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Old 10-24-2010, 01:55 PM   #16
Nathan OP
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22/10/2010, Mungo National Park

My accommodation in Mildura. A little old lady lived in the flat in the holiday park full time. At least she had lots of people to talk to.




I spent most of the morning in Mildura. I bought some mesh gloves to help with the heat and got a nice Pirrelli MT21 front tyre to replace the Deathwing. Then I hit the road towards Munga National Park. I found NordieBoy's car on the side of the road and added a couple more bullet holes to it.



And a few more. Okay, I'm done now.


I stopped in at some fancy lodge on the way. The owners were French (I will hold that against them ) and said that a bunch of bikes had been past a few days ago. It must have been the Aussie hooligan contingent of ADVRider. I missed them due to being sick.

Mungo National Park is freaking awesome!






I did the 50km-ish loop around the park. It was one-way and had these things called "corners." It took me a while to figure it out, but when the road goes all funny like that, you have to lean the bike over. Sliding and falling off are optional.



I met an Aussie couple staying in the park for a few days and had a chat with them. Lovely people and I got lots of useful advice like "Don't do 130kph over cattle stops."

After Mungo, I headed towards the bright lights of Ivanhoe. I was getting the hang of the dirt roads and the new tyre was a huge improvement. Add in a tail wind, and I was flying along (at responsible speeds with an adult accompanying me at all times).






It was still stupidly hot.




Elena decided to have rest in the shade of the only big tree for miles and miles. While I was lolligagging around a couple of locals turned up in a 4WD. They stopped to check that I was okay. We talked DRs (as you do) and they told me about Asian tourists that ride 125cc bikes and die from lack of water.






I arrived at Ivanhoe, made a beeline straight to the RSL where I became honorary (ok, temporary) member and had a couple of beers and some food. The lady at the bar said I could camp at the abandoned holiday park.


Nathan screwed with this post 10-31-2010 at 06:59 PM
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Old 10-24-2010, 02:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan
There was a lot of water in the airbox when I pulled it open the next day. I'm in Broken Hill right now, so I'll get her serviced and check the hose locations.
"T" the lines with one end going down and the other up into the airbox.
If one end gets blocked by water it can breath through t'other.


My car had fatter tyres and was bulletproof
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:15 AM   #18
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Gidday Nath!!!!!


thanks for the link to this!!!!!


awsome!


subscribed right now!

Keep it coming
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Old 10-25-2010, 07:55 PM   #19
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Hey Shaggie! New update coming while I eat my BLT.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:19 PM   #20
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23/10/2010, Cobb Highway and White Cliffs

As you can see, Ivanhoe is a bustling metropolis. I would call it the Town of the Future, but Rolleston in New Zealand has already taken that title.




I headed north to Wilcannia on the Cobb Highway. This guy was fixing the road.




He had the essential supplies on his 4WD: a beer keg. Aussies...




I had a sweet tail wind and made really good time to Wilcannia. The GPS said I had an average speed of 102kph. Here's a picture of some horses.




And some flower things.




After reaching Wilcannia, I headed to White Cliffs, an opal mining town that is 50% tourist trap, 50% people with shot guns wanting to me to get off their land, dagnabit, and 50% surface of the moon. It's gets a -50% for being so damn hot, making 100% total. Some guy at the underground hotel (in the touristy 50%) said it was a cold day. Screw him; he should try sitting in the sun in motorcycle gear.




The place was riddled with holes. No fences around them, and I have no idea how deep. I didn't want to get too close to this one because of the sloping ground, but I couldn't see the bottom.




There were trucks like this all over the place. What do they?




They have a solar farm there, which I think is really neat.




After White Cliffs I decided to take the back way to Wilcannia. You might remember this from the first post.




After scaring myself silly, I got back to White Cliffs, had a few beers, and threw some coins in the umbrella hanging upside-down from the ceiling for the Flying Doctors. You never know, I might need them some day.

Nathan screwed with this post 10-31-2010 at 07:00 PM
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Hey Shaggie! New update coming while I eat my BLT.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:46 PM   #22
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24/10/2010, Broken Hill

This is what Elena's airbox looked like the next morning. Poor wee thing.




More galvanting was out, so I slabbed it to Broken Hill to get Elena fixed up. I met this guy at a rest stop. He had blown a bunch of tyres because one of the axles on his trailer was bent and loading the inside tyre too much. He said his truck got 1 litre/km when driving into a head wind, and it cost him over a $1000 every time he refuelled. I didn't feel so bad about paying $30 for Elena's go-juice in Wilcannia.




This what you need for real mining. Those White Cliffs guys just can't compete.




I met this lovely German couple at the motor camp. Andre doesn't actually need to pee, though it does look like it in the photo. As you can see, they were pretty loaded up. Andre was even carrying a didgeridoo he had made.


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Old 10-25-2010, 08:49 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggie
Two updates for the price of one BLT, which I paid for anyway. Tough crowd around here.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:55 PM   #24
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Enjoying the report Nathan

Thanks for sharing the RR Nathan.
+1 on Mungo, very interesting place.
The Mungo woolshed and (now derelict) timber lined in ground water tank next to it were very interesting.
Showers at the office used more water than I've experienced anywhere else in my travels, a bit odd given the general lack of rain?

Wilcannia, last time I was up there they had 51C in the shade just before lunch, HOT barely desribes the place.

I was on a fishing trip on the Darling near Menindee a couple of years back and have been keen to go back and ride the tracks adjacent to the river.
We motored up stream and found a number of very interesting homestead relics, only wish for the time to head off as you have.

Are you able to provide info re preparation, spares, GPS type. maps, tracks, routes etc?

Am interested to know how much fuel you get through and gearing.

Ride safely,
Regards,
JM

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Old 10-26-2010, 05:33 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan
Two updates for the price of one BLT, which I paid for anyway. Tough crowd around here.











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Old 10-28-2010, 12:14 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm-2008
Are you able to provide info re preparation, spares, GPS type. maps, tracks, routes etc?

Am interested to know how much fuel you get through and gearing.

Ride safely,
Regards,
JM
I was planning to weave some of that info into the ride report.

As for fuel, not really sure. I don't tend to fill the tank right up unless I'm really in the boonies, so I'm always filling it different amounts. What has become apparent so far is that I don't have enough range for the really remote stuff. I don't think I would get much more than 600km from a full tank on dirt roads.

Gearing is 14/42, so one tooth less than stock on the front. I will probably switch to 15/45 when I get a new chain. I found it to be about right. Elena's happy spot is a barely-legal 107kph. She'll do that all day. I'm sure that will drop when the rear tyre wears more though.
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:14 AM   #27
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25/10/2010, Silverton

The motorcycle shop couldn't service Elena until 1pm, so I had the morning to look around Broken Hill. I pulled some things I wasn't supposed to, blamed it on NordieBoy.




I like Broken Hill. It's big on mining, and the supply hub for a huge part of the Outback. As a result, the town feels purposeful and tourism is just a side thing. There is some touristy stuff to be had though:








I feel the same way about Elena.




1pm rolled around and Matt was lovely enough to let me go out back and "help" him. He doesn't look that blank most of the time. (I gotta pick my portrait moments better. ) The good news is that Elena had no water in her oil. What a trouper.




I also got smart and bought one of these. It cost so much, I'd better do something stupid so I get a chance to use it.




Once Elena's service was all done and I'd recovered from the cost of it (Don't distract your mechanic with inane babbling. Lesson learned. ), Elena and I headed out to Silverton.

Here's Mad Max's car.




Here are two sad donkeys. Why are donkeys always sad? Do they look at thoroughbreds and feel inferior? Someone needs to sit them down and explain to them that they're all just Equidaes standing in front of an adventure rider and his motorcycle asking for a carrot.




Not gonna lie, Silverton sucked. But the road past Silverton is epic. Do this road!






Whaddya mean my legs are too long?






It started getting dark, and the ground on the side of the road was rocky, so I just pitched my tent on the road.


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Old 10-28-2010, 04:10 AM   #28
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26/10/2010, Cameron Corner

I woke up super early. This early:




Didn't get run over. Woot!




Purty morning light.






Aussie's haven't quite figured out the concept behind gates.




I continued on the road past Silverton and eventually came upon this abandoned place. What sort of monster rips the blades off a windmill?




I ended up on a 4WD track. Here is the result of Elena taking an "alternative line" through a straight section.




Closest I've come to falling off so far. Elena was well crossed up--and very muddy now.




There was the odd rough bit.




And just as I was getting worried that I was totally off course, I popped off the 4WD track into a station homestead. This dog used the big plastic tank as his kennel. Lucky mutt! He looks kinda crazy, but really he was just your usual happy, excited dog. (More portrait fail. )




The owner/manager came out of the house dressed in jacket. He complained about the cold which cracked me up because I had been sweating my ass off all morning. He then got onto every Aussie's favourite topic: how hot it gets in summer. 52 degrees Celsius, he reckoned. For you Yanks, that's, um, hot as hell.

Anyway, Super Aussie Fulla (as I'm now calling him) used a gyrocopter to herd his stock, used to run a 25,000 square kilometre station somewhere or other, and was busy fixing the motor in his 4WD. He also gave me directions and was the cousin to Matt the mechanic in Broken Hill. Australia might be fucking huge, but it's still in a small world.

Anyway, if we ever need to take this guy down, cold weather is his kryptonite.

I finally got back on the main road and headed to the Packsaddle Roadhouse for breakfast.




My first food shot. I always forget to take my camera inside when I get food.




On to Tibooburra.




Allah, God, Flying Spaghetti Monster, Deity of Your Choice really half-arsed some parts of Aussie. This bit can't be finished, there's nothing in it!




On the way to Cameron Corner tragedy struck... of the bungie cord kind.






My shoe was lost to the vastness of the Australian Outback. Let me know if you find it.

For the ignorant plebs among us, Cameron corner is the intersection of Queensland, NSW, and South Australia.




Here's the Cameron Corner Pub.




Here's the Cameron Corner Pub's goat and dog. The dog was pretty good at catching sticks out of the air, and I like his bandana.






A lovely bunch of Aussies in Australia from Australia invited me to have yabbies for dinner. I had no idea what a yabby was. Turns out it's a funny coloured freshwater crayfish. They showed me how to eat them (I'm not exactly high society material, okay ) and then I spent the evening getting covered in yabby juice everytime I tried to crack a claw.


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Old 10-28-2010, 09:26 AM   #29
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nice work there Nath!


and some super nice pics!
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:16 PM   #30
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26/10/2010, Innamincka

Last night, Sandy--who runs the Corner Store/Pub--warned me that a lot of rain was coming on Thursday and Friday, two days from now. Rain means closed dirt roads, so my plan of heading down to Lyndhurst and riding the Oodnadatta Track north was busted.

I didn't have a whole lot of options on where to head, so I just kept going west to the Strzelecki Track. I found an old bus.






The road from Cameron Corner to Strzelecki Track is great, with lots of crests over dunes and even some cornery parts.




This is supposed to be desert, but it's been such a wet year, you'd never guess from looking at it.




There were flowers everywhere.






I reached the Strzelecki Track and decided to turn north on the spur of the moment. The wind was coming from the south and I'll take a tail wind over a head wind any day.

Last night, I had asked my new yabby-munching friends about the pink and grey birds with a deathwish.

"Oh, they're Gallahs, but don't worry, you won't hit them!"

So what happens. I was riding along at about 95kph, when a flock of Gallahs launches into the air from a tree they were roosting on. They head directly towards the road at adventure rider height. I had a split second to brake, but it didn't matter. The birds sliced past, barely missing me. Unfortunately, one crunched into Elena's left handguard.

I slowed and turned around to "render assistance." All the other Gallahs had landed on the road near their fallen buddy; they flew off as I approached revealing one Gallah flopping around on the road in pain. I assessed the situation for a moment, realized there was nothing I could do for the bird, so I stomped on its head to kill it quickly.

Unfortunately, the road was soft and Gallahs have remarkably hard heads. The bird thrashed around on the ground even more violently. I was feeling rather sick to my stomach. I'm not some wuss that doesn't know where meat comes from, and I've killed plenty of animals, but I still don't like killing animals and this situation wasn't exactly humane.

I walked to my bike trying to think of a better implement to use, but other than tyre levers, I didn't really have anything. The Gallah was trashing around even more violently now. I walked back to it, pinned it down with my right foot and stomped as hard as I could with my left.

The bird was a complete mess. It gave a few thrashes then rolled onto its back. One of its eyes had come out of its socket. Finally, the bird stiffened, then relaxed and went still.

Here's a picture.




I remounted Elena and continued north towards Innamincka. 90km before Innamincka is Moomba gas field. There were lots of trucks on the road.






While I was stopped taking those photos, a fireman from Moomba stopped to see if I was all right. I told him about the Gallah, half expecting some sort of "You did what?!" response, but he just said "Join the club," and explained to me that Gallahs don't handle trauma well and die even if you try to nurse them back to health.

The road to Innamincka from Moomba was awful--lots of trucks and dust.

Here's Innamincka. The man in the store reckoned it got to 62 degrees Celsius there, but he must have been bullshitting. I filled up with super-expensive petrol and then chickened out of trying to get to Birdsville. A quick calculation of the distances put it at over 600km with no fuel available on the route.

With limited options on where to go, and impending rain complicating things more, I decided to head to the Noocundra Pub in Queensland.










I arrived at Noccundra tired and with a bad case of monkey butt. I bought a beer at the pub and when I went to pay for it, my wallet was missing.

While I was freaking out about my wallet, the bar lady went and got some guy who demanded to know how I was going to pay for the beer. I told him I had bigger problems to think about. He looked disgusted and walked outside.

I always put my wallet in my left jacket pocket, but I decided to check everywhere else. Turns out, I had had a massive brain fart and put it in my bag. Man, was I relieved. I paid for my beer and talked to a guy whose skin was burnt to a coppery leather. He had helped cut the QAA line through the Simpson Desert when he was younger. Respect!

He told me had moved to the Outback from New Zealand 26 years ago. I said, "So you fell in love with the place and decided to stay?"

He looked startled, as if he'd never thought of it that way, then said, "I guess I did."

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