean Road is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia, and there’s no doubt about why. Taking the long way, the narrow road from Melbourne to Adelaide winds its way along the stunning Victoria coastline. The picturesque scene of eucalyptus forests meeting open ocean and half moon bays cannot be overstates. Koalas drift lazily across the road, while echidnas attempt to bury themselves in the hard soil when a tourist stops to take its picture. Continue reading Pacific Ocean to Indian Ocean Motorcycle Journey: The Great Ocean Road (and Video!)