Motorbike Adventure – Australia 2012/2013

You may be aware that I am planning a few Australian rides scheduled for the end of 2012 / early 2013. Details about the ride is here

To make this the best possible event, I have created a short and anonymous survey to get your thoughts on the preferred format, such as number of days, kms, accommodation etc.

If you could help me with this survey, it would be much appreciated…Please click here to participate: Australian Ride Survey

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Happy Easter Everyone!

This weekend is an excellent time to catch up with loved ones (that’s the two legged kind, not the two wheeled kind). Enjoy it people and cherish every moment! 

Ever so gently though, between stuffing your face with chocolate eggs and when no-one can notice, imagine how awesome would it be riding up this road…

Image

 

Transylvania: The Bicaz Gorge

We took off early in the morning towards Bicaz Gorge. It was still foggy in the mountains…

but no-one complained despite the previous night’s foolish behaviour in the beer garden…this ride had my adrenalin pumping so I could not sleep past 6am anyway…

Once we left the town of Udvarhely,

we rode through a few villages,

where storks nests such as this were common. It was amazing to see wildlife and civilisation entwined…

The stork is a migratory bird and every year they travel to Africa during winter but they return to their nests year after year.

As we left the villages behind, the surroundings turned green…

As we passed the peasants horses and carts it was like going back in time. That’s unless we saw them use their mobile phones which was a strange sight…This visual’s just not getting old…

As we got closer to the Gorge, and we got higher into the mountains, the landscape became more dramatic…and beautiful

before we got to the Bicaz Gorge we stopped by for a break at the Red Lake (Translated from Romanian, in Hungarian its the Killer Lake, it must be a Transylvanian thing…)

That lake and rowing boats looked too inviting for us not to try them out…

but all fun must come to an end and our gruelling task of riding to the Bicaz Gorge had to continue…it wasn’t too far…

And this is what greeted us:

This is what it looks like from the top:

Nice!

Churches in Transylvania

There is a village in the depths of Transylvania, called Gelence (pronounced Ghelentze…now say that 10 times…).

It doesn’t look much different from any other Transylvanian villages. Remote from western civilisation, surrounded by mountains and dense forrest, no public transport, only 4-5000 people etc…In fact it it wasn’t for the single petrol station you’d think you have gone back in time.

Since I was in Transylvania on my motorbike, I just had to visit this place…

My aim was to check out this fortified church…

which does not look anything special…except that it is.  And, you don’t have to be religious to appreciate its historic significance:

  • originally built in 13th century…(yes, 1200 something)
  • it is on the top 100 list of the World Monuments Fund (check it out in Wikipedia), along with well known places like the Taj Mahal (that’s the one in India not the Trump Taj in Atlantic City…)
  • UNESCO world heritage site

There are no buildings this old in Australia, so I had to look inside. It’s hard to imagine that anything that is built today would last over 800 years…

The frescos, with meticulous attention to detail, tell a story of a king that ruled the area in around 1080 A.D. If you want to know more abut this place, click here.

Once I had enough appreciation of the local history and religion, it was time to appreciate local geography…did I mention this place is surrounded by hills right? LET’S RIDE!

as the sun started to go down I turned up to one of my favourite restaurants for a bite…

I knew the food was great here from previous trips so I grabbed a menu…It is so thoughtful that they translate each meal in numerous languages for the tourists…including english of course…It’s pity though (and extremely funny!) that some things get lost in translation…case in point:

…since I speak Hungarian (after all I used to live here some 25 years ago) I knew exactly what that dish was. I can assure you no person got hurt during the making…Nevertheless it was all too easy to imagine some poor shepherd in the hills with a voice a few octaves higher…and the sheep around him with a sigh of relief…

Speaking of sheep…the lamb cutlets are awesome at this place! Till next time!

Tasmania – Epic Adventure (Episode 2)

The next morning in New Norfolk we woke up to another fine Tasmanian day. The sun was just up, not a cloud could be seen and the morning chill was prompting us to get out for coffee. The local bakery was already open so we sat down to a hearty breakfast and a strong caffeine hit in a mug. We were not the only ones out for adventure, a hot rod crew turned up so we checked out their machinery… but time waits for nobody and we wanted to make our way into Strathgordon Dam, besides, who cares about cars when we are on bikes and scenery such as this was waiting up the road?

random picture on a bridge crossing...

We stopped a few times on the way to Strathgordon Dam, either to refuel…

...now what?

to admire the scenery…or just to watch Eric bust a move…

...Vanilla Ice eat your heart out..............WTF?

but we still don’t know why…let’s move on.

Before we took off into the distance, we spared a thought on our partners at home struggling with chores and wished we were there to give them a hand instead….

The road to Strathgordon Dam was long, twisty, smooth, picturesque, etc etc… you get the picture, but in case you don’t, here it is…

and what's even better...we did not see a car for hours

and just when we had enough (is there such thing?) of the winding road we pulled over to have a look at this: Lake Pedder. Words cannot express the beauty of this land, so I’ll say nothing and just let you enjoy it…The excitement was just too much of all of us: Daniel’s head swelled up and he could put his helmet back on (true story)… Eric, once again, showed us that He Believes!

...and the Lord said: "You are, once again, Welcome!"

and I, just this time, stopped admiring my bike and took another picture of the scenery

it's not a copy of the one above...you can find 5 things that are different!

However beautiful the landscape was, this wasn’t our destination…that was a few kilometres up the road. Once we managed to tear ourselves away and got back onto our bikes, we were there in no time…this is what awaited: and this…

Strathgordon Dam

It was time to play Japanese tourist again…

no no...You are da Man!

It was late afternoon and time to make our way back. We stopped for a nice feed on the side of the road… 

I did not share...

Over our meal we discussed the best methods we employ to keep it rubber side down. Some of us mentioned good tyres (wasn’t Eric) or just tip top condition of the bike (wasn’t Eric on this one either) …or…wait for it…. wearing his partner’s underwear for good luck…hmmm.

We swore to secrecy never to tell anyone who that person is however I leave you with this picture.

I'm saying nothing!

Cheers,

Till next time!

Tasmania – Epic Adventure (Episode 1)

After our Mad Dash to Tasmania (see earlier posts), Eric and I returned to Melbourne bragging to everyone (whether we knew them or not) about how great our ride was. Still buzzing, we managed to convince our mate Daniel to join us next time…OK, he didn’t need convincing and the date was set again, quickly followed by purchasing of the tickets to cross the Bass Straight on the Spirit of Tasmania…it was another weekend ride, but this time with longer days, more saddle time and bigger distances…hence the Epic Adventure.

The boat ride was fairly uneventful, embark of Friday evening, dinner, vine, talking crap and arriving Saturday morning to Devonport…

Upon arriving to Tassie, the usual intake of coffee and breakfast followed and we were off towards Cradle Mountain… 

Along the way we came across a genuine piece of two wheeled art. Straight away Eric felt the need for a test ride…

I'm a cowboy...with a steel horse I ride...

...poetry in motion...

Eric decided on “Better the devil you know” and we continued on our Epic Adventure.

Near Cradle Mountain we pulled over to check out the scenery…Daniel could not believe the beauty of the land…

I took took a picture of the bikes 

and the last corner…

I could ride this all day...

and Eric left to check out the scenery from a higher vantage point

...the Man on his throne...

This view greeted him from the cliff:

you don't want to get lost in there...

Our next stop was Strahan, but we had to stop a few times along the way, just to take in the scenery which was awe inspiring…

...are we there yet?

or needed a group hug

...ah that's nice! Now can we farkin' ride???!!!

or there was A Bug On Daniel’s Bike and he HAD to pull over to clean it…

you missed a spot...

The day was perfect! It was warm, light wind and we barely saw any cars for hours…We took breaks frequently just to soak in the vibe of the place…

other than our helmet hair, this picture is perfect

or for the boys to admire my bike…

Admire but do not touch!

but when we got to this sign…

happy times ahead...

we knew we were in motorbike heaven…We took off into the distance having a blast through the twisties like there was no tomorrow…Arriving to Strahan, I took a picture of myself… I do not know why, my hair was a total mess… After a massive feed of fresh seafood, pasta and cold beer we lazed on the lawn near the bay for a while. I do believe I heard Eric snore, but that could also have been me…

Finally, once we got ourselves moving again… it was time for us to look for somewhere to sleep. New Norfolk was some 260kms away and we only had 5hrs before sunset…It was time go and the perfect excuse to ride fast!

Stay tuned for the next episode of the Epic Adventure, where we ride fast for no reason whatsoever, check out Strathgordon Dam and make fools of ourselves in the bike heaven of the Tasmanian wilderness.