BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Sunday, 14 August 2016

It's time to see some more new places. See ya Carnarvon. Hello Coral Bay, and Exmouth.


We enjoyed a tasty Continental breakfast at The Carnarvon Motel. This was a "real" continental breakfast with a selection of tasty sliced meats and cheeses along with the usual toast and cereal that hotels usually call a continental. It was delicious. 

Then it was time to hit the road.

Carnarvon is known for it's fruit production so on the way out of town we rode past kilometer after kilometer of fruit plantations. They grow such mouthwatering goodies as bananas, a range of tropical fruits including mangoes and paw paws, citrus and stone fruit, grapes and avocados not to mention strawberries and a variety of melons. Vegetables include tomatoes, beans, capsicum, asparagus, sweet corn, pumpkin, zucchini and cucumbers.

Add to this to the huge selection of super fresh fish available that has been caught on Carnarvon's doorstep, and you can eat very, very, very well here.

The downside to the section of road we are travelling today is that it is inhabited by a large variety of animals, as well as a variety of large animals. These animals have no idea that we humans use the road to pilot our fast, and heavy, mechanical horses along it. As a result they have an annoying habit of walking across, or standing in the middle of said road.

You'll come across all sorts of furry and feathered friends if you ride along here. Things like emus, goats, cows, eagles, and the odd kangaroo. Hitting any of these, even at legal speeds, is not desirable. It can really put a downer on your day.

As for riding at night...forget it. Try and spot a bloody big, brown cow, in the middle of the road at night time. Good luck.

Blurry, left handed, point and shoot photo taken at speed (totally legal speed of course) of one of the many, many eagles we saw along the way. They seemed to fly along the road, then swoop off to the side when they saw a tasty morsel. I'm glad I didn't look very appetizing to them.

And here we go. Off the main highway and on to Exmouth, gateway to Ningaloo Reef, home of the Whale Sharks, but a quick stop at Coral Bay first.

Did I mention the ants. Yes, ants!

No, it's not dinosaur poo, it's an ant's nest. They build them above ground to keep out of the flood water when it rains. Don't ever hit one on your bike - they are rock hard.

After a few hours of straight-lining, we rolled into Coral Bay and all I can say is it is absolutely stunning...but...

It is sooooo over crowded with Grey Nomads that you can hardly move. Grey Nomads are retirees who buy a big four wheel drive, and a huge caravan, and head up to the north west when winter hits. There are thousands and thousands of them pretty much everywhere.

White as white sand with stunningly clear water gives this perfect turquoise beach. I don't reckon it gets much better.

The Bayview Caravan Park must be making and absolute killing. There were vans packed in there like sardines. In fact, even sardines wouldn't squeeze in that tightly.

ATV beach tours.
Good fun and a great way to access hard to get to places for pristine diving.

My idea of a perfect holiday at Coral Bay would be to clear everyone out of town, block off the road, and take about twenty mates there for a week. Somehow I don't think that will ever happen.After a refreshing ice cream we were back on the bikes and heading further north for Exmouth, which is about a 400km detour off the main road. As it turned out, it was worth every extra kilometer.

We headed straight for the tourist information centre as soon as we arrived and after a few minutes left armed with a bundle of brochures on touristy things to do.

Then it was on to our hosts home, Dave and Shari's, where their caravan will be our base for the next three nights. Dave and Shari run NRG Gym in Exmouth. Cool name eh? NRG as in energy, and also Ningaloo Reef Gym. Having the van and access to the gym facilities, the toilets and showers, not the bloody exercise equipment, was really great. I do think a few of the people training were wondering who the hell these two, old, fat people were wandering around the gym though. Both Dave and Shari are super fit and look like they are made of steel. Andrew and I however look like we are made of marshmallow.

How do we know Dave and Shari? Well, many decades ago Andrew ran a shop in Perth called Top Gear and he sponsored me in enduros, that's how we met. He also sponsored David and his brother in road racing. Sometimes these things form life long friendships. So here we are, bludging some free accommodation.

The big bonus for me was that Dave and Shari have two rescue dogs. Mushka (Little fly in Russian) was named after the Russian dog Mushka who spent a day in orbit on December 1, 1960 on board Sputnik 3. Her buddy Buddha got her name because as a pup she used to curl up and sleep next to a little Buddha statue near the back door. I was having so much fun cuddling the dogs that I totally forgot to take a photo of them. Here are a couple of pics I stole from Dave's Facebook page:

The lovely Mushka.

The not so "at peace" Buddha.

Dave and Shari work huge hours so Andrew and I headed to the local for a feed by ourselves. Much to my chagrin, it was a country and western themed bar. Groan. But the food was good, and the beer was cold.

Tomorrow we'll do the touristy stuff in Exmouth.

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