Sydney to Cairns (Part 3) – The wet way home

Filed in Australia, Riding, Travel by on May 27, 2013 0 Comments

After a relaxing couple of days which mainly involved drinking goon with backpackers, it was time to make my way back home to get back into the 9-5 grind.

Mother nature however seemed to have a different agenda and wasn’t going to make this an easy ride home. As I was leaving Cairns I was greeted with less than welcoming skies. And sure enough, minutes later I was drenched head to toe and struggling to see more than a few feet in front of me. I did try pulling over to wait out the intensity; however it seemed to be an exercise in futility, so onwards it was. And to think, only hours before I had been discussing my luck of good weather with others at the hostel.

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Aside from the sheer misery that was my soaked leathers, the rain also slowed progress and required me to be even more alert. I soon discovered the joys of 750ml cans of V…lots of them. The rain also caused me to run heavily behind schedule, so much so that I found myself riding well into the darkness of the night; something I had promised myself not to do. But when I found myself in this situation, I did the next best thing possible, tailgating other (bigger) cars at very high speeds. Not the brightest of ideas but it not only gave me some added mental security but also provided me with the extra light thrown out from their headlights to survey my surroundings a little bit better.

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My first day and night back out was a long one, with a quick pit stop to rest my sore legs and also help with some work back in the real life; a reminder that I would soon have to step back into the ‘normal’ life. Getting into Mackay for the night, I can’t say I was all that excited to leave the bike parked in front of the hostel on the street…right next door to a pub…on a Friday night. It all had the makings of a decision I would regret the next morning. So I managed to find an unused garage around the back, complete with a dirtbike chained to the ground. I went to sleep that night still slightly damp and wondering if I would see a GSXR still parked there in the morning.

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Back on the road the next morning, it was much of the same wetness again, only this time, I had slightly amusing road signs to keep me entertained. However to throw a new variable into the mix, I now had to deal with roadworks that stretched on as far as I could see, grinding traffic to a blistering 40 kilometres per hour. Again, meaning a missed mark for the night. However, ever cloud has a silver lining…or at least I have to envision one; in this case, it was the opportunity to stay in a caravan for the first time in my life; so much excitement !

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The following day, as I crossed into NSW, I felt a change. Now I don’t just mean it in the sense of the weather warming up, progressively greener, more NSW plated cars, but I just felt like I was ‘home’. I am not overly attached to the state however the sense of home is one that warms the heart no matter where home is. Although that could’ve also been the meat pie from ‘Beefys’ I had shortly before crossing into NSW that won best meat pie in 2012; that was pretty warm too.

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After a final nights stay in Lennox Head, it was time for the last dash home. Just under 800km to cover, but I could do it; plus I had to be at work the next day.
After my last fuel stop on familiar highways, I took one last photo, envisioning in my head what photo I would take once I was home to show off my total mileage and a weather ravaged bike.

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However, that was not to be. Sitting at a set of traffic lights 20km from home, the lights went green; 1st gear selected; clutch out and…nothing. The bike lost all electrics; nothing left at all. I wheeled it out of the intersection as quick as I could in an effort not to be flattened, however, after a quick strip down and checking for shorts in auxiliary equipment and the main fuses; nothing was to be found.

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And so it was, after nearly 7000km of riding through the Australian Outback and the Tropics, I had broken down 18km from home, and the last part of my journey was to be in the passenger seat of a van with my travel companion strapped into the back.

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