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Old 08-28-2014, 12:24 AM   #1
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Haddons Corner Australia

The Big Trip 2014-Green Triangle ADV riders

It is a sad fact of life that most of us dream more about riding than actually doing it. Busy lives leave little time for male bonding time, but this year when Slowpoak had declared that we were going one corner higher than last year’s Cameron’s Corner trip, we all began organizing rosters and holidays. Haddon’s Corner here we come. Anything to escape the dull drizzly three months of winter in S.W. Victoria!
The weeks of bike preparation, packing endless times and considering whether or not to take certain items were over. The day had arrived! I was up, ready and on the road by 6-30 a.m. heading north. Two rendezvous later and we left Lake Wallacedale and the GPS tracker was turned on. We were heading out of the gloom of SW Victoria to sunnier weather. It had been raining up north, but the roads were open now.
Day one was a transport section using minor and secondary roads heading to the River Murray. We might complain about the months of poor weather but our area is lush and green. The rolling hills of the Casterton District are very picturesque. We also have a lot of wild life to dodge, especially dark swamp wallabies, which are not my favourite marsupial. The dense forest tracks can be nerve wracking with eyes scanning either side of the road for movement. One major hit and one near miss in the last 12 months have made me a bit roo shy.
On cue, Bruce arrived in Dergholm with his immaculately prepared BMW800 complete with some stock from the Magella Winery. GagsD2 was riding his well set up DR650, Slowpoak was on his neat DR as well, OzNutter was riding a well used XR650 with a spare rear tyre strapped to the rear, and my (XRman) DRZ400 was well strapped down. As much as Slow doesn’t like riding past a pub, the Dergholm pub wasn’t open so it was onwards and upwards. We crossed the S.A. border at Frances and made our way to Bordertown to meet up with a Wal (BigRedRoosta) who is farm bound this year. Rather than sulking he rode over on his 990 to have lunch with us and see us off.
Transport sections are boring, but in reality the deep sand tracks of Ngarkat CVP with fully loaded bikes would have been a high risk option. We did zigzag across the district on dirt and sealed roads and eventually we hit the river Blanchetown. It was a relief when we arrived at our day one destination of Morgan. Did I mention that it was bloody cold? We crossed the river on the Ferry and found our cabin(such as it was) at the caravan park. We cleaned up and had a great meal at the pub with a few ales to wash it down.
Next day we were up and ready by about 8 a.m. refuelled and Nutz’s new tyre was fitted. The Flinders was calling so we headed out toward Yunta on station tracks. We started out on the Morgan Mail road and then chose a varied route basically heading north-west. We found our camp site from last year and enjoyed a lunch break overlooking the Murana ? station. It was bloody cold still! Before we knew it we saw Yunta looming up. The choice was refuelling and talking to the nice Indian guys at the BP station or visiting Happy Jack at the pub. Stuff him; we headed on to Blinman. The Zumo told us that it was only 180 km further on. We found out that Zumos lie! It took a lot longer than we expected. The track was dry now, but there were some ruts to contend with. We eventually reached the Arkaroola-Blinman road and headed west. I had to stop to clean the dust from my visor and glasses so that I could see. Once I could see, I enjoyed the ride into Blinman over the range and through floodways. This is typical Flinders ranges terrain.
We decided as it got even colder that sleeping under canvas was contraindicated (stupid) so we saw the lovely Lindsay at the pub and booked rooms at $40 a head. We did some basic bike maintenance and had a pre-dinner wine tasting. Magella wine in a cask is ideal ADVrider equipment, but you need to know the right people! We checked the sat phone to see if it worked. There is no mobile phone reception in Blinman.
The Pub food and beer was good, but the piano needs some attention. We had a conversation with the grey nomads. Crash time into a comfy bed! Nutter’s sleep talking didn’t keep anyone awake; amused perhaps, but not awake.
I had some family news which had made me decide that I should cut short my trip. With some disappointment I parted company with the GT ADV riders after a refuel at Angorichina Village. They headed north at Parachilna and I went south toward Adelaide. I managed to ride on the highway for a while but a DRZ even with a wide ratio gearbox is not a sports bike! I had a day to kill before the family congregated, so I chose to meander back via the Moorlana Scenic drive. Last time I did this trip it was misty and overcast, so the sun made the hill colours quite striking. Did I mention that it was still cold? I turned onto the highway and zipped down to Hawker for coffee and a Cornish pastie. The South Aussies make great pasties. I had a look at a tourist map while scoffing said pastie and looked for interesting dirt roads to use. I took the Craddock road and looked for a track off to the left. Using my GPS to compare the shape of the maps I took North Range road to explore. I got to a point where a gate crossed the road, so I retraced my steps. Mental note to self: take my tablet with Basecamp to do this pre-ride planning. Eventually I found Johnburgh and then high tailed it into Ororoo on the dirt. I love these names of towns in the mid- north! More coffee to warm up and I managed to find a detailed map of the mid- north region to plan my route. With the aid of a highlighter pen I choose a path to Peterborough. Taking the wrong exit from Ororoo meant that I ended up just trying to head south on dirt roads until I arrived in Peterborough. It was 4.00 p.m. Victorian time so I thought “roo o’clock”; time to stop for the day. Did I mention it was bloody cold? I looked for the caravan park that DRZwalker runs, but it seems he was on vacation. Still I got a cabin for $80. Luxury compared to the dog box at Morgan CVP. Ensuite bathroom, kitchen and sleeps 5 and I had it all to myself.
Once I cleaned up I went down the street to shop for a supermarket and visit the motorcycle museum. This museum is really great with many exotic European machines on view. Did I mention that is was cold? I have been in minus 30 degrees in snow season, but this was almost as bad. I cranked up the heater and turned the electric blanket on high. Dinner was a Happy Camper drovers strew + rice.
Next morning I was on the road at 7-30 and followed the Booborowie Road south to Saddleworth. Wind farms abound on this road that looks like a bowling alley. It has low hills on either side of a plain. Booberowie has its own 25 pound Howitizer, a relic of WW2, found in many rural townships outside the RSL club (Veterans Association)
I wanted to check out Saddleworth because my family lived there when I was born. Hmnn! Not impressive! Oh well, onto the next section. The foothills of Kapunda were a great ride and then I bypassed the Barossa towns on some recently chopped up dirt roads. The wine growing area is on rolling hills dotted with impressive winery buildings, such as at Seppeltsfield and Yaldara. Once I found myself in Lyndoch I took the sealed road past the water catchment reservoirs in the pretty Adelaide Hills and forested areas. This reminded me of home with the dense vegetation and roo signs, but we don’t have the steep hills in SW Victoria.
I headed over to Gumeracha to see my honorary grand niece. What a cute kid! Then down through the spectacular Gorge road to Adelaide. The river Torrens flows through this scenic route. To many bikers, the 80 k.p.h. limit has ruined the ride.
The Gorge road finishes at Campbelltown, where I have some rich relatives in the market garden industry. We all started off dirt poor it seems: they got the dirt and my family branch was just poor.
Now I was in the suburbs and riding at 60 k.p.h. seemed really slow after days of blasting down dirt roads. I rode into the centre square of the city and turned off the GPS. My trip was finished! I will be posting the GPS track log on www.transaustraliatrail.com.au . Oh; it was warm at last in Adelaide.
I am trying to upload photos to Photobucket from my new flash camera, so I will edit this report with photographs as soon as I master the technology.
Once the others get home I hope they will add what happened on the trip as they went into the interior regions.
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:48 AM   #2
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That's quits a trip report mate, it's now on my to do list, thanks for posting,
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Old 08-28-2014, 04:33 AM   #3
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I am still having issues trying to edit this report so I will add photos and captions;

Here is my bike ready to go

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Old Yesterday, 04:51 AM   #4
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Pre-ride dinner

We met for a BBQ dinner on the Saturday prior to leaving.

Dave didn't make it this year. He went on his own " Big Trip" earlier but crashed and burned near the Gibb River station. Oz nutter and Bruce are'nt in this shot.

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Old Yesterday, 04:55 AM   #5
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Together and ready to go

We look like a rag- tag group, but we were very keen. Cold but keen. This is the Dergholm pub or the pub in the scrub. Great pizza oven and good beer. We camped near here at BAileys rock a few years ago.

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Old Yesterday, 04:58 AM   #6
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GagD2's rig

This is Gag's DR. A neat set up indeed.

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Old Yesterday, 05:03 AM   #7
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OzNutter's rig

Keith put together this bike at the last moment when his 950 could not be prepared in time. The aged XR650 held together and reportedly sounded better on its return.

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Old Yesterday, 05:07 AM   #8
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mother ship

This is Bruce's BMW800 very heavily ladened with 8L of wine!

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Old Yesterday, 05:11 AM   #9
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BRR bon voyage

Here is another of last year's venturers who couldn't make this years
's trip. Wal is giving the ADV salute at the Bordertown bakery.

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Old Yesterday, 05:18 AM   #10
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Smoko

More likely a bum break! It gets a bit uncomfortable when you don't have much room to move on the bike's seat because of the luggage. This is north of Bordertown and it was still cold. Mick the ride leader also rides a well set up DR650.

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Old Yesterday, 05:21 AM   #11
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Keith was crook ( sick)

We were in our dog box of a cabin in Morgan at the end of day one. We found out that Keith talked in his sleep. He did warn us!

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Old Yesterday, 05:23 AM   #12
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Wine anyone?

Bruce is the wine maker from Magella wines in the Coonawarra.

I enjoyed his product even though it was packed in a bladder.

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Old Yesterday, 05:26 AM   #13
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Heading to Yunta

Another bum break/smoko. Notice the long straight roads. We were making good time.

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Old Yesterday, 05:31 AM   #14
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View

Here is a panormaic view of the are near Yunta.





We camped nearby last year, but this time we had lunch. It was so cold that we had no fly problem this year.

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Old Yesterday, 05:36 AM   #15
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time to turn

Bruce was familiar with this route so we took an interesting detour.

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