I am the original 'Uneasy Rider' .. not especially blessed with much natural motorcycling talent, nor am I a particularly courageous motorcycle rider.
Nevertheless I went 'Right Way Round' New Zealand (at least twice) followed by a wonderful ride around Australia.

Then it was up to southeast Asia, around Indo-China, across southern Central Asia to the Middle East, Asia Minor .. and finally into Europe.

Right Way Round - all the way home .. from New Zealand to England, 2-up on a Honda Transalp.

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PROGRESS SO FAR - Distance covered across Western Europe: 6,411 km [3,984 miles] - as at Thursday, October-22nd, 2015

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Some Like It HOT

Thursday, August 18th

T3 LHR. Just waiting to get going ..

36,000 feet above the landlocked Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Not a place that's on my list of holiday destinations!

Grey Zombie Zone. Has to be done though.

0.87p donated. But will it get there ..?

Saturday-20th

Our first aussie dawn for more than three months, at Perth Intn'l Airport .. waiting for our 3½-hour flight up to Darwin.

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By lunchtime we're in Darwin, Northern Territory, Oztraaaalia. 8,600 miles [13,840 km] from home. It was a perfect 29°C [84°F].

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Monday, August 22nd

Our superb hosts, Brett & Tracey, organised a trip out around Fannie Bay [luv that name!] and the inland seas of the Beagle Gulf, around the Port of Darwin ..

.. our transport for this half day excursion was no less than ..

the Port's Pilot Boat. Terrific stuff.

We headed straight for, and boarded an ocean-going tug that was craning-in cargo to re-supply a drilling rig somewhere out in the Arafura or Timor Sea.

Up in and around the Bridge ..

.. full of navigational gadgets.

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later, during the early afternoon we take a walk around the city centre ..

.. and bump into a character showing off a couple of his pythons.

I can tell ya, I wasn't too happy taking this macro shot. Too personal!

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Wednesday, August 24th

Up early to get to the lower reaches Mary River and its Floodplains.

Brett has organised a boat for the day; a 4.5 metre [approx 15ft] leisure boat with a 30hp outboard.

Why don't you come along for some of the ride?



click the play arrow above

The region is teeming with wildlife ..

.. which is an extremely important bird area.

Notice the bush fire in the background? We all agreed that it would not be good living downwind from this one!

AND real wild crocs ..

We saw dozens - prolly missed loads more.

It's a bit disconcerting when you see a 5-6 metre ferocious carnivore slip into the water just ahead of you. See, you just dunno if (a) he's a bit scared of your presence, or (b) thinks lunch has arrived!




take a look for yourself

We spot an eagle ..

.. just one of many, that day

bidda fishing, I fancy.

Brett casts out for our supper ..

.. but I'm the only one that caugth a darn thing. A too-small-to-keep Barramundi.

Incidentally, Barramundi, or 'Barra', is considered by many to be the premier freshwater/estuarine angling species in Northern Australia.

They taste good too!

Then we stumbled across this colony of Fruit Bats.

Thousand and thousands of the buggers.



Eat your heart out Dave [Attenborough].

What a great day out.

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AND back at the Ranch (Brett's place)



An easy meal awaits for some of the local Corella Parrots.

Traceeeeeeeeey

and 'er indoors

Walter. Brett's baby pet snake.

Ah yes, I remember those wonderful lazy days so well.

Yes, that's Brett's foot!

Just too much fun (crammed into 10 days)

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I managed to get some work and modifications done on the bike too, for instance:

Covered the pannier lids with grippy protective rubber

There was wasted space between the inside of the panniers and the rear wheel ..

.. which is no longer the case. A length of 110mm soil pipe and some appropriate fitments will give me around another 15 litres of stowage space.

Headlight protector fitted. Notice the Timor-Leste courtesy flag?

The Honda battery was the original, so around six years old now. So about time for a change.

There's a new 136dB horn fitted under the bash plate. Name that tune ..


.. yes, of course, no doubt you named that tune in one ..
.. it's Waltzing Matilda
[duh!]

Fresh hydraulic oil in the braking system, plus:
  • new spark plugs
  • valve clearances checked
  • carburettors balanced
And looking like new, the Transalp is now sat in a container at the Port of Darwin awaiting shipment up to Dili.

The next time I see her should be Wednesday, 7th September, up in the tail-end of SE Asia.

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And so our visits to Australia (now numbering five altogether) have almost come to a natural end. Such is life. It's been quite an experience. What a country .. You Bewdy.

What can I say about the people? Well, it's obvious to me that Australians are generally optimistic, outgoing and absolutely confident in what they're all about. They tend to be open and direct - and they actually like to start a conversation with anyone and everyone. Us Brits need to learn from them.

Aussies are quick to lend a hand when it’s needed - and are generous to a bloody fault. Brett & Tracey are the perfect examples of this, as their recent support and help has been quite priceless; just like so many other kind Australian folk that we have met over the last 18 months or so. In summary, I’m convinced that supporting and helping others is part of Australian values. Brits take note and learn again.

What more can I say about Aussies and their fabulous, unique country?

"She'll be right, mate"

.. springs to mind.

Thanks for the memories guys. :o)

BUT if only you could play cricket! .. ;o)

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Wednesday, August-31st

GONE!

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First glimpses of East Timor, through the morning clouds

Dili - and our final approach - flying east >to west

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Late afternoon /early evening

First things first, eh?

Just after sundown and the local kids are out playing beach soccer.

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First impressions of East Timor? (or 'Timor-Leste', to use its correct title)

Hummmm? .. Interesting!

.. and much more humid than Darwin. Phew.

Internet connection is awfully slow most of the time where we are right now - in a brand new hotel on the outskirts of town - offering an introductory 50% reduction in tariff prices until the end of August (up to > today). Maybe the internet is a bit better nearer the telephone exchange .. who knows? Having said that, I did manage to upload a few pics late into the night.

So I'm not sure when it'll be possible to post again. I'll give it a good go in say a week's time.

Stayed tuned.

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