Thursday, 11 March 2010

Looking Back

We’ve been back for a month now and it’s time to look back on our time Down Under.

It is a long journey to get to either Australia or New Zealand so we decided to stay awhile--we were gone for almost nine weeks and the time passed very quickly. There is a lot to see Down Under and we saw a lot, but there is much more to do and see for us, especially in Australia.

We barely scratched the surface of the island continent, but we did ride motorcycles there and visit the island state of Tasmania. We have friends that live there and it was a definite plus being able to visit with them. Pieter and Brian Vanden Hogen grew up down the street from us in De Pere, WI, and both are living in greater Sydney. Brian (Lord Brian) was very kind to let us use his apartment while we were in and out of Sydney for a three + week period. He also arranged for us to view the New Year’s Eve fireworks over Sydney Harbour from his place of employment, the Taronga Zoo. We got to meet his new lady friend, Jane, (Lady Jane) and had several enjoyable meals together. Piet and his new Aussie bride, Kim, met us for a farewell dinner with LB and LJ--what a great evening. Jerry and Mo (Brian’s and Piet’s folks) squired us to and from the Green Bay airport; sort of feel as though we are part of their family now!

New Zealand, the main reason for this trip, did not disappoint. In fact, as time passes we seem to be appreciating the place more and more everyday. When you are someplace doing things that are fun and interesting you begin to take them for granted. When we think about the things we saw and did, the roads we rode, the meals we ate, and the people we met, it all is packaged up into nice, warm, fuzzy memories. The Robertsons, Barnetts, Pilgrims, and Rebe Nolan were all kind enough to invite us into their homes demonstrating first hand the friendly folk that live in the land of the Long White Cloud and the Green Stone.

Our love of traveling on two wheels is what took us to New Zealand. The roads and scenery are second to none in our 700,000 miles of riding BMW motorcycles. Combined with the things mentioned in the previous paragraph, it makes for an near perfect biking experience. We were blessed with good weather and the bit of precipitation we did get did not seriously impact our travels.

Traveling Down Under is highly recommended; it is a very easy place to negotiate on a self-guided tour. Do it, the long plane ride is worth it.

Where to next? We’ve purchased two new BMW G650GS bikes for our next adventure. We are planning a trip south with Jean and Ross Copas (riding companions in India); south of the border to the tip of South America. We will cross the border into Mexico in October and hope to be in Ushuaia, Argentina, by Christmas. A cruise to Antarctica will follow with a ride up the east side of South America into Brazil. Not sure where that will lead…’ll have to follow the blog to find out.

Thanks for reading.