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Old 06-14-2009, 11:08 PM   #31
jeckyll
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Great RR!
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:48 AM   #32
Pezza OP
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Day 7

In 1878 construction began on “The Great northern Railway” in Port Augusta, the rail line was built using the old SA narrow gauge track and was built in sections through Beltana, Marree, Oodnadatta with the final section being completed in 1929 and finishing in Alice Springs.
Prior to completion, the final leg of the train journey was completed by camel. The train’s current name “The Ghan”, honors the Afghan camel drivers who arrived in Australia in the late 19th century and helped find a route through the country’s unexplored interior.
In 1980 a new standard gauge track was constructed approximately 160 km west of the original Ghan and the old Ghan was partly dismantled.
At Marree there are the old Ghan engines still on display.


The Oodnadatta track closely follows the old Ghan’s route with many old sidings and bridges still intact and makes for an interesting journey in time.


The first of many old sidings




You would soon get bored with the view though I think.




They have removed the tracks but at least have left behind the bridge structures.






A little further along I came across this,


I don’t know the full story on this guy but these are all private sculptures on private land, this next one used to be a windmill,


You have to admire this guys imagination and skill, if you were to stand beside this next one your head would come up to the thigh.


This one had me chuckling.


This was one of the old water tanks for the train, you can get a size comparison by the truck that is parked to the bottom right of the structure.


Whilst traveling along the Oodnadatta track through mile after mile of gibber plain you will every so often come upon one of these concrete blocks anywhere from 100 mtrs to somewhere in the distance, off the roadside.



I spotted a car beside one of them so decided to go find out what they are all about. Turns out it was a lovely young lady from the Department of Mines and Energy who didn’t want me to use her real name, so I’ll just refer to her as Sue.


She informed me that the structures have gauges inside linked to pipework going down to the ArtesianBasin, this allows them to observe the pressure and temperature of the water therefore controlling the release of it to the stock and farming sector.


A little later on I came upon this, gotta give someone 10 outa 10 for ingenuity and style.



About 50 or so km south of William Ck I followed a track in off the main road just because it looked interesting, I stumbled on another old siding, this one was in remarkably good condition compared to the others.


100 mtrs south was the tank and pipe in equally good condition.


Just before William Ck is the turn off to Halligans bay and ABC bay on Lake Eyre, this is where everyone was saying the water can can be seen that is in the lake at the time due to the excessive rains of the north recently.
Now I realize that a bit of water in a lake isn’t such a big deal to you overseas folks, but you gotta remember that Lake Eyre only ever has water in it 2 or 3 times in a lifetime, and is only ever full once a century, it is the thirteenth biggest and saltiest lake in the world, the surface of the lake covers 9300 square kms and lies on the southwestern corner of the Great Artesian Basin.
So to us Aussies it’s quite a big deal to actually see it when there is water in it.
So I made the 60 km trek out to HalligansBay.


To have a look at something I may never again see in my lifetime.


You can walk out to the water, and keep walking if you don’t mind getting your feet wet, guy I was talking to walked 200 metres out and was still only ankle deep in water.


The WilliamCreek pub is your typical Australian outback pub


Where each pub has it’s own unique way to raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctor service, who’s services has been experienced by quite a few ADV riders I might add, at the William ck you donate $10 and then have the right to nail your cap (or any other piece of clothing, including underwear) to the roof, wall or wherever you can find an opening.




While I was there a few horse riders turned up, apparently they were doing a small cattle drive as a rehearsal for a larger one being done next year and to be shown as a documentary on TV.
As beautiful animal as a horse is, I think I’ll stick to the steel version.



30 km out of William Ck I came across these 2 fellas riding push bikes, Ung and Che were from Brisbane but had started riding in Melbourne (as they had ridden from Bris to Melb a couple of years earlier) across the Flinders Ranges up the Oodnadatta track and were headed to Alice Springs via Coober Pedy.


They could cover about 100 km per day, as was proven when a day and a half later they pulled into the same caravan park I was in at Coober Pedy.
Definitely not my preferred mode of transport.


They still had another 150 km of this to go.


After trying out the alternative transport on offer I decided to stick to the KTM.



Just east of Coober Pedy there is what is refered to as ‘The Moon Plain”, this has to be THE most uninhabitable wasteland in the country ! You have to imagine this exact view 360 deg for 70 km.


Coober Pedy is the largest opal mining area in the world. The temperature here can often get well into the 50’s C (that’s over 120 F), therefore the locals discovered that it was much cooler living underground and converted their mines, which in a lot of cases are dug into the side of hills, into living quarters, the temperature here was much more constant, cool in summer and warm in winter.
This unique style of living has now developed into a massive tourist attraction with underground motels, restaurants, churchs and just about anything else you can think of.
I was recommended a caravan park at Coober Pedy by the name of “Riba’s”, on my left just before town so decided to check it out.
This place was pretty cool, it has underground camping, the only downside is you have to leave your vehicle up top and carry your swag down into the underground camping area.




Once you are underground you have the choice of bays you can either set up your tent if you want some privacy, you can see the edge of a tent in one of the bays on the left here,


Or like me, just roll your bedding out on the ground.


I had camped for quite a few days prior to here so really had an appetite for a hamburger and a beer. By the time I showered and got everything sorted out it was already dark, jumped on the bike and turned headlight on and. . . . nothing, shit !! No headlight or tail light, at least the brake light worked, that was a start. Since I was all clean I didn’t really feel like stuffing around with the torch to try and figure out the problem, I really wanted that burger and beer, I could taste it already !
It was a 6 km ride into town so too far to walk, I had to find a solution, Ok, this is Coober Pedy after all, so I can get away with no tail light, all I needed was a head light, Got it ! Strap my head torch to the screen turn it on and ride into town to my waiting beer and burger.


I had no idea of the layout of the place in comparison to where I was so just followed the road out onto another bigger road (which I later found out was the stuart hwy, a major national hwy) for about 4 km and then left towards Coober Pedy. As I came into town I saw the backend of a police vehicle parked in front of a pub so decided it best to pull into the parking bay 3 bays before the police car, rather than ride passed them, and walk the remainder of the way into town to my planned place of dinner.
That beer and burger tasted REAL good !

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Pezza screwed with this post 06-16-2009 at 07:31 AM
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:15 PM   #33
c5babe
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Please, sir, I want MORE!!! This is really facinating to me, so keep it comming.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:00 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c5babe
Please, sir, I want MORE!!! This is really facinating to me, so keep it comming.
Hi c5, I don't have any porridge but I do have some more RR for you.
Thanks for the positive comments.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:02 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeckyll
Great RR!
Appreciate the comments Jekyll, it's hard to keep a desert ride interesting sometimes due to the vast distances of nothingness.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:48 PM   #36
MymoJoe
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great RR

love the RR and the pics. I always get itchy for a ride out west when I read these reports.

Joe
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:41 PM   #37
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Day 8

A quick tour around the caravan park in the morning, these powered sites would be handy in the summer.


The view from on top of the mound that I was camping underneath.




Spent the day doing laundry, catching up on email and internet and shopping to replenish food supply.
Whilst giving the bike a good check over for loose and broken bits I found this.


It’s only the support for the subframe but figured it was a good idea to get it repaired anyway. I got hold of the only guy in town that does mig welding and found out he is down in Adelaide and won’t be back till tomorrow, “No problem” I thought, “another night at ‘John’s Pizza Bar’ won’t do me any harm” which just happens to be licenced I might add.
So the next day was spent doing a self ride tour around Coober Pedy.








The Coober Pedy drive- in.


Each one of these small mounds has a mine shaft beside it.


Underground living.




The second entrance to my underground camp site.


Dave, the welder, arrived in town at 5.30 pm and went straight to the shed, he didn’t even go home first. I was waiting there with the bike and ready to go.


He got straight into it and an hour later it was better than new


Dave Young is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he will bend over backwards to help, he had just returned from 3 days doing a 2500 km trip to Adelaide and had been in contact with me a couple of times during the last couple of days, knowing I was wanting to leave the next day he didn’t even go home first, instead going straight to his workshop to open it and fix my bike at 5.30 pm. And then only charge me $40, I handed him a 50 and told him to go and have a beer on me.
So if anyone ever needs any mechanical work done in Coober Pedy, Dave Young is your man at Dusty’s Mechanical Services on 17 mile road.


A quick stop into John’s Pizza Bar on the way back and pack up ready to roll the following day.

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Old 06-17-2009, 03:05 AM   #38
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Enjoying every bit of this Pez, great stuff mate
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:42 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evildingo
Paint color is a bit different Pez ...


lol
Yeah mate, the paint booth wasn't at quite the right temperature so the colour turned out a little different.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:42 PM   #40
rowdy_im
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Great stuff

sooooo keen to get back out that way

great bike

we have similar setup

how much does your aluminium tank hold and where did ya get it...

any other bike troubles?

cheers Rowdy
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:39 PM   #41
overlandr
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Great RR Pezza, keep those interesting outback art pix coming!
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Old 06-20-2009, 04:05 PM   #42
timbo43
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Excellent RR Pezza

My 950 is looking over my shoulder saying Lets GO
Cheers
Tim
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Old 06-20-2009, 05:20 PM   #43
Pezza OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowdy_im
Great stuff

sooooo keen to get back out that way

great bike

we have similar setup

how much does your aluminium tank hold and where did ya get it...

any other bike troubles?

cheers Rowdy
Hi Rowdy,

Nice bike mate, The box on the right is used for tools and a few spares, the left holds 2 ltrs of water. It was made by a bloke in Toowoomba for his own 640 adv but the right hand box turned out to be a tad too high so I bought it for the 625. KTMmatt on this site sells them also.

Cheers
Pezza
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Old 06-20-2009, 05:34 PM   #44
poppy
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Hi Perry, great report and pics mate. Some of that art work on the Oodnadatta track is awesome isnt it and not what you would expect to find on the side of the road.

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Old 06-20-2009, 06:04 PM   #45
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Day 10

20 km along the Oodnadatta track I turned into the road that lead me to ‘The Breakaways’. These coloured rock formations and hills are fascinating and quite picturesque.






On the way back out I came up to a rise that had what looked to be a whole lot of glass fragments reflecting the sun,


thinking there is no way that there can be that much glass out here I was interested to know what was creating this reflection, turns out the whole hill is covered in quartz fragments.


I wasn’t even going to attempt to test drive a car who's previous owner went under the name of “Patsy” !


This is a cattle property ??


Must have cattle that have learned to survive on rocks !
I eventually came upon “The Painted Desert”, this place is more well known than the brekaways, which I reckon are better.










A quick refuel at the “Pink Roadhouse” Oodnadatta, personal opinion, “Whatta dump” !


On towards Pedirka ruins.










Notice how you don’t see my helmet hanging on the bar like normal ?


Well that’s because it’s still on my head while I am walking around taking pics, with the visor closed mind you !
“Why” you ask ?
The bloody flies out here are horrendous !
There is literally a swarm of the things crawling into your eyes, ears and nose, don’t breathe in to quickly or you’re guaranteed to swallow a couple !
Back into the desert enroute to Dalhousie ruins.


Entering the Simpson desert regional reserve


Lucky the track doesn’t require too much attention otherwise I would’ve missed all the great scenery.


The Dalhousie station was first settled in 1873, just after the mound springs were discovered, once this rich source of water was discovered in this dry arid country it didn’t take long for the early Europeans to settle out here.






Within this dense palm forest you can still find water.




This pic shows the surrounding desert country where this little oasis is situated.


The road towards Dealhousie hot springs deteriorated a bit and turned a little rocky,


Enough to slow down to about 40- 50 kph in a lot of places to reduce the risk of damage to the front tube.




Camp was made at the Dalhousie Bore Springs that night along with another bath in the springs.
I must've spent too long in the the springs and waterlogged my brain cause I forgot to take some pics of the waterhole, so these next couple are ones that Ozmick was kind enough to lend me from one of his excursions out there. Thanks Mick.


As you can see, unlike the other bore baths till now, this one is more like a dam than a bath, and yes the whole thing is about 30 deg c.
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