Finally made it back to Perth today.
After the puncture on Monday the Honda was load straight on to the trailer and didn’t move till I unloaded today. It was a sorry sight covered in dust and a flat tyre. Did I say dust yes we had 40K of gravel road while heading for Burra in South Australia. Guess who didn’t take any notice of her ladyship Miss GPS. That’s right she kept nagging us to turn right and take us in to Waikerie but I knew better and used the bypass. Wrong I should have gone into Waikerie and then headed for Morgan. Instead we ended up in Blanchetown. We stopped at a garage a brought a map which showed a road to Morgan so we set sail only to find it was gravel. It was a good gravel road compared to the one we were on in Tassie so all was well. When we did get to Burra the number plate on the trailer was rounded on the end where in had been peppered with gravel.
The Journey home was via Mildura Vic the first night covering 550Ks. That was enough for the first day as I was pretty tired from the ferry trip. Day two got us to Ceduna SA 1000Ks and a half hour time difference. Day three we went from Ceduna to Norsemen WA 1200Ks and two an a half hours time difference so we got in at an early hour. Today we made Perth 720Ks by 2pm.
All the way from Port Augusta SA we passed motorbike after motorbike mostly with trailer. These were returning to the eastern states after attending their annual rally which this year was held in Albany WA. They get upwards of 5,000 attending these rallies.
Today is the last in Tasmania. The weather is absolutely fantastic. Those with vehicles on the Island have loaded them up. The Harleys are on the trailer ready for the long drive back to WA. The rest of us have sorted out what we need for the ferry trip. Everyone is discussing there favorite highlight over the last 2 weeks when “The Wombat” asks how many miles he has left in his back tyre. A quick glance across to his outfit and the rear tyre show patches of canvass. The general feeling is that he should not ride it but if he insists then it should be straight to the ferry. He decides to ride to the Car Club lunch which is on the way to the ferry. There he asks car club members if he could get to the display after lunch and someone tells him it’s only 40 odd K round trip, not far. So what does he do he sets off to the display. Half way there and 10 K’s pass the ferry he has a blow out. But where does he have the blow out right in front of a local motorcycle shop owner’s residence. The Owner comes to his rescue and takes the wheel to his shop, put a second hand tyre on the wheel and only charges him twenty bucks.
The lunch at the car club was great and we then went to Port Sorell to a private collection of cars and bikes. I continued on to Port Sorell to see if I could find the cemetery where my Great Great Grandfather is buried. Unfortunately I didn’t find the cemetery, looks like I’ll have to go back to Tassie again.
We made our way to the ferry parked up and adjourned to the pub. After waiting in the carpark for about two hours we finally got on board. We have four in our cabin which was quite stuffy. I tried to sleep but couldn’t get comfortable. I spent the rest of the night in the lounge dozing.
We set off on our last day of the rally in good spirits. We were to travel from Launceston to Ulverstone via Beaconsfield. The route out off Launceston should have been relatively easy as everyone was by now fairly use to reading route sheets. The following to the route sheet was not the problem, it was the lack of street signs or the placement of them. That seem to have a habit of hiding them behind bushes, behind other signs or put them 50 meters down the street. We managed to escape the metro area and followed the western shore of the Tamar River. In one section we left the A7 to follow the river. This was quite bumpy most of the way but we did see channels cut through the reeds and power boats moored with the reeds almost obscuring them from view. The road cuts back onto the A7 with no warning with a corner sharply to the right then to the left and straight into a ‘T’ junction. I thought I would lost it here but I hung on and managed to make it through the bend and stop for the junction. We continued on to Beaconsfield.
Beaconsfield was where the miners were trapped for 14 days in 2006. The mine is still working and beside it is a museum. The museum is certainly worth a visit. It has a section on the rescue but that is only a small part. It is mostly set up as a history of the original gold mine and its workings along with how people lived. It incorporates many interactive exhibits encouraging you to see how things operated.
Outside the Museum
Old mine pumphose with the working minehead behind
We lunched in a cafe not a bakery this time and then went on. We didn’t stop at Beauty Point but went on to York Town site where we took a side road to take us across to the next highway. This was not on the route sheet but a map said it went where we wanted to go so why not do it. The bitumen finished half a kilometre down the road. The road was gravel leading through a National Park. It started out pretty tame but after several kilometers it started to wind up into the hills twisting and turning. The surface was also becoming a series of potholes and corrugations. We stopped and discussed whether to carry on or turn back. On would we went. I was leading and I lost sight of Keith, After a mile and a half I still couldn’t see him in my mirrors so I turned back. I found him about 2 mile back repairing the sidecar. The mudguard had come lose and had to be removed.
After about half an hour we resumed the slog on the track.
On the track repairs
About 3 mile further on we hit bitumen again. We had come 20 miles on the dirt and now we decided to eat up the miles at a great rate.Not far from the Ulverstone turnoff on the Bass Highway we passed several other riders who had come on the proper course.
Back in Ulverstone we booked into the motel and the apartment once again. Sheer luxury. It felt so good we went down town and brought the makings of a fine evening meal to be washed down with a couple of beers.
Tomorrow we meet up with a Vintage Motor Club for a BBQ and go on to a display in Port Sorell. Then it is on to the ferry for the night sailing back to the mainland and high tail in back to WA.