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#5 – On the long Australian roads: culture and mileage are there!

Let's get back on the road with Hubert and Flo, our Dundee 2018. For these next steps, the long straight Australian roads are punctuated with “culture” stops. Museum, bats, order in English please, Marie Poppins, flat ball games… There is no doubt, Australia is exotic.

This Wednesday morning, we are expected at 7 a.m. a few minutes walk from our accommodation, at the landing stage of this small seaside resort, for an encounter with a family of dolphins. In fact, she got into the habit, we are told, of having her morning meal in front of this landing stage. Arrived there, and after an entry ticket of 10 Australian dollars (6/7 euros), there is only one dolphin. And his presentation is not very respectful, nor very interesting! We quickly move on from this pseudo local attraction to get back on the long Australian roads, a little before 8 a.m.

Along the way, Flo spots a grove of trees full of beautiful bats. Photo stop required, the kids from our village school will be delighted! They who asked us for photos of all the funny Australian beasts that we are going to meet... They are going to be served.

The marathon day begins…

Back on the road for this first marathon stage. We enter the town of Maryborough. This town is dedicated to Marie Poppins. As a result, the traffic lights bear his image and his statue sits at the main intersection. A few “click clack photos” are obligatory.

On the way out of the village, another stop at an Australian bowling center. This game is institutional in Australia. We visit the fields: the stabilized training course and the one for the official games on short grass like a golf green. The concierge explains to us that the players are all quite... uh... let's be respectful. They are all… retired!

Back on the bike under the sun which makes a few rare appearances for our last 400 kms. They are swallowed at the rate of a break every hour and/or more or less every 100 kms. It mainly depends on the fatigue of our passengers.

Finally arrived in Yeppoon

It's a pretty little seaside resort where our room with a sea view awaits us. It's almost 5:30 p.m., and by the time we take a shower, the sun has disappeared. It's a shame... We would have really benefited from a little walk along the beach in the sun, we who were regularly wet all morning by storm rain. In heat of nearly 30°C, it was regularly in the oven. After passing the Tropic of Capricorn around midday, the sun was there for the rest of the route. Let's hope he doesn't let us go for the next steps. Tomorrow, Thursday, new stage on the long Australian roads, with 508 km. Direction Airlie Beach, where we will settle down for a relaxing day…

Short digestive stroll along the beach after the evening restaurant. We agree in our small group for a scheduled departure tomorrow at 8 a.m.

We're late this morning: I don't know where my motorcycle keys are! Flo goes back to the room to check, and I, meanwhile, do a feedback of what I did. I went down, I loaded the suitcases and the tank bag... The spark arrived at the same time as Flo: if I loaded the suitcases, it's because I opened them! So the keys are there. Flo rolls her eyes at me.

Roll at 7

We can set off again on the long Australian roads, everything is in order. But this dose of stress at 8 a.m. is not very pleasant for me. I leave the garage where our two traveling companions are waiting for us, asking a few questions... I am very sheepish. I can't stand being late or making my partners wait for such incongruous stupidity. I explain my blunder to them, and tell them that tonight's aperitif will be for me!

We have been riding in a small group from the start. Ours is quite special since it is made up of 3 motorcycles (three couples). We join 4 other motorcycles at each break or end of stages. Riding 7 motorbikes is not possible, nor very pleasant… Things happened naturally.

We enjoy getting together at lunchtime and in the evening, all 7 of us. We all get along well, and it's a real pleasure to be together. Our two small groups bring up the rear, and Scout and Popeye regularly push us… All in kindness of course.

Highway to...

We take back theHighway in Rockhampton, and we stop at the local museum dedicated to the ancient trades and history of these Australian White Islands. We see beautiful old cars, reconstructed habitats showing the different periods of Australian history... It's beautiful and quite representative of this part of Australian history. We will discuss Aboriginal culture later in the Australian Outback. But some nice photos are taken here!

We take these long australian roads, and this Highway straight for 500 terminals. This only has the advantage of taking us towards the North quickly... Indeed, the landscapes are reduced to a succession of sugar cane fields. We are in a production region. Canes are used for sugar, and very very little for rum... Too bad! We still tested Bundaberg, a cane molasses rum, which is by far no match for our West Indian Agricultural Rums.

We come across a few kangaroos in the distance in the meadows or... dead on the sides of the road! It's quite frustrating not to be able to approach them. But seeing their (impressive) number stretched out along the road, you have to say that it's better this way.

Lots of long Australian roads…

We take a break every 100 km because fatigue sets in quickly. Also, it’s hot: 30°C. And the weariness of this driving at 100 km/h is present. As I don't have a regulator (GS 1200 Adventure Air from 2013), my right hand goes numb quickly and I have to let go of the handle regularly for the blood to return. The deceleration is immediate, and Flo complains about the jerk I just made. It's not very comfortable for her and I apologize for that. I regularly forget to warn her… despite our intercoms.

Along the way, you have to refuel the classic GSs. For the Adventure, this is not necessary: ​​500 km can be done without refueling. 5.2 l of consumption as a duo and loaded! Not bad is not it ? But a break in a resort allows you to benefit from the air conditioning and drink a soft fresh. Alcohol is only in the evening! And above all, these breaks allow you to relax and laugh together. We all have school English (from more than 30 years ago!), and the orders are always a laugh!

…And also some nice surprises

Arrival at Airlie Beach is around 5:30 p.m., just before dark. At the hotel, during the aperitif, Eric told us that the trailer of the 4×4 in which our bags were transported had broken. Although brand new, the axle has given up the ghost, it is broken. We'll have to improvise and do without! Our bags will be transferred to Popeye…

Despite these organizational and logistical setbacks, Eric (to everyone's great surprise) tells us that he has booked for tomorrow, a day snorkeling on the Whitsunday coral reef. Departure 7:30 a.m.

For a day of rest, it's early! We who were thinking of making a “fat mat” are lost.

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Florence and Hubert

Both, at fifty plus interests, live life with passion. What do we look for in our travels? The wonder! You know: that little light that lights up in your eyes at one moment or another... and when you can also share it, isn't it even more beautiful?

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