On the Road Again: Beach Life Movie


Friends, it’s been a long time since I’ve last written. I blame my absence on wanting to dedicate my time to working on my book (1/3 written, woohoo!), but in all honesty, I’ve been a little lazy. I’ll summarize the last year, briefly. Many of these things deserve their own posting!

  1. I had the chance to live off the grid in a lovely, albeit dilapidated, cozy cottage in the Australian bush, with my little flock of chickens and guinea fowl. The nights were cold and long, spent huddled by the wood burning stove, slow cooking everything from hearty vegetable soups to fresh naan, on wood split by Tom and his step-dad, Pete. These may be some of my most unforgettable memories. Paradise on earth, with a glass of Shiraz and good company.
  2. I experienced the entire eastern seaboard of Australia during a 5,000 mile road trip to northeastern Queensland and back, in a little 2001 Hyundai Accent that cost only $1,500USD. A lovely little machine that didn’t let me down once! I looked at renting a car, but it was much too expensive. I was accompanied by the most wonderful new friend, Trang Nguyen, a 26 year old high school science teacher from Vietnam. We met on Couchsurfing, and I can’t believe my luck in travel companions. Trang had the brightest personality and the most mind-boggling first time experiences on this trip. Everything from sitting in the front seat of a car for the first time, to camping, seeing shooting stars, swimming in the ocean, cooking alfresco, eating a real hamburger… She showed such incredible tenacity and spirit of adventure. We had an absolute blast. I won’t continue, as I really should write up something dedicated solely to the Adventures with Trang! What an amazing person.
  3. Visiting home for two months for the birth of my newest niece, Livia Athena. Moments of total peace and love were found with her sleeping in my arms.
  4. I was fortunate enough to be able to share my Latin American motorcycle adventures to students and community members at Chico State University in California, the Horizons Unlimited event in Mariposa, California near Yosemite, at the Triumph of Seattle shop, and at Assumption-St. Bridget school, where I used to teach. The support and interest people showed was so uplifting.
  5. My trusty steed and I (the CGL 125 I rode up from Chile last year), rode down to Yosemite and back to Seattle, 2,000 miles, with my dear friend Ashley joining me for a good chunk of that trip (on the same bike!) Riding through the Yosemite valley and sleeping on a bluff overlooking Half Dome during a lunar eclipse was icing on the cake.
  6. I was recently sponsored by Garmont as one of their Garmont Adventurers, which means they sent me free (awesome!) approach shoes and backpacking boots to try out and review. I’m pretty excited to have some good footwear! Yesterday I did an 8.5 mile hike in the HOT Australian sun to break in the approach shoes. Knowing me and my very sensitive feet, I was really surprised my feet were still happy and blister free at the end! I think these are going to be my every day all around shoe from now on.
  7.  Motonaut also sent me some new straps and bags for my motorcycle here in Australia, which I’ll be testing out on this upcoming trip! The version I had last year were great, so I’m looking forward to seeing what changes they’ve made to their designs.

Now I find myself back in Australia, facing my next (shortish) adventure. In the next few days I’ll pack up my motorcycle and head south to Melbourne. From there, depending on weather and mood, I’ll either head to Tasmania or follow the coast up to Adelaide, across the Nullarbor Plains (big giant desert), and onward to Perth (2,500 miles). Some here tell me not to do it, as it’s remote and very hot. Others say it’s the experience of a lifetime. I’ll make an executive decision once I’m on the road.

More importantly, I’ve begun making short videos of my adventures. Here’s the first, hopefully of many.

Your thoughts are highly valued, so please give me your input! What would you like to see? Does my camera work suck? Should I talk?! Other movie ideas?


11 thoughts on “On the Road Again: Beach Life Movie”

  1. Wonderful Elisa ! I never realised that bluebottles washed uo on our beaches were alive and responding to the waves as they long to return to the sea water.

  2. Very artistic Elisa. Don’t have a clue what those things are but with the music and back light was very soothing and refreshing to see life as basic as can be , still surviving in a chaotic world non the less. This movie didn’t need any talking but if you do movies that you are trying to capture something more documentary ,then some explaining would be in order for those of us stuck here in the PNW winter season. Best of fun and safe travels to you in the coming months and writing your book, self-annoyed

    1. Thanks, Rob! They’re Bluebottle stingers. They look like jellyfish but are apparently not one animal, but four, living together in a colony. They’re called zooids, and depend on each other for their survival. The bi inflated top part is the ‘float’, with the colony living below (or that’s what I understand anyway). They inflate themselves with gas, and sail around with those ridges on the top! Amazing. Strong winds can sometimes push them into shallow water, which is what happened here. Thousands stranded on the beach. I went back the next day and found them all dried up, white-ish blue husks.

  3. Crossing the Nullarbor is a piece of cake compared to some of the other roads in Oz. Cross wind and head wind will be a challenge (what size bike do u have?) and of course the temperature. Watch out for eagles eating the roadkill.

    1. Thanks for your input, Jax! I’ll be on my TU250. A lot easier than ruta 40 in Argentina, right?! Have any other info that’d be handy? How far apart is the longest stretch with no petrol? Are there affordable (cheap) places to stay? I’ll be bringing my camping gear.

  4. After reading the other comments and replies I now know what those little creatures are. The film is very Zen. By the way, “lazy” is not the appropriate word to describe yourself. After thousands of miles on a motorcycle, you’re just plain tired.

  5. Thanks for sharing a piece of our beautiful nature, interesting creatures indeed!
    Im sure it will be good for you to be on the road again soon after a well deserved period of rest.
    Safe travel and hopefully you find the new rack kit improved and functional!

  6. hey, this is Tiffany. We met at your talk at CSU Chico! Happy to hear that you felt it was a great experience for you as well. Your talk got me excited and more confident about heading out on my own travels solo, as well as to worry a bit less and push myself a bit more into riding motorcycles! I even debated trying to find a small bike to ride in Australia, but I’m thinking best stick to rural rides until i learn more. I came to your talk for the travel advice, but left with a new appreciation for riding!!

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