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Old 07-18-2013, 05:51 AM   #31
AngryAndo OP
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OK I'm back, we have hardly spent a night with phone service since my last post so I have a bit of catching up.

First here are a few more photos from our trip to Karumba.

David raising a lot of dust just past Dunbar station

I also have some video to download but have to get home for that.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:53 AM   #32
Not the Messiah
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Hi GA,

Figured you were out of range. Glad to hear you're still going.

BL
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:58 AM   #33
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Day 10: fishing day at Karumba then bike maintenance.

No photos of the fishing and no fish!!!


Oil changes all round?
We shipped rear tyres to Chillagoe but it turned out to be a bit early for tyre changes, the guys now have over 4000 km on the bike and the tyres are showing a bit of wear but not ready for a change.
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:30 PM   #34
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Day 11. Karumba to Adel's Grove

After the rest day I think the guys were pleased to be on the bikes again. We headed to Normanton then followed the Savannah Way to Burketown before turning towards Adel's Grove next to Lawn Hill NP


Crossing Little Bynoe River on Savannah Way between Normanton and Burketown




Leichardt Falls, not much water but I suspect it would be quite spectacular in the wet season.

We stopped in Burketown for lunch, the old pub was burnt down about 18 months ago and the new one looks like being finished fairly soon.

Finally arrived at Adel's Grove mid afternoon after several long sections of road works.


We saw plenty of these, some with four trailers.


I got a puncture as we drove in to Adel's Grove, thanks to the guys for changing it for me.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:15 AM   #35
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Adels Grove is quite a tropical paradise and a good spot for another rest day for a bit more maintenance. The DR's rear tyres were just about finished. 4500 km on a Dunlop 606 was better than we had expected.





The rest day gave the guys time to relax and also change tyres and air cleaners.


Simon also changed a tyre, the front tyre. The KTM 990 seems to be a bit harsher on the front, his rear a Dunlop Rally Raid was still going strong and seems to be a great lasting tyre for the big bike.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:19 PM   #36
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I've just worked out how to add Videos so these may be out of sequence a bit.



Simon on the road just out of Dunbar
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:30 PM   #37
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Day 13 Adels Grove to south of Dajara

After another rest day we headed south through Riversleigh. The section through Riversleigh and on to the Gregory Downs-Camooweal Rd was a great road for riding and also had several good camping spots along the way.

There were also a couple of very slippery floodway crossings.
Tim hit the front brake on one and hit the deck so quick I missed it on my video.
It was almost impossible to stand up let alone pick up a fully loaded bike.


Tim picking up his bike





David crossing the same floodway

Once we got to Gregory Downs-Camooweal Rd we headed south then turned left onto Yelvercroft rd which was bitumen.
from here the rest of the day was on sealed roads into Mt Isa.

We stopped in Mt Isa to get my puncture repaired and restock before heading south towards Boulia. This road was also bitumen but quite narrow.
We found a good camp site for the night about 40km south of Dajarra.


Leaving Mt Isa


A good camp site about 40km south of Dajarra.
We enjoyed Sausages, baked spuds and vegies all cooked over and in the fire.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:20 AM   #38
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Day 14 South of Dajara to Birdsville

The next morning we headed off early towards Boulia. We were surprised to find Boulia was quite a large town with fuel and a fully equipped supermarket even if it did have a dog wandering around inside.

After refuelling we headed further south to Bedourie where we refuelled and had lunch.
We then headed out to the local race course where the annual Camel races were under way.





The road had been sealed all the way to here but once we left Bedourie there were a few sections of unsealed road.


This is one of the sealed sections.

Eventually we arrived in Birdsville, the boys had headed straight to the pub (as you would)


We booked into the caravan park



Then headed to the pub for dinner.

Day 15 Big Red Day

Today was set aside for a trip out to Big Red for a bit of a play.

The guys had a great time.


Tim taking the hard line up Little Red



Simon gets the 990 up Big Red



then celebrates.


This was the result on his first attempt


Looking along the top of Big Red


David gets good air at the top.


Looking West across the Simpson towards Mt Dare


David and Tim playing on Big Red
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:20 AM   #39
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Day 16 Birdsville to Innaminka

Yesterday was the last planned rest day for the trip, from today it will be riding every day until we get home.

We departed Birdsville fairly early as we have a long (slow) trip to Innaminka via Walkers Crossing but not before we get the mandatory photo in front of the Birdsville Pub.



I have been to Birdsville several times over the last 14 years and Walkers crossing track has been closed on every occasion.
This year has been so dry that Walkers Crossing is open.
The Inside track and Warburton crossing are also open which is not always the case.

Time and daylight restrictions meant we were not able to take the inside track so it was down the Birdsville track to the beginning of Walkers Crossing track.
Whilst there is no sign pointing to Innaminka right on the side of the track there is a sign just off to the left indicating the start of the track.


This sign is just off the side of the Birdsville Track


Here are the gps coordinates at this corner.

Walkers Crossing track has just about every condition you can encounter in the outback all in one track.
We started out with a fairly basic track across bare country.


Rain over night and over the last week made it wet and slippery.


We then moved into sand dune country


And then Tim got a puncture.

We had encountered plenty of wild life on this trip (Starting with my Kangaroo)
David tried to save this lizard by moving it off the road



But he was having no part of it.


The track then turned to a white sand with plenty of water.


Later in the day we got into the gas fields area where we followed some mining roads interspersed with the original track.


We arrived in Innaminka and refuelled (Petrol 202.5, Diesel 205.00) the most expensive for the trip.


Before setting up camp in the town common then headed to the pub for dinner

The bar in the pub is pretty much like many other outback pubs,
the dining room is nothing like it with much more up market meals and décor.
Good food but a bit pricey.
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Old 07-23-2013, 03:01 AM   #40
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Day 17. Innaminka to Brachina Gorge in the Flinders Ranges

Today was to be quite a long day so we had fuelled up last night so we didn't have to wait the shop to open.
The pitfall of this was it was quite cool as we headed further south. It was hard to imagine we had been wearing shorts and tee shirts just a few days ago.

We chose to take the "Old Strzelecki Track" down to Merty Merty.
The first half of this was a good ride until we crossed the Strzelecki Tk, after that the road condition improved.


Along the way the gas wells we had been passing since yesterday gave way to oil wells.


The temperature of the oil coming out of the ground was quite warm and gave the guys a chance to warm their hands.


At Merty Merty we turned west and headed out to join the Strzelecki Track again.
Along this section we stopped for breakfast on the side of the road.

Once on the Strzelecki track we headed south again and turned left at Mount Hopeless making our way to Balcanoona.
This is another track with many variations along the way.


Tim passing through the gate at the beginning of this road


David showing his riding skills

We continued on to Blinman and then into the Flinders Ranges where we camped in Brachina Gorge at East Brachina camping ground.
Its an awesome place where I have camped several times before.
There are several individual camp sites for both 2WD & 4WD vehicles (and ADV bikes) and a couple of drop toilets as well.




The creek at the camp ground was starting to flow after recent rain ensuring 2WD's cannot get into the 4WD camp sites.

This was a long day and fuel was tight. Without the 4WD we would have been required to go into Arkaroola to refuel adding an extra 64 km to the day.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:22 AM   #41
Not the Messiah
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Nice work GA.
Hey, we havn't done the "one handed typing" jokes yet. Nice white cast showing there in one or two photo's.
SWMBO says hello to Mrs Angry.

Keep the reports coming.

Cheers
BL
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:27 AM   #42
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Thanks Brian,
I went back to Bendigo hospital yesterday for a check up and now I have a full cast in Blue.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:40 AM   #43
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Day 18: Brachina to Danggali Conservation Park

Its getting close to the end and also getting colder.


David packed up and ready to leave

We rode through Bunyeroo Valley another awesome part of the Flinders Ranges. We stopped at Razorback lookout, I don't think I have ever seen a RR about the Flinders that doesn't have a photo taken here.












More of Bunyeroo Valley

We rode in to Wilpena and had phone reception for the first time since Birdsville. Texts flowed in, its good to be out of contact for a few days!!!

From Wilpena it was in to Hawker for more food etc.
Two of our spot trackers had flat batteries, they require AAA Lithium and we had been trying to buy some since Birdsville without success. No luck in Hawker either.

we then went back towards Wilpena and turned off towards Warcowie, Holowiliena,Old Baratta and Waukaringa before arriving at Yunta.

This route again had massive variations in terrain and was another great ride.





From this


To this


and this






And finally this

No Lithium batteries at Yunta.

Lunch at Yunta then further south to Lilydale station then east past Quandong Vale before turning south into Danggali Conservation Park.
Most of these roads are sign posted to Renmark.





The road to Lilydale



It was a good road with sudden pools of water


Our last night camping







As soon as we entered Danggali we camped at a nice clearing.


For most of the trip we all took photos of sunrises and sunsets. This is one of the best.
Very artistic Tim

Only a couple of days to go. I hope to finish the RR tomorrow
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:50 AM   #44
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Day 19: Danggali to Swan Hill

For only the second time on this trip, we had a bit of rain overnight.


It didn't seem to be a lot but it turned the ground into a slippery slime that was difficult to walk on without slipping.

We set off heading south through Danggali CP on very wet roads.


It turned out it was also difficult to ride on.
Luckily it was a soft landing eh Simon.



Here is a tip for new adventure riders!
When you are loading up the bike make sure you consider how you are going to pick it up if it falls over.

Fortunately we had Yvonne to help us out!!


Have a look at this video and you can see how soft and slippery it was.


After an hour and a half we made it to the bottom end of the park.
In normal conditions I estimate it should have taken no more than 30 minutes.


Still heading south we finally made it to the main road to Renmark.

Rather than turning left or right we veered to the left on what I think was Old Wentworth rd until we came to this sign.

Now I believe I have read about this road closure in other Ride Reports.
This road was very wet and slippery with lots of bypass sections going around large puddles. Because of this we didn't really want to turn back.

Rather than just ride through, Simon called the number on the sign and explained that we were a group of motorcycles riding alone (almost true) and had limited fuel so couldn't turn back without risking running out of fuel. The person on the other end gave him permission to pass through so long as he didn't stop and camp on the property.

I don't have any photos of the next section but road conditions varied dramatically from quite good to almost impassible.
We eventually got to Lake Victoria where the road turned to bitumen for a short while and then got even worse.


David on the dam wall of Lake Victoria.


Lake Victoria has strong links to the Indigenous people of the region, there is quite a lot of information about it right there on the dam wall.
As an observation those are the biggest sand bags I have ever seen.

After Lake Victoria we hit a recently rebuilt dirt road that really should have been closed when it started to rain.
The handful of vehicles that had gone through before us had rendered the road virtually impassable for 4WD,s and difficult at best for large adventure bikes.
We certainly didn't help the situation.

Eventually we made it to Wentworth where I tried again for Lithium batteries. The local IGA had only 2 when we needed 3 for each unit.

Lunch at a local bakery where the guys sat outside in the cold because they were too muddy to sit inside.
We then slabbed it to Mildura where I was finally able to get lithium batteries for our spot trackers.
The bikes did a bit of dirt on the way to Swan Hill while we stuck to the bitumen. We all arrived at around 5:30 and booked into a cabin for our last night together.
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:06 AM   #45
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Day 20: Swan Hill to Ferntree Gully

We started the day with a plan to ride the first days route backwards as much of it was missed after my crash.

We had ridden most of this section before when we did a test ride earlier in the year and knew much of it was sandy roads.



Simon approaching a corner not far from Swan Hill


David


Tim

Soon after this the road turned to mud that worse than yesterday. It was just as slippery but it also stuck to everything as well.

After trying to keep going for a while we finally decided to get back to the bitumen and head for home.

But not before Simon managed to snap off his front mudguard because of the mud build up.


Removing the broken mud guard form the 990


Guard removed


Tims bike, check out the tyres




David trying to clear his tyres

Once back on the bitumen it was all about digging the mud out of everywhere we could








From here it was a case of slabbing it all the way home. We stopped in Heathcote for lunch and gave the bikes and Troupie a preliminary clean at the BP servo .
Then on again in pouring rain all the way home.


4 started, 3 finished

While I enjoyed my trip in the 4WD it certainly wasn't my preference.
Thanks to my wife Yvonne for dropping everything to come on a 3 week holiday with me.


And this is where we went.

A few details you may be interested in and a few rules for future trips.

Tyres: The DR's ran Dunlop 606 front and rear. The front tyres did the entire 7500 km no worries, the rears were changed at 4500 km and probably needed to at that stage.
The 990 KTM ran Dunlop Rally Raids front and rear from the start.
The front didn't seem to hold up too well and I took a 606 front with me in the 4WD after Simon called me 3 days in. He changed it after 4500km however the 606 looked just as worn at the end of the ride as those on the DR's that had done the full 7500km. I suspect the bigger bike just puts a lot more pressure on the front tyre.
The rear Rally Raid on the 990 lasted better than any other tyre. Simon changed it at around 5500 km in Birdsville and it probably still had another thousand left on it.
The down side is they are not real good in the muddy conditions we encountered on the last two days.

Planning: Next trip I will start with a basic plan of where I want to go but no bookings that mean I have to be in a particular place on a set date.

Because we were booked into a fishing trip at Karumba there was always pressure on the guys in the first week to keep to the schedule. So much so that they even changed the route on day 3 or 4 to try and catch up.

Having said that we also had cabin accommodation booked in Karumba. We couldn't get any tent sites and the entire region was booked out. Maybe next time we just give the fishing trip a miss, there wasn't any fish anyway.

Spot Trackers:
The Spot Trackers worked very well and many family members and our friends followed us throughout the trip.

Spot Batteries. Our spot trackers use AAA lithium batteries which are not cheap and as we found out hard to get in remote places.
The findmespot web site warns about using other battery types.
Although I started with a spare set I ended up giving them away and got caught out with no tracker for 4 days.
RULE #1 Everyone must carry a spare set of lithium batteries.
As an observation. I tried a set of Varta lithium from Bunnings and they dont seem to last as long as the Eveready recommended by Spot.

Tent v Swag

Simon and David chose to sleep in swags, Tim and I went the small hike tent way.
Although there are several arguments in favour of each option which I won't bother going into now.
I now believe the swag is better so long as you have a tarp to put up and keep your gear out of the weather when it rains.

Fuel:
All the DR's have 20 litre Acerbis tanks which actually hold around 21 litres. We all had 12 litre fuel bladders from Liquid Containment and that would have been enough to cover each leg of the trip.
Because of the 4WD carrying extra fuel when required, we were able to avoid two sections where we had planned to go off the course to get fuel.

Simon on the 990 has the standard tanks on it and also carried a 12 litre bladder.

Even though Tim and I had previously ridden to Birdsville for the Tug Boat Bill memorial with similar loads on, Tim and David were not getting as good fuel economy on this trip. Not sure why but suspect it was undisciplined throttle control!!
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