Next day it truly feels great to be rolling again. I had the tent dry and camp packed by about 9am, despite the threatening dark clouds scooting in from the west. My only concern was to find somewhere with rain water to refill my near empty camelback once again. After about 40 kilometres riding towards the Border Track, I was down to only a couple of farm properties before there'd be a stretch with nothing available. It wasn't what I wanted to do but stopping to check my GPS for water options just near a farm drive, I found my rear tyre deflating quickly yet again.
I knew I'd need water to drink if I was going to peel the rear tube out again so I made my way to the farmhouse to see if they'd let me fill the camelback. What ended up happening was that I met Gary and his two motorbike riding sons who insisted on helping me fix the puncture over in their huge shearing shed workshop. It was starting to rain again, so it was too good an offer to refuse. When we got the tube out, I was disappointed to find my previous decent patches had failed to hold. All three peeled off fairly easily. The old rubber glue had simply failed to vulcanise the patches onto the properly scoured up, prepared tube.
So while it absolutely poured down, three really good, big, round patches were applied, tested and everything thrown back together - two over the previous holes and one over a tiny pinprick sized hole caused by the tube being stressed by running flat again. The tube was now covered in dozens of fine craters, but only the one showed signs of green Slime puncture seal goo oozing from it. All fixed up, I grabbed a few photos (for the farmers who may be interested in an Oz grain/grazing property), before saying goodbyes and rolling again out into the fresh mud, east once again with a 3litre bladder of fresh rainwater included. Really great folk - a true pleasure to meet.
The grain/seed silos.
Beaut workshop with eveything you could need, including a fixed touring bike.
A four stand shearing board, well organised with holding pens and release chutes just behind each shearing station, raised high to make fleece collection at chest height. A great setup.
The lads warned me about the road ahead. They said they liked to avoid it as it was pretty rough and slippery. I didn't have paddocks to be able to travel across, so my options were limited.
Really great fun, thanks to a neighbouring grazier stuffing the road up with a stock transport truck - it slid and churned past me as I unstrapped the tank panniers once more, ready for another likely crash.
For once, the front Dunlop D606 actually worked really well, helping to keep me upright and pointed in the right direction all the way to the Border.
A photo of a rare and elusive fully inflated rear tyre, in its natural habitat.
It did make me wonder why I was entering Victoria, but then again this last section of South Australia hadn't been too sunny all morning.
Onto the Border Track that runs north and south for several hundred kilometres.
You can see I'm thrilled to be riding in the pouring rain. Strangely, all thoughts of getting nekkid and soaped up are completely gone.
Finally reaching the end of the dirt, I meet an old farmer out checking his stock. It's too wet for him to want to open and close six paddock gates in the rain so he's taking the "scenic" bitumen route
when we bump into each other. I'd stopped to get off and kiss the bitumen covered road when his arrived spoilt those plans. We talk farming and stock prices. He's hoping tomorrows stock auction will exceed $176 a head for his fat lambs.
He tells me the road I've just travelled use to be slick clay until they topped it with the red sand. That'd explain the high speed sideways moments I'd been experiencing and my joy at reaching sealed road. It also explains the red road in an area where all roads are normally a whitish-grey. Another enjoyable conversation over, we part ways.
The road to
...Nhill...rougher than the Oodnadatta Track. Victorians have the worst roads in the country. The change is really obvious, even coming off a dirt road. The potholes, bumps, ruts and corregations seem to get sealed under the Victorian bitumen, probably to keep the freshness in.
Nhill, is all it's glory. The sign suggesting a U-turn to Adelaide was strongly considered after 4 solid hours of riding in the constant rain. I decide to stop for some comfort food, nice hot bbq'd chicken and chips.
The flag at half mast due to a local plane crash the night before.
I eventually continue back out into the rain, heated grips on high for the next 80 kilometres to Horsham on the Western Highway, dodging interstate trucks and cars for the first real time all trip. In Horsham, I find a supermarket for some basic supplies then head to the Showgrounds after dark to shelter from the rain under an old livestock display shed. Other than a used syringe and condom nearby, it turns out to be a great spot. I don't sleep too soundly though, in case the owners return. (next photos taken the following morning).
My shelter is the small shed structure with the dark opening, to the right of the larger buildings.
Room with a view, of the greyhound racing track and clubhouse.
Other than the fore-mentioned items, broken glass, cigarette butts, old hay and huge quantities of possum shit, it was really nice in a drafty dungeon sort of way. But it kept me dry from the thunderstorm that raged all night. All for a good cause - I needed a spare tube from the motorcycle shop across the road because my rear tyre went flat again between the supermarket and the fuel station earlier. Pumped up to 40psi, it actually holds for the next few days.