Auckland to Perth

We’ll do a New Zealand wrap-up post at some point, maybe. For some reason the change from Latin America to NZ was the only time in nearly two years we’ve come off our ‘high’. I’m not clear about why this was. When I have some insight, I’ll post about it.

The day’s route
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There was a little difficulty in arranging to fly to Perth. This would be the first time we’ve flown Lucinda on a Carnet De Passages (a bonded bike passport really) and with no exit stamp from Canada, Australian customs had to pre-approve entry this way, which took a few days. Also I wanted to use TNL again to ship and receive but they had difficulty with the crating requirements. Shipping to NZ on an LAN flight was a breeze. Strap her to a pallet, wrap her, and go. Not so easy on a fancy western airline. So I shopped around for a new forwarder/receiver and settled on Go! Logistics at both ends. The downside was they weren’t the super-fast partnership that Dakar/TNL were, only because they hadn’t handled bikes on Carnets.

So on the day Lucinda was due for crating, we took her off to be cleaned at a roadside car service in Auckland. Non-riders will find this boring, but for riders this is gripping stuff
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Pretty fancy, it had a pressure washer with various types of action. Like de-grease, soap, rinse, etc. We were going to take a risk and see if we could get through quarantine without the toothbrush-level clean for NZ quarantine. I had a reason for thinking it would be easier this time. Mainly because of the crate.

Anyway
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Then off to Go! Logistics for crating and shipping. This is Alistair who’s going to supervise crating. After disconnecting the battery and assuring them there was virtually no fuel in the tank, I left her, my clothes, boots and helmet. Fingers crossed. It’s never good leaving her, but this time was particularly difficult. I was sad.
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I flew the day before her, got the train down to Fremantle (nice, I heard) to wait. So this is what Aussies look like, random sampling

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And my first Aussie town photo, Fremantle. Not a good pic, but the first. Touristy on a few central streets, but very nice. Better shots later
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Just a block way, on our first day, we struck gold
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Tons of maps and very helpful staff
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As it turns out the Aussie are keen mapmakers and there’s every level of detail available at multiple scales in various formats. Some tracks are complete with GPS coordinates at frequent key locations. Impressive.

I’ve written my list of most ignorant questions on the plane and start interrogating the most compliant looking staffer, about my many concerns in order of importance. Wolf Creek-type serial killers, snakes, spiders, crocodiles, etc. That went pretty well, then on to the maps and gas/water/shower frequency, etc.

Lucinda flew the next day and I’d been warned that customs and quarantine might take a few days.

I’d been told of a BMW riders meeting at a cafe and head off there for a chat. The first thing I see is a 2006 megamoto, a cousin to Lucinda. I’ve never seen one before and it’s immaculate
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I was very bummed not to be able to show off Lucinda, who stands up well to the scrutiny of the most hard-core rider, regardless of preference. But anyway.

It was a talented group. Some of them (obviously not on these street BMW’s) had done Australia’s hardest routes including the Canning Stock which I’ve heard many tales about. They were very friendly and had no problem with me pulling out a map and asking questions. I was very aware that asking questions about Australia as is rediculous as pulling out a map of South America and expecting to learn much. It’s just too big. So I kept my questions to getting some validation of my overall idea and sorting out big picture stuff like weather, road surfaces, and an idea about the difficulty of various goals. But this was there club meeting so I tried to keep it brief and keep out of their way, despite wanting to spend hours with them. But I’ll meet others riders on the road, as always.

At this point I notice my attitude towards the immediate future has shifted back into the good (not aggressive, but something like it) place it has been all along, but for some reason suffered a big set-back in NZ.

I didn’t get a good pic of the group. Busy concentrating
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Lucinda arrived in Perth on Wednesday and wasn’t through customs and out of quarantine until the following Tuesday. We got a call saying she was ready for pick up. Up we go to Perth and there she is, in a crate.

The good news is that with her battery disconnected she is in a coma state, so isn’t aware of anything and hasn’t been freaking out.

The crate is so well built I comment to the receivers about the wood quality and joinery and they make some Kiwi joke. This is interesting so I ask so do the Kiwis make unusually good crates? They say yes, and chuckle.

So time to unpack Lucinda and wake her up
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Nearly there
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And off we go
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Next stop is a bit more complicated. As I’ve said before, there’s no bigger pain in the ass than travelling in developed countries. We have to call the Department of Transport and arrange a transit permit, specifically saying where we are going to go for our Vehicle Inspection approval and when. But you need to arrange an inspection appointment in advance, and you can’t do this until you know Lucinda is through customs. Anyway, you get the drift. After all this was untangled but without accelerating bribe possibilities we have our transit permit number and head off here
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We wait beside an ancient but clean Rolls
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A Unimog also
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And a truck with this fancy version of a bull bars, they’re everywhere, but not this decorative usually . I ask the owner if it’s for Kangaroos (more on this soon) and he says it’s for anything that jumps out in front of you. On that list as far as I know, so far, are kanagaroos and emus
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The guy does a thorough job. It takes him 20 minutes. Lucinda has no problem with this as she knows she’s going to pass with honours, and does
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Next day, off to the tire shop
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On the main website thread for HP2 geeks, of which I’m one, there’s this South African guy who pushes a tire Lucinda hasn’t tried before (not available in Latin America). The problem: the rear TKC wears too fast, the K60 is crap on wet, and practically, those are the only two 50/50 or more tires that are worth considering, until now. So let’s see how this does
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The Mitas MT09 Dakar, with the signature yellow stripe. We’re staying with the TKC front since it is holy, and put a new one on. I’ll report back a month from now.

More key Aussie beta at the bike shop

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While all this was happening we also kicked around Fremantle a bit and will put up some pics when we return. We’re going to do a loop first, waiting for a shipment to get here from YVR which hasn’t arrived yet.

But we’re getting on with the Aussies just fine. Lots of strange things they say though, for instance sunglasses are sunnies
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