As you might guess, a lot has happened since our last post. I finally handed in my PhD (woop woop!), and 2 days later flew to Moorea (Tahiti, French Polynesia) to collaborate for a month with the wonderful Suzie Mills. There were tiger shark encounters and dance shows and swimming in water falls and amazing Mahi-Mahi and the kind of relaxed science you need after finishing a 4 year thesis. Of course this interlude happened right in the middle of trip preparations, so now the race Is on.
There are a million pieces of paperwork (international drivers licence, Russian visa) to sort out and of course we have to sell/ throw out/ give away most of our possessions. On top of that Mat had the ingenious idea to sell one of our lovely BMWs and exchange it for a 16 year older Enduro: a Yamaha Ténéré.
This happened because the greatest dilemma we have faced so far in planning this trip was how to get the motorbikes into Australia. Aussies are a little protective of their border and unfortunately just sneaking in would require building some kind of float and getting across 3000km of ocean..and I’m pretty sure that would land us in a retainment camp in PNG. Officially Mat (being Australian, lucky duck) can import one motorbike. Selling the other one somewhere in south-east Asia might have been possible but of course highly illegal and Mat’s not a great passenger (back seat driving..), so only having one bike to get across Australia would have been a pain. But we figured out he can import several bikes if they are older than 1989. The day after I got back from Tahiti, after 45 hours travelling and with a 12 hour time difference, we tracked to Rodez and picked up our new old bike. We like it a lot, it’s quite different from the beamers but I think it’ll do a great job. And having two very different seats to swap around might do our bums a world of good.