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Old 11-22-2012, 03:25 AM   #361
GoneAgain OP
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Location: Bendigonia, Vic.
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so i was late leaving so my day 1 (monday 4th june) was gonna be a northbound bitumen squirt...

i was late leaving but i was finally set and off...

in the few months of PM banter and organisation i'd let the guys know my spot address... and i'd saved Sundowners spot link on my phone...

It was a wet day as i left Adelaide up highway One toward Port Wakefield....

the rain chased me most of the way but didnt catch me...

i got to Port Augusta without getting wet... although there was lots of flooding around Port augusta and Sterling...

i knew Sundowner was heading up the inside of the ranges... and it looked like it was real wet over there...

I checked Sundowners link to see where he was and it looked like he hadnt left yet....

i continued on to Quorn checked his link again.... still no signs of life... it was mid afternoon....hmm...

he had to have left.... i figured since he had borowed the spot from another inmate he hadnt got tracking
working properly.... i text him to let him know he hadnt activated tracking properly......and went looking for
some earplugs as i had forgoten in all the lead up rush to get a new pair... i bought what i was a bit afraid of, but
turned out to be the best pair of plugs ive ever had and hit the road again...
it looked like id make Parachilna at sunset....at that would be 650-odd kms and so enough for one day...

i made it to a wet Prairie Hotel at Parachilna just on sunset...




i checked my phone and had a message from Sundowner that he hadnt left yet....but was hoping to by 4pm!

i settled in at the bar, had a few beers, booked a donga for the night and chated to other travellers...

3 blokes came in and sat at the bar for a few... and getting talking, one was a photographer, one was high up
in ARB and the other was a driver... they were out here from sydney with 2 new 200 series landcruisers kitted out in
ARB gear for a photo shoot... i chatted to them for a while, particularly the photograpeher (michael) and to cut a long story
short, he went and unpacked his gear, pulled out his cleaning stuff and spent a good half hour cleaning out my camera....
so finally no more dust bunny!

i'd had a few more texts from Sundowner, and let him know where i was... i didnt think he should get this far, but he was adimant he would...


about 11pm i called it a night and hit the sack...



with still no sign of Sndowner.... but his spot was still moving...

i woke up about 3am for a weeeee... there was a message from Sundowner asking if i was still up... nope... i checked his spot
and there was an 'ok' checkin.... so he'd gotten 'somewhere'


i wasnt sure where he was as i didnt have a 'smartphone' so i couldnt see a map... i just could see co-ordinates and a brief address..

i went back to sleep....

==

the next morning (tues 5th) i punched Sundowners co-ordinates into my gps.... bloody hell he'd gone a long way off the road to bush camp...

I packed, had breakfast, got my photo taken a thousand times by grey nomads who chouldnt believe you could go away for 10 days with so little... and headed off..

i figured i'd head into Leigh Creek and fuel up, hit the bakery at Copley for breakfast then upto Marree then upto Lake Eyre North for the night.... then tomorrow it would be 450km of dirt to meet everyone at camp...

i checked Sundowners spot, and unsurprisingly....he wasnt up yet..



i fueled up at leigh creek...then cruised up and turned into copley....

heading up the main street, i glanced to the left as i passed the camp ground...

and saw a mighty bohemoth that i recognised.... i hung a u-turn and pulled up behind sundowners bike...





i walked inside where Sundowner stood deep in conversation with the campground manager...


i was surprised to see him here.... but turns out i had entered his co-ordinateds in a diferent format...
he hadnt bush camped afterall but stayed here the night and was just about to leave...

good timing...

Sundowner fueled up, the bakery was closed and we headed off...

a quick stop at the Leigh creek open-cut then on to Lyndhurst...

i went down to the pub to check the road conditions across the birdville track etc as i knew a few inmates were coming over that way for Finke too, also to grab some cash from the pub...
road was still closed to trucks...



i caught upto Sundowner at the Ochre pits, just in time for his phone to ring...

so out in the middle of no-where..... who else would call but indian telly-marketers....



the pits...



.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:05 PM   #362
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so from the Ochre Pits, we continued north towards Marree, but stopping
in at Farina, a 'ghost town' just over 50kms south of Marree...

there's a campground out the back an Sundowner buggered off out there to see if TonyRDR was (or had been) out there the night before..

i had a look around town.....



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Sundowner returner, with no sign of Tony...



we then stopped and read every sign at the info shelter...



before heading off (rather late) to Marree, where UncleGra's beat up 625 was parked outside the mosque...



we met up with Graham...

talked shit for too long, after a good hour of standing around, with Sundowner trying to convince Uncle Gra
that he should go over and have a look at the museum, i fueled up, and grabed a pie...

i decided that these 2 would be here all day (not that there was much of it left by now..)

Sundowner went to get some lunch, and i suggested to Graham that if he wanted to get anywhere
today he might have to get on his bike and wave Sundowner along..
and said i was about to bugger off to Lake Eyre North for the night and i'd catch up with them
tomorrow night around near Oodnadatta..

so after about 2 hours, i said my goodbyes and left Sundowner and UncleGra sitting around at the servo in Maree..

i headed off north...



up thru the dog fence...



and on.... the road was great... nicely baked dry after recent rain...



and set camp at the same spot PhilMeUp and i had camped a few years earlier....

and was happy there was no sign of a dust storm blowing in this time...



i still had an hour before sunset......
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:19 AM   #363
ozbikedude
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there is a god.........................gday greg.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:38 AM   #364
GoneAgain OP
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Hi Aub..!

you around for a while or just about to head out again?

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Old 11-23-2012, 12:37 PM   #365
ozbikedude
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just got home from around 10wks,head off on the 3/12 for 3wks
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:28 AM   #366
GoneAgain OP
Huh?
 
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Location: Bendigonia, Vic.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozbikedude View Post
just got home from around 10wks,head off on the 3/12 for 3wks


10 weeks!!!!!

thats nuts!....


but ummm... well done.... you'd get a fair bit of road graded in 10 weeks i guess!!?
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:35 AM   #367
ozbikedude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneAgain View Post
10 weeks!!!!!

thats nuts!....


but ummm... well done.... you'd get a fair bit of road graded in 10 weeks i guess!!?
just start writin already!!!
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:37 PM   #368
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since i was now well off the bitumen, i wanted to get the new tyres on....
unfortunately i didnt have time to swap them over tonight if a was gonna get the
50kms out to the lake tonight for sunset..

i took the panniers off and chucked a few bits and pieces into a backpack and headed off towards lake Eyre North..



the dry track that id taken from Marree disapeared and gave way to a muddy desert...



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then the track gave way to canals!



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.lucky they had some warning signs!



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eventually the mud and water gave way...

gave way to corrogated sand....



the going had been slower than i'd hoped, so by time i got up into the Goyder Channel, the sun was setting....




i found a good spot and pulled up...



once again found myself...'no-where'...




and then went for a bit of a walk just in time for sunset....



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and then it was back to the bike for a bit of an adventure riding back the way i'd come...but in the dark....



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with a stop here and there to take in the sights...



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made it back to camp just in time for the full moon to come up...



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so it was time for a walk around the lake for some moon shots...



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but it had been a long day... so it was back to camp for a feed and bed...




next day loooked like perfect weather....



i decided it was a good time to switch over the front tyre... it was fairly low on tread, and gave me the
shits in the mud and sand last night.... and i was carrying a brand new one...


so off she came and the new one went on... spooned her on nicely....until the very last pop on...

hmmm, did i pinch that..??

pumped here up.... couldnt hear any air escaping...

figured i'd pack camp before putting her back on the bike ... just in case...

so camp was packed, tyre checked.... bugger... she was goin down...

off she came again and yep, the smallest of pinch holes....



patched and back on...

was fairly dirty and sweaty by now, so i got bike packed and ready to go then hit the hot spring for a morning bath





and then i was..... Gone....again..

the ride back down to Marree was a lot faster with the new front (scorpion rally)

the old front went inside another trye that was marking another track...

i ducked back into Marree, topped up the fuel, dumped the little bit of rubbish i had from tea last night...

and headed off for the 400-ish km across the Oodnadatta track to meet the other lads at camp that night...

the first 100km or so was high speed baked clay... with quite a few 4wd's with camping trailers to belt past...



a drinks brake at Lake Eyre South...



and then on to William Creek... where there was quite a crowd at the petrol bowsers...

i did a look around the 'carpark' and spotted a bike i thought i knew...

Sundowner had mentioned that DesertDog (Matty) was comin up in his white Land Rover... (he was bringin the beer!)

This bike was parked next to a white Landy, so i figured it was Tony and Matty...

i pulled up and jumped off the bike...

it wasnt long before some scruffy lookin dude rocked up.... and i met Matty and Ani... Tony (TonyRDR) todled out too...



they mentioned that the petrol bowser was broken down, hence the queue... they'd been here for a few hours waiting for it to be fixed...

i moseyed inside and got a pie, then came out via the bowser....

'hows she lookin?' i asked... all good, just finishing up now...

i grabbed my bike, was the first to fill-up, then went and told the other lads....'bastard.....we been here for hours, and you rock up at straigh in for fuel...'

There had been no sign of Sundowner od UncleGra....

which was odd, given they werent at Marree, 200km back...

hmmm... oh well, not much we can do... and i didnt have mobile reception to check Sundowners Spot..

anyway, we agreed to meet up at the t-intersection about 200kms away... which is only a few kms from where we are all campin tonight...

so off i go went while the others fueled up...



it again was a blast down this track.... not quite as good as Marree to William creek but still good...

prob 50 kms out i see somethin in my rear mirror comin up behind....

i'm sitting on 100kms.... shit he's moving i think to myself... as TonyRDR flys past and disapears into the slowly seting sun... (he doesnt like riding at night)

i stop at a ruin just in time to let this fella come thru in the opposite direction..



.



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i'm takin some photos



just as Matty and Ani roll in....

'where's Tony, i didnt pass him?' he says

'nah he's gone mate.... belted past me a while back...'

Ani enjoyed a bit of a leg stretch too..



and off again, stopping at a few more sights and then into Algebuckina Bridge...



for a fair old chat to a couple of blokes who were camped out for a few days...

they hadnt seen Sundowner or UncleGra either....

the sun set and then we were off again...



it was a slower ride in in the dark, cattle roos and rocks abounded...

but finally got to the T-intersection... because we'd taken the scenic route,
i wasnt expecting Tony to still be at the t-intersaction... but there he was, sitting
in the dark with a few other blokes who he knew and had run into....

we compared notes on where camp was... i'd marked the co-ordinates the Sundowner had given in my GPS,
so i headed off first...


comin into a creek near the 'point' i see a flash of a headlight out in the darkness to the right.... hang a u-turn and head bout 100m off the road and meet Aub (Ozbikedude)

sitting out in the darkness all by himself...

his ride..



so we had 4 off the 6 stooges...but still no sign of Sundowner and UncleGra

we scratch our heads , figure theres not much we can do to find/help them, so set-up camp..

Aub has a Sat-phone and so calls home and gets his missus to fire up the 'puter and check sundowners 'spot'...

seems he's about 50kms back....

about an hour goes by and still no sign of them....

another sat-phone call to check their progress....

hmmm they've only moved a few metres.... just off the road...

hmmm... the theories flow thick and fast...

Tony says UncleGra doesnt like ridin at night, so in the end we settle on them pulling up for the night...

although i find it a bit odd that they'd do that so 'close' to camp, and so close to the road....

anyway...not much we can do...


after what seemed like another hour, we hear the sound of bikes....

and then 2 bright white lights come over the rise....

'thats Sundowners HID's' i say... and then another bike comes over the rise...

and then, finally, Sundowner and UncleGra roll into camp.....



Turns out they had been late leaving Marree, and camped at a spring (and about the only sight i didnt stop in to have a look at) between Marree and William creek...

they' heard me go past...

then Sundowner had changed over his back tyre....

and about 160km later his (midas e-07??) had disintergrated....

he'd rolled in the last 40km on a flat...



We have a fire goin so Sundowner crack out the first of many cans of 'spam'...



the moons out again..




bloody nice night, for a bloody nice camp with some bloody nice blokes...



.



.

how good is this camp!




Sundowners Super Tenere....




TonyRDR's DR Super Tanker..



so after a bloody good night meeting some new mates, and lightening the load in the beer wagon..

it was time to pull up stumps for the night....

tomorrow was another big day...





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Old 11-26-2012, 12:35 AM   #369
ozbikedude
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good stuff,didnt know lake eyre track was so wet,and in the dark,some nice shots there.
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:49 AM   #370
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What an awesome trip G A ,there's nothin better than adventure and yours has definatly been one so far.great pics of your camp with mates I'm so envious ,best of luck stay safe.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:28 AM   #371
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Good Night Shots, but this is my fav! Not much vibration for the long exposure time. Did your hand get shakier as the spirits were passed around that campfire?

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Old 11-26-2012, 05:33 PM   #372
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneAgain View Post

3 blokes came in and sat at the bar for a few... and getting talking, one was a photographer, one was high up
in ARB and the other was a driver... they were out here from sydney with 2 new 200 series landcruisers kitted out in
ARB gear for a photo shoot... i chatted to them for a while, particularly the photograpeher (michael) and to cut a long story
short, he went and unpacked his gear, pulled out his cleaning stuff and spent a good half hour cleaning out my camera....
so finally no more dust bunny!


.
Guessing the ARB guy was probably Matt Frost, dont know who there driver could have been. But Michael Ellem takes some great photos and has a massive addictions to coffee.

Pretty cool RR's. Thanks for posting.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:45 AM   #373
GoneAgain OP
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Location: Bendigonia, Vic.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turps View Post
Guessing the ARB guy was probably Matt Frost, dont know who there driver could have been. But Michael Ellem takes some great photos and has a massive addictions to coffee.

Pretty cool RR's. Thanks for posting.

sounds right... the other guy was either a Matt or Michael too... well at least his name started with an 'M' as well...


small world.......


.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:46 AM   #374
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanMtnSea View Post
Good Night Shots, ! Not much vibration for the long exposure time. Did your hand get shakier as the spirits were passed around that campfire?

hell yes!

deleted quite a few 'unusable' shots


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Old 11-27-2012, 03:51 AM   #375
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so it was up and out of the tents in the morning to another beautiful day...





but it wasnt going to be out on the road early today..
everyone was up....



but we had the small issue of Sundowners back tyre to sort out...




he ripped it off, and emptied all the ground up rubber out of it... the tube was fried... the tyre was 'frieder'...

that was a new tyre 160km ago... bugger...

we were about 10km out of Oodnadatta... but there was really bugger all chance of them having a spare tyre... (even though there really
should be a prety good chance in a place like that.... hear its up for sale now )

so anyway, i have a bit of a chat to Sundowner, and ask it he recons he can fit a 150 on (normally a 140...).. we come to the conclusion that a 150 should fit.... so it tell him he can have my back tyre if he wants... so long as he puts my new rear on my bike while he's at it...

everyones problems sorted...



oh, except Matty... seems the Landy went out in sympathy with 2 flats overnight!!



lucky he was carrying 2 spares.... just meant he now had none... and we hadnt really started the 'tough' bit of the trip yet....

anyway, 4 tyre changes, and we were on our way...

well at least 10km to Oodnadatta...




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