One shot I just found was this one from Musgrave Roadhouse on the way north. There was a bunch of guys there on posties... and they were doing major surgery on one of them - which eventually proved successful
So. Leg 1 done... that was Sydney-Cairns with the bike on the trailer, then Cairns - Cairns via the tip, with the various tracks that I've outlined. I had a quiet day at Bern's while the others headed off. Then it was into Cairns on the Monday morning to pick up the fuel pump and some other bits... new air filter, etc. I'd brought a half worn Mefo Super Explorer with me and I threw that on to replace the pretty stuffed Dunlop 606 I'd used on the Cape.
The bike shop in Cairns was short-staffed, so I set up on the footpath... using a "sidestand" thoughtfully provided by the Council and replaced the fuel pump and air filter, while the shop did the tyre. Yeah... I can change them, but hey!
Check out the old filter next to the new. Ughh. I'd decided not to use a pre-filter because it lowers the level that water can get in on these bikes. Given the depths we went through, I'd do the same again.
I finished up a bit late to get away and ended up checking in to the backpackers. Next morning, I was out front and the sidestand I'd had welded up on Monday morning let go again. I grabbed the first guy walking past and got him to hold the bike while I loaded it. He was an American NBA pro basketballer... and we had a good chat.
Leg 2 was a transit run from Cairns to Darwin. I headed inland just south of Cairns and then down the Kennedy Development Road, to get some dirt in, and then onto the Barkly Highway, across to the Three Ways in the Northern Territory and turned right. In my rush to get away, I'd forgotten that its cold in the middle of Oz in mid August. Yeah... I froze a tad in the mornings. I'd packed for the Cape and Asia... but the KLIM gear was pretty good.
No trip in Oz is complete without some bloody great big animal or fruit beside the road. This thing used to swim around here (Richmond) when it was an inland sea a few (or more) million years ago. The skeleton this is based on is at Harvard Uni in the US.
I kipped at Porcupine Gorge the first night. I was starting to get a bit weary and when the 6' rats started jumping across the road.
Hmmm - must get this stand fixed
I was ready to camp beside the track, but this damn good camp area popped up.
The rufous betong came around for a look too.
I'd planned on stopping at Mt Isa, but a Chinese guy suggested Cloncurry as a better option and after a cold night the previous night, I grabbed a cabin.
I ended up having a damned nice dinner with a grey nomad lady who was doing the trip she'd always wanted to do when her hubby was still alive. Had a look at the original QANTAS hangar too... at Longreach - they are now the world's oldest continually operating airline
There were a couple of nippers at the border, so I threw the Nikon to one and asked him if he knew how to take a photo. Sure... we've got one just like this... He ended up coming up to me at a service station somewhere in the Northern Territory a few days later and reminding me he'd taken the photo.
I passed a few of these on the Barkly. They were heading back to Darwin after the bi-annual exercises with the Americans at Shoalwater Bay.
Not sure that I know how to link videos here.... its a bit shaky.. done hand-held.
Some interesting mailboxes out there too.
I did about 855km on the third day and stayed about an hour north of the three ways junction. Nice fireplace and chockers with grey nomads.
I took a detour into a billabong... turn left just after the cattlegrid just north of Elliot. About 12 km in.
Nice sandy road in
Not forgetting the old corrugations again...
I took it easy, well sort of....
because the strong winds were starting to wear me down a bit. I went as far as Katherine and did a croc cruise that night. Saw plenty, of course, and fed this bloke a few bits of sausage. Only a tiddler... about 8' long.
Did the baa baa tourist thing the next day too and went sightseeing
... and tootled up the highway to Darwin. Dunno if I should tell the Darwin story....