Day 6 - Narrandera to Sydney
2 Dec 2017
|Woke up and was raining. Pack the bike under the rain.
Made the unforgivable mistake not to wear the rain overall; didn’t know it yet, but would have copped it.
Decided instead to trust my new BMW jacket and my 25 years old goretex trousers. Goretex doesn’t expire, but glue and straps on the inside of the stitches do!
We refuel at the local petrol station and change the left rear direction light bulb, that must had enough of the crazy voltages going around my bike lately.
Off we were. The rain was heavy and constant and the roads were already covered with a thin layer of water that the front tyre were lifting and deploying on the boots.
At the first village, after about 100 km, a stop was a must.
We were already drenched. Alberto had water inside his boots, my trusted 25 years old Alpinestars Goretex boots that took me around Europe for years at that were lately re-soled that he is using, didn’t stand this water; probably same stitches problem. His brand new boots didn’t arrive in time thanks to the FC-moto slow reaction on shipment.
My feet were fresh, but still dry, but my jeans were totally wet thanks to the stitches of my goretex trousers.
We stop for some hot cappuccino and we reassessed our wears. Our jackets were already wet on the outside (likely dry on the inside: thanks to BMW and Dririder!), so we decided to wear the rain overall under the jacket. I added one layer of fleece as well, changed my jeans with the spare and wear my goretex trousers on top of the rain coverall for additional protection to the cold. Wet jackets were the last layer for both.
I gave Alberto the old rubber boot covers, he destroyed one while wearing and i wear my old rubber glove cover.
“Cat Crap” was spread on the inside of the visor in the tentative to keep them fog free (you dream about it) and Rain-X on the outside to ease the water off.
Back on the road was better and warmer, but the rain was still a lot and after few km we both start feeling cold and wet, and struggling with visibility due to the high volume of water falling from the sky and specially the one lifted by the cars in front, not to talk about trucks.
We manage to cover 180 km, then we stop. I rush to the loo, with a pee that was screaming. It’s amazing how the cold can accumulate liquids down there. Almost pee off while was trying to remove the layers and make an opening.
We refuel and went in for a bit of warm and to assess better our vision. We both had a Pin-lock visor that came with the helmets. It’s a kind of double glaze, you install on the inside, to avoid fogging.
We install it, but mine had few molecules of water on one corner, but didn’t gave much notice.
Off again on the elements. Rain was still pouring very bad. If we were on a car on all the road covered so far, we would have kept all the time the windshield wipers at maximum speed most of the time.
We start driving and in no time, those molecules of water made a solid piece of fog on right half of my visor. Now, without that double glaze, you open your visor one click, bend your head down, and the air and water remove the fog washing it out; it is only lasting 10 minutes, but then you do it again and keep going. With the double glaze there is no way to remove that fog. So I drove 140km with my head turned on the right and looking what I could sideways. The rain even increased and couple of times, overtaking trucks, I had no idea what was around me, so we made another stop.
Refuelled and pee, then in the toilet have spent 10 minutes with the visor and the pinlock screen under the hand drier, to dry everything carefully.
By then we both had water in the shoes and feeling bloody cold all over the place. Feeling like coming out from apocalypse at every stop. And while at the petrol stations people from the car always asking: “which direction are you going?” And with our answer “north” everyone was telling how lucky we were, without considering we were coming from that mess south, that was actually following us.
We consider couple of times to give up, find a motel and close there with heat to maximum, but we both were of the idea to reach Sydney and a warm shower asap.
With this last stop we were 200 km from our friends house and we gave it all we had.
When you drive on the freeway, you are on the 5th gear and you don’t use the gears much. So the feet are on the feet rest facing down. But when you have to drop one gear, you have to level the foot to push on the gear lever and then is when you discover that beside wet feet, you have actually water inside, and levelling the foot, now the water from the tip, is flowing on the back! Not nice.
The last 50 km were on the toll freeway around Sydney. Was still poring as it never stop for a minute. I consider to find alternative route outside the toll road, as we didn’t have the electronic tool to go under the gate, but I thought that would have added good 20 minutes of drive and would have mean removing the wet glove to press the option “no toll road”. I quickly consider that two fines would be in the range of 100 or 200 dollars, worth the 20 minutes less to a hot shower!
We eventually made it to our friend house and when we start undressing the layers in the garage, water was coming out at each layer we were removing. From each of my boot I pour a good half litre of water, beside the part soaked in the soaks.
We made it! Coast to coast Australia, against all odds: done!