I picked up an IDP at the post office today. £5.50 over the counter service, very good indeed! It has my licence details in several languages, photo ID plus a few other official looking stamps. It’ll be a handy addition to my official looking papers, in case I need it.
Thinking about it, I should have got two if that’s possible. A spare would have been handy in case this one gets lost. Hindsight is a handy thing isn’t it? Oh well.
On the application form you have to tick a box next to each country you’re planning to visit. The bloke behind the counter looked a bit bored, but suddenly got very interested when he saw how many countries I’d ticked!
There are lies, damned lies and statistics – or so they say. Well here are my statistics for Australia:
5 States in 5 Weeks
3 Oil Changes
2 Oil Filter Changes
1 Spark Plug Change
1 Chain Change
1 Tyre Change (Front and Rear)
1 New Headlamp Bulb
0 Encounters with the police
Here’s hoping that those zeros remain the same for the rest of the trip!
$1.44 / Ltr – Cheapest petrol (Perth)
$1.99 / Ltr – Most expensive petrol (Northern Territory)
Total cost – As if I’d know that, what am I – an accountant?
About to board a plane, I thought I’d say a few words about Australia. The trip around the cost has been awesome, but feels like a holiday as much as anything else. I’ve lived here for a few years, I speak the language, there’s a road infrastructure I understand and a bike shop in most towns. Too easy, as they say around here.
The bike has been faultless and the camping gear excellent. It’s been a good shake down run and I’m happy with my gear. But I’m under no illusions that the rest of the trip will be as simple. Next stop South Korea, where who knows what I’ll find? It’ll be quiet on the blog for a while now the bike is at sea, resuming in July.
A great time all round, but to answer the question. No, we’re not there yet!!
So there she goes, all boxed up and now en route to South Korea. When I get there I hope it’s still in one piece, and the county still in a state of peace!
Actually, as I understand it the two halves of Korea are still at war. No declaration of peace was ever signed and the current status is one of ceasefire. I guess I’ll find out one way or another when I get there.
This young chap resembles an axe murderer in the picture, but is actually a very nice fellow. I must have just pressed the shutter at a bad moment! Keiran at the BMW dealership put the KLR in a crate with me. The winch here is to lower the bike once the front wheel has been removed, so it fits in the crate.
We couldn’t crate it with the front wheel in, which is a bit if a pain. It means I have to find some muscle in Korea to lift the bike while I fit the wheel, but I reckon it’ll be OK.
I managed to fit all my riding gear, camping gear and other stuff in. At the far end I’m hoping to assemble the bike and ride off into the sunset. It’s that easy, right?
After I left Glen I caught up with Mike from the royal Enfield owners club. Mike has an iron barrel bullet like mine, and very nice it is too. We hadn’t met before but we hit it off right away because we’re both WWII aviation fans.
Together we gave the bike a really good clean. I’ve heard that quarantine officers like to charge large “cleaning” fees if they see dirt on your bike. I don’t know if this is true, but either way a really good clean will help.
I didn’t get a picture of Mike, except when he was asleep in the chair. It hardly seems fair to post that one though! Instead here’s a picture of my bike’s private parking spot, in Mike’s back garden!
This is the same tyre when it’s new. The tread pattern hasn’t changed, I’d forgotten what they looked like. Ok, so maybe the old tyre was a bit worn, but it lasted well.
The tyre shop had sold the tyres I ordered, which they had in stock last week and were supposedly putting to one side. Twats. I ended up with a different make. It’s a good brand but it cost more, I hope they last as well.
Personally, I don’t think this is too bad on the tread. I managed to get 17,500 kms out of the rear tyre and I could squeeze a few more out I’d say. I had a new set fitted ready for crating, so when I start out in South Korea at least I have fresh rubber.
I was going to fit new brake pads too, but the ones on there don’t look to bad. Considering how small they are, I’ll buy a set to take with me. It’s a fairly simple job to change them and it’ll be nice to have spares.
I’m heading into a new city and I don’t know anyone. I put a post up on the Facebook KLR 650 owners group, “anyone in Perth fancy a beer sometime?”
Before I knew it I was sitting with Glen and Debbie in their house, with beer and pizza all provided. I have a bed for the night (first night in a real bed in 12) and we’re merrily chatting like old friends.
Their two dogs Nina and Kaiser were very interested in everything, but well behaved. Glen is riding across the Nullarbor on his KLR next year and we discussed our respective modifications. I’m left wondering whether I should have done something with the standard suspension.
We watched a film called Wolf Creek, which is set in all of the places I’d just visited. It’s a thriller about a guy who kills backpackers for fun, based on true events. I’m glad I watched it AFTER I’d ridden through there!
It was very nice to meet you guys, thanks for looking after me.
You never know your luck in a big city, as the saying goes. Actually, I do know my luck in Perth and it’s spot on! I’ve met some very hospitable people who really liked after me, more on this shortly.
I have new tyres, a crate and all the paperwork for shipping to sort out, but I have time. The Australia leg of the journey is almost over! You can just make out the city on the horizon.