|We left Jenny's sister with a promise to be back and offloaded some gear with her. Off we went on our merry way north. Our first stop was to be a small town called Ulmarra. Here we had heard there would be the first Australian Horizons Unlimited meeting. For those of you who don't know Horizons Unlimited - it is basically a web site that is geared entirely for overland motorcyclists with information, tales of trips and just about all you will need to know about making a big trip. You can get to their site using this link www.horizonsunlimited.com.
It rained and rained and rained. We took the route via the "Sunshine Coast" - yeah right - it must have seen us coming cos it hid. Reaching Ulmarra we found the hotel that had allowed us to camp in the back garden. There were around 30 people there before us - this would be fun. We rode in and were immediatley inundated with questions, where were we from, where were we going, where had we been..............all started to seem amazingly familiar..........but this is civilisation as we know it - not Pakistan, Iran etc. On arrival it was still raining (actually chucking it down is more appropriate), so we hung out for a while and waited for that - "Right get the tent up quick" moment.
|Everyone was sopping wet - umbrellas proved great drying areas. Rachel and Simon were in the middle of putting up their tent went it bucketed down - they abandoned it with the top sheet "rested" over the inner - they ended up with their very|
|own indoor swimming pool - poor buggers. After most people had arrived and gotten wet it cleared up and the sun came out - typical. The chatting began again in earnest with Cliff finding the ultimate position which he remained in for several hours............|
|The weekend proved to be great fun - discussing trips done and planned with the first bunch of people who were all into long distance biking that we had ever met. We even met Rachel and Simon, from England who had done the same basic route as us and just arrived in Australia also. Ken and Carol Duval who planned the whole event proved to be the most hospitalble people, immediately introducing us to all and sundry and taking great time out to make us feel welcome, despite their many friends at the meeting. On evening consisted of the inevitable slide shows of other people trips - generally interesting but sometimes after the first 100 pictures it can get a bit much !!! We were asked if we could show a few pictures at about 6p.m. one evening - to watch in couple of hours - oh my god. Never had either of us been comfortable with being in the spotlight and how were we going to find 75-80 pictures out of the now 3500 + that we had to show ??? We made it though and did our bit with rather a large dose of nerves and a larger dose of beer.
The whole event attracted the local newspaper to come and take pictures - the one below being of everyone at the meeting. We had been asked to bring our bikes around the front being the foreigners - Jenny was late getting round the front - the poor old bike had had enough rain and would not start. When she did arrive she was informed by the photographer to "just stay there on it" - so she became the star of the show !
|Ken and Carol had kindly offered us accomodation at their place in Brisbane - never say no to free accomodation. We arrived that Sunday evening, in the rain and settled ourselves in.|