It was almost a shame to leave my cabin this morning, but I’m missing home and wanna be there tonight.The routine of unpacking, repacking and loading up Angel I now have down pat, so it’s doesn’t take long to get on the road.
But before I get going I just have to take some more shots of this fabulous place
- look back at the cabins
On the road again, well that wasn’t playing through my MP3 but it was Country Music none the same. The realism od heading home……
I should knock this over in no time. The best time of the day’s ride for me is in the mornings. The air is crisp (a bit cooler than I was anticipating compared to what I’ve had previous mornings) but everything is waking, yep that includes the wildlife.
Goats were the flavour of this mornings run. They look so cute all huddled together grazing at the roadside and smart……these guys actually run away from you, now if you could only train the kangaskippyroos and emu we’d be laughin’.
For a change this morning I actually saw breathing skippies, feating on the roads edge. So with Rule #1 in mind (make it home safely), I slow right down, almost stop a few times and wait for the skippy to make it’s mind up which way it’s going, then I continue on.
Tawdling along, la lala la la, I come across this peaceful country pub with post office attached at Mulga
Now thedre isn’t a lot to report back on axcept that the wind is picking up and it’s getting cool.
Next stop Nyngan for fuel, boy did that 205 kays goes quick. We’d passsed through here on the way to Alice but this time I went itno town. Fulled Angel and decided to go and get changed….I was way too cold and the lady in the servo said there is a cold front coming. So, all thermalled up again I head off.
Out of Nevertire you start to see canola fields, what a beautiful sight
Now I don’t know if you can tell by the pic but eh wind is picking up and it’s chilly.
Sorry there aren’t anymore pics from here as I was a woman on a mission.
Todays plan was out the window and I had only one agenda, home and quick. I was supposed to stop in Narromine for a splash and dash according to my plan but I decided to push onto Dubbo instead. I ring Karl and he says “you’re making good time Sweety”, yep you better believe it. Donned another layer of thermal and get goin’ for hoping to make Lithgow soon.
Well, the wind is reallyt blowing now and it’s the chill factor is like freezing…..brrrrrr. My heated grips I’m having troubke with so by the time I get to Bathurst, the old hads are a bit stiff. I decide to pull into a servo and check out the problem. Can’t see anything wrong, fuses are ok, no smouldering from electrics or anything obvious that I could tell. Anyway I thought, push on.
In the meantime, the traffic from Molong and the road works has become a joke and the “good time” I was making was fastly slipping from my fingers. There are signs today on the road warning you of “ice on the road”…..you’re kiddin’ aren’t ya – ice, crap. So the pace has slowed to below the limit, there is NO ice but the wind chill factor certainly has “ice” in it.
I am so cold, that my fingers have frozen up on the bars and my body is ccccold, but this is what riding come with – all conditions ad you make the most of it.
Lthgow 17kays, couldn’t cme quick enough, the traffic is like old woman, nattering while crossing the road – get a move on. Into Maccas, pry my fingers off the bars, pull the seat, ring Karl and try to figure out what’s going on with my grips. It’s so cold my teeth are chatting while I;m talking to him. It’s just on 3pm and I tell him I’m gonna have a bite to eat and a hot chocolate to try and defrost, then out some more clothes on and my thermal glove liners before tackling Bells Line of Road.
Myt hair is almost blowing off my head again it’s so windy but down Bells I go. Poor Angels shoes are soooo swuare it amkes corning with any speed difficult, so I take the cautious stand of instead of fighting the bellowing winds just sit behind a truck and try to take shelter from some of it. Needless to say it’s a slow trip through the worst part of theis road but at least a safe option.
Finally wave hoo-roo to the truck and get going only to be slowed again by Sunday drivers (again not even doing the speed limit….grrrr). Do de do de do……..finally a break and I round these puppies up and gone, see ya later. North of Bilpin though I come across another road block, only a bus this time…..do de do de do. What’s goin’ on people can’t you all tell I wanna get home TODAY!!!!
Down through Bellbird Hill and roll ever so slowly into Richmond. Afternoon traffic sux, give me the country roads any day. Richmond Rd, well at least we are doing the limit now and the M7 turn off is in sight. YAY home bound now only 30 minutes to go.
Hoe excited was I to pull into the drive tonight (a lot later than I had hoped) but at least I was home. However, where was everyone else. No Ella at the gate barking, no Karl coming to greet me…sad panda. So I let myself in, Karl’s brother emerges from the lounge and Ella is going banana’s…..mummy you’re home!!!! lick lick lick.
Where’s Karl??? nothing is wrong, but there have been some changes while I’ve been away (but that’s another story that I don’t wish to get into). So I unload Angel, give Ella hug mummy hugs and kisses, then proceed to unpack my stuff.
Karl finally arrives home and I fling myself into his arms like there is no tomorrow…I missed you soooooo much Sweety, kiss, kiss, kiss…
So here I was hoping for a good nights sleep in my own bed, but instead my head is a buzz and I can’t sleep. So like any demented person, at stupid dark o’clock time since I’ve been awake , I decided to update the blog for y’all.
There are a couple of posts that I will update with pics now that I’m home and of course I’ll add the bloopers page and add pics others have taken of me and a summary.
So for now the ride has ended but I don’t think the journey that I undertook will, it was a life experience that I wish you could all see from my eyes and heart.
Yep, well it was supposed to be Cunnamulla, but you’ll have to wait to see why.
OK, so in yesterdays update I forgot to tell ya’s all about the road kill. The FarRider forum was a great help in preparation for this ride including advising me of the dangers certain sections of road may hold. True to form the road from Cloncurry to Barcaldine which has the nick name of “roo alley” was true to its name. I couldn’t count the amount of dead roo’s on this road and you don’t only have to dodge the bodies, carcasses but also the eagles and crows feasting on the remains. I figured out early in the morning that by hitting the horn on approach shoed most of the birds but you have to keep on the horn to keep them away as you slow down and ride on by.
So now this morning, believe it or not I actually got a bit of a sleep in, which felt awesome. Suns up, Angel’s packed and I’m ready to go. The road this morning is an extension of yesterday’s roo alley, so since yesterdays horn honking worked, I did the same thing today. Not many pics today as I had a thought in my head that I wasn’t sure was going to pan out and there really wasn’t anything much to take…..unless you wanted to see dead animals in various stages of road kill carnage.
Blackall for fuel then rolled into Tambo and liked the look of the old post office and in true Japanese tourist fashion, you got it, took a pic
Next stop Augethella, which I learnt is the capital of Meat Ant Country. Now, when I saw the first sign I had no idea what Meat Ant Country was until I pulled into the servo, fuel and I pick up a sambo for later. The sign at the servo has this whopping big bull ant with Welcome to Meat Ant Country…..they look real hungry and mean, hey but I don’t think I wanna find out. I strip off a layer and change gloves and hit the road again for Charleville.
Fly on through Charleville and it’s starting to get hot. I decide to stop for my sambo in this blink and miss town called Wyandra. Now I’m sure there is more to the town than what I saw but what I experienced was great. I parked Angel, then parked my own butt under the tiny bit of shade under a bush on the ground and ate my sambo. The local shop is also the post office, servo, souvier (that’s how they spelt it) shop too. But what is even better which I didn’t notice right off was the house next door, it’s front fence is covered in bras – yep bras. I think I saw this on a travel show ages ago but here ya go, I’m seeing it in real life….amazing. The home owner raises money for breast cancer so I go into the shop and make a donation.
Only 100 kays and I’m in Cunnamulla, it’s hot and it’s way too early to be stopping. I grab my next FarChallenge pic and head for my accommodation at the Country Motor Inn.
What a beautiful little place – the motor inn (not Cunnamulla). I’ve decided to keep moving but first I have to do the right thing by Bill & Ross at the motor inn. I explain the change in plan and pay them accordingly for the inconvenience. They are so lovely and allow me to try and book in Bourke from their own phone (unfortunately no one was answering so I just had to wing it) . If you are ever passing through Cunna, go see Ross & Bill and stay the units are the best looking modern facility in town, they’ll have cheese, bickies and some Cardboardonanay with you.
It’s about 2:30pm with 260 kays to Bourke, all going to plan I should pull in before dark (since I have made a promise that I would not travel at night). Touch base with Karl to let him know the change of plan and Miraz (a ride friend) who had left me a message about the road ahead. Well I have renamed the road between Cunna and Bourke the “Emu Rd”. I tell ya, I must’ve seen 300 emu this afternoon. Not to mention all the other animals, cows, roos, wild pig, lizards, sheep, goats and not to forget a feril cat all on this one section of road.
4:55pm and I pull into the Kidman Park Caravan Park 7 kays outta down town Bourke. Highly recommend this place , it beautiful and safe. There’s a BBQ bush dinner and bush poet from 6:30pm so I stayed there for a bit and had dinner before heading back to my cabin.
Now if you have 3 days to spare and want somewhere nice to spend it, go here (it’s only a days drive), check out what I stayed in at Kidman’s Camp
Now check this place out and weep folks……. Everything is solid timber – trees, big chunks of them and the furniture is all carved from them.
And not to mention the view from the verandah
Not bad for $115 for the night.
I kinda wish I could spend more than one night in this cabin but with Karl, it would be magical.
Tomorrow I head for home and am looking forward to getting there, so off to bed (a comfy one…ahhh) for a good nights sleep
Anny & I are riding our own rides today and we agree to meet up in Barcaldine, so Anny heads off while I’m just finishing getting ready.
Start of the day and what a georgeous one, hopefully it what get toooo hot.
The roads from the bushfires last night are open again thank goodness (I don’t do change of plan well…lol). So it’s 634kays today and with some luck I’ll pull into Barcaldine about 2pm.
First stop for the day is Kynuna and this quirky pub is just up the road from the servo.
The scenery today isn’t as interesting as it has been. Lot’s of flat cattle land, complete with cows, then all of a sudden Winston woofs “kimmie we need to stop, look hills…bark bark”. So we did and this dude in a ute stopped also to make sure I was OK (I’d overtaken him earlier).
Now these guys were all over the road so I had to stop and then slowly work my way through, hoping they didn’t want to get to curious.
Cruise into Winton and yep, the heat has set in and it’s only gonna rise unfortunately. Anyway, Brett from QLD arrives just after me so we grab a bite to eat. The locals are friendly, even these two I found just standing around – loitering if I must say, outside a shop LOL. I wish I’d bought them and had them shipped home (not that I think would be impressed or that we have anywhere to put them).
The road seems hazy and long, so long heading towards Longreach. I pull into Longreach finally and go in search of another FarChallenge pic….ta dar – mission accomplished.
Time for fuel and fill the camelbak (which I’ve already drained-very essential for this type of riding IMO). Only 100kays to Barcaldine and boy is it hot. the sweat is dripping down my body and I have all the vents open and the front zip partly down. I am so glad to see the Welcome to Barcaldine sign. I hit the local IGA for some goodies, then head to the caravan park to meet Anny.
I check in and the attended says she was here but must’ve gone into town about 10 minutes ago…no worries. So park the bike in sand….yuk and start unloading. Then I notice this little bag on the table – what’s this? Open it up and it’s from Anny. A small gift for sharing acco with her but there is too much daylight left for her and she continues onto Charleville. Anny you are a wonderful lady and I will ride my ride and I hope you do too!!!
The internet, well, doesn’t always give you the correct impression of a place. So this time I have picked a fizzer but my cabins neighbours are ok.
I walked into town early this afternoon and look what I found.
Now my SR friends reading this will get quite a kick outta this one……how did goaty get all the way out here (Harry did you fly him out?? LOL!!)
Walked back into town tonight for dinner at the Shakespeare Hotel and made some more new friends with grey nomads Lynne & Tom. They are on their way home to WA.
Walked back to my cabin and here I am, typing like a crazy woman trying to everything up to date with the FREE wi-fi the caravan park provide – thank goodness. No phone coverage though, probably til Bourke, so be patient.
I am so missing my travel buddies, Kimmo, Phil, Noel & Audrey and the hours of laughter we’d have.
Spoke to Karl from a pay phone this arvo and I am so missing him and am looking forward to getting home to him….Love you Sweety xxxxxx
Another beautiful morning, we have truly been blessed this trip so far. Anny needs fuel before we can head off, so as I wait for her I watch the sun rise. Bit of wind today but that’s ok.
Not far up the road and there are cows on the side of the road, gotta love the outback and the speed limit. Not much happening this morning, head and cross winds and we power on to Barkly Homestead. What an amazing place in the middle of nowhere. Apparently, the homestead is still owned and run by family members. While I’m getting morning tea and a t-shirt, the Harley crew from yesterday pull in (they stayed at Three Ways last night, regrettably). Fuelled up, both body and bike, Anny and I haul out for Camooweal.
Now we had been warned that there is about 30kays of dirt due to road works. The countryside is peaceful and flat but it’s not until 50kays outta Camo that we hit the dirt
My fear and hatred for dirt is slowly dissipating with each day of this trip. I’m still not the best at it but am getting better and steadier. Red rock side track is what we had below the road level. Concentrate Kimmie or you’ll come a cropper. Phew the end is near and we are out of the first section of dirt only to hit the second bit 10kay down the road. We see this fella walking a horse in the road works so Anny pulls up and has a chat to the guy ( I can’t hear a thing with my music in my ears). Anyway, she tells me later that he is going around Australia on horse because he can….so there ya go.
We cross the border and roll into Camooweal, where we stop for lunch. Dry and dusty, flat and hot, it’s time for a good lunch and for peeling off layers. Pub special it is “corn beef fritters with chips and salad” – $12, how do ya beat that. The fritters were great, and would great for a Sunday lunch. More riders pull in, but they don’t think they’ll be going much further today. One guy’s down to canvas on his tyre, the other has not front suspension-yikes. Hope they get it sorted.
Off again headed for Mt Isa. I’ve been trying out my artistic camera skills the last couple of day – what do you think.
There isn’t much happening and the scenery is pretty much the same all day. One thing I do find fascinating is the termite mounds. They seem to pop up in colonies, and look like tombstones in a graveyard. I haven’t got any photos as the verge on the roads today are not very safe to stop on.
You can see the Mt Isa stacks from miles away as you approach town. Anny and I stop to get a pic (the McDonalds sign tells us it’s only 29 degrees) and head towards the end of town. Anny has a friend in Isa, so we part ways while see goes and has a catch up while I continue onto Cloncurry.
For ages now we have been seeing and smelling smoke. There has been heaps of controlled burning happening on this stretch so there are scorched patches along the way (makes it a bit easier to spot the wildlife). Heaps of road kill also and the crows and eagles/hawks think it’s wonderful. Dodging one roo, eagle/hawk(s) feasting on the remains heads out but the other goes up and then heads straight for me. CRAP, I bang my head onto my tank bag and phew! We miss each other….hearts pumping.
The road to Cloncurry is the first bit of road in days that has twisties……well open sweepers/bends and considering the rest of the roads I’d classify them as twisties. Into Cloncurry bang on 5:30, check in, ride around to the cabin and who should I find….Ken & Brett, awesome. I pull up on the grass and I had to ask the guys to turn my bike around after I unloaded her (otherwise I’d never get her out in the morning). Showered and feeling human and the boys and I head across the road for dinner while I listen for Anny to arrive.
About 8:30pm Anny pulls in and I’m almost ready for bed after I finish typing this up. Sorry the fires have knocked out all the Optus towers, so I have no reception on the phone or internet, so you’re reading this a bit later than planned.
Another sleep in “NOT”…lol, you’d think I’d get used to it but am just accepting that the sleep in will have to wait until I get home.
Ghosty, Carsten & Lionel (3 FarRiders) asked Anny & I to witness documentation last night for their attempt at a SS1600. So this morning they are up early and packed waiting for the petrol bowsers to open so they can get a docket and get goin’.
The sun is rising and “oh boy” the light show against the rock face is gorgeous. I am also ready to go, so after waving the guys off, it’s back to get the last of my things and get goin’ myself. Anny & I did our own thing today. She went back to Alice and stayed to do the Fishers Run and me well I hit the road in search of Devils Marbles and hopefully some good photos along the way.
Like most mornings, it cool but by the time I reach Alice, it’s lovely. Fuel up and 2 couples come over to chat to me about the Black Dog I am carrying. Well, 20 minutes later they are most appreciative of what we the BDR Riders are doing and asked for the web details. The word is slowly spreading and when it comes from the heart it’s easy to talk to strangers about these things.
It’s amazing what goes through your head when you’re in your helmet. You have so much time to think and think of cool stuff to write, but by the time I get to the keyboard it’s gone. In saying that though, I was chatting to a fellow last night about life and love and it was then when I spoke with him that I realised how much love I have for Karl and the special people that make up my life. How fortunate am I, when others find it difficult to see the beauty and love, which can be sitting there right in front of them.
Times a wastin’ and I need to get going. You gotta love the speed limit up here 130 kph, so you can speed and not get in trouble….he he he. I stop again at the Tropic of Capricorn for another photo (it’s not crowded this time) and go again.
Man, my bladder is getting smaller on this trip and I have to find a rest stop. Next town Airleron, so I pull in but no way am I stopping too many locals and I don’t fancy leaving the bike unattended. However they do have this really cool statue, check it out
Next stop is Ti-Tree. It’s here is join up with 6 Harley riders from WA, so I ask can I sit at the back and travel with them for a bit. What a mistake that was, I got so tired, lost focus and started to get real hot. So next rest stop I’m in and stripping off. Back on the road again and within 5 minutes all is good in the world again. I’ve got the camera hanging around my neck now and taking happy snaps while I’m riding along (who knows how they’ll turn out but here’s hoping there are a couple of goodens).
Into Wycliffe Wells and the Harley crew are there. What an unusual place, aliens and space stuff everywhere. The heat is setting in so I decide to have lunch, sit in the shade, enjoy the breeze, before heading out again.
Onto Devils Marbles for my FarChallenge pic….WOW how many marbles are there and how hot was it. Well I couldn’t find the exact marbles so I took heaps of pics just to make sure. With sweat dripping off me, it’s time to get going. Lucky all the vents in my gear are open as it’s working as a cooling system….thank god for that.
Only 100 kays to Tennant Creek, the last leg for the day. So in for fuel and this bloke comes over to start chatting. Turns out he’s riding around Australia on his Harley raising funds for cancer. Now to find the Outback Caravan Park, check in and have a long deserved shower before catching the courtesy bus to the Memorial Club for dinner. Chicken parma for dinner with some more new friends Paul & Martin. Just about ready to leave and who should walk it but DazzaB and Jack. I say my good nights and board the bus back to the park to wait for Anny.
All relaxed and typing away and I hear Anny arrive, so I go out to greet her and here we are chatting (well she’s doing most of it) while I finish todays blog.
It’s the morning that I wish wouldn’t come. The saying hooroo to all my new friends, and to my new best friends Phil & Kim. So hugs all round and Kimmo & I just put the inevitable off as long as we could. It was a teary “catchy later”, this woman Kimmo, I swear Darani had in her grand plan for us to meet after she had gone. I thank you for looking after me with such a wonderful person. Kimmo & I laughed so hard and so much for the entire 7 days….good therapy in my books.
Another huge thanks must go to Phil & Sue (the ride coordinators). They were there when I cracked yesterday and helped me out. Later when we got back to base, Phil made a special point of coming to see me to make sure I was ok. We had a great long chat and this is what all these people that came on this ride are here for, to bring awareness to this terrible illness.
The FarRiders are doing a ride out to Glen Helen Resort but first we do a quick trip up to the Tropic of Capricorn. We turn around and head back into Alice to turn right and head to Glen Helen. Magical, that’s the only way to describe the views….you guys just don’t know what you are missing. This road is like a baby roller coaster, up then down, up then down. Along the way we spot (at separate times) 2x dingo….scrawny things they were too!
About 20 odd kays out of GH, Ghosty takes us up to this lookout…..WOW!! The views are breathtaking. Now I thought I’d seen most things but Ghosty pulls out this bottle of Champes, cheese and bikkies off his bike…..you had to see it to believe it….lol. A small celebration to us FarRiders and we head to Glen Helen.
Now I thought (and ya know how that story goes) being a “resort”, well ya kinda expect something special. Well, it’s special but more dirt roads and not like I’d imagined, but I tell ya well worth it. The view from our room door is ……you decide for yourself.
So there is no reception so I’m blogging in word for now, while we all congregate outside Annies and my room and shoot the breeze. Long stories, tall stories, jokes and lotsa laughter, beautiful…..what riding mates do best.
Anyway, it’s 6:15 and dinner is soon, I’m waiting for the sun to set so I can grab a (hopefully) serene photo and say a little word to Darani.
Our day off today, well after the official ride through Alice’s Todd Mall anyway.
What a great nights sleep, but I think I’m just used to waking early that I can’t sleep past 6:15am grrrr. Had been teed up to meet with Phil, Kimmo, Noel & Audrey for breaky down at the Tavern. My first real breaky since I left home, bacon with scrambled eggs, toast and a cuppa tea…..beautiful.
I wander up to see the wallabies and look what I find
It’s a relaxed morning chatting to all my new friends. I’m asked to move my bike next to Steve Andrews (the founder) ready for the group photo, prior to heading out under police escort for the Black Dog Ride procession through the Todd Mall.
Why is it that organised things seem to take forever….waiting, waiting. So I go to get air in Angels shoes and “what” no air hose at the servo. Lucky John (another new friend) pulled up and kindly got out his compressor and pumped them up for me…..champion John.
Police escort ride, what a blast and thrill. Bikes are two abreast the entire way from our digs, I feel like a celebrity…..waving to people as we ride through, what an absolute feeling of surrealism. Over to the special area where everyone is gathered for some words from the Mayor , Steve and Will Bonney. All of a sudden in the middle of Steve’s speech it hits a chord in me. I’m standing alone in a group of people and start crying, totalling overwhelming. I didn’t know who it was at the time but Betty from Tassie (whom I’d never met before) came and gave me a big hug, followed by Kimmo & Anny. Later that night Brian said to me “he didn’t think he knew me well enough to give me a hug”. I told him “5 days on the road with you for a bloody good cause gives you every entitlement to give me a hug”.
So, tears dried Anny decides we need retail therapy…..what else. We say to Phil, Kimmo, Noel & Audrey we’ll meet them at Anzac Hill between 3-3:30pm…plan. No particular plan with shopping, saw some great stuff (and some expensive stuff which stayed in the shop this time). But I am searching for clear safety glasses. My eyes are so windblown and my skin so dry that I can’t handle it anymore. Ask a local (as ya do) and we head back to the bikes, but not before stopping to look at canvas art which a couple of local Aboriginal ladies had painted. It is beautiful and Anny & I just had to buy a piece each.
Now I’m on a mission to snag another “Quest” photo, this time of a camel. Where do you ask will I find a camel….where else but at the camel ride place, done.
Anzac hill here we come to rendezvous with the gang for the scenic views and pic. Totally awesome view and I’m so glad I spent the extra and bought this little camera, the photo’s it takes are spectacular.
Back to digs for a chillax and try to catch up on some blogging. First though, alcohol, well cider and I set up on the table out in the sun (the only place I could get some reception) and away I go. Oh crap, look at the time!! Quick shower and get dollied up for the formal dinner and presentation. Firstly though, the wildlife in the resort I mention previously, well there are wallabies too. They are so friendly and one even had a joey…ahhhh cute you can sit on the logs and they will just come straight up to you and let you pat them, unbelievable.
Dinner is a three course meal tonight, real food….yum, and it was yum. I reckon about 250 people attended for what was going to be an evening to remember. Lots of speeches and thanks were given and then the raffles were drawn. Now blown me down if I didn’t win something, a universal vista cruise control. Then the auctions started. All sorts of people had donated art, grog, vouchers to the Black Dog institute to be auctioned off, the generosity of people for this cause if remarkable. Anyway, it was all a bit x-ey for me but those who won their auction piece, well all that money went to the Institute. I think Steve said the total raised was $4500.00 for the evening. Not a bad effort for a bunch of yobbo bike riders….lol
Now since Angry Anderson has been on the ride with us from Tamworth, he couldn’t very well not do a gig. So Angry let rip and the house rocked!!! CH9 was there again with cameras running and Kimmo and I at first were the only ones rockin’ on, so who knows we could be “the next big thing” in the dance world (in our own lunch boxes anyway…lol).
Everything is starting to catch up with me and decide to head to bed, it’s the latest night I’ve had so far (11:30pm). For the first time since I left home I actually got my book out but only successfully read 2 pages before I couldn’t keep my eyes open…night night.
Karl I am missing you so much xxx
It’s surprising how good I slept last night in our bat cave (3×3 room carved into rock)
to wake to only a few bikes this morning as CH9 were doing broadcasts from where we were staying. Martin the manager has got fire pits going all over the grounds for us as it’s a bit brrrrrr. Hundreds of people are about, truly amazing.
A friend sets me quests for each ride trip so here is the first of hopefully 4 Quest photos I’m to achieve…..an Emu
Bikes are revved up eager to get on the road and hopefully not have the winds we’ve been plagued with. The sights out here are unbelieveable, mind fields and mountains ranges for as far as the eye can see.
The roads are long and the surface is not….not like home with that bumpy crap. The vastness and isolation is soon apparent and I try to look at things from the perspective of my friend. Trying to get how her head or she was feeling. The landscape is what I used to feel how alone (even though she wasn’t) she must’ve been feeling….it’s pretty daunting. I shed a tear for her.
I stop for a splash and dash in Kulgera and then it’s onto Erldunda for lunch and more fuel. Open roads and the throttle……what a beautiful feeling and Angel, well, she just loves it…he he he. My new best friends and the rest of the crowd have to pull in at the border for the manditory shot (as you do). Northern Terrotiry we have arrived YAY!!!! The heat is starting to set in, much different to the heat at home and more layers are coming off….where are you Karl!!
I’d been a bad mother and had forgotten to feed Winston along the way (but to be honest with you I think he has been feeding off my emotions). So I gave him a muesli bar…YUM thanks Kimmie.
The Stuart Highway what a piece of road. Stretches for miles and miles and is like it will never end. We pass the camel farm on the left and then the Memorial to the Cannon Ball Run. I don’t know much about this, but had to stop anyway. I will find out more when I get home.
Heaps of dead wildlife on the roadside and the wedgetail eagles are lovin’ it. I could count how many I saw on this stretch (well it’s the only stretch we have actually seen them) but we have been pretty lucky with animals thus far….keep ya fingers crossed.
Alice Spring, what a sight for sore dust blown eyes that sign was. Pull off onto more dirt roads (not afraid of gravel or dirt anymore, I’ve done enough of it this trip to last a while). The obligatory photo for prosperity and get me to my digs I need a shower.
I swear, there was red dust where you’d think with all this gear on it couldn’t get….but no. Laundry time before a shower (I had nothing clean left to put on) and twaddling back from the laundry I came across this little guy….aint he cute!! They are everywhere.
Feeling human, Anny, Phil, Kim, Ghosty & I head upto Dreaming for our dinner and light entertainment. They had this guy named Tommy Crow, he’s a didgeridoo player and story telling. Anyways he said some lovely words and played that didgi like he was born with it in his mouth. Another lady from the local tribe welcomed us to Alice (her home) and read this beautiful poem (hopefully I can get a copy of it).
We stay for a bit then head to the tavern. I have dessert and a decent cuppa tea before heading back for bed and hopefully a dead to the world sleep.
Please bear with me, the blogging is a little harder than I thought. But the time we have at the end of the day and reception aint the best. So I’m doing my best for now and will update things a bit better later. I have a feeling I need a bloopers page for all the things I remember later (I think of all the really cool stuff while I’m riding).
Well shit happens, wrote this great blog and accidentally hit the delete key before it saved, AAARRRGGGHHHHHHH
I did take pics today but the loader still is having problems, so they’ll have to wait.
What a great sleep but was woken at 5:00am by the rumble of eager engines wanting to get their mugs on telly this morning….they fooled them too!! lol
8:00am and we are on the road. Weather looks great, not windy and we are doing our own thing today. Cruising, stops when WE want and pics. I wish you could see the world where I am through my eyes, it is beautiful, words again just couldn’t do it justice.
We spot 3 emu’s just off the road, dumb creatures they are but dangerous. We stop to get a pic and the damn things run for the hills…..like they think we’re scarey lol. Our beautiful windless day soon turned to rubbish and again we are battling the head & cross winds.
I decide today to hang the camera round my neck and get some shots while I’m riding. Well not as easy as I thought it would be. Gloves & little buttons just don’t go together but eventually I turn it on and click away (some of the shots didn’t come out too bad).
The wind is really riding us today and it’s hard to keep the bike on the road. By the time we get to Woomera, I think everybody is happy to get off and walk around. Imagine being blasted with a fire hose full pelt from the side and try to stay upright, well that’s kinda what it’s like – hard work.
Isn’t Woomera an interesting place. Karl would’ve loved it being the aero fella he is. Instead I just took pics for him and went “oooo” look at that…lol.
A very basic lifestyle the folk here live. Anyways, morning tea (well a muesli bar) and my ride buddies open there tajmahal of trailers for their cake & tea.
Time to fill up at Spuds Road house and the local Army blokes with their big tank thingy are there…..photo op naturally. Now we’ve stopped and you can feel the heat of the day setting the tone, so peel of a layer and on we go to Glendambo.
Now ;ve tried and tried to get this picture to rotate and it just won’t work, so tip your computer on it’s side and check it out…LOL
Again the winds are sooooo strong, it’s tiring work, especially when you are overtaking road trains….my lord. With the wind and the heat, I am consuming so much water (very essential or you fatigue quickly). Into Glendambo and the red dirt is flying everywhere and is in everything….yuk! Toasted samich for lunch and red dirt…yum, fill the camel bak again and let’s get to Coober Pedy.
The winds are pushing us to the wrongs side of the road now it’s so strong and it’s a constant battle to keep the girl upright, but we are strong and determined and push on .
Just over 50 kays down the road and passed the last loo rest stop and yep you guessed it…… It’s ok, I’ll get the next one. Well NO loo…..nooooo. Don’t panic, I say to Phil & Kim pull in at the next one, she’ll be right. The next one came and went too, no loo again bugger and no I’m getting desperate. Phil starts to slow down to below the speed limit…WHAT, I’m busting mate get a move on. I think he’s gone to sleep so out I go and off trying to get to Coober as quick as I can. Angel’s dialled in even with the wind and I’m a woman on a mission. Into Coober & the first servo……PHEW!!!! I apologise to the attendents and then fuel up and head back to get my FarChallenge pic of the truck on a pole. Relax now.
Find our digs, unpack, shower, socialise and off for dinner and the only place in town that must be open. Took over 1 hour just to get a pizza, nevermind, afterall there are 300 extra people in town tonight.
Big day tomorrow just shy of 700 kays, so it’s off to bed now.
Hope you are enjoying the trip so far and I promise I’ll put the pics up as soon as I can.
Dark o’clock, even earlier than a sparrows fart is what CH9 asked for so we can be on the Today Show with Steve Jacobs (my new friend). Anny & I had some confusion with the whole time difference, anyway set the alarm waaaaaay to early needless to say we were the first on site at the Pig & Whistle for braodcasting.
Front & centre Kim & I are with our new friend Steve for a live broadcast of the 9 weather. So I hope you saw my mug on the telly (I’d like copies if anyway recorded it). Our final shot was the group ride out then we had the first of many waits for the day.
9:00am and it’s time to roll. Phil, Kim, Anny & I roll out of town together. The scene for the day is wind and more wind, cross winds and stuff in your helmet. There aren’t many pics today cos it was too damn windy to stop. It was hard enough just keeping the bike upright (well a leaning upright). Your body tenses and you tire easily fighting every metre you ride, so Phil, Kim, Brian (another new friend) & I pull up for a 10min break at Olray and Anny waves at us as she rides on by, all good. The wind is so strong it feel like your hair is gonna blow off your head (not nice).
Here’s a pic of pretty much the entire days road view. Sorry the pics aren’t loading very well, so I’ll post them later.
Peterborough for lunch and we meet with all the other states except for NT & WA. What a massive turnout, the town was chockas. Lions again by the Lions and more sausage sandwiches (over them let me tell you) but they do a wonderful job again and we are thankful that they have come on board to help us with all our meals.
I feel like the leaning tower of Kimmie today cos when you get off the bike, you feel like you have to straighten yourself up after being sideways for so long…..lol.
On call for CH9 again, and they ask can we stop in Orroroo so they can get ahead of us for some footage. Nice little town with some metal workmanship on display.
It’s still windy and we wait, wait, waiting can we go yet some nearly an hour later (so much for getting into PA early). Again we are asked to regroup at Wilmington for CH9 to get a shot of us coming through Horrocks Pass. Horrocks Pass is a nice stretch of winding road the last of bends we’ll be seeing for a while. I need to grab a pic for the FarChallenge of the Cairn, so say to my ride buddies “if I disappear don’t worry, I’ll catch you up.
Well pic taken & I’m ready to head out and bugger, I’m too late. All these bikes come roaring over the hill & I’m stuck. To much traffic to enjoy the last section of the pass and CH9, where the hell is CH9 for this photo. I’ll tell you nowehere in sight, not happy Jan.
Into Port Augusta and following directions from the ride coordinator and we are lost. Lucky the support vehicle spots us and we follow them to our meet point at the West Augusta Footy Club. I meet Steve Andrews (the founder of the Black Dog Ride) and chat away with him and others.
Animal cruelty I tell you – look at this poor Winston.
He had a bit of an accident off Ghosty’s bike, so Ghosties now in the dog house…lol.
Catch up with some FarRiders, unpack and off to dinner by the Lions again. Have I mentioned how these guys do a fabulous job.
Early night and no CH9 duties tomorrow…I quit.
Todays map, well when I can get the pics to load up.