|The big tent, known as the Cabin, in Melrose.|
With clean bikes we were back on the road again, enjoying the lanes and towns as we rode south towards the Adelaide hills. If someone had told me that one day we would ride through the Barossa Valley, one of Australia’s premier wine regions, carrying a bottle of New Zealand wine and a six pack of Mexican beer,” I never would have believed them. One of the big conglomerates made us an offer we couldn’t refuse and we voted with our hip pocket. Drinking our BYO New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, on the pavement in Tanunda, felt like a criminal offence and we kept the bottle well hidden away.
With plenty of time up our sleeve we made the maritime town of Goolwa, on the Fleurieu Peninsula, home for nearly a week. Our camping character was well and truly tested when one of the days reached a maximum temperature of 45 degrees. I lost the battle with the caravan park kids and the door remained open to the air conditioned camp kitchen; in the end there was nowhere to hide. That night, when the cool change arrived, the tent was tested, too, with wind gusts exceeding 30 knots. The big tent moaned and groaned a little but she stood her ground and in the morning everything was intact.
|Causeway to Granite Island, Victor Harbour.|
We stayed on the back roads, some only one lane wide. The navigation was difficult but with hardly a car in sight it was wonderful riding. We touched down on the Great Ocean Road at Lorne; big mistake. Lorne was preparing for the Australia Day long weekend and there was barely standing room in the trendy seaside town. We tried to book in at the town’s caravan park but when the receptionist said “$60,” (twice the amount we were paying), Steve protested and mumbled about a bed and breakfast up the road for only $99. The receptionist retorted “off you go then” and turned her attention to the next paying customer. Although we were hot and thirsty we rode out of town. Unfortunately a copper, riding a motorcycle, hopped onto my back wheel and you could almost hear him laughing “gotcha, you West Aussie dude.” He rode with me for almost 10km, tracking my every move as I navigated one slow corner after another. Once I realised he was just along for the ride, I relaxed and did my own thing; you don’t want to run out of talent on a road like that. When I’d had enough, I moved over to the left to give him chance to go and find Steve; a couple of bends later he had disappeared from view. It was late when we set up the little tent in Torquay for $65 per night; after a long day on the road we had stopped counting the money.
|Steve and I on the Queenscliff to Sorrento Ferry.|