Friday, November 28, 2014

28 November - ScooterBob Starts His Adventure "Down Under"

A warm welcome to all those following ScooterBob's travels, from sunny Australia.
My name is Theo van der Meulen and as an enthusiastic motorcyclist and blogger (Check out Australian Motorcycle Diaries here)I enjoyed my occasional (virtual) contact with BobSkoot over the past few years. I'm pretty certain I read all of his blogs and last year followed his trek across North America with great interest. A few weeks ago, when I learned of his untimely passing and the plan to have ScooterBob undertake the travels Bob would have enjoyed, I expressed an interest in hosting ScooterBob down under in Australia. Well, last week my post lady delivered him to the front door in his little black travel case, and today, on a brilliant sunny Australian spring day I took Scooter Bob on his first Australian adventure to the old gold mining town of Walhalla. This 'ghost' town is located in the mountains to the north of my house and has been a frequent motorcycle destination for me and any visitors who ride with me. Our first stop was the Tyers lookout which provides a good overview of the Latrobe Valley where I live.

This spot provides a great view of the rural landscape dotted with the occasional large power stations.

Walhalla was a major gold producer over a period spanning the 1870's to around 1910. This photo shows the vault where all the gold was stored prior to transport to Melbourne.

The value of gold stored in this vault, in today's money is about $1.4 billion dollars. Today, this town which once had a population exceeding 4,000 now has a mere handful of inhabitants who maintain a small but vibrant range of tourist activities including visits to one of the old gold mines.

One of the few intact reminders of the glory days is Windsor House, once owned by a rich merchant which is now restored and is operated as a B&B.

While much is gone, much remains and a number of dedicated residents have, over the past few years restored some of the key buildings. There are reminders of 'the old days' wherever you look.

My adventures with Scooter Bob will continue for a few more weeks until is time to pass him onto the next of Bob Leong's friends. My rides will go the places I think Bob would have enjoyed. Although I never met him, I think I got to know him a little through his blogs and I know for certain I would have like him a lot.

Total distance 130 km.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Cuckoo Clock for ScooterBob

Another beautiful day and yes, the month is November. Since ScooterBob is scheduled to leave shortly in quest for warmer places we wanted to show him one last specific Black Forest feature. Of course there were several leaf peeping stops for us before we got the the place.

But eventually we arrived at our destination in Triberg, and introduced ScooterBob to the world's largest Cuckoo Clock. A scale of 60:1, as documented in the Guiness Book of Records. 4.5x4.5m (15x15ft) in size and 15m (50ft) in height, with a pendulum length of 8m (26ft), and a weight of six tons. It took five years to build it, and the inside can be visited (when open).

The last picture shows ScooterBob with pendulum and counterweights of the clock in the background. This is our goodbye. I have kept it long enough, it's time for the little world traveler to move on.

These are the voyages of ScooterBob. It's continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilisations, and to boldly go where no wooden scooter has gone before.