Looking back at 2022 and the beautiful places visited

New Years Day 2023 is a good time to reflect on some of the beautiful places I has the opportunity to visit.

Beautiful places in Australia, Europe and the UK and in Morocco.

It’s hard to believe that Australia still had its borders closed this time last year.

So January 2022 started with friends in Queensland as part of a road trip 1,900 km north from Melbourne. A PCR test had been needed to get into Queensland to celebrate the New Year

The travel highlight of February was the Snowy Mountains National Park in New South Wales. The Alps of Australia for some camping and trail riding.

Toward the end of February, Australia’s international borders re-opened and the possibility of international travel became real again. April

March offered an opportunity to explore the Snowy River National Park, the famous McKillops Bridge that spans a small gorge cut by the Snowy River as it makes its way to the sea at Marlo.

In April I headed up to the beautiful beaches of Northern New South Wales to catch up with some friends and catch some late Australian Summer before flying to England.

I had been touring my BMW adventure bike most of summer, so it was a good chance to riding the Mighty Moto Guzzi Breva before collecting its English Sister!

I’d swapped Australian late summer for England’s April showers. But in April I had May on my mind. May was for Morocco a dream trip that became the victim of the pandemic in 2020.

So May was just Morocco. Could have been many months what a trip.

It was back to the Iberian Peninsula in June. Spain and Portugal.

July I was back in the UK for the summer heat wave and a bit of culture.

August it was back to the Continent landing in Brittany to commence my trek to Mandelo del Lario for the Moto Guzzi 100th anniversary celebration. So August was France.

September 1, I crossed into Italy.

October was back to England and flying back to Australia.

Back home in October and November there was a chance to revisit some of my favourite places and with lots of rain a chance to chase waterfalls.

December is a blog in print.

And now it’s 2023!

Happy New Year peace and good will to all.

Summer is finally in Victoria, Australia

On a clear warm spring day with a touch of summer in the air there is no better place to head the down the Great Ocean Road for a ride with a friend.

One of my favourite stops on the Great Ocean Road is Wye River, a beautiful beachside village.

The Wye General Store Cafe is a great spot for lunch and a cold beer on a hot day.

I should have gone for a swim in the Southern Ocean while there but the riding was just too good.

Mid week, little traffic, no wind and warm on this beautiful road. Perfect biking conditions.

So back home it was on the bicycle and down to Williamstown Beach, my local, for a dip.

The weather is still going to be volatile in Australia’s south east but summer is definitely in the air.

And on a warm evening Melbourne shows off her colours when you look across the bay from Williamstown.

The signs of Spring are around.

The Noon Flowers are in full bloom at the salt Marsh in the Jawbone Reserve.

Also the water birds are returning to the mangroves and mudflats to feed and breed. The wet conditions in inland Australia may mean that some birds may not come to the coast but stay in the inland wetland. But it was great to see some arrivals like;

Spoonbills;

Egrets;

White faced herons;

And the old friend that rarely leave, the Australian Pelican. This one was catching a fish. Hunting, priming, then strike. Two attempts for two fish.

There are also beautiful views in and from the reserve.

Another sign of spring is finally here was the nice turn up of Guzzis at the monthly coffee catchup on Saturday.

A collection of bikes at the coffee kiosk in Lygon Street an Italian Hub in Melbourne

While it’s still a battle for Spring to kick winter out the door, it will prevail. Such is the cycle of the seasons. Meanwhile way up north in Queensland. Julia Creek has experienced its hottest ever October day- 43.9c.

When travelling in Europe people ask me – What is the weather like in Australia? I answer – It depends where and when. The above is a good example of why!

Its a Southern Hemisphere October but doesn’t feel like Spring

Its been a wet spring in Australia with floods right across the country.  Even parts of Australia that is normally desert is in flood.

In the little part of the country that I call home, Melbourne, has had its fair share of rain and at one of the local fields the new sport bicycle water skiing has been invented.  And a fun sport for the family as we can see.

But for me my cycle trail is often blocked at the causeway at Koroit Creek Estuary which floods at high tide.

One of the quaint aspects of this little part of Melbourne is the little fishing villages up the little inlets.

There are breaks in the rain and that is an opportunity of enjoying the aspects of beauty of my part of Port Philip.

I hope you enjoy this little aspects as well.

Back Home in Melbourne, Australia

Back in Melbourne and the adventure riding gear all in the wash soaking out months of sweat and grime it was time to adopt a change of style from Adventure biker to Urban biker and head into Melbourne’s palace of food Victoria Market.

Its strange the things I was looking forward to doing when getting back home. I bet shopping and cooking wasn’t what came to the top of mind!

After 6 months of cooking on a single burner camp stove and eating in cafes there is a certain joy to being back in a fully equipped kitchen and cook some of my favourite meals.

Mmm stuffed peppers with sauteed potatoes and fish curry !

But the itch in my feet never really goes away and I had missed the Australian bush a lot while traveling in the Northern Hemisphere.

There have been lots of rain and floods on the east coast of Australia. So on the first fine day I headed to the Otway ranges for a day trip…

to take a walk in the temperate rain forest and…

to check the flow in a couple of the waterfalls.

 

After many 6 months of riding a motorbike the old legs needed some TLC so it was back on the bicycle to get the old hip and leg joints moving.

Spring is in the air and despite the rain the weather is mild. And already people are venturing out onto the local beach.

Agh the joy of traveling from Autumn to Spring with another summer around the corner.

Nice to be back home in Melbourne, Australia!!