I have a strange affinity towards riding a motorcycle in the rain. There’s something kind of primal about speeding through raindrops as theypelt your helmet. That being said...
...after multiple days of riding in a constant downpour, it’s clear that our rain gear is officially dying. Both of our jackets are seeping at every seam and the stitching has completely come undone in several places. Also, my very specialized moto gloves (aka leather gardening gloves) have shown their true colors...and by colors I mean they have dyed my hands completely yellow. We’re water-logged, it’s been a constant 50 degrees, and we’re loving it.
Just as we were headed out of the lovely Byron Bay, the temperatures plummeted and sky opened up. Even though we knew it would be even colder at higher elevations, we opted to ride away from the Gold Coast and up into the hinterlands.
Nothing like it...
After navigating some curvy roads that would have been a lot more fun had the sun been shining, we rolled into the small town of Tambourine with about a half-inch of water pooled in the sidecar.
Luckily we had this castle to look forward to for the night (complete with multiple sets of full armor on display, mind you):
Tambourine is a kitschy kind of place full of small shops catering to folks who are into kitschy kinds of things. We were drawn there, however, by four things that are not so kitschy:
1. Great views of the coast from a high elevation.
2. A polish restaurant (seriously).
3. A glow worm cave.
4. A skywalk through the rain forest.
We were immediately 0-2 based on Tambourine being completely encased in a cloud and the disappointing fact that the polish place was closed for the season (is it too much to ask for some bratwurst?). Intent on finding victory somewhere on the mountain, we donned our soaking rain gear and headed over to a glow worm cave we had heard about in Byron Bay.
Kristen recently watched a documentary about a natural cave in New Zealand that houses literally millions of glow worms. The footage was fantastic. Magical even. Pictured above is the artificial habitat in Tambourine that houses about 1000 glow worms. We weren’t allowed to take any photos inside, which was pretty disapointing, but we did get a private tour because of the terrible weather and it was actually very interesting. Interesting enough that I know when we finally get to spend some time in New Zealand, we’re headed for that glow worm cave.
Quote of the tour:
Kristen: “Well, if you have to be a worm, might as well glow.”
We woke the next morning to more rain and decided that we had to at least check out the sky walk. We were finally given some grace as the sun came out for a few moments:
I’d say this was a victory.
After a surprisingly amazing coffee and croissant at the sky walk cafe, the rain came again and we made our way down to Brisbane.
The only problem with the Ural up until this point was a drool coming from between the alternator and engine. We headed over to BJ’s Bikes and Bits, who not only knew we were coming but knew of our problem thanks to Roland from Better Bikes in Sydney. Have I said how impressed we are with the Ural dealers in Australia?
Unfortunately, our timing was pretty bad. The guys at BJ’s ruled that a bad seal was the culprit and putting a new one in would require taking off the gas tank. Seeing as they only work half days on Saturdays and take Sundays off, we were stuck until Monday. Or at least until the new seal came in the post. After realizing that Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo was in the area, however, waiting around didn’t seem so bad. We immediately headed out of town and North towards the zoo...but not before sitting in downtown Brisbane traffic:
Plus, hanging out with this girl never seems like wasted time.
Next Up: Steve Irwin makes us cry.