Trip Start Oct 20, 2009
159Trip End Jun 23, 2010
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Where I stayed
Wheeler on th Bay Lodge and Marina
Since the weather had been inclement, (raining most of the day) we decided to stay in Florence and enjoy the beautiful city, old and new. We met with another rider who came to stay at the Villa West Motel too, Patrick was his name and he had just started out on his big ride to Panama, on a 650cc KLR Kawasaki. He's been on the road for 6 weeks and has only travelled from Canada to Alaska and down through Washington State to the tip of Oregon, so we kind of thought he was taking his time a bit, but he has to be back in Canada in July to be Best Man at a friend’s wedding. He’s planning to leave the motorbike somewhere while he goes back for the wedding. We asked if he would have liked company to enjoy the trip with him, he said none of his mates were able, or wanted to go with him
Des got a bad haircut this morning, so I guess we’ll have to wait two weeks till it grows out a bit again. I think he asked the barber for a military cut, or maybe that’s the standard style here, either way, it wasn’t good.
Lynn and I caught up with washing and shopping. As we prepare at least two out of three meals in our motel room, we have to keep up with the shopping, but not buy too much tas we can not take it on the bikes, it’s a fine balance. I have also been feeding the hobo, Rob, who sits across the street from the Motel, hail, rain or shine. Rob has his own Besser block, which he sits on, and he’s a bit obscured by the electrical box on the street corner. I’m not sure he’s allowed to beg there. I think he would get moved on by the police from time to time, but he keeps coming back. I made him a couple of cups of coffee each day and some sandwiches. We’ve had a few chats, but his topics are a bit random, so the conversation isn’t too deep. He did say “Oh, good here’s my coffee lady” when I came over, even though he knew my name.
As Lou and Lynn rode though the old town of Florence on Lou’s bike, Lou got a puncture and had to go to the tyre repairer to get it fixed
It was on one of those lovely jaunts into town, that Des fell while dismounting the bike on a slippery, wet boardwalk. He slipped backwards after standing the bike, and landed on his right hand, hurting his wrist. Most motels supply ice here, and so does Villa West, so when we returned to the motel, I iced his wrist during the afternoon and borrowed an elastic bandage from Lynn to keep the wrist tight and moderately comfortable while he slept. In the morning a good deal of bruising appeared and it was still very sore, but at lease it didn’t appear to be broken.
Time to move on again
We must be getting soft, because it was only about 200 kilometers down the road before we stopped and checked into a nice little lodge called Wheeler On The Bay Lodge And Marina. With a title like that, we thought it would be way out of our price bracket, especially being on the esplanade, but when the owner saw me looking like a drowned rat, I think he took pity on me and gave me a special price.
That morning we had left Florence in our riding gear, and had only travelled ten kilometers when I had to stop and don my rain suit, as it was coming down pretty hard in the hilly forest area. A scenic route ruined by low cloud. Just as well I’d put a extra layer on because we had a burst of hail as well. Once I have my full length, overall rain suit on, and my heated handle grips, I’m quite cosy really (as cosy as possible in the rain) and can cope with most condition, as the rain suit is very warm. I have my scarf up over my chin and mouth and close my helmet visor to within 2mm, to stop it from fogging up with my warm breath. When I stop for a break, I unzip the rain suit and let in the air flow otherwise I build up a sweat and get chilled
The area we were travelling through was tidal and this morning the tide was at low ebb. It looked as if all the water was sucked from the land. A great deal of the area was low flat land, and there were clumps of grass standing proud on the landscape with absent rivulets forming channels between the clumps. Then there were huge expanses of muddy sand with higher roadways built upon them. We crossed a very long bridge over a river, and there too we could see the low tidal activity. It was very special and different from much of the coastal area we had seen.
The Lodge had such pretty rooms, it felt very homely. The mattress was the type which moulds to your body, 'quick-sand mattresses’ Lou calls them. There was a lovely gas fire, which came in handy for drying my sock and left boot which had got wet again during the ride. The Lodge cat, who knew he wasn’t allowed to come into the rooms, kept us company while we sat on the jetty watching the lovely sunset. The days are getting longer now and the sun doesn’t set till about 8:30 or 9pm. When we went for a walk, puss followed us everywhere. In fact, as we all walked to the spaghetti house for dinner, Lynn had to be quite strict with the cat to stop him from crossing the road with us.