Day 35 - Bemm River to Mirboo - 374kms
The rain was bucketing down and the wind was blowing it sideways as I tried to figure out how to repair and reassemble the exhaust I'd taken apart in the dark last night after a few beers. We were able to wheel the bike into the covered BBQ area which gave us a little protection from the rain as we decided how to fix it. I figured I could fix it with a beer can and the exhaust tape I'd bought and luckily empty beer cans are pretty easy to find in Australia. I was rewarded about two steps out of our door where our neighbours Carlton can must have blown off his porch and landed at our front steps. We cut up the beer can and patched the exhaust back together and crossed our fingers as we started it up. The bike was quieter than it had ever been since I've owned it so I think the holes had just got larger and larger as I went across the country.
We were feeling pretty good about our repair job when we checked the weather to see if the storm would pass. Not only was the storm huge and stretching for over 150 kms but there were extreme wind warnings in East Gippsland. Not knowing where exactly East Gippsland was we checked our trusty paper map and found we were right in the middle of it. With no chance of waiting out the storm we packed up and waterproofed ourselves as best we could. Other than the rain and trees blown down across the road we had a very nice ride through the hills and my muddy dirt roads detours were kept to a minimum.
We stopped for lunch and a guy in his late 80's saw our helmets and started talking to us. When he was younger, his early 80's, he had ridden his motorcycle across the southern half of the country on the same route I had taken and was waiting for clearance from his doctor to ride his bike again after heart surgery. It seemed like he knew what he was talking about so we followed his advice and took a bunch of small farm roads up North to Buchan Caves. On our way up we saw a huge flock of large white cockatoos and stopped to see what they were doing. As we watched they swarmed through a grove of trees and chased all the other birds out of them. It was really cool to watch as all the parrots, lorikeets and other birds fly right past us to get away from them. We kept going before anyone could dub us a bird watchers and worked our way through Buchan Caves and then back down South to Mirboo where my fiance's uncle has a farm. I had never been there and wasn't quite sure where he lived which allowed us to explore the rolling green pastures and giant trees lining the road. We arrived at their house and enjoyed a few VB's and a good steak dinner while we got to know Alicia's uncle Stew.