May 25, 2024 4 min read

The King of the Cape Chronicles: Unveiling Ultimate Motorcycle Adventures - Chapter 1

Have you ever dreamed of hopping onto a motorcycle and venturing into the great unknown?

The King of the Cape, Roy Kunda
The King of the Cape, Roy Kunda

Are you ready to check off a major bucket list item and explore Australia (or the world) on two wheels? While many dream of such adventures, most never take that leap. But my husband, Roy Kunda, has lived this dream for nearly 40 years. He’s been a professional motorcycle tour guide for over 30 years and he has so many tales to tell.

Imagine this—he’s ridden the equivalent of 15 times around the world, 41 times around Australia, or 152 times along Route 66. He’s guided over 5000 riders, from beginners to motocross experts and Grand Prix winners. His legacy, Cape York Motorcycle Adventures, in Far North Queensland, has been a haven for riders for three decades.

I am his proud wife and I will try to write a captivating travel series inspired by his stories. Roy’s journey to becoming a renowned motorcycle tour guide is a testament to his adventurous spirit and deep-rooted passion for riding.

Growing up in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Roy's youth was spent exploring the paddocks with his dog, Sacha, and hunting rabbits. His love for motorcycles started in his teens when he met the boys with bikes and secretly started riding a friend's bike in the afternoons. He eventually bought his first Yamaha YZ80 D at just 13.

Turning up at home with unexplained cuts and abrasions Roy's parents initially disapproved of this new interest, but they soon learned to use it as a carrot and encouraged his enthusiasm, by rewarding academic achievements with new gear and bike upgrades.

As a young boy Roy was inspired by adventurers like Alby Mangles and Malcolm Douglas, he dreamed of exploring Australia's remote outback on two wheels. His journey around Australia was nothing short of epic, with a goal to tick off every historic, Australian stock route. He had a map of Cape York on his bedroom wall and dreamed of his future travels.

The day after his 21st birthday, Roy packed his trusty Yamaha Tenere and set off with friends. They journeyed through landmarks like Broken Hill and Silverton, to hit the first stock routes, The Oodnadatta Track, and The Birdsville Track, and eventually up the east coast to Cairns in Far North Queensland.

This was Roy's first experience of what would become his forever home. The area's stunning beauty and tropical lifestyle fueled his passion for outdoor adventures, far exceeding his expectations.

What makes these great motorcycle journeys so irresistible is the mateship among riders. Bonds are built on shared challenges and triumphs, swapping stories, sharing tips, and supporting one another in difficult moments. The spirit of adventure unites riders, turning strangers into lifelong friends.

Equalling compelling is the immersion in the diverse cultural heritage of the regions explored. From indigenous communities to pioneering settlers, each interaction and landmark adds depth to the travel experience. Roy talks about his trips romantically, and it's the same feeling that I see in all the riders we meet.

It's not just a physical journey but a transformative experience that enriches the soul and deepens appreciation for Australia’s majestic outback.

So now that we've laid the introduction to the series, let’s dive into one of Roy's incredible stories, this one just happens to be one of my favourites and when Roy tells it with his little hand gestures I find myself struggling for breathe through laughter. I will try to do it justice in words.

So, early in the travels with all his worldly possessions strapped on his bike, camping out in swags every night, Roy traveled with his good friend ‘Dundee’. He got that nickname because, apparently he’s always worn a cowboy hat, ever since they were kids in Melbourne.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I've ever seen him in anything other than jeans. Roy has deep respect for Dundee; he’s a man of very few words and he's the handiest bushman you'll ever meet.

Side note: Roy has a habit of sleeping with his arms up and cradling his head in his hands. That probably started because they didn’t carry pillows on the bikes. Sometimes his arms freeze up during the night. You know that feeling when you go numb and all you feel is pins and needles? That’s where he was!

Curled up in his sleeping bag he felt like the zipper was flapping in a breeze and tickling his chest. Half-asleep, he tried to brush it away with his fingers. Imagine, in real life, there is a flicky hand gesture here.

Now, he’s a heavy sleeper, but he started feeling really uncomfortable because his sleeping bag was getting unusually heavy. He forced his eyes open and, by the moonlight, saw something coiled up and still on his chest.

It didn't take him long to realize that it was a snake the size of a tube, using him as a hot water bottle! Back then, he wasn’t too keen on snakes, so he shot up on his feet in a heartbeat, and the snake fell into the hole he’d made in his swag.

His arms were numb, and he thought he was being boa-constricted by this massive snake. Flapping around like a madman trying to get the snake out of his bag, he noticed Dundee side glance over, giving him "that look" that said 'you're being dramatic' and that you've rudely woken me up along with everyone in the camp. Poor Roy, he felt like, Billy Crystal from City Slickers in that moment.

Anyway, they moved on the next day, and about a week later, they stopped by a pub for dinner. Sitting at the bar, having a beer, and waiting for their meal, they overheard a fella telling his mate about a lady who woke up with a python in her swag, jumping around and squealing like a banshee, waking the whole camp. When Dundee realized they were talking about Roy, he laughed so hard he spat his beer across the bar.

I swear, every time I hear this story, I laugh so hard I can barely breathe because that is so not Roy now. Bloody pythons—he’s not scared of them anymore. He was determined not to let that story repeat itself. He's handled plenty of snakes since but I can swear to it because I watched him remove a huge one that was almost stronger, from our house! But that is a story for another day, the poor kitten was traumatized for life.

Thank you for reading and make sure to subscribe. We're constantly exploring new destinations and share our stories, tips, and the beauty we discover along the way.

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