Thursday, March 31, 2016

The corner of the top picture is a place I couldn't believe its name: turns out...
Eucalyptus salmonophloia or the Salmon Gum is an evergreen tree native to Western AustraliaOther names of this species include Wuruk or Woonert

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

OZ is a good name for this place - not because of weird and unusual characters, of which there are many or strange and colorful ceatures, which abound in great varieties.

But rather because of the amazing diversity of landscapes. Every scene depicts a completely different planet - colors, trees and topology completely different from the last. The ride through the forests in southwest WA was awesome, in some ways reminiscent of North America with images and smells of British Columbia, Nova Scotia, even the great Redwood forests of California. All this in a place previously altogether different from this region.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Some of these creatures are rather friendly - these two don't seem to mind human proximity. Deer this close to a tent would be highly unusual. Some rain here this weekend & it's Easter (bad traffic / campgrounds full) so I'll stay put for a few days.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"Why Don't We Do It in the Road" - Camping in the weirdest places. This picture is designed to look like a real road, but it's really just a piece of unused road still laying there (near Cervantes). Thanks WikiCamps AU users for identifying this as a good place!

Monday, March 21, 2016

There are most certainly some rather colorful creatures around here - another campground wanderer. This peacock is about the size of a really large turkey.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

More creatures... never did see a camel. Aslo, there are no squirrels, racoons, deer, possums, muskrats, etc. They do have wild horses! Have yet to see a snake, but I guess I shouldn't say things like that (even though I am firmly convinced the universe has better things to do than irritate me)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Today I passed a sign "26th parallel - you are now leaving the North West". Then I went up into a peninsula on my way to Monkey Mia where I passed another sign "26th parallel - you are now entering the North West". I guess I will pass it again tomorrow...

Now, I want to thank my bosses and all my amazing colleagues (who I spent quite a lot of time with over the years) for such a fantastic send-off! So I took the picture of that marvelous (& remarkably accurate!) cake and marked my route so far; I have gone a long way! I'll complete the circumnavigation of the "big island", then come back up the middle and east & back down again!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Success! An awesome experience of swimming a few meters away from a Whaleshark! Skipper Jimmy and the crew at were pros who knew how to do it right and treated us with style. A genuine unique Australian experience that I am glad I did not miss. I might have if not for the great advice from the owner of the Dampier Caravan park a couple days before. Say, I gotta get off the bike more often...

This particular Whaleshark was about 16 feet long..  for the entire set of pictures...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Another Creature! I was hoping to see one of these things & as I was riding up to the Lighthouse Caravan park at the tip of the Ningaloo Peninsula one was crossing the road & I had to brake hard not to hit it. This might be the very same one; right after I got out of the pool and making coffee, this Emu just starts wandering the campground. Take a look at the truck tire tracks and you can get an idea of its size - huge! Here at the coast in this place, it is cooler - low of 68F tonight.

Tomorrow, I am getting picked up by the Whaleshark boat people and off we go to spend the day looking for them. If we do locate some, we get to swim with them! If not, I get to go again on Friday. So you see, I am getting off the bike to do stuff!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Still hot - 111F ride yesterday and 106F today. No pool or shower tonight; all parks around here are really expensive for just a tent spot (same as the motorhome price) so I am at a rest area with my 12V (1 amp) fan that runs off the bike all night (tested it earlier & still lots of power left in the battery in the morning). Now this particular rest stop has an added feature - a "Burger Bus"! It was just pulling out as I got here but she walked over and said they'll be back at 7 AM & handed me a breakfast menu!

The Burger Bus lady commented that I have already seen more of Australia than most Australians! But beyond that, I have felt it all and have been immersed in the environment whereas all the cars and caravans have Air Conditioning - seeing Australia as if it were a TV show: through glass. On the bike I hear, see, smell & FEEL it in its entirety. It can be a bit much but it is a glorious way to travel!

* Not something you're likely to see in a US highway rest area!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Western Australia - So far they were right; nothing here & lots of flies. However, it is in fact quite beautiful if still hot. Funny how  little perspective can help; I use to think 95F was too hot to ride. Yesterday, a few clouds and some rain to the east cooled it down from 104F & it was real comfy! There are supposed to be camels around here but haven't seen any. Rob & Marie (Darwin) gave me a small 12V hot water kettle (thanks!) and now I just plug that in and make some coffee in the morning (out in the boonies - AKA "everywhere in the north & west", it's $5 a cup!)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Another creature found roaming the campground near my tent this morning - Yellow-spotted Monitor, this one about 32 inches long. OK, I headed toward the coast; as I got to within about 25 miles, temp started going down, from 109F to 95F! Wow, this is more like it, I say. However, as I write this about 8:30 PM I am near the beach (can't swim here because of the stinger jellyfish) but it is still 88F with an expected low of 86F! Another hot night...alright, that's what I get for coming the hot part of Australia  (the north) in summer.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Today I'll be "Out of the Outback"! Riding yesterday was 106F again; no free camping in this weather! I need a pool & a shower to get through the night (low of 83F, and that only at 4AM). Will be on the Indian Ocean coast this afternoon in Broome & will follow that to Perth. Sign at the last town said "Next gas 183 miles" - that's about Shrek's limit at higher speeds so I picked up a gas can & added that to the bungy cord pile. Played at the pub again last night, but that doesn't work so good without amplification (drunks are much noisier than birds...) so I'll stick to less raucous environments. Wallabies were all over the place here last night; must have been over 60 of them hopping around!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Back on the road! Stopped at Victoria River Roadhouse next, where I took these pictures of cockatoos & wallabies. I then entered Western Australia & in Kununurra I encountered Dan, who wanted to play music; so even though it was 98F and a storm came thru, I was comfortable in air conditioning and doing what I love - playing, singing & eating good food! Thanks, Dan.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Darwin, Northern Territory - visually, not too exiting but a nice place (for a city) because of the Indian Ocean all around. I will be stuck here for a few days until the Victory dealer gets the bike (AKA Shrek) serviced. They are trying to find a tire & it needs an oil change. Couldn't ask to be stranded in a better place! It's off-season around here but Caravan parks in town still want $45 a night so I found a little place 25 miles away that was much less. Off-season bonus; I got the place to myself! (pic shows one table with my stuff on it) So I'm just gonna hang out here & relax....
More posts when I start down the west coast next week.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

For the Michiganders, I saw the weather forecast & as I was riding thru the Outback in today's "easy ride oven" (106F again) I started in on a parady of one of my songs that made me feel better about that - "It's cold in Ann Arbor this morning, but the sun won't help that none..."
Should be in Darwin tomorrow. Just played at the Daly Waters Pub, apparently a pretty famous place around here - Here's today's bird; they  got a lot of birds here and these things, sitting right above my tent this morning, were LOUD!