09-03-2008, 04:58 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Albany Western Australia
The Next Part of Googs, Simpson and the OCR
UP GOOGS and OVER the SIMPSON to the OCR
With our new “Deserts” on Belly and I were revved up and ready to tackle the Googs Track. It is about 160 kilometers or so in length with plenty of dunes, a lake and Mt. Finke to visit. If you are a bit of a dusty demon of the sand and want to do a Canning Stock Route or Simpson Desert ride but are unsure of bike setup or your ability then this little fun run should give you most of the answers.
Here I am heading off.
The track started of winding through the bush and soon the dunes began. On the track into the lake Belly had a close encounter or the turd kind with a 4wd heading in our direction. Brake testing on the KTM proved successful. 4wd’s on nice dirt tracks are a bit like cars with caravans on your favourite mountain pass.
View of Googs Lake.
The going was good with moisture still on the sand and zooming over the dunes was a blast. The tracks ahead showed that Fred and Colin had only recently been through here, in fact they had camped the night up the other end. Some of the wheel marks were pretty interesting indicating a bit of arm wrestling going on with the bars on one of the bikes.
Fred and Colin’s Camp
Was it a cool night? – I think the mercury got to zero!
The day was warming up for us we rode further into the dunes, enjoying the dynamic abilities of our fine European machinery. Of course Murphy’s law intervened, must have been having too much fun. Belly scored a flat rear tyre after hitting a root laying exposed across a dune. There is no photographic evidence of this however as I was somewhat reticent in bringing out the camera in the vicinity of a large, angry man with two tyre irons in his paws. In due course we proceeded once again enjoying some good riding through the vegetated dunes.
The more northerly section became a bit gnarly and was giving us somewhat of a workout so we stopped and had a rest for half an hour. This was just what the doctor ordered because when we got back into it the worries had disappeared and all of a sudden the bikes started handling like magic again(well, as magic as you can get when they’re loaded like a nomads camel). The dunes eventually faded away and the track became an adventure rider’s delight. It was a petrol heads two pipe orchestra with the big singles barking their way through the landscape, the sound reverberating through the bush as the engines rose and fell through the rev range. There are times when you can’t help but just love the good old infernal consumption engine.
After crossing the trans-continental railway line we turned east and rode into Tarcoola, a small town with a population of about two and a pub with no beer! It seemed that this establishment had been closed for quite a while anyway; somewhat of a forlorn hope. Things looked up however when the 4wd we had come across earlier rolled up and gave us a bottle of metho. No, I know what you’re thinking, but we weren’t really that desperate. The bottle had fallen off Fred’s bike and it contained his Trangia stove fuel.
Although the sun had well and truly reached its zenith we decided to head onto Coober Pedy along some station roads. Finding our way wasn’t too much of an issue as Colin and Fred’s tracks were clearly visible. Belly added to his recent tally of animal hits by riding over a sheep and I tickled the tail of a roo on our way. Apparently the secret to riding over sheep is to pick the smallest one out of the mob, be certain that it has plenty of shock absorbing wool and keep the momentum up! Night had set in by the time we rolled into town but we were pleasantly surprised to find that we had caught up with the DR650’s. We booked into a motel room next to Fred and Colin and unloaded our gear.
It wasn’t long before Fred started on about how disappointed he was in losing his special Trangia bottle of Metho. In fact he mentioned it several times. Knowing that he had some spare fuel we asked him if he could cook us up a feed while we settled in. Not a problem, so when he left the room to collect his stove we carefully placed his precious bottle on the floor in the middle of the room. On his return he walked straight past it, carefully stepping around it and several times repeated this action. Then without recognizing it, he bent down, picked it up and carefully placed it on a bench! That was too much, I just had to go outside and crack up. On return he eventually discovered the bottle thus causing a riot of mirth and amusement – especially for Belly and me.
Next morning we were itching to get away and head to Oodnadatta before beginning the Simpson crossing.
Here we are loading up outside the motel.
The gibber plain to Oodnadatta was an uneventful ride. Here we fueled up at the Pink Roadhouse in preparation for the 615 kilometer crossing of the Simpson Desert to Birdsville on the eastern side.
Fred and Colin headed off on their Jap bikes some minutes before we roared out of town on our Euro machines. When we caught them, they had set up under a tree with ground sheet lain out and jaffle iron on the stove sizzling away. There was no doubt about it, now that we had joined the DR650 crew, the ride was going to revolve around FOOD.
After giving the worms a fair nibble it was once again time for “boots and saddles”. Riding towards the desert we passed the Dalhousie Ruins and some kilometers further on stopped for a swim in the popular Dalhousie thermal springs. The single bikini clad babe who dared to enter the water was pretty popular too.
After a cleansing of the evil bodies we rode on to the vicinity of Purnie Bore on the western end of the desert proper – where the dunes of the Simpson begin in earnest. It was here that we decided to camp for the night.
To be continued……