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Old 08-29-2014, 02:55 PM   #1
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Adelaide-Portland: the pretty way

I have lived in S.E. of S.A. and S.W. of Victoria for most of my life. With family in Adelaide I have travelled the highways to that city many times, but I have never taken the time to see what was between the coast road along the Coorong and the inland route via Keith.
I read Bull600s ride report of his and his late mate Pauls trip to the Limestone Coast region about 2 hours west of Portland and my interest was aroused. I lived in Robe for 2 years during my early teenage years so I knew the area well. With the establishment of a library of adventure trails at www.transaustraliatrail.com.au Bull600 posted his route for others to share. I downloaded his GPS track and studied it with interest.
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:00 PM   #2
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I had just been on a ride towards Haddon corner with the Green Triangle ADVriders group, but had to abort my ride when aged mother had a fall in Adelaide. With that situation sorted I had to ride home, but riding a DRZ400 on a freeway is not my idea of fun. I used Basecamp to plot a way through the wine growing area south of Adelaide, down to the lakes near the River Murray mouth and then over to the ferry across the river. Once I was across the idea was to link up with Bull600s track.
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:06 PM   #3
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tidying up

We had spent four days cleaning up my late father –in-law’s house. I know; a depressing time of life as your parents DOP.

I guess in a few years time my kids will be wondering why I kept so much junk in my shed too!

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Old 08-29-2014, 03:11 PM   #4
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I waved my wife and daughter plus two youngsters ( 4 months and 3 years) goodbye on their trip back to Portland.

Two days on the bike Vs 8 hours in the car with my grandkids???? Decisions.

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Old 08-29-2014, 03:14 PM   #5
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I fired up the DRZ and headed south to Clarendon. Now South Australia is supposed to be the driest state in Australia, and up north it is really dry, but these rolling hills are green and beautiful. Luckily my Basecamp plot was fairly accurate and I had few dead ends to contend with.
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:18 PM   #6
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The hills behind McLaren Vale wine region are heavily forested. I used to trail ride these areas when I was young. Now they are recreational parks, but no trail bikes allowed, of course.
A parkland full of Pinus Radiata? Strange politics if ever I heard of it!!!




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Old 08-29-2014, 03:20 PM   #7
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A few valleys over I could see down the Fleuriua peninsula towards the river mouth and out to the inland plains. I came across a sign saying that the road was boggy when wet, but being dry conditions I chanced it and proceeded. This would have been a mistake if it had rained recently, because at the base of the hill some 4WD enthusiasts had chewed the bejesus out of the trail. This must really piss off the locals who need the use the road.

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Old 08-29-2014, 03:22 PM   #8
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Lakes

Once I was over the hills it was a series of long straight roads until I reached the shores of Lake Alexandrina. We had a habit of naming lakes after the Royal family of the U.K. in the past.

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Old 08-29-2014, 03:23 PM   #9
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Milang

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Old 08-29-2014, 03:28 PM   #10
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lost? who me?

. Once I had reached the lakes shore it became obvious that the tracks I wanted to use either were not there or impassable. With a bit of exploring I eventually made it to Wellington to fuel up the bike and my body. The fuel station had expensive petrol and crap food. Actually the iced coffee in S.A. is very good.

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Old 08-29-2014, 03:33 PM   #11
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Ferry over River Murray

This is the biggest river that we have in OZ. With our small population we can't afford bridges everywhere they are needed.

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Old 08-29-2014, 03:37 PM   #12
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Now on Taut

Once over the ferry, I headed down the highway for about ten minutes seeking the start of Bull600s dirt road tracks.
Because Bull600 had departed and returned back via the same area, there were a few times where I had to stop and zoom out on my GPS to work out which pink line to follow.
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:49 PM   #13
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The roads were sand based with limstone capping. Pretty good really.


The area was cleared for cropping, but Mt Boothby Conservation PArk indicates what it used tot be like.



It was rocky thin soil. The track got a bit soft unless you rode on the grassy verged and then rocky as I went over my Boothby.


It was slow going.




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Old 08-29-2014, 03:54 PM   #14
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Dead end

After taking a while to get around Mt. Boothby ( 300 feet high?) I was glad to get back onto better roads and try and make up time. It was getting warm by now. The GPS track lead over to the coast now and then this!

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Old 08-29-2014, 03:57 PM   #15
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Bugger

I was making good time until I came to a track that obviously used to be open to the public , but not anymore. I had to back track and then navigate towards the Coorong National Park.
The roads undulated over what would have been ancient sand dune ridges as the sea retracted. There were many scenic lakes with black swans in residence.
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