We had booked a room on Airbnb. Sounds excessive, but it was cheaper than a ten bed dorm in a hostel. Given that we would be there half a month, this made huge financial sense, even if we had to give up the funky Freo lifestyle.
But before we gave up the bikes there was one last thing we had to do. We needed to fetch some suitcases! Ours had been left behind in Sydney… No way we would have lugged them about all of Australia. Suitcases are surprisingly expensive in the shops! But Aidan found some on Gumtree.
A short ride and $20 later we were the proud owners of two giant suitcases, one stuffed into the other, that were hopefully in good enough nick to survive a couple of airport luggage handling crews! Now just to get them to our new home…
As it turned out we didn’t just have a room, but an entire house to ourselves! Complete with garden, outside dining area and a lemon tree. Not to mention the luxuries of wifi, hot shower and laundry… And best of all we had a place to clean and scrub the bikes.
Perfect as it was Aidan felt the need to re-design the place. Luckily I stopped him just before he began knocking down walls.
The self-serve car wash was perfect for getting the worst dust and grime off.
Back at the house we removed the fairings, tank, the batteries and anything else that would come off and took the toothbrushes to them, just as we had in Berlin. That Aussie red dust had gotten in everywhere and about a million flies had died in the bike’s radiators. It took several days and several beers plus a whole lot of good metal tunes to get the girls cleaned up.
Then we rode them to the craters who would pack them onto wooden crates for us. We had to disconnect the batteries and empty the fuel tanks so it wouldn’t be dangerous to transport them. Lea was easy. I just had to disconnect the pipe at the tap to drain the tank and then run the engine till the carb was dry. But Pippa is built differently. There is no accessible pipe to disconnect. So Aidan had to run her for what seemed like hours.
He finally took her for one last spin til she ran dry, then pushed her back. I spotted some more mud and tore bits off the bottom of my jeans leg to use as a cleaning cloth. A guy stopping past the depot in a truck handed us another bunch of rags. It was one last frenzy of cleaning and preparing, then the girls were ready and we rolled them into the crating warehouse.
It was daunting to just leave he bikes here. We had to rely on them to pack them as small as possible (the smaller the crate the cheaper the transport). And then everyone down the line had to get everything right to make sure the bikes were brought to the harbour, loaded onto the right ship and finally transported to Canada. None of that was in our control. We would miss the girls!
It felt like we’d given up a bit of our freedom. But it was liberating to finally throw away my torn kevlar jeans. They had definitely been worn beyond their useful life!
Nothing left to do but to walk back home. Not without stopping by a pub to celebrate the end of this adventure and with it the beginning of the next. Well, sort of… we’ll celebrate properly when all went well and we’ve got the bikes back on the other side.