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Old 01-19-2013, 02:30 PM   #1
666Monkeys OP
Wobbley Rider
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Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Perth, Australia
Oddometer: 5
Western Australia - An overnight jaunt on a slightly inappropriate bike!

Hi there!

I'm new to ADVrider, and new to riding too. I just got my licence in mid-December.

Here's my trusty steed - my Honda VTR250.

I live in Perth, but currently I'm temporarily working in Kalgoorlie, out on the edge of the desert. They've been digging gold out of this dirt for 140 years, and they're still digging some big holes to find it.

Here's my transport when I'm not on the bike - mine's the one that stays on the ground.

I'm on the bike as much as possible, to try and get some more experience. Around town, and daytrips out to the surrounding towns - not that there are many of them. Kalgoorlie is a little like an island, an oasis in the middle of the (semi-) desert.

This was my first overnight trip on the bike. Baby steps...

It was starting to warm up again after several days of rain. Heading east, and 25km out is the remains of Kanowna. A century ago 12,500 people lived out here. There were pubs, banks, a railway station - but now all that remains are a few lonely graves and open mine shafts.

Soon after, the bitumen ran out, and from there on it alternated between dust, gravel, mud and water. Parts had been cut up by mining vehicles, others were flat smooth and fast.

This was the first (and longest) water hazard.

Up along the left it looked high and dry - and it was for a little way. But then it got a dicey as I found that most of it was soft mud with a crust on top! At one point I was off the bike and pushing it while the wheels spun. My poor little VTR with it's street tyres wasn't really designed for this! At least it was reasonably light to be able to heave it out.

The next stretch of water was not as long, and after walking through it to check the depth and road surface, easily rode straight through. The flow of water had washed all the mud away, and it was an easy ford. I probably should have done the same through the first big puddle.

Not quite half-way on day one-

A few hours later I passed Yerilla homestead. A renovator's delight!

At the 200-and-something-km mark I reached Niagara Dam

After a hot day on the bike, it was a welcome relief to have a swim.

The dam was built in the the late 1890's at a huge expense. All of the supplies, including tonnes of cement, had to transported over hundreds of kilometres by camel.

Soon after it's completion, an abundant and much more reliable underground water supply was found 15km away at Kookynie, so the dam just became a very expensive picnic spot.

As the sun began to set, dinner beckoned, so I zipped up the road to Kookynie. The Grand Hotel serves beer, food and fuel - all essentials of the road.

Best steak sanga ever...

Dinner, two light beers - and I was done. Back to Niagara to set up camp in the dark.
“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

666Monkeys screwed with this post 01-20-2013 at 04:45 AM
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