Well this trip came about at the last minute after i cancelled my planned trip to Tasmania.
Fires, heatwaves, and all sorts of other "stuff" conspired against me.
A call out to the boys..."which one of you bastards wants to come for 8 days riding?"
2 good blokes rose to the challenge at short notice. Pete (DR650) and Shakey (990ADV).
As usual, i followed my regime of putting the bike back together just hours before heading off. You see, that way there is less time for something to go wrong whilst it's just sitting there
The trip was to be a "suck it and see" type of arrangement, with provisions for camping and cooking but see what happens.
Day 1: Brisbane to Armidale
Left home at 0530hrs to meet Pete at the servo and then head on south to meet Shakey at Beaudesert.
Everyone made their post on time, and after excited greetings it was off and through the bitumen twisties that we all love towards Woodenbong NSW, our first fuel stop.
All good, so off through familiar territory down Urbenville NSW and then on to the gravel of Paddys Flat Rd for a blast south.
Pete had never seen the "Tank stops" at Paddys Flat before, and was sort of like WTF
It is hard to believe that a place in this position held any sort of tactical warfare advantage....but....who are we to question?
We decided to give Rocky River RD a miss this time and slab it to Tenterfield NSW to make up some time. A quick bite to eat in the shade opposite the Bakery and time to put some shit on Pete for not bringing anything to sleep on!
He wasn't going to listen to this crap any longer, so off he went to procure the finest 6mm foam mat available from the discount warehouse.. Sleep well Pete
Full as farts after the bakery, we headed farther South for Deepwater NSW where we fuelled up before we got to Dundee, Bald Knob and then one of my favourite roads, the Old Grafton Rd.
Pete has been running a Trailtech Vapour on his DR650 since new and of late we might just say that it hasn't proven to be too reliable! (Piece of shit). So, after fuelling-up it was tools out for a quick "reset" of aforementioned instrument.
Enjoyed the gravel on the Old Grafton Rd, through the tunnel and then broke for Nymboida NSW for a quick drink and a break overlooking the river.
In true adventure style things get a little awry right about here!
We took off for Ebor NSW where we would refuel.
It had been really hot all day. Dusty, hot and getting hotter!
As we rode up into Ebor we came into light showers and then thick cloud
The temperature dropped 10 degrees, and we all laughed and thought Christmas had come again. OK. Now just fill-up our tanks and we're off........
Pulled up at the servo and took the bowser off the hook, nozzle in tank and squeezed trigger.......then squeezed triggers again....."hello"....Hmmm. Pumps unlocked, toilets unlocked but nobody there! The place is shut!
"Oh goodness!"(or words to that effect).
Shakey (990) has been running on fuel warning light for a little while so we all will need fuel here.
OK. Off to the Ebor Hotel / Motel just down the road. I take a call from my kids as the boys scope the rooms and meal situation.
"Fuck that!", "80 bucks for a room. Fuck them", "What a bunch of ignorant deadshits" etc etc was the rhetoric that flowed after their enquiries. Apparently the staff couldn't be less interested, the bar patrons were ignorant, and the place lacked what you may call "warmth".
The lads had been giving me some shit about the "funnel" that i'd been carrying in my Camelbak. "What the fuck are you carrying a stupid filter funnel for?"
It was decided to make a break for Newcastle (slowly...) but Shakey's bike would need some fuel from the DR650.
"Hey Ranger, can we have that funnel? This fuel has water in it."
Funnel! What funnel??? Oh! THIS Funnel. The piece of shit that i should have left at home funnel........
We slowly pressed on for Armidale in the late afternoon. The odds of actually making it there were not good, but we had a bit of a plan....
Once the first bike runs out of fuel we will put all remaining fuel into the DR650 and it can get to Armidale, fill-up and come and share with the other bikes. Simple!
Well. Let me tell you.......... my 990 was now showing the beloved fuel light and the best i've ever got on reserve is about 50km.
It's about 75km to Armidale, so at every distance marker i would just laugh and shake my head.
Bugger me!!!!! we limped into Armidale after 71km on the fuel light. That's some sort of miracle
Some old drunk ouside the first pub we stopped at told us to go up the road to the St Kilds Hotel for the best food. So we did, and gladly so.
Cold drinks, great food and secure bike storage if we got a room each for $35.00. Done.
One of the most tender pub steaks i've had in a long time. Great place to stop in.
Today was a 13hr riding day so we all were a little bit rooted after the heat.
More to come.