BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Our crew takes the first step.


It's 8 am on Saturday and it's time to head east toward the Aussie home of Moto GP, Philip Island. My first stop is Midland, about forty five minutes from home, where I'll meet up with the rest of my travelling mates for the trip. 

After two days of frantic preparation, the Guzzi is cram packed with gear, is serviced, has new tyres, and is ready to roll east toward Philip Island.

The plan was to leave Midland at 9 am and head to Kalgoorlie for the night. That's an easy 600 km ride for our first day, just to ease into the trip.

OK, now I have to explain something about this blog. There are certain people on this trip who do not wish their faces or names to be seen on the web. Apparently it's something to do with national security or such twaddle. I reckon they are just trying to avoid the Australian Taxation Office, or the Police, but we'll probably never know the real truth. 

With that in mind I'll tell you that our first hold up was Uncle R arriving at our rendezvous half an hour late. Not a good start.

Uncle D, Mark, Uncle G, your truly, Rex, and Uncle R.

We made the slow climb up the hill out of Midland and pointed our bikes toward Northam. Once we were past Northam the pace picked up and we were well and truly on our way.

Now I have to tell you, the ride to Kalgoorlie is 600 km, in a straight line, with absolutely nothing to see along the way. It's one of the most mind numbing rides you can do, especially if you've done it many times before, as we all have. When you throw in temperatures in the mid thirties, it's just plain hard work, and no fun at all. We kept telling each other that the payback will be the Moto GP, and a week riding fantastic roads in Tasmania.

A quick wee stop allowed us to realise how bloody hot it was, and also gave the flies a chance to annoy the hell out of us
at the same time.

After a few fuel stops and a leisurely lunch we pulled up at our Kalgoorlie digs around 4:30 pm. The distance and heat had taken their toll. We were all drained.

After a quick clean up we hit the hot spots in town planning to paint the place red on our first night away. After dinner it was time to hit a "Skimpy bar". It's time for an explanation. Kalgoorlie is a mining town and mining is the only reason it exists. Being a mining town means that most of the population is male, and businesses in town cater to male clientèle. One thing that bars do is employ barmaids to work the bar wearing "skimpy" outfits, lingerie, an so forth, hence the name skimpies.

After the second skimpy bar we all agreed that the sadly standard of skimpies has dropped dramatically since we were last here. 

We were all in fine form (NOT!) and very few beers were consumed (I managed one and a half) before we called it a night. I think we were all tucked up in bed by 9:30. That's probably a good thing because we have a big day tomorrow.

Will this set the standard for our staying power for the rest of the trip? I hope not.

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