Marcel & Yvonne Down Under

Down Under Part II

9 March 2009

Well here we are again.
Finally after a couple of weeks of traveling, I almost forgot what we all have seen here in Aussie country
We had to help the shovel several times with its carburator, cut a piece of my sandels sole to use it as a rubber plug, and off course it was not fuel resistent so it desolved every once and a while.
Met with some wonderfull people on several campsites, French, Irish, English and Aussies to spend some hours in the evening with.
After the diving in the Great Barrier Reef we went for Rockhampton to the north and then to Blackdown Table Lands between Rockh and Emerald.
After an enormous rainstorm and 10 km of dirt road we arrived in the dark on a campsite, luckily it dried up just long enough to put up the tent.
The next day a bit of hiking but the panoramic views weren't there because of the fog and low hanging clouds.

After the dark park up to Emerald to visit Colin and Glenda and friends that helped us to repair the bike 2 years ago.
To make a long story very short we didn't meet them because Colin broke his ankle/foot. Possibly on purpose not to meet up with us ... it seemed he went to Rockhamton for a hospital so we must have crossed them on the road somewhere.
On the other hand, Glenda had arranged a place for us to sleep with some friends. Thanks Glenda, Colin, Trisch, John, Ted and Tim and alcohol for the good night in emerald.
Hope we can see Colin and Glenda in Europe this year. Thank you John and Ted that did ride with us to the next town.
Rocky Cycles in Rockhampton helped us with some tools to change out the demper on the crankshaft before Emerald.

From Emerald we went south to Carnavon Park ...
Beautiful park where we stayed a couple of nights to hike and rest.
Since a couple of days my left foot was swollen up from an insekt bite or sunburn of the boat. Anyway it was hurting, but I still could walk so we went hiking 12 km through the park.
We have seen some very impressive aboriginal art on rocks and lots of birds, those big rabbits and more, good expirience.
Seen by the way a lot of wild horses and cattle on some dirt roads to get to some campgrounds.
Met a real biker 62 years old and making yearly around 18000 km through Australia in the past 3 years. He gave us some nice directions to go to.
Finally some sun during the day and a little less humidity, pffff and leaving the sun shine state Queensland (only had rain and high humidity) to go into New South Wales.
In NSW we went through several parks with winding roads as bad as in Qld quality wise and towards Sydney it was suddenly getting colder, I mean cooler by 15 degrees.
But at last no more 100% humidity, beautiful green woods and met some funny mountain people.
From Sydney to Melbourne to visit Mark, the old owner of the shovel. Greatly received, ate lunch, had a few beers with him and he showed me his latest project: a shovel off course, hardtail 70's look.

From Melbourne on the ferry to Tasmania, where we are now.
Arrived in Davenport with the night ferry and in the morning after having breakfast on to Launceston where we are now.
We wanted to visit Tasmania as soon as possible because we know it could turn cold quickly now, instead we arrived and it is 25 C and sunny.
We'll stay here probably about 10 days to look around. Tasmanie is a little bigger then Holland but only 600,000 people in it and a lot of green stuff.
We did about 5000 km now and it is getting better and better.
By the way, we took the coast road between Sydney and Melbourne ... nice. You'll hear from us in another week and my foot is back to normal.

Good luck Colin with your ankle.

Down Under Part I

25 April 2007

We are at the end of our holiday.
We leave tomorrow, a 30 h trip. First to Singapore, than to Frankfurt and than to Toulouse where Julie and Kees Jan will pick us up. I'm curious in what kind of shape we will be ... A lot of bagage ... pfff.
So please don't bring the pinda.
We stayed for days in Alpha. I do suggest you stop here when you come to Australia. Great people. Different than Sydney of course.
We've had a lot of help in Alpha to get the parts, tools, space to work and the special machinery. The parts arrived, Marcel put it all together, we have been sweating a lot. Very relaxing. When the bike was put back together we drove of, with a nice zooming sound and a lot more power. We both felt very strange. Like if we were out on a trip for the first time. Strange to explain, but even stranger to experience.
The fields, trees, and all felt like if we saw them for the first time. And when we felt surer about the bike, we relaxed and enjoyed it. The scenery changed from flat to hills. Beautiful. Marcel thought it looked like Rouairoux. Oh well. At night we found our couple back from Alpha. We had a great night. Thanks a lot.
And off we went into the land of the living. Cars and cars and traffic lights were the first signs, and people that are more in a hurry. This was Rockhampton. Here a Harley shop owner had send the parts, we went to thank him.

What is it with Harley owners that they need to have this tough look? Something like disinterest.
A bunch of guys were sitting there with a drink , just hanging around, all with a car. And it looked like they did not have another place to go. Only the owner was talking a lot.
But if you ride a Harley, and you meet somebody else who is riding, and for sure with all the gear on, on a trip, I would think the other would be interested ... 2 asked at the end ... strange. I guess it's pure insecurity this tough thing.

And off to Brisbane. It was nice and hilly. Very green. Trees were different, and the roads are the worst in Australia. Not that smooth. Our last day has been one that took twice as long, because we took so many wrong turns. Good this didn't happen the whole trip.
We decided to leave the bike at a friend of Caspar south of Brisbane. He was okay with that, so we arrived in Tamborine mountains. A beautiful spot on the mountains. Beautiful views, and rainforrest around. Gorgeous.
Gerard and his kids and friend were very welcoming. We could sleep in the cottage, it couldn't have been any better. And their house was something like if you walk in a house of a star. We felt very at home, as you can imagine. Just dry the tent and move in. Very different. And these birds around are so colourfull and noisy, super. If you have experienced it, you know what I mean. I got very stressed that the bike was not arranged. All the lugage, and so on. Just stressed.
When we decided to go on this trip, I had been a bad bookkeeper. Than I found out, and now I know that we have been digging a hole, that we need to be filling for months. So the first clients will be Hans, Bea & Jaap and Gaz de France. We'll need to lay low for a while, but it was definately worth it. Donations are all welcome ...

When we met somebody, and told them we were selling the bike in Brisbane, they told us not to let them have a testride, because we would not see the bike back.... Okay, problem. A Harley shop south of Brisbane was willing to put it in his shop and arrange everything. We brought it to him. Really nice and felt very trustworthy. We did a walkingtour and a ferry trip in Brisbane, and I relaxed again. It felt like we were in a anthill. All these high buildings and all these people running around in all directions. Incredible. It was strange, eacky and nice at the same time. A Hoegaarden in the Bistro Brussel, where Marcel had his worst Hoegaarden ever, and back home ... well Gerards home.
He toured us around the next day to the gold coast. Highrises, beach, surfers papradise, sun, sun and sun ... and to the airport.

We arrived in Sydney, it was raining and cool.
We had put most of our luggage at the airport and booked in a backpackers hostel. I guess we are one of the oldest in there, but quit cheap. $50, in the middle of town, bathroom in the hallway, room with double bed and breakfast and coffee or tea all day. Not bad. Lots of restaurants and bars, and at night the peepshows and prostitutes and drugs come out. Nice and lively. But since we still are ready to go to bed at 10 pm, we don't see to much.
We went to a cinema yesterday, very nice. It was also a floor down an Indian restaurant and a yoga place. The seats were sofa's and sort of beds with loads of pillows. Great idea, and not to expensive.
Today it's ANZAC day. Australian New Zealand Army something. A memorial day for all the people that died for the country. There was a big parade with all these guys walking with there medals. We are not in favour of the army, but I have to say it was impressive. Whatever I may think, they thought they did a good thing. And it was good they were there to help in Europe in the WW.
We did our walkingtour here. Enjoyed it. The best thing we did, was to go to the tower. It looks out over Sydney. Don't remember how high, but we saw it all. So everything that we did not see up close we saw from the tower.
Good food, and a nap for Marcel. We feel good and relaxed. It's time to go. We have loved it. We will be back. Are glad we did it on this bike, because it became very special. She brought us around save and sound. And I'll hope she gets a good new owner.

If I sum up our trip:

We are both ready to make something of the house above.
Marcel wants to make a place where he can do something with bikes, even a little bar. We'll make it a bit livelier.

I hope you have enjoyed to read about our trip.
Love to you all.

Yvonne & Marcel

16 April 2007


Well check it out.
We are in Alpha in Queensland, still in the outback.
With the biggest reason, that the bike was making so much noise, that it felt better to stop before it would explode ... We took something to drink in a restaurant, and met this great guy the owner Collin, who tried to help us out with a phonenumber of a Harley business owner 160 km further on sunday. Than a garage owner: Allan, down the road who had good adresses. Collin sent us to a good caravan park, also very nice people. And Collin's wife Glenda who is also owner of another gasstation very nice and friendly is helping out a lot as well. Marcel could use the workshop in the gasstation, and we ate alltogether in the restaurant. We did the dishes as well and did not pay. It all sounds different. Great little place, where you normally wouldn't stop.

After we left Longreach, we went to a place, where there are just 17 people living and where the first Crocodile Dundee movie was filmed.
Nice pub, with great photo's of the filmshooting were hanging on the wall. That was McKinley

Next day we stopped at a great pub, the next town, can't rembember, where walzing Matilda was written or first performed, with all signatures all over the place. Nice. And here, everybody is friendly and helping. Than the road was blocked by hundreds of cows that were being driven to someplace else. Two guys on horses were pushing them, bit the wrong way over the road and the railway and back again.

Marcel took the bike apart, and found out that the bearing of the crankshaft (I think) is bad so it needs to be replaced. This of course is essential if we want to sell it , and not give it away. Allan, is giving Marcel the workshop of his son, so he can realign everything, now all the parts need to be shipped to here, and normally that will arrive on wednesday. With all our 9 days left, this is not the best thing that could happen, but we met great people. A guy wanted to maybe buy it, but we had to ride it to Sydney, and he wasn't sure about the price what we asked, but I guess with this extra thing. we need it.
We think about taking it with us and sell it in France. Shovels are worth more in Europe, they seem to be afraid of it here. Just passionate people are interested, but they don't seem to be very rich. Maybe this idea of buying a shovel, was not the best because it's an old lady. But we like her.

Love to you all

13 April 2007

It's been some time most of the past 2 weeks not being able to get in touch with the world outside this desert-like country.

After Broome, laying on the beach and having a few beers in a local Pub we went on East towards Katherine, Darwin. In one of the stops we finally got to see some Abo's (thats how the Aussie's call Aboriginal people) upclose, in a pub on the campground with a lot of noise we had a few abo's drunk like hell and even one of them taking my drinks and throwing up on me. They are a lot like the English here, no limit just go on untill you drop!!!

Next day travelling we stopped along a river and hey, the same guy who throw up on me was there again with some family. People from the same tribe are all family they told us. They were fishing and preparing lunch. They went back home to Halls Creek 400 km away from the Pub were we met them. Looking anyway how they prepared there fish and meat was good to see, talked a bit and moved on.

In the North less roadkill then before, after a couple of days riding East we finally had the scenery change on us, hills; green hills and even rocky hills, bends, turns that sure feld good after 7000 km straight road. As far as insects still not to much during the day but sometimes several km's of Dragon flies or Butter flies as the grass hoppers before, no fun just duck and close your mouth not to eat to many. At night since its very hot and humid here the mousqito's come out with lots of them, so I probably take a few additional microbes to France on our return. The bike is still holding up good but making a bit more noise on the valves again. The heat doesn't help.

Through Khaterine we went south again towards Tennent Creek out of the hills again and to the straight roads again. On the way south we've stopped in a place called Daly Waters where they have 1 pub, 1 gas station, 1 campground and 7 houses. the pub is there since the 1930's built for the drovers (horse backriding cattle drivers) and now is running on tourists. Nice pub with a lot of memories on the ceiling and walls.

Today we are contacting the rest of the world from Mount Isa, in total we did over 10000 km and are going direction of Rockhampton and then towards Brisbane. As I said the bike makes a bit more noise so I hope that we can get in Brisbane (another 2000 km) because thats were a good shovel place is.

We'll keep you updated.

Marcel and Yvonne

7 April 2007

A long time without internet, but we're back in the land of the living, and not sure if we are ready for that.
It took 5 weeks before I really could enjoy the emptieness of this country. The outback is something toally different, and it came over me. Marcel still would like a bit more difference with what we see, but does enjoy the nothingness as well. It's strange. For so long we have seen so little things, but before you can adjust to that or even enjoy it, it takes a lot of time. But luckily we got it.

I met an Indian from Canda, and he told me find your home. And I said, mine is everywhere, my heart is in more places of the world, a part of me belongs in Indonesia, a part in New Orleans, a part in Holland, and a part in France and who knows where else. No he said, find your place, there is only one. I really think a lot of this man, so this bothered me a lot. And than I thought it was Australia. Home. But with this trip we both found out that home is Europe. I guess at the end it's Holland, but we are not ready to leave our lovely place yet, and with flights so cheap, it doesn't matter to much. So perfect.

Now of we go on the trip. I left you at Broome I guess.
We had spent a very luxurious time there. A bar and people and internet and a swimming pool did it . And we went east. The outback is quickly found here in Australia. Since we left Melbourne, it was not outback yet, but we left the crowds already. But from Streaky Bay to Perth. Than the city in between to Broome, that really is nothing land. A city. A city big as Mazamet or Zundert or Avondale to sum it up. The highway is as big as the street from Etten to Oudenbosch or La Palco (that's even bigger) or le RN 112. And that in the Nothern Territory with a speed upto 130 km. Next to the road it wasn't even clear, so you could not see if the cows or kangaroo's were next to it. Than the trucks; road trains, upto 53.5 meters long that passed by. Well the luck we had, is that not much is passing by here.

We had not seen many Aboriginals yet. Only in te south and they did not feel very inviting. But in Fitroy Crossing they were at the pub, all mixed, and we had a great time. Really open and talking, and one puking next to us. And that guy we saw the next day at the river, with big signs of danger for the crocodiles. No problems, they are fresh water crocodiles, only the salties are dangerous, these are scared of you, here you can swim. So with my feet in the water, the lady jumped in, they fished with a hook on a tread, and that worked. I saw that you don't need a fishingpole. And some bones with a bit of flesh on a fire and they had a great time, so did we. They have a different life, why should they live like us? Just not a good idea to fill there pockets with money so that they will startt drinking. Big problem and no real solutions to be found .

We have been riding a lot and this road inland and upto Katherine was beautiful. A bit mountainous, green, trees, boadbtrees (look it up, beautiful). Easter came, and a lot was closed, but we could find everything we needed. Lovely meals at the restaurant, when the shops were closed. The problem with not having a 4 wheeldrive is that you can't go everywhere. We have been to more places, where we had to return. We wanted to go kanoeing in a National Park above Katherine, with beautiful gorges. But just after the rainseason the water was too high and they could not check if there were 'salties', so we were not allowed. Walking was to hot. So of we went again. And some great aboriginal paintings on rocks in a park was closed as well. The roads were too wet, a few days before easter, and they had not been back. So next time it will be with a 4wdr, and it for sure will be the outback. How a person can change ...

Cheryl had told us to go to Daly waters. The town, 3 km of the road has 8 houses, with 14 people, one pub, a gas station and a caravan park. If you ever go to Australia, go there. It's just 1000 north of Alice Springs, and I guess also 1000 south of Darwin. This was a must see idea from Cheryl, and I'm glad she said so. But before we got there a town before Materenka had hot springs. We swam in the middle of green lush tropical plants. Water so clear, it came out blue green. Unbelievable. It was great, under very big spiders (less great), and too warm to cool down, but super, the 2 of us.
When we got out, more people came, but we had that special time. There they had a great pub as well With a guy who had spent time with the aboriginals, who explained us a lot of how it worked, and in how many ways they are different. Next door they had a place where they sold art from aboriginals. I liked a didgeredoo a lot, which I wanted to buy, but since my brother wants one as well we did not do it and hope we can find one at the coast. But I do regret it now, we were in the heart of the didgeredoos, there are the most aboriginals.

And off to Daly waters. The atmosphere was great, all the people from the village were in the pub. The inside and outside are full of jokes and memorablia / memory things Money, t shirts, underwear, photo's anything, and old stuff. Great to look around, while you have something cold to drink of course. They just had there biggest weekend. a rodeo, and a bachelor and spinster weekend. That is a party where women and men who are alone come to find someone, or at least have some physical excercise. A few who had had nothing were still standing there. I wanted to stay another day. They had a pool, so a good place to relax. But Marcel thought this was to costly (and it wasn't the price of the camping) and that we should move on.
The next day when we were on the road, and I felt sorry we had left, he asked why did he thought that, because it was a great idea. But we were 400 km further already, a bit to far to turn around. Next time, I think it would be great to go there and just work there for a month and than go on. We would not be allowed, but there is no police to be found in hundreds of kilometers.

We stopped for our last night at a parking. Since there is not a lot up here, the parkings are used for overnight camping. On the other site was a police station. They have to cover a part of a few 1000 km2 Incredible. Also for the registration of cars and so, and trouble of course.
This seem to happen between aboriginal tribes, and they have many. If your great great great grandmother had a problem with a great great great grandfather of somebody else, that can give still a lot of disputes, upto killing someone else. And I thought that the stupid quarrels between the neighbours in Lavergne was something, but that was between their parents. So not absurd, when I heard this.
They had a place where we could drink coffee, and since I wanted to stay one day longer in the Nothern Territory, we had a rest there. 2 Police officers. One started mowing the lawn, than screaming, and than the other shooting. It felt like a wild west movie. I was ready to go and ask what was happening, but Marcel said it was safer not to. Who knows if he heard something, I was shot. But he kept shooting in the grass. Or he was a bad shooter, or there was a lot of them. When he went back inside, I went after him. What had happened. The woman was still carrying on with mowing the lawn. When I stept in the rifle was lying in front of me and he was few meters further behind his desk. What a joke. It can only happen somewhere where there is no danger. Super.

It had been snakes, they come out when you start mowing and there were a lot of deadly snakes out now. Okay this didn't sound like a good place to camp. But he asked where do we want to go ... 100 km further? He said: you're in Australia, they are everywhere. It's good it's save ... So where do we have to look at, because I don't need to see them crawling around. Not in the high grass, not under a tree, make noise, and a fire and it will be okay. So we did. On a slap of concrete under a roof. There was a huge cattlefarm a bit further. I don't know what they did during the whole time we were there, but they kept boeeeeeeeeeiiiiiing the whole time. Very stressed. They must have been packed together.

The fire on, beautiful stars, only the big light at the policestation was bothering but on the other end giving us a save feeling. A lady with the ambulance who worked for the flying doctors lived next door, so not too scary.
Reading books, and playing cards, with the little headlight we have, and of to bed. We had left the cover of the tent for the heat, and also to see the stars. We more saw the light of the police station and of the cars and roadtrains that passed by. The roadtrains look like chismastress that pass by, lights everywhere and a lot of noice, and the cows. I did not sleep a lot. Marcel did, but he can sleep anywhere.

This emptyness, starts to feel like something very free. The few people that we met are doing the same thing. And it's great to talk to them. We met a very nice couple on a motorbike. We spent a few hours talking. We went opposite direction and we split up. Pity.
The bike made a little noice again, and Marcel worked and worked on it again. I think it's a little thing, hope so. If we didn't have a bike, we surely would have shipped it to France, we are really happy with it. It has been too warm for a bike like this. I guess it was only okay for a car with AC It's getting a bit cooler again, we can sleep under something. During the day it's above 30, and at night it's warm, nice for musquito's.

Mount Isa is nice, we are going to carry on a bit south befor we hit the coast.
We follow the road of walzing Mathilda. She passed by I guessed. A short days ride. Passed most of the time in the internet cafe. The times have been changing a lot. Every time there is a timechange. We are 10 1/2 hours before Holland and France. When we left Viviane gave us an elephant with his trunk up as a present for good luck. We hooked it up on the rear view mirror. And when we ride we see the tip of his trunk. One time the motor started to run bad... (this can sound like superstition) ... and I saw that the trunk was not in sight, so I told Marcel ... and the strange noice went away ...
It works Viviane, we always have a lot of luck, but this trip really feels good and it's bringing a lot of good things to us. It's giving us mostly our direction where to go in life. And that means jsut staying. Anja I hope you do better and that the papers came through. Viviane can't get my mails, so maybe you want to let her know.? And is the band still playing ???

That's all for now. Lots of love to you all.
Yvonne & Marcel

3 April 2007

Where were we?
I think somewhere in Coral Bay where we snorkeled out on the reefs and took a boat trip out to look for Whale Sharks and Manta Rays which indeed we saw after getting seasick anyway. We arrived today in Broome which is appr. 2500 km to the north of Perth after the maintenance we did with Stewie. The shovel is holding up very well with the extreme heat, everyone who has travelled any deserts before knows what I'm talking about!!!
Its like 35 to 40 degr. C in the shade and with that shovel between your legs probrably 65 degr. C Even the wind has that temperature. It feels like sitting on a BBQ without the good meat and a couple of cold beers. Now here on the west coast as well as in the south, NO shade to be found and distances are getting bigger and bigger between refreshing roadhouses.
Couple of days ago it was still around every 100 to 150 km, but since two days its suddenly 200.........250.........and today 287 km before a roadhouse with fuel and food and drinks. The sun gets higher up as we go North and its getting more humid, tropical we could say.
A Cyclone just passed by so there is still some water on the roads and most of the roads from her up North West are still closed, so we'll wait here in Broome a day, putting on a new front tire and see what the whether will do the next couple of days. More and more and bigger roadkill we see, al lot of goats, sheep, roo's and even a lot of cows and bulls. They can't care here it seems to be..!!!!!! Hundreds and more..!!!!
Tommorrow some more........
Sogger Marcel

I left you at Coral Bay...
Just after I met a dutch girl in the restroom. They had done the same trip on another boat, the first one. They had not seen much else than the whalesharks but they saw 2 or 3 different ones, all of 7 to 8 meters. The first one came straight at them and they had to swim fast to get out of it's way and it was enormous and incredible, that one started diving and was gone. 2nd one, same size she missed it, 3rd same size but going a lot deeper and you could not see the dots, so that was the one we saw, it was not enormous because it was deep already. I did not see dots because I was busy with the camera, hope I have one picture.
And she said that people had gone to Monkey Mia, nobody was allowed to touch the dolphins, you could swim, but not after them, and if they came to you, which they had done, it's okay, it has to feel normal for them. Well shit, that I missed, hope they are here on this beach at Cable beach.

The first day we did 540 km, hot, hot hot. I had to put my head under the water and my t-shirt before we could go any further with each stop. We were so happy when clouds rolled in. Saw even a fex tornado's. We stopped in a very lazy town, Karratha. Not lazy for them, all hard working people. It looked like a very bad campsite, like all gypsies, worn sofas next to the caravan, that was held down by cables for the cyclones that pass, and beercans everywhere, more a mans place. They probably work weeks on, and are a week off and can go home. What a life.

Next day, close to 500 km. to Eighty miles beach, incredible paradise.
This beach is not accessable in many places, and is, I guess, 80 miles long. Wide and white. The turtles just had stopped their seasons with their eggs, but that would have been great.r But you can see one animal, and not the other, so lucky with the whaleshark already.
We were with 8 people on the beach. The waterline was far out, and they said not to swim, like all australians seems to be very panicky about sharks.... But we could not get in, after sinking in every time upto the ankles and not seeing the end of this, we went back. Had a great walk, and an incredible sunset and at the same site opposite the full moon was rising. The colours were incredible. Of course the camera was on the beach and we were finishing this walk, which was at least 1.5 km

We had to get to the campground via a 10 km dirt track. Sometime very soft and in a few places it was a real accrobatic tour to stay straight, which worked. Suddenly 5 kangaroos were looking at us, before the camera was good in place they were pretty far again ... but great, these are the roads to be on, but with a 4x4 if you do it for longer.
Saw on the road also a 60 cm long lizard, he was heating himself, or cooking on the road, luckily just missed him. Yesterday and today were the days that were really for the most in the middle of nowhere.

When we got out of the campgroung this morning, we drove 30 km and had the gasstation, restaurant etc. Then for the next 289 km there was nothing. We bought enough drinks and an extra can of petrol. With this heat it's not a great idea. Because if something breaks down, you'll never have enough to drink with you. We would stop everyone than, but luckily no need.
The bike runs great, the tyres are terribly hot, and so are we. The road in Fitsher Crossing, 400 km further up from here, are closed because of the rainy season and the cyclone. A cyclone is the same as a hurricane, it only turns around the other way.
So we hope it's going down. But when we drove today, we had seen already lots of signs of floodways and how high the waterlevel could be. But nothing till today. We didn't know what the truck was doing on our side of the road, untill we saw the splahing water. Great, we wetted ourself to cool down. When it got very hot, the water was gone, by the way, only at the end to wet us again, but this time on purpose, since a part was still dry on the road. around 20 cm high that morning. So a bit higher and we were stuck already in nowhere land.
But I have to say great roadhouses with bars here. And if you are stuck nothing to do, what do you do... Tomorrow a new front tyre and we go and see what Broome is like. Love to you all ... we had some very long warm days behind us. If we could have melted, we would have.

31 March 2007

Great day.
We did our tour, it was bloody expensive, $350, some 230 euro p.p. But this seems to be the only place where you can see them. Okay got over it, and off we went. It was a whole day trip from 9 to 6 pm. First we went to the beautiful reef of Ningaloo. It's different of what we know, also great. First a lot of big fish to swim through, than the coral reef, it looked like enormous coleslaw. And later circling above the bay reef sharks of I guess 2 meters. Beautiful.
They don't do a thing, eat only small fish or plakton, open their mouth and that's it, hope we had great pictures. With the wetsuit i could not get down to them, pitty. A smaller spot on the picture. We saw turtles, a group of dolphins, but were not allowed to jump in with them or to swim. They could loose there licence, strange the difference. Than they spotted a manta ray, all in the water, they were vacuming the bottom of the sea at a depth of 9 to 10 meters. In all there were 4 mantas in between 2.5 and 3 meters span just floating underneath us. So elegantly, sometimes making a whole turn so we could see their bellies. Mouth wide open, fish swimming in there mouth, all save and able to eat the plankton as well. Bigger fish under them and little fish above their bottom. Amazing, so graceful, so beautiful and playful. Stayed a while with them.

Back on the boat they set off for the whales. In Coral Bay there are 3 companies that offer whaleshark trips. Between them there is one plane who looks out for them and the boats follow it. The boat who gets there first will let their people off 50 meters in front of the whaleshark. Than the next group goes in in front. When it passes, the next group goes in, the boat circles and let the next group in, never more than 8 people. We stayed 3 to 4 meters away from them, tail the furthest. It's looking and swimming away and than after it.
So of we went, after feeling really uneasy after the bumpy boatride. And there it was. Not the big one of 8 meters that they had seen before, but one of 4 meters. A bit disappointing. I was so busy trying to figure out the camera that I didn't look that well at him. When it passed, it swam a lot faster than I did, and gone it was.
I did not see his big mouth just its body with its spots. Back out of the water. Found it again, fist group in, pity they lost it before we could get in, and it did not reappear again. It's the biggest fish, a shark. Because it breathes trough it's gills, or kiewen, it doesn't need to come up for air. It lays eggs inside which comes out when they are grown. don't remember how long. Great that we saw it, pity it was small, because I wanted to be perplexed of seeing this one. And the camera did not help.
Off we went,again getting a bit seasick. We were snorkeling a bit when they prepared lunch which was great and I felt better after this but had to keep an eye straight on the horizon for not puking, which Marcel had to do once, and that cleared him up. We had a great time.

We went to a restaurant when we came back, and I took a kilpatrick oyster dish, great again.
Thanks for this teaching Cheryl and Rob, and Francoise and Patrick, I'll make it for you ones. For divers ... Patrick, go here. We had to choose between diving or this trip. We went for a rehearsal dive and than another few dives, but since this one is what costly, we let it pass. We'll be back, we will never have enough time to see it all ...
It's hot here, at least 35 we think, we'll be off in the direction of Broome for the next couple of days. We've got to see if it goes quick, the heat is very tiring. If we are late in bed it's 10 pm, awake at 6.30 am long nights. Oh it's nearly getting a late night ... where is this leading to? The sun has giving us suddenly a lot of grey hairs, and of course, nice wrinkles, and white eyes in a dark face. We are not any better looking than before we left you can imagine.
Lots of hugs to you all.

30 March 2007

Hey guys,
Finally fixed the bike after 4, 5 days beeing stuck in Perth ...
For the people that live in perth it is heaven, but when you broken down it ain't. I don't like the way they built houses and live there. All the houses are fairly big one level homes but they are only like at most 20 cm apart! With all that space they have in Australia it seems that a bit of PVC pipe and some copper cable of about 20 meters must cost a fortune ... strange thinking!

Well anyway for the bike we found the right guy his name is STEWIE (stewart) American Restorations in Malaga, Perth. This guy is amazing collector of 1200s, from the 30's upto the 50's, and restored how it should be done. We can all take him as an example and he's a great guy too. We will write a seperate story about him in May.
We took the bike apart Friday afternoon and found that the pistons were a bit smaller then the barrels (cilindres), after taking the heads apart the valves and guides fell apart, haaaahg so here is where the 17 liters of oil went the last 4500 km...!!!
Now Stewie had some S&S pistons 0.060'' and also he had valve guides and new valves, plus he knew a place where the work could be machined. Stewart was open to it to let me work in his workshop on the bike so he didn't charge me any labour. He said: "I wouldn't be stuck with this shit as well on the side of the road in a foreign country without any help" THANKS STEWIE so there are still some real bike loving people out there.
All the parts were ready Tuesday morning so we could put it back together. Total cost 1450 AUD ( 900 euros) for the whole batch including 3 filters, oil, gaskets, etc, etc. GREAT HELP and with speed.

We took off again Wednesday morning for the second part of desert, only 3500 km this time instead of the 4000 km the previous time.
I tried to explain that everything is the opposite here but I forgot to mention that during the day the sun is in the north, so you burn when you ride up North, as we do right now. As going North in Europe would cool you down, hell NO it becomes hotter. Before we had days of around 20 to 25 deg. C and now we are going upto 35 deg. C. It stays a funny country.
The Shovel doesn't like it too much being new inside and riding in 35 deg. C deserts, but she doesn't give a kick. People don't give a shit that shovels are leaking bastards and breakdown all the time, but what they miss these days is proper maintenance which does cost a bit of time and money indeed.
Any biker telling me that I should have bought a "twin cam" or "Vrod" (this is even difficult to write) doesn't even understand what this is about. You show me any "twin cam" or "Vrod" that's 30 years old and has 250,000 km on the speedo and we'll talk again. Yeah right there aren't ANY, so thats the proof ha ... Shovels forever, if you can't kick it don't ride it and if it ain't steal it ain't real ...
Sorry weeeeh where was I, anyway so far another 1200 km after the maintenance in Perth, nicely on the beach, bar, restaurant, snorkling, diving etc. Nice.

Untill next

I don't know if any of you is trying to find us on the map but it happens quite often that we change our mind.
We decided not to go to Monkey Mia. We saw a picture with 20 people standing in the sea and one gave a fish and could pet it, the rest could take pictures. I wanted to swim and play around with them. Now this seemed to cost a lot of money, and it's a long one way road, so we took Cheryls advise. We passed by and are at Coral Bay now. We went snorkeling, the seawater is 25° and the temperature out here is at least 35°. Too hot for the bike really. More worries than a kid I would say so.

Tomorrow we go on a boat tour of a day; snorkeling, eating and the main thing: swimming with whalesharks. The biggest fish there is: 4 till 12 meters long. The latter has a mouth opening of a meter. Just do not swim in front of him!
He wouldn't like us anyway. His mouth is open to get all the plankton in and filter it.
The water is beautiful. A cyclone just past, so that's good as well as the bike had to be fixed. We first wanted to drive up to the north of this Ningaloo marine park. 250 km up the one way road, now we only went 100 km, we guess that the boat will take us where we want to go.
The bike is running great. Just a few ajustments along the way that are normal. It was a nice cool day when we left Perth, good thing for the bike, and today it's a very hot one. We saw the sun go down, that is direction Africa. We already saw it go down direction South Pole, strange isn't it. You can't get more south before you're breezing off.

It's great to be riding again. I have not been riding much.
It was the plan, but I could not even put it straight because the bags and tent are attached to the handlebars. When Marcel helped me to put it right it was okay. Getting from the dirt on the road was not that great, but it went well. Luckily it went right because I could not do much about it. Straight on was no problem, except that the seat in the front is worse than the back, and that isn't very good already. Stopping at the crossing definately was not done elegant. Asking Marcel to keep it straight, which he could not do in the back, but luckily it worked, making a turn, whooooo, went well, but not relaxed.
After knowing that all these animals come on the road, I thought it to be a far better idea that Marcel was ridin. He would have a better and faster reaction than I would have. He rides great and I feel much more relaxed in the back. No need to prove anything to anyone, and not being relaxed. It's our holiday.!

We need to leave. Love to you all.
Yvonne & Marcel

28 March 2007

Not much time on the internet, but for all to let you know the bike has been repqaired. It's new now I would say.
We decided not to try and get a job here because we found out that it's better to live close to friends and family and we do love our houses. More minusses than plusses to do the immigration. Great people who helped with the bike, and Perth ia a nice town, but still it's a long way from home and home is Europe.
Kaye and Maurice, we wanted to see your daughter but I guess I lost the phonenumber and I didn't have yours with me, and every day we thought we would leave the next day, so tell her we see her in France. Sorry about that, it would have been a good change to meet her. We were in Perth for 5 days without transportation ... not very handy. We now go to Monkek Mia, I think cheryl and hope that it's calmer there now so that I can actually swim with the dolphins. People told us to go to co 51.

24 March 2007

It was a long trip from Albany to Busselton. Through forrests, all very high.
It's green here and full of vinyards. Beautiful, but a bit tiring to drive with all the trees.
It started to rain and it felt cold.
That are times when you start thinking about a car, I tell you. First of all stop to put plastic bags around the clothes, sleeping bags, etc and ourselfs of course. My extra cushion for my soar bum was loosing its thickness and I was more or less sliding off the seat. Hanging on to the left side the whole time, and climbing back on.
We were looking for the Gloucester tree close to Pemberton. But the trees were disapearing and suddenly there was sea on the left side.
That shoudn't happen ... suddenly the road stopped and the beach started.
I wished we made a photo of our faces at that moment. We missed a roadsign, 26 km before, so back we went and that with already not much time to get to Perth.

We wanted to drive along the coast up north. The only thing we saw were trees. They became anoying and we took a road to the beach just to see it. We were nearly blown away, and the waves for surfing were great, if you know how to. Off we went, we took a cabin in a caravanpark so we could leave early next morning.
It felt cold, it got down to 12°.
The next day, on the coast road to Perth, there was no sea to be seen again. Why having a coast road if you can't see the sea anyway?
We got an adress for a camping place north of Perth and the lovely girl helped us to get to the motorbike shop. The campside is great. I have to say that Perth looks beautiful. People are nice everywhere. This blue sky certainly helps. But why are all the house standing so close to one another? It's crazy.
I just started to feel that I belong in Europe. This buzzing life what I'm looking for is easier in Europe. If you want to drive to something here, it will always be far away. Marcel is okay to stay in France so we decided not to try and get a job here, and not try to immigrate. Maybe this idea will change again on the other side of Australia.
We have to make it more buzzing ourselfs.

We went to the bike shop and Marcel and the guy took the cylinders apart. The pistons will be renewed and the cylinders honed. On monday they will arrive back and than they can put it together.
Thuesday we're off to the north. We're loosing a lot of days, so not too sure if we can make the round trip. We'll see ... you'll hear from us.

Love, Yvonne & Marcel

21 March 2007

Hi, I left you at Streaky Bay, waiting on the parts, after kissing goodbye to Cheryl and Rob with no idea when we will see them again.
Maybe a good idea: Singpore ones in the middle to meet. We had the parts luckily they came in. We went to a garage where Marcel could use the tools, and he changed it all. All's great. It just uses too much oil: a liter per 200 to 300 km. Way too much. He poured in something against it and that helped a bit. Just no idea where the oil goes because it still runs good ... no noises.
Off we went, over the Nullabor Plain. It's a stretch as long as a ride from London to Moscow, with no houses in the middle, and only 6 truckstops with campfacilities along the way. The first stop, didn't feel very apealing, we didn't stop for gas. There would be one 50 km further at Yalata Roadhouse, which Cheryl said not to stay. Well we couldn't ... the whole place was boarded up.
Another 100 km to go for gas. No idea if we will arrive there, but otherwise we'll stop somebody along the way. Great, we made it. Gas and a lovely roadhouse, in the middle of the Nullabor Plain. It means no trees. Very very strange. Nothing, just flat, and a horizon, whichever way you look.
Our campsite is next to the airstrip and a plain of the Flying Doctors takes of in the morning. This is where they fly. No doctor can come quick otherwise. The road is sometimes an airstrip as well.

Later some trees are to be seen. Not much still, just a slight difference. They tell you a lot not to fall a sleep. The longest stretch of straight road is here. 90 miles = 146 km long. And finally we saw a kangaroo. But too late with the camera. Pitty they don't wait until you're ready.
At Norseman this long stretch of nothing stops ... we thought. Norseman is not the town we had imagined after this nothing, because it's not much better. Sunday is the day to stay in the house I guess. But 200 km more to get to Esperance is too far, our butts are hurting. A quiet afternoon is welcome.
We are going to bed very early, partly because of the mosquitos, and because the road is making us tired.

Next day off to Esperance which, as they say, has the most beautiful beaches of Australia.
Mark, of the bike, told us it's far better than Hawai. It was incredible, the beauty and the colour that it has.
I got Marcel with me in the sea. Cheryl and Rob scared us for the sharks I have to say. So we didn't go in very far. A truckdriver told us just before that a boy had just lost his leg a few weeks ago. I hope we find a good diving school because I don't want to miss this. And no Jolanda, I do want to keep alll my bodyparts too. Just find a good school that knows where to go and where it's save.
The road to it was a bit boring. Not much there with this nothing in the middle, really accentuates the greatness of this country. It's so big. We never could have imagined this. And we have only seen a part of it, not even the middle ... just 4000 km. Yesterday when we left, we passed a beautiful scenic road along the coast and went off to Albany, a beautiful old town build on hills. The first settlers of West Australia came here and the old houses are still to be seen, it gives it a lovely feeling. Still small, something like Mazamet, maybe a bit bigger. But great restaurants and lovely wines, we are trying them out. Yes Cheryl and Rob, I'm back in business, trying to do it a bit less from now on. It was a very boring, road of fields of harvests grain fields, cows and sheep.

Suddenly we were in the middle of a plague of big grasshoppers. There was one every 10 cm². It gave us a good laugh, only be sure to keep your mouth closed! All these insects flying agains you ... brrrrrrrrrrrr.

Suddenly hills and there was Albany. Lovely, we found a Harley dealer here. We asked for help this morning. On this campground are lots of young people who have a working-holiday visa and they are quiet at night because they seem exhausted after a days work. I send this now before I may loose it. Abruptly we are back online after riding almost 3000 km through the desert, without any other connection then a phonebooth and a few roadhouses. The roadhouses in general excist out of a gas station, restaurant, bar, campground, air strip for small planes and a few people that live there to serve you.

In general I must say that campgrounds are good and not expensive. They provide sanitary stuff, including soap and toilet paper so at least you don't have to take that yourself from the other side of the desert.
As you will know, they drive on the wrong side of the road here, as well as cyclones swirl clockwise instead of hurricanes counter clockwise. And water runs out of the hand basin the other way as it does north of the equator.

By the way, riding through the desert and after not taking gas at a gas station, we discovered that the next station 100 km after that was deserted. It took another 159 km to get to the next station.
Lucky people we are to have a 5 gallon (20 liters) gastank otherwise we would be still be there. I can tell you that there's not too many people out there except for road trains. These roadtrains are 46 wheel trucks weighing appr. 80 tons, are up to 50 meters long and at a speed of 110 km/h you don't want to step in front of them to stop them.

The proof is there, these trucks are having enormous kangeroo bars (bull bar) in front to clear anything that comes in front of them. In some parts of the desert we found at least 40 to 50 roo's on the roadside; it's a sad view.
As I told you the last time, lots of roadkill but not many live animals. On the 4000 km we did we saw 1 live roo, 6 emus, 5 dingos, 0 kamels, 4 dolphins, 2 sea lions and a handfull of homo sapiens.
One homo sapien explained us why we weren't seeing any wildlive, he told us roo's are night animals. Oh ... that's why we almost thought it was just another western fairy tale to get tourists to Australia.

Highway 1 is going all around Aussi land which we mainly follow. Some of the stretches of tarmack go straight for almost 200 km's, don't worry about falling asleep, the road trains passing you will keep you awake ... bbbbrrrrrmmmmmmmmm 46 wheels at 110 km/h ... you get the picture.
The last time, when we were still in Streaky Bay (South Australia), we ordered a primary chain, tensioner guide and some clutch springs. They came in last week friday ... we put them in in the morning and changed the lubrication on the primary and 2 hours later we where back on the road. We now run the primary with constant oil in it. No more oil pissing around, which was not pissing around from the start anyway since there was no oil going around. We ran the primary dry for a good 1200 km.!!!!! Explain you ones why!!!!! We did another 2500 km since then and the little shovel makes more noise, the pistons start to sing in choir to us and it takes 1 liter of mister BPs oil in 250 km. It's a little expensive but no Shovel dealers were to be found in the desert, Since yesterday we are in more Homo sapiens populated area's so we talked to somebody who possibly can help us. We found a Harley dealer in Albany who changed our rear tire and 1 little gasket. He also provided us with a speedo (pretty hard to estimate distance) for the primary case.
Since we met the guy here in Albany (south in west Australia), he gave a phone number of another guy in Perth, which is only 600 km away. Anyway that's where we want to go to let him drill and hone the cylinders so we can put 2 new pistons in the shovel and have her ready for another 5000 km of desert and rainforest between Perth, Darwin and Brisbane without any Shovel dealer in between. So probably you will hear from us again next week when were back on the road after this bit of maintenance.
The previous owner, by the way, agreed to pay a part of this unforeseen maintenance ... We found out that we could have sold the 31 year old shovel and could have bought ourself a brand new Triumph Bonneville! Hey ... but who knows what could happen then? More maintenance on the side of the road? ][';/.\=<>?:r"{}\=- \
Untill next.

Sogger Marcel


The time was nearly finished, so better send than start over again.
Just with these young working people, they get up early when it's still dark, and for sure it was our neighbours. Pitch dark, and off they were. At the moment they started their car the birds started their noise as well. I don't know how many parrots are here, but they all let themselves hear, the one louder than the other ... beautiful. Luckily they shut up after that and we could still sleep some more.
Temperatures are great by the way, nice an warm. Caspar told us that it's nice dutch summer weather in Rouairoux, so where's winter for you? How are the ski pistes? Off to the bikeshop. A new rear tyre, the speedometer had stopped as well, at least the counter for the kilometers, which made it very difficult to see when we need petrol. We found another one and they quickly checked what the pressure was in the engine. A bit too low, and it will need more for sure in the warmer weather, which we will meet when we go up north. Hopefully without cyclones. The cyclone that touched Australia, also touched Sumatra, Indonesia. The house of the father of Chandra was badly damaged he wrote. Marcel called Mark and told him of what's happening with the bike. A bikeshop in Perth wants to help us by doing the cylinders and if Marcel does a part himself, Mark is ready to pay $500. So that would be great. We love the bike, even if certain people would say to burry the bike, get a busticket to Perth and buy a car. No, we are not going to do that, at least, I hope we don't have to. Okay akay, maybe a newer bike would have been a much better plan for this country where the parts for shovels aren't abundant. And this one doesn't particularly love the heat.

We are going to take the coastal route through the very high tree forest, something like Kerri trees, and we should arrive in Perth friday afternoon, so Marcel can take the parts of so the guy can still send them of. And we could assemble it monday or thuesday, and off we are. Marcel can have in the meantime a jobinterview with 2 companies. But for real. It's great here, but I start to like to stay in France, and make big trips. We'll see, first need to see a big city. So far La Place is very lively compared to most places that we have seen this far. So you hear from us when we get to Perth. And we'll give your daughter a call Kaye when we get there.

Lots of love to you all,
Yvonne & Marcel.

15 March 2007

Arrived in Sydney and the next day to Melbourne.
Here we met Mark who sold us a '76 FLH only kickstart for 12000 AUD (7500 euros). We travelled to his home and stayed there 2 days to register the shovel to our name and prepare the bike. It amazes me every time more and more that lesser people know the shovel engines, the shovel was completly off time with valves, ignition, carburator, etc. But after a bit of tickling and a first testride it took off like a real one. We loaded her up and went 400 km to the north to Corowa where we would meet up with friends that we had met in Indonesia 10 years before. This first day the clutch slipped like hell in the black spur hills, but it couldn't take away the joy for us beeing here in Australia and seeing a totally different environment as well finding the first Koalas in trees and a lot of roadkill: Kangaroos, Wombat and other small species. We arrived in Corowa were Rob and Cheryl prepared their bike: a 2003 Twin Cam with a 1570 cc stoker kitr ... mmmmm ... SOG meets HOG???? Next day had a look at the Shovel clutch and took off soon after. We would take about 3 days to get to Streaky Bay 1200 km west of Corowa, with some trouble on the way!
2nd day next to a Pub not bad the rear chain broke without any reason accept maybe Mark used some old joint. We repared it with a chain from a T140 Bonnevile Triumph, thank you James.

3rd day the primary stretched more and more and we discovered that it was not lubricated at all.
We ordered a new chain and guide tensioner and some clutch springs in Port Augusta. These had to come from Melbourne and Adelaide and we decided to travel on to streaky Bay and wait there for the parts. The parts should have been arrived in Streaky Bay today but didn't, it will probably be tommorrow ... so you will be hearing from me if we can get the bike running again. Australia must have a lot of Kangaroos but untill now did not see any allive yet for the past 1600 km ... In general the roads are much better then in the States and Europe and distances are larger between towns, so when you can get fuel you DO SO. Beautiful endless deserts.

Sogger Marcel and Yvonne

Traduction en Français

Arrivé à Sydney et le jour suivant a Melbourne. Ici nous avons rencontré Mark qui nous a vendu une FLH 1976 (démarrage uniquement au kick) pour 12.000$ australien(7500 euros) et on l'a suivi jusqu'a chez lui pour faire les papiers moto nécessaire et la préparation du voyage. C'est pour moi incroyable le peut de gens qui connaissent le moteur shovel. Mon FLH était complètement déréglé au niveau culbuteurs, allumage et carburation. Âpres qq réglages, claquements moteur et premiers tours des roues tout s'est remis comme un vrai shovel! Par la suite on l'a chargé avec nos affaires et c'est partie pour 400 km au Nord vers Corowa ou on retrouve des amies qu'on a connu 10 ans a l'arrière en Inde. Le premier jour, dans les côtes des " black pur hills", l'embrayage patinait grave, mais ça nous empêchait pas de s'éclater, rien que l'idée d'être en Australie dans un environnement complètement diffèrent en voyant des Koalas dans les arbres, l'espace énorme etc. Hélas aussi beaucoup des animaux morts au bord de la route, comme des kangourous, womcats et autres. A l'arrivé a Corowa Rob et Cheryll préparais leur 2003 twin cam 1570 stroker... ehhh... SoG rencontre hOg??? Le lendemain j'ai jeter un coup d'oeil a mon embrayage et on est partie juste après pour 3 jours direction Streaky Bay, 1200 km à l'Ouest de Corowa, mais pas sans panne...
Le deuxième jour, près d'un pub( ;-) ), la chaîne s'est cassé sans trop de raison, a part que Mark avait utilisé qq vieux morceau pour faire le complet... On l'a réparé avec une chaîne d'une Triumph Bonneville T140, merci James!

3ème jour la primaire s'allongeait de plus en plus... on s'est aperçu qu'elle n'était pas graissé/lubrifié du tout! En attendent un nouveau kit avec tendeur et qq ressorts, commandé aussi tôt a Port Augusta (le colis doit venir de Melbourne et Adelaide), on s'est décider de se promener un peut sur "Streaky Bay". Je pense que le colis arrive demain, donc la suite de notre histoire va suivre des que la moto marche de nouveau... Australie doit avoir beaucoup des kangourous, mais on n'a pas vu 1 vivant depuis nos premiers 1600 km! Dans l'ensemble les routes sont mieux qu'en Europe ou USA et les distances entre les villes plus important, donc quand on vois une station-service on s'arrête !! Il y a des superbes déserts a l'infini !


I thought his keeping you up dated would be so much easier.
First of all when we ride the whole day in the heat, we stop at the end, put up the tent, get some food and drinks, and we are nearly ready for bed, at least not yet in the mood for internet.
And also with our friends still aound, we want to be together while we can. They leave tomorrow morning back home and if everything works out, we go on to the west.
They had reserved a cabin in Streaky bay, right at the bay. Lovely. Nobody dares to go in the sea for swimming for the white sharks. And yesterday it was raining, so we didn't feel the need either. I only think of diving, but they think men eating sharks are everywhere.
We'll find a good school who'll take us to a save place. Sea everywhere, and nobody who goes in it, without the netting.
This country what we have seen so far, it is so wide spread, so empty. The 2nd day it was flat, colour was beige, it was for me just boring, With the heat, it made me feel, just like falling asleep. Marcel enjoyed it. On the road and go. After I bought a pillow to sit on, I was a lot better too.
So many signs of kangeroes, but seen not a hopping one yet.
The 2 chains are giving us problems obn the bike. The big one just broke, luckily when we were going very very slowly, because of the noise it made.
And the primairy chain is to loose, the nylon block has gone totally and we are waiting for parts.
It missed the truck this morning, so hopefully tomorrowmorning it will be in. Marcel will fix it and of we go in the dessert.
The Nullabar in the south. only petrol stations along the way, and they say hostile aboriginals.
A cyclone has just passed, and luckily for us we were with Cheryl and Rob in a cottage.
That's it for now, I hope I cn write the next time, without worries from the bike.
Love to you all.

Yvonne & Marcel

9 March 2007

Singapore was great,
lots have changed, Batam was not recognisable but our friends were great. So far Australia is great, the people we bought the bike from were super, and this morning we started on our trip and we arrived with our friends. Super, like we saw them yesterday.
Tomorrow we start all four on the trip to Streaky Bay in South Australia, and after that I'll find proper time to let you know what happened.
So far, really great.

Yvonne & Marcel xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

20 Februari 2007

Goede middag, bonjour, good afternoon, selamat siang
I put you all on the mailing list, and I do hope all of you understand english. It won't be without mistakes, I even do them in dutch. Hopenlijk kennen jullie allemaal engels. Mocht je van onze lijst afwillen dan even doorgeven. Zo gepiept. We go on vaction the 28th of february, When we have time and there is an internet cafe, than we'll keep you updated of everything that is happening. If you don't want to, please let me know, and I'll take your name off. We are trying to get our visa for Australia. But it's incredible how things go wrong, and we can't seem to speed things up. Normally with the time limit of Marcel's 45th birthday, it isn't possible anymore. But so far no news, neither good, nor bad. We went to Holland for Marcel's musical family reunion in the beginning of february. (great by the way). And just before, Marcel said, that since we worked so hard for the visa, the vacation slipped by. We don't have money for both a trip and moving. So since it's not going anywhere, and the summer is going to turn into fall there, we chose to go for it anyway, and if the visa comes through we still can wait and save some money for the 2 years to come. A few days behind internet, the best price found, and bought the ticket. We fly first to Singapore, where we will stay a night, and see what we remember of the place. I forgot a lot about it. And the next day we go to Indonesia Batam where we lived to meet the friends with whom we worked. That will be great. Special spot, special people, had a great time there. The 6th we fly to Sydney. The plan was first to take our motorbikes and make a trip. That seems to be too expensive or difficult, because nobody is giving a quote. Renting is too expensive, and since we prefer a bike to a car, we planned to buy one. With the help from our friends Cheryl and Rob who we met in Batam 10 years ago, we found what we needed. The best bike we could affort is in Melbourne. Where we will arrive on the 7th. The seller is going to pick us up from the airport, and take us around to arrange everything. He invited us to stay, so great, probably we need it with the time. If all is good than we drive to Cheryl and Rob, probably have a drink or more and chat up after all those years. Superb. On the way we have to buy a tent and helmets, ours aren't legal, but so far never any trouble, but Australia seems to have stricter rules. We normally leave with a little bag, but now the luggage is enormous. Bedrolls, sleepingbags, rain coveralls, cooking equipment, Bike bags, with tools, and spare parts, heavy leather jackets, and chaps, For real no space for a tent and helmets to bring. And just a tiny space for clothing, and whatever more. Not the handiest thing to leave on a motorbike, but it will be fun With Cheryl and Rob we start riding , they have a bike as well. They live in New South Wales, 4 hours above Melbourne along the Murray river. Corowa, from there on we follow the river direction South Australia That will take 4 days. They have a plot of land there, Streaky Bay. We stay a few days and we drive to Perth along the coastline. Marcel will have 2 job interviews, and after visiting we go along the coast up north to Broome, than east to Brisbane (another job interview) , and south to Sydney where we will take the plane on 26th of april back to Toulouse. Where we will arrive a day later completely exhausted I guess. After we booked the tickets , and that we started to really check and read about Australia, we figured out that we don't have enough time to have a relaxed holiday. It will be most of the time driving to be back in time. If it doesn't work, we'll sell it along the way and fly into sydney. I ckecked the bookkeeping and found out that I had forgotten a few major bills. Not great. But when we will be back and broke, we will have the memory of a big trip, a big adventure, and a great time. That is what we hope for. But first of all we have to start with it to make it into a memory for later. If you need us while we are not here, sorry, but you have to wait. We will be reachable by Marcel's mobile, but please only when it's urgent. By email is always possible, but please don't send any forwarding mail, because I don't think we have the time to read, and we'll maybe miss other things.
To all of you. I hope you have a good winter, a great time.Stay healthy.

Love Yvonne & Marcel

Part II
9 March 2009

Part I
25 April 2007
16 April 2007
13 April 2007
7 April 2007
3 April 2007
31 March 2007
30 March 2007
28 March 2007
24 March 2007
21 March 2007
15 March 2007
9 March 2007
20 Februari 2007

Start / Soggers / Marcel / Down Under