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2intents tour Melb-Brisbane&back(long)

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by movin, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. Or-Brisbane and back to see how far it is?

    On 5th of January myself and a good friend headed north to see how far we could get. I had just shy of 3 weeks off and he had a month.My friends name is Leigh and we met in a backpackers in Toronto, Canada 2001. I was riding from east coast to west coast of Canada, Leigh had no specific agenda.

    We hung out in Toronto for 3 weeks till I finally found a XS100 83 Model with 17k on the clock, to cruise across Canada on. We toured and camped for a week together and discussed our ultimate biking adventures. Leigh like myself ,at that stage, had been riding about 15 years and was an avid motorcyclist. We agreed to ride Australia and the Himalayas together one day.

    We always kept in contact, dropping each other an email every 3 months or so, “what cha up ta†etc, and had met up in 2003 on an island off the coast of Thailand, and again in London in Xmas 2005. For some time he had planned to drag his ass out to Oz, as we had planned around a campfire many moons ago in the forests of Algonquin national park, Canada. Finally around June last year, he had indicated that his home turf of London, had outworn its grey, drizzly, overpriced, unfriendly streets, and once again life circumstances were conspiring to make this long hatched plan of being a professional backpacking bum, come to fruition.

    Finally our Oz tour was taking shape. He sent me over some cash and after many months searching I found a Yamaha XJ900 Diversion 2000 model with really low kilometers and at a bargain price. Every backpackers budget criteria, ie â€cheap†was fulfilled. Leigh was due in Oz January 4th, so I booked holidays, got both our bikes ready and on 5th January we headed North.

    DAY 1-After mucho aplenty stuffing around, and a 3.5 hour ride in front of us to Bright, we finally left Melbourne around 4.30pm on Friday, Jan 5th. Carri(Carri27) got sick of waiting for us to go and wanted to go visit Loz :butt: and his sore ass in Hospital, so she bailed and left us to our devices, not before a kiss for good luck and taking a Bon Voyage happy snap.


    After riding through the evening and dusk, then into the dark for almost an hour, we made it to Bright around 9.30pm. This riding well into the sunset was to set the theme for the whole trip, becoming the norm rather than the exception. I'm not a huge fan of after dark riding, because of critters at night. But for both of us, our favourite riding time is around 6 till dusk. You chase your shadows & the light plays a fantastic kaleidoscope with the land, dancing in harmony with the terrain, revealing its myriad of ever shifting shades, shapes and hues.

    DAY 2- Riding doesn’t get much better than this terrain in the southern states, bar Tassie. From Bright we headed through winding mountain passes across to Mt Beauty, north to almost Albury, then you head east to Snowies and Tallangatta-Corryong way. Through Kosciuszko national park to Thredbo ski village, where as RosieV7 mentioned, it is a bit of a wank, but being an avid skier, it's kinda like a necessary evil :demon:
    Both being cheap bahstads, we camped as much as possible, only staying in a Backpackers on the 1st night. We pitched our tents a few kms from Thredbo, on the road to Jindabyne. Again we rode to after dusk, where I just narrowly missed Bambi then Skippy, all in the space of 300 metres :eek:hno: twas around then I think I said, “right here is a fine looking camp spotâ€. Below is the same spot 6 months earlier during winter.


    DAY 3-After the usual 11am start, we rode through 2 hours of solid rain, across the high plains to Tumut. Great riding over the rooftop of Australia, but totally crap weather. From there it was a 70 plus kms of dirt road to Wee Jasper.


    Just for a change we rode till well after dusk, riding to Goulburn and making camp around 10pm.

    DAY 4-Always pushing further north, and being a fond exponent of Sydney’s traffic :jerk: I tried to pick the easiest route around the burbs, up through Camden, Penrith & north to the superb Putty road(you lucky New South Welshman :woot: ) and Yengo national park. We ended up heading for Broke-no joke, its called Broke. It's in Hunter valley wine district. Beautiful area.

    * http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/movin1/P1140271.jpg

    DAY 5-Our criteria for the route to take on any given day was always discussed over brekky. A quick look at the map and the most twisty road heading north, was the way to go, or if I had ridden it before and liked it, we did it, otherwise, suck it and see. I had ridden the coastal route few years back to Brisbane, so I wanted to try an alternative route as much as possible, as the Hume and Pacific hwy blows chunks :sick:

    So from Broke it was on to Maitland, then north up to Gloucester and “The Thunderbolts wayâ€. Around these parts are some wide open plains, where you can see oncoming cars from a kilometre+ away, allowing for speeds encroaching a tad over the limit, alledgedly around the 200kmh mark, or so Im told 8-[ . Somewhere around here, at a lovely lookout, we met about 10 old guys, mostly on serious $ Ducatis. They went before us to “plough the road†& play the % game about avoiding P.C.Plod. Only problem when you sit at ludicrous speeds for sustained periods, something like a Bandit 1200, seriously sux juice like a high class hooker, and when you rock into country towns like Walcha after 7pm, there's no petrol station open. So from Walcha we headed east to the coast. I remembered driving this road, the Oxley Hwy in 2000 for an old job I had. I made an oath to ride it if I was ever up around these parts again. It snakes its way down to Port Macquarie, winding its way through lush forest. I heard it's even more fun when you have petrol :facepalm: . So around dusk, we passed the last known petrol station, and with about 3 kms left in the tank, we had to make camp in the hills in the forest til the morning, when the nearest petrol station a few kilometres away re-opened.

    DAY 6-When you camp in the bush, you tend to wake up at a sparrow's fart. Funnily enough, as the saying goes, coz that’s when the sparrows and other birdlife wake up and start tweeting. But nothing much is open at 6am in the bush so you end up going back to slaufen till around 9ish. So after juicing up, then some breaky and discussing the route for the day, we broke camp and headed for Port Macquarie arriving a bit after lunchtime. After a leisurely luncheon, It was a stinker of a day, so we went for a swim in one of P.M.’s delightfull beaches.

    * http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/movin1/2intenzs tour/P1013205.jpg

    Some days you just cant be ass’d, so we took our time and ended up heading a little farther north to Kempsey and then as dusk was fast approaching, we headed to the coast for the night. It was around here we started encountering the weird phenonemum of the Seventh Day Adventist and Christian caravan parks [-o< These seem to line the northern NSW coast and are the last bastian of piety. If we got refused from 1 caravan park [-X we got refused from 5 =; Eventually at around 9pm, we rocked into a place called Grassy Head and rode straight into the park. The office being shut we thought no probs, we will pay in the morn, found a nice spot near the ocean and proceeded to unload.
    Just then a 1 eyebrowed, slow drawling, knuckle dragging, slack jawed yokel park manager ambled on up and slurred something along the lines of :soapbox: â€what are you doing here,you can't camp here, we are full up, we have no spotsâ€
    Leigh looked over at me as we exchanged a :-s “this guys a tosser, can you talk to him or Im going to tear him a new one†look, then both simultaneously surveyed our surroundings, panorama style, in order to make a point, seeing as we were surrounded by about 37 different spots that we could pitch a tent in the immediate vicinity alone.
    Having experienced roughly the same welcome reception at the 5 previous parks =; funnily enough mostly of a religious affiliation too, I had to go into diplomat mode, as we were both tired and by now it was dark and our patience was wearing rollie paper thin :evil: . After several minutes of pacifying this guy, assuring him we were not the bikers from hell :demon: with our posse of ho’s waiting in the bushes with a keg, drugs to sell their children & our domestic dingo bezzlebub waiting to steal your babies, he finally relented to his kind christian nature :angel: and decided to let us stay. Albeit he put us as far away from everyone as he could find, right next to the noisy entrance to the park, dust from the cars kicking up into our tents. We were treated kinda like the evil red headed heethen step child, diagnosed with leprocy, who had just farted at the church picnic. Basically we were made to feel as welcome as cancer.

    We observed in casual conversation at the pub that night, why was it that every caravan park of a religious affiliation, :inquisition: always seemed to have the highest security, with locks on the gates & the toilets, and all non religious parks didn’t :-k Despite his bullshit, it was a really beautiful place, with a beach like Apollo Bay’s (for those in Vic) except the water being a few degrees warmer.

    More to follow...

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  2. Hey movin...great write up so far! Reading it reminds me of my own trip. :) Looking forward to reading more. :)

    Loved this:
  3. Religion is wonderful. No really.

    Loving the report, and dirty as a sheep's arse that I couldn't make it.
  4. Thats ok Loz, Im sure you giving youre ass a good pounding was more important to you :grin: Theres always next time.
  5. DAY 7-The next morning we went for a wake-up swim, came back and broke camp. Just as we were dismantling our mobile homes (tents), our one eyebrowed, slack jawed park manager mate, who was mowing the campgrounds only metres away from our tents, proceeded to then start chatting to us and mow around our tents, while covering all our worldly possessions in dust and cut grass, all the while being TOTALLY oblivious to this. He got dubbed Lawnmower man from hence forth, as Leigh came up to me and said in his cockney rhyming slang â€Lawnmower man here, is this guy taking the piss or what?â€
    Anyways we loaded up and bailed north on the snorefest Pacific Hwy to Coffs Harbour, while trying to avoid the 300 marked and plain police cars, then went inland to Nana Glen and Grafton, then North on Hwy 91 to Lismore. From there no trip north would be complete without a visit to tripper town Nimbin.
    This has changed majorly since I was there 13 years ago and now was full of, as Leigh and the English would say, “wide boysâ€. The atmosphere here has an uneasy tension :eek:hno: like something's about to “go down.†So we sat around town for several hours because it was too hot to ride, getting offered weed about 50 times, and watched the endless stream of tourists rock into town and the local dealers tout for the clientele.
    Weed is the national pastime in Nimbin. Dealing the herb here is so entrenched and their systems so evolved and advanced, you can probably pay for it with credit card, get frequent buyer points, and I'm sure if you're unemployed, you have your choice of dealer you can work for on the job screens at the nearest unemployment office in Lismore.
    If you look in the bottom right hand corner in the car door, you can see the cartoon version of mwah, for the hippies you will remember "The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers" and my cartoon look alike, "Fat Freddy"

    http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/movin1/2intenzs tour/P1013211.jpg

    So after becoming enlightened to Nimbin’s ways, we waited till the day cooled off and headed over to Byron Bay, an hour and half away on the coast. We chilled here for a couple of days recuperating our sore butts somewhat and watched the endless spectacle that is backpacker mecca of Byron. Our next door neighbour campers ended up donating to us all their 5 day old camping gear, as they were due to fly out for UK in 2 days. 3x 3-man tents, 2x sleeping bags, 3x mattresses, &2x chairs. We kept a tent each and hocked the rest to a pawnbroker in town for 50 bucks,Score! \:D/ Making our chilled Byron experienced, a little more chilled :cool:

    http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/movin1/2intenzs tour/P1013228.jpg

    DAY 10-After 2 days R&R in Byron, we had itchy feet and hit the road again. I rode to my best female friend's place on the outskirts of Brisbane and Leigh headed for Mt Tambourine for the night. After a whirlwind visit to Brisbane and not even a 24 hour stay(sorry Black Magic) we left Brisbane and headed south to Warwick then around dusk to the entity that is Urbenville :?
    A weird energy was prevalent in the air - one had images of people dressed in robes, in dark houses with black out windows, that required secret knocks to enter, and were sacrificing goats to unknown gods, in strange ceremonies to appease virgins :demon:
    If Cletus lived in the twighlight zone and it was a real life town, Urbenville would be it. The surrounding hills were covered in lurid myst. You can just see in the background one of the many interesting-shaped mountains that enveloped and encircled the district, that one with the goat sacrificing shrouded in myst.

    We rocked into town on dusk, nothing was open bar the pub, and that was emptier than a scottsman wallet. Due to the 'uneasiness' in the air that we both felt, we parked both bikes, directly out front of the pub. We walked into the bar and the publican, an old lady, walked straight around the back of us and immediately locked the doors. She then turned to us and said "better watch your bikes, there's some local dodgy types round these parts";no sh*t lady, that's why we parked out the front in the 1st place, so we could see our bikes till you immediately shut the doors. I swear I could hear "Hotel California" playing in my brain. There was soooo many other quirky little things that happened in that town, that I could almost do a report on it alone.


    The landlord said we could crash out back of the pub, we basically wanted to get as much distance between us and the place as possible. So after a couple of take aways, we bailed in complete darkness, again looking for a campsite in the dark. On the ride to our unknown campsite from the pub, we soon entered a lush forest right on total darkness. Just as we are entering the start of the forest canopy, a lone rider on a BMW, passed us in the opposite direction. I thought he wasn't wearing a helmet, it was too dark to definitely see. Later I asked Leigh, he said he didnt even seem to have a head, he wasnt joking [-o< . We had to ride side by side at a snails pace for 30km, because it was that dark, we couldn’t see enough with 1 bike headlight. Just before we finally got through the forest, I narrowly avoided running over a roughly1.5 metre long python, owing to the bad light, seeing its markings only just before I noticed it was a moving stick and managing to swerve. I stopped asap and turned around to try and warn Leigh, who promptly rolled right over the top of him and didnt even realise. We had a late night beer at camp to toast our health and escaping unscathed after our freak encounters in Urbenville. Strange dayz.
  6. Great write up guys...can't wait for the next instalment. :eek:
  7. You blokes make Bourke and Wills seem like a couple of Sunday hikers! GREAT ride report! :!:
  8. I love reading this! :music:

    Rosie - :LOL: at Nimbin. I wanted to go there but was a bit scared....scared of the people yeah...but also temptation! (Never been stoned - tried a few times when I was younger but got headspins, turned pale as a ghost and fell asleep for a few hrs) lol.
  9. Its a tad overrated Rosie.I used to get on the blower a fair bit :cool: but gave up 15 years ago :grin: Tends to sap your motivation and will to do anything.
    Nimbin isnt anything like it used to be. First time I went there planned to stay for 3 days, ended up staying for nigh on 3 weeks. It was originally Australia's answer to "the age of aquarias" and the hippy generation of the 60's, now its just seemed to be full of dodgy types :? out ta scam ya.
  10. Yeah I've seen first hand what the stuff can do to people (parents and sisters/brother) movin and as a result I've never really been interested in touching the stuff.

    But.... ;) a part of me wonders what it'd be like, just to be ... just once. I think I'll be content with wondering. :)
  11. DAY-11 After waking up half expecting to find out the front of the tent a tooth or a skinned rabbit-Blair witch style, I was slightly relieved to find all my limbs intact, after some really incredibly loud crunching footsteps :eek:hno: next to the tent at god knows what hour. Turns out we were next to a paddock and it was a cow about 2 metre’s away. We laughed while reminiscing, whilst also letting out a collective sigh of relief at our fortunes to survive unscathed the freakshow of the previous nights events.
    We both have been blessed to follow pretty lucky paths in life, and its at times like these, you need to say a thankyou prayer to your god for seeing you through safely on 2 wheels so far. [-o< Both subscribing to the Buddhist view, we said our thanks. :angel: I do this pretty much every time I jump on my bike, and then again at the end of every days ride. As I was saying along the lines to Loz, who was originally earmarked to come for a few days" Well Its worked so far for the last 20 years and I keep getting back home safe, so if it aint broke-like your ass Loz-then dont fix it." :grin:
    But enough preaching, I will leave that for you Paul(Hornet600)

    We loaded up and rolled into the days adventure. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE road trips and if this one if it finished now, with about 4000km behind us, would have left me satisfied. We stuffed around on a quiet section of road, and took some photos while riding. This is a lot harder than it sounds.


    We decided to take stock and breathe,tukit easy :-w smell the roses and not push our luck, and ride for a relatively small k day, basically just heading for the coast and Pacific Hwy. We would keep pushing south, take any roads that were detours and snaked the coastline, to break the monotony of the 100kmh down in parts to 50kmh drawl of the Pacific. Whoever designed a MAJOR hwy with 50kmh going through suburbia is an eejut in my opinion :soapbox: Even though we did bugger all k’s, we still managed to ride till after dusk, narrowly missing a couple roo’s again. We ended up in Wooli for the night, a nice spot by the coast, chatted shite with the locals and got pissed in the pub :beer:

    DAY 12-After the bacon and egg brekky brunch hangover cure, we followed the coast again, rolling through some beautiful spots like Tuncurry, Forster for lunch, and the serenity of Pacific Palms.

    http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/movin1/2intenzs tour/P1013342.jpg

    Only down part was the road through here is bollox, and at low speed under certain road camber, if I dialed up the power on the Bandit, the front end would start to go into a uncontrollable tank slapper :eek:hno: due to front tyre wear and heavy rear load I was hauling. After the 4th episode of this, I decided I aint going to try to make it back to Melbourne on this front tyre, stop playing with my life, stop being a tightass, and buy a front tyre. We made it to “The Entrance†just north of Gosford around 8ish, we contemplated the hour or so run to Sydney then opted to start looking for a home for the night. We spent the better part of the next 2 hours either avoiding what Leigh dubbedâ€the mobile shanty towns†were they packed em in like sardines, in so called caravan parks.
    In the half decent parks, it seemed our “lawnmower man†mate encountered earlier, had put out on the grapevine an A.P.B.(all parks bulletin-maybe "all pious bigots"-I could go on here :blah: but you get the drift) and had told all his van park manager buddies to refuse entry to any loosly fitting our description with Vic licence plates. Seeing as we now were getting refused entry to what was our 3rd park, at 10pm, under the guise of â€sorry, we are fullâ€. :jerk: Kinda funny, seeing as Alexander the greats mobile Army and support mobile city of 20000, could have had enough room to camp, and still fitted a few straglers.
    So we ended up pitching a tent between 2 annexes in a “exclusive†50 van capacity park, as nowhere else would have us [-(

    DAY 13- We started out usual 11am ish and rode to Gosford, were I proceeded to search for the nearest bike shop and Leigh the internet. The good people of Central coast motorcycles fitted me with a new front Metzler ME 33 tyre, same as I was already running on there. Oldie but a goody :grin: run them for years, extinct now and was lucky to get 1 for cheap as was old stock. Never-ever had one let go on me and they stick like sunburn to this icons bum :butt: All this took to the better part of 2pm to finally get rolling :moped: and we hadn’t even got through Sydney, which I wanted to avoid, as it’s a navigation nightmare for us stooopid southerners :WStupid: That and coupled with the fact it was also a stinking hot day, meant avoiding traffic if at all possible. I heard we just missed a big bushfire around there next day.

    So we opted to head for wiseman’s ferry. Straight after turning of the hwy, we decided on a quick detour via “The Australia Zooâ€, to show my pommie mate some of the local inhabitants :squid: up close and personal and other than roadkill. Couple of hours of playing tourist complete with happy snaps, then onwards to wisemans ferry.
    You NSW peoples got some nice riding there and good views. This is were Leigh coined our “to intents tourâ€. As we got off the ferry and stuffed around with our loads, in one of the cars waiting to load the ferry, a woman was yelling at her husband :furious: in rolled up window aircon comfort, as we sweltered outside. “Those 2 look intense†he saysâ€hey that’s us, 2 in tents tourâ€, as he looked at our gearsacks carry 2 tents. :roll: From then on, it stuck.

    http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/movin1/2intenzs tour/P1013401.jpg

    Some great riding in and around the ferry was to be had. We detoured our way around the outskirts of Sydney, as much as possible, kept moving south, took a wrong turn for an hour, then eneded up rocking into Bowral around 9pm. We had as many beers as would bring us to our legal limit :beer: grabbed some travellers for ron, then under the bouncers :blackeye: directions, headed for the nearest Caravan park a short hop skip and stagger away. Little did we realise before we made camp, seeing as per usual it was dark and couldn’t survey our surrounds, the 4 lane highway was literally 15 feet from our heads in the tents, then next to that was a big chunky diesel railway that ran all night, giving us a sound 4 hours kip.
  12. well come on ken, we only live for so many years, when you posting the rest... been great reading so far :wink:
  13. Man, This sh*t takes ages Adam. You ever tried writing one of these?First time Ive done one and didnt realise how much time they take :shock: Didnt even know how to post a pic befre this,had to ask Seany. By the time you remember where you went and organise your pics and links and write it all, its time for the next trip :LOL: Oh and coupled with the fact I can only do it at home at night and I got a life too, outside of this forum and I also talk :blah: to much and ramble on, means should be finished by next year :wink: Only a day or 2 left I think :?
  14. :LOL: @ the cow and the 4 lane highway. What is it with you guys and caravan parks/camping? :LOL:
  15. DAY 14-We bailed from Bowral after our alleged nights slumber :mad: and headed for Goulburn, then south to "Doughboy". Kinda like what Homer would say to Bart :roll: then east to the coast and the magnificent riding of the Kings Hwy and through Clyde river national park. :grin: Amazing ancient ferns and fauna unlike anywhere I have seen south and for my money pretty much the best road for the whole trip \:D/ Fast-long-smooth sweepers, through beautiful open forest leading down to Bateman’s Bay for Lunch. Absolutely superb riding territory on this short stretch that’s almost worth riding from Melbourne to just ride this. :woot:

    http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/movin1/2intenzs tour/P1013414.jpg

    We rolled passed lovely beaches, snaking the coast and avoiding inland whenever we could(looks like Leigh taking a wizz in the bushes there) We even had a C-130 Hercules transport take off within 500 metres of us, running parallel to the Hwy. We had a drag that lasted all of 20 seconds, fun but :LOL:
    Lovely scenery around Bermagui and Tathra, then rolling it at dusk to the aptly named Eden. Love this place. With a view like this from your balcony, who could complain.

    http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f120/movin1/2intenzs tour/P1013428.jpg

    We got hammered as was rideable in the Eden pub that night, :beer: seeing it was our last night of the trip together, while chatting shite to Austrian and Dutch backpackers smoking spliffs :tantrum: and then paid a lazy 56 bucks :shock: for a large pizza and 8 Beez Neez beers to drink back at the caravan park. Man what a jip.

    DAY 15-Awoke to my final days ride, and to a lovely txt message from Carri looking forward to being back together that night :bannanabutt: for the first time in 2 weeks. After a quick ball shrinking :shock: wakeup hangover ](*,) cure, dip in the spanner water ocean, then our usual bacon and eggs leisurely brunch, more going on lunch, I left Leigh, who had at least another week and was going to explore Wilson Promentary, and headed straight for home.

    Unless you cut north and go up through the high plains and Great Alpine road over Mt Hotham, apart from Eden to Lakes Entrance, this road back to Melbourne is basically as boring as Melb-Syd on the Hume Hwy, like a christian Neddy Flanders, straight, all the way :? snnnnnnzzzz, serious snorefest. It rained pretty much whole way back to Melbourne, with the last 20km being south eastern carpark bumper to bumper traffic jam, just to remind me Im back in the city. But I made it home alive and in 1 piece around 7pm and duely thanked the motorcycling gods for seeing me home safely [-o<
    About 6500km and 15 days, so I’ve just realised :grin: We plan to ride the Himalayas next. But thats another story :grin:

  16. Himalayas!!!!!!! :shock:

    I hate you.


    BTW, whose tent is the little one? It's like mine.
  17. Rosie that would be my mate Leigh's tent that he brought from UK. Although after scoring our three, free, 3 man tents(try say that 10 times quickly) in Byron Bay, he often opted for the 3 man Taj Mahal. Trouble with 1 man is theres's no room to store your riding gear and shite. But tis compact for touring.
  18. I envy you guys!.
    I had to snatch some tour time in between work.

    You guys seem to work between tours!

    Must be a focus thing.

    Now about the himalayas. When would you be going, would you like a third member?

    You got me thinking now........
  19. We both reckon planets your backyard and like to go play in it. There arent too many times in life where circumstances conspire,i.e. cash-job-relationship-responsibilty etc, to where you can just become a nomad and wander wherever you and your whim takes you.
    If I was cashed up enough, this would be my life choice, like many many others I reckon.
    Leigh worked like a dog and saved his ass off, so he could do the Cain bit again, grasshopper, wandering the earth style, his 3rd time. Its different in UK with so many different cultures on your doorstep, our interstate to Tassie, is Spain or Belgium or France for them. Couple with the pound being so strong to travel on, you can make your buck go ridiculously far, by living cheap, especially in Asia.
    We conjured Himalayas up while sitting around a campfire in Algonquin national park in Canada 2001. Our "ultimate" ride. Ride the worlds rooftop. Carri27 wants to do Bhutan first :grin: may have to do both. :grin: :grin: You got at least a years grace Peter, but will keep it in mind
  20. Thanks, I am starting to get very itchy feet. So many great stories.