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Old 12-23-2009, 12:43 AM   #1
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Gone, Again... ( Random Adventures in Oz )

Ok, so this is my thread... random trips to various parts of Australia, and perhaps, just perhaps, who knows where else..

I've decided i won't do a different thread for each ride, that way, i'll be 'encouraged' to do more rides by the fact that this tread is getting stale/has not moved for a while... or thats my theory...and it seems to be working so far..

So, put on your slippers, grab yourself a nice big cup of cocoa...and enjoy the ride, i did!

So, it was time to go on my first 'real' ride...

rough plan was to meet up with some mates at the Grampians for a few days of dirt... how i got there and back was my problem

Ended up leaving after work a few days early... but later at night than i wanted to..

Didn't get far up into the hills before the sun set..

not too sure which way i went, but i decided to head for Mannum and camp in the caravan park there for the night... the track i took had way too many gates...

also lots of bloody big spiders (huntsmen perhaps) that would mosey across the track in my headlight beam while i was stopped to open gates....

Anyway, got to Mannum , pulled into the caravan park just before 10pm, office was closed with a sign saying dont ring the bell unless its an emergency... so in i went and found a 'nice' spot... parked and headed down the main street in search of a beer...

only one pub was open..well, kinda open, they were kickin everyone out, but managed to get a couple of take-aways..

back to camp and started to setup tent, when the (apparently) owner rocked up with a whole lot of attitude about how i was trespassing and he should call the cops blah blah blah...

didnt i see bell next to the office door..? "yep" i said, and "i also saw the sign under it that said not to use it after 9:30 unless its an emergency.."

anyway, he wasnt happy and was carrying on about calling the cops so i just said.." what would you like me to do mate...? you gonna call the cops, do you want me to fix you up now, or do you want me to fix you up in the morning like i was gonna...?"

"well", he says.. ya better fix me up now, just in case you decide to leave early in the morning..."

fine with me... ( i know an unpowered site is $21 )

"Its $25 this time of night" he says..

"oh, as opposed to $21 if i had have gotten you out of bed..?"

grumble grumble... he doesnt have change and walks away with $20 bucks.........


whatta you know, i do wake up early the next morning..

I cant even have a shower as he didnt give me a key.. had enough of this place, being the first 'full' day of the trip i dont wanna get in too negative a headspace, so i pack, ride by the office (still closed) and wack an extra dollar in his key return box.... seems like he needs it more than me...

start heading north along the Murray..

its gonna be a hot day..

cross the murray at Purnong

and start heading east on the dirt...

so many of these out here:

and these:

dirt it over to Karoonda for fuel, then down towards Ngarkat Conservation Park...

the onboard computer is telling me its 38 degrees..

i hit the park..

i've got about 60kms of this to get accross...

bloody hell its hot!


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Old 12-23-2009, 01:52 AM   #2
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day 2..

So, into Ngarkat i go, for my first experince with sand...

I figure the bike didnt have a good sleep last night...

didnt take long before she wanted a rest..

and another rest...

and another rest....

so after a lot of rests she decided to stay awake for a little while (perhaps the 'firmer' bit of track had something to do with it)

so i get to take a picture of her standing up..

bloody hot out there... (note the sweat soaked t-shirt )

the track soon returned to sand..

this one wasnt induced by lack of sleep, rather by me coming over the rise to find a kangaroo takin a leak on the track........

so after a million more stops, and drinking just about all my water, i finally got 'somewhere' that made me think i was actually getting there....

another 15-20kms saw the end of Ngarkat, and a firmer road into Keith...

refueled (me and the bike) at Keith at decided to cut down to the coast and jump in the ocean to cool down...

nice roads down towards Salt Creek..

got to the Coorong and found a road into the beach... seemed they'd had some rain down here...

got thru that ok, and got thru this ok..

but eventually came to a bit that was a no go... and of cource got bogged/bellyed out on a spinifex bush that wasted a lot of time and sweat..

learnt she's heavy... maybe a diet is in order...

finally got out and kept heading south... still hadnt had my swim, and the day was still roasting...

found a dryer looking track and decided to give it a crack...

didnt work too well....

anyway, time was getting away and i still had over 150 odd kms to go before i got to Southend where i was staying the night...

darkness struck...and so did the bugs...

pulled in to Beachport to grab a couple of take-aways.. and have a look at the bay..

then made Southend.. it was a long, hot day (Mannum to Southend)..

only just got thru a couple o beers before passing out for the night....


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Old 12-23-2009, 02:02 AM   #3
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Subscribed, looking forward to the rest!
Great job so far.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:17 AM   #4
Cabin Fever....
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Feel for you man, that type of temp in that type of country and first sand experience

Nice adventure
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:15 AM   #5
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Nice pics and story so far, lovely bike but would hate to pull that out of the sand - respect

Looking forward to more

Offroad Riding - Lap of Oman for Mary 2008:

The 8th Wonder of the World Discovered in Oman:
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:33 PM   #6
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ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:53 PM   #7
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Looks like I am on the wrong side of the world

Current bike: KTM LC8 990 Adventure (2012)
Romania 2009 The Road of Kings
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:56 PM   #8
more cowbell
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great report mate. keep it coming
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:17 PM   #9
Scared of the dark..
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Truly awesome. Thats the Aus I didn't get to see 2up on a GSA. Keep it coming!
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:50 PM   #10
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better you than me.........

Did 4000 miles around the east coast twenty years ago and never found that road......Bruce
A life spent inside a camera: Auto/Motorcycle factories/museums/travels/trains/planes/bikes/cars
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:56 PM   #11
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I'm in!
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:25 PM   #12
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day 3

So i woke on day 3, feeling surprisingly refreshed..

job number 1 for the day was to clean the helmet

then a quick look at the ocean.. wasnt taking the bike down onto the beach though.... had enough sand yesterday

rough plan was to head toward Mount Gambier, then down to the coast and continue east..

took the back way from Millicent, via the pine forests...

i love riding in pine forests...

spent a good few hours speeding around the forest tracks (there is a lot of pines down South East SA...)

Figured i should move on... into grazing land..

not a bad spot for morning tea...

more great tracks....

think someones taking the piss.....

finally got to Mount Gambier, got some retail therapy.. (well bought a towel )

why is it you always forget 'something'.. 'spose its just as well i didnt get to the beach yesterday.. although i would have dried in no time in that heat..

Anyway south from "the Mount", (ok, more 'westish' but i dont like to admit i was kinda going backwards...) hit the township of Carpenter Rocks...

then continued my 'habbit' or trying to follow the coast...

eventually got thru to Port MacDonnell.. for a late lunch..

next stop was Nelson.. (after running over a snake of course)

Glenelg River at Nelson has some great boat sheds along the river..

had a bit of a poke aroung Nelson (nice place, not much there), refueled and headed off into the Lower Glenelg National Park...

Great country in here, great tracks..mix of red dirt/clay and a bit of sand now and then just to keep you honest..

and a beautiful river..

anyone else ever notice how you ALLWAYS seem to end up on the wrong side of a 'management vehicles only' gate

luckily this one wasnt actually locked..

did i mention how good the river looked?!!

think i'll have to come back with a kayak one day...

decided late in the day that i should really end up a lot closer to the Grampians tonight (since i was meeting the lads at the 'giant panda' at noon tomorrow )

so i hot tailed dirt roads thru Mt Eccles and Mt Napier forrests

Refuelled at Hamilton, looked at the sky and thought... "hmm, could be some weather about.." (would be nice after 3 days of near 40 degrees )

Back road to Dunkeld was wet... but i didnt really get rained on...although lookin at the sky i figured i probably would at some point..

it was just about 8pm when i hit Dunkeld.. figured i'd just make a quick stop at the pub to see what time then did dinner till (bein a flash pub and a friday night, i figured probably nine, at least 8:30..), plan was to grab a take away beer, duck down to the camp ground, set-up and get back and have some dinner at the pub..

wasnt to be..

asked the bar guy 'what time you doing dinner till?'

"you have about 30 seconds to order" was his reply... "unless you want the $150 per head degustation in the dinning room"...

whats a bloke to do..
ordered a pint and a mixed grill...

had a pint (or 2 ) and possibly the worst mixed grill i'd ever had (the de-gustation is supposed to be great.. chatted to a few locals and headed off to setup camp (promising the locals i'd be back...)

Got to camp, rang the bell (hey after Mannums campground experience )

was greeted by a cheerie bloke "gday mate, nice bike!..."

asked how much unpowered sites are "$15 bucks" was the reply (better than Mannum i thought)

"just the one of you is there?" he said... 'yep, just me'..

"oh, well if there's just one of you, just make it $10 bucks"... sweet!! i think..

he shows me off to a 'quite' part of the park away from 'those noisey kids down by the creek' (nice!)

then he starts to tell me about the shower block and how there is a kitchen with microwave, kettle etc..

i cut him short, saying 'nah thats fine mate, just had dinner down the pub, pop back after settin up me tent for a nightcap, crash and be up and gone early in the morning, so wont need any of that.."

so whats he say...

"oh well if your not needing the kitchen, just make it $5 bucks for the night"

that clown from Mannum should come down here for a holiday....

pub, few knock-off drinks, listen to the (few) locals grizzle (understandably) about their pub being bought out by a QC from Sydney and 'yuppified'..

head off, promising to be back 'one day', hot shower and bed...

end of day 3..................


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Old 12-23-2009, 05:03 PM   #13
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Pictures and story worth the wait!

Look forward to the next installment.
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:11 PM   #14
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Holy crap. Survivor Man would make a meal out of that.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:24 PM   #15
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Day 4

So there was a fair bit of rain overnight and so day 4 saw me packing a wet(ish) tent and leaving Dunkeld at a leisurely pace..

I had about 4 hours to get up to the "Giant Panda" by noon..

Decided i'd take the left hand side up to Horsham and see if i could get some 'rubber pants' incase there was more rain about..

dirt road up/out to Cavendish

stopped in at Cavendish for a pie n coke breakfast (hmm, must have had more than 1 'knock-off drink last night )

while sitting on the front step of the general store, an old guy on a guzzi pulled up (and another bloke on an (?) old kwaka (perhaps)) chatting for a good half hour, turns out he's the 'president' (or somethin like that) of a bike club thats putting on a rally a couple of weeks later (Fish Hole? something like that, down Portland way)

Anyway, they are heading up 50 or so kms to put a flyer in at a machinery museum.. the 3 of us tear off up the bitumin for a great half hour ride..

was nice riding with some others for a bit

i leave them and get to Horsham,

I leave the 'rubber pants' with the guy in the camping shop who wants $280 buck for them..

refuel and am just about to jump on the bike when a (slower ) grey F800GS rolls in with a pillion..

Have a bit of chat to him about bikes (might be on here, just came back from a central Oz trip)..

Anyway, left him and his missus to fang it down to Dunkeld for lunch, i fanged it east along the highway and met the lads (10 mins late ) at the "Giant Panda"..

horrid lookin thing (panda that is...not me! )

(even that little kid on the left is obviously terrified of it and cant get away fast enough )

So, sitting around chatting for too long, Paul said he needed fuel (thought he'd be able to get some here..nope)

So, we fang it back along the highway the 50km to the servo i just left.....

refuel, and fang it back east along the highway (my spot tracker must have looked like i was playing tenis by now...)

Turned off and headed for Halls Gapp via Zumsteins, Wartook etc on the bitumin (to keep the Harley clean )

stopped at a few lookouts on the way

and just enjoyed the 3 bike convoy down the twisties to Halls Gap,

Checked in to the Caravan park, then Phil (Philmeup) and I went for a dirt spin around Lake Wartook and let the Harley play on the bitumen..

We met up with the Harley again, walked out to the Pub.. (who in their right mind puts a pub 2 km out of town....!!! )
Thought we'd gone the wrong way... but conversation was good (and we still had a traveller left ) so kept walkin thru the darknes, finally found the place... had a big feed, one beer then they shut... got a six-pack for the hike back to town and crashed out in our cabin for the night...

end of day 4..

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