Brisbane, Australia

Distance: 11.5 miles
Time on bike: 0.5 hours

The good news this morning is that the weather has changed for the better and we have a dry sunny day to ride down to Brisbane Port. The bikes are absolutely spotless and feel really nice to ride, but that’s probably because we’ve been off them for a while.

We leave the apartment just before 7 am and get to the packing warehouse just after quarter past. The guys have a slightly bigger crate ready waiting for us compared to what they showed us on Thursday and we’re hoping there’s a slim possibility that we can get both bikes on a single crate. After pushing Carl’s bike onto the crate however, it’s fairly obvious that there is no way both bikes will fit on one. Especially if we want to get the luggage on there as well.

We start packing Carl’s bike up on the first crate. To keep things simple we only remove the mirrors and screen and lower the height of the bike by compressing the suspension. It just about fits in lengthways and has enough space to take all the panniers and bike luggage.

Before closing it up we phone up the guy who does the paperwork to find out how to sort out the Carnet, which has to be stamped and signed by Customs to show we have taken the bikes out of the country. We thought this was something they dealt with, but apparently we need to get this sorted so he gives us the number to give Customs a call. It’s a bit of a worry in case it causes any delay with the bikes leaving Australia.

It takes about thirty minutes of holding and trying four different numbers before Carl finally gets an answer: we just need to pop to the Customs office at the airport with the paperwork from the shipping company to confirm the bikes are on the ship and they will sign our papers. There’s no need for them to actually see the bikes, which seems to be a bit of a glaring oversight, but that’s good news for us. We did worry we might need to give them advance warning for a visit, so we’re back on track. The thought did occur to us that we could ship any bikes out of Oz and sell our bikes here for four times what they’re worth in the UK, but who would possibly consider doing that…

We finish packing Carl’s bike up and one of the guys, Chipper, gives us a very helpful hand and it all goes well. Carl’s bike and all our baggage goes on the crate that closes up, so it’s all nice and secure. We then put Béné’s bike on the open sided crate which just fits nicely for one bike and we can make it very securely held down. This gives us much more piece of mind compared with when we shipped the bikes from Singapore to Darwin, when Perkins did a terribly negligent and unprofessional job of transporting the bikes on their sides!

The guys at the warehouse kindly provided us with extra straps, rope and bubble wrap and it really feels like things are packed up well and we think there is a chance our bikes will get to the other end without too many problems. After a couple of hours packing, the bikes and luggage are ready. We then fill in some papers in the office, have a good chat with the guys and thank them for all their help as they’ve really been incredible in their efforts to help us.

After saying our thanks and goodbye’s, we head back to town via the local train station and spot a nice cheap place to have lunch before hopping on the next train back to Wilston. When we get back to the apartment we get cleaned up before taking a walk to, what we thought were, the nearby shops to grab some things for dinner.

We end up walking more than an hour searching for a supermarket. It’s definitely not the closest one, but it’s nice to have a walk. Rather than catching a bus, we walk back and make a roasted potato, mushrooms and bacon mix with salad and have a few beers with Simon and Sarah who are really kind to welcome us in their house.

So the bikes have now gone and we need to wait for the ‘Bill of Lading’ from the shipping company to confirm the bikes have been received and we can then arrange for our Carnet documents to be stamped so we can leave Australia. Hopefully we should receive this tomorrow and we’ll then know where we stand with regard to being able to fly over to New Zealand.

As a huge recommendation, if anyone is considering shipping motorcycles or anything from Brisbane we suggest you give Syd a call at Seafast on +61 7 3256 7033 or Dean at Cottpak on +61 423 853 351.

Jour 337 – Lundi 21 Mars 2011. Brisbane, Australie.

Distance: 18 km – Temps à moto: 0.5 heures

Il ne pleut pas ce matin quand on se réveille et c’est un soulagement, au moins les motos ne vont pas être couvertes de boue le temps d’arriver au port. On déjeune avant de partir, on est un peu nerveux, mais avec un peu de chance la journée se passera bien. On part de l’appartement à 7 heures et on arrive au port peu après. Les gars nous ont déjà mis de côté la caisse pour emballer les motos, et si on a besoin d’une deuxième caisse, ils en ont une autre. On commence par enlever nos bagages et par mettre la moto a Carl dans la première caisse, la décision est vite prise : on aura besion de 2 caisses. Avant de fermer la caisse où on a mis la moto a Carl, il appelle le gars qui est censé faire les paperasses car on pense qu’il a organisé l’inspection pour faire remplir le carnet, mais en fait, il n’a rien fait, Carl passe une demi-heures au téléphone pour essayer de voir ce qu’on doit faire et fini par apprendre que si on va au bureau d’export avec nos paoers qui confirment qu’on a bien emballé les motos et qu’elles sont sur le cargo, ils le rempliront. On continue donc d’emballer la moto a Carl, comme sa boite a des côtés, on met tous nos baggages avec, un des gars nous file un bon coup de main, il est vraiment sympa. On arrive à mettre tous nos bagages dans la caisse avec la moto à Carl et on met ma moto dans l’autre caisse, qui est en fait juste un cadre en métal, et on protège ce qu’on peut avec le papier à bulles qu’ils nous ont donné.

On remplit les formes au bureau et on sort peu aprèm id, fatigués, mais très contents d’avoir fini d’emballer nos motos. On espère juste que la faire remplir le carnet sera aussi facile qu’ils nous ont dit au téléphone.

On ressort à pieds, comme d’habitude un peu perdus quand on n’a pas nos motos. Avant de prendre le train on avale le paquet de biscuits, Carl nous fait même faire une compétition : en avaler 3 en même temps… et bien-sûr, il gagne !

On mange aussi un morceau avant de prendre le train et de retourner a l’appartement de Simon et Sarah. On prend une bonne douche et on se pose un peu on réserve nos vols pour aller en Nouvelle-Zélande puis on sort pour trouver un supermarché car on va cuisiner pour eux ce soir.

On ne sait pas trop par où aller et on finit par marche plus d’une heure avant de trouver un supermarché… on fait quelques courses puis on rentre faire des pommes de terres rôties avec champignons et du jambon et une salade qu’on arrose avec quelques bières avec Simon et Sarah, heureusement Sarah n’est pas trop fatiguée de son week-end et on passe une bonne soirée.